On the run from failed relationships, a Canadian and a Dane meet deep in the desert of Syria. But what was meant to be a one-night stand leaves Julie and Torval reeling with the force of their connection. Each is compelled to track the other through the vast exotic lands of the ancient Silk Road, wanting just one more night together.
But will one night ever be enough?
She pushed open the heavy door and was met by a wall of stale, stifling air. No air conditioner. It was eerily quiet, and she felt like a trespasser.
Just as she spotted a staircase leading to the second floor, she heard a door open and close somewhere above her head. Then heavy footsteps. The footsteps stopped at the top of the stairs and she looked up to see boots. Serious boots. From her vantage, they looked pretty sexy. Thick black leather. And then they were coming down the stairs toward her. She saw a fine pair of legs encased in lightweight grey pants. Not riding pants. Stay-around-town pants. A leather belt around a trim waist. A pale grey cotton shirt, sleeves rolled up to the elbows. Strong brown arms. A pair of square shoulders and a smooth brown throat.
Then all she saw were the eyes. Grey and hard as steel. The owner of those eyes glared at her. She tried to step toward him, but found she couldn’t move a single muscle. Her body seemed to have gone numb.
“Can I help you?” he asked in English, with an accent that threatened to melt her bones.
“I, um, no. I mean, no, thank you. I was just looking around and I thought I’d come in out of the sun. It’s awfully hot already, although it isn’t even ten yet. I’m not used to the heat, and…”
The look on his beautiful face stopped her short. He was clearly not impressed. She shut her mouth.
God! I’m such a dope. Get a grip.
Extending her hand, she took a deep breath and stepped toward him, saying in a completely different voice, “Hello. My name is Julie Stevens, and I’m traveling with a cultural tour from a university in Vancouver, Canada. I’m afraid I may be a little jet-lagged and culture-shocked at the moment. But I am very glad to meet you.”
He took her hand in his. He was strong, but he shook it lightly. It was exciting. She thought she’d never felt so much pure masculine energy in a handshake before. When he let go she was momentarily confused.
Then she heard what he was saying to her in his lilting English.
“I am Torval Jensen, from Copenhagen. You can rest in here for as long as you like, but I must excuse myself. I have a meeting. Goodbye.”
He walked past her and out through the door.
Gone. Just like that.
Julie was rigid with surprise. And deeply disappointed. She thought she’d never see her mystery rider again, but here he was. It was as if the gods, the muses, or the planets had conspired and aligned to give her a perfect opportunity to get over her wounded heart. But the Dane, damn him, wasn’t cooperating.
He was still in town—yes—yet she couldn’t keep him engaged for more than five seconds. She needed to try harder. She wanted another crack at him.
Her body was making it perfectly clear to her head that she had to see him again. Somehow, she felt, it was fated.
Pushing the door open, she watched him walk toward his bike. He exchanged a few words with the young men watching over it, tossed some coins to one of them, then strapped on his helmet and drove off. He didn’t head back into town, but rode deeper into the desert.