Blessings of the Heart

Blessings of the Heart by Valerie Hansen Read Free Book Online

Book: Blessings of the Heart by Valerie Hansen Read Free Book Online
Authors: Valerie Hansen
pitch-dark house alone didn’t frighten her one bit. Having to do it with Mitch Fowler underfoot, however, was a decidedly unsettling thought!
    â€œEverything is unusual here,” she said. “For such beautiful country, the Ozark Mountains certainly have a lot of drawbacks.”
    â€œThat’s a matter of opinion. If you had a gas generator for backup, like I do, you wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not you lost power.”
    Bree huffed in mock disgust. “I don’t suppose you brought your generator with you.”
    â€œIt’s much too heavy to carry,” Mitch said as if explaining to a simpleton. “Don’t you have a flashlight?”
    â€œYes! I know there’s one around here somewhere. Let me see…” Turning in a slow circle, Brianne frowned. “I think I may have put it in the pantry.”
    â€œThen I suggest you go get it.” He looked at the lights as they flickered repeatedly. “Soon.”
    Bree had traveled less than three paces when the lights flashed one more time. Then everything went black.
    â€œDon’t move,” Mitch warned. “Let your eyes adjust to the darkness first.”
    â€œI know that.” Tension was making her sound waspish.
    â€œExcuse me. I was just trying to help.”
    â€œI know that, too,” Bree said. “You stay put. I’m used to this place. I can find my way around.”
    â€œMake use of the lightning. You’ll be able to see a little better when it flashes. It’ll help you get your bearings.”
    â€œIs that more of your homesteading wisdom?”
    Mitch chuckled softly. “No. Just plain male logic. Something women don’t understand.”
    She was glad he couldn’t see the exasperated face she was making at him. “Next, you’ll be telling me that female logic is an oxymoron.”
    â€œIsn’t it?”
    If Mitch hadn’t known he was in the company of a well-bred, refined lady he’d have sworn he heard her give him a raspberry!
    The sky outside the kitchen windows was alive. Clouds glowed a misty gray, dimming and brightening unevenly as if lit from behind by some monstrous, out-of-control searchlight.
    Brianne knew which direction to walk, she just wasn’t sure how many steps remained between her and the pantry. Extending her arms in front of herso she wouldn’t hit anything headlong, she groped her way toward the door.
    Mitch waited and watched as best he could. She reminded him of a sleepwalker being illuminated by a strobe light, and he wasn’t comfortable with what little he could discern. What was she doing? Didn’t she see the door?
    He blurted, “Look out!”
    â€œWhat?” Bree turned her head in his direction. That moment’s inattention was a mistake. Before another flash came to guide her, she’d jammed the end of her middle finger into the leading edge of the half-open pantry door.
    â€œOuch!”
    â€œThat’s what I was trying to warn you about,” Mitch said. He reached her side quickly, touched her arm lightly. “Are you all right?”
    â€œNo. It hurts.”
    â€œI figured that much,” he said wryly. “Let me see it.”
    Brianne allowed him to take her hand, but only because it would have been silly to pitch a fit or try to evade him in the dark. “See it? How do you propose to see anything? In case you haven’t noticed, there’s no light in here.”
    To her dismay he began using his hands instead of his eyes to survey her sore finger, bring another ouch.
    â€œDoes it hurt when I do this?”
    â€œIt hurts, period,” she said, tugging against his firm grasp. “Quit trying to help so much, okay?”
    â€œYou are the most stubborn woman I’ve ever met.”
    His exasperation amused her. “Thank you. I do my best.”
    â€œYou should put ice on that finger, just in case,” Mitch said, caressing her hand as he

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