“Pick a color,” he said.
She pressed her index finger into her chin. “Hmm.” Then she settled on a steel blue color. Roth folded, tucked and creased before handing a fully formed plane back to her, along with a fine-point black Sharpie marker. “What’s the marker for?”
“For writing a message on the inside of the plane.”
“A message? What kind of message?”
“Anything you want.”
Tressa hesitated for a moment, attempting to understand the purpose of this whole message-writing-on-the-plane thing. She laughed to herself. That sounded like a movie. “Who’s going to read it?”
Okay, now she was really confused. “We’re writing a message that no one will ever read?”
“Yes. That’s the beauty of it. It’s like confession without the priest.”
Roth scribbled something on his paper. She shrugged. What the hell. If no one was ever going to read it, what could it possibly hurt? Hmm. She tapped the marker against her bottom lip. What could she write? Something funny? Something ridiculous? A quote? So many choices. Her eyes slid to Roth. Something intimate. He had said it was like confession.
After she was done, Tressa refolded the paper, unsure if she should have written a love note to him. But the fact that no other human eyes would ever see it helped to put her mind at ease. “What now?”
“Now we exchange.”
A hint of alarm rushed over her. “But you said—”
“Don’t worry. I’m not going to read it.”
A second or two passed as she debated whether or not to trust him with the plane. Reluctantly, she passed it over. “And now?”
“Now we throw them.”
Before Tressa could even process what was happening, the steel blue paper soared through the air. Her mouth fell open and her eyes went wide in disbelief. “What—You—Why did you do that?”
A quizzical expression formed on Roth’s face. “Do what?”
“Throw it.” Her voice rose an octave.
Roth laughed. “That’s typically what you do with paper planes.” He flashed her a suspicious look. “What in the heck did you write on there, your Social Security number?”
That actually would have been better. “Um, an…old family recipe. It’s top secret. I could be tossed out of the family for revealing it.”
She bit back a laugh, but Roth didn’t. He burst into laughter, then wrapped her in his arms from behind.
“Don’t worry. Your recipe is safe. We’re in the middle of nowhere, and bears can’t read. I don’t think.” He kissed the back of her head. “Your turn, gorgeous. Just aim and fire.”
It took a second, but she realized how ridiculous she was being and laughed at herself. Why was she so worried? Roth was right. They were in the middle of nowhere. Who did she think would come across her plane way out here? No one, she assured herself. No one, she repeated for good measure.
It was probably just lying out in the wet snow, waiting to be consumed by a mountain lion. Heck, even if someone did happen upon it, who would know it was from her? No one. Yep, that last no one made her feel so much better.
She released Roth’s plane. What did he write? she wondered. Guess she’d never know. “Wow. Those little suckers sure did glide through the air.”
“I hope your, uh, recipe wasn’t too explicit,” he said.
She wasn’t sure she liked the sound of that. Scratch that. She was sure she hadn’t liked the sound of that. “Why?”
“The last time I released planes, several made their way all the way into town. Imagine my surprise when I saw one pinned up in the general store. Good thing it was only a motivational quote.”
Tressa’s stomach dropped to her knees. “All the way into town, huh?” Her gaze slid through the trees and to Silver Point in the distance.
“Yep. I got skills. I’m reigning champ for longest distance and airtime in the Southeastern Paper Plane Competition. Skills.” He kissed the back of her head again and pinched her butt. “I’ll make us some breakfast.”
Reigning… Paper Plane Competition? Forget food, she needed a shot of something strong.