A Dangerous Love (Chapter 4, page 1 of 11)

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Chapter 4

Lisa showered and crawled into the single bed in the guestroom. The sheets were cold and the unfamiliar surroundings unsettling. She pulled the blanket around her shoulders and curled into a shivering ball, staring through the window into the darkness. Had fate brought her to these people who welcomed her as if she were family? Was loneliness the culprit of her decision to spend the night? Sarah's gentle voice was so much like the mother she lost. Little Tammy was so shy and inquisitive. Giddon, however, was a study in contradictions. So gruff - and yet those eyes that sparkled with amusement.

She fluffed the pillow and changed position, unable to sleep. It was a lovely setting for a home, secluded in wildly beautiful forested hills. The seclusion she knew well, having been brought up less than five miles from this house. It had taken more than an hour to get to school on the bus, making any after-school activities rare. Not that it mattered. She had always been a recluse at heart, often declining a social outing with her friends so that she could be alone with a book or her writing. It was something her parents never understood . . . which was probably why they moved to Fayetteville. Being close enough so that she could attend college while living at home had been their rationalization, but she suspected they were also trying to stimulate her social life. While she would never have described her parents as over-protective, their devotion to their children was never in doubt. Why hadn't she realized what wonderful parents she had while they were still alive? Well, actually, she had - but not in the same scope that she did now.

The room lit up with a bright flash of lightening, and thunder rattled the windowpane. Rain drops tapped on the window lightly at first, and then drummed on the roof angrily. The windows in the car would be broken, and everything would get soaked. The car was a loss anyway, but her purse and clothes would be ruined.

She took a deep breath and slowly let it out. The money would dry, and her clothes could be washed. The cheap vinyl cover of the purse would be watertight, protecting her cell phone - if it wasn't ruined in the crash. The car would be replaced by the insurance that was meant to replace her parents' car. At this point the loss of her car was more an inconvenience than anything else. Still, it was her first car and one with memories packed into it.

As soon as she retrieved her purse and clothes, she could call Connie to come get her. Directing Connie to the house would be difficult, but Lisa could wait at the end of the drive. Maybe Sarah or Giddon would take her to the little country store where the dirt road joined the highway.

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