Snowflakes swirled and danced against the windowpanes of Melody Swan’s tiny bungalow as the clock crept closer and closer to midnight. Another New Year’s Eve in Aurora, Alaska. Another night alone.
With her two big rescue dogs for company, Melody usually didn’t feel so alone. But there was just something about New Year’s Eve…
She yawned and wiggled her toes beneath the warm fur and steady heartbeat of Thor’s sleeping bulk. The dog had the right idea. She should just go to bed. Why was she forcing herself to stay awake until midnight?
But just as she reached to shut down her laptop, the sound of an instant message alarm rang.
Litter of Husky puppies in need of transport tonight. Interested? RJ
Melody’s heart gave a little flutter at the sight of RJ’s initials. She really needed to get over her crush. He clearly wasn’t interested in her. He hardly ever said a word to her on the days she volunteered at the animal shelter.
But he was the shelter manager. And he was asking her for a special favor. Never mind that saying yes would be like admitting she was the only person in Alaska home alone on New Year’s Eve, she typed a quick be there in a few and headed to the shelter.
RJ greeted her at the door with what looked suspiciously like a full-grown dog, not a litter of Huskies, but Melody loaded up the dog in her van without asking any questions. Why was it so difficult to speak around him? Her words always seemed to stick in her throat.
He shoved his hands in his pockets and glanced inside the van. “Shall we go?”
“You’re coming too?”
“I thought you might like some company.” His words hung between them in a cloud of vapor in the cold Alaskan air.
It wasn’t until she reached the end of the drive that Melody thought to ask where they were headed. “Which direction?”
“Either one is fine with me,” he said quietly.
She blinked into the darkness. “But where are we going?”
“I don’t understand.”
RJ’s gaze turned tender. “Another volunteer showed up unexpectedly and picked up the rescue puppies before you arrived. I didn’t want to turn you away because I liked the idea of spending New Year’s Eve with you.”
The dog in the backseat yipped.
“Then who’s that?” Melody asked.
“He’s mine.” RJ shrugged, and his lips curved into a sheepish grin.
She smiled back at him. “Anywhere is just fine with me.”
He reached for her hand, and beneath a starry sky, together they drove toward a new future. A New Year.