“Sounds good. Check in with us, though, okay? Don’t forget, the landline still works up there.”
“We’ll be fine, Dad. Don’t worry. Let Kaylee know I’ll keep Timberlynn safe.” Tanner shot me a smirk and then winked.
“Will do. Stay warm and pray we don’t lose power.”
“Talk soon, Dad.”
Tanner set the walkie-talkie down on the table and stared at me, the corner of his mouth tilted up ever so slightly. His eyes sparkled like stars in the night sky.
My chest bubbled with excitement at the look in his eyes, and it nearly had me reaching for him and begging him to kiss me. Anticipation raced through my body as he stared at me. I’d never wanted anyone to touch me, to hold me, to make love to me like I wanted Tanner to in this very moment. “What is this feeling?” I whispered.
He smiled and pushed a piece of hair behind my eyes. “I’m not sure, darlin’.”
I closed my eyes and leaned into the hand he placed on the side of my face. “When I’m with you, I feel like I’m floating away from everything. I’m in a bubble of pure happiness. I have to keep asking myself if this is all real.”
“It’s real, Timber.” Tanner leaned in and gently kissed me. The kiss was tender, almost shy at first. His tongue ran along my lips, causing me to open to him. The moment his tongue touched mine, a zap of energy raced between us. Tanner let out a soft moan, and I nearly melted. Then, the sweet heat was gone as fast as it came. Before the kiss could get out of control, Tanner pulled back.
He leaned his forehead against mine and attempted to control his breathing. Then, he smiled and said, “It’s like a freefall.”
I smiled as I let out a soft chuckle. “It does feel like that.”
“Let me get a fire going and look at our food. If I don’t, I’m going to peel your clothes off right here on the sofa, and we’ll never have the energy for the things I plan on doing to you.”
“Oh,” I said, thinking that sounded like a rather good idea.
Tanner got up and walked over to the fireplace. He placed a few logs on it and then opened up a fire starter and slid it under the wood before he lit it. Soon the soft glow from the roaring fire sent shadows cascading across the logs. It gave off a romantic feel as I glanced around and really took everything in. I was on a simple tan leather sofa with two matching chairs that sat on each side. In the middle was a large wooden coffee table. Across the room was a dining room with a farmhouse table that sat four. One large picture window took up a good portion of the entire exterior wall.
I stood and turned around the best I could on one foot. The interior walls were all logs, with windows sprinkled throughout to take advantage of the lake and what I imagined were stunning mountain views. I looked up and saw wood plank ceilings with wooden beams going across. An antler chandelier hung from the ceiling and I smiled. That was certainly the touch of Ty Senior. Gently, I put a bit of weight on my foot as I walked.
“Hey, what are you doing?” Tanner said, coming to take hold of me.
“I wanted to see the rest of the house.”
He bent to pick me up, and I stopped him. “No, let me walk on it some.”
“It might be more than a sprain, Timber.”
“I’ll let you know if it becomes too painful.”
Tanner drew in a deep breath, then sighed. “You are stubborn, aren’t you?”
I flashed him my sweetest smile. He shook his head and let me put my weight on him as we walked into the kitchen.
“Wow! This kitchen is beautiful!” Dark walnut cabinets with a light gray tumbled tile backsplash gave the kitchen a simple yet elegant look. The stone counters, light in color as well, made the room feel bigger and airy. A vintage stove in cream and black served as the centerpiece for the entire kitchen. Another large window sat over the sink. “This is my dream kitchen!”
Tanner laughed. “Really? My father and I actually made all the cabinets in here.”
“Shut up! Seriously?” I asked as I looked back at him.
“Yep. I’ll be sure to tell him how impressed you were with them.”
I chuckled and walked through the kitchen. “I may have to hire you both for my place.”
“No hiring necessary, babe, I’ll gladly do anything you need me to.”
Wanting to continue the tour, I asked, “How many bedrooms are in the house?”
“Three bedrooms and two baths. My uncle Rob first built the log cabin, but it started out much smaller, and after he died, Granddad and my father added onto it and made it bigger. Family and friends can stay here when they visit if they don’t want to stay at the main house. Most of the time, though, it sits empty. I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that I would live here someday.”
“I’m surprised Brock and Ty haven’t claimed it,” I said.
Tanner chuckled. “I think they know it means more to me. Beck and I worked on the house a lot with my father, and then after Beck died, it was a project Dad and I finished up.”
I could hear the pride, as well as the emotion, in his voice. “It would be a beautiful place to live.”
He nodded. “I think so. But who knows what will happen?”
Tanner showed me a mudroom, a guest bedroom, another room that was set up as an office, and then the master bedroom. It was simple in size, but the massive logs and large windows made it all so beautiful. There was a screened-in porch off of the master bedroom, and I imagined it would be perfect during the summer. Large windows covered the entire wall of the master bedroom. The bathroom was also simple in size, but so beautifully done. The stand-up shower had a window in it damn near from the floor to the ceiling.
“It’s like we stepped outside with all these windows,” I softly said as I hobbled up to the large window to watch the snow falling outside. “Does it always snow like this in the winter?”
Tanner walked up beside me. “Sometimes, but not often. We’ll get the normal snowstorms that pass through, but this one is going to dump a lot of snow. We’re probably going to have to have Ty or Brock plow the road to the cabin and bring Pogo back in the trailer.”
My chest pinched with the sudden rush of anxiety. Living in Atlanta, I had never really experienced being snowed in before. “You’re kidding…it’s going to snow that much?”
He nodded as he stared out the window.
I swallowed hard and asked, “How long will we have to be here, do you think?”
He shrugged. “Most likely just for a night, maybe two depending on how fast it moves out.”
My eyes closed, and I inwardly cursed myself. “I’m so sorry, Tanner.” I looked down at the floor. “It’s because of me we’re stuck and you’re not with your family right now.”
He placed his finger under my chin and lifted my head so that our gazes locked. “Trust me when I say this, I would much rather be trapped in this cabin with you for a few days. I’m sure we can find all kinds of interesting things to pass the time while we’re here.”
“That does sound rather nice. It will give us a chance to get to know one another even more.”
He raised his brows, and I couldn’t help but shake my head and laugh at him. “Stop it.”
Tanner cleared his throat and glanced over toward the bathroom. “Listen, why don’t you take a warm shower? You’ll feel better. I’ve got some spare clothes in the master bedroom. I’ll turn up the heat in here so it gets warmer. Then, let me go see what they stocked the kitchen with, and we can eat an early dinner.”
He looked at his watch. “It’s almost four, so by the time you shower, and I get something made, it’ll be perfect timing.”
“Sounds good,” I said as I limped my way back into the master bathroom. It had the same dark cabinets as the kitchen. There was also a large soaking tub tucked into a little corner that had picture windows on all three sides. Nothing fancy, but enough room for two people to soak in it. I quickly pushed away the visual of Tanner and me in that tub together.
I placed my hands on my instantly hot cheek
s and smiled.
Two sinks sat next to each other on the stone counter. It was the cutest bathroom I’d ever seen, and I couldn’t help but wish for the briefest moment that this house was for sale.
I quickly stripped out of my clothes, turned on the hot shower and stepped in. It took a few moments for me to relax as I stared at the window and wondered if anyone might be able to see me. With a laugh, I brushed away my fear. Apparently, I was the only fool who went out riding with a storm on the horizon. Instead, I let the hot water run down my body and tried not to fantasize about Tanner being in this shower with me.
After I heard the shower turn on, I made my way back to the kitchen and looked through the cabinets and refrigerator. There was plenty of food to last three to four days. I figured we’d be here for at least two.
I walked over to the landline and dialed my folks’ number. My mother’s voice came on the line. “Tanner, how is Timberlynn doing?”
With a smile, I replied, “She’s fine. The power is on here. How about there?”
“It’s on here too. How’s her ankle?”
“Not broken, but she twisted it pretty good.”
Mom sighed. “There should be some aspirin or Tylenol in the master bathroom in the cabinet.”
“Okay, I’ll be sure to check if she hasn’t already. She’s taking a shower.”
“Thank goodness your father had Jimmy bring in that food. The storm looks to have stalled. You might be there until at least tomorrow afternoon.”
“Don’t worry, Mama, it’s not going to be a hardship.”
She laughed. “No, I imagine it won’t. I’m sure Timberlynn wouldn’t have gone out if she had known how fast this storm was moving in.”
I rubbed the back of my neck and looked toward the hall where Timberlynn was in the master suite. I could hear the water running, so I knew she was still in the shower. “Yeah, she feels bad about it.”