Off the Map (Winter Rescue #2)

Off the Map (Winter Rescue #2) by Tamara Morgan Read Free Book Online

Book: Off the Map (Winter Rescue #2) by Tamara Morgan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tamara Morgan
focus on her inner villain. Think Maleficent. Think Ursula. Think Kathy Bates from Misery . “In the name of unjustly accused ex-girlfriends everywhere, I invoke a curse on Scott Richardson of Spokane County, rescue dog trainer and superstitious bastard, a jerkface of the highest degree.”
    “Ooh, that’s good,” Lexie said. “Unjustly accused ex-girlfriends everywhere will like that.”
    Carrie waved her off. “Don’t smile at me. I’m trying to build up my righteous anger over here.”
    “Oops. Sorry. Should I remind you what he did?”
    “There’s no need.” It was permanently seared onto her soul. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget how much he hurt me.”
    Lexie looked as if she wanted to squeeze Carrie’s hand again, but she gave a nod instead. “Good. Then may every action inflicted on this doll be echoed ten times in his own body.”
    Carrie liked that one. “May he regret treating me like my sole purpose in life is to ruin his.”
    “May he never look this good in tuxedo pants.”
    “And may he be somewhere safe and comforting today.” Carrie closed her eyes and lingered on that last one, hoping the cupcake candle deities would heed it above all the others.
    Maybe it was foolish of her, but despite everything that had happened between them last night, she understood where the accusation had come from. Letting Mara go had been hard on him—much harder than it had been for him to let Carrie go—and as his fiery explosions attested, he didn’t always handle excessive emotions well. She sometimes thought that selling his dogs was a kind of punishment he liked to inflict on himself, a test to ensure his feelings didn’t get any funny ideas about taking over, but what did she know? Her feelings had funny ideas about everything.
    “Um…” She opened one eye. “I have no idea how to end this. Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub?”
    “Yay, God!” Lexie blew out the candle. The smoky tinge that resulted only added to the cupcake scent wafting in the air, like burnt marshmallows or the crusty top of crème brûlée.
    Carrie’s stomach growled its approval—and a reminder that the bottle of Merlot she’d consumed all on her own last night was the only thing it had digested in over twelve hours. “You say there’s always frosting in your fridge?”
    “Do we have to go through the pretense of putting it on top of something, or can I just grab a spoon?”
    “A spoon? Are you kidding?” Lexie got to her feet with an energetic leap, pulling Carrie up after her. “In troubled times like these, I can barely be bothered to use my fingers.”
    # # #
    “Sorry I took so long. I stopped at Krispy Kreme on the way. I’ve had the strangest craving for doughnuts all afternoon.”
    Scott balanced a large white box in one hand as he breezed through the familiar front door to Newman’s house. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d gone through the ritual of using the doorbell or knocking, so long had he considered this place an extension of home.
    Strange that anyone could feel such warm, comforting feelings about a single-wide that had reached its peak sometime back in the eighties, but Scott had always felt safest here. It didn’t matter that he had a comfortable house of his own closer to town, or that Newman himself spent three-fourths of the year living in an enormous log cabin out on Loon Lake. This was Newman’s winter residence, the place he moved as soon as the first snow fell so he could be close at hand for rescues.
    It was also right next door to another trailer Scott could technically call home, though he hadn’t lived there since he was sixteen.
    “That’s strange. You’ve never had much of a sweet tooth.”
    “I know.” Scott tossed the box on the kitchen counter and grabbed a glazed doughnut. “It’s probably the guilt driving me to it. Isn’t this what people normally do? Eat their feelings?”
    Newman also took a doughnut, though he was choosier, poking

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