Bursting With Love(2)

By: Melissa Foster

Josie squealed, “We made it!”

The guy with the tuque shook his head, and Savannah prayed she wouldn’t pass out from her racing heart.

The pilot craned his neck as he glanced back over his shoulder and removed his headphones. Savannah caught a quick glimpse of the most handsome, rugged face and piercing eyes she’d ever seen before he turned back around and she was left staring at the back of his thick head of hair again.

A thrill rushed through her.

Maybe this wasn’t a mistake after all.

In the next breath, she realized he was the man she’d seen in the airport when she was racing to catch the plane and had fallen on her ass, sending her bags flying across the corridor. He’d been cold and standoffish—and far too handsome.

I’m fucked.

PILOT AND SURVIVAL guide Jack Remington sat in the cockpit of the small bush plane with a knot in his gut. He’d been so conflicted about where his life was headed that the last thing he needed was for his body to suddenly remember what a woman was. For two years, he hadn’t looked at a single woman—had never felt a twinge of interest since his wife, Linda, died in a car accident. Then, today of all days, when he was running late and already pissed after having driven past the site of her accident, he saw that gorgeous woman with auburn hair flat on her ass in the airport. He’d wanted to walk right by her, and when she rose to her feet, he just about did. But when he’d gotten close enough to really see her, he noticed a competitive streak in her eyes, and behind that determination, he’d seen something soft and lovely. Damn it. I don’t need soft and lovely. He pushed the image of her away and allowed his anger to turn inward again. Once he felt the familiar fire in his chest, he opened the door.

The first thing he did when he stepped off the plane was touch the earth. His earth. Jack considered every blade of grass, every tree, every bush, and every stream on this particular mountain to be his personal possession. Not in the legal sense, but in his heart. It was this land that had helped him to heal after Linda’s death. Hell, that was a lie. He hadn’t yet healed. But at least he was capable of functioning again—sort of. He still couldn’t sleep inside the chalet in Bedford Corners, New York, that he and Linda had shared. He returned to the house only once or twice a month to make sure partying teenagers or vandals had not broken in. And on those nights, he slept on the back deck and showered in the outdoor shower. He’d spent most of the last two years in the safety and solitude of his rustic cabin—the cabin even his family didn’t know about—set on two hundred acres in the Colorado Mountains.

Last night, however, Jack had stayed at the chalet because of the early flight this morning, and before leaving the house, he’d sat out front with his motorcycle engine roaring beneath him, reminding him that he was still alive. When he’d reached the bottom of his steep driveway, instead of turning left as he always had, he looked right toward the site of Linda’s accident. Eighty-seven paces. Less than three seconds from our driveway. Flashes of painful memories had attacked, and he’d gritted his teeth against the gnawing in his gut. It should have been me.

In one breath he wanted to leave behind the guilt and the anger of having lost her and move forward. He missed seeing his brothers, sister, and parents. He missed hearing their voices, sharing the details of their lives, and he even missed their loud family dinners. In the next breath he pushed the idea of finding a path back to them into the dark recesses of his mind and allowed the familiar anger and guilt to wrap its claws around him and seed in his mind, tightening each one of his powerful muscles, before he revved his engine and sped away. Jack didn’t know the first thing about moving on, and no matter how much he might want to, he wasn’t sure he ever would.

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