Mountain Man's Accidental Baby Daughter

By: Lia Lee and Ella Brooke

Chapter 1


“Fuck Randy,” I said, sitting on the ground. “This is all his fault.”

Jamie shook her head, her blonde hair like spun sunshine. I hated that she looked so good out here when I felt so grimy. “You can’t blame him for every single thing going wrong.”

“Yes, I can,” I said. “If it weren’t for him calling me boring, I wouldn’t have been out on this stupid hike, and I wouldn’t have twisted my ankle. He’s a no-good, lying, good-for-nothing piece of shit.”

Jamie chuckled. “The guide radioed for help. You’ll get back to the lodge in no time, and it won’t look so bad.” I looked up at her looking like a goddess on the mountain said and I was the little grouch next to her on the floor.

I shook my head. I was determined to feel sorry for myself. This was bullshit. I wasn’t an outdoors person. I didn’t like hiking and being in touch with nature and roughing it. I was a city girl. I liked my safe job as an actuary, my safe life nestled in routine and knowing that everything would work out the way it was supposed to. This adventure thing wasn’t me.

But Randy had broken up with me because I was too boring. Those were his words. And I was here trying to prove him wrong.

The only thing I had proven was that I sucked at this. And I couldn’t have chosen a worse place to hurt myself because we were about as far up in the mountains that this hike was going to go. Which meant it was a long way down to the lodge, and we had chosen the afternoon hike so the sun was getting low.

“Thanks for waiting with me,” I said to Jamie. She was a colleague from work, but we had become close over the years. She was willing to go on this mission with me where I proved myself to Randy. She was more adventurous than I was and she seemed to understand that I was lost. I wasn’t sure why she was willing to stick around, but a girl needs a shoulder when the love of her life dumps her. Thankfully, Jamie was willing to be that for me.

My parents hadn’t approved of Randy. Maybe, looking back, they had had a point. But we hadn’t spoken in three years. I wasn’t going to crawl back to them now, so I could hear them say “I told you so”. That meant that I had only Jamie to turn to when things were tough. Not my mom and certainly not my dad.

But a girl could cope without her parents, right? I didn’t need them.

Jamie sat down on the ground next to me.

“You know,” she said, “there are other ways of showing Randy you’re not who he thinks you are.”

“How?” I asked.

“You can move on with your life. Prove you don’t care what he said and that you don’t need him. That’s giving him the middle finger. Trying to prove him wrong is keeping you stuck on him.”

She didn’t add that it was also pathetic. I was grateful for it. I knew that it was pathetic without someone else confirming it for me.

“But I do care about what he said.” I pouted. “He was wrong, and I need to show him that. I need to show me that.”

“Is being stuck on a mountain with a twisted ankle really the way to go, though?”

I sighed. “I hate your logic sometimes. At least I don’t still have strep on top of this.” I had gotten strep throat a week before the hike, and I had asked my doctor for the strongest course of medicine I could find. I hadn’t wanted to cancel the hike. But it was looking grim now. “Can’t you let me be heartbroken in peace?”

Jamie shrugged. “I’m just saying.”

“Don’t. Be ready with ice cream and wine when I need it.”

Jamie chuckled. “You got it.”

We heard footsteps crunching through the brush around us and a man – the most perfect man I had ever seen – stepped through the foliage. He brushed twigs off his jeans and walked toward us. Jamie and I both stared, and I couldn’t help but look him up and down.

He was gorgeous in that rugged alpha kind of way. He had sandy-colored hair with a beard that failed to hide his strong jawline and hair that hung almost down to his shoulders. He was well-built, his T-shirt straining around his muscles, and his jeans clung to his hips like he was doing them a favor. A tattoo snaked up his arm and disappeared under his shirt.

He looked like an Adonis, sent from the heavens to save me, the damsel in distress. He was like a Viking invader, and by God, I wanted him to invade me.

“What happened?” he asked. His voice was deep and smooth, velvet on my skin. I had to get my mind out of the gutter. When I looked at him, all I could think about was sex.

“She tripped and came down on her ankle wrong,” Jamie answered, and I realized the Viking had asked me a question.