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“I do appreciate you taking me in when you didn’t have to. So again, thank you.“

In answer, she received a grunt from Sawyer and Karter before they ordered her to take a seat at the table.

Feeling ravenous, but also not wanting to appear so, Harper pulled in her stomach in case it decided to growl, given she was already salivating over the thick steaks and corn on a cob laid on the table.

“I don’t want to overstep your hospitality, so I’ll just take a seat by the fire until the storm passes.”

The cabin was bigger than she had expected, very clean with a comfortable man cave kind of vibe. She gravitated toward the fire in the open plan dining room kitchen area and warmed her hands.

“Sit,” Sawyer said sternly to her, disrupting every cell in her body. She didn’t take authoritative commands very well so she couldn’t understand why she sat her butt down in a chair and accepted the plate Karter put in front of her.

Karter sat next to her and Ryder and Sawyer were opposite them. Ryder hadn’t removed his beanie and kept his head down all the time as they ate.

The silence was killing her.

“Are you originally from New York?”


“Are you here on vacation?” Harper glanced around the cabin one more time. She could definitely see people coming to stay here.


No? So they lived here?

“How long have you lived here?”

“Long enough.”

“You’re lumberjacks, then?”

She received a grunt as a reply.

“Consummate conversationalists, I see.”

Growing tired of their short answers to her attempt to make conversation, she refused to say another word. She carried on eating, ignoring the three grouchy bears surrounding her.

The steak was actually better than she expected and so were the vegetables on the side. She wondered who cooked it. Maybe Karter. Or Sawyer. Definitely not Ryder. He was too busy scowling.

She took a couple more mouthfuls and closed her eyes as the wholesome sustenance recuperated her strength. That also made her want to try having a conversation with them again.

“Okay but how long is this storm going to last? I have to be somewhere else.”

“A week, maybe ten days before—”

“A week? I can’t be here for a week. I just can’t. I’ll go mad. You don’t understand. I need to leave right now.” She sprang up from the chair, completely agitated now.

There was no way she could endure a week here in this cabin. She would lose her mind, that was the truth.

“Okay look. I appreciate your help, but if you let me have your vehicle I promise I will repay you. My dad is a brain surgeon and he’ll pay you for the car as soon as I contact him. Do you have a phone I could use? I can’t seem to get a signal on mine.”

“Cell reception has been down since last week.”


“We’re not giving you a vehicle.”

“What? Why not?”

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