Trapped Under Ice

Trapped Under Ice by M. J. Schiller

Book: Trapped Under Ice by M. J. Schiller Read Free Book Online
Authors: M. J. Schiller
Tags: Romance
her in one smooth move. Beth scrambled to grab mittens and a scarf off the passenger seat just as the man reached her door, and attempted to open it for her.
    “Oh!” She looked up at him with a smile while searching the door handle for the unlock button. “Sorry,” she said through the glass. Her fingers finally located the button and it popped up, startling her with its loudness. The attendant swept the door open, and she brushed at the flecks of popcorn on her black coat, straightening her shoulders and trying to appear somewhat sophisticated. “Hello!”
    The man tipped his hat with a smile, flashing brilliantly white teeth as he stood back for her to pass. Beth got out of the car. Hearing a shout, she glanced up. Chad was hustling down the staircase on the right, dressed only in a Blackhawks jersey and jeans, despite the threat of snow in the air and broadcasted warnings throughout most of Illinois. Her smile grew wider. He slipped on the slick stairs but grabbed the railing to right himself as he came around the corner toward her.
    Catching the move, the attendant warned, “Careful, sir.”
    Chad reached their side. “Uhh…yeah. Thanks, James,” he said under his breath, though smiling at Beth. “I was trying to play it cool in front of the ladies. Thanks for blowing my cover.”
    The attendant laughed.
    “Hey!” Chad said softly, bending down to kiss her cheek. “How was your trip?”
    “Good. Good.” Beth smiled, but then turned to watch as James reached inside of her car and removed the keys, which she had left in the ignition. He strode purposefully to the rear of the car as the girls tumbled out on opposite sides.
    “Hey, Cassie!”
    Cassie gave a short wave. “Hey, Chad.”
    He turned toward the passenger side of the car. “And you must be Jessica.” He extended his hand and she placed her colorful, mittened hand in his.
    “Nice to meet you, Mr. Evans.”
    He pumped it. “Hey now, it’s Chad, okay?”
    The teen smiled brightly. “Sure.”
    He started. “James, what are you doing?” He moved toward the trunk.
    The attendant answered, without looking up, as Chad came around the corner. “Getting the luggage, sir.”
    “I can handle the luggage.” He looked into the trunk, glanced at the three small bags on the ground, and then back into the trunk. “This is all?”
    “Yes,” Beth replied with a smile.
    He checked the bags again, and peered back into the trunk, as if confused.
    “We’re only here for one night,” she reminded him.
    “I know. It just seems like there should be more.” When Beth just stared, he added, “I mean…three women…”
    She frowned and placed her hands on hips.
    James bent in and said in a low voice, loud enough for all to hear, “If I were you, sir, I’d just pick up the luggage and go.”
    “Good idea!” Chad bent and slung two of the bags over one shoulder and extended the handle on the third to pull it behind him.
    “Sure you don’t need any help?”
    “I can handle it, James. Get lost! You’re not getting any more tips.”
    Beth laughed. Was he trying to impress her with his show of chivalry? Despite his words, she saw Chad slip a bill into the attendant’s hand before shutting the trunk. He moved forward, the two duffle bags hanging at his side bumping together and bouncing against his hip. He smiled brightly, his eyes on hers.
    He was halfway up the side of the car when James called out, “It would be easier to hold the lady’s hand, sir, if you were less encumbered.”
    He stopped, as if considering. The attendant swooped in, plucking one of the bags from his shoulder and grabbing the handle of the suitcase. Then, he gave Chad a little push in Beth’s direction.
    She grabbed his now free hand. Chad smiled. “Anyone ever tell you you’re brilliant, James?”
    “Yes, sir.” James handed the keys off to another attendant who had arrived on the scene and proceeded around the car. “Have you ladies ever been to the St. Ives-Augusta

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