Authors: Capri Montgomery
Copyright © 2013 Shunta Montgomery
All Rights Reserved
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
Hiking for Danger is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, event or locales is entirely coincidental.
Capri Montgomery Books
Cover by: Sweet Temptation Designs
Thank you, Barb, for catching the mistakes I missed. Your assist with editing has been wonderful.
Thanks to all of my readers for showing your support for my work by buying and reading my books.
Books by Capri Montgomery
The Sixth Sentinel
On the Line
When the Heart Breaks
In Love Before Christmas
On Thin Ice
Warriors of Persia
Sworn to Secrecy
Explosive: Deadly Connections
Betrayal of the Dove
Shadow Hills: M is for Murder
Seducing the Bodyguard
Shadow Hills: No Valentine
Shadow Hills: Fallen Hero
Secrets and Lies
Saints and Sinners
The McGregor Affair
The Geneva Project
The Admiral’s Daughter
Watch Over Me
And Many Others…
The Funeral Planner
ahara Daniels was
the woman in the family who didn’t do anything when it came to adventures. She wasn’t one of those women, or maybe she should just say she wasn’t one of those people, who went in search of the next thrill. The problem was that everybody else in her family was one of those people which made her the butt of all jokes at family functions. Well not this time. This time she was going to show them exactly how adventurous she could be.
They could crawl on their belly through caves, tunnels, deserts and beyond. They could climb ice covered mountains, trek through the Amazon, and dive out of airplanes into a canopy of trees. They could do it all and now she was going to show them she could too. She had planned her great adventure and she was sure at the next family dinner she would be able to tell her story instead of becoming the story of the child who didn’t fit. They never let her forget she was nothing like what a Daniels should be, but this time she was going to show them she was just as good as they were.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t a great adventure, but she was going hiking—a one day hike, but heck, that had to count for something. She wasn’t really the type to hike at all. Most days she sat on her butt, or moved around the lab, studying the bugs she found, categorized and did research on. She was good at what she did, but it wasn’t good enough for her family.
Sahara had packed light because she didn’t want supplies holding her down. She had what she thought was necessary for one day of hiking. She had done her research because the last thing she needed was for being under prepared to muck up her great adventure story. There would be nothing worse than telling her family she forgot a needed item because if she had to tell them that they wouldn’t stop laughing for the entire meal and that laugh would definitely be at her expense.
She arrived at the departing station, chucked her backpack in the storage bin as the driver had instructed even though she would have rather had taken her bag on the bus with her, and then she went inside to sign her name to the roster. The roster was crucial because even though she had paid for the trip they needed proof she had actually shown up, “just in case something happens,” the older woman had said. Sahara didn’t like the sound of that. What did she mean “just in case something happened”? What was supposed to happen that would require written proof she was there in the first place?
Sahara had felt the fear creeping into her the moment the woman opened her mouth, but with that apple face of hers, pudgy cheeks and a perfect shade of blond—bottled of course—hair, she looked sweet enough not to steer her wrong. With a woman like that working for them this tour couldn’t be all that bad, and it was only a day. What could go wrong in a day? She held her head up and pushed her fear aside. If she could make it through a day of hiking she, too, could share a story over dinner that would, with hopes, take some of the teasing away. They were her family and she loved them, but there was only so much a woman could take. They saw it as lighthearted teasing while she saw it as bullying. She wasn’t like them and they never let her forget that.
“Hi there,” a young man approached her. “I’m Riley Smith. I’m twenty-two, recent graduate with my MBA in sports management and I’m single,” he wiggled his eyebrows.
Sahara laughed nervously. She was there to do something her family could be proud of and that would make them stop picking on her due to her lack of adventurer spirit; she was not there to pick up a man—especially not one who still looked like a college frat boy just waiting for his next lay. She looked over the tall, skinny guy—he probably ran for his workouts because she could tell he was in shape; he just wasn’t all muscles—which wasn’t a bad thing in her book. “Well, Riley Smith, twenty-two and single, that’s an interesting way to introduce yourself. I’m Doctor Sahara Daniels—thirty-two and not looking.”
He chuckled. “I like older women—especially well-educated doctors. So tell me, Doctor, do you make house calls because I think my hammer needs some loving?”
She cringed at his words.
Gosh was that what they were calling it now days? “I’m not that kind of doctor,” she mumbled before excusing herself. She hadn’t been looking where she was going. All she wanted to do was get away from the horny kid. How was she supposed to know somebody was walking into the room? Well, maybe she would have known if she had looked before she started backing up.
When her body came up against a solid frame she nearly tripped and fell on her behind, but one strong arm snaked around her and stabled her against a rather hard chest. The guy was tall; she could tell because she wasn’t so tall and her head fell against his lower chest. Good lord have mercy this felt so good she could stay there for days. That thought alone scared her because when she said she wasn’t looking for a relationship, or even a fling, she meant it, but her body was definitely on the road to mutiny against her brain.
Pulling her thoughts together, Sahara extracted herself, reluctantly so, from the guy’s arms. “I’m so sor—.” The words died on her lips as her eyes traveled upwards and saw the most strikingly handsome man she had ever met. He was ruggedly handsome—nothing like those models on the cover of magazines—he was way better. Blue eyes, dark brownish with a hint of blond hair, a very manly jaw she would say and a serious look on his face that had her nearly melting at his feet. Oh, and the body…what a body! He looked like he climbed mountains and maybe he was a runner too, but she would definitely say he was a man who knew his way around climbing cliffs, mountains, rocks and everything else.
“Oh we’re almost set to go,” she heard a bubbly high pitched laugh coming from the door that led to the outside. She turned to see what, or more like whom, had decided talking as if she were trying to let her voice be heard in China had just come through the door. What she saw was a taller woman, maybe five eight or nine at most, looking at one dangerously sexy man as if she wanted to claim him. Well she couldn’t have him, Sahara had decided. He was hers. She mentally slapped herself. He was not hers, but she wanted him to be.
“Hi,” the bubbly brunette with blond highlights nearly knocked Sahara over while trying to get to the fine specimen of a man in front of her. “I’m Stacey Nash,” she batted her eyes and Sahara rolled hers. Seriously she didn’t like the girl already. Why didn’t she go flirt with a man closer to her age? The kid looking for somebody to doctor his “hammer” would due for her.
“Uh huh,” the man said as he pushed past all of them, including her. Well, at least he wasn’t interested in Barbie.
“Oh he is so mine,” Stacey said.
“You think you can rope that man?” Her friend said with a thick Texas accent. For the first time, Sahara realized Stacey had one too. She had been too busy fixating on the fact that the bimbette was trying to go after a man she had seen first.
“I’m tall, I’m trim, I’m going after him,” she winked and giggled. “Besides, nobody else here even comes close to bringing what I’m bringing.” She cut Sahara an accusatory look telling her she didn’t stand a chance.
Sahara resisted the urge to look down at her own body. She was five-two at most and she wasn’t really thin. Of course she wasn’t fat either. She was in a size seven—okay, maybe it was closer to an eight, but she could fit some size seven clothing. She had b-cup breasts, slightly rounder hips, thighs that weren’t super muscular, but they weren’t flabby either—not entirely…even though they were a bit bigger than she liked. She would never rock a mini skirt like her sister could. In her profession a mini skirt was a bad idea anyway. Her body was nice, at least she thought so. But put her up against perfectly tall, big breasted Stacey Nash and she could see where a man might see greener pastures when he looked at Stacey. She was perfectly stacked hourglass to Sahara’s bland almost hourglass shape.
Sahara cut another look at Stacey’s very perky breasts. Were those even real? Probably not, she told herself before realizing how catty that was of her. Why was she pulling out the claws over a man she didn’t know and would most likely never see again after today?
“All right, listen up,” the man who had broken her fall said. “I’m Cody, the man leading you into the woods,” he said while flashing a really gorgeous set of pearly whites. She wondered if he bleached them professionally or just took care of them to perfection on his own. She was leaning towards the later because he didn’t look like a man who went for the cosmetic appeal. Hey, maybe that could work to her advantage.
“I’m going to be the guy helping you climb that mountain.”
She would rather climb him. The moment that thought raced across her mind she mentally kicked herself. Where was this coming from? She hadn’t wanted to climb anybody—ever actually, but she wanted to climb him. No, she had to take that back. She was still a virgin because of two things, the first was that she wanted to wait until it was special, and the second was that the one night she thought she was going to give that part of herself to the man she thought she loved, she walked in on the fool having sex with his research assistant—on her desk! God, if he were going to cheat on her why couldn’t he just do it in his own home instead of using her desk where she worked? He had made several excuses, all of which came back to blaming her for waiting so long. And when she asked Devin why he picked her office, he told her it was because everybody knew she was too boring to come visit. In other words, he didn’t expect anybody to walk in on them, not even her. And had she not left her notebook that she needed on her desk then she wouldn’t have gone back. Unfortunately, her notebook that she needed was then firmly planted under the naked behind of a vivacious brunette with soft, subtle curves. Her notebook that she needed also got a sprinkling of sexual body fluids too—like she needed that to happen.
Sahara shook the thought from her mind. She was still the virgin of the family—in so many ways and for some reason her sister and the rest of her family never really let her forget. The only person who felt the need to harp on her virginal sexual state was her sister, Kallie. Sahara, for the life of her, couldn’t figure out why Kallie cared so much. It wasn’t Kallie’s body so what the heck did she care if it had seen sex or not?
Sahara forced her attention back to the hot man in front of her just as another man joined him. “This is Parker. He will be functioning as an active guide as well, so he’ll be there to answer questions and see that you all are okay. Let’s go outside. I’m going to do a quick roll call and after I call your name please get on the motor coach.”
They all filed out the office area and waited in a group. She couldn’t help but try to stay in the front. Being shorter she always tried to stay up front so she could see what was going on, but the more people filed out the more she got pushed to the back. Eventually she had to walk down to the end of the group and stand on the sidelines so she could see.
“Stacey Nash.” He looked up from his clipboard.
“That’s me, gorgeous, sexy, at your service,” she laughed.
“Get on the bus,” he mumbled as he put a check mark on the paper he was looking at. “Nikita Taylor.”
“Nikki,” she said. “I’m with Stacey. We do everything together” she smiled. Her tone held a hint of something sexual to the “everything” part of her words. Whatever it was, maybe Sahara was just over thinking things because Cody didn’t seem to notice. He just kept doing what he did.
“On the bus,” he motioned with his head and the bubbly blond nearly hopped onto the bus.
“That’s me,” he said. “Sit next to me on the bus doll,” he winked at her before getting on the bus. She rolled her eyes again.
The thought occurred to her that Cody had missed her name. She came in before Stacey and Nikki, but after Riley so her name should have been called already. Then again, there were others still standing there too.
“Donald and Shell Baker.”
“That’s us. Father and son,” the short built like a football player man said. “I’m Don and he’s Shell—my all-state wrestling champ.” He wrapped his arm around Shell and gave him a male bonding one arm hug.