CHAPTER ONE

KENDALL

Day 1

I wheel my two large suitcases down the hallway and place them by the front door. I’m equally nervous and excited about spending today and tomorrow with my best friend’s brother Ryan. It’s not a romantic getaway in any sense, but rather the complete opposite. Cami and Eli are planning to honeymoon at the cabin, and Ryan and I have been put in charge of getting it ready. He’s on his way to pick me up now.

Not that I’ve ever admitted it out loud, but I’ve had a crush on him for as long as I can remember. Even if he’s never been able to hold a conversation with me without pissing me off, there’s always been an underlying attraction. Maybe this weekend will be different or at least that’s what I hope, but Ryan openly despises me. I’ve dealt with him over the years because Cami’s my ride or die and has been since we were in grade school.

Ryan treats me like I’m a spoiled rich princess who has been given everything on a silver platter. While there’s truth in it, there’s more to me than my family’s money or the way I look. I didn’t choose my parents and didn’t ask to receive such a significant inheritance from my grandparents. Regardless, he’s dead set on judging me for things that I have zero control over.

In a few weeks, Cami will marry Ryan’s best friend, Eli. Because Eli wants to make it a honeymoon to remember, he asked me to help decorate and stock the cabin with all of her favorite things before they arrive. Somehow, the two of them convinced Ryan to join me so I wouldn’t have to do it alone. Considering he’s a doctor with a packed schedule, I’m shocked he found time, but I’m also not complaining.

While trying to keep busy, I go through my list to make sure I got everything Eli requested—chocolate, extra Christmas decorations, sparkling water, and enough booze to last two weeks. I just hope it all fits in Ryan’s Range Rover because I went overboard, but I’d do anything to make my best friend’s honeymoon magical.

Just as I finish double checking my list, my phone vibrates. I see a text from Ryan, and nervous energy soars through me.

Ryan: I’ll be there in fifteen. Got stuck in some traffic.

I’m not sure what to think about him joining me. Maybe a night alone will allow me to prove that I’m more than a pretty face with money. Considering he’s a St. James, he understands what it’s like to be raised by an elite family so he’s not impressed by the glitz and glam. He’s humble and wanted a different life, another reason why he went to medical school.

Regardless of our differences, this weekend, we’re going to have to find a happy medium because he’s the Best Man, and I’m the Maid of Honor. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to spend time together even if he’s the definition of stubborn.

I’m almost tempted to drink a glass of wine before he gets here to calm me down but decide against it. Instead, I grab one of my favorite bottles of Merlot, put it next to my suitcases then text Cami as I wait.

Kendall: Your brother’s on his way.

Cami: OMG! Hopefully, you two don’t murder each other in the cabin.

Kendall: As long as he’s on his best behavior, I think we’ll be perfectly fine.

Cami: If he’s a dickhead, let me know, and I’ll threaten his life.

I snort-laugh because Cami is ferocious at times. As we’re texting back and forth, I hear a vehicle outside, then a hard knock on the door.

Kendall: He’s here. I’ll let you know when we make it to the cabin.

Cami: Perfect! I hope the three-hour drive isn’t too painful. Pee before you leave! Ryan hates stopping.

Kendall: Noted.

I tuck my phone in my back pocket and swing the door open. Ryan’s wearing a heavy jacket and slacks. His hair is messy in a way that makes me want to run my fingers through it.

“Kendall,” he says my name in his gravelly tone, and my panties nearly melt off my body. I have to force myself not to step closer because he smells so damn good.

Thankfully, confidence is one of my strengths, so I act as his presence isn’t a big deal. I smile and meet his honey-colored eyes. “Ryan. Nice to see you again. Oh, come in. I have everything stacked here that needs to go.”

I step aside, giving him space to enter. He glances around, and his eyes widen at the pile. When I told Eli I was born to decorate and plan for this honeymoon, I meant it.

“You’re not serious.” He turns to me.

I play stupid, though I know what he’s referring to. “Whatcha mean?”

He huffs like I’ve lost my damn mind. “Two oversized suitcases plus all of this? There’s no way it’s going to fit. How many clothes do you need for two days?”

I narrow my eyes at him, wondering if he’s done with this conversation because I am.

“One suitcase only,” he insists.

“Absolutely not. Both are coming with me,” I argue. “This isn’t up for discussion.”

“This is ridiculous, Kendall. We’re going up today and will be there tomorrow, and then we’re leaving. We won’t even be leaving the cabin, and I don’t care what you wear.”

“Don’t flatter yourself. What I wear is not for you, but for me. I like to have plenty of options.” I give him a shit-eating grin, trying not to let Ryan get under my skin, but he’s already buried himself there. If he pisses me off before we leave, the drive across New York is going to be painful as hell.

“Options?” He rolls his eyes. It takes every bit of patience I have left not to tell him to quit being an asshole. He seems like he’s in a mood today, but it’s not like it’s different from any other time I’ve been around him.

I slip on my peacoat as he mumbles under his breath. Taking my time, I put on my gloves and matching knit hat. The temperatures have steadily dropped all week, and later today it’s supposed to start snowing again.

Impatiently, he taps his foot and watches me. I grab my suitcases, and pull out the handles. “Coming?” I ask over my shoulder.

“I’ll be shocked if all this shit fits,” he repeats like I didn’t hear his grumbles the first time.

All I can do is laugh. “I guess we’ll see, won’t we? Also, you can stop complaining now. Remember, this shit isn’t for me. It’s for your sister and best friend so suck it up, buttercup. We’re making it special for them.”

Ryan glares at me then picks up one of the boxes of non-perishable food and follows behind me. I made sure to buy enough non-perishables to last for two weeks. I also had fresh meat cut and sealed, then froze it. To make sure it doesn’t defrost while we travel, I put it in an ice chest with dry ice. If he knows what’s best, he’ll make sure nothing’s left behind.

When I step outside, the frigid air slaps me across the face. I guess I didn’t realize how chilly it had gotten since earlier today when I finished shopping. Considering I hate being cold, it lights a fire under my ass to load the SUV as fast as possible. Ryan pops the hatch to the Range Rover, and after he sets the box down, he loads my suitcases.

“Holy shit,” he mutters as he lifts them one after another.

“I packed my extra heavy dildos,” I laugh, giving him a hard time. He doesn’t say a word. I’ll try my best to go easy on him, but he’s making it difficult with his glares and groans.

After a few trips, all the food is loaded. There’s at least three more boxes, plus a cooler with frozen meat. While we’ll only be staying a few days, I bought food for us too so we wouldn’t have to dip into Cami and Eli’s stash. I made sure to get all of my best friend’s favorite snacks and more pasta choices than she can handle.

“You do know the cabin has a pantry full of items like this, right?” Ryan tells me as he stacks the final box on top of the others.

“And what’s your point?” I glare at him.

He opens the top and pulls out a glass jar of marinara, Alfredo, then sees the vermicelli, angel hair, and spaghetti noodles. “The point is you probably didn’t need to purchase all of this. How much can two people realistically eat in that amount of time?”

“And this is why they didn’t ask you to go shopping,” I snap.

“Damn. There’s enough alcohol in here to open a bar.” He studies me.

“All of it was highly requested. If you keep it up, I might have to open a bottle and drink it on the way there.” I turn and walk back inside, not giving him the opportunity to respond.

I grab the strands of lights I want to wrap around the staircase along with the mistletoe for the entryways. Cami had conveniently mentioned a ten-foot Christmas tree and ornaments were stored in the basement so I didn’t buy one. By the time I’m done decorating the cabin, it will look like a winter wonderland escape. She’s going to be so excited and the thought makes me smile.

When the Range Rover is loaded, that’s when I notice a small duffel bag on the floor board. Knowing that’s all Ryan packed makes me snort. He’s so damn efficient that he probably only brought one change of clothes for tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’ve got enough outfits to last me three weeks. I often allow my mood to decide my clothing choice and I never know how I’m going to feel. So, options. It could be a legging type of day with running shoes or a pair of expensive slacks with heels. I never know.

After I make one last look around to make sure I didn’t forget anything, I grab another bottle of wine because I’m going to need it, set the security alarm, then lock the door. Ryan’s waiting inside the SUV, and once I climb in, I turn on the heated seat. A chill runs through me as he backs out of the driveway. His GPS is already set for Roxbury, and I catch a glimpse of the arrival time. It says we should be there around three as long as there aren’t any accidents or issues.

Once we’re out of my neighborhood, I suck in a deep breath realizing I didn’t bring any sort of snacks with me. It’s a total fail on my part.

I turn to Ryan and put on a sweet smile. “Do you think we can stop and get some coffee before we leave civilization?” I’m already mentally making my order of a skinny mocha with extra whip cream and a pumpkin loaf just in case I get hungry. My mouth waters thinking about it.

“Absolutely not.” Ryan doesn’t even look at me.

“Wait, seriously?” My mouth falls open because I can’t be without coffee, especially on a trip this long. Plus, it’s cold as fuck outside, and a hot drink makes it all better.

“We’re not stopping, Kendall,” he says flatly without hesitation and that’s when I realize he’s really not joking. If I had known he was going to be this much of an asshole, I would’ve just driven myself. I’m so frustrated I bite my tongue before I say something I regret. Trying to calm down, I force myself to stare out the window but I can’t stop drinking about mochas and warm bread.

This might be the most painful three hours of my life.

When he turns on the radio, and I hear a bunch of doctors discussing medical procedures in full detail, I’m convinced I’m living in my own personal hell.

It’s times like this I wished I carried a corkscrew in my purse, because if I had one, I’d open that wine I packed right now.

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

RYAN

Kendall can whine all she wants but she should’ve come fully prepared. One of my biggest pet peeves when traveling is stopping. If it takes thirty minutes, that’s too much time wasted, and I just want to get to the cabin so I can get this weekend over with.

The only reason I agreed is because my best friend Eli asked me to join Kendall so she wouldn’t be alone in the big house by herself. It was important to him, and I want my sister to be happy on her honeymoon, so I said yes. I should’ve known Kendall was going to go overboard with her shopping, but I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt.

After we’re out of the city, Kendall reaches over and turns off the radio. I glance over at her and she gives me a death glare. “I can’t handle listening to this for the next two hours, so we’re going to have to compromise.”

I turn it back on. “Trust me when I say this is compromising.”

She lets out a growl and I wonder if she’s going to knock the shit out of me by how angry she becomes. Reactions like this aren’t new for me. Considering Kendall and Cami have been best friends for as long as I can remember, I’m used to her temper tantrums. They’re each other’s ride or die and growing up she was always around. If Cami wasn’t at her house, Kendall was at ours, and they’re still just as close.

Somehow Kendall was able to stay out of the eye of the paparazzi. Cami wasn’t so lucky and basically had her teenage years documented in photos. It’s another reason why I was so adamant about breaking away from the glitz and glam of being a St. James. While I could’ve lived off my parent’s money for the rest of my life, I’m wired differently than most who grew up in a family like mine.

An underlying current has always streamed between us, and it’s why I’ve kept my distance. I never wanted to become a wedge between her and Cami’s friendship, plus we’re completely opposite. I want to be with someone who aspires to do more in life than look pretty. I need substance in a relationship and she’s too vain to understand that.

The rest of the drive we ride in silence. Eventually, her breathing slows and I glance over noticing how peaceful looks sleeping. The closer we get to Roxbury, the harder the snow starts to fall and we drive into a white-out. I change the radio to the local weather station to get an update.

“Massive snowfall happening in Upstate New York. If you’re on the roads, be careful. We’ll be right back after this message from our advertisers,” the announcer says.

“Great,” I mutter. I turn it off and focus on the road. I knew it would be snowing, but I thought we’d miss most of it. Kendall stirs and her eyes flutter open. Immediately, she repositions herself in the seat and her mouth falls open.

“How long has it been like this?” she asks, looking at me.

“About twenty minutes. It’s progressively getting worse, but I’m not pulling over because I don’t think we can wait it out. Want to look at a radar for me?”

She sarcastically laughs. “Uhh.”

I hand her my phone and unlock it then tell her which app to open. She does and shows me the screen once it’s loaded. All I see is pink and blue which means heavy snowfall. “Great.”

“What? What does it mean?” The concern in her tone isn’t lost on me.

“Basically, we need to take it slow so we make it there safely. Looks like it might be like this the rest of the way.”

She sits up straighter and glances at the GPS. Worry washes across her face, but I stay calm. Her reaction is almost predictable because she doesn’t typically leave her precious castle unless she absolutely has to. Kendall’s the kind of woman who wouldn’t risk breaking a nail or getting her designer shoes dirty.

“Trust me. I won’t let anything happen to you. We’re only an hour away so I think it’s best we continue forward instead of turning around.”

“I agree. One hour this way is better than two hours the other with a storm chasing us back to the city.” She keeps her eyes focused on the road that’s barely visible.

“And this is the only time I have off before the wedding activities start so it’s kind of a now or never thing.”

The next half-hour, I hold the steering wheel with white knuckles as I navigate down the one laned roads that twist and turn. While this isn’t ideal driving conditions, I’m happy we left when we did or we could’ve possibly had to pull over and wait it out. Not something I ever want to do because the conditions can turn very quick. The last thing I want is to be stranded in a car for hours.

When we’re ten minutes away from the cabin, our phones alerts buzz.

“What’s it say?” I ask.

Kendall unlocks her phone and reads it to me. “Basically there’s an arctic blast and they’re predicting a lot of snow. Roads are closing too.”

When I finally turn into the driveway, relief floods through me because I was growing more concerned. I open the garage and pull in so we don’t have to unload in this weather.

“I’m so happy we’re here,” she admits and gets out. The wind howls, and a shiver runs through me. It’s much colder here than it was in the city.

“Guess we should start unpacking,” I tell her as I unlock the cabin door and turn on the lights and heat.

When I walk back to her, she’s wheeling her suitcases toward me.

“You get the heavy stuff,” she snickers. “It’s why you’re here.”

I pop an eyebrow at her but keep my thoughts to myself as she passes me, and damn she smells so good. We take several trips back and forth until everything is unloaded. As we put the ridiculous amounts of groceries she bought where they belong, I bump into her several times.

“Sorry,” I say, grabbing her arm to keep her steady. For a moment, I think her breath hitches, but then she smiles.

“I got this,” she tells me, brushing her body against mine before walking into the pantry again. “You weren’t lying when you said there was tons of food here, but I’m glad I grabbed what I did. Cami won’t eat half of this,” she explains.

I lean against the door frame and watch her with my arms crossed over my chest.

Kendall points to the different jars of caviar and oysters. “She’d rather starve than eat any of this.”

“If she were hungry, she’d eat it. Anyone would.” My parents always keep the house stocked with their favorite things and since Cami loves visiting so much some of her staples are here too, but not enough to last for as long as her and Eli plan to stay.

“Hey, instead of standing around, do you think you can get the Christmas tree from the basement? Cami mentioned it being stored there.”

I glare at her. “Do you have any idea how old that tree is? I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s dry rotted.”

“I don’t care if it’s covered in dust bunnies. We’ll make it work or you’ll be going out in the snow and cutting me a fresh one, and I’m not kidding.” Kendall gives me a pointed look.

“Don’t forget that I’m not one of your parent’s workers that you can just boss around,” I warn. “I’m here for my sister and best friend, that’s it.”

She lets out a sarcastic laugh. “Whatever you say, Ryan.”

Kendall finishes stuffing the shelves then goes back to the kitchen and packs the freezer and fridge. Though I don’t want to go down there, I do because the quicker we get everything set up, the faster we can leave. Instead of wasting any more time, I take the stairs to the lower floor two at a time.

Once I’m in the storage area of the basement, I click on the light switch and glance around. It’s like a time capsule in here with old holiday decorations and old furniture. There’s a thin layer of dust that I’ll need to mention to my parents so their cleaning company can make sure they take care of this the next time they’re out. The last time I was down here was over a decade ago.

After I find the gigantic tree, I search around for the old ornaments. When we were kids and dad wanted to get away from the business, we’d escape to the cabin. Cami and I always loved it here because it was different from what we were used to. After mom decided she wanted a place that was newer, more updated, we started visiting there more often, but Cami still comes as much as she can.

There’re at least four giant plastic tubs full of ornaments and considering I have no idea what Kendall has in mind, I only bring the tree because that’s all she asked for. As soon as I set it down by the couch, Kendall walks in with her hair pulled up into a ponytail.

“Oh wow,” she says after she unzips the tree bag. The lights flicker and Kendall turns and meets my eyes. “Uhh.”

Immediately, our phones buzz and we both look at another weather alert.

 

WIND CHILL WARNING: VERY COLD AIR AND WIND WILL CREATE DANGEROUSLY LOW WIND CHILL VALUES EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT THREE DAYS ACROSS WARNED AREA. PLEASE BE ADVISED OF ROAD CLOSURES DUE TO EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF SNOWFALL DUE TO THE ARCTIC BLAST. TEMPERATURES COULD PLUNGE FROM 10 TO -30 BY TOMORROW AND RECORD-BREAKING AMOUNTS OF SNOWFALL PREDICTED. TAKE PROPER PRECAUTIONS.

 

“Fuck,” I mutter then walk to the large windows in the living room and notice how bad it’s gotten outside. The lights blip off then come back on.

“Will we lose power?” Kendall asks.

“As long as the winds don’t get any stronger, I think we’ll be okay.”

“We better be. I’m not prepared for a camping trip.” Kendall continues scrolling through her phone.

“I can’t imagine you camping, ever,” I say.

She groans. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’re just not the type of person to do outdoor things. I’m sure your version of camping is staying at the Four Seasons.”

Her jaw clenches. “Sometimes you’re such a dickhead.”

“But am I wrong?” I push.

Kendall shakes her head and storms into the kitchen. I get my duffle and go upstairs to the room I typically stay in. Since Kendall is such a queen, she can have the master bedroom with the amazing bathroom. I’m fine in my peasant quarters.

When I enter my room, I try to remember the last time I was here. It’s been a while, though Eli stayed in this room when he quarantined with Cami. When I think back to that time, it makes me sick. Watching so many people suffer fucked me up and while a vaccine has finally been approved for mass distribution, what I saw during that time never left me. I’ve always loved my job, but I wasn’t trained to deal with something of that nature. I lost a lot of patients, some colleagues, and I felt like I didn’t sleep for weeks. Hell, months even.

I was numb for most of it just to get through the day.

After I’ve unpacked the small amount of clothes I brought with me, I go back downstairs.

Kendall’s sitting at the bar on her phone as she eats a salad. I open the packed fridge and look around.

“What can I eat in here?” I ask.

“You’re smart, figure it out,” she snaps, but I know a lot of these things aren’t for us. Instead of asking again, I pull out some mayo and lunch meat. There’s a loaf of bread on the counter, so I open it. I set a plate down on the bar, making the messiest looking sandwich ever, but it’ll do the job. Kendall stares, silently judges my masterpiece of a meal, then goes back to her phone.

After I’m done eating, I rinse my plate and place it in the dishwasher, then go to the living room and check the amount of firewood we have. There’s enough to last us a while, but considering we’ll only be here a few days, there’s no need to see if there’s more in the shed.

I plop on the couch and turn on the weather channel so I can get an update. I’m nearly on the edge of the couch watching how dangerous the conditions have become and I’m worried it might linger. This storm needs to pass quickly so I can get back to the city. Kendalls enters moments later and from my peripheral I can see her watching too. She lets out a long sigh.

Eventually, she sits, but she’s on the opposite end of the large sectional couch. I know I’ve pissed her off, but she’ll get over it. I won’t suck up to her or stroke her ego like everyone else does. There’s no way I’ll be kissing the ground she walks on and if she thought that’d happen, she’s sadly mistaken.

After a few hours of watching TV, I yawn. I’ve been up since four because I went to the hospital and worked a few hours before I picked up Kendall. Eventually, she gets up and grabs her two suitcases then struggles to get them up the stairs.

“You want some help?” I ask.

She glares at me over her shoulder continuing to lug her heavy ass luggage to the top floor.

“No,” she barks.

“Master bedroom is yours,” I yell, and when I hear the door slam, I know she heard me.

“Good night to you too,” I mumble to myself then turn off the TV and lights. Before going upstairs, I check the thermostat and set the heat higher because the temperatures outside are still dropping. As I climb the stairs, I laugh knowing I can still get under her skin. The next few days are going to be interesting.

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

KENDALL

DAY 2

After the day I had yesterday, it feels nice to sleep in. As soon as I throw off the covers, I hear the wind howling against the cabin and see nothing but snow. The master suite is huge and overlooks the mountains, but right now I can hardly see anything outside. It’s a complete whiteout.

“Oh shit,” I mutter, realizing there’s no way we’re leaving later today. The cabin is twenty miles away from Roxbury and is surrounded by trees and mountains with a long private driveway. It’s the perfect getaway for a romantic honeymoon, but there’s nothing romantic about being stuck here with Ryan. Instead, he acts as if it’s his own personal hell.

It’s definitely not normal to get this much snow this time of year. Usually this happens closer to Christmas and into January and February, but hardly ever mid-November. This rare arctic blast will probably keep me stuck here with Ryan longer than either of us intended.

After I throw on a sweater and slide on my slippers, I go downstairs for coffee. As soon as I enter the kitchen, I see Ryan at the table on his phone with his laptop.

“Dude, I think we’re stranded here,” Ryan says to whoever he’s talking to and he doesn’t sound happy. He looks miserable too.

Great.

“No, the main road is snowed over. It’s so bad they won’t be able to get the plows out for a few days, and apparently, the news said they expect more snow to come. I had to take a few emergency vacation days from work. We got twenty inches so far, and it’s still coming down. The wind is brutal, so it’s just fucking blowing everywhere. Even if the roads were open, I wouldn’t be able to see it.”

Twenty inches? Jesus.

It’s confirmation that we’re not leaving anytime soon.

I grab a mug and pour myself some of the already brewed coffee. He’s still chatting with who I assume is Eli or Cami.

After I grab some creamer from the fridge, I continue listening to his conversation.

Ryan releases a huff. “Thanks. I just wanted to let you two know so you don’t get worried about us. Hopefully, we don’t lose power. With my luck, an ice storm would make its way here too.”

Lose power? Oh hell no. I can’t be here without power. We’ll just have to shovel our way out if that happens.

I sit at the breakfast bar with my coffee and scroll through my phone when I hear Ryan whisper, “Yeah, she’s a fucking trip.”

Wow. I haven’t done anything and he’s already being rude as hell.

After he ends the call, he goes back to typing on his computer. His forehead wrinkles and face contorts which makes me wonder if he’s getting weather updates. If so, it’s not looking good.

“Sounds like you’re stuck with me for a bit longer,” I say, hoping to break the awkward tension. “Won’t be so bad. You’ll get a few days off. Maybe take advantage of it and relax for once. Could also work on getting the stick out of your ass.” I hold back a laugh knowing he’ll probably ignore me for that last comment.

“Easy for you to say,” he mutters. “Not everyone lives off their family’s money. Some of us have jobs to do. I’m sure your biggest concern is getting to the nail salon on time every day.”

“Really?” I snap my gaze toward him. “That’s the best you got? How original.” I roll my eyes though he’s not looking at me. “For your information, I go every other week and it’s far from my biggest concern, asshole.”

I hate that he thinks he knows me when he clearly doesn’t. He’s never even tried and acts like he has me figured out.

“Well maybe if you had job aspirations and goals at your age, being stuck here would be a concern. It—”

“At my age?” I interrupt. “So because I’m twenty-four, I should have the rest of my life all planned out? And if I don’t, I’m a slacker?”

He clears his throat, finally glancing at me. “I didn’t say slacker, but that it might be hard for you to understand that Ienjoy working. Being a doctor is who I am, and knowing I can’t be at the hospital with my patients worries me. Not that you care.”

“Don’t put words in my mouth. I said to relax which you’re incapable of doing. Considering there’s nothing you can do about being stuck here with a “fucking trip,” you might as well take advantage of the time off. But you know what?” I stand, grabbing my mug. There’s no emotion in his face as I scowl at him. “Be miserable all you want. Alone.”

I march toward the stairs and don’t look back. He can sulk by himself. Just because I don’t have an intense career doesn’t mean I’m a worthless trust fund baby. If he’d bothered asking or tried to get to know me, he’d learn there’s a lot more to me than that. He’s just like everyone else and has made opinions about me based on what he sees on the surface.

Once I’m in my room, I decide to take a bath in the jet tub while finishing my coffee. Cami always has it stocked with a variety of bath bombs, lavender oil, candles, and bubble baths. It’s just what I need after Ryan ruined my morning.

I pair my phone with the bluetooth speakers in the wall and jam out to Halsey who I have a major girl crush on. Her voice soothes me as I soak in the tub.

After a while, I decide to FaceTime my sister Piper to let her know I’ll be here longer than expected. She’s a few years younger than me and a famous YouTube star. It’s kinda funny actually because we’re so opposite. I prefer to stay out of the limelight and Piper lives for it. She’s a perky, blonde lifestyle vlogger and is a natural extrovert. While I’d rather stay behind the camera, there are times when she’s had me in her vlogs.

“Hey, what’s up? I’m doing a live video on Instagram,” she answers.

“Well, excuse me,” I mock. “I just wanted to talk to my sister. So I’m stuck in Roxbury.”

She looks into the other phone that’s mounted on a tripod stand. Piper takes so many pictures and social media videos, she had to get a work phone so she could use her personal cell for calls and texts. “Okay, guys. I’ll be back shortly for my ‘get ready with me.’ Love you!” Then she blows kisses before ending it.

“What’s going on? You’re stuck in Roxbury.”

I snicker, shaking my head. “You’re so extra,” I mock, giving her my best kissy lips.

“Shut up.” She flips her long hair and pouts. “Now tell me what happened.”

“We got twenty inches of snow and we’re basically stuck here until they can plow the roads. Could be days and Ryan isn’t happy about it. Let me correct myself…” I clear my throat dramatically. “He’s not happy about being stuck with me.”

“Why would it take days?”

“We’re on a private road and it’s on the outskirts of town, like in the mountain area. It’s not a priority. Plus, Roxbury’s population is like two thousand. They probably have one snowplow.”

She chuckles. “True.”

“And we’re supposed to get more snow. When I looked out this morning, I could hardly see a thing. It’s windy too.”

“So yeah, you’re definitely stuck there for a bit. Now tell me about Ryan being a jackass.”

I snort because I’ve told her about Cami’s brother a few times. She knows I think he’s attractive but his pissy attitude and dull personality ruin it for me. He’s always been on the serious side but since the pandemic started he’s changed a lot. He worked in the ER at one of the largest hospitals in the city and saw the worst of it.

“He called me a fucking trip when talking to Eli and Cami,” I explain. “And he’s just been super moody. I mentioned relaxing while he’s here and he blew up over it. Basically said I was a spoiled brat who had nothing to worry about.”

“Wow…” She pops a piece of gum in her mouth and starts smacking her lips. “Sounds like he needs to get laid. Maybe you can help in that department.” Piper waggles her brows.

“Yeah, that’s not happening. He can’t stand me. For whatever fucking reason.”

“Sounds like this could be an opportunity to get him to like you. Show him the real Kendall Montgomery—inside and out.” She shrugs, popping a bubble. “Both stranded in a mountain cabin surrounded by snow. Kinda sounds romantic to me.”

I laugh though not hating the idea. “Add in watching Hallmark movies by the fireplace and I’d be in.”

“See? Worked for Cami.”

“Yeah well, I’m not Cami. Eli was in love with her so that’s different. Ryan only sees me as his sister’s annoying best friend. We’re supposed to be decorating the cabin but looks like I’ll be doing it alone since he’s set on being an asshole.”

“You have time to butter him up.” Piper flashes a wink. “If you get my drift.”

Rolling my eyes, I shake my head. “Yeah, I get your not so subtle hint.”

“Mom’s begging for grandchildren and since I’m waiting till I’m forty, you’re gonna have to be the one to take one for the team.”

“I’m not getting knocked up just to make our mother happy!”

“Well prepare for her to bombard you with ‘your internal clock is ticking’ reminders. I’ve been getting them for a year and I’m only twenty-one!” Piper flashes an annoyed smile.

“Mom knows better, I guess. Probably thinks you’ll be the first to have an oopsie pregnancy,” I tease.

“Absolutely not!”

I take a drink of my coffee and realize it’s starting to get cold, so I chug some more of it.

“Well, I better get back to my live stream so I can do my hair and makeup.”

“Where are you going?” I ask, confused. “Did you get snow there too?”

“Yeah, but not as much as you. The roads should be cleared before noon.” She flashes a shit-eating grin.

“Lucky.” I groan.

We say our goodbyes after I promise to keep her updated. I need to text Cami next but decide to wait until after I’m out of the bath.

Once the water cools, I drain the tub and throw on a fluffy robe. My cup is empty and I’ll eventually have to go downstairs for food.

Kendall: Your brother’s a jerk. Just thought I’d let you know.

Cami: What’d he do now?

Kendall: Snapped at me for no reason. So I told him off and walked away.

Cami: I’m sure he didn’t mean to. He’s under a lot of stress.

Kendall: That’s no excuse to be rude. He made it very known how he feels about me and it wasn’t good.

Cami: I’m sorry. Just remember he’s reserved and doesn’t show emotion well. Just give him time to come around to the idea of being there with you. He’ll open up.

I scoff.

Kendall: Doubt it, but I guess I’ll try because I have no other choice. If I’m gonna be stuck here with nothing to do I don’t want to argue with him the whole time. But he needs to put in some effort too! It’s not like I deserved his attitude. Well, I did say he had a stick up his ass…

Cami: Kendall!

Kendall: I was kidding! He can’t take a joke?

Cami: I don’t understand why you two fight. Probably because he likes you and is trying to push you away.

Kendall: HA! Now you’re just being delirious.

Cami: You like him or you wouldn’t care what he thought.

Kendall: No. He’s HOT. That doesn’t mean I like him.

Cami: Whatever you say 😉

Kendall: This is your fault, ya know. You couldn’t go to Hawaii for your honeymoon like a normal newlywed.

Cami: Nope 🙂 The paps can find me too easily there anyway. I want pure privacy and romance. You two will have plenty of time to make it super special for us now!

Kendall: If he’ll help. Right now he’s set on being miserable.

Cami: Like I said, he’ll come around.

 Doubtful, but I guess time will tell and it seems we’ll have plenty of it. I just hope he doesn’t think he can say mean things, then act like nothing’s wrong, like he used to do when I was a teenager.    

 

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