When she discovers her sister missing from a Las Vegas hotel suite, Layla Horn ventures into the barren wilderness of Death Valley to seek out the man into whose protection her sister was running. Rafferty Carwill knows nothing about his friend Chayla's current troubles and subsequent disappearance, but when her sister Layla arrives, weary and sunburned, at his door his Dominant desires clamor for fulfillment. Thrown together because of tragedy, these two strong people must battle their fears in order to embrace a rare love they both crave.
She watched Corbin jump from the cab of the truck and walk to the front of the house. With a deep breath, Layla opened the door and hopped down. Slinging her purse and backpack over her shoulder, she slumped against the closed truck door for support and watched Corbin knock on the front door.
Within seconds, it swung open and a large man, his face hidden by the shadow of the roof overhang, stepped out.
His voice, deep and melodious, sent awareness through Layla's blood causing her to straighten against the hot metal of the vehicle. She angled her head, trying to get a better look at him. She needed to see his face. It was suddenly imperative that she know what he looked like.
Seconds later he stepped from underneath the overhang and into the sun. Her heart jumped to her throat and stayed there. He was the man from the picture. The man who'd had a starring role in all of her nighttime fantasies for the past eight years. A stranger with a face and body she'd recognize anywhere.
Corbin began speaking in low tones that Layla couldn't hear.
"Rafe, there's someone here looking for you. I found her walking towards town on Dry Springs Road. Her car broke down about ten miles back. Picked her up and brought her straight to you."
The tone of Corbin's voice sent warning tremors through Rafferty Carwill's body. Rarely did his friend sound so serious. "Who is it?"
"She's a stranger but you know her well. She's near the truck."
Rafe frowned. What kind of convoluted answer was that? He followed the rise of Corbin's arm as he pointed toward his dusty black Chevy. Stepping from the porch, Rafe slowly approached the vehicle and felt his world tip on its axis.
Corbin was right. The woman was a stranger but more dear to Rafe than she'd ever know. Her cinnamon hair shone red in the early afternoon sun. Her fair, but sunburned, freckle dotted face, looked pinched and weary but she stood proud with shoulders squared and stance defiant.
Although she looked exactly like her twin sister—short stature, large breasts, tiny waist, and curvy hips—hers was the body and face of the woman who'd haunted his dreams for nearly eight years.
The blood drained from his head and pooled in his groin. He felt like a teenager approaching his first crush. But, she was no crush. She was his world and she was coming to him because something was wrong.
He stopped several feet from her, not daring to get closer for fear of gathering her into his arms. She remained silent, watching him behind Chayla's signature sunglasses.
Finally he said, "Hello, Layla."