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A Valentine’s Day Special
An R.L. Mathewson Chronicle
“I fucking hate snow,” Nick said, rubbing his hands roughly down his face, hoping that by the time that he opened his eyes the blizzard covering everything with another foot and a half of snow would be over and done with so that he could get back on the road.
The sound of his cell phone ringing had him dropping his hands away with a sigh. Wondering what else could go wrong today, he reached over and grabbed his phone off the small table for two tucked away in the corner of his hotel room. Staring at the white mess blocking his view of Boston Harbor, he answered the phone.
“The next time that you send my wife to a signing without me, Rick, I’ll-”
“Jamie’s missing,” Rick said, cutting him off.
“What?” he heard himself ask as he reached out and grabbed the back of the chair as his legs threatened to give out. “She’s supposed to be in New Hampshire.”
“We can’t find her, Nick. It looks like she checked out early this morning,” Rick said hollowly.
“She’s supposed to be sleeping in this morning,” he said numbly as he gazed at the blanket of snow pouring down.
“She skipped the after party last night and went to bed early,” Rick explained as Nick rushed across the room and picked up the room phone and dialed Jamie’s cellphone.
It immediately went to voicemail.
“She’s not answering her phone,” Rick continued. “I’ve got Stacy and John calling local hospitals and we’ve notified the police. We’re doing everything that we can to find her.”
“When did she check out?” he demanded, heading for the door as he struggled not to lose his temper and take it out on his friend. He knew better than anyone how stubborn Jamie could be when she made her mind up about something.
“Around five this morning.”
His heart dropped in his stomach when he realized that his wife had been missing for over ten hours. He should have never agreed to handle this signing for Rerum. He should have insisted on going with Jamie and the rest of the authors that Rerum had sent to the New Hampshire signing. When he’d booked this trip he’d planned on heading up there after the signing to surprise her for Valentine’s Day.
What he hadn’t counted on was a blizzard ruining his plans. As soon as he’d found out about the blizzard he should have said the hell with it, driven up to New Hampshire, grabbed his wife and got them the hell out of here. Instead, he’d made a deal with Rick and stayed here, making sure that things ran smoothly at the signing for the authors that he was assigned to work with this weekend.
Never. Fucking. Again, he decided as he threw the hotel room door open and rushed down the hall towards the elevator.
“We’ll find her, Nick,” Rick said, sounding terrified and for good reason.
If anything happened to Jamie he would tear him apart with his bare hands.
“This is the last time she goes on a signing without me,” he snarled as he pushed the elevator call button and then once again a few seconds later when the elevator doors didn’t open fast enough.
“We’ll figure it out,” Rick promised, but that wasn’t good enough for him.
“Put it in my contract or I’m walking,” he said, ramming his thumb in the call button as he paced in front of the bank of elevators, ignoring the nervous glances from the elderly couple slowly backing away.
“Consider it done,” Rick said softly, smartly not arguing with him, because they both knew that he wasn’t bluffing.
He’d do whatever it took to make sure that his wife was taken care of and they both knew it. They also knew that if he left, more than half the authors signed with Rerum would go with him.
“About fucking time,” he muttered when the elevator doors finally opened. As soon as he stepped inside the elevator he was hitting the Close Door button and glaring at the small group standing in front of the elevator shifting nervously until they finally got the hint and stepped back.
“I’ll keep you informed,” Rick promised.
“I wasn’t planning on sitting on my ass while my wife is stuck in a blizzard,” he said, cursing as he reached in his pocket for the keys to his rental and realized that he’d left them upstairs.
“It’s not safe,” Rick told him like that would make a fucking difference to him.
“Which is why I’m going after my wife,” he said, hitting the button for his floor.
“I’ll let you know when I find her,” he said, ending the call just as the elevator doors opened for the lobby.
He hit the button for his floor again as he absently said, “Elevator’s full,” to the small group of people carrying a shit load of luggage. When they looked like they were going to argue with him, he hit the Close Door button and sent them a look that had them quickly backing away from the elevator doors.
Two minutes later he was shoving his hotel room door open as he tried to call Jamie’s phone. God, he was going to kill her when he got his hands on her. She was an incredibly intelligent woman with a good head on her shoulders and knew better than to go out in weather like this. For fuck’s sake, she’d never driven in snow before.
“Call me as soon as you get this,” he said, leaving her a voice message, praying that she wasn’t stuck somewhere on the side of the road before he ended the call and shoved the phone back in his pocket.
He was halfway to the bureau to grab his keys when he realized the shower was running. Frowning, he turned around and spotted the trail of clothes caked with snow leading to the bathroom. Relief slammed into him as he followed the discarded clothing, stepped over the bag Jamie left in the middle of the floor and threw the bathroom door open, not really sure at this point if he was going to throttle her or spank her for scaring the shit out of him like this.
He walked in the bathroom, grabbed hold of the shower curtain, threw it open and-
“I’m pregnant!” Jamie announced with a huge smile as she threw herself in his arms.
-completely forgot that he was supposed to be angry as he wrapped his arms around her and kissed the woman that had just given him the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.
© Rerum Industries, Inc. 2015. All Rights Reserved.V