Home > Her Knight In Faded Denim

Her Knight In Faded Denim
Author: Carolyn Faulkner

Chapter 1

 

 

"Stuck?"

Marissa Hamilton was entirely unsuccessful in biting back the first sarcastic comment that came to mind. "Was it the snow almost up to the roof or the hazard lights that gave it away?" Probably not the smartest thing to say to the Samaritan who pulled up behind her, not five minutes after she managed to bury her little sports car in a snow bank that was only slightly larger than her would-be rescuer.

She bet he had no problems whatsoever getting around in that wannabe Hummer he'd parked to one side, well off the road, and in the same blasted snow bank – although it was no threat to such a huge, four wheel drive vehicle.

Apparently, he had little appreciation for sarcasm. When she got a good look at his face, Marissa knew instinctively that she had better learn – quickly – to curb her tongue, and she also knew that she was doomed to fail miserably at that goal, as always.

Besides, she didn't know the man from Adam. It was hardly as if he was going to take her to task. At least, not in any way she would find particularly interesting, like any of the heroes in her favorite spanking romances would. She was never quite that lucky, somehow, in real life.

To say nothing of all of those bothersome personal safety rules one was supposed to consider in a situation like this – being a woman alone and all.

After sneaking a second quick peak while he stood there, she decided he wouldn't fit the bill as a Dom at all, anyway. Much too…just too. Too big, too brooding looking – he would give Mr. Rochester a run for his money – and very pointedly asking too damned many pertinent questions!

"Shovel?"

She had the grace to flush as she fidgeted in the tiny seat and answered, "No."

"Salt?"

She wouldn't have thought it was possible, but her flush deepened until she felt practically faint. His voice was impossibly deep and just a tad hoarse, and his breath smelled faintly, but pleasantly, of coffee and cinnamon.

"Sand?"

Marissa grimaced and answered ungraciously, feeling the pressure of her full body blush concentrating in an area she really wished it hadn't in front of this man but still unable to keep her eyes from rolling. "If I had all of that, I wouldn't still be stuck, now would I?"

One thick, black eyebrow buried itself beneath a hank of hair of the same color that fell across his forehead. That was it, no other words or gestures, although that simple movement was more than enough for her to feel most thoroughly scolded, somehow, for her churlishness. He had stopped to help her of his own accord, and she was sounding bratty and ungrateful for his efforts.

Which he hadn't even really made, yet. Except to stop, her naughty side reminded cattily.

"Cell phone?" he asked, after a long, uncomfortable moment.

Her mind went blank. "Why on Earth would I need a cell phone if you're going to dig me out?" she asked, then had to restrain herself from putting her own hand over her mouth. Instead, she literally bit her own tongue and tried to refrain from looking at him, although it didn't last long. Despite how off kilter this man of few words had managed to make her feel, she didn't seem capable of not looking at him.

Until she saw the expression on his face. It had the barest hint of a smile, but one that his temper had gotten a hold of and twisted, so much so that she began to fiddle with her fingers in her lap. And Marissa Hamilton wasn't given to nervous habits. She gave them to others, but didn't succumb easily to them, herself.

He stood, straightening out from where he had crouched next to her window, and she had to gulp. He was huge – the well-worn shearling coat he was wearing only adding bulk to someone who had absolutely no need of it. He wasn't fat in the least, though, she could see; he hadn't bothered to button the coat against the bitter cold – as natives were wont to do – and she could see his broad, flat belly being hugged by a disreputable black t-shirt. Better than that, he turned without a word to go back to his SUV and treated her to a marvelous side mirror view of a lovingly defined, well-muscled butt as his well-worn jeans clung to every curve.

That made her hands fidget for an entirely different reason as she flushed even hotter than before, suddenly grateful for the arctic blasts of air coming through her open window.

Then, of course, he proceeded to produce every item he had found her sorely lacking. A real shovel, not one of the useless small collapsible ones she probably would have bought when she got around to it, a bag of kitty litter, which she knew functioned just as well as sand for traction, and a jug of salt. All of which he applied liberally, along with not a little of his own effort, starting with the shoveling first.

As much as she was thoroughly enjoying the sight of him bent over beside her, Marissa wasn't about to let him do it on his own. She might not be a lot of help, but she certainly wasn't afraid of hard work. And for some unknown reason, it became important to her that he not think she was quite the lazy ditz he probably already thought of her as.

So she opened her car door and extended one expensively clad – with, as her girlfriend liked to call them, a "fuck me heel" – foot out towards the snow.

"Get back inside."

It wasn't a request – wasn't phrased or said in a polite manner in the least. It was said with the intention that she obey, as if this man was quite unused to couching his orders for anyone's benefit, least of all her.

Of course, Marissa's first instinct was to do exactly the opposite of what she'd been told. She hated being ordered around by anyone, altruistic or not. She thought she had done damned well in holding her foot exactly where it was, instead of just getting the rest of the way out as she had originally intended.

But before she could decide whether she wanted to obey him, he was there, towering over her and leaning against the car door to close it until she had no choice but to retract her already nearly frozen foot before it got chopped off.

"I want to help," she whined, immediately regretting having said it.

His response was immediate and annoyingly firm as his gaze settled on her highly impractical shoes and then up to gaze at her almost accusatorily. "No boots."

Marissa adjusted herself in the seat when she really didn't need to, but this stranger's piercing gaze had her all twisted up inside, somehow, as if he'd taken stock of her and found her considerably wanting, and she was far from used to that.

"No jacket. No hat. No gloves." Each ticked off item seemed to tick him off just that much more. She could see how hard he was gripping the edge of her window, although she couldn't see why her lack of the proper accoutrements managed to get him so riled up.

"I have a cell phone," she piped up in her own defense, her voice sounding pitifully weak and unacceptably female, somehow, in the presence of all of the testosterone oozing from the mass of muscles next to her. "But it's – it's not charged," she added with severe reluctance.

"Fat lot of good it'll do you like that," he said. Then adding, "Ma'am," as if he'd just now remembered his mother's long ago – and long forgotten, apparently – admonishment to do just that when speaking to a woman he didn't know. "The cold and snow here are not to be ignored, if you don't mind my saying so."

She minded, but was smart enough – however rare that impulse was in her – to hold her tongue. This man might not actually be a Dom, but he had all of the autocratic, take control of a situation and anyone in it makings of one. The thought – however unpleasant it might have been to Marissa intellectually – had her wanting to squirm in her seat even more so than she already had in front of him. Everything about this man – even how annoying he was being with his damned preparedness and two word phrases that were practically accusations – seemed to have her lady parts in an uproar, and that was the last thing she wanted.

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