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Serena startled as the doorbell's chime jerked her out of her musings. She considered ignoring the summons, then reconsidered. Better to face the questions now, while the kids were safely away from home, than later when they might be upset by a confrontation. Maybe the reporters would leave her alone if she said "no comment" enough times. She smiled to herself at that. Who said you couldn't learn anything from primetime TV?
The faint smile was still on her face as she approached the front door. Remembering the big TV cameras, Serena ran a smoothing hand over her hair and did a quick inspection in the hall mirror to make sure she was presentable. Good enough. She could see the silhouette of just one person--a man, she thought--standing on the other side of the glass. Maybe she'd get off easy and not have to face the whole pack of them.
Bracing herself, she pulled open the door. The faint, cool smile fell off her face. All she could do was stare. Finn seemed just as stunned.
The sound of his voice galvanized her. Without thought, she slammed the door, cutting him off before he could say more than her name. She was surprised to notice her hands were trembling.
After a moment, the bell sounded again. Serena glared at the door and, through it, the man standing on her porch. A man she hadn't seen in over fifteen years. His choice. Not hers. At first. How dare he?
She slumped against the wall and crossed her arms over her chest, thinking furiously. Now what?
Riff stared at the door Serena had just slammed in his face. That went well. What the hell am I doing here? I don't need this!
He turned to stormoff the porch. Muttering a succinct curse, he spun back before he'd taken more than a step. He growled in exasperation, tipping his head back as if searching the cloudless blue sky for answers. He hadn't flown across the country to give up and go home after two seconds. Damn!
He pressed the doorbell button, held it down longer than necessary. The sound of the cheery ring made him grit his teeth. He glanced around to see if there were any witnesses to the sight of Riff Logan cooling his heels on Serena Jeffries' front steps--after she'd slammed the door in his face. He peered in the hazy window. If she was there, he couldn't see her, only a blur of indefinable shapes.
He was just reaching to punch the button a third time, determined to hold it down until either she answered or it blew a fuse, when the door was yanked open. She looked both ways down the street, which was devoid of both traffic and gawkers, then grabbed his arm.
"You'd better come in before someone sees you."
He let her pull him into the foyer and flick the deadbolt behind him.
"Too late," he said, not bothering to hide the perverse satisfaction in his voice. At the questioning lift of her eyebrows, he clarified, "Your neighbor. She waved at me as I was coming up the walk."
"Oh, Sheighlah. That's okay, then. She won't say anything."
Serena looked away and his eyes fastened on her teeth, which were busy worrying her bottom lip in that way he remembered so well. It was surprising how much he wanted to taste that lip himself.
"What are you doing here, Finn?"
For a moment, the name gave him pause. It had been a long, long time since anyone had called him anything but Riff. He'd chosen the name himself when he was twelve and guitar crazy. He'd refused to answer to anything else until everyone gave in and started calling him Riff. But not Serena. As soon as they'd gotten together, she'd insisted on using his "real" name. From her, he hadn't minded it.
The sound of his name coming from those worry-reddened lips drove his gaze up to meet hers. It was just another blow in a barrage of many to realize the deep, dark blue eyes had the same mesmerizing effect on him. Suddenly, he wanted nothing more than to snatch her up, press her close, chest to breast, hip to hip, thigh to thigh.
He jammed his hands back in the front pockets of his jeans, both to deny the impulse and give his constricted flesh a bit more room to move without being obvious about it. He hoped.
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