Enjoy the View Page 2

“Not an emergency.” Easton eyed the woman, who eyed him back. “I might need someone more official than myself for this one though.”

“Let me try to—” Jonah broke off, then he muttered, “And there goes the teeter-totter. East, I’ll call you back.”

“Who are you talking to?” She looked at him suspiciously.

“A nice man who’ll come give you a ride to Anchorage,” Easton told her. “He’ll take you somewhere with people who’ll help you better than I can.”

“Are you crazy?”

“Ma’am, I’m not the one talking to invisible people and ranting about minions.”

“I’m not talking to invisible people. I’m arguing with invisible people who should have switched phone providers like I told them before we left.” She turned toward the hill ahead of them, yelling, “Like I told you, Jessie.”

Easton shook his head, amazed at his own bad luck. “Listen, I can’t leave you out here.”

“Fine.” With a disgusted snort, she grabbed her suitcase and swung it over the side of the truck bed. It landed with a heavy, uneven thump.

“What’s in there?” he asked.

“Rocks.” Climbing into the passenger side of his truck, the woman pulled her scarf free from her mouth. At his dubious look, she frowned back. “What?”

“You’ve been walking down the side of the road carrying a suitcase full of rocks, and you think I’m the crazy one?”

A smirk was her only reply to his question. Instead, she pointed ahead of them. “You see that access road higher up the mountain? Can you give me a ride up there?”

Technically, he could. But it was a small winding mountain road, and he couldn’t think of a reason why a stranger to town would be headed that direction.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather go to Moose Springs?”

“My film crew is up there, and I can’t hear them on the ear mic anymore. Since you and the last four you’s that stopped to give me a ride have ruined this shot all morning, I need to talk to my coproducer. Is it me, or is it a thousand degrees in here?”

At which point she began to strip.

Easton usually didn’t have a huge issue with attractive women who wanted to take their clothes off in his presence, but this one was making him nervous. As she shed layer after layer, the woman craned her head to evaluate his vehicle.

“Nice truck. I’m a Dodge girl myself, but there’s something about these old Fords that I always liked.”

Yes. Trucks. Easton could talk trucks. Trucks were a much easier topic of conversation than why she had a suitcase of rocks. “It used to be my dad’s.”

“1982?” she asked.

“’83.”

His passenger shrugged out of her sweatshirt, revealing her tank top beneath. For some reason, she kept the scarf on. “Dual gas tanks really make a truck a truck, huh? And it helps with the crappy gas mileage.”

Who was this woman? She was simultaneously insulting his baby while giving him an unwanted strip show. “The gas mileage isn’t crappy.” He’d just not look her way. Yep, staring at the road.

“It’s not not crappy.” She waved a hand over her overheated, flushed cheeks. “Can you turn the air conditioner on? I’m melting over here.”

“Why would you wear so many layers in the middle of summer?”

“Because my outfit was fine for this morning, when the windchill was fifty degrees and Bree mic’d me. But now it’s boiling hot, and we should have been done hours ago.”

“The air conditioner doesn’t work.”

Closing her eyes in frustration, his passenger dropped her head back on the seat. “Of course it doesn’t. This is a Ford.”

“I’ll try to bring a better truck next time,” he murmured.

One eye opened, and the prettiest grin he’d ever seen on a woman flashed at him.

“If there is a next time,” she told him archly. “I am luring you into the woods, you know.”

See? Right there. It always had to get weird.

• • •

In hindsight, River Lane probably should have kept her temper better. If she had, she might have thought twice before stuffing herself in the passenger seat next to a man whose head nearly touched the ceiling of his truck.

Growing up on a cattle ranch in Wyoming, the actress-turned-director was used to impressively sized men. Everywhere she’d turned, there’d been one more tall, muscled cowboy trying not to step on her feet. But she’d never seen a man this tall or this built. Muscle roped along biceps thicker than the thickest part of her thighs, and his shoulders took up the room of a regular man and half of another one. A thick inch-and-a-half-long beard covered his face, a shade darker than his brown hair. Hair that was smooth and shiny and long enough to be all wrapped up in a man bun so sexy, it would make the guys back in LA green with envy.

His dark blue T-shirt and worn, faded jeans wouldn’t have looked better on a fashion model. But really, it came down to the scuffed workboots. This guy was the real deal.

“You’re looking at my feet.”

River nodded. “Anything you need to know about a person, you can tell by their boots.”

An eyebrow rose over one skeptical eye. The other eye kept watch on her hands, like he thought she might pull out a weapon on him.

“I’m not going to rob you,” she sighed, exasperated as he pulled onto the road, driving far too slowly.

“You’re wearing tennis shoes,” he said.

“So?”

“What’s that say about your feet?”

“That they’re tired of everyone being a pain in my ass. Jessie? Hey, can you hear me?”

He kept glancing at her out of the corner of his eye and not in an appreciative way.

She pulled her scarf away from her neck and waggled it at him. “The microphone is in the scarf. It’s small so no one sees it, including looky-loos.”

“Looky-loos?”

“One who slows down to see whatever’s happening on the side of the road,” River explained.

“Ma’am—”

“I left Wyoming a long time ago, and the ma’ams along with it. My name’s River. Turn right up here.”

“I wasn’t being a looky-loo. I was being a neighborly, concerned individual.” His low rumble sounded like rocks rolling down a roadcut. “Which I’m regretting more and more every minute. Let me see the scarf.”

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