Coyote Dreams - By C. E. Murphy Page 0,1
elbows while I scrubbed at my eyes with my free hand. I’d gone to sleep with my contacts in, which partly explained why there was such a lot of gunk in my lashes, but I didn’t believe what my twenty-twenty vision was telling me. I was pretty certain the goo had to be impairing it somehow, because—
—because damn, sister!
“Easy on the eyes” didn’t cover it. He was so easy on the eyes that they just sort of rolled right off him as precursor to a girl turning into a puddle of—
All right, there was way too much goo going on in my morning. “Who the hell are you?” I demanded, then coughed. I sounded like I’d been on a three-day drunk. In my defense, I knew it wasn’t more than a one-night drunk, but Jesus.
“Mark,” he said in a sleepy, good-natured sort of rumble, and grinned at me. “Who’re you?”
“What’re you doing here?” I asked instead of answering. He arched one eyebrow and looked my naked self over, then lifted the covers a few inches to inspect his own lower half.
“I’d say I’m havin’ a real good night.” He grinned again and flopped back onto my bed, arms folded behind his head. His hair was this amazing color between blond and brown, not dishwater, but glimmering with shadows and streaks of light. His folded-back arms displayed smoothly muscular triceps. Who ever heard of someone having noticeably beautiful triceps, for heaven’s sake? The puff of hair in his armpits was, at least, an ordinary brown and not waxed away. That would’ve been more than I could handle.
“So who’re you?” he asked again, pleasantly. More than pleasantly. More like the cat who’d stolen the cream, eaten the canary and then knocked the dog out of the sunbeam so he could loll in it undisturbed.
For a moment I was tempted to open the curtains so I could see if he’d stretch out and expose his belly to the morning sunlight. God should be so good as to give every woman such a view once in her life.
The thing was—well, there were many things. Many, many things and all of them led back to me being unable to think of the last time I’d done something so astoundingly stupid.
No, that wasn’t true. I knew exactly the last time I’d done something so astoundingly stupid. I’d been fifteen, and I’d have hoped the intervening thirteen years of experience would be enough to keep me from doing it again. Only I hadn’t been shitface drunk then, and if the God who was kind enough to provide the gorgeous man in my bed was genuinely kind, there wouldn’t be the same consequences there’d been then.
The point was, Mark was so far out of my league it wasn’t even funny. I didn’t think I’d said that out loud until he pushed up on an elbow again and looked me over a second time before saying, “I beg to differ,” in a mildly affronted tone. Then curiosity clearly got the better of him as he sat all the way up, drawing his knees up and looping his arms around them as he squinted at me. He had a tattoo on his right shoulder, a butterfly whose colors were so bright it had to be new. His biceps were magnificent. He had smooth sleek muscle where most people didn’t even have flab. It was like he took up more space than he really ought to.
Which, in my experience, suggested he probably wasn’t human.
I didn’t realize I’d said that out loud, either, until he threw his head back and laughed, then scooted around on my bed like he belonged there, giving me a curious grin. “What is your name?”
“Joanne,” I finally answered. “Joanne Walker. SPD,” I added faintly, for no evident reason. Maybe I thought announcing I worked for the police department would provide me with some kind of physical shielding.
It struck me that clothes would be a lot more effective in that arena. Still clutching my slipper as a weapon, I scampered for the bathroom and pulled my rarely used robe off the door.
“I’m pleased to make your acquaintance, Joanne Walker,” he called after me. I stuck my head out the door incredulously.
“Is that what you call it?”
“What should I call it?” He shrugged, a beautiful movement like glass flowing. “I’m gettin’ a kinda freaked-out vibe from you, ma’am. You want I should vacate the premises?”
“I want you should tell me you had rubbers in your wallet and you don’t