As quick as I can, I explain to Betty what happened, and she starts to work on cleaning up Evie’s knees. The jeans are already ripped open, so she does what she can to take care of them while Evie lies there.
“It burns,” Evie says, and I reach out to take her hand. I’m not sure why, but it feels like what I’m supposed to do.
“It’s almost over,” I say, and Betty gives me a side-eye like I’m full of shit. “Well, it will be soon.”
I hear some of the other kids behind me talking, and I turn around to see what’s happening. Natalie goes over to the desk, and I hear her sorting out the rooms.
“I said she can stay with me,” the guy called Carter says.
“I don’t know, man, maybe she should stay in my cabin. I’m technically the closest one to her,” another guy says. “We already live together.”
“Yeah, but she’s basically like your sister, so that’s disgusting,” the snotty girl pipes up. “Carter, do you really want that walking tragedy in your space?”
“Paige, don't be such a bitch.” He swipes a key off the counter. “I’ll make sure she’s taken care of.”
When he glances over toward the couch where I’m crouched on the floor next to Evie, I narrow my eyes at him. The little fucker has the good sense to look away.
“Is there a problem?” I ask Natalie, and she shrugs.
“They only booked four of the cabins, so they’re going to have to double up.” Natalie looks sheepish. “I’m sorry, but the rest are already taken.”
“Just my luck,” I hear Evie mumble from behind me.
I turn around and lean a little closer to her. “You don’t want to stay with them?” She glances over my shoulder, and then I see her shake her head just a little. “Okay I’ll find a safe spot for you, all right?”
Her eyes soften with gratitude, and I can see some of the worry leave them. “Thank you,” she whispers, and I squeeze her hand before I let it go and walk over to the counter.
“Everyone have their rooms?” I ask, and Carter takes a second to look around the group.
“We can sort that out for ourselves.” The little shit is looking braver, but when I take a step forward, he moves behind the bitchy girl.
“Why don’t you make your way to your cabins then.” I crack my knuckles at my side, and he glances down at it, then over my shoulder at Evie.
“We’re waiting for our friend.” He swallows hard like it took a lot of courage to stand up to me. Oh, I bet it did, pencil dick.
“I’ll make sure she gets to where she’s supposed to be.” He opens his mouth like he wants to say something else, but I move to block his view of her. “Do you need help finding the cabins?”
“Come on, Carter, let’s go.” Evie’s brother tugs on his arm. “We’re getting up early to hit the slopes.”
Finally, Carter gives in and grabs his key. He mumbles something under his breath, but Paige moves next to him as the whole group exits the check-in desk. I finally breathe a sigh of relief when they’re gone and turn my attention to Natalie.
“Did they put down a deposit?”
She rolls her eyes. “Of course.”
“Are those kids even old enough to be renting cabins?”
“They’re all eighteen, and I made their parents send their IDs. Plus all of them had to sign waivers to get up here.”
“Fine,” I say, but it’s anything but fine.
She nods to Evie on the couch. “Which cabin do you want me to take her to?”
“I’ll sort that out. Just head back to your place and pull out some stuff for her. I’ll swing by and get it.”
“All right,” she agrees, and she hesitates like she wants to ask me something. “You okay?”
There’s a crazy-ass plan forming in my head, and I’m not about to tell my cousin about it. Hell, I don’t even want to say it out loud for my own ears. But if this sweet little duck can’t be trusted with those wolves, then I’ll make sure she’s safe. Even if it’s only for tonight. Just one night and then I’ll let her go, I tell myself.
“I think you dropped this,” Connor says, holding my book. He turns it over to read the back, and I jolt up from the little sofa to grab it out of his hand before he can read the description on the back.
I get a quick reminder that my knees still hurt even after Betty fixed them up for me. Connor drops the book to make a grab for me before I can slip right off the side of the sofa. Can someone kill me now? I’ve turned into the world’s biggest klutz right in front of the world’s hottest man.