Her jet-black flowing hair deep chocolate brown eyes and lovely figure were all appealing but what drew him toward her most of all was what he knew about her. Having read a bio on her, he knew her character, her strongly held beliefs regarding right and wrong her loyalty and determination and most of all her inner strength. Otherwise she wouldn’t have taken this on, she’d have been sitting at home carrying on with her life, unconcerned regarding the outcome for both her brother and Jackson.
“God, I must smell like a horse after a long run. Ugh!” June sniffed.
“No worse than me I imagine. Having said that, you smell like the great outdoors. Nothing wrong with that.”
Nigel smiled. “A long soak will feel heavenly when we’re done here,” she admitted. “Even though I’m not given to luxuriating baths; I prefer showers.”
“We might be able to do something about that then. There is a small waterfall up ahead.”
“As long as it’s concealed from prying eyes, I’m in.”
They continued along the path and then veered off toward the mountainside and within moments, they came across an idyllic little waterfall surrounded by enough bushes to offer protection. June rushed toward the waterfall with Nigel taking up the rear.
Parking their gear to the right of the waterfall, Nigel suggested he take a look around first to ensure privacy and to make sure there weren’t any others nearby. As soon as he was finished, he nodded, “Ok.”
June took off her boots and socks and hustled under the waterfall and although it wasn’t monumental it was substantial, large enough to enjoy. Although chilly, there was just enough sun peeking through to warm her body. She stripped, dropped her clothes at her feet and began scrubbing her hair and body vigorously. Without soap or shampoo it was a moot point, but she felt cleaner and invigorated.
Nigel was standing guard, his back toward her and she hurried to her back pack, wet clothes in hand, dropped them and searched for fresh clothes from the skin out. Although her clothes were now damp from her wet body, she felt revived. Wringing out the wet clothes, she hung them over nearby bushes. Perhaps they’d be here long enough for them to dry enough to repack. If not, she’d willingly leave them behind.
Grabbing a wide comb from a side pocket, she walked toward Nigel. “God that felt wonderful!”
He turned and smiled. Within seconds he was stripping, prepared to enter the waterfall and he grinned when she became aware and pinked up. Delightful. “Won’t be long!”
She quickly turned her back as he dropped the remainder of his clothing and began his own ablutions. June couldn’t hold back her own smile. From what she’d seen he definitely worked out. Another time and place, she might have suggested they shower together.
As soon as Nigel was dressed, he joined her. “I think it’s safe enough to stay here for a bit, grab a bite and let our clothes dry for awhile.”
“I’m in.” They dragged out some bars and filled cups with drinking water from the waterfall.
“How are we doing? Time wise? Are we close to being on schedule?”
“There isn’t a schedule when it comes to finding lost people, June. It is what it is. Sometimes it takes days, depending on the distance, timeline, terrain and amount of time before we were called in.”
“I get that, I do. I still can’t help but wonder.”
“We have a damn good idea where they’re headed, we outnumber them, we’re prepared. We’ll find them, June.”
“Yeah, I’m sure of that.” She desperately hoped they’d be in one piece.