She was so tired, driving through the mountains was exhausting. She was always hyper aware of the traffic and massive trucks as she wove her way through the mountain passes. It amazed her how much snow could still fall in springtime in the mountains. But she knew from her dad’s vacation ideas that skiing was best in the spring. Although she never liked skiing much when they went. She much preferred to people watch and take pictures.
She smiled to herself as she stole a quick glance to the passenger seat where her beloved camera sat in its protective case. She loved photography and what it did for her. She could capture the most intimate, important and emotion filled moments. She could evoke any emotion she wanted by just pressing down her finger a fraction of an inch. She preserved a moment in time and she loved what that could do to and for people.
Her phone rang with his special ringtone and she rolled her eyes lovingly as she answered on Bluetooth, “Hi Dad.”
“Ash, honey, how is it going? Where are you now?” She heard him ask.
Ashley loved her father dearly. Bryan Caldwell was the only stable parent she had and he doted on her even though she was 25 years old. His second wife, Miranda- who Ashley loved like her own mother, tried to get him to ease up to no avail.
“Dad I am doing just fine. I’m on I-25, past the Eisenhower Tunnel.”
“How much longer until you get to Diana’s?” He asked again.
“According to the GPS, about an hour unless traffic slows me up.”
“Ash, are you sure you want to do this? You don’t have to-” Bryan started.
“Dad, I know. She did reach out to you and I think it’s only fair that I respond. She offered me a place to stay while I do some more shots here,” She explained.
Bryan sighed, “I know Honey, I just worry that she will...not be who she needs to be for you.”
“Dad, please don’t worry. I know I can leave at any time, but this is the first time she has asked for contact since I was 15. I kinda need this…”
“Oh Ashley...Text me when you get there? And promise me that you will leave if ANYTHING happens.”
“I promise Dad. Now I better go, traffic is getting thick. Give my love to Miranda and the kids”
“I will. They all miss you by the way. Be safe, Honey,” Bryan said, then hung up.
Ashley loved him for looking out for her, but something in her gut was telling her that this needed to happen and that visiting Diana would change her life forever.
She turned up the radio as the traffic slowed, grabbed an apple from her bag and munched as she crept along, hoping that everything would be ok.
Scott Jackson was exhausted and his leg was throbbing. He desperately wanted to get home and sink into the hot tub to ease the pain. The build his guys were working on wasn’t going according to plans and he had to refabricate the handlebars again, putting the build back another two weeks. Luckily the wife of the soon-to-be new bike owner was totally fine with it and told him not to worry. He just hated to let someone down.
“Scott, I’ll clean up. Why don’t you head home? I can tell you are in pain…” Eric said, slapping on the back.
Jacks sighed, “Thanks Eric, I think I will. I’ll see you tomorrow?”
He nodded and frowned, “Tomorrow. Is it gonna be quiet at your house?”
“She works tonight, so it should be peaceful,” Scott replied, picking up his coat and slipping it on and pulled the skull cap down a little bit more.
“Scotty, I worry about you…” Eric said quietly.
“I appreciate it Eric, but I’m ok,” Scott assured him and walked out the door to his truck.
“Then why don’t I trust that bitch as far as I could throw her?” Eric muttered to himself.
Scott drove home, massaging his knee as he went to help ease the pain. He pulled into the garage and put a frozen pizza in the oven before he went to the bathroom, grabbed pain cream and went to his room, putting a pair of sweats on after rubbing it in. The topical cream helped relieve some of the pain, but the heat of the hot tub was the best, next to the vibrating of his motorcycle. But he couldn’t ride that morning with the ice on the roads from the melting snow.
He limped into the kitchen and made himself a salad and ate that while he waited for the pizza to be done. Finally, the buzzer went off and he pulled it out, cut it and stood at the counter gingerly eating it and trying not to burn the roof of his mouth. He hated frozen pizzas but he hadn’t been grocery shopping yet and she wouldn’t help out.
He put the plates in the dishwasher and was moving towards the sliding glass door when the doorbell rang. Groaning, Scott went to the front door and opened it and felt like he had been kicked in the gut.
Ashley finally pulled in front of the house where the GPS indicated and she looked around. It was a nice neighborhood with nice houses and landscaped yards. It was a relatively new ranch style house with shutters, a peaked roof and a fireplace. It looked like a house for a family. She never pictured Diana living there, it seemed so...normal and calm-the exact opposite of her. She checked her hair in the mirror and deemed it acceptable. She took a deep breath and walked to the front door and rang the bell. She felt her stomach flopping around with nerves and could feel them amping up and looked up to the sky, taking a few cleansing breaths before the door was opened.
Ashley looked up to see the most incredibly sexy man standing in the doorway. She felt her stomach drop and her mouth dry out like the desert at the mere sight of him. She had no idea what to say as she took in the sight before her. And it was a hell of a sight!