Until my husband and I get this new joint project we’re poking at off and running I think I’ll post excerpts from my backlist starting with the very first story Fae and I put out there. “Snowbound, Lovebound?” is from Dreamspinner Press’s Mr. Right Now Anthology. Bryan Tam and Jimmy Murphy are co-workers stuck in a car together in a snowstorm. Each knows how to get under the other’s skin and as the tempers flare, so do the sparks. We love these two. Enjoy.
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For half a second Tam thought Jimmy was going to deck him again and really wished he wouldn’t. His jaw was already aching and as much as a good fight would heat up his blood right now, it was counterproductive to their situation. He resisted the impulse to remind Jimmy that he had accosted him while Tam had been driving; there was no need to dig it in, especially when he’d been baiting Jimmy, knowing how his temper worked.
The sound of a slamming car door stunned Tam out of his thoughts. He stared at the empty seat next to him, his heart suddenly hammering. Oh Jesus fucking Christ, Jimmy wasn’t. Tam looked in the rearview mirror at Jimmy who was stalking away, his head down against the wind and his hands deep in his pockets. Oh fuck. He was going to get himself killed, leaving Tam stuck with the guilt for the rest of his life.
Tam grabbed the grocery bag of water and snacks and the first aid kit in the back seat before heading out in pursuit. “Jimmy!” he shouted, the wind taking the sound of his voice and carrying it away. Okay, yes, Jimmy drove him fucking nuts, but he didn’t want anything to happen to him. On days when Tam hadn’t spent too much time in his company, he could even admit, privately to himself, that Jimmy wasn’t all bad. He had a good heart even if he was arrogant and cocky and had a temper that would make an Irishman proud.
After several minutes of floundering in the snow, Tam caught up to Jimmy who was now walking along the road. Maybe an emergency vehicle would come along. He had to admit the exercise had warmed him up. Jimmy glanced at him sideways, still fuming, but didn’t say a word.
Several things ran through Tam’s mind, all of which he wanted to say, but he finally settled on the one he should. “I’m sorry, Jimmy.” Jimmy looked over again, surprise replacing fury. “I shouldn’t have called you a hillbilly,” Tam continued, his face perfectly straight. “Or implied you couldn’t read. The hill folk comment was definitely over the top.”
Jimmy stopped dead in his tracks and turned towards him. The wind tugged his scarf and the snow settled on his eyelashes in a way that made Tam think things he shouldn’t, which was what always irritated him about Jimmy. “However, the jackass and simple remarks were right on the money,” Tam finished and Jimmy snorted with laughter.