She jerked in Stone’s arms and took a step back, except instead of letting her go, he smoothly slid one arm around her waist and kept her at his side. He put her a little behind his body as he turned to face the woman who stood a few feet away.
“Is everything alright, Sophie?” the woman from the registration desk asked, concern creasing her brow.
“Oh, yes, I…” God how did she explain Stone? Or the fact she’d just been balling her eyes out all over him?
“Hi. I’m Stone.” He extended his right hand. “Soph’s boyfriend.”
Stone disguised her shock by tugging her closer and hiding her face against his chest. He even dropped a kiss on the top of her head.
“Oh! How lovely. Sophie didn’t mention you’d be joining her.”
“She didn’t know I was coming. I got away at the last minute and wanted it to be a surprise.” He tipped his face down, his gaze connecting with Sophie’s, and smiled, winked. “That’s why she was crying. Soph gets a little emotional sometimes.”
“I’m Karen Carpenter—not the singer—and that man heading our way is my husband Sylvester—not the cat.” Karen laughed. “Welcome to the Rise and Shine.”
“Nice to meet you,” Stone said.
“Well, if you two will follow me, I’ll show you to your room. As I told Sophie earlier, it’s not the best but it’ll do in a pinch. We’re all booked up on account of the festival, so I’ve cleared out the attic room that hasn’t been refurbished yet. It has its own en suite, the plumbing is ancient, but it all works.” Karen spun on her heel and met her husband before he made it all the way across the yard.
Sophie stood on her toes so she could whisper in Stone’s ear. “Boyfriend?”
“No other way to stay close to you without revealing what’s really going on.”
“We don’t need to stay in the same room.”
He chuckled. “So is this you doing everything I say?”
Bloody hell. He had her there. Sighing, she dropped back on her heels and said, “Fine. C’mon, boyfriend, let’s go see our room.”