Bear to the Rescue(Bear Claw Security Book 3)By: Terry Bolryder
They turned onto a road that led down a cul de sac and followed it to the end of the road, where there was a house with a forest behind it.
The house was fairly new, built within the past couple years. It was light gray with interesting stonework. Several stories, traditional-looking with some modern touches. The yard was nicely landscaped.
It was the classic picket fence situation, with some upgrades. It was also huge. At least by her standards.
She gaped at it as he turned off the car and pulled her stuff out of the back. “This is your house? It’s nice.”
“And here comes the teasing,” he said, opening her door for her and leading the way up the front walk.
“No. It’s not what I expected,” she said. “It’s… nice.”
“So you said.” He offered her a wry smile. “I’m glad you think so. If you’re going to be imprisoned, you might as well be comfortable.”
“Please,” she said, standing on the porch as he undid the lock and opened the door. “I’m not imprisoned.”
“You’ve been acting like it,” he said, turning on the lights and disarming the alarm. When the door was closed, he set it again.
“I’m sorry,” she said, taking her backpack from him. “I’m really independent. Some people might see it as a flaw, but it’s just how I’ve survived.”
She looked around her. The floors were hardwood, but the stairs were carpeted down the center with a plush, cream runner.
The furnishings were simple but high end. A small dining room and then a kitchen down the hall. The living room had a large TV mounted over a huge custom fireplace with rocks around it.
There was carpet in that room, too. Everything was taken care of, from the drapes in a silvery blue to the couches in light gray.
Despite the coolness of the colors, it felt light, homey.
“Really not what I expected,” she said, eyeing the man in the suit who was now a bigger mystery than before.
He gave her a half smile, flashing an adorable dimple. He had a great jaw, straight and masculine so you just wanted to run your finger along it. “What did you expect?”
“I don’t know. Mahogany furniture and a smoky study? Super masculine?”
He laughed and led the way into the kitchen, setting her stuff on a stool that stuck out from the island. “Well, I plan to have a mate here someday. I tried to pick something that would impress her. After all, with this mug, it’s going to take some persuasion to get her to say yes.”
Suddenly, she saw it. A vision of what it would be like, life with this handsome man in this perfect, beautiful house. It was hard to breathe it seemed so perfect.
But she’d had the picket fence dream. Before her dad left. After that, everything had just felt that much bleaker.
“Well, she’ll be a lucky woman,” she said, only half meaning it. She envied the potential woman for being able to actually hope for something good like that, not for the life she would have.
But Regan liked her life as it was. She really did.
She sat on one of the stools and looked at the beautiful view from the kitchen windows. Deep-green forest and land all around.
“Beautiful,” she said. And then her stomach let out a loud growl.
Bronson laughed and opened the fridge. “I’ll make something.”
“You can cook, too?” she asked. “Damn, why have I been wasting my time teasing you when I could have had you cooking for me?”
“You don’t cook?” he asked.
She shook her head. “I’m a chronic takeout lover. Cooking isn’t my thing.”
“What about all this?” he asked, pointing to the house. “You looking to have a mate someday?”
There was an extra question in his beautiful sky-blue eyes, something she couldn’t make out. Or wasn’t sure if it was really there.
“No,” she said offhandedly. “Never. Not for me.”
His eyebrows rose as he pulled something out of the fridge and pulled back plastic wrap. He dished some of whatever it was onto two plates and stuck the first in the microwave.
A meaty, deliciously rich smell hit her nose. “What is that?”
“Lasagna,” he said. “Made it yesterday.”
“Oh, that smells amazing,” she said as he passed a plate and fork to her.
He waited for a moment, as if to see her reaction.
“Oh, that’s so good,” she said, letting the cheeses melt over her tongue. “Maybe I’ll end up begging after all.”
He stood up a little taller, broad shoulders spreading as he looked down at her. Then he shook his head and prepared his plate. When it was done, he sat on a stool next to her, looking way too big for it.
“You okay there?” she asked. “We can move to the table.”
“Nah, I like these,” he said, turning on his slightly. “Spinny.”
She laughed. “I guess I misunderstood you a bit, didn’t I?”
“The player thing?” He chewed his food. “I’m used to it. With this bod…”
She laughed. “Are you, though?”
“What?” he asked.
He shook his head. “I don’t have time, honestly.”