STORM OF SEDUCTION
Lori Hammond wanted for nothing. As the only heir to her family fortune she’d learned at a young age she only need ask for whatever she desired. All the money in the world hadn’t gotten her the one thing in life that she’d wanted most, Kevin Preston.
As the head of The Gilpin Search and Rescue Team, Kevin knows the dangers that a Colorado blizzard can bring. And with one looming closer to their patch of the Rocky Mountains he and his team prepare for the worst winter storm to hit their county in decades.
Hearing of the blizzard, Lori concocts a scheme to get exactly what she wants. But, will her plan be the thing that brings them together? Or will the rewards not be worth the risk as their very survival hangs in the balance?
Lori Hammond threw the items into her suitcase as quickly as she could. She mentally ticked off every item on her to-pack list as she went through her closet. With warm socks, turtlenecks, and of course, her all-important red teddy which always had a way of making Kevin weak in the knees, she was just about finished.
“Lori, this is a bad idea. You know that, right?”
She glanced over at her sister, doing her absolute best not to roll her eyes in annoyance. The last thing she needed was to be lectured by her boringly responsible, and annoyingly always right, big sis.
“I’m not kidding, Lori. This is a very bad idea. Have you even thought this through? What about the ‘what ifs’?”
Shaking her head, she answered. “I really don’t need this right now, Stacey.”
“Fine. If you’re not going to be reasonable…” Stacey reached into her pocket and pulled out her cell phone. “Maybe I should just call Kevin now and warn him of your extremely bad plan.”
“You wouldn’t dare!”
“Wouldn’t I? One of us has to act rationally. And as usual, it’ll probably have to be me.”
“Damn it, Stac. This is my life! Mine! Can’t you just stay out of it? For once!”
“Funny, I seem to recall you saying these exact same things every other time you concocted one of your ridiculous schemes. And despite my numerous objections, you went ahead anyway.” Stacey crossed her arms and offered up a look of disapproval. “And tell me, little sis, just how did those other plans work out for you?”
Lori glared at her sister. Partly angry for butting into her business, and partly because she knew her sister was right. Her previous attempts to win Kevin back had gone horribly wrong. She hardly needed a reminder of that.
“This time will be different.”
Stacey shook her head and muttered something quietly that Lori couldn’t understand. Not that she was sure she wanted to hear it, anyway.
“Come on, sis. Please. I’m begging you to not do this right now. Just let me do what I have to and stay out of it this time.” She glanced at her watch and added, “I really have to go now if I’m going to make it to the cabin before the weather turns even nastier.”
“Damn it, Lori.” Stacey crossed the room in a huff and placed her hands on Lori’s shoulders. “Fine. I’ll stay out of it. Just promise me you’re going to be careful.”
“I will be. I promise. Besides, I’m not going into this completely blind. I have long johns on underneath my jeans. I’m wearing two shirts, and I have my thick parka and winter gloves. I’ll be fine.”
“Yes, because that’s all I’m worried about, you getting cold.” Stacey rolled her eyes.
“Kevin loves me. This will work.”
“I’m pretty sure you said that last time. And the time before that, and the time before –.”
“Stop!” Lori put an end to her sister’s never-ending point.
“Ugh. I swear, it’s no wonder Mom has so many gray hairs.”
“I’m a saint.” Lori smiled.
“What you are, is a pain in the ass,” Stacey shrugged before continuing, “but I love you anyway.”
“Love you, too.”
The two hugged, and Lori assured Stacey a few more times before heading out to her car. The wind had already kicked up quite a bit since the last time she was out, and even putting her suitcase in the backseat proved to be a challenge, with her hair whipping around her face like a blindfold.
She heard the faint voice of her sister, barely audible with the howling sounds from the storm thrashing through their canyon.
“What?” Lori yelled back.
“Be careful!” Stacey urged again.
“I’ll be fine, but I’ve got to go.”
“Please, promise me you’ll call me if he doesn’t show!”
Lori pretended not to hear the last part, and slid behind the wheel of her Pathfinder. She understood that her sister meant well, and knew their bond meant there wasn’t a thing they wouldn’t do for one another, but this was one of those times she wished Stacey would just let her be.
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