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  1. Kristy McCaffrey's Avatar
    Reading: Tears of the Damned by Marcy Waldenville
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    Default Forum Event--Kristy McCaffrey--THE WREN Excerpt #2

    The scream awoke Molly with a start. For a moment she lay still, staring into the darkened room—Matt’s room, she recalled. Then she remembered the woman’s scream. Claire.

    Molly threw the covers back, jumped out of bed and ran into the hallway. She stopped short when she saw a tall, muscular and half-naked man. Then she noticed Claire standing in the doorway to Logan’s room, wearing one of Susanna’s long white nightgowns and clutching a blanket to her chest. Her face was flushed and her blonde hair tumbled around her shoulders. She stared at the man next to her.

    Molly suddenly recognized him—it was Logan, Matt’s younger brother. He didn’t appear to be quite as tall as Matt, but his dark hair and strongly etched facial features certainly pegged him as Matt’s brother.

    "Mind telling me why there’s a girl in my bed, Matt?" Logan asked in a hushed and irritated voice.

    Molly jumped when she realized Matt was right behind her. Turning to look at him made her breath catch in her throat, and her pulse suddenly started racing. He was half-naked as well, wearing just a pair of trousers pulled on quickly, obviously too quickly since the top button was still undone. But while Logan’s nakedness merely surprised her, Matt’s completely unnerved her.

    There wasn’t an ounce of fat on him anywhere; the sleek muscles in his shoulders subtly flexed as he stood near her. The dark mat of hair on his chest tapered down to a vee, then disappeared beneath the open button; his stomach was flat and taut. Towering over her, he stood close enough that his arm brushed hers as he lowered the gun he had drawn in obvious haste. Molly shivered from the brief contact.

    "Ma didn’t think you’d be back tonight," Matt said, the timbre of his voice setting Molly’s nerves on edge. "This is Claire Waters. Claire, this is my brother, Logan."

    Molly finally found her voice. "Are you all right, Claire?"

    "Yes," she replied. "He just startled me." Claire glanced in Logan’s direction.

    "It seems you’ve got one in your bed as well. Is this ma’s version of matchmaking?" Logan asked. But his voice had softened as he looked at Claire again.

    "It’s a long story," Matt replied. "Grab your bedroll. You’re on the floor with me."

    Molly was acutely aware of Matt’s nearness. He was standing too close to her, much too close. She discerned in the darkness of the hallway that Logan was at least four feet from Claire. Matt couldn’t be more than four inches from her. She found herself suddenly self-conscious of her nakedness beneath the thin shirt she wore.

    "Sorry, Claire," Matt said. "You’d better go back to bed, Molly. I’ll explain everything to Logan." Finally he stepped back and she dared another glance at his face.

    The darkness couldn’t mask the speculative gleam in his eyes. At the same time, however, there was also a grim determination on his face and in his stance. Molly could sense the powerful restraint he was exerting.

    He appeared dangerous in the intimate blackness of the hallway, his broad shoulders tightening as he shifted his weight slightly. Molly’s nipples hardened in response and her lower body felt heavy.

    If Logan and Claire hadn’t been standing there, Molly knew she would have touched him. It still took all of her willpower not to run her fingertips lightly across his chest. She couldn’t explain it but she was certain she could release the tension in his body.

    With an effort, Molly merely nodded. "Goodnight," she whispered as she walked back into Matt’s bedroom and shut the door. The last thing she saw was his gaze fixed solely on her.

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    Kristy McCaffrey
    A Touch of the Old West
    http://kristymccaffrey.com

    Available from Whiskey Creek Press
    The Wren
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    Echo of the Plains ~ A Short Story

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