Chill Factor

Read Chill Factor for Free Online

Book: Read Chill Factor for Free Online
Authors: Sandra Brown
Tags: Mystery Fiction
giving her a critical once-over. "You're
underdressed."
    "Tell me," she said through chattering teeth.
    "What have you got in your suitcase? Anything useful?"
    "Nothing warmer than what I've got on."
    Apparently wanting to judge that for himself, he opened the
suitcase
on the seat beside him. He rifled through her garments, heedlessly
sorting through lingerie, nightgowns, socks, slacks, tops. "Thermal
underwear?"
    "No."
    He tossed her a wool sweater. "Put this on over what you're
wearing."
    She removed her coat long enough to pull on the sweater.
    "Let me see your boots."
    "My—"
    "Boots," he repeated impatiently. She pulled up her pants leg
and
extended her leg far enough for him to see her foot. He frowned. Taking
several pairs of socks from the suitcase, he tossed them over the seat
at her. "Put those in your pocket. Take this, too. You can put it on
once we get to the cabin." He passed her a thin silk turtleneck that
she'd originally bought to wear under ski clothes.
    Then, startling her, he reached over the seat and took a
strand of
her hair. "Wet." He dropped the strand quickly, but Lilly was glad he
    emu
    was thinking about her damp hair and not the fistful of
panties he
was holding in his other hand. "Have you got a cap? A hat of any kind?"
    "I didn't plan on being outdoors much during this trip."
    "You've got to have something on your head."
    He tossed the undies back into the suitcase and pulled the
stadium
blanket from his shoulders. "Lean toward me."
    She came up on her knees and faced the backseat. He fashioned
a hood
for her out of the blanket, placing it over her head and folding it
across her chest. He buttoned her coat up over it, then patted it into
place. "There. Before you get out of the car, pull this loose fabric up
over your nose and mouth. Is there anything in the trunk except a spare
tire?"
    The familiar way in which he'd touched her left her surprised
and
slow to process thought. Her mind raced to catch up with what he'd
asked her. "Uh, a… I think there's a first-aid kit that came
with the
car."
    "Good."
    "And some food I was taking from the cabin."
    "Even better." He gave the car's interior a cursory glance.
"Flashlight, anything in the glove box?"
    "Only the instruction manual for the car."
    "Just as well. I doubt we could have gotten anything out of
it,
bashed in as it is." He made a swipe at the fresh blood trickling down
his cheek, then pulled on his gloves. "Let's go."
    "Wait. My handbag. I'll need it."
    She looked around for her purse and discovered that it had
been
slung down to the passenger-side floorboard when the car crashed into
the tree. It was difficult, but she managed to reach between the dash
and the seat and wrest her bag from beneath the wreckage.
    "Loop the shoulder strap around your neck to keep your arms
free.
Better balance."
    She did as he suggested, then reached for the door latch.
There, she
paused and looked at him apprehensively. "Maybe we should just stay put
until we can call for help."
    "We could, but nobody's coming up this road tonight, and I
doubt
we'd survive till morning."
    "Then I guess we don't have a choice, do we?"
    "Not really, no."
    Again she reached for the door latch, but this time it was he
who
stopped her by laying a hand on her shoulder. "I didn't mean to sound
so curt."
    "I understand the need for haste."
    "We've got to get to shelter before it gets worse out here."
    She bobbed her head in agreement. Their gazes held for a
second or
two, then he removed his hand from her shoulder, opened the back door,
and got out. Lilly joined him at the rear of the car, where he was
surveying the contents of the open trunk. He found the first-aid kit
and told her to put it in her pocket. "Some of those canned goods, too.
And the crackers."
    He was likewise filling the many pockets of his coat with
cans,
which must have weighed him down, especially after he retrieved his
backpack from where they'd left it lying in the road.
    "Ready?" he asked, squinting at her

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