“Ms. Reynolds, it’s nice to see you again.” He stood to greet her. The tingle again shot up his arm as they touched.
Angie smiled. The chemistry between them was still there. “I brought you a housewarming gift, Rose’s fudge nut brownies. I hope you like chocolate.”
“Can’t get enough.” Nick took the plate and grabbed the big one on top. “I haven’t gotten around to dessert at Rose’s yet.” He took a bite. “Wow, these are amazing. Would you like one?”
“No, I think I’ve eaten a few hundred over the years.”
“It certainly doesn’t show.” Nick smiled, enjoying the buzz he got when she was around.
“Thank you.” Angie lowered her eyes and felt her cheeks flush.
“I was just about to take a walk. Would you like to join me?” Nick didn’t feel comfortable inviting her in. There was a strong, obvious connection between them. He found her charm and beauty overwhelming.
“I’d love to.” Angie and Nick walked along the shore in the setting sun.
“How do you like Minnesota so far?”
“It’s great. Not what I expected. Everyone’s gone out of their way to make me feel at home.”
“Yeah, it’s why they call it ‘Minnesota nice’.”
“That phrase fits perfectly,” Nick said. They walked on, nearing the wooded peninsula. There was a loud rustling in the brush next to them. Startled, Angie grabbed onto Nick, pulling herself to him. He looked into her eyes that were wide with fear. God, she was beautiful. The blood raced through his veins, a potent cocktail of adrenaline and lust. They pressed closer together, not caring what sort of beast watched from the woods. Lost in the moment his mouth found hers, deep and demanding. A moan escaped her lips. He could tell she was a strong, passionate woman by the way she returned his kiss. Another loud rustle in the bushes broke the spell. Angie pulled away and Nick instinctively reached for his gun which was back in California. He felt naked, helpless to protect himself or the woman he was with.
“We should probably get moving. We get the occasional bear and wolf around here. Whatever it is, it sounds pretty big,” Angie said anxiously.
Nick placed himself between Angie and the woods as they made their way back to the house. “I wish someone had told me that. I won’t be napping on the deck anymore.” Survive years on the streets of L.A. only to come to Minnesota and be eaten by a bear.
“The bears are just looking for garbage and the wolves are more scared of you than you are of them. Just don’t leave your dog tied out. It’s an easy meal.”
“I’ll remember that when I get a dog.” Nick nodded thoughtfully.
“I should get going,” Angie said.
“I’ll walk you to your car. It feels kind of funny not having my gun,” Nick said.
“A hand gun probably wouldn’t be much use against a bear, just make him mad.”
“About what happened back there,” Nick said, embarrassed by his actions.
Angie felt the color rise to her cheeks. “It was intense, but nice. I work the evening shift at Rose’s this week; stop by sometime.”“I’ll do that,” he said, and headed into the house. He walked past the entryway mirror. “Get that stupid smile off your face,” he scolded himself out loud. It had been such a long time since he smiled or felt truly happy. He walked out onto the second floor deck, hoping the cold lake breeze would put out the fire Angie had stirred in him. Nick heard the mournful cries of a solitary goose, waiting for the mate that would never return. A wave of emptiness washed over him.