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The Cabin A Reverse Harem Romance
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I’m trapped in a mountain cabin with a man.
My big brother’s best friends in the world, and my biggest fantasy come true.
Because once I’ve had all of them, one man would never be enough.
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The high school gymnasium was filled to the brim, and the buzz of conversation was almost deafening. Way more people came than we could have ever anticipated or planned for. Trevor and Nolan were putting out more seats as fast as they could, while I scanned the crowd for the Woodwards. There was no sign of Mr. and Mrs. Woodward – my best friend’s parents — or Elle, his little sister, for that matter.
Checking my watch, I grimaced when I saw that they were running late. A large group of high school-aged boys walked through the doors, their fathers at their back. Another group, this one with a few girls mixed in with them, followed next. With this many people, it’s going to be hard to keep them waiting.
Problem was, without the Woodward family, it was kind of hard to get started. They were the reason we were here making this presentation in the first place. They were the main people in charge with speaking today about the legacy and life of their son, Aaron.
Nolan looked up at me, his dark eyes worried as he realized the same thing I did. I nodded, holding up my hand miming that I was using the phone, and stepped out of the gym. I pushed the high school’s heavy doors open, and stepped out, only to find Sean – and he wasn’t alone. The familiar faces of Tammy and Simon Woodward looked up at me.
Instantly, just by their expressions, I knew something was wrong.
Tammy gave me a faint smile as I approached, but Simon’s face looked older and more tired than usual. I hugged Tammy, and she held on tightly to me. She clung to me as a drowning man might cling to a life preserver, reinforcing my belief that something was indeed, very wrong.
I whispered in her ear, “What’s wrong?”
“It’s Elle,” she said, pulling back.
When I noticed tears in her eyes, and her words registered in my mind, my heart dropped into my stomach. It was like a lead weight tied to my chest, pulling me down. My mind flashed back to the last time I’d seem Tammy Woodward crying. It was the night her son had passed away. It was the very reason we were there today, talking to a bunch of high school seniors about their life choices and what it would mean for them. Because Aaron’s life choices led to tragedy, and I swore on his grave that I’d do everything in my power to keep it from happening to anyone else.
I’d also promised to never let anything happen to his sister, Elise. She was all the Woodwards had left now that Aaron was gone.
“What happened?” I asked, looking between both Simon and Tammy, then over at Sean.
Simon cleared his throat. “Nothing happened, we’re just worried about her. That’s all.”
“Worried? What’s going on?” I asked.
“She took a vacation with her boyfriend, Brad,” Simon said. “Up into the mountains. She was supposed to be back today.”
“They’re experiencing some pretty bad snowfall up there,” I said, looking over at Sean.
He shook his head gently, a motion only I noticed.
“She called last night,” Tammy said, her voice cracking. “She said that Brad isn’t the man she thought he was, and she didn’t feel safe. She said she was going to head back home, but we talked her out of it. The roads were too bad, we were afraid she’d get into an accident, but –”
“But what?” I asked.
“But she isn’t answering her phone now,” Simon finished for his wife. “Could be the cell towers are down though. The storm may have knocked everything out. We just don’t know.”
Tammy looked less convinced. She stared at me with familiar blue eyes. The same blue eyes my best friend inherited from her. Blue eyes that made me feel like he was staring out at me again, and where it should have been comforting, I was slightly unnerved. It was like Aaron was reaching out from the grave, pleading with me to do something.
“Alright,” I said, patting her on the back and answering her silent pleas. “I’ll head up to the mountains and check on her.”
“You can’t drive up there,” Simon said. “The roads are bad.”
I shrugged. “Not the first time I’ve driven on treacherous roads before.”
“Yeah, and he won’t be going alone,” Sean said.
I looked over at Sean and raised my eyebrows. “You coming with me?” I asked.
“Better to not go alone. Just in case something happens,” he said. “The Boy Scout motto remember?” he said, trying to keep things light.
“Be prepared. Yeah, I remember,” I laughed, running a hand over my face. “Not that we’re Boy Scouts anymore.”
“Let me go talk to the others. We’ll head out shortly. You got an address where she’s staying at?”
“Of course,” Tammy said.
Her tears had dried up, and she seemed to be feeling better, or at least, a little more reassured, anyway. That was all that mattered to me.