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31 pages
27 minutes
Nov 7, 2019


Maya Cartinelli's job as a claims adjuster takes her from Oklahoma City to Austin and everywhere in between. She loves her job helping people put their lives back together, and loves driving the winding country roads.

It's Valentine's Day, and she's headed for home to make a last attempt at salvaging a relationship that was past time to call it quits. When she stays too late helping a client, she gets dumped by phone, somewhere on a little road outside of Georgetown.

Maya's pride is hurt, but her heart's not really broken, and it's the wild Texas storm that blows her off the road and into a ditch that makes her mad. Wet and frustrated, she makes her way to the nearest farmhouse in the driving rain.

Maya gets a welcome surprise when hunky Miguel Rios opens the door.

Is this Valentine's Day about endings or does she have a chance at a new beginning?

Author Notes:

Unexpected is a steamy short story featuring stormy nights,old farmhouses, and a happy ending.

Nov 7, 2019

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Unexpected - Annika Steele



Annika Steele

Copyright © 2017 Amber Kallstrom

All rights reserved.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


Got a last one for you, the email read. Walt’s out sick, I’ve rescheduled and covered the rest. At least this one’s on your way home. —Grace.

Maya groaned as she clicked on the claim file. She’d battled to clear her workload yesterday so she would have a full day to drive from Oklahoma City to Austin. She’d need a good six hours for the trip, but heavy traffic was the norm for I-35, and any little fender bender could gum up the roads, adding hours to her drive. The extra stop south of town—even if it was on her way home—meant adding another hour and a half to her trip.

On any other day, she wouldn’t mind, but it was Valentine’s Day. She’d promised Charlie she’d be home, and they had a date tonight. She flipped her wrist over to check the time on her simple black watch, deciding she could make it if she ate lunch on the road and didn’t linger chatting with her clients.

As a catastrophe claims adjuster, she’d been in the field for months in the wake of a long string of hellacious weather that had ripped through the Plains over the fall and winter. Usually, her stints lasted a month or two at best after a nasty storm, but this was pushing five months with only a handful of weekends at home. Sleep had been sketchy, with guilt plaguing her anytime she took a day off to do laundry and eat something other than

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