What happens when your rideshare gig gets you stranded with a Rock Star over Christmas?
Find out in Let It Snow available December 7th, 2022 exclusively on Amazon.
“It’s not that bad, Dean. A week, ten days tops…” My supposed best friend and manager, Frank, said as he drove his black SUV through the early morning traffic.
I was waiting for him to say this was for my own good.
I cranked the Christmas music up one more level , then on a sigh, upped it another level for good measure before slinking back, eyes closed, in my seat. He’d had the audacity to wake me up at three a.m. and tell me to pack a bag, he’d pick me up soon…without telling me the destination.
And worse yet, he hadn’t even bothered to bring me a coffee.
I rubbed my temples tiredly while leaning against the passenger door. At this rate, between the music and his voice, I’d have a migraine before we’d reached whatever destination he had in mind.
If we made it even.
Frank was the world’s worst driver. Add snow into the mix…and I was squeezing my eyes shut every time one of the traffic lights up ahead turned red.
Almost an hour now since he’d picked me up, and he still hadn’t answered my main and most important question.
Where are we going?
Despite half a dozen texts since he’d woken me up, and those being my first words when I got into the car, he’d just smiled and backed out of my driveway.
“You know I hate surprises.” My jaw clenched as he breezed through an icy intersection by some miracle as the traffic lights changed color. I glared at him from behind my tinted sunglasses.
“Since you were a kid, I know.”
“Yet, I’m doing this anyway?” He gave an easy, lop-sided smile as we took the turnoff for the Denver airport. My eyes narrowed slightly. So he really was sending me far away. I’d barely been back home from tour for a week, and now he wanted to put me on another plane?
All I got was silence until he pulled up in front of the departures drop off and put the SUV into park. He opened his jacket pocket and produced a ticket, holding it out to me with a flourish. I almost wondered if he expected me to break out into a round of applause.
MIAMI was printed in bright bold letters—I frowned.
“Yay…” That reluctant word held as much enthusiasm as I would have for a dental procedure, and I made no move to take the ticket from his outstretched hand.
Frank seemed oblivious. “Think of it. No snow. No cold. No—”
I put my hand up. “No Becca. And that’s the real reason you’re sending me away days before Christmas.”
“You can thank me later.”
The overcast sky above us looked as bleak and depressing as I was starting to feel, being shipped off on my own for the holidays without any notice. “You’re leaving me at an airport during the worst time of the year. And without a bodyguard. I’ll thank you never.”
He slapped my shoulder, and I shook my head, pulling my beanie down even lower, not wanting another pep talk before stepping out into the chill morning air and grabbing my bag from the back seat.
“I’ll call you.”
“I know,” I muttered. Frank was nothing but true to his damn word.
“Enjoy yourself. You’re free.”
“Right. Free.” I nodded, slinging the strap over my shoulder. Free would mean I had choices regarding what I wanted to do.
“It’s Miami, not prison. You’ll be fine.” He leaned forward. “And Merry Christmas…”
“Yeah, Merry Freaking Christmas.”
With that, I slammed the door, giving him a one-fingered salute before turning and joining the crowd heading inside. A groan escaped as I glanced at the ticket again and up at the signs.
Earbuds would help. I dug them out of my jacket pocket and slipped one into my ear, taking out my phone and hitting a playlist to drown out the noise around me.
At least no one was paying any attention as I made my way to the right counter, too busy with the Christmas rush to care too much about who stood in their midst.
One small Christmas miracle.
“Next…” the voice called from behind the counter.
A frazzled-looking brunette was waving me forward a few spots over to the right.
I stepped forward, pausing the music on my phone. “I’ve got a flight to Miami—” I started, ready to lift my bag up to check in.
“Can-celed,” she enunciated each syllable, as if I needed to read her lips. “Every flight for the next few hours is canceled…your best chance is to get down to Albuquerque and see if you can fly out of there. If not, I suggest finding a quiet space, if such a thing exists, somewhere around the airport and settling in for the day…night…or checking into one of Denver’s fine hotels for the duration of the impending storm.”
I stared at her blankly for a moment, letting her words sink in, then lowered my glasses ever so slightly. “Nothing out?”
“Nothing in, nothing out. The storm is hitting earlier than predicted. For Miami, you really should have left two days ago…” She looked back at her computer screen. “I should have left two years ago,” she muttered, then glanced up as if startled to see me still standing there. “There’ll be announcements, but yeah, not today.” She peered past me to the crowd lined up at my back. “No one is getting anywhere today,” she said loudly, and more of an uproar picked up behind me as the news made its way through the line-up.
I groaned, pulling the ticket to nowhere off the counter, and turned to the group of even more weary and disgruntled people at my back. I hurried away, slinging my bag over my shoulder.
No way was I going to stay in the airport.
No point trying to go home—Frank would no doubt show up as soon as he realized I hadn’t made it out of town.
His Plan B likely included me spending the holidays at his house where he could play babysitter and keep an eye on me.
Which left me with one lone option—a Plan B of my own.
I scanned through my phone apps, sidestepping a group of people passing by. One of them turned to glance back at me, and I hurried my pace, hoping enough of me had been covered up to keep from being easily recognized. A very familiar song streamed out the open door of one of the shops on my way, and I hastened toward the exit, taking a deep breath as my fingers hurriedly entering my info into the app.
I needed to get out of there before someone took a really good look at me and chaos ensued.