Blissfully Undone, p.1Red Phoenix
Copyright 2012 by Red Phoenix
Book cover design by Erin Dameron-Hill; Phoenix symbol by Nicole Delfs
Thanks to my content editor Tameika Ortiz & my beta readers Ava Rene VonGiebel and Kathy M. Krick
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental.
Adult Reading Material
Disclaimer: The material in this book is for mature audiences only and contains graphic sexual content. It is intended only for those age 18 and older.
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About the Author Red Phoenix
Jenny grabbed her luggage and threw it in Dan’s car, her hair whipping crazily from a sudden blast of chilling wind. “So where is Kelly? I thought she was going to help us get the cabin ready.”
Dan smiled uneasily. “Well, you know Kelly. Said she was running late and would meet us up there.”
She snorted in disgust as she got into his car. “I don’t know how you put up with that woman.” Although Kelly was her best friend, Jenny resented how she always seemed to ‘run late’ when work needed to be done.
“So where is Ryan?” Dan asked with a smirk, as he drove them to the discount supermarket.
“Oh, Mr. Workaholic had just one more meeting. So you know what that means…”
“Yep, we get to run all the errands before we head up.”
“And I really hate grocery shopping,” Jenny complained. “I suggest we only buy things we like. Screw those two!”
Dan laughed. “Why not? Let’s go all out.”
Jenny loved the ease she felt around Dan. The four of them were that perfect combination of friends. The couples had met in college three years ago, and still hung out together. Kelly and Dan were nicknamed the Blondies for obvious reasons, and Jenny was part of the Brownhead team. Jenny had some Cherokee blood running in her veins from her dad’s side. It gave her an exotic look with her long, dark hair and soft, brown eyes. Ryan was her perfect match because of his chocolate-brown curls—everyone said so.
Jenny appreciated how rare it was that Kelly’s boyfriend was best friends with her boyfriend. It made trips like this a ton more fun. The four pretty much did everything together, including vacations to Jamaica and Hawaii. This weekend it was Dan’s family cabin up in the mountains.
“I’ve got a suggestion,” Dan said. “Since you and I hate to cook, let’s just buy convenience foods. You know, all that premade crap that Kelly and Ryan hate.”
She chuckled. “Oh, I like the way you think!” she said as she grabbed a shopping cart and headed inside.
The two of them were sinful the way they filled up the cart with chemically enhanced foods. She knew Ryan was going to have a cow, but he deserved it.
Dan threw in some marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. Jenny patted his shoulder enthusiastically. “Yay! I’ve never had s’mores before.”
“Wow. I didn’t appreciate what a sheltered life you’ve led, Jenny. How else can I corrupt you this weekend?”
She grinned, looking down the row of food. “I’ve never had Vienna sausages.”
“Done.” Dan threw six cans of the little sausages into the cart.
The snow was starting to accumulate on the roads by the time they finished packing their stock of liquor into the car. “Plenty of food and booze, I think we’re set. I sure hope they get on the road soon. It is going to ice up fast,” Jenny fretted.
“Don’t worry. Kelly promised to leave by four. What about Ryan?”
“He’s not leaving the meeting until five. He’ll be driving in the dark by the time he gets there.”
“Maybe you should call him and suggest a quicker exit.”
Jenny called his cell, but Ryan didn’t pick up. She left a message and then another one at his office. “That’s the best I can do. Hope he listens to it in time.”
Dan started his car and grinned at her. “I know Ryan. A blinking light at his desk will drive him crazy. He’ll get your message.”
The drive up proved to be more difficult than they expected. The mountains had at least ten inches of snow and the flakes were still falling with a vengeance. “You want to turn back?” Jenny asked.
“No, we’re almost there. The weathermen said it should be a quick storm. I’m sure it’ll clear up some before they get here.”
They arrived at Dan’s cabin after four. The sky was dark and heavy with snow. It didn’t appear to Jenny that it was stopping anytime soon. “Dan, we better get a fire going first thing. I can just imagine Kelly’s agitated state after driving up. Nothing calms her more than a warm fire.”
He nodded in agreement. “I’ll grab some firewood after we get the supplies in.”
While Dan took care of the wood, Jenny ripped off the covers from the furniture and loaded the dishwasher. Experience from past trips had taught her that the dishes needed a quick wash to get rid of the taste of disuse. Then she went about making the beds.
Dan came in with a huge armful of wood. “I’ll get more in the morning, but this should be plenty for the night. Thank goodness we have power! I can’t imagine how cold this place would get without it, especially with the wind starting to pick up. Kelly and Ryan better get here soon.”
Jenny glanced nervously at the clock. “Do you think they’re all right?”
Dan’s smile was reassuring. “Don’t worry. Both Kelly and Ryan are capable drivers. They’ll be here within the hour, I’m sure of it.”
The two snacked on Doritos and Vienna sausages while they waited. Dan had a pleasant fire going and Jenny put rocking tunes on. Both of them were Blue October fans, so she decided to indulge in the emotionally potent lyrics as they munched.
Dan sighed when Congratulations came on. “This song always makes me sad.”
“It is a sad song, isn’t it? Justin must have really loved the girl.”
“I enjoy the angst in his songs, don’t you?” Jenny said, thrilled to share her enthusiasm for the music. Ryan never listened to lyrics—they weren’t his thing. “Justin’s work is so real and raw.”
He agreed. “The man definitely puts his soul out for public consumption.”
“I wish more singers were open and real like that.”
Dan cleared his throat and said, “It takes guts to put your feelings on the table.”
Jenny jumped on his comment with an attempt at a witty retort. “I suppose guts on the table are bound to get eaten.” When he didn’t laugh she suddenly felt uncomfortable and moved over to the fireplace, deciding to change the subject. “I’ve always liked fires.”
Dan lost his pensive look and stood next to her. “Warm fire, good music, bad-for-you food, what could be better?”
“Only thing that would make this perfect is Ryan and Kelly showing up. Of course, I’d have to turn off the music and apologize for the raunchy food,” she said,
Dan winked and took out his cell to call Kelly. Although his phone showed one bar, he couldn’t get any reception. Jenny’s phone had been rendered useless the moment they drove into the mountains. He opened the door to hold his phone outside. Wind and snow whipped through the little cabin, nearly blowing out the fire. He quickly slammed the door shut. “Damn, it’s turning into a full-blown blizzard. I’m afraid if they don’t arrive soon, it’ll be too late.”
After another hour passed, Jenny began pacing. “I’m really worried about them.”
“Jenny, neither Ryan nor Kelly would risk their lives if the roads are bad. They must be waiting out the storm. We’ll see them tomorrow.”
“Yeah, okay. You’re right. Both are extremely practical.” She took a deep breath to calm herself and then started checking through the closet for her favorite game to keep her mind occupied. “Hey, do you know what happened to Settlers of Catan? It was here the last time we came up.”
He opened his mouth to reply when the lights suddenly went out. “Oh shit.”
The lights sputtered on for a couple of seconds and then went dead again. The glow from the fire cast eerie shadows on Dan’s face. “Did we just lose power?” she whimpered.
“Yep, we’re screwed.” He threw the last few logs on the fireplace. “I’ll get more wood in the morning, but I think we’d better head to bed before all the heat is gone.”
Jenny opened her bedroom door to allow the heat to enter. It was already freezing cold in the tiny room. The wind outside howled angrily and Jenny could feel a breeze coming from the window. She quickly donned her flannels in the dark and jumped into the bed. Jenny yelped when she slipped under the cold sheets.
“You okay in there?” Dan called out.
“Yeah, just a freezing bed. I’m fine.” Jenny shivered until her body heat started to warm the covers. It seemed like hours before she fell asleep.
Her own teeth chattering woke her back up a short time later. She had never felt so cold in her life. Jenny wrapped the blankets tighter around herself, but it didn’t help. She stared at the wooden slats above her. How did the pioneers do it? This was fucking nuts. She curled her toes under her and put her hands in her armpits. She tried to fall asleep, but woke up to her own moaning. It was just too damn cold!
She cried out when she saw movement in the doorway. “It’s just me,” Dan said. “I heard you whimpering.”
Jenny’s teeth chattered when she answered. “I’m so cold.”
“Me, too. If you are not opposed, I think we should share our heat.” She nodded vigorously, desperately needing his warmth. “My room feels a little warmer than yours,” he offered.
Jenny pulled the blankets off the bed and followed him to the other bedroom. They piled all the covers onto his bed and she slipped under them. Jenny tried not to think how weird it was to be spooning Dan. He wrapped his arms around her and pressed up close. When she shifted to get more comfortable, she heard him catch his breath. Spooning Dan was definitely weird, but she was grateful for his body heat. Eventually his warmth radiated through her and her teeth stopped chattering.
“Better?” he asked.
“Much,” Jenny said drowsily, falling asleep soon after. The blizzard continued to swirl around the little cabin, but she survived the night in relative comfort.
Dan was the first to stir the next morning. “I don’t want to do this.”
“Do what?” she asked groggily.
“Get out of this warm bed.”
Jenny laughed. “I don’t blame you.”
“Yeah, but unless I get the firewood, we’ll have to stay here all day.”
“I’ll cheer you on from the bed.”
“That’s big of you,” he grumbled good-naturedly just before making the mad dash. Jenny heard him zip up his coat and stomp his boots several times. Then she heard the creak of the door and a loud, “Oh shit!”
“What? What’s wrong?”
“This is bad.”
Curiosity made her brave the cold. Jenny gasped when she saw the doorway completely blocked by snow, from top to bottom. “What the heck?”
“Yeah, we’re, like, literally snowed in.”
“What are we going to do?” she asked, trying to keep calm as she shivered in the frigid air. The thought of being snowed in completely freaked her out. With no electricity and no way to leave, she wasn’t sure how they would survive the cold.
He confirmed her fears when he said, “I have to get that firewood, Jenny. We’re not going to survive without it.” Dan grabbed a pot and scooped out a pan full of snow. She followed him as he walked to the bathroom and tossed it in the tub. Jenny quickly put on her coat, shoes, and gloves and grabbed another pot. The two began the arduous task of digging out. The positive in helping Dan was that Jenny got exceedingly warm working so hard.
Once they broke through the top layer of the snow, they were hit with blowing winds. The blizzard was still raging on. It took hours before they were able to dig their way to the woodpile. When Jenny hit the first log, she grabbed onto Dan, jumping up and down enthusiastically. “I found it! We’re saved!”
He hugged her and laughed with relief. “I never thought we would see that damn wood.” After digging out the woodpile, she helped him carry the logs into the cabin. The wood completely lined one wall. Lucky for them, there was a healthy supply. “I bet this will last at least a week,” Dan assured her.
By the time they finished stacking the last of it, both were starving. Jenny got out the donuts, precooked bacon and chocolate milk, grateful that they had chosen food that didn’t need preparation. After he got a fire going, she took a cast-iron pot and filled it with snow. “Coffee soon,” she announced, putting it on the edge of the fire.
“Great. By the way, thanks for all the help.”
“Kelly would have sat on the sidelines and told me I was taking too long.”
Jenny chuckled. “Yeah, she probably would have. Nice thing about working together is that we get to drink hot coffee sooner.”
“Yep, can’t wait.” Dan put his hands next to the fire, rubbing them together vigorously.
As she stared into the flames, she started thinking about Ryan and fear gripped her heart. “You don’t think they are stuck out there, do you?” Tears threatened to run down her cheeks when she thought of Ryan freezing in his car.
Dan walked over and put his arm around her. “No. I’m confident both are fine. Thankfully, we have enough supplies to wait out the storm. There’s no need to worry, Jenny. Trust me.”
She hesitantly pressed her head on his chest. For just a moment, she allowed herself to receive comfort in Dan’s embrace. Then Jenny grabbed a hot pad and poured the boiling water into two cups, stirring in the instant coffee. “Here you go, made fresh by me.”
“Nice.” He cupped the mug in his hands. “Nothing like a cup of hot coffee.”
“Agreed.” Jenny took a sip and cried out. “Hot! Too hot!”
Dan got up and opened the door. He came back with a handful of snow. He broke it in half, plopping one in her cup and handing her the other. “For your tongue.”
Jenny took it gratefully, stuffing the icy snow into her burning mouth. “Aww… bewwer,” she mumbled.
They spent the afternoon chatting about random stuff, trying to pass the time. After a few games of poker using pretzel sticks as money, Jenny started a more personal conversation. “So, when are you and Kelly planning on tying the knot?”
“Not sure it’ll ever happen.”
“Why not?” she asked, taken aback by his answer. She had naturally assumed the two of them would get married.
“I talked about marriage once but Kelly told me it wasn’t her thing. She doesn’t want to ruin what we have going. I’ve decided it’s for the best.”
“Oh! Well, I guess I can understand that. Her parents’ divorce did a number on Kelly. I suppose it is not too surprising she’s scared to give it a try.”
“Ryan wants to wait until he makes junior partner. You know him, gotta have all his ducks in a row before we can officially announce an engagement.”
Dan nodded his head knowingly. “That sounds about right. He does like everything planned out.”
“Yep, that’s my Ryan!” Jenny got up and brought back a bottle of wine. “I think we deserve to drink after such hard work this morning.”
“Sure, pour me a glass while I throw another log on the fire.” When Dan came back, Jenny had taken over the couch. She lifted her legs to make room for him. When he sat down, she put her feet in his lap. “What’s this, couch hog?” he asked with amusement.
“Just wanted to put my feet up. Got a problem with that?” She lifted her glass and took a sip of merlot.
“You sounded suspiciously like Kelly just now.”
Jenny choked on her wine and sputtered. “After years of being friends, I guess she’s bound to rub off on me.”
Dan asked casually, “You ever wonder what would have happened if you and I had met when we were single?”
“Um… no.” Jenny quickly took her feet off Dan’s lap and sat up. “Why?”
“You aren’t getting off that easy. You brought it up, so speak.”
Dan gazed at her with his dark brown eyes shining in the firelight. “I don’t know. We seem to click, don’t you think? I’ve always thought we’d make a good couple.”
Blissfully Undone by Red Phoenix / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes