Home > Storm (Ashes & Embers #1)(2)

Storm (Ashes & Embers #1)(2)
Author: Carian Cole

“Carry me? No way. You are not touching me.” I cross my arms. I know I must look like a pouting child, but I don’t really care.

He sighs, reaches into the car and before I can even protest, he has me scooped up effortlessly into his arms.

“Enough of your bullshit. Done,” he states, then kicks my door shut and starts to walk up the snowy hill. I have no choice, but to put my arms around his neck. Even with his coat on, I can feel very muscular shoulders and arms. He is a big guy, my guess would put him at about six-two or taller.

“Please don’t drop me,” I say, hanging on to him but trying not to touch him at the same time.

“Are you kidding me? You weigh next to nothing. Don’t you eat?”

“Yes, I eat. You feel very big.” I immediately want to take back my words once I realize what just came out of my mouth. “I mean... I can feel your muscles in your shoulders and back.” Heat rises to my cheeks. I beg the universe to swallow me up.

He’s laughing at me. “Shit, you keep talking like that and I might drop you.”

“At this point, I don’t think I care. I just want this nightmare to be over.”

Finally, we get to the road and he trods over to his big, black pick-up truck that is now covered with a few inches of snow. The rate of snowfall is alarming to me. I reach over and open the passenger side door when we get close enough.

“Oh, my God!” I scream. “A wolf got in your truck!” I turn my head away from the hulking beast and bury my face into his neck.

“Calm the hell down! It’s just my dog. Are you always this crazy?”

“He’s huge!” I scream, not looking at the huge furry thing panting at us.

Eyeliner Sasquatch tries to put me in the truck, and I scream some more, kicking my legs out. “I am not getting in there with that thing!”

The guy holding me rolls his eyes and grinds his teeth, then starts yelling.

“Niko! Get in the back.” The dog whimpers. “In the back! Now!” The wolf-like dog relents and jumps into the back seat of the extended cab. Sasquatch puts me down on the passenger seat.

“Don’t be afraid of him. He’s not going to hurt you.”

I run my hands through my long hair, which is wet from the snow. “You and your dog are both scary. No offense.”

“None taken. Now let’s get out of here.” He starts to close the door, but I put my arm out and stop him.

“Wait! My purse and my travel bag are still in my car.”

“So?”

“I need them. All my stuff is in there!”

“Really? Are your meds in there, too?”

Meds? What’s he talking about? “Huh?”

“You must be on some kind of meds for whatever mental illness you have. You want me to walk all the way back down that fuckin’ ditch just to get your bag full of clothes and more stupid shoes?”

The nerve of this man! “Excuse me, but my laptop is in there, and it has all of my work on it, which I need for my meeting—”

“There’s no way in hell you’re getting to that meeting this weekend. Just sayin’.”

“I still need my things! I’m not leaving my personal stuff in the middle of nowhere out here!”

He lights up a cigarette, takes a long drag, and stares off into the woods. I start to see this is a pattern with him when he is thinking. “Fine!” he finally yells. “Just sit there and try not get into anymore accidents, okay? And don’t touch anything.”

I make a face at him behind his back as I watch him trudge back down the hill to my car. I am acutely aware of the humongous dog in the back seat breathing down my neck. I do not want to be alone in the truck with this animal, or his owner, or both of them. I can’t understand how this day went so wrong so fast! I should be at a posh hotel right now soaking in a nice hot bath and ordering room service, not sitting in a blizzard with this psycho and his obscenely huge dog. I snap down the sun visor and flip down the mirror so I can keep an eye on the dog behind me. I can see he is watching me in the mirror with his tongue hanging out. He seems to be smirking at me just like his master.

After what seems like eons later, I see Sasquatch walking back up to the truck, the snow swirling around him. He opens the truck door, throws my bags in, and gets in behind the wheel.

“Thank you,” I say.

“Are you sure you don’t want a latte? Maybe I could walk to Starbucks in this blizzard for you and get you a coffee?”

Actually, I could totally go for a nice hot White Mocha right now with some whipped cream and those little chocolate curls they put on top for the holidays.

“I’m sorry, okay?” I say to him. “Let’s just go.” I just want to get away from this sarcastic asshole and find a way to get to my hotel or back home as soon as possible. And now I really want White Mocha like yesterday.

He starts his truck and the engine roars. “My cabin is just about two miles up the road.” He turns the heat up higher. “Once we get there, we can call a tow truck for your car if the phones are working.”

“And what if the phones aren’t working?”

“Then I guess you’ll have to hang out until they are working or until they plow the roads enough for me to drive you to town.”

I let out a big aggravated sigh. “This day sucks.”

He nods his head in agreement. “A wicked lot.”

The snow is coming down so hard and fast, we can barely see out the windshield. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen such a bad snowstorm. I’m kind of glad in a twisted way my car got stuck because I can’t even imagine trying to drive myself in this snow right now.

We drive slowly in awkward silence, and suddenly, a deer jumps out from the woods on the side of the road right in front of the truck. I scream as Sasquatch swerves and the truck starts to slide and spin, gaining speed. He throws one arm across my chest to hold me against the seat as he tries to regain control of the truck, but it’s not working. I scream again as the truck flies off the road and into the woods, crashing downhill and plowing down small trees until it finally comes to a halt wedged amongst a bunch of larger trees on the side of a hill.

“Fuck!” He slams both his hands against the steering wheel. “I can’t fucking believe this shit!” He turns to me. “And why the fuck wasn’t your seatbelt on?”

I move away from him and smash myself against the door. “I’m sorry.” My voice sounds small and weak. My heart is pounding so hard I feel like I am going to pass out.

He rests his head against the steering wheel and takes several deep breaths. “I’m sorry for yelling at ya.” He finally says, his voice level and calm, but I can see it’s a struggle for him. “Are you okay?” He’s looking at me through his sunglasses, and I can see my reflection in them.

I nod, afraid to talk. I can’t stand to hear the fear in my own voice. He reaches into the back seat and pets his dog. “You okay, Niko?” The dog whimpers and licks his hand. “He’s good,” he says, caressing the dog’s head.

He tries to restart the truck, but it’s completely dead. I can’t believe this, honestly, I just can’t.

“Wh-what are we going to do?” I ask him.

“Well, we’re out of cars, so unless you want to walk or ride the dog to my place, we’re stuck here.”

Fear rises up in me like a tidal wave. “What? What do you mean? We have to get out of here. We could freeze or starve, you said so yourself and—”

“Shh!” he yells making me jump. “Just calm the fuck down, okay? Obviously, both of the cars are fucked. We are still about a mile, maybe more, from my place, and that’s way too far to walk in this storm, especially with you wearing those fuck-me pumps.”

“Can you give it a rest about my shoes, please?”

“Whatever. The storm will probably stop tonight or sometime tomorrow, so we’re gonna have to just stay put until the plow truck comes by, and we’ll have to hitch a ride. Until then, we’re in luck because I stopped at the grocery store on the way to my cabin, so I think I have enough things we can eat and drink to keep us going until then.”

Keep us going? What the hell does that mean?

“...I have a big blanket in the back seat so we should be able to stay pretty warm. It’s really heavy and thick.”

I start to shake. I don’t know if it’s because I’m cold or scared out of my mind or maybe both. I want to get out of this truck and away from this guy and his dog right now. I beg myself not to panic, even though I know it’s inevitable. I’ve had panic attacks since I was a little girl, brought on by all sorts of things. I’m certain being stuck in a truck in the middle of the woods is definitely a perfect recipe to bring one on.

He reaches across the seat and touches my leg. “Hey, we’re gonna be okay. Don’t worry.” I cringe away from his touch and cross my arms in front of me, hugging myself.

I nod, but I refuse to talk, and he continues. “Okay, so I think we should both sit in the back seat, there’s a lot of room back there and we can put the blanket over us, I think it will help keep us warmer.”

“What about the dog?” No way in hell am I going to sit close to that animal. I wish my cat were with me. Halo is warm and sweet and would cuddle up on my lap and purr me into a comforting lull.

“...have to sit up front. He’s got a ton of fur and he’s made for the cold so he’ll be fine.”

The last thing I want to do is sit in the backseat under a blanket with this long-haired, guy-linered, sunglassed, face-pierced, cowboy hat wearing freak. What strange hell have I fallen into?

“Okay, so you climb in back and then I’ll call Niko up here, and then I’ll move back with you, all right? I know he freaks you out, but he’s not gonna hurt ya.”

I swear under my breath and climb over the seat and into the back. I arrange myself as far into a corner as I can while he maneuvers the dog into the front and then climbs into the back himself. He holds up a huge thick fleece blanket, shakes it out, and then lays it over our laps.

   
Hot Series
» Vampire Academy Series read online
» Crossfire Series read online
» Fifty Shades trilogy read online
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
Most Popular
» Magical Midlife Meeting (Leveling Up #5)
» Magical Midlife Love (Leveling Up #4)
» The ​Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash
» Lover Unveiled (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
» A Warm Heart in Winter (Black Dagger Brothe
» Meant to Be Immortal (Argeneau #32)
» Shadowed Steel (Heirs of Chicagoland #3)
» Wicked Hour (Heirs of Chicagoland #2)
» Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland #1)
» The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club
» Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #
» Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2)