- Publisher: Grand Central
- Release Date: 2015, 2004, 2005; Silhouette Books 1984
- ISBN-13: 978-0446614160
- Available Languages: Norwegian
- Available Formats: Audio, e-Book, Print
Laney McLeod’s life changes the minute she finds herself stuck in a high-rise elevator in Manhattan. Fighting her rising panic, she relies on a handsome stranger to help overcome her claustrophobia. When the power comes back on, Deke and Laney are locked in a passionate embrace that soon leads to a night of love in his apartment. Shocked at her own brazenness, Laney disappears the next morning but is unable to forget the chemistry between them.
The elevator was between floors when it came to a jaw-jolting stop and the lights blinked out. There had been no warning, no grinding down of gears, no forecasting flicker of the lights. Nothing. One minute the cubicle had been moving on its silent descent, the next, its two occupants were engulfed in unrelieved black stillness.
“Uh-oh,” the man remarked. He was a New Yorker and accustomed to the practical jokes the city played on the citizens. “Another blackout.”
Laney McLeod didn’t comment. The man obviously expected her to say something. She could feel him turn and look toward her. But speech and movement were beyond her. She was paralyzed with fear. She rationalized, telling herself that it was her claustrophobia that made the situation so horrifying, that she would survive, that such stark terror was juvenile and bordered on the ridiculous. It didn’t help.
“Are you all right?”
No, I’m not all right, she wanted to scream at him. But her vocal cords were frozen. Eight well-manicured nails dug into two sweating palms, and she had her eyes squeezed shut. Forcing them open made no difference; there was no light in the suffocating confines of the apartment building’s elevator. Her breath rasped loudly.
“Don’t worry. It won’t last long.”
His calmness infuriated her. Why wasn’t he panicking? She wanted to demand a guarantee that the power would be restored soon. These blackouts could last for days, couldn’t they?
“I think I’d feel better if you’d say something. You are all right, aren’t you?”
She sensed a hand in the darkness only seconds before it made contact with her arm. But still she jumped.
“It’s all right.” Quickly he withdrew his hand. “Are you claustrophobic?”
Frantically she nodded her head, illogically thinking he could see the motion. He must have sensed it because his voice took on a lulling inflection. “There’s nothing to worry about. If the power isn’t restored in a matter of minutes, the fire department comes looking for stranded people like us.”
She felt the air stir and heard the soft rustling of clothing. “I’m taking off my coat. I suggest you do the same.”
A Note From Sandra
Originally published under the pseudonym Erin St. Claire as Silhouette Desire # 139.