~ Chapter 1 - 9:27 am ~
**ATTENTION, ATTENTION, this is an emergency broadcast. Repeat an emergency broadcast. A severe blizzard is coming this way, remain indoors, this will bring several feet of snow and have severe wind blasts. Repeat, this is an emergency broadcast.**
Jay turned off the radio and looked at his girlfriend who was freaking out, her nails in her mouth. His head turned and he looked at his best friend for well over 25 years. Jake returned Jay’s look and Jake started to shake his head. Being friends for that long, Jake could read his friend and Jay stood up.
“I can’t leave Tiffany alone and Rachel is in the cabin alone. She wouldn’t have heard that and no one else in our little group will go get her.”
“Jay, your sister doesn’t like me and it’s not like I’m real fond of her. She won’t listen to me and you know that.”
“Look, I don’t care what the fuck happened while the three of us were in high school, but that’s my sister and I need her here. And there is no one else I trust. Please, Jake.” Jake sighed, knowing his friend. Yeah, he trusted no one else but he sure wouldn’t trust Jake if he learned about the shit that happened in high school to make Rachel and Jake dislike each other. Jake sighed again.
“Okay, fine, I’ll go get her and bring her to the hotel. But she won’t like it and she’s going to be pissed at me dude.”
“Yeah, well she can cry over her broken engagement with that piece of shit in a room here, not be solo where it’s dangerous.” Jake nodded in agreement and then went to grab the gear and snowmobile, knowing this wasn’t going to be good, and he can’t say he was surprised by that. He loved Jay like a brother, they were that close, but Jake had no siblings and he always felt that Rachel got far too used to butting in her big brother’s problems. It didn’t help that they were only a year apart, so Rachel tended to think that her brother’s friends were hers as well, and that went for Jake.
Not that Jake hated her, because he didn’t, exactly. He just found her young, immature, a little snooty, and way too damn attractive, and that was something she never thought of. With her long black hair, gray eyes the color of storm clouds that changed on her mood, and the plumpest lips he had ever tasted, yeah, he didn’t care for her. And the man she was engaged to, he thought was good for her. Or, well, that was until about three months ago when he saw the asshole at a club, clearly making out with some chick that was not Rachel. He, Jay, and a couple of other buddies had gone out and Jake had to think fast as to why to leave. But it wasn’t fast enough and Jay ended up seeing the scene as well.
That night, Jake stood behind Jay as Jay told the dude to tell his sister the truth, or he would. And as of two weeks ago, the dude hadn’t. So, Jay told her, and they all thought going away for an extended weekend was the right thing to help her. Well, Jake didn’t quite agree with that because he wasn’t sure he wanted to deal with her mopping. But she had said she would stay at the cabin that their parents had rather than at the hotel with everyone else.
When they loaded into the cars and Jake sat in the back with her while Jay drove, he asked why she wanted that and her simple response was that she didn’t want to see the happy couples. Not that there were many happy couples going and he figured she meant her brother, not that he could blame her. Truthfully, he didn’t want to see it either when he had his own recent heartbreak not too long ago either. Not that he opened up to anyone about it, he kept it to himself. Jay knew about it, but he wasn’t going to tell, so he was pretty sure that no one else knew.
Jake pulled up to the cabin and cut the engine to the snowmobile and sighed. His eyes glanced upward at the clear, blue, and bright sky and he knew that convincing her that a blizzard was on the way was impossible. This far away, service sucked so he knew she wouldn’t be listening to the radio. And the TV was shady at best, so if it was on, she was probably watching a movie. He glanced past the door to look at the logs and was grateful that they were full and out of harm’s way if he couldn’t get her out.
He climbed off the machine and unzipped his jacket before walking to the front door. Jake knew this was stupid, that she would just slam the door in his face, and he didn’t blame her. Jay never asked what happened while they were in high school, and to be honest, that’s not even where their animosity towards each other came from. It was more like two years ago, on a bad drunken night, that probably caused the biggest rift between them and he wasn’t fucking stupid enough to mention it to her brother. He shook his head and knocked, feeling foolish to even do that. He had been to this cabin more than enough times, it was almost a third home for him; second, being Jay’s home.
“Oh, fuck, what do you want?” Rachel asked as she swung the door open. His eyes landed on her and he sucked in a breath. She had lost some weight, he finally noticed, and he was going to have to say it was over that asshole.
“You need to leave,” he said, walking past her and into the spacious cabin. Okay, cabin was being modest. It was more like a four-bedroom, three bath, indoor hot tub in the back, modern kitchen, house settled in the mountain ranges of Colorado. It did belong to Jay’s parents though, and it was their vacation home. Some people had condos by the beaches; the Morgan’s had a huge cabin in the woods that they loved to visit, and not just in the winter, but year-round. At one point, much to his own parent’s disapproval, he had spent a Christmas up here with the Morgans.
Rachel turned and looked at him, her arms crossed. She hadn’t moved from the front door and he didn’t know what to make of that. She hadn’t closed it, as if she was going to throw him out. Which was rather funny given that he was already into the hallway and heading toward the living room, pulling his jacket along the way.
“Why the hell do I need to leave?” He sat down on the couch and looked at her as she walked in. “And please make yourself at home!”
“I usually do and you know this. And as much as I love to sit here and chit-chat with you, that is not the purpose of my being here. You need to hop your little ass back on a snowmobile and head to the hotel with me now.” Rachel rolled her eyes as she crossed her arms once more, her hip leaning against the doorway. Fuck, he knew that look. She wasn’t budging and he didn’t really feel like going all caveman on her and tossing her over his shoulder.
“No?” he questioned back.
“No,” she repeated.
“Rachel, there is a blizzard on the way. They are calling for massive amounts of snowfall, and very strong winds, and Jay does not want you here alone. It will be safer for you to head back to the hotel with me. So, pack your stuff, and let’s go.”
“No,” she said yet again and he frowned. “The sky is clear, I see not a cloud in sight, it’s the middle of fall, and it’s not blizzard time. So, no. I don’t believe the forecast, especially if it was on the radio and Tim stated it.” Fuck, yeah, there was that part that he didn’t think about. Her ex was the local weatherman and often did the news and radio shows. She wasn’t going to believe him, even if that was his job. Great, this was going to be a lot harder than he thought. Maybe he shouldn’t have mentioned that part after all? Oh well, he had no choice now.
“Rachel, Jay was already uncomfortable with you being here alone. And it is rather far away from anyone or anything.” Which was what the Morgans wanted when they had bought the cabin, but it was always someone else, no one came alone. And sure, it could handle a blizzard, but if something went wrong, there was no one to know of anything, and that was the scary part. “He’s freaking out and you know how your brother is.”
“And I’m old enough to make my own choices and right now, I’m not going. We’ve only been up here two days; don’t you think I checked the forecast prior to leaving? Nothing was even mentioned. So, no, not leaving.” Jake sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. God damn, he didn’t want to do this, he really didn’t. But if there was anything he knew about this family, it was just how stubborn they could be.
He stood up, faced her, and shrugged. Her eyes narrowed but he didn’t care. Jake walked to her, picked her up, and tossed her over his shoulders, ignoring her cries and the pounding on his back. He would deal with everything when he got back to the hotel. Jake yanked the door back open and quickly stopped in his tracks. Just 15 minutes earlier the sky was bright with blueness and sunshine but now the dark, menacing clouds were rolling in, and fast. And he knew they wouldn’t make it back to the hotel in that storm.