Tempting the Bears
Thirty days in the remote cabin of her dreams. No social media, no online shopping or even streaming Roxie begins to wonder if the next month is going to be heaven on earth or hell in a handbasket? When two hot Highlanders show up on her doorstep, Roxie holds her breath and wonders – what could possibly go wrong?
When Calum and Aiden follow their mate to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, they expect their independent mate to put up a fight. What they don’t expect is a run in with a moose, a car accident and finding unexpected treasure.
Will her next thirty days be heaven on Earth, or hell in a handbasket?
Roxie pulled up in front of the cabin her grandfather left her and sighed. Shifting her SUV into park, she stared up at the rustic building. The porch roof sagged at one end and the steps had seen better days. It didn’t matter. She still loved it, and the land surrounding it was hers as long as she followed the stipulations set out in her grandfather’s will.
She frowned up at the cabin. The roof looked rough, too. Knowing her luck, it probably leaked. Some of the wooden shingles, most grayed with weather and age, had gone missing, leaving bare spots on the rough plywood decking. As soon as it was hers, she would have a new pine-green metal roof put on it. That way, she’d never have to worry about leaks again.
The cabin looked run down and lonely. The cheerful flowered curtains her grandmother had made were gone. The windows, while still intact, were covered with a layer of grime. It made them hazy, giving the cabin an abandoned, ramshackle appearance that would have broken her grandmother’s heart. She knew because it made her heart ache to see the once-cheerful summer home looking so roughened by age and neglect.
Tears filled her eyes when she thought about how it had come to be in such condition. Her grandfather would never have allowed it to get in such shape if he’d had a say. He hadn’t. He’d spent the last three years of his life in a nursing home, fighting cancer and dementia.
Why had no one told her he was so ill? If it hadn’t been for one of the nurses at the home calling her, she wouldn’t have even been able to say goodbye. She swallowed around the lump in her throat and breathed out a sigh. She’d have to stay in the neglected cabin for the next thirty days if she wanted the deed in her name.
She might not have bothered if it wasn’t for the fact that she knew her cousin, Garret, would sell the land to the highest bidder to add the funds to his already fat bank account. No matter how remote or cold she found it, she had to manage to stay here. If only to keep the land in the family.
There was no doubt in Roxie’s mind that had either of her grandparents realized she’d have to stay alone in the cabin in the dead of winter, they would have changed that stipulation in their will and given her the property outright.
Still, she had always loved this cabin and if staying in it until the snow reached the rafters was the only way she’d get it, she was game.
Staying in the wilds of the Upper Peninsula for a month was a small price to pay to keep her cousin from getting possession of it and selling it to some developer, no matter what time of the year she had to do it in.
Garret Winslow had always been a greedy bastard. The two million dollars left to him by his parents wasn’t enough. It would never be enough. These three hundred and seventy acres surrounding Sleeping Bear Lake were ripe for the picking, according to Garret. Her grandparents had owned every bit of property surrounding the lake, with the exception of a one hundred and fifty-acre swath on the northern end, owned by the descendants of the man who had discovered and named the lake with one of her ancestors over one hundred and thirty years before.
“Well...” Roxie took a deep breath and blew it out. “I’d better get that generator running or I’m going to be freezing tonight.”
She’d brought a thermal sleeping bag, but it was no match for the huge pellet stove her grandfather had installed and hooked into the central heating ducts.
Cold fingers fumbled with the seatbelt until it finally gave. She opened the door and slid from the big truck. The frigid air hit her hard, taking her breath away. Wrapping her scarf around her face, she trudged toward the front door, her keys in her hand.
Garret will sell this land over my dead body. Roxie shivered at the thought, or was it the cold? After all, she hadn’t braved a Michigan winter in fifteen years. Not since her parents had moved to the mountains of Virginia. It was cold in the mountains, but not as cold as Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Grabbing her keys, she headed for the front porch. Gently, she tested the steps, hoping they wouldn’t collapse beneath her. It had been a few years since her grandfather had been able to work on the cottage. She swiped the tears from her eyes as she fit the key into the lock and opened the door.
The floor creaked beneath her feet as she entered. As always, her grandmother’s rag rugs were strewn across the shining, hardwood floor. She inhaled, taking in the smell of musty cloth and old wood. Gone was the scent of her grandmother’s perfume and lavender essential oil. Dust covered everything and the once warm and happy summer home felt cold and lonely.
Shivering, she wrapped her arms around herself and headed for the back. The door in the kitchen led to the shed and the generator. Unlocking the door, she opened it and headed back to the front door and her SUV. The spark plugs, oil, filter and battery she’d purchased from the local hardware store would surely help it start up. With luck, what she had would be all it would need.
She rummaged through the back of her vehicle and grabbed the wrench, battery, and the maintenance supplies she’d purchased. She headed back to the house, went out through the kitchen door and to the shed.