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Chapter 11 (Right before the LOVE scene :} )
The sun slipped over the horizon, casting long shadows over the ravines and valleys that rested around the mountain. The blades of the helicopter chopped through the air as the EMTs loaded Ryan onto a stretcher and into the bird.
One of the male life-flight nurses turned to Dane. “You sure you don’t want a ride out? We can send someone for the horses.”
Dane shook his head. Aura had been adamant about staying with the horses and getting them down the mountain and back to some level of safety.
“Hell of a day you picked to come up on the mountain. Didn’t you hear there’s another storm coming in?” The man looked at him like he’d lost his mind.
Hell, maybe he had lost his mind. He’d spent his day on the frigid peak of a mountain, looking for a woman that was more than likely dead. The shit he did in the name of a good looking woman…What was wrong with him?
Aura was sitting on a stump away from the chopper’s wash; she slumped down and kept glancing over, almost as if she was afraid of the helicopter. A woman was looking at her arm. The EMT shrugged as if she too was just as confused with the state of the new wound. Aura smiled and pulled her arm back and shoved her tattered coat’s sleeve down. His officer senses kicked into high gear. Something about her was just wrong.
“Did you hear me?” the EMT yelled.
He shook his head and looked back to the man standing at his side. “What?”
“You and your friend need to get off the mountain as soon as possible. They’re giving a winter storm warning. I bet this place will get three feet of fresh snow by morning.”
Any goddamned evidence that hid under the snow would be hidden until the spring now. Their odds of finding a trace of Natalie up here was as likely as his brother deciding to not be an asshole—which wasn’t ever going to happen.
“We’ll get down the mountain as soon as we can.”
The pilot pointed toward the horizon where the sun had disappeared, but a thin line of light still permeated the evening. “You sure you can get out in the dark? I don’t want to be back up tomorrow on a recovery mission where we try to find your bodies.”
The man was right, it would be precarious heading back down the steep mountain trail in the dark, but he had a flashlight and blankets if they were forced to stop. He was a Montanan and a former Boy Scout—he didn’t go anywhere unprepared.
“We’ll be careful packing out. If we aren’t out by mid-day tomorrow send in the cavalry.”
The man smiled. “Will do.” He motioned for the other nurse.
Dane walked over to Aura and put his hand on her shoulder. “You okay? You sure you don’t want to ride out with them? I can get the horses out on my own, you know.”
She glanced over at the helicopter. “There’s no way I’m getting on that damned thing. At least not while I’m alive.”
If they didn’t get out before the storm broke it was possible that she would be getting the ride she didn’t want. They needed to get moving…
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