Kali’s grip tightened on the wrench. Another thug who wanted to interrogate her about her father’s alchemical masterpiece, probably.
“If you’re going to hold the door open that long, you could at least bring in some wood.” That sounded cocky, especially since the wrench was the closest thing to a weapon she had handy, but bravado went a long way in Moose Hollow.
Meanwhile, she sidled closer to the workbench and the panel of levers on the far end of it. The man’s blue eyes were the only thing visible between the cap and scarf, and they narrowed, watching her.
“The stove’ll have to work double time to heat the place again,” Kali said, hoping to distract him from her movement. “Not that this drafty hole could aspire to warm anyhow.”
The man stepped inside. Kali tensed, ready to spring for a bronze lever with a billiards-ball knob.
He did not move past the threshold though. Without taking his eyes from her, he pushed the door closed. He removed the cap, revealing thick tousled black hair, then tugged the scarf down to his throat. Kali might have called him handsome, but a scar gouged one cheek, as if someone had tried to remove one of his eyes. The beard stubble darkening his jaw would do little to warm his chin in the cold. He must be new to the north.
His cool gaze skimmed the shop, resting briefly on the unorthodox metal sled before settling on her.
“You Kali McAlister?” he asked, voice smoother and more pleasant than his rough exterior hinted at.