After a car accident which left him scarred and his best friend dead, Mitch Spencer retreats to his family’s vacation home to heal. He has no idea the turn his life is about to take when there’s a knock at the door.
Kade Lewis is good at one thing, and one thing only, theft. The Spencer house was supposed to be empty so now he needs to rethink his game plan. After years of keeping others out, it’s Mother Nature herself who throws an unexpected obstacle in his way; in the shape of Mitch Spencer.
Forced to spend time together when they’re cut off by flash floods, will the two men be able to vanquish their inner demons and find each other? Or will their pasts be too much to overcome?
The wind whipped at his hair, sending the short strands in all directions around his head, its grabby fingers stealing the very breath from his lungs. He’d been jerked awake by the first deafening crack of thunder and his eyes widened as another flash illuminated the dark. The lightning split the sky in two and the rolling thunder shook the world before he’d even managed one, one thousand—not that one needed to be a genius to know the storm was directly overhead. Mitch’s entire body thrummed with the ferocity of Mother Nature in full force as he leaned out of the window in total awe. The lake and rolling hills around his remote home were lit up in stark relief against the velvet sky when another flash of lightning forked across the darkness. Then came the rain. Sheets of water fell from the sky and bounced off the ground, turning the lake into choppy surf. Drenched in seconds, he snatched the cast iron latch and pulled the window closed.
Great idea, Mitch. Hanging out of the window in a thunderstorm in the middle of the night. One of your best. He turned on the light and padded along the hall to the bathroom and opened the linen closet. He stripped off his T-shirt and grabbed a towel, rubbed it over his face and across his hair before turning his attention to his naked chest. Mitch wandered back into his room and paused, his attention suddenly caught by the creaking sounds of the house under assault by the storm. He yawned widely, nonplussed. He’d spent half his life in this house and knew every moan and groan of its old bones. His parents had bought the house when Mitch and his twin sister were five and they’d vacationed here every summer, reveling in the secluded countryside and beautiful scenery of the Virginian farmhouse, making the old rooms ring with their laughter.
Not that they rang with much right now, because he was alone. He’d moved to the summer house after the accident six months ago. After quitting the job his firm had held open for him, he had retreated to the one place where he knew he would feel safe, and there would be no reminders of all he’d lost. His parents hadn’t been so sure it was a good idea to shut himself away in the middle of nowhere, but they’d acquiesced. He knew they hoped that the familiar comfort of the farmhouse would soothe his soul, although his father had to practically drag his mother to their planned three month vacation in
, stating that the last thing Mitch wanted was her buzzing around him for the entire summer. France
Mitch froze in the midst of pulling a dry T-shirt over his head and listened intently. He was sure he’d heard something, but now all he could catch was the incessant moan of the wind. Shrugging he smoothed the material down over his stomach—there it was again. Faint, but definite. A banging at the front door.
Frowning, Mitch crossed to his bedroom window and pulled back the curtain. He couldn’t see anything past the rain the wind threw against the glass. Damn it. Mitch squinted into the darkness but there were no vehicles at the front of the house. The knocking must have been his imagination. The house was miles from anywhere and only accessible by car. The nearest neighbors were the Hendersons and they were eleven miles away on foot. He was obviously still half asleep. How could there possibly be anyone out there?
The knocking was louder this time, as if whoever held the brass ring firmly ensconced in the mouth of the lion’s head door knocker, was getting angrier with each bang. “What the fuck?” he mumbled, picking up his cell, though why he wasn’t entirely sure, and headed down the stairs. The faint sounds of his bare feet on the rugged and quarry-tiled floor of the hall were smothered by the raging elements outside. He turned on the lights and cautiously approached the door. Rising onto the balls of his feet, Mitch peered through the small stained glass window set into the wood. He cursed softly; all he could see was driving rain and darkness. There’s nobody there, idiot. Mitch ignored the derisive sneer of his inner voice and narrowed his eyes, staring out into the night. Yeah, real genius. Cut down your field of vision. That’ll help you see the monsters better. Mitch shook his head at his wandering imagination and turned away from the door. There was nobody there. It had probably been the wind lifting the knocker and slamming it back down.
“Jesus!” The heavy slam of the knocker tightened his bowels and had his balls trying to creep back up inside his body, his heart pounding in his chest and blood rushing in his ears. Pressing his hand against the sleek wood, he swallowed hard.
“Who’s there?” He cursed inwardly, wishing his voice sounded a little more quarterback and a little less band camp. “Who’s out there? I’ve got an—” He gazed around and grabbed the first thing to hand. “Umbrella?”