“You took the Beemer and left–” She waved her hand in a vague gesture. Had she fallen, hit her head on a rock and passed out? Was this some kind of dream or nightmare? “–last night. Now you’re back. Did you forget something?”
“I took the Beemer?” he asked slowly.
“B-M-W?” His handsome face remained blank.
She rolled her eyes. “Your baby. The car of your dreams.” Between last night and this morning, he’d clearly lost a couple of IQ points. “What are you made up for? It’s too early for Halloween. And what’s with the phony Scottish accent?”
He frowned, straightened to his full six-foot, four-inch height. “I dinna have an accent.”
Exasperated, she threw her hands into the air, turning her back on him. Whatever Devyn was up to, it was clear he wouldn’t tell her. No surprise there.
The flesh between her shoulders tingled as he touched her hair, a whisper touch that slid into a slight tug and she fought the urge to lean back. She’d always loved having her hair touched. But she didn’t want him, shouldn’t want him, to do the touching. Not anymore. She whirled, fists clenched.
“‘Twas in your hair.” His green eyes widened with innocence and he dropped a small, wet twig. Folding his arms over his broad chest, he met her glare evenly. Then, as if in afterthought, he gave her that charming smile again. “It’s clear we’ve some misunderstanding–”
“I don’t understand why you’re doing this charade.” As she spoke, she turned toward the bluff, then froze, halting in mid-tirade. Her blood drained into her toes, her ears roared. “My God! It’s gone!”
“What’s gone, lassie?”
“Everything. The cottage–the sea stairs.” She fought to keep the hysteria out of her voice. Gautiers didn’t have hysterics. They were strong and self-reliant. Fearless. She tried to convince herself that two out of three wasn’t bad, but her knees wobbled and her heart threatened to tear out through her throat.
“Lass, there’s nae a cottage here.”
“I can see that,” she snapped in a spurt of desperate anger. “But there should be. You know it was. Don’t try to tell me you don’t know it was.” Her voice rose to a pitch only small dogs would make. Swallowing, she struggled to lower it. “Devyn, what's going on?”Disgusted by the quaver in her voice, she took two long steps toward the bluff. As if that small a distance would bring the cottage into view. She was such an idiot. Such a coward. And she hated him to see her this way, hated to expose her weakness in front of a man who would use it to humiliate her. Again.
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