Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shades of Gray Excerpt - Chapter 36

Excerpt from Chapter 36

Even though they have been living in the same house for quite some time now, Hunter does not know Andrea’s real name – until now. Here is just an excerpt.

Andrea lifted her eyes from a book to gaze at the rays of soft sunlight drenching the lawn in a rich golden blanket. She heard the front door close, then the familiar sound of Hunter’s spurs clanking across the porch. Seemingly unaware of her presence, he leaned one shoulder against the ionic column and gazed meditatively over the gorgeous panorama of the valley he owned.

Andrea could not draw her eyes away from the indomitable figure. With one hand wrapped around a cup of coffee, the other stuffed indifferently in his pocket, his image suggested little of the intrepid character she knew so well. Dressed casually, without his Confederate coat, he seemed tranquil and relaxed. Yet, his large muscular frame, with his strong, tan forearms and powerfully built legs, showed evidence of his ability to put up a fight.

She lowered her eyes to her book, then lifted them once again. He was striking, she mused, irresistibly masculine and, she admitted, very appealing. Tall, broad-shouldered, and vigorous, he was the incarnation of force and strength. Yet he possessed the admirable traits of courtesy and refinement. A valiant soldier, he was likewise respected by others as a gracious and gallant gentleman, creating a puzzling veil of mystery that made him all the more mysterious.

Andrea cocked her head and scrutinized him. Most officers dressed flamboyantly. Hunter, on the other hand, always wore a uniform that betrayed nothing but hard usage. She could not help yielding him the tribute of admiration, for he was almost impossible to dislike.

Almost.

Andrea looked away as her thoughts began to disturb her, and a sigh involuntarily escaped her lips.

“Oh, there you are,” Hunter said, turning around.

He moved toward her with a brilliant smile that lit his stern face, revealing a hidden handsomeness all the more captivating. Placing his cup down on the table opposite her, he took a seat. Andrea detected an uncharacteristic twinkle in his eye and tried to decipher its cause.