Soaring on Love(9)

By: Joy Avery



Yeah, this was the perfect place to rejuvenate her soul. Being here would be good for her. It would give her the time she needed to think and clear her cluttered thoughts. Inhaling a deep breath, she blew it out slowly. Already she felt…free.

The only light radiated from the full moon. She tilted her head and scrutinized a sky so clear it could have been a flawless oil painting. And the stars… Had she ever seen them twinkle more brightly?

And then there were the oversize trees. She performed a slow turn. Trees, trees and more trees surrounded them. Roth hadn’t exaggerated about the privacy of this location. Not a single soul would be able to hear them scream if they were attacked.

The quaint cabin caught her eye. What it lacked in size, it made up for in charm. Built completely of logs, seven steps led to a nicely sized wraparound porch. A cobblestone chimney protruded from the roof. Several hours ago she would have tingled at the idea of her and Roth cuddled intimately in front of a wood-burning fireplace. Not now.

Roth startled her when he draped his coat over her shoulders. He’d obviously changed out of his suit at The Underground because now he wore a thick black sweater, jeans and a pair of black mountain boots. Despite her current state of mind, she could still appreciate how devastatingly attractive he was. “Thank you. I’m freezing.” She shivered for effect.

“We can go into town in the morning and grab you some clothes. I’m sure you don’t want to wear this the entire weekend.” He fingered the thin fabric of her jumpsuit. “Regardless of how beautiful you look in it.”

Disappointment flashed on Roth’s face that suggested he regretted saying the words. Regardless, the compliment brought a lazy smile to her face. “It’s gorgeous. Your cabin. Thank you again for bringing me here with you. I won’t get in the way.”

What she really wanted to say—ask actually—was why had he seemed so reluctant to bring her here at first, and what had changed his mind? But she decided against it. She was just happy she wouldn’t have to be alone.

“Thanks. Like I said, it’s not much, but I love it.”

Tressa opened and closed her mouth several times.

“Ears popping?” Roth said.

“Yes.”

“It’s the altitude. You’ll get used to it.”

Moving to the back of the vehicle, Roth removed a bag and a large black case she assumed was his saxophone—Juliette—before they made their way inside, out of the cold. Or so she’d thought. It was as cold inside the cabin as it had been outside. Possibly a degree or two colder. She pulled the wool coat tighter around her shoulders.

“I believe it’s warmer outside.”

“I’ll build a fire,” Roth said. “It shouldn’t take it long to warm up in here.”

The interior wasn’t at all what Tressa had expected. A mocha-colored leather sofa and a matching chair sat in the living area. Several pictures of airplanes hung throughout the room. A flat-screen television was mounted on the wall above the fireplace. A bookcase packed with books sat in one corner. Was it for decoration, or did Roth enjoy reading?

Her eyes trailed to the kitchen outfitted with all stainless steel appliances. A small dining area seamlessly melted the space together. A set of stairs led to what she assumed were the bedrooms. This was nice. Really nice.

The sound of the fire crackling curled Tressa’s lips. It took her back to when she was a child and winters spent at her grandparents’ house. Good times. Roth’s voice faded Tressa’s memories.

“Unfortunately, there’s only one bed, but it’s yours. I’ll camp out on the sofa.” He patted the plush-looking piece. “We’re highly acquainted. I’ve fallen asleep in her warm arms many nights.”

“No, Roth. I can’t let you do that. I’ll take the sofa. No argument,” she said when protest danced in Roth’s mesmerizing eyes. “Truly, it’s fine.” No way would she inconvenience him after he’d been so kind as to bring her here.

After a few seconds of scrutiny Roth shrugged. “Okay, but you’re going to hate me in the morning.”

As if that was possible. The perplexed look he gave her rattled her a bit. What was he attempting to decipher? How she was holding up? Why she’d wanted to come here with him? Would she be okay? She didn’t know the answer to any of it.

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