Gina stared out at the mountain range rising up around the ship as it dropped slowly to a smooth, gray landing pad. Blue-white snow sparkled blindingly in the bright sunshine, making her squint. “The Sapphire Range? Why would you build a safe house here?” She looked toward where Alex piloted the small on-and-off planet vessel.“Have you seen anyone else around?” he asked without taking his attention from the instrument panels in front of him.
She shrugged, conceding the point. Only the hardiest of human colonists had ever tried to inhabit this area of the planet. Most stayed near the temperate coastlines and the lush green ranges of the interior of the three main continents. If she were going to set up a safe house, she had to admit, she would have considered this desolate area of Narava’s southern hemisphere, too.
Unfortunately, she hadn’t packed for the snow. “I’m going to freeze my ass off out there.”
A low noise that sounded suspiciously like a chuckled floated back to her from the pilot’s seat just as the ship lightly touched down.
“Don’t worry,” Nathan said as he passed her on his way toward the rear cabins. “We’ve come prepared.”
She scowled forward at Alex’s back until he turned in his seat. “How prepared?” she asked.
“I intend to make sure you stay very warm.”
She narrowed her eyes. Was that innuendo? She couldn’t tell. His expression gave nothing away. But his voice… Ah, that voice. He could recite the periodic table and she’d read innuendo into it.
Before she could embarrass herself, Nathan came forward with an armful of parkas, passing her one and Alex another before slipping into his own.
She snuggled the soft, thick material around her neck and took a deep breath. “Okay. Show me my new home for the next few weeks.”
The minute the ship’s loading ramp started to drop, the frigid air rolled in to slap Gina in the face. “Damn,” she murmured and pulled her coat up over her nose and mouth.
From directly behind her shoulder, closer than she’d realized he was, Alex said, “You should feel it when it’s really cold here.”
This time she was sure that soft, deep sound was a laugh. A laugh she could feel brushing along every inch of her skin.
To her surprise, he leaned in and reached into the pocket of her coat. “You’ll want to wear these,” he said against her ear.
A little breathless, she glanced down at the gloves he held out for her.
“It’s not far to the airlock, but the gloves will be more comfortable.”
“Thanks,” she muttered, hurrying to pull on the thick material. His scent, a light, musky cologne she could place, curled around her even when he straightened away. She wanted to roll her eyes and fall back against his big body, to wrap herself up in that sexy voice of his.