Snowed In with Her Ex

By: Andrea Laurence

 One

“This is not good.”

As though the universe had heard Ian’s words, the tires on his Cadillac Escalade skidded on a patch of ice. He corrected the truck’s erratic movement and steered it back into the lane and away from the deep ditch on the side of the road. Gripping the leather steering wheel with white-knuckled tension, he cursed and silently thanked his assistant for making sure he left first thing this morning. Any later and he might not have made it.

The snowflakes were growing increasingly difficult to see through and were collecting along the side of the road. On the freeway from Nashville toward Gatlinburg, the weather had changed from rain to sleet to an icy slush. Now, in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, it was one hundred percent snow.

And a lot of it.

At the bottom of the hill that led to his mountainside community, he backed up slightly, put his SUV into a lower gear and started accelerating up the incline. Slow and steady, he made it up and around the long, winding curve to his driveway at the very top, then pulled into the garage.

Ian grabbed his bag from the passenger’s seat and stepped out. He walked to the door to his cabin, pushed a button and watched the snow continue to fall until the garage door closed and blocked out the inclement weather he hadn’t planned for.

He should’ve known this would happen. It was just one more thing in a string of screwups that had plagued his life the past few months. He knew that he should think of them as happy accidents, but he couldn’t help but feel trapped by his circumstances. This weather was no exception.

Ian never came to the mountains in January or February. The weather was always too unpredictable this time of year. Living at the top of a mountain was luxurious and the view was incredible, but you could only benefit from it if you could get up there. He wouldn’t be here now except that his fiancée, Missy, had insisted they take their engagement photos at the mountain house. Against his better judgment, he’d agreed.

Ian set his bag on the granite countertop and glanced out the bay window to the valley below him. It was a sea of white out there. At this rate, the few inches on the ground would easily reach half a foot or more. “No accumulation of note.” He snorted after mimicking what the man on the news had said last night. Missy had left from Atlanta, so maybe the weather was better from the south, but likely it wasn’t. He was pretty sure Missy wouldn’t be able to make it up the mountain in her little Jaguar.

And the photographer... Who knew what kind of car he or she would be driving. If this storm had surprised him, it had probably surprised everyone.

Thank goodness he’d had the cabin stocked with supplies. Ian walked around the kitchen, opening the cabinets and the refrigerator to inspect the contents. There was enough to feed them for several days, as requested. His caretakers were a married couple who lived down the hill. They kept the grounds tidy and the cabin clean and well maintained. Before he made a trip to the house, he would give Rick and Patty a list of food and supplies and they would see to it that everything was there.

Sometimes Patty would even do a little extra to welcome Ian home. Today there was a bottle of champagne chilling in the refrigerator door and a pair of flutes sitting on the counter by a vase of fresh flowers. Neither had been on his list, so that was Patty’s way of congratulating him and his new fiancée on their engagement.

She must have somehow missed the announcement that Missy was eight weeks pregnant. Missy had gushed about their newly forming family to anyone who would listen—from her two million Facebook fans to the journalist at some tabloid magazine. Ian didn’t think there was a person left in the United States who didn’t know about his personal business.

They would wed in March at a venue in Nashville that Missy had chosen. Ian had not been involved with the details. He had told himself, and Missy, that he was busy with work so she could plan whatever she liked. It was her big day, after all. The truth was that he was still coming to terms with all the new developments in his life. But he was hoping to turn that around.

He wanted this baby to be welcomed into a happy, loving family and he was willing to make the effort to turn that into a reality in the next seven months. It would take work on both their parts. Missy wasn’t the easiest woman to be with. She was demanding, spoiled and used to people constantly telling her how wonderful she was.

They weren’t a love match by any stretch of the imagination, but Ian was beginning to think love and the trappings that went with it were just a myth, anyway. Any marriage took work. Their situation might not be ideal, but she was going to have his baby and they were getting married.

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