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Rescued by the Ranger (Camp Hardwood 2) Alexa Riley 2022/8/5 16:51:24

I look down at the clipboard in my hand, making sure I double-check my count on supplies. It’s wilderness day and that means the campers are really going to be camping tonight. No air-conditioned cabins for them. As much as I love getting down and dirty out in the woods with my man, I need my air conditioning. I do not envy their night. I know they will have fun. The kids at Camp Hardwood always do, but it isn’t the kind of fun I like having at the end of the night.

“You new?” I hear someone ask, making me turn to glance over my shoulder at the two boys I haven’t met yet. I know they’re new hires. Moose does a check on every hire that comes to Camp Hardwood. I saw their folders on his desk with pictures attached. I’m a curious thing and I always go looking through anything and everything so I read their files. Not that my husband would care. He knows how I am. He’s always there to make sure I don’t get myself into any messes. If I do, he’s quick to clean them up or save me from myself. He’s perfect like that. And all mine.

“Nope,” I answer. I glance back down at the clipboard, signing the bottom so Mrs. Cyprus knows the supplies were double-checked. It’s not surprising the boys don’t know who I am. I don’t come to camp a ton. I occasionally come down to help from time to time when I get cabin fever. Which isn’t often. I like being home with my husband and son. I also enjoy helping at Camp Hardwood and being a part of the team, so even when I don’t have cabin fever I make myself come down and join in. Plus, Moose is doing a safety check for Mr. Cyprus. I don’t have to worry about my son at the moment. He’s with Tia, who is making cookies. The girl isn’t only good with cooking, she has a special touch when it comes to kids too.

“So you work here?” one of them asks. I can’t remember his or the other one’s names. I just recall their faces from the pictures. I turn back around because I hear one of them step closer to me. I’m beside one of the cabins where all the supplies are laid out. They just need to be bagged, which they will make the campers do before they all head out.

“Kinda,” I answer, dropping the clipboard down to my side. I cock my head to look at them. “You can’t go camping in that.” I don’t know if they’re here to see if I was done doing my check. They are both in flip-flops, swim trunks and lifeguard shirts. It’s a hike out to the site and flip-flops won’t cut it.

“Lifeguard.” The boy points to his puffed-out chest. I have to fight not to laugh. Moose is easily two times bigger than him. I don’t want to hurt the poor boy’s ego, but he really should get lost before Moose comes back.

“Water’s over there.” I nod toward the lake. What is he doing over here then? Other than bothering me. I guess he isn’t bothering me. I’m done with my check. I wonder if there is something else I can handle for Mrs. Cyprus while I wait for Moose to get back. I’m going to steal my husband away for a few hours while Tia watches our son. We’re in the middle of working on a second baby.

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“You should come for a swim.” He takes another step toward me. Oh shit.

“No thanks. I don’t have a swimsuit with me.” I take a step back.

“You don’t need one. In fact—” His words are cut off as Moose’s hand lands on his shoulder, stopping him from talking. We all know he was going to say I could skinny dip. I have done that a few times. Only with Moose, though. After he made sure there wasn’t a soul around. The man could get jealous of fish. “Hey Moose.” The young man tries to jerk from Moose’s hold but he gets nowhere. If Moose wants you somewhere, that’s where you’ll be. Period.

“You talking to my wife?” he growls. I feel bad for the guy when his face goes white as a ghost.

“Leave the poor boy alone,” I tell my husband. I can tell from the glint in his eyes he doesn’t want to.

“I-I…” The boy stumbles over his words. “Didn’t know she was your wife,” he finally gets out. Of course the boy knows Moose is married. He tells anyone who will listen. That wedding ring never leaves his finger. It always warms me when I hear him talking about me. From how he talks you’d think he’d found an angel in the woods the day he found me.