Tour Excerpts – My Sweet Enemy by Jenny Hartwell
She opened the door and stepped inside.
“Oh!” She started at the sight of another person inside the fridge, and her foot rammed into something on the floor. “What are you—” she began to ask.
The other person turned. “The door!” Luke shouted. Charlotte gasped and pivoted, pushing out with her empty hand to stop the door from closing, but she was too late. It closed with a heavy clank.
She glanced down, and in the dim light inside the cooler, she saw a brick near the door. It must have been propping it open while he was in here, and she’d accidentally kicked it out of the way.
She set her chocolate molds on a shelf and pushed on the door handle. It didn’t budge.
“Damn it,” Luke growled, striding across the small space. He rattled the handle, but the door didn’t open for him either.
Crap. “We’re locked in,” she said.
“Inside an industrial refrigerator.”
He nodded again.
“The two of us.”
Luke slowly pivoted to face her. “Did you do this on purpose?” he asked, his voice hard.
“What?” Charlotte stared at him. “Are you freaking kidding me?” She shivered. It was damn cold in here, and about to get colder.
“No, are you freaking kidding me?” he retorted, leaning toward her. In the dim light, his eyes glittered with barely suppressed fury.
Charlotte shivered again. “Of course I didn’t do it on purpose,” she shouted. “If I wanted to trap you in an icebox of death, don’t you think I’d make sure I was on the other side of the door?”
She glared, and their eyes dueled for what seemed like an eternity. Charlotte’s neck began to protest her sustained glare with someone a foot taller, so she dropped her eyes and stepped back. Shivering, she wrapped her arms around herself. She’d left her light jacket in the interns’ office and didn’t even have the extra protection of her apron, since that was sitting at her workstation in the main part of the kitchen.
Damn, it was wickedly cold in there.
Luke banged on the door with his fist and hollered. They both waited in silence to see if anyone would come. Aside from the whir of the fridge’s motor, there was no sound.
“They’re all downstairs, eating lunch,” Charlotte murmured. It was unlikely anyone would be back in the kitchen for an hour since Simone had told them to take their time after working so hard during the morning session.
“Damn,” Luke said, still facing the door. His breath puffed out in a cloud. It had grown even colder once the temperature stabilized with the door shut.
Charlotte’s teeth began to chatter. “I’m s-sorry.”
He turned around.
“I d-didn’t realize about the b-brick,” she added. Damn, it was painfully cold. Her fingertips were growing numb.
His eyes scanned her body. “We could freeze to death.” He sounded almost clinical, but she shivered in response to the heated look in his eyes anyway. A shiver on top of a shiver. God, she was pathetic.
“W-what do we do?” she asked. “Jog in p-place?”
They both trotted where they stood. Luke rubbed his hands together. Charlotte tucked hers under her arms. Their breaths came out in white puffs.
“It’s not enough,” he said grimly after a moment. “I think there’s only one option.”
“You’ll s-sacrifice yourself so I c-can pull a Luke Skywalker and climb inside your steaming abdominal cavity?”
He narrowed his eyes.
She shrugged with a whatcha-gonna-do expression. If you couldn’t make Star Wars jokes as you were literally freezing to death, when could you?
He took a step closer, his arms opening.
Charlotte’s eyes widened, and she took a step back. “W-what are you d-doing?”
“We h-have to share body heat.” Now Luke’s teeth were chattering too.
Charlotte swallowed. Could she do it? Could she wrap herself in the embrace of her sworn nemesis, the evilest man on the planet? Well, there were convicted murderers locked away for life, so the evilest man in the building perhaps?
She shuddered with cold. A sharp ache worked its way through her skin and muscle into her sinew, her veins, her very bones.
Even her brain began to feel frozen.
It seemed her options were to either allow this sexy man to wrap her up in his strong arms or to perish from turning into a human icicle. So…she supposed she would take the sexy, evil man.
Jenny Hartwell has a confession-she loves People magazine as much as Pride and Prejudice. Her fun, pop culture adoring side shines in her contemporary rom-com novels set in a gourmet chocolate factory while Jenny’s Regency romances feature strong damsels and swoony lords. Her writing has won or finaled in numerous contests including the Golden Heart, The Emily, Four Seasons, Fool for Love, and The Catherine. Jenny lives with her family in the verdant Pacific Northwest. She loves movies, travel, and staying up late with a good book. And, of course, chocolate. Jenny is represented by Lesley Sabga of The Seymour Agency.