Jason heard the buzzer go off, and went to check the laundry. Ragged as his guests' clothes were, he was sure they'd want them back. The things they were wearing now were outfits he had found in the upstairs closets, items that had been left behind over years of family vacations.
He pulled the dry clothes and put them in a basket. Then he moved the next load over, and started the dryer again. When he turned around, the woman was standing the in the doorway.
He realized he was staring at her, and looked away. She was exotically beautiful: curly dark hair, dusky brown skin with undertones that were almost grey, a build that was slender and graceful without being delicate, and soft brown eyes. Her left arm ended just below the elbow, but so far he'd managed not to stare at that, either.
"That's half of it," he said, indicating the laundry basket with a tilt of his head. "The other half should finish drying in an hour or so."
"Thank you." Her voice was soft, and she looked away as she stepped back. He wondered vaguely if he made her as uncomfortable as she made him. Probably.
He carried the basket past her, and she followed him up the short hallway, and across the living area to the longer hallway on the far side. He chose the larger of the two guest bedrooms and set the basket beside the bed.
"It's pretty late," he said. "If you want to, you can stay here." He hadn't intended to make the offer, but everything had taken longer than he expected. It didn't seem right to send them on their way after they'd been up all night.
"Thank you," she said again.