Haley didn't want her time with Shaw to end. It had a little to do with being given the opportunity to make her pitch for what she believed the resort's snowmobile operation needed. Even more she wanted to go on listening to his voice. To decide if his eyes were really dark brown.
However, what she wanted and reality were two different things which was why she was walking through the space he'd created when he opened the restaurant door. In the time they'd been indoors, the outside temperature had dropped and an Oregon winter night was already spreading over the resort.
Even with the hot chocolate—he'd had two cups—she was hungry since she hadn't been able to eat with an aching tooth. She should be looking forward to going to her mobile and popping the roasted chicken she'd picked up at a grocery store into the oven to reheat. Instead, she remained at Shaw's side as he walked her back to her SUV. They didn't say much because the random snow mounds and haphazardly parked vehicles meant they had to concentrate on their footing. This was the part of winter in a wilderness resort that didn't make its way into promotional material. People wanted the magic of snow draped evergreens, not soggy parking lots.
"I've been here the better part of a year," Shaw said while waiting for her to unlock her vehicle. "But I'm still getting used to how complete night becomes, especially if I'm away from the resort. Either its day or its dark. No in between."
"Except when the moon's full and there aren't any clouds. That happened before the first snowstorm. I went for a long walk near the base of Mount Steens. This is going to sound silly but Steens is like a sentry standing guard over everything. It's so impressive."
"Were you by yourself?"
He briefly touched her shoulder, made her look his way. "Be careful."
"You've heard about the wolf haven't you?"
"Of course. Who hasn't? Echo assured me that wolves don't want anything to do with humans. I figure there's zero chance he'll attack."
"Are you sure the wolf knows that?"
"Don't worry. I'm used to taking care of myself." Now.
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