This is the first scene of my work in progress, an as-yet untitled paranormal romance. Love it or Hate it? Let me know, I'm interested in getting some feedback.
“Please, help me,” she cried. “Someone is trying to kill me!”
Dax Ulric looked at the beautiful stranger standing at his door and acted without thinking – he pulled her inside and locked the door behind her. Anyone coming after her now would have to get through three inches of solid oak, a deadbolt - and him.
Turning around, he instinctively tried to comfort the white-faced, shaking woman. There was such an air of fragility about her, he couldn’t stop himself. But the moment he touched her, she stiffened and pulled away from him.
Dropping his hand in confusion, he said, “I’ll call 911,” decisively pulling out his phone while reaching behind the door for the shotgun he kept there. Stupid, he thought to himself. Why would he try to embrace a complete stranger? Usually he was the one who kept himself apart, no matter how beautiful the woman was.
“No, wait,” her interruption stopped his thumb over the last digit. “I need a minute to think. I don’t want to bother the police unnecessarily,” her voice had an edge to it – and something else.
Dax looked up from his dialing. He’d been en route to the locked gun safe where he kept extra shotgun shells and his pistol. He was prepared to defend his home – and her – against intruders. And if guns didn’t do the job, he had other ways to stop them. He just hoped he didn’t have to use them. She was still pale and shaking and he could see her take a deep breath, trying to pull herself together by sheer force of will.
“Miss, if someone threatened your life, you should file a police report. They can help you.” From previous experience Dax didn’t have a lot of faith in the local police helping anyone, but he really didn’t want to get involved in the situation and was looking for the easiest way to get this woman – beautiful as she was, with long, chestnut brown hair and cinnamon brown eyes – out of his house and life. He had problems of his own to deal with.
“No – I mean, yes, of course, you’re right. It’s just…,” She trailed off. She had a dazed look in her eyes and Dax cursed under his breath as he saw signs of shock setting in. He shoved his phone back into his pocket and motioned her toward the living room, taking care not to touch her again.
“Jordan, Sophie Jordan.”
“Miss Jordan -.”
“Please call me Sophie.” She mustered a wan smile. “I just moved in down the road.
I’m your new neighbor.”
Being neighbors would explain how she ended up on his doorstep, Dax thought. She must have rented the old Duncan place. They had retired to Florida just after he’d come back. He didn’t get many visitors this far out of town, not even family. He’d chosen his cabin precisely for its remote location. But he wondered why she chose to live here. Not many people lived on the side of this mountain in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains and those that did were usually ready to fend for themselves. Sophie Jordan didn’t strike him as a woman used to roughing it.
“Sophie, I’m Dax. Would you like to sit down for a minute? Can I get you some tea?” The manners his mother had drilled into him from birth suddenly made an appearance, overriding his impatience to get Sophie out of his house.
“Tea would be lovely,” she said.