Rachel’s only flying back to Sioux Falls because it’s her brother Justin’s college graduation. The last thing she wants to do is confront her painful past and the people who made it that way. Florida is her home. Other than her beloved little brother, her friends are her “family.”
Native-Floridian Andrew is Rachel’s friend and play partner. Having been burned recently by an ex, he’s not in a hurry to commit. Fortunately, neither is Rachel. But as the weekend progresses and misadventures abound, the two take chances neither expected. Especially when a sudden death in Rachel’s extended family forces her to spend far more time with them than she’d planned.
When an unexpected ice storm traps them in Sioux Falls for the week, the heat rises in their hotel room. Now, if the two can survive a myriad of self-inflicted accidents—including attack vibrators and an unintended off-label use of hand sanitizer—they might just be able to survive anything.
When the power plant alarm blared in his right ear on the nightstand between the beds, Andrew frantically groped for it to shut it off. That’s when he realized the TV was on, but muted. It was the only light in the room other than the bathroom light.
“Good morning, sleepyhead,” Rachel said.
“Oh, my god,” he moaned. “It’s fucking eaaarrrlyyy.”
“You are not a morning person, are you?”
He peeled an eye open and stared at her. It looked like she’d already gotten her shower, dressed, and packed before his alarm even went off.
Somehow, without waking him in the process.
Okay, so she’s a ninja subby. “No I’m not a fucking morning person. I already warned you about that.” He lifted his head. “Why are you even vertical? How are you vertical? I don’t smell coffee.”
“I’m used to getting up early.”
“What time is it?”
“Almost?” His head flopped back onto the pillow. “Motherfucker,” he muttered. “I’m beginning to think you’re a damn sadist.”
“Want me to make you a cup of coffee?”
“You’d better, because I take absolutely zero responsibility for anything I say before coffee. Or even during or immediately after coffee. My body needs some time to get the caffeine absorbed and processed so the peopling skills can kick in and make the world safe against me and my evil superpowers. There’s a damn good reason why I work from home and this is one of those reasons.”
He arched an eyebrow at her. “Are you seriously vertical and dressed and ready to go right now?”
She nodded. “Yeah. Been ready for about fifteen minutes.”
He finally rolled over, closer to the edge of the bed. “Motherfucker,” he muttered again with a sigh. “This is damn early.”
“I know.” Her voice changed. “And I really appreciate it.”
It was her tone of voice that finally sliced through the tendrils of sleep tenaciously clinging to his system. Yes, that was it. He had a metaphorical dragon to slay for this particular lady.
With a heavy sigh, he dragged himself into a sitting position. “How long do I have to get ready?”
“We need to be downstairs for the airport shuttle in thirty minutes.”
“Okay.” He sat there for a moment as she started getting the little kid-sized coffeemaker going. “Sorry if I’m grumpy today.”
“No worries. I understand.”
He finally forced himself up onto his feet and grabbed everything he needed for his shower. “For the record, since we’re sharing a room this weekend, I’m not bashful, although I won’t walk around buck-naked. Unless you ask me to.”
She gave him a smile he was torn between wanting to love and terrified of because it wasn’t caffeinated. “Don’t worry. You’ve seen me naked plenty of times. If I didn’t trust you, I wouldn’t have asked you along or roomed with you.”
He’d almost made it to the bathroom when he turned. “You might regret having me room with you after a couple of days of me and not enough caffeine in me.”