Excerpt 4 – Book 2
Jim joined Vic, Celine and Meg in a corner of the main room early the next morning. “We need to do a supply run.”
Vic nodded. “We were discussing our priorities. Food is at the top.”
“Yes, but we’ve got to get organized too. Without running water, things are going to get rank fast,” Meg pointed out.
“So we’ll work on the bathhouse too. There’s going to be plenty of work to do and with this crowd, the hands to do it.”
“What can you do with the bathhouse?” Celine asked.
“Not sure yet. Food first, then we try to rig up something to get water to that building, a small generator maybe, for a pump. A windmill might do it and we could install some tubs for laundry. We’ll think better when we’re more settled and being clean will help us get settled. As crowded in as we are, that’s going to be crucial.”
“Why don’t Meg and I go out on the bike? See what we can find, maybe find a car and bring back what we can,” Jim offered.
Meg looked up startled. “Me?”
“I took a small bike. Can’t see Vic holding on to me long enough for a scouting trip.” He grinned and Meg felt her stomach drop. The man had beautiful eyes, like melted dark chocolate.
She could feel Vic’s eyes on her. “Would you be okay with that?” The large man waited for her answer.
Jim raised his right hand in the Boy Scout salute. “I’m a hell of a nice fellow.”
Vic harrumphed at that and Celine laughed. Meg forced herself to meet Jim’s eyes again. “When?”
“As soon as you’re ready. We’re gonna have some hungry people when they all wake up.”
Great, she was going to be pressed up against this man on a motorcycle and she couldn’t shower. She was wearing yesterday’s clothes because she hadn’t gotten around to unpacking while she helped the others. Of course, she didn’t really have any place to unpack to yet. At least she’d brushed her teeth.
“I’m ready now.”
“Good. Don’t worry.” Jim turned to Vic again. “I’ll keep her safe.”
“You better.” Vic’s voice was deep and serious now.
Jim nodded and gestured toward the bike he had parked close to the building. He held the door for Meg and handed her a helmet as they approached it.
“What about you?” She didn’t reach for the heavy plastic.
“Only have the one helmet. You wear it. If we find another one, I’ll take it. Ever ridden a bike before?” At the shake of her head he checked to ensure she had the helmet strapped on then took his seat on the bike. Meg, with minimal hesitation, swung her leg over the bike and found herself pressed up against him.
“Hold on around my waist. Tight, that’s it. Let’s go find some grub.”
Startled, she chuckled, then her grip on him tightened as he pulled away from the building. She didn’t try to talk. The wind was in her face and she didn’t know what to say in any case. She still couldn’t believe she had fallen asleep with her head on this man’s shoulder last night. Exhaustion of course, but still . . .