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Extreme Whiteout

Written by Sadie West

Copyright 2017 by Sadie West


Other Short Stories By Sadie West

Available at SmashWords

Driving the Lane

Odd-Man Out

“Extreme Whiteout”

Sadie West Writing As Anna Abner

Novels


Spell of Summoning (Dark Caster Series Book One)

Spell of Binding (Dark Caster Series Book Two)

Spell of Vanishing (Dark Caster Series Book Three)

Spell of Shattering (Dark Caster Series Book Four)


Elixir (Red Plague Trilogy Book One)

Antidote (Red Plague Trilogy Book Two)

Panacea (Red Plague Trilogy Book Three)

The Red Plague Boxed Set

Remedy (A Red Plague Novella)


Shopgirl’s Prophecy (Beasts of Vegas Series Book One)


Short Stories

(Free to read on Wattpad and AnnaAbner.com)


The Night Trevor’s Soul Came Loose

Shadow Cells


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Happy reading!


Extreme Whiteout

Matthew Sucre trudged through twelve inches of fresh snow to retrieve the mail from his box near a backcountry highway, his speckled dog Scout at his heels. The good part about fresh powder was he’d be snowboarding nonstop, photographing and recording everything for Snowboarder Magazine’s blog. The bad part was every once in a while, he had to walk around in it, which was not as much fun as gliding over it.

“You’re keeping up like a champ,” he said to the top of Scout’s gray and white head. “Snow doesn’t slow you down, does it, handsome?” Happy to be recognized, Scout pranced in a circle.

There wouldn’t be much snowboarding for a couple days, though, not if the thunderous, black clouds sweeping overhead were any indication. The local weatherman was forecasting another four inches of snow overnight. What, a week ago, was supposed to be a light flurry was now being termed as a full-blown storm. If it got any worse, it might ruin Matthew’s assignment outside the Mt. Baker resort in the northern Cascades.

Something crunched across the street, and Scout barked from behind Matthew’s calves. His neighbor, the one who looked like a sexy accountant, appeared along his snow-covered driveway.

The only other human being for miles was tall and beautiful, his black hair curling appealingly beneath a navy knit cap. He waved and smiled, showing straight, white teeth.

“Shh,” Matt warned a still barking Scout. “Don’t scare him off.” Louder, he said, “Morning.”

“Morning,” the man called back. “You’re renting for the week?”

Matthew nodded. “Just got here last night. I’m Matthew Sucre. Are you a resident?” he asked, smiling.

The man shrugged. “It’s my vacation home.”

Since his break-up, Matthew was keeping his options open, and this man’s superhero shoulders were definitely piquing his interest. His eyes lazily assessed everything from his rugged boots to his nerdy glasses. Their eyes met.

Matthew looked away, embarrassed to be caught staring. “Well, it’s good to meet you.” He felt silly. He slapped his pile of advertisements against his thigh. He had never been good at flirting. “Sorry, I’m being nosy. My ex-boyfriend always said I was too nosy.”

“I’m Noah Kentler,” he said, grinning. “Ex-boyfriend, huh? No current boyfriend?”

“No,” Matthew said. “Not currently.” He glanced up to catch Noah’s reaction. “You?”

Noah huffed an affable laugh. “Not currently.” He nodded at Scout. “Who’s this?”

“Scout.” At the sound of his name, the silly dog yipped, and Matthew scratched his ears.

“I don’t have a dog,” Noah said, “but I’ve been thinking of rescuing one.”

“You should.” Matthew took a breath and a chance, saying quickly, “Maybe you could come by later and have a cup of hot cocoa? We could talk breeds.”

Matthew wasn’t a one-night stand kind of guy. His last relationship had lasted over a year, and they were still friends. Drifting apart was no one’s fault. Not really. So, he hoped Noah understood the invitation wasn’t a booty call. Matthew tried to telegraph sincerity through his gaze and his smile.

Noah made strong eye contact in return. “I’d love that. I’m planning on hiking up to the Crag today, and it’s supposed to be a cold one. Cocoa would be amazing.” He collected his mail. “I’ll see you later.”

“Yeah.” Matthew waved. “See you.”

Noah disappeared, and Matthew hissed, “Holy shit,” before plodding back to his house with Scout. “He’s adorable.”

The moment he closed the front door against the chilly air, Matthew gathered miscellaneous gear and articles of clothing from the living room furniture and tossed them either into either his hall closet or the laundry hamper. He washed the dishes in the sink and tidied the bathroom, too, just to be safe. Finally, he checked his stock of cocoa and found, to his relief, half a dozen paper packets in the cupboard.

He purposefully did not straighten up the bedroom on the off-chance things got heated and he was tempted to drag Noah into it. This way, he could keep things casual in the front of the cabin. He wanted Noah to know he took their first date seriously.

But Matthew didn’t see Noah that night.

Worried and a little annoyed because he’d been looking forward to getting to know him better, Matthew stared at the pair of empty mugs on his kitchen counter until late afternoon.

Just in case he might catch sight of his neighbor, Matthew returned to the mailbox at dusk, but he only stayed a moment. The temperature had dropped, and a flurry was falling, making every step an endeavor. He shielded his eyes to see the peak of the Crag—a favorite of hikers—rising sharply in the east. As he stared, a flare wobbled into the air from somewhere near the base and burst into orange sparks before fading away.

A call for help.

Matthew frowned, waiting for some further sign of what to do. He glanced at the sky as more and more snow dusted him. The storm was moving in. Whoever was firing their flare gun out near the Crag would have to wait. No matter how much he wanted to help.


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