Lien peers upward into the dark. There are trees and thick, exposed roots up the cliff. She needs to drag herself up there. If she goes slowly, maybe she’ll be okay. As she reaches for the nearest root, the noise of the wind breaks. Through that tiny silence she hears a footstep. It’s unexpectedly close. Another tread sounds. Human. Probably.
Lien’s heart pauses; her hand slips on the root a bit. She’s still; her nerves are at the ready.
“Hello?” she says. Her throat is tight as she swallows.
A silhouette looms out of the dark. Lien looks up, up, up farther to see a head. “Hello?” Her voice shakes.
“Hello,” comes a low voice. The woman leans over the precipice from the shadows. “Ranger service.”
Standing up there in the dark with the wind and the sky behind her, the ranger is superhero-tall, broad-shouldered, and solid. Lien’s so grateful she could cry.
“Oh, fuck. Thank fuck.” Lien takes a breath. “Shit. Sorry, language.” She squints at the woman through the dark.
“I’m really glad to see you.”
“I’ll bet you are.” The superhero’s tone is kind but faintly amused.
Lien tries to get a handle on her voice but it shakes. “I’m so sorry to bother you. I can’t get out.”
She has to assume the woman really is a park ranger and not someone who likes to pretend to be a ranger, there in the dark, waiting for someone to fall down a cliff like an idiot. That does seem unlikely. The superhero takes in Lien and her precarious position. She doesn’t say anything. She might be the brooding type.
Finally the ranger says, “How bad is that knee? Can you climb out?”
“I have tried that.” What does the woman think she was doing here? Sitting on her ass crying about her ruined safari suit? That’s only partly true.
My new novel STORM SEASON is an f/f cabin romance set in Australia. Sunny city it-girl Lien meets capable and reclusive park ranger Claudie. Seven days until release. Feb 2. I’ll post an excerpt a day until then 🙂