Chapter 1: Liam
He turns me into his brick wall of a chest, towering nearly a foot over my 5'5" frame. I look up through my lashes at his godly sculpted jaw line, masking a five o’clock shadow. His masculine sexy grin hugs a slight dimple leading my eyes to a scar over his left brow. His dark brown hair goes from clean cut to medium scruff top, waving perfectly back from his face. With golden eyes locked on mine, I melt into the hold he has on me. His smile widens, his biceps flex, and his nostrils flare as if he can sense my arousal.
Godly stranger: Hello there.
I inhale a sharp breath. Oh my god his deep gruffly voice causes me to shiver. If he wanted me right here and now, I would be powerless to deny him. This stranger, this godly stranger. Never have I been so affected by a man before.
Godly stranger: You must be Willow?
The sound of my name snaps me out of my trance. As I try to take a step back, he moves his arm from my waist to the back of my elbow like he’s afraid to let go.
Willow: How do you know my name?
There’s a flicker of mischief in his animalistic eyes.
Godly stranger: Small town.
Willow: Right.... and you are?
Godly stranger: Liam.
His smile widens as if he couldn’t get sexier.
Liam: So, you taking over the gallery?
Willow: Not really, Daniel will remain in charge. I’m more of a silent partner.
Liam: So, You’re an artist then?
Willow: I paint.
I smile and shrug my shoulders, pointing to a wall along the back.
Willow: You can drop it there against that back wall.
He sets the canvas down as he slowly turns to me.
Liam: This is one of yours?
I simply nod yes, giving him a slight smile. He looks from me to the covered painting. I can see he’s anticipating getting the first look. I giggle at his half smirk, flashing that adorably dimple as if it could make me change my mind.
Willow: You are adorable, but I’m afraid Daniel wouldn’t be very happy if he wasn’t the first to see....
I am interrupted by Daniels loud yet casual voice.
Daniel: Well it’s about time.
He starts to laugh as he walks up taking me into a friendly hug. I catch a glimpse of Liam over Daniel's shoulder. He’s clenching his jaw and tightening a fist like a jealous boyfriend, and I can’t help but feel a little turned on. Daniel is tall, fit, and not bad on the eyes with his smooth slicked back blond hair and blue eyes. He’s not as tall or as well built as Liam. To be honest, he’s a bit too much of a pretty boy for my liking.
Willow: Good to see you too Daniel.
He turns toward the painting, keeping an arm over my shoulder as if sensing Liam’s tension.
Daniel barely addresses him without looking, then yanks off the cover from the canvas, with awe.
Daniel: Another masterpiece Willow.
Liam takes a step back with a look mixed of wonder and confusion. Daniel claps a hand over Liam’s shoulder.
Daniel: What do you think?
Liam’s eyes meet mine.
My heart flutters with desire. Yet at the same time, I am curious about his expression toward the painting. Daniel looks at Liam, then back at me with a raised brow!
Daniel: So? You going to the club tonight?
I forgot Daniel had asked me to go out to the club tonight with him and his friend Tom.
Willow: I don’t know Daniel. I don’t think it would be....
Daniel interrupts me with a bit of attitude.
Daniel: Oh, come on Willow, you have been cooped up in that cabin for what two weeks now? God only knows how long it’s been since you've been out, not to mention the last time you got laid?
He waggles his brows and for some reason I feel as if he’s taunting Liam, as if he can sense the attraction between us. I catch a glimpse of Liam’s face just behind Daniel. There’s a slight tension as he puffs his chest, seeming unpleased by Daniels tone with me and choice of words. I smile at him and shrug my shoulders. Daniel has always been a bit obnoxious, but I love him like a brother. Just then
Daniel's phone goes off. He takes the call and starts to walk away, then shouts back at me.
Daniel: I’m not taking no for an answer! See you there at 9pm!
I put a palm to my face shaking my head.
Daniel: And Willow, wear something other than jeans and a flannel.
I look down at myself and click my tongue against the roof of my mouth. I was in my casual paint clothes.
Liam: So, the two of you???
Liam asks hesitantly. I give him a bewildered look as if he should know.
Willow: God no. Daniel is like a brother! I mean, my grandmother loved and treated him like a grandson, and we’ve always just kinda had a sibling like relationship, so NO.... we aren’t......
He shows a look of relief before turning back to the painting.
Liam: You definitely are an artist.
Liam: I don’t know why but this feels familiar, like a place I’ve seen before?
Willow: Unless you’ve ever been to Old Prussia, I don’t think you would have seen it before.
Liam: The Sacred Willow of old Prussia?
He looks at me with great curiosity.
I smile, intrigued that he would know of it, and curious why it seems familiar to him.
Willow: Yes. The very one.
Liam: This was a place of legends; of times forgot and a place of mystic creatures. How do you know of such a place? Have you been there?
Willow: Celia used to tell me stories, but I did visit there once when I was very young. You?
Liam: No. I've never really been outside of Washington before other than a backwoods trip just north of the border into Canada.
He smirks while running his hand over the back of his head.
Willow: It’s beautiful up there this time of year.
Willow: No Canada. I was actually up there when I found out about my grandmother.
A sadness comes over him as he studies my face.
Liam: I’m sorry. Everyone that knew Celia respected her greatly. She is missed.
Liam says as he takes one long stride placing a gentle hand over my shoulder. The contact was electrical, and I knew by the little twitch of his hand he felt it, too.
Willow: Thank you.
I placed my hand over his.
I jump as Daniel yells from a back room.
Liam’s hand grips my shoulder as he growls with displeasure at Daniel's outburst. I giggle giving his hand a pat, and taking a step away while turning to him.
Willow: I should go see what he needs.
His eyes glow with a golden fire shooting a scorching wave of desire through me. My sharp intake of breath draws his attention to my lips I currently hold captive between my teeth. The corner of his mouth rises baring elongated K9’s.
Liam: Yeah, I should get.
He grabs my hand kissing the back of it.
Liam: It was nice meeting you Willow.
Willow: It was nice meeting you too Liam.
I catch myself heating up as I watch him stride away; imagining the details of his back muscles hugged by his tight black shirt, and the tightness of his ass in those snug jeans.
Liam: Maybe I’ll see you tonight.
I gasp with embarrassment as his voice pulls me from my brief fantasy and I catch a wide grin spread across his face.
I quickly turn on my heels and run to the back room to meet with Daniel.
I had only seen Willow a few times passing my cabin on her morning jogs over the last two weeks, and even then with her black raven hair pulled tight into a ponytail, she looked like a goddess. Here she was, with her hair flowing mid way down her slender back. Her tight blue plaid flannel fitting her perfect hour glass figure, and black jeans that looked almost painted onto her slender thighs. I watched in amusement as she struggled with something in the back of her car. She was different from most that lived here in Snake River. I mean she seemed to fit in, and yet, there was something about her I couldn’t quite figure out.
The second I saw her stumble backward I reacted on instinct; catching her before she could land on her ass. The moment my arm latched around her waist I could feel it, an instant connection. I could smell her lavender and honey scented shampoo. I spun her around, pulling her into my chest with flared nostrils as I caught scent of her arousal. Her sky blue eyes penetrated through mine without fear. She pulls back slightly as if to capture a better view of me, and my hands move to her elbows not wanting to let go. Never have I been so effected by a woman before. Especially a human.
Daniel could be a dick, but he seemed to double his dick charm around me in her presence. It struck me with a tinge of jealousy. From the very first day I felt protective of her like a mate would, and watching Daniel with his arm around her was stirring my inner beast. Relief came quick when she claimed he was like a brother and nothing more. Excitement came at the thought that I would accidentally, on purpose, run into her tonight at the club.