Heavy rain assaulted the windows and the asphalt outside in a steady, monotonous beat. Playful gusts of wind toyed with the open shutters, provoking small creaks. Raindrops zigzagged on the glass panes in a random maze. If she had any time, she would take a pause to go to the window and watch the wet patterns form and change, dreamily losing herself in their dance.
These storms came quickly in the Alps, grazing the snow covered, fork-like peaks before diving into the deep valleys and ravaging them with inhuman force. After a few hours, the darkness would vanish as if wiped away by a magic wand, once again leaving the villageois with a familiar sense of awe and the tourists reeling in shock at the power of nature.
Anne tugged at her trapped hand. “Please.” “Oh.” Feigning surprise, the dark beauty lifted an eyebrow and removed his hand, allowing her to retrieve hers. “Sorry,” he added, rolling a thick R with his tongue, keeping his lips parted a second too long. A move so deliberately naughty, her stomach knotted with need. As she retreated, he studied her face with a grin, arrogance and amusement gleaming in his dark eyes, before turning his attention to the two other men.
Todd leaned forward to grab his handlebars and plowed on the pedals. His tires crushed tiny stones on the wet asphalt, spraying them to the sides, the sound ricocheting between house walls. The Italian seemed to hesitate. His mesmerizing black diamonds met her gaze and sharpened. Rain splashed on his cheekbones, giving his tanned skin a glow. What? She raised a brow at him. He ripped his look away from her, sent her husband a courteous nod, and followed his blond friend down the street.
A loud bang detonated somewhere over the village. She counted the seconds until the lightning strike. One, two. A sudden flash of white snuck in between the shutters, enough to reveal the side of Micaela’s face and his curving lips. Blackness took over again. Anne blinked, regretting the new loss of sight. Cold fingers reached out of the void and found her shoulders. She gasped and stepped backward, bumping into hard, horizontal bars—the shelves in the open closet. He followed her.
Slumped in the passenger seat, Mica stared ahead, occasionally glancing at her without a word. His breathing sounded labored. At one point, he coughed so hard and long she thought he would choke, but she didn’t dare drive faster. The car lights were her only source of illumination. What if she missed a curve? After a dreadful time zigzagging through the windy countryside, a sign indicated they were closing in on the village entrance.