Run, Hide(8)

By: Carol Ericson

“Okay, now that you both look funny, let’s go to Lovett Peak Ski Resort and get something to eat.”

“Isn’t that kind of...public?”

“Exactly.” He started the car and snapped on his seat belt. “It won’t be easy for them to...uh...snatch their cargo in the middle of a ski resort, even if it does occur to them to look there.”

Jenna’s creamy skin paled even more, and Cade mentally gave himself a good, swift kick. If she didn’t realize those guys were after Gavin, she did now. But maybe she needed to know.

Cade pulled the car into the parking lot of the ski resort, maneuvering around skiers and snowboarders packing it in for the day. He parked the car and waited while Jenna zipped up Gavin’s jacket and pulled his mittens onto his hands.

When Jenna had Gavin properly bundled, Cade slipped his weapon in the inside pocket of his jacket and got out of the car. He opened Jenna’s door and stood toe-to-toe with her for the first time since he’d blasted back into her life.

“You look good, Jenna.”

“Yeah, because I just caked on about two inches of makeup.”

He caught a long strand of the wig as it fluttered outside her hood and wrapped it around his finger. “I meant even before the disguise.”

“Oh, you mean when I was tearing down the street with my son tucked under my arm after just witnessing...” She trailed off, glancing down at Gavin crushed against her side.

“I mean...” She had no intention of making this easy on him. He disengaged his finger and yanked the hood off her head. “You’re a brunette. Let the casual observer see that.”

They crunched across the parking lot as a light snow began to fall. More skiers and snowboarders headed to their cars or the city and hotel shuttle buses, the boarders clomping along in their heavy boots.

Gavin pointed a mittened hand at one of them. “Snowboard.”

Cade’s hand hovered above Gavin’s head. He wanted to pick up his son, but would he allow that? Would his mother? “Have you been on a snowboard yet, Gavin?”

“No.” He skipped once and slipped on the slushy snow at the edge of the parking lot.

To save Gavin from a fall, Cade scooped him up in his arms and buried his face in his neck. He didn’t smell like a baby anymore. He smelled sticky and a little grungy. Just like a boy should.

Gavin laughed and kicked his legs. “Tickles.”

Cade released a pent-up breath. At least his son hadn’t pushed him away. “I’m ticklish, too.”

He met Jenna’s eyes over Gavin’s head. Ouch. Did her blue eyes have as much fire as this brown pair? Or had he just forgotten?

Never. He remembered every minute detail of Jenna’s face...and body.

“Uh, I’ll just carry him to the lodge, if that’s okay.”

“It’s okay with me.” She shrugged. “And Gavin is friendly. He’ll go with anyone.”

Double ouch.

They climbed the stairs to the cafeteria situated in the resort’s ski lodge. As Cade suspected, the après-ski crowd filled the restaurant, bodies, equipment and winter clothing taking up every spare inch of the place. He saw a few empty tables, but he didn’t want to split up from Jenna while someone grabbed a table and someone else grabbed the food.

“What sounds good?”

Jenna tipped her chin at the counter for Italian food. “Gavin likes pizza and there should be some pasta there, too.”

“Italian, it is.” Cade continued to hold Gavin so he could point out what kind of pizza he wanted, while he and Jenna decided on some pastas and sauces.

Jenna carried one tray with Gavin clinging to the pocket of her black jacket, and Cade gripped the other tray while negotiating the tables scattered around the cafeteria.

He zeroed in on a table by the fireplace where a set of parents and two kids were gathering their jackets and gloves. “Are you leaving?”

The dad handed a plastic tray to his son. “Yeah. Crazy in here, huh?”

“Crazy.” Cade nodded. He pulled out a plastic chair for Jenna with one hand as he set the tray down with the other. Gavin crawled into the chair next to his mom’s.

After several minutes of settling in, Jenna went for the throat. “So why are those people after us and what are you doing here?”

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