Home > Reckless (Adventures in Love #3)

Reckless (Adventures in Love #3)
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds

 


Chapter 1

JADE

With my gaze trained on the road ahead of me, I focus on the yellow lines that are barely visible through the thick snow falling steadily from the dark sky above.

“Stupid,” I mumble to myself, knowing for sure that if I hadn’t stopped to eat and wander around a large trading post packed to the brim with stuff to look at, I most likely wouldn’t be driving through this mess right now.

Then again, I knew the risk I was taking leaving Oregon for Montana today, with a blizzard forecast all over the news. A storm that not only my dad but Cybil, my best friend, and her husband, Tanner, warned me about over and over again.

Not that I listened to any of them. I mean, why would I do something ridiculous like take sound advice from people I trust? I never do that, which is not only why I’m in the middle of a snowstorm I have no business driving in but also why my bookstore closed and my life went tits up.

Okay, so my business didn’t close because I didn’t take the advice of others; that all happened because Mag McGregor decided that it was absolutely unholy for a store in her town to sell sex toys and books with sex in them. Then she went about making it uncomfortable for anyone to shop in my store even if they were just there to purchase a good ol’ self-help book.

How the woman found out about the hidden room in the back of my bookstore, where the walls were covered in sex toys I sold, is still anyone’s guess, but I’d bet my last dollar she would be a whole lot happier if she had taken the time to find herself a special toy and then use it every once in a while.

All that said, my life did go tits up because I didn’t take advice. Like the advice my best friend tried to give me about not dating Carl when I had dated him in the past and he’d cheated on me. Or the advice my mom gave me about not letting Carl borrow money to help him start up a painting business. If I had listened to either of them, I might not be jobless, homeless, manless, broke as a joke, and driving in the middle of a blizzard right now.

Sighing, I ease my foot off the gas when I see a semi come around a bend in the road ahead of me, its bright headlights making it even more difficult to see even a few feet in front of me through the snow. I hold my breath and the steering wheel a little tighter as it passes, my tires seeming to have a hard time keeping a grip on the road as I head up a hill.

When I reach the top, I let out the breath I’ve been holding and wonder if I should just find somewhere to pull over and park for the night. Even with the GPS telling me that I will be at Cybil and Tanner’s house in just over an hour, I’m not sure that my little car will make it with the roads getting worse by the second.

Like my best friend knows I’m thinking about her, my cell phone ringing cuts off the song currently playing, and I press the button on the steering wheel to answer. “Hey,” I chirp, hoping not to sound as anxious as I feel at the moment.

“How far away are you?” she asks, sounding worried, then adds: “The roads are getting bad here.”

“About an hour. The roads are getting bad here too.” I gasp when the back of my car swings to the left, then the right.

“What happened? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. The snow is just starting to really stick to the road.” I hold the steering wheel tighter and wish I had taken my dad’s advice and put on my snow tires.

“Pull over. I’m coming to get you,” she says, and I start to tell her that she’s not, but Tanner beats me to the punch when I hear him tell her that she is not driving in the storm right before the phone is shuffled. Knowing Cybil, I’m sure she’s trying to keep me from hearing them argue, but I still hear her tell him that she is and him tell her she’s not, before the sound is cut off almost completely. Then I hear a smack of lips, and she comes back on the line. “So.” She clears her throat, sounding a little dazed, which makes me smile. “Tanner says that he’s going to call Maverick—his truck will be able to make it to wherever you are.”

“Maverick?”

“Tanner’s best friend—you know him.” I do know him, or kind of—we’ve been around each other on a few occasions but never for more than a couple of hours at a time. I have always considered myself someone who is really good at reading people, but he’s unreadable. The only things I really know about him are that he’s been best friends with Tanner, my best friend’s husband, since they were in the military together, he’s seriously attractive, and he has an easy smile. And from what Cybil says, he has a way with my niece, Claire, Cybil and Tanner’s daughter.

“I’ll be fine. If the road gets too bad, I’ll find a place to park until the snowplows and salt trucks come out.”

“Jade, please don’t be difficult right now. I know that you can handle yourself in most situations, but we’re talking about you driving in the middle of a blizzard.”

“Fine,” I agree with a huff, because even if I know she’s right, I don’t like giving in. “I’ll get off on the next exit and find someplace to stay for the night.”

“Is there an exit coming up?” she asks, and just then a green sign appears in the distance.

“Yes, or I think so—there is a sign coming up.”

“Perfect.” She sounds relieved, but I’m not when the sign gets closer and I see that it’s one for a rest area that lets me know that there will not be another exit for twenty more miles.

“What does the sign say?”

“Umm, it’s for a rest area. I’m going to pull in there and park.”

“What is the exit number?”

“Cybil, please, I don’t feel comfortable with Tanner calling his friend to come rescue me.”

“That’s too bad, because I don’t feel comfortable with you putting your life at risk or sleeping in your car overnight at some rest stop in the middle of a snowstorm,” she snaps.

“All right, calm down.” I silently curse my stupid luck of late and rattle off the exit number, which she immediately relays to Tanner, who I’m guessing is on the phone with Maverick.

“Okay, Mav knows where you are, and he said he will be there shortly.”

“Sounds great,” I lie as I exit the highway, finding a half dozen semis and a few cars parked along the entryway into the lot.

“How’s Pebbles doing?” she asks as I pull into a parking spot and put my car in park. I look over at my companion, who has been asleep in his dog bed, which is buckled into the front seat, since we left the trading post.

“He’s passed out.” I reach over and run my fingers over the top of Pebbles’s head, and he barely opens his eyes to look at me, but his little tail does start to wag. “Since we’re here, I’m going to see if I can get him to go potty.”

“Okay, just let me know when you get back in the car after.”

“Sure, Mom,” I say sarcastically and listen to her laugh, which makes me smile, then say a quick goodbye with a promise to see her soon. After we hang up, it takes me a minute to get Pebbles in his sweater and to put on my jacket, both of which were too hot to wear in the car with the heat blowing.

Once I have my beanie on and Pebbles’s leash attached to his collar, I push open the door to my car and regret the decision almost immediately. Even with my winter coat, boots, and hat, the cold air steals my breath, freezing me from the inside out, while Pebbles, who is against my chest, shivers from head to tail.

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