Creature of Unknown Origin


Spencer broke out into a wide grin. “Good! I mean, that’s great. I’m happy tha t the better

offer’s here.”

“Great, so we can go inside now? I really just want to crash.”

He chuckled, letting the door swing open, and I dashed past him. My feet stopped dead in

the now open foyer and living space. My eyes drifted toward the upgraded kitchen, just barely

hidden from my line of sight, tucked away by a hallway that led to who knew where.

Even with the vaulted ceiling and the wide rooms, Spencer’s cabin still felt like home, cozy

and warm. I took a deep breath in and savored the comforting aroma that lay beneath the faded

tickle of new paint and floor stain.

“If you think this is great, just wait until you see your bathroom,” Spencer temp ted, setting

our bags down on the coffee table. “Delia and Annette helped out, picking fixtures and this or that,

and why are there so many types of vanities, dear God!”

I laughed, full of new energy and about ready for a house tour.

“Hey, it’s not that funny. Delia tried to bankrupt me!” Spencer tried to scold me, but failed,

too consumed by his own excitement and my infectious laughter. “Best part: two -and-a half


I hummed, moving to tuck myself against him in a side hug. “Now that is an upgrad e.”

Warmth spread through the room. I knew my own breath had caught in my throat, and part

of me couldn’t help but hope that Spencer’s had too. As if I were floating on air, my feet glided

over the smooth hardwood, both of us shifting to stand in front of each other, barely any space

between us. He was looking at me with such soft eyes, holding my gaze as if I were the only thing

that mattered. His heart beat against my chest. If it had been any other person, maybe I would’ve

been embarrassed by how quickly my own heart beat, but the only thing coursing through my veins

was something soft and comforting, something strangely vulnerable. And oddly enough, I was

okay with that. Maybe it was the way Spencer was looking at me, or the way we held each other

close, but I knew then that I never wanted to leave.

Spencer swept stray wisps of hair from my eyes. I moved my arms, my hands clasping

behind his head. Adrenaline buzzed through my chest. Doubt clouded my head, banished by

Spencer’s lingering touch on my cheek. The arm he had around my waist pulled me impossibly


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