Zedidiah Stone was feared. The crime rate in Lauréa, Texas was minuscule because of him. Long term relationships held no interest to him, and good girls were a bore. He liked his life just fine the way it was. The sweet, sexy temptation of Yvonne Winters was going to stay just that- a temptation. He would not touch, he would not take her, he would not-
Aww hell, he had to have her.
Her heart hammered painfully in her chest as she slowly got to her feet, staring at her words come to life. She knew her mouth was hanging wide open, but her jaws currently weren’t paying attention to her brain’s demand that she get her shit together and calm down. Who could have done this, and why? Was the person still here, waiting? What if it was some kind of crazed demented fan?
She’d read about things like this. A lot of authors often complained people who weren’t wrapped so tight seemed to think just because a woman wrote erotic romance, she was easy or a freak. Maybe she should call the sheriff. Or not. Zedidiah Stone may have been the best sheriff in the entire state of Texas, but he creeped her out. He was waaaay too silent, his stormy iced gray-blue eyes a tad too intense. He gave off an eerie impression he knew every evil, bad or naughty thought in a person’s head, like he could see right down to the essence of whomever he happened to turn that freaky stare at. There was no way in hell she’d ever let him know what she really did for a living.
Whoever this was, she could handle it. Taking the tiny canister of Mace out of her pocket, Alexandria kicked off her shoes and slowly followed the trail of roses as quietly as she could. The only sound that could be heard in the smallish library was that of her own frantic breaths, though she tried like hell to calm herself. Could he hear her? What if it wasn’t even a he? Whoever it was, she could take them. Hadn’t she taken four years of self-defense classes down at the Y? She could surely defend herself—she hoped.
The red and white path lead back to the romance fiction section. A section she had not only checked, but spent more than a little time trailing her fingers over some of her all-time favorite romances. It was located in the back corner of the library, away from prying eyes. She’d spent countless hours there with Tex when they were in high school. That someone had used her special place to pull a cruel prank just pissed her off.
No longer caring if the person waiting heard her or not, Alexandria stalked forward, determined to give the person a piece of her mind. She would be damned if anyone was going to ruin her memories of the romance section. She wasn’t about to have it. She stalked down the first aisle, seeing nothing out of place, then rounded the corner to the aisle in the very back. The nerve of some people! Trying to desecrate the one place she could always go when she was feeling sad or alone!
“Hey there, sugar. Miss me?”
Alexandria came to a dead stop. That sexy drawl poured all over her like honey, melting her core just as it had ten years ago. She blinked hard, dropping the Mace that had been clasped in her hand like it was a piece of hot coal. She couldn’t be seeing what she thought she was seeing. This was a figment of her overacting imagination. Her loneliness had conjured up her ideal man. There was no way Tex Westley was laying out in front of a picnic of her favorite foods and— Oh sweet Mary have mercy! The man was shirtless!
Nope, he was not there. She was seeing things. She turned on her heel, refusing to give in to her sudden psychosis. She needed a vacation, she needed to go see a therapist; something, anything to keep her most precious daydream from driving her completely insane.
“Hey! Al, get back here!”
She didn’t turn around. It had to be an all-too-real daydream. No one else had ever in her life called her “Al,” and she’d never divulged the name Tex used when they were alone. It was a small thing, but it was theirs, and she hadn’t wanted to share it with another soul.
She had almost made it out of the damnable romance section when a steel hard hand clasped around her upper arm. Oh no, she could actually feel him! She had finally gone right over the deep end. She’d lived so long in her head, she had taken one final trip and stayed there. Someone would probably find her comatose in her office in the morning, drooling out of the corner of her mouth. How depressing.