She walked in the shadows of the great oaks that surrounded the house. She pressed against the trunk and listened. Night sounds were the same everywhere, she decided.
Head down, she started to walk again, away from the house. She came to a halt, thinking she heard a sound. Listening intently, she decided it must be her imagination. It sounded like the stable door had just been opened and shut again.
She walked a little farther and stopped. It wasn’t her imagination. There was someone behind her.
She opened her mouth to scream and was grabbed from behind, a hand clamping brutally over her mouth as she was knocked to the ground.
“What the hell are you doing here in the middle of the night?”
She could only stare up at the faceless man whose body pinned her to the ground. His hand still covered her mouth. His words had been angry, as if she had intruded where she shouldn’t have been. She couldn’t have spoken even if she could. Her vocal cords were frozen.
“I asked you a damn question and I want an answer and I want it now,” the voice snarled down at her.
Her mouth was released and Annetta finally found her voice.
“Get the hell off me, you big dumb jerk! What do you think you’re doing?”
“Annie? Is that you?”
“Of course it’s me, you moron. Now, get the hell off me.” She pushed and wiggled with great effort but he was too heavy for her.
“Get up, I said,” she shrieked furiously.
The man slid off her and she could feel his eyes assessing her. She was too angry to be scared.
“How dare you stalk me in the middle of the night then attack me when I’m not looking. You scared the bejesus out of me.”
She thought she heard a snicker and kicked out. “So, you think it’s funny do you? I’ll give you funny.”
Her feet connected with a hard body and she heard the man hit the ground. Whether it was from her flying feet or him laughing so hard, she couldn’t tell. whichever it was she didn’t care. She just wanted to hurt him for scaring her.
She pounced on him with all her one hundred and five pounds, pummeling him in the chest in her fury. He grabbed her wrists in strong hands and forced them down on each side of her. She found herself lying on top of him, her face close to his.
She was staring into those black eyes that reached into her soul. She couldn’t think. He held her so tight against him with so little effort. She could feel the hardness of his muscled body and his heat enveloped her until she wanted to strip the light jacket off her so her body could breath in the cool night air.
She knew who it was then.