AUTHOR

JESSICA JARMAN

LOVE IS A JOURNEY…NOT A DESTINATION.

ALONE WITH LIAM


If she didn’t die, she was going to resort to murder instead of writing about it.

Erin Harrison gripped the steering wheel and leaned forward to peer into the relentless snow bombarding her poor car. Not that it helped one iota. She could barely make out the road in front of her. The tire marks, illuminated by her headlights, were quickly filling with the horrid white stuff.

Why had she listened to Penny? Her best friend had reassured her that the weather was going to be clear, that it was a perfect weekend for a cozy winter getaway with the ladies at the cabin. Yeah right. Erin should have foreseen this. Really, Minnesota in December? It wasn’t rocket science. Of course, she wouldn’t mention that when she ripped Penny’s hair from her scalp.

She breathed a small sigh of relief when she came upon the narrow road leading to the cabin. It would’ve been so easy to miss in this shit if the road hadn’t been plowed recently. Penny’s husband, Ryan, must have been out with the truck, though Mother Nature was quickly messing up all his work.

She peered into the whiteness. Time crawled slowly as she wound her way along the curvy path. When she finally pulled up in front of the small house, she turned off the engine and leaned her head against the steering wheel. She focused on breathing evenly and counted to ten before straightening. Uh, she was never doing that again.

Bracing herself, she left the car. Immediately, snow whirled around her, violently pulling at her coat and hair and pushing her against the car.

She stumbled around to retrieve her bag and laptop from the trunk. She glanced around, squinting against the driving gusts. A laugh welled up within her chest. No other cars were there. Only a set of tire marks leading into the garage gave evidence of anyone else. Apparently, all the other ladies had sense. At least, Penny was there to maim. Erin had that to look forward to.

She battled the wind and climbed up the porch steps. A warm light filtered into the night from one of the first story windows.

She pushed the front door open, quickly entered and slammed it shut.

“Penny, you wench, it took me forever to get here. The weather is supposed to be clear, huh? Well, take a look outside, sister! I’ve been thinking of payback the whole way, and you know I have one hell of an imagination. Be afraid. Be very afraid,” she drawled as dropped her bags and moved to hang her outwear in the closet.

“Penny’s not here.”

The masculine voice had Erin yelping in surprise and trying to turn. Her shirt caught on a hook, and she was pulled into the closet, tumbling head first into the small space. Her wet shoes slid right out from under her, taking her feet with them. She landed smack on her belly, face in a pair of Penny’s sandals, legs sticking out of the closet like a rag doll.

Before she could scramble out, she was lifted and set on her feet.

“Sorry ‘bout that. Didn’t mean to scare ya. Are you okay?”

Erin closed her eyes, acutely aware of the large hands still on her waist, warm and firm. Oh God, not Liam. What was he doing here? What did he mean Penny wasn’t there? This was supposed to be a ladies’ weekend. No guys. She specifically remembered Penny saying no guys, that Ryan was going to plow out and head back home. There had been no mention of his brother, and Erin wouldn’t have forgotten that little detail.

“I’m fine. Thanks.” Carefully, she turned and found a pair of clear blue eyes peering at her. Her stomach quivered, and she swallowed hard as her throat tightened. “Where’s Penny?” she croaked.

He frowned. “At home. She decided not to come up because of the weather. She was supposed to call everyone.”

“Huh, guess she forgot me.” She bit back a groan as his fingers tightened ever so slightly. Oh God, she had to get away from him before she made a fool of herself. Right now. “Well, I’m obviously here for the night, so I’ll just settle in. What room do you have?” She pulled away, inched around him and lifted her bags.

“I haven’t brought my stuff in yet. You choose.”

Why was he staring at her like that? She thought she was behaving admirably all things considered. Of course, she had just been butt side up on the floor minutes before, so that might be it.

“I’ll take the front room then.” She hurried through the living room and, once in the bedroom, all but slammed the door behind her. Leaning against the wood, she let out a shaky breath.

Oh, Penny was really in trouble now. Not only had she abandoned her best friend, but somehow, Erin had ended up stranded in a snowstorm with Penny’s brother-in-law. This wouldn’t be a problem aside from the fact Erin had made an idiotic move on the man several months ago, and he’d turned her down flat. Yes, ma’am, Penny had better hide her skinny self far, far way.