More Than Magic

First Book of the Kindling

Deleted Scene

MoreThanMagiclgThis snippet of a scene never made it to the editor. It fell on the cutting room floor before he ever saw it, so all errors are mine! Enjoy!

The Hot Tub

Grace surfaced, pushing her hair out of her face and laughing. “Again?”

Nick took a deep breath. “You are insatiable.”

“Mmmm. And your point?” She leaned over and kissed him.

“Did your Granny’s journals say anything about this?” Nick looked around at the towels, candles, remains of a rather sumptuous meal, and various articles of clothing between where they sat in the hot tub and the open doors into the house.

“About what?”

He glared at her. “This.”

“Oh, you mean this?” She settled on his lap in the water and he tried to keep his hands off of her, but failed…again.

“Grace,” he growled.

“No. And actually, I didn’t get any more reading done today, because while you were dealing with all your conference calls and briefings and fooling around with your sat phone out in the snow, I was feeding the SAR guys and the county guys and cleaning up the mess this snowstorm made around the farm and repeating the whole story for Beth and Jamie and the SAR guys and the county guys and Daniel and fielding a lot of phone calls. ” She sighed. “I just wish the gossip mill in this place wasn’t quite so efficient, or they just hadn’t fixed the land line so fast. I finally just yanked it out of the wall so I wouldn’t have to hear it ring.”

“Well, you handled it with grace, from what I saw,” Nick said, smiling crookedly.

“Cute,” she leaned in to kiss his nose. “Besides, even if I had found time to do more reading, Granny Lily was a woman of her time. She may not have talked about things like this.” She bounced a bit and smirked at him.

“I’m sure that your Grandfather Zach talked about it. Can you find his journal? Or did he die very young…of exhaustion?” Nick threw his head back on the edge of the hot tub and sank slowly into the water.

“You are over dramatizing. You aren’t tired at all.” She grimaced at him, pulling him back up. “I can tell.”

“Yes, I am. And no, I’m not.” He slid his hands up her back and pulled her in for a long kiss.

She gasped when he let her go and leaned in quickly for another, but he held her off. “I could do this all day, every day, for the rest of my life, with breaks for food and water, of course. But we need to talk, Grace.”

Grace took a deep breath, trying not to let what she was feeling show in her expression. Just a little longer. “All right. Talk.”

“Out here?” Nick looked around them what he could see of the snow-covered garden and the woods beyond. In the lights from the sunroom windows, the snow was gold, beyond, in the moonlight, it was silver.

“Are you cold or wrinkling up or something?”

He frowned at her. “No. And you know because you are sitting on the evidence. Stop wiggling.”

She grinned back. “Well, there’s no one for miles but me, and perhaps some intrepid reporter with a long lens who desperately wants a picture of Nick McKenzie in the buff… Desperately enough to wade through a few feet of snow up there in the woods to get it. Maybe I should let Pooka out.”

Pooka raised his head warily from his position of honor next to the remains of their meal.

“I don’t think anyone wants a photo of me that badly. Now you, on the other hand.” He reached for her, but she slipped away and settled on the ledge beside him.

“So, talk.” She gave him all her attention.

“Seriously?”

“I have you captive in this hot tub. Once you get dressed, who knows where you’ll be off to.”

“Once I get dressed, I’m off to D.C.”

“Tonight?” Her heart had stuttered to a stop. Not so soon. Not tonight.

“Yeah. Car’s packed.” He looked remorseful. “Of course, this is assuming I can get down the mountain in one piece. I had to really play up the trauma of spending a night in an underground meth lab to manage even this short reprieve.”

“Really short,” she muttered.

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And I warned you that it was really short. Of course, if you want to read the undeleted scenes:

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