“Dashing through the snow, I fucking hate this shit. Why am I even here? I just wanna leave!” I sang along to the tune with my own words before I reached over and shut the radio off.
The snow was pounding down and every mile I drove, the scarier it got. It had been years since I’d been home and about the same time since I’d driven in the snow. After high school, I got as far away from this little mountain town as I possibly could. But now I was back.
Home for the Holidays, right? I hated that I agreed to come home, but it had been almost ten years. I owed it to my parents to show up once, right? But as I drove along, I couldn’t stop thinking about the memories that haunted me.
I was the ugly, fat girl who everyone picked on. There wasn’t a single day where I wasn’t insulted or made fun of, and I had nobody to talk to about it. My mom was always so wrapped up in her scrapbooking projects or one of her numerous book clubs, while Dad stayed in the garage tinkering around on nothing and everything just to seem busy.
The only reprieve I had from all the hateful kids was from Cade Sawyer. He was the star quarterback and everyone in town of all ages adored him. When kids picked on me in front of him, he was the only one to put those little fuckers in their place. I didn’t exist on his radar, but he seemed to always have my back.
As I continued to drive, the snow became thicker and I couldn’t see the road any longer. I followed a set of tracks as I slowed my speed down and gripped the steering wheel tighter. It sure would have been nice if my parents had told me that a blizzard was freaking expected.
My thoughts went back to my high school days, on a snowy winter day of all things, as I drove slowly through the winter wonderland. It wasn’t a blizzard like this, but the snow fell hard that day. I had shovel duty growing up and just so happened to be out in the heart of the storm to get a head start on it. The plow trucks hadn’t gone through yet so I figured I’d shovel what I could, but a group of kids from school drove by and shot paintballs at me. I was covered like a rainbow in seconds. If that wasn’t bad enough, the plow truck finally came through and devoured me in fresh, thick snow.
I plopped down in the snowbank and cried. I hated those kids so much. They made my life a living nightmare. And just when I was about to give up and throw my shovel down, a silhouette appeared down the sidewalk with their own shovel in hand. Cade Sawyer.
He asked if I was okay before he proceeded to shovel the end of my driveway. No other words were spoken between us as we teamed up and shoveled my entire driveway. He was always my savior, yet he didn’t even know my name.
“Oh shit!” I cursed when I felt my rear tires slip and slide, and before I knew what was happening, I slid right off the road.
My entire body jolted as my car came to a hard stop in the snowbank. Once my wipers cleared away the snow on my windshield, I cursed again. Half of my car was buried in the fresh snow and the blizzard still pounded outside.
Daydreaming about a boy I’d never see again got me in this mess, and I knew he wasn’t going to be driving around the corner to pull me out of this one.
“Damn it!” I shouted before I slammed my hands against the steering wheel. “So stupid! Why weren’t you paying attention to the road?”
My purse and its contents were spewed all over the front passenger seat and floorboard. I sifted through the disaster in the dim sunlight hidden by the storm until I found it. One glance at the screen told me I was screwed. No service.
“Come on!!” I cried as I threw my hands up in surrender. “I knew I shouldn’t have come. Winter can fucking suck it. Why would I leave sunny Florida for this- Ah!!”
A knock on the driver’s side window startled me to death. I tried to peer out and see who it was but the blizzard blasted the person at my window. I cracked it open just enough to speak to them, hoping they weren’t a serial killer.
“Are you alright, ma’am?” A low, deep husky tone greeted me through the blowing snow as I tried to peer up into his face. His features were covered by a large parka jacket and hood.
“I, uh, slid off the road. Can you pull me out?”
He looked around the car before he got closer to the window. “No, ma’am, your car is buried. There isn’t enough traction on the road for me to pull you out. I can drive you somewhere safe for now, though.”
Alarm bells went off in my head. I’d watched enough true crime documentaries to know not to get in the vehicle with this man. I couldn’t even see his features, regardless of how sexy his voice sounded.
“Um, no thanks. I’ll just wait here for a tow truck.” I sat back in my seat and pulled my jacket tighter around my chest, noticing how the snow had piled on my windshield and completely covered it. Dread consumed me as I realized that if I didn’t go with him now, I may be trapped here for days.
“With all due respect, ma’am, tow trucks aren’t out in this weather. You’ll be sitting here for a while.” Then he leaned down to my window and pushed his hood back far enough for me to see his face.
“Cade Sawyer,” I whispered as a cold chill ran down my spine.