Sorry about last week everyone. Good news is my latest WIP in rollicking along, so at least there's a good reason :)
So on to number four:
Decca waited in the designated parking lot for her last members of her latest tour group to arrive. She jumped down from where she sat on the back of her truck and called over the two hikers who had been keen enough they’d beaten her to their rendezvous point.
“I may as well double check your packs now and save some time when the others get here.”
“Sure” Don and Susan Littleman were in their early sixties and finding a new lease of life. They’d hiked with her twice last season; this year they were moving up to the more advanced trails this summer. She really didn’t think there would be anything amiss in their preparations, but they paid her to make sure and keep them as safe as she could.
A vehicle pulling in behind her made her turn, and she watched a very familiar young man step out of a compact car and shyly make his way over to the group.
“Ah… hi everyone.”
“Lewis?” She’d been expecting Bly’s boss’ stepson, and hadn’t even thought to link that Lewis with their Lewis, the Shoe Guy. What an interesting turn of events.
“Good morning, Decca. I hope I’m not late.” Lewis looked around nervously. “The fog held me up a little.”
A smile slipped over her lips and she had a hard job to not lick her lips in anticipation. Lewis was cute -- he was so earnest, seemed so innocent and untouched. “Not late at all.”
Another car pulled up and they all looked over as two college girls fell out, coffee clutched in their hands and complaining about how early it was.
Half an hour later she was pleasantly surprised to find they were just about to hit the trail. Both girls and Lewis had been well prepared; although she’d suffered a few dirty looks for making the girls leave their makeup bags and part of their large supply of chocolate bars behind.
She was placing the parking permit in her windscreen when her phone rang.
“Emma, I’m glad I reached you before you left. I just got off the phone with Travis, he wants me with you this week.”
“He does?” The only time Bly had been with her on a group tour was when he’d come on his own time. The Park Ranger service had never seen the need to monitor her individually before, which must mean there was something wrong.
“An early fisherman found a car this morning. It was burnt out, with the plates missing. -- it’s the same one we’ve been hunting for in relation to the drug running.”
“Shit.” Bly had been spending long hours trying to track down some sort of drug running group that was using the park as a base; maybe even producing somewhere amongst the thousands upon thousands of acres of uninhabited land.
“Yeah, no tours will be going on the advanced trails without a Park Ranger accompanying them. Travis wants me with you since it makes life easier.”
“How far away are you?”
“I packed as Travis was filling me in. I’m just leaving the house now so I should be there in thirty.”
“Make it forty-five, Lewis tells me some fog has come down.”
“Yes, I’ve a little surprise for you.” Decca flipped the phone shut with a snap, and went to tell her little group about the delay.
Bly made good time, and Decca enjoyed seeing his face when he pulled up he saw who was uneasily sitting beside her waiting for him to arrive. She slid down and strolled over to Bly’s SUV, and leaned in as he wound down the window. “Surprise!”
One of Bly’s eyebrows went up as he focused over her shoulder. “My day is starting to look up.” Bly focused back on Decca again. “This is a four day hike, right?”
Decca nodded, and Bly’s lips pursed a little. “E-x-cell-ent!”
What I need for next week:
Need something with the drugs - are they going to find a lab, a plantation of weed, or encounter someone who shouldn't be there?
Who should make a move on Lewis first? Bly or Decca.
Why did Travis want Lewis to go out with Decca on this hike/tour?
Need something quirky that they encounter on the trail.
any other suggestions?