Today's Reading

Hansen cleared his throat. "You know you stopped talking in the middle of a sentence, right?"

"The man . . ." Good lord, how did she even describe it? Instead, she reached for Hansen's arm and tugged and shifted until she had him turning around, facing the man who was now walking toward the line of trees that grew right up to the edge of the rocky beach. "Do you see him?"

Hansen frowned. "Huh."

She stepped in front of him. "That's the sum total of your response?"

"It's weird. I'll give you that."

"Why are you standing here? Go get him!"

The man disappeared into the wall of trees. Didn't stop. Didn't turn his head or look at them. Didn't acknowledge them in any way.

Once he was gone, Hansen looked down at her again. "Why?"

'"Why?"' She shook him because come on. "He could be hurt."

Hansen had the nerve to shrug. "He looks fine."

"Or maybe he's a criminal."

"Then why would I run after him?"

She didn't bother to launch into the list of reasons, the most obvious being that his best friend happened to be what counted as law enforcement on the island. "He's getting away."

"Where is he going to go? We're surrounded by water."

"You're actually serious right now?" When he didn't say anything, she tried very hard to ignore the disappointment flowing through her at Hansen not being all heroic and ready to do battle.

Her fantasy man would have chased the stranger down.

Just as she started to move, Hansen caught her arm. "Whoa there."

She didn't even spare him a glance. "Someone has to go."

"Seriously?" His fingers grazed her cheek as he turned her head to face him again. "No way."

Instead of answering, she rolled her eyes at him.

That drew an exaggerated male sigh out of him. "Fine. Stay here."

"I'm not agreeing to that."

Before she could get her bearings or assess how she felt about him hovering so close and resting his hand on her forearm and that sexy soft touch, he was gone. The Hansen she knew usually took his time and moved slowly. It's part of what made him such a joy to watch. He could chug a water bottle like no one she'd ever seen, throat guzzling, firm chin up. It was quite the sight. But this version of Hansen, the athletic, racing-into-danger type? Also very good.

Small rocks kicked up behind him as he shot across the beach, dodging stray pieces of driftwood. He moved into the crowd of trees and out of sight before her mind restarted. That didn't stop her from trying to follow. She just reached the edge of the treeline when he popped back out again, not even breathing heavily, and how sexy was that? But he was also alone, and that part she didn't get.

"Well?" she asked.

"I lost him."

"Not possible."

"Actually, it is. The trees are densely packed. Very little light gets in and there's lots of ground cover. Once he went off the path he could hide anywhere."

"He was weighed down by a soaking wet business suit and probably doesn't know the island, and he beat you?" She couldn't fight off the wince.

'"Beat me?"'

That stunned voice wasn't good. Apparently she'd hit on some sort of soft spot on his ego. "Wrong word?"

He gave a stiff nod. "Yeah."

Since his voice sounded gruff now and he had that whole furrowed brow thing going on, she let his failure go. "Let's find Ben."

"What for?"

Good. Grief. "He's the police guy on the island. Admittedly, he sucks at it, but still."
...

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