Marnie stumbled on the rough dirt road and made a rude, unladylike noise to express her displeasure. The sun had broiled her for the last hour, and she could feel her skin turning lobster red. Fair skin like hers always burned.
She blew a breath of air through her mouth toward her forehead. It briefly lifted her blonde bangs which had totally plastered themselves to her head. Sweat poured from ever pore on her body. Each step she took stirred up little dust devils that threatened to choke her.
She rounded a sharp curve and saw a white house at the end of the road. Thank goodness! She had begun to think she’d never find her way out of this grassy wilderness. She heard a door slam and saw a man come out of a barn that could use a coat of paint. What little remained on the structure hung in peeling strips that gave the entire property a disreputable look although otherwise the place projected an air of good repair.
The man hadn’t seen her yet. She watched as he stripped off his tee shirt and wiped his face and upper back. Muscles rippled in his chest and arms, and as he swept off his hat the sun gleamed on his dark hair, turning it as shiny as a blackbird’s wing.
When he looked around and saw her, she raised her hand in greeting. “Hello,” she called.
He put his hat on and came to meet her. At five nine she towered over lots of women, but this guy made her seem petite. He had to be six four at least. Up close, the definition of the muscles in his chest and shoulders made her feel slightly flustered. Her nostrils flared; he smelled of sweat, hay, and motor oil, not an unpleasing combination. She liked his eyes too. They reminded her of the sky right before darkness fell, full of depth and mystery, hinting of the unknown and making a girl long to plumb those depths. “Can I help you?” he asked.