Rocky Mountain Home

EXTENDED EXCERPT

Mike had just finished swiping some tinted gloss on her plump lips when the doorbell rang. Just like Zach to be exactly on time.

“It’s for me!” she shouted to her parents, who were somewhere in the house. For some reason she couldn’t quite identify, it seemed imperative she answer the door instead of them. She hadn’t felt like that since high school.

Swinging the door open, she was stunned into silence. The Zach McCormick she’d always known had worn only casual clothes — at best — and if the temperature was above fifty degrees, he would almost certainly be found in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. This Zach, however…

His short, dark hair spiked up in light clumps, as if he might have actually styled it himself instead of letting it simply air dry. A navy blue wool sport coat, which looked almost tailored to fit his tall, broad-shouldered frame covered a crisp white Oxford. There was even a coordinated white pocket square with blue trim jutting from the outer pocket.

His lower half looked even better. Perfectly pressed khakis hugged his muscular thighs in a way that made her want to ask him to spin in a circle so she could see what other part of his body they hugged so nicely. A pair of soft brown suede loafers which would have been more at home on Wall Street, finished the ensemble.

Yummy!

Whoa, where had that come from? She hadn’t thought of Zach as more than a friend since her junior year in high school.

“Wow, you sure clean up nice,” Mike said with a grin, trying to cover her embarrassment for thinking Zach looked hot.

When his gaze skimmed over her pale pink sweater set and form-fitting jeans, she blushed furiously.

“I think I’m under-dressed,” she stammered. “I forgot how nice the River House is. Gimme a minute to change.”

She turned to rush upstairs to her room, when strong fingers wrapped around her wrist and stopped her.

“Don’t,” he said. Just the one word, but it spoke volumes, and she blushed even redder.

“But…” She looked helplessly at his finery, then down at her own casual duds.

“You’re perfect,” he said, sending strange shivers down her spine.

What the heck was going on here? She had no idea, but she wasn’t about to let her loneliness and insecurity come between her and her one best friend in the world.

“Then let’s hit the road!” she chirped, hoping she sounded cheery instead of insane.