INCANDESCENTLY EXCERPT :

Boys, welcome to Les Laurentides!

Dear Reader,

Can you hear me snickering from where you’re at? I’m so cruel to my characters. 😉

 

LIAM

“Man, I thought you were playing drama queen in your emails but—” Zac begins.

“It’s cold as fuck,” I finish.

Zac’s the fifth one to come out of the Piper exclaiming the exact same thing on the frozen tarmac at YTM Mont-Tremblant International Airport.

“Bloody hell. I just shrivelled up into nothing,” Theo says stiffly, walking bow legged in the general direction of the terminal and I smirk at his designer jeans, remembering Grégoire’s advice to me that first day.

“Didn’t you receive Éolie’s list of essentials I sent you?” I ask.

“Yeah, but we didn’t think we’d need to travel geared up in our space suits. Our winter gear is stowed in the cargo bay,” Zac complains, jumping back into the plane. “No way am I doing Theo’s penguin walk, dude.”

“Does that really say negative forty-two degrees on that digital display?” P.O. squints at the terminal, his eyes watering. “Holy shit. It just switched to negative forty-four.”

“Yep. Shows wind-chill factor,” I say breezily. “Your visit will separate the boys from the men.”

“Zac, wait up. No shit, the air in my lungs froze solid,” Leo says, disappearing back into the plane.

“Almost perfect!” Yann exclaims, his breath fogging as he slaps his hands on his back, shuffling his feet around.

P.O., Theo, and I give him a look.

“What? We’re back in Celsius. Negative forty degrees is negative forty degrees.”

P.O., Theo, and I grunt.

“C’mon, this is exciting. We’re freezing up solid almost exactly where both Celsius and Fahrenheit meet at that perfect point on the axis conversion.”

“Not on my watch.” Theo swears a blue streak, grabbing Yann by one arm, shoving him back into the plane.

P.O. follows, blowing on his fingers. “My touch screen can’t feel any of my fingers. That’s fucking cold, man.”

On the second go around, five happy campers strut their way into the terminal.

“Éolie, we all owe you big time,” Leo cups his hands and hollers up upon spotting her sitting in front of the massive stone fireplace in the upstairs visitors’ loft inside the posh, log cabin airport terminal.

(QUICK HOP TO MONT-TREMBLANT INT’L AIRPORT)

“Leo!” she exclaims, looking down on us from over the loft’s wooden ramp. “Hi, guys! I’m so relieved you got the memo, and dressed warmly. Wait up, coming down.”

“No rush, hold the railing,” I say sternly and the guys give me looks. “What? Those stairs are steep.”

But the ribbing I get for my being overprotective of Éolie is nothing on the ribbing I get once Zac sees the car. The red car.

I stroke her hood once in passing before unlocking the doors. “No dissing Odyssey’s color, she’ll take it personally.” I watch with no small amount of satisfaction the guys dropped jaws.

“Did he just call the bloody red car by name?” Zac asks, looking around. “Will the real Liam O’Shea please stand up?”

I snicker, and Éolie and I share an amused look.

We’re soon stowing the last of their luggage in the car’s rooftop cargo box and our way to the Forest of Laure … and clueless Leo’s farmstead.

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