all possible. She was independent and wanted to continue to be. An SBA loan might give her enough if she lived frugally, and there was always the possibilityshe could do work with the local hospice, and maybe even take a part-time job at the hospital doing social work. There were definitely options.
She had a plan and, right now, she liked the look of it. So she rose from her perch on the rock and rubbed her frozen backside. She was going to hike up the ridge—it had been her goal—and then she’d go back to the cabin and make a hearty dinner and tell Jack all about her revelations.
Jax had his mouth full of nails and was doing his best not to swallow them while he furiously hammered an eight-foot piece of plywood onto the newly rebuilt and repaired roof trusses.
A few days ago, he’d checked the weather forecast when he’d stopped at Jaime’s home. At the time, the meteorologists forecasted no snow all week. He hoped more than believed the forecasters here were better at predicting snowfall than they were in Chicago, where he’d lived and worked until his accident.
That thought brought him up short. He supposed technically he still lived in Chicago. After all, he owned a penthouse on the Magnificent Mile with an amazing view of Lake Michigan. He’d thought the view would be great for resale—not that he ever got to enjoy it. His work hours were such that he’d leave before the sun rose and return long after the sun had set. He should have gotten the place with the city view instead. Live and learn.
Whether or not he still had a job was the one question for which he didn’t have an answer. He’d taken a leave of absence and didn’t want to contemplate what he’d do if he didn’t recover sufficiently to resume his position.
He set his mind back to the job at hand: hammering sheets of plywood onto the replaced, repaired, or sistered trusses. The repairs had proved to be slow work, because he’d spent most of his time running up and down the ladder. Up to measure, down to cut, up to install, back down if the cut wasn’t perfect—which was more often than not. It had been so long since he’d done any work with his hands that didn’t involve a computer, and longer still since he’d had to eyeball the length of something without the aid of a measuring tape, so a perfect cut was a rare thing.
His leg and ass muscles would take a while to recover from all the climbing. If he could have counted the steps, he was sure they’d be enough to have climbed to the top of the Sears Tower.
He pulled another nail from between his lips and hammered it home. At least at this stage of the job, there wasn’t a lot of cutting to be done.
The sun dipped below the edge of the mountains, and the temperature dropped with its departure. He sent up a prayer that the wall of clouds growing closer by the minute would dump the snow they contained on the mountains and not on the lake. He wasn’t ready. He needed to hurry the hell up and get the rolls of tar paper, which silently mocked him from their resting place on the porch, nailed onto the roof so the cabin would, once again, be dried in.
“Jack, I’m back.” Kendall’s voice startled him, and he almost swallowed a nail.
He spat the rest of the nails into the box, wiped his hands on his grungy jeans, and decided to shut down for the day. There was no way he’d get the rest of the tar paper on before dark.
Sliding onto the porch roof, he grabbed hold of the tree limb and swung down, landing neatly. Unfortunately, the jarring didn’t do anything to help his ever-present headache.
Kendall’s cheeks were pink with exertion, her eyes so dark and bright, they looked like sparkly onyx jewels in a field of white. She wore a bulky cream-colored fisherman’s sweater, a navy blue down vest, jeans, and worn hiking boots.
“Did you have a good hike?”
Her forehead wrinkled as if she were deciding how to respond. “Are you familiar with that quote, ‘Wherever you go,