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By Arianna Hart
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.Copyright © 2006 Arianna Hart
All right reserved.
Chapter OneConnor had the taxi drop him off a few blocks from the address he held in his hand. The spring air was a little nippy, at least compared to the balmy air he had left this morning. It had taken him less than a day to decide to follow up on what was so important to Samara that she hacked into the IRS to find him.
It had taken him considerably less time to find her than it had taken her to find him. A few phone calls and he had her phone number, address, college transcript, as well as her parents' names and address.
A car that matched her registration was in the driveway. He knocked on the door of the little blue cape. There were bulbs popping up in the flowerbeds, gutters in need of cleaning, and a spring flag hanging off a wooden pole fastened to a shutter.
There was also nobody home.
"Hell, it's Friday night, she's probably out drinking some wine with ice. Probably out with some nerdy academic with glasses and a tan sport coat."
He should find himself a hotel and call her in the morning. The last thing he wanted was to see her giving some jerk a goodnight kiss. Even though they didn't have a relationship, the thought of her kissing some other guy made his gut clench with annoyance.
Connor waited until 9:30 before his patience ran out. He'd just walked around the side of the house to look for a way in when he saw headlights turn into driveway. He ducked back into the shadow of the breezeway and watched her step out of the car.
"Thanks for the ride home, Chad. No really, you don't have to walk me to the door, really." Samara had an edge of panic in her voice. The guy, Chad presumably, got out of the car anyway. "Thanks for being such a gentleman, I'd love to invite you in, but the place is a mess. Maybe some other time." Samara dug around in her purse frantically.
Connor had a feeling this jerk was going to try something if she didn't get inside the house soon.
She took too long.
"Don't worry Samantha, I've seen dirty houses before, I won't even notice in the dark." He grabbed her shoulders and pulled her in for a kiss.
Connor could practically see the jerk's teeth mash against Samara's lips.
A fierce surge of anger flooded him. It was all he could do to hold back and not charge over there and break them up. His plans to just fade into the woodwork took an abrupt turn. He'd wait inside for Samara so they could have a little talk. And if the asshole trying to taste her tonsils made it through the doorway, well wouldn't he be in for a shock?
How did she get herself into situations like this? Her head ached, her feet hurt, and now Chad mauled her in an attempt at seduction. This had to stop before he stuck his tongue any further into her mouth.
Samara slipped her arm between them and twisted while turning her head aside. She thought she caught a movement out of the corner of her eye, but decided it must have just been a shadow.
"Chad, I think you should leave now."
"Hey we're just getting started."
"No, we're not. You might have been, but I'm going to bed. Alone. Good night."
"You and Macayla are both the same. Frigid ice queens."
"There's no need to resort to name calling just because you didn't get lucky."
"Screw you," he shot over his shoulder as he stalked back to his car.
"Not even at my most desperate moment," Samara mumbled as she finally managed the dead bolt and got through the door. She re-locked the front door and leaned her head against it.
"Never again am I going to listen to Macayla. What harm can a little dance do? Why don't you let Chad take you home, he's an internist.' Never again."
"Sounds like a good plan," came a voice from behind her.
Samara let out a yell, sunk down and swept the leg of the fool who dared sneak up behind her. She switched on the hall light and grabbed the baseball bat she kept in the umbrella stand by the door.
The bat dropped with a clank from nerveless fingers when she got a good look at who was sprawled in her foyer.
"But you don't exist," was the last thing Samara said as the hall got dark again and she sank to her knees in her first-ever faint.
Excerpted from Surprise by Arianna Hart Copyright © 2006 by Arianna Hart. Excerpted by permission.
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