The winds whipped against the truck so hard, it rocked, throwing him out of the past. A mercy, despite the violence of the storm. He took that as his cue to get out, grab his duffel bag, and head for the door. Every step took effort. The snow was piled high, and some of the drifts were well past his knees. How easy would it be to lie down and go to sleep in it, never to wake again? He forged a sloppy path to the door, complete with an outline of his body when he face-planted inches from the steps. He didn’t want to think of how painful that misstep could have been had he actually struck the steps, or perhaps it would have made life easier for him to give himself over to the cold. Instead, he gripped the handrail and climbed the steps, coming to stand before the door of the cabin.
Knocking loudly, Ryker shivered, pulling his coat tighter around him as he waited. He was about to knock again when the door swung open to reveal wary green eyes in a too-pale face framed by dark, cascading waves of blond hair. Ryker blinked, stunned at the outright hostility that pulled the man’s lips down into a scowl, his trim beard and mustache only serving to emphasize it more. His wrinkled long-sleeved T-shirt was backward and inside out, and it twisted near the waistline, revealing a swath of pale abs. It looked as though he’d hastily donned it on his way to the door.
“Pretty sure you’re at the wrong cabin,” the guy growled, moving to shut the door in Ryker’s face. Slamming his hand against it kept Ryker from being left out in the cold.
“Even if it’s the wrong cabin, which I don’t think it is, there’s a storm coming, in case you hadn’t noticed, so I think I’ll just come in out of it, thanks.” Ryker took a step forward and trying to wedge through the opening. The other man held firm, however, and they stood there glaring at each other.
“Look,” the man snapped, “you could be a psycho or a serial killer for all I know, so you ain’t getting in here. I’ve got enough problems without accidentally ending up dead.”
Ryker felt the impatience radiating off the other man, which was fine by him; he was getting pretty goddamned impatient and cold himself.
“You look—” Ryker retorted, studying the guy more intently through bleary, snow-clouded eyes. Something about him looked really damned familiar. “I’ve been on the road for hours. It’s fucking cold out here, and it’s snowing buckets. I’m supposed to be at my cousin’s cabin, which the GPS says is right here. So here I am, and I’ve got no intention of driving anywhere until the shit lets up. My cousin’s name is Kyle—”
Jesse couldn’t believe this shit. When he saw Kyle, he was gonna choke him to death with his own bass strings.
“Morrison,” Jesse finished with a sigh.