Opening the back of my Explorer, I place my skis and poles in inside. Quickly, I change from my ski boots to my snow boots. Tossing my ski boots into the back, I shut the trunk and head to front of the vehicle.
Climbing inside, I search the glove compartment for an elastic. Finding one, I hastily shove my hair into a messy knot. Putting the keys in the ignition, I start the Explorer.
Or at least I try to start it. It makes a sound of slow keening, similar to several hounds dying.
Resting my forehead against the steering wheel, I close my eyes. This cannot be happening. This vehicle cannot be dead.
Shaking my head, I slam my palm against the steering wheel. I look down at my cell phone.
I could call Dad. He would come and pick me up in a heartbeat.
He was up late doing inventory last night. I don't want to wake him.
Chewing on my lower lip, I try to come up with an alternate plan but am not having any luck.
Rapping on my window startles me and makes me jump.
Looking up, I find myself staring at Adam. Great. Just great.
Opening my door, he takes a step back. Shoving his hands in his pockets, he observes, "Sounds like you are having some car trouble. Want me to take a look under the hood?"
I am about to spout off a snarky retort, when I realize that he may actually be able to help me.
Swallowing my pride, I answer, "That would be nice. Thanks."
I pop the hood and climb out of the vehicle. Adam moves to the front of the SUV to take a look.
As I walk over to stand beside him, I notice the way his brow is furrowed and he is intently studying my engine. Snowboarding god and handy mechanic. Of course he is.
Letting out a sigh, he turns his face towards me. "Well, it looks like your air intake hose."
"Can you fix it?", I ask.
Running a hand over his hair, Adam says, "If I was at home, I could but I don't have the tools and parts here."
Shoving my hands in my pocket, I mutter, "Awesome. Just awesome."
Adam gives me a lopsided grin. He responds, "And by 'awesome', you really mean 'not so much'?"
"Something like that," I grumble.
He says, "Come on. I'll give you a ride home. And I can take a look at it tomorrow."
Glancing his way, I raise an eyebrow as if to say "you think I am getting into your car with you".
Adam spreads his hand wide and announces, "Look. I'm just trying to do the right thing here. I know I wouldn't want my sisters stranded out in the middle of nowhere with a broken car."
Hmm, maybe I misjudged him. Maybe Adam isn't so bad.
Before I can confirm this train of thinking, he quips, "Plus, I would really like to be alone with you in a small, confined space, snow bunny."
So much for that theory.
"I have a name you know, " I retort.
He grins and says, "Well, then, what is it, pray tell?"
"I'm Natalie Turner. Nat." I answer.
Extending his hand to me, Adam says, "Nice to meet you, Nat."
I hesitate briefly before taking his hand. His hand swallows my hand whole. I try not to think about how warm his hand is or how it sends little electric shivers up my arm.
Swallowing, I glance up from our hands to his face. He is smiling at me with amusement twinkling in his eyes. Like he knows the effect he has on me.
I am SO in trouble.
Here is more with Nat and Adam. Are you digging it?
As for the Maddie/Jake/Sam storyline, I know there are unresolved issues. I am not trying to leave you hanging on purpose, people! I have not felt inspired to write more about them. *Sigh.* It's the truth.
But give me a little time, I am positive I will come back around and finish their story for you.