[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with: Richard Armitage as Sam Wakeforest, Marcia Gay Harden as Sam’s older sister Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney, and Emily Deschanel as Tessa’s sister-in-law Olivia Delaney, Viola Davis as Pauletta Perkins, Cicely Tyson as Nellie Newton, and Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Trent, Kevin Spacey as Roger Delaney, Sam Heughan as Todd Wakeforest, Idris Elba as Dominic Perkins and others as noted.]
Authors Content Note: “Love in the Great Pine Woods” is a mature love story with dramatic themes of love and relationships. It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of: L for language, D for dramatic emotions, and S for sensual themes. And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of the next chapter.
Authors Recap from the Previous Chapter: The opening of the Wakeforest Family XMAS Tree Farm on Friday heralds the start of the busy holiday season. And as Sam Wakeforest and Olivia Delaney begin to explore possibly dating each other–their kisses on Thanksgiving having cemented both of their interests in that regard. However, it was the unexpected arrival of the runaway teen Alice with her baby brother Timmy that caused all of the adults to focus on helping her–with Tessa and Roger Delaney taking her in to house her as their foster children while they and Mrs. Perkins attempt to resolve Alice’s desperate situation. And owing to their Friday night dinner date being cancelled–in lieu of having dinner with the Delaney’s and Alice–Sam and Olivia will try again on Saturday. But Saturday will not turn out as anyone expects when events unfold that will cause the Wakeforest family grave concern as the treacherous nature of the mountain and its environs endangers one of their own.
“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 6 (PG-13, D, L)–A Walk in the Woods Turns Tragic
When Sam invited Olivia to have lunch at his log cabin in the woods on Saturday, he envisioned a cozy tete-a-tete with, perhaps, some playful couch wrestling for dessert. That is so not what happens. First off, Sam and Olivia are not alone–they have a chaperone. Sam understands that Olivia’s brother Roger wants to protect her from malicious gossip were it known that she were alone with a man. But Sam could not have foreseen the lengths to which her brother would go–as in, joining them for lunch at Sam’s log cabin. Brothers are definitely romance killers.
And Sam doesn’t remember being similarly concerned when his sister Tessa was dating Roger before they married. Afterall, Tessa was a widow. So she had been married–and all that being married entails. Though frankly, Sam doesn’t want to think about his older sister in such a … well, such a situation. Sam doesn’t think the word position, because that conjures up other connotations regarding his sister Tessa. But still, he would hope that his brother-in-law Roger would cut him a little slack and give him a bit of leeway with his sister Olivia. Not a chance.
So there is nothing for it but to pick up three sub sandwiches to go at Hannah’s Diner in town and then drive into the woods on the mountain to Sam’s log cabin [(2) right] . It is snowy and the forest is heavily foliaged at midday–lending almost a twilight feel to the day. But nightfall is much darker since the thicket of trees prevent the moon’s rays from filtering down to ground level.
Still, Sam tries to forget that Roger is even there. This is clearly evident when Sam ushers Olivia through his cabin’s front door and then shuts the door behind him–on Roger. Roger has to knock to remind Sam to let him in. And they aren’t polite knocks either–Roger rat a tat tats the wood door with a staccato precision that would rival any concert band drummer.
Of course, this annoys Sam even more, as he poutingly scowls [(3) right] at his date Olivia--as he stands in the one large open room of the cabin–with his bed in plain view at one end and the sitting area and kitchen at the other. Of course there is a couch and a table and chairs for dining, too, nearer the kitchen end of the large room. But Sam realizes that having a bed in this room with himself and his shy date Olivia might lead anyone to presume that a seduction has been planned. And there might be one in the future. But when Sam designed the log cabin’s layout, it was made for maximum efficiency–and natural beauty with its wood and stone materials. Try telling that to a protective older brother like Roger Delaney.
Roger: “Are you going to let me in?” Roger demands while standing outside of Sam’s log cabin, on the porch–stamping his feet from the cold.
Olivia: Olivia looks a bit annoyed [(4) right] and asks Sam to let her brother in. “Please Sam, let Roger in. He’ll freeze out there.” The over sized khaki coat–that she didn’t take off with her heavier winter coat–over her patterned sweater, makes her seem adorable to Sam. And he winks at her. She rolls her eyes. “Sam? Roger?”
Sam has to think about that–whether he will let Roger into the cabin. Maybe Roger can sit in the car and eat his sandwich there. Obviously, Roger will have none of that because he keeps knocking on the front door. So Sam has to let him in as Olivia goes to put their food bags on the kitchen counter at the other end of the room. Olivia smiles at her brother Roger and waves. They had just driven over together–so Roger nods and smiles at Olivia’s sweetness. Then Olivia begins to look for plates and is distracted from the conversation between Sam and her brother Roger.
Sam: “Oh! So sorry, Roger. I forgot that you were there.” Sam sarcastically looks at Roger in annoyance, then steps aside as Roger walks into his log cabin home.
Roger: “You invited me!” Now Roger looks uptight and annoyed [(5) right]–annoyed being the emotion running rampant today. And Roger looks uptight all the time. Th fifty year old Roger is a banker by profession and avocation–even in his non work time hours. And he looks it too–him wearing one of his suit coats with a pocket square over a cotton dress shirt and jeans–with comfortable slip on leather dress loafer shoes. Roger has no plans to do any hiking outside in the snow today. Roger is a buttoned down man if ever there was one. Yet, Sam’s sister Tessa seems to have found Roger’s soft gooey romantic heart center. That gooey center is just not on display for Sam and Olivia at the moment.
Sam: “Only under duress. It was the only way that you would let me bring Olivia to my log cabin today.” Sam’s sister Tessa would have normally come with Olivia, but Tessa is staying home with her new foster children Alice and Bobby.
Roger: “Well, I’m just thinking about her.” Roger points to his sister and he furtively glances at the bed along one wall of large open room and frowns.
Sam: “And so am I. But if you want our relationship–hers and mine–to progress to the point of matrimony, then we have to have some private time alone to get to know each other better.” Sam grumbles deeply. “You and Tessa had private time together when you were dating.”
Roger: “That’s different.” Roger blushes. “And you know it. Tessa had already … She was not … Dang it! You know what I mean.”
Sam: “And yet, a little birdy tells me that you are not so prudish as you appear to be.” Sam needles his brother-in-law.
Roger: “What do you mean?” Roger’s face drains of all color. His Tessa is a vivacious kittenish wife who revs up Roger’s romantic engine. He just doesn’t want anyone to know that about himself.
Sam: “You and Tessa built yourselves a new masters suite in your mansion–with extra sound proofing?” I raise my eyebrow and disbelievingly look him up and down. Roger Delaney is a nice man–usually. But he does not seem the romantic swain type. Roger is not tall–about five foot 8 inches. He has a little paunch going. And he has more hair in his ears than on his head. And everyone knows that virile men have plenty of hair on their head. I, on the other hand, have an abundant amount of hair–on my head. I just keep in cut short.
Olivia: Having found the plates to use for their sandwiches, Olivia calls out. “Fellas! Our food is ready. So let’s eat!”
Roger removes his suit jacket with a flourish and strides over to the other side of the room. Then he and begrudgingly admires the small but comfortably appointed kitchen area [(6) right] and he finally bothers to observe the generally cozy interior of Sam’s mountain home.
Roger: “Nice cabin.” Roger admits reluctantly.
Sam: “Thank you.” Sam replies perfunctorially.
For the moment–while they eat–Sam and Roger have reached a détente of sorts. Their mouths are full, hindering talking.
But that truce doesn’t last long after lunch. And Roger goes to the bathroom–as people need to do from time to time–and comes out to find Sam crouched by the fireplace, with Olivia leaning over Sam as he proudly tells her how they made the fireplace and chimney surround out of found stones in the area. And from Roger’s view, it looks like Olivia is actually lying on Sam’s back in a suggestive way.
Olivia: Olivia jumps back from Sam and gazes at her brother with a wounded look as she refutes her brother’s accusation and explains herself [(7) right] . “What? We weren’t doing anything. He was just showing me the fireplace.”
Roger: But Roger won’t let his suspicions go. “A likely story.”
Sam stands up to his full height.
Sam: “Roger, you want to say something, you say it to me. Olivia is blameless.”
Olivia: “There’s nothing for Roger to blame you of either, Sam.” Sam puts his arms around her shoulders and squeezes.
Roger: “Oh? Isn’t there? What about that?” Roger points to the bed.
Sam: “It’s a bed, Roger–for sleeping.” Sam emphasizes. Because Sam really had not planned to seduce Olivia today. He just wanted to spend time with her away from others.
Roger: “And how many women have you brought here?”
Sam: Looking indignant, Sam replies disdainfully. “None! This cabin is my private retreat. Only family and close friends have ever been invited here.” Sam narrows his eyes. He won’t be inviting Roger back.
Roger: “Not even that Lola woman who Tessa said you had been seeing for a while?” Roger points his finger accusingly.
Sam: Sam’s face has a look of Thunder–going all red and purple at Roger’s insulting tone, and Roger embarrassing him about a past lover. “No!” And Sam worries what Olivia will think–wondering if she will misinterpret the situation.
Olivia detaches herself from Sam’s embrace.
Olivia: “Who is Lola?” Olivia asks innocently, hoping that what her brother hinted at is untrue.
Sam: Sam grasps and holds only Olivia’s hand, even though she tries to pull away. Sam says pleadingly. “She’s in the past. Olivia, she meant nothing to me.” He pleads.
Olivia: “Was she your girlfriend?” She asks with a hurt expression on her face.
Sam: “No!” Sam states emphatically. “We were … we were …” Sam flounders, not willing to reveal his private past actions.
Roger: “You can’t own up to it, can you? Your little slut on the side.”
Sam: Turning to Roger and shouting, Sam explodes. “Unless you were a virgin when you married–and abstained from sex after you were widowed and until you and my sister Tessa were married–then you have no right to accuse me of my sexual activities! A man has needs! And Lola was not a slut! She was a kind and generous woman.” Though Sam does not refer to her as a lady, that title he reserves for Olivia and his sister Tessa. Then Sam turns to Olivia again and tries to explain in a less strident tone of voice. “Olivia, Lola and I were lovers, yes. But that was years ago. And at most, it was merely a mutually satisfying arrangement–neither of us wanted marriage, and we were not emotionally involved with each other.”
And Sam supposes that he should have added, not like you and I. Meaning that Sam and Olivia are emotionally involved. But he and Olivia are just starting to get to know each other–from Sam’s perspective. Sam likes her enormously, and finds Olivia very attractive. But he is not in love with her, at least, not yet.
Yet, Olivia does feel that she is emotionally involved with Sam. She has had a crush on him since forever. And afterall, they kissed each other–not once, but twice. And he made her feel like someone liked her.
However, Olivia’s views about Sam have drastically altered in the last few minutes. For a woman like Olivia–raised strictly and sheltered–her only notion of love and marriage has come from the flowery and restrained romantic novels that she was allowed to read. Olivia feels that she should have realized that Sam would have had other women in his life before her. Afterall, he is 45 years old. And yet, Olivia feels naïve and stupid and embarrassed for thinking that Sam might have liked her more than anyone else–more than this Lola. Olivia has never had a man pay attention to her romantically before Sam. And she wonders now, why he made her think that he liked her in a special way–maybe, that he might even grow to love her and to marry her–not just as a woman whom he could have sex with and not be married to. That wouldn’t be a life that she would choose.
Olivia: “I don’t want to hear any more!” She screams and cries out as she lurches away from Sam. Then Olivia impulsively grabs her heavier winter coat and runs out the cabin’s front door sobbing. She doesn’t know where she is going–nor how far away in the snow she will get. Olivia just knows that she has to get away from Sam and her brother Roger.
Sam: “Olivia! Don’t leave! It’s not safe!” Sam rushes to put his boots back on to follow her.
Roger: “Olivia!” Roger races to the front door, but Sam beats him to it.
Sam: “You stay here! I don’t want to have to look for two lost people in the woods. Besides, if Olivia comes back, someone should be here.” Sam grabs his coat, hat, and gloves. He also grabs his rifle. There are animals in these woods that can kill a human–cougars, wolves, and the like. And there is more to worry about with the surrounding elevations and some steep cliff drop offs that can take a person by surprise. So Olivia being out in the woods by herself is very dangerous.
Roger: “Alright.” He grouses. “But find her, dammit! And bring her back safe!”
Sam: “I will–no thanks to you!” Sam hisses at Roger, then he rushes out of the door after Olivia. Sam catches a glimpse of her way ahead of him on the path–him being grateful that she is staying on the path. And Sam picks up speed. Sam is praying that he reaches her before she comes to harm.
Todd Wakeforest takes his usual walk about on the mountain late Saturday morning. Each one of the brothers has their day to survey the mountain, and today is his. His wife Mary had packed him a sandwich lunch which he eats hungrily at a small lean to that the brothers had erected for protection from the cold. There are several such out buildings that they have placed on the mountain as a safety precaution for themselves and hikers.
Then after lunch, Todd begins to descend through the less steep Southwest fork when he spots Majestic [(8) right] –the impressive 12 point deer buck named by his brother Sam.
Todd stands transfixed [(9) right] –gazing at this beautiful deer. And with him inching forward to get a better look, without looking where he is stepping, Todd doesn’t see the metal chain sticking out of the snow until he steps into the vise claw grip of a rabbit trap and the claw trap’s sharp teeth close around his hiking booted right ankle.
Todd: “Christ!” Todd swears in pain as he falls backward. Unfortunately, he hits his head on a small boulder, which renders him unconscious–with his booted foot oozing blood, is still caught in the claw trap.
Majestic who had been startled away when Todd shouted out in pain, trots back to investigate. The deer nuzzles the familiar looking man lying inert in the snow. Majestic remembers seeing this one with the taller man from time to time. The man seems to be breathing. But Majestic notices the blood on the snow near the foot of the man lying there–and he sees the claw trap. The smell of blood giving Majestic a sense of danger–but instinctively knowing that it is not danger to the deer. Then sensing that something is amiss with the man not moving, Majestic sits down next to the man–lending him his body warmth.
Eventually, the pain from his foot being in the claw trap wakes Todd up about five minutes later.
Todd: “Christ a mighty!” He swears again while feeling the back of his head that is in pain, too–a nasty lump is forming back there.
Majestic turns his many antlered head and looks down at the man. But he does not skitter away–the very large Majestic senses that the man needs him, needs his warmth.
Todd: Then Todd notices the warm deer at his side. “Majestic!”
Todd manages to sit up to see what is causing his ankle to be in agony. Then he sees his foot in the rabbit claw trap and mutters another oath. But since it is a smaller trap, he can easily pry it off of his foot and ankle, tossing the now closed claw trap away from him and the deer. At least, no one else will get caught with it being closed. Todd can see that the claw trap teeth punctured his thick hiking boot on both sides–leaving deep gashes in his ankle that are oozing blood.
Todd: “Blasted trap!” Todd notices that Majestic seems to dip his head watchfully, as if in agreement with him. Claw traps are forbidden on the Mountain, so as not to catch unsuspecting humans or animals. But the trap had looked old and rusty, so it might have been there for decades–well before his family’s edict was in place.
Then Todd uses some snow to clean out the wounds as best he can–worried about the dirt and germs from the trap getting into his wounds. But the snow is freezing and Todd needs to get into cover if he is to survive. Knowing that he can’t walk with his injury, Todd wonders if Majestic would let him ride him. Todd’s rifle fell too far away from him, so he can’t signal his distress to his brothers with two shots. Todd tries placing his arm over the deer and Majestic jumps up and skitters away. Todd guesses that a ride won’t be happening.
Todd: “Come back, Majestic.” Todd motions feebly to the deer. And with Todd sitting up that last few minutes, it has made him feel woozy again. And he knows if he goes unconscious again, he will die in the snow from the cold. So he struggles to move his body to the less wet ground where Majestic had been sitting–even as pain shoots through him. Todd can still feel part of the deer’s warmth where the deer had sat. But the deer’s lingering warmth on the ground is not enough to warm Todd in these frigid environs. And Todd can’t fight the effects of his concussion and he manages to lie down before he passes out again.
Majestic watches the man for some time, not seeing movement. Then Majestic trots over to him, sees that the man is breathing, and sits down next to him again–as both a guard as well as lending the man his warmth.
But for Todd Wakeforest, will that warmth be enough? And though the mountain bears are in hibernation this time of year, there are still wolves and cougars that roam this mountain range, even in winter. So danger is everywhere.
After Todd Wakeforest had not returned home by 2pm as he had promised his wife Mary that he would–so they could go together to their XMAS Tree farm with their kids to pick out their Christmas Tree–she becomes frantic. This is not like Todd at all. She phones the XMAS Tree farm at 3pm and finds that Todd is not there either–which alarms his brothers, who quickly alert several other family and friends about the need to do a search for Todd on the mountain. They tell Mary to bring the kids to the XMAS Tree Farm so that their wives can watch them for her. They will shut their XMAS Tree Farm business down early today.
They know that their elder brother Sam is at his log cabin with Olivia Delaney and her brother, Roger. The cabin is located just a little ways further up the mountain from its foothills where they are now at the XMAS Tree Farm. And Sam’s log cabin will serve as a base for the searchers as Kevin and William organize everyone to follow them with their vehicles to Sam’s. And Mary insists that she ride along with Kevin. If Todd is hurt in any way–or worse–she wants to be with him as soon as possible. And her brother-in-law relents.
Sam has just caught up to Olivia who had run away from his cabin after his verbal sparring with her brother Roger revealing about Sam’s past love life.
Sam: “Olivia! Stop! Now!” But Olivia keeps running–right toward one of the hidden sheer cliff drops. Sam races ahead and grasps Olivia’s coat and pulls her back just before she would have fallen off the cliff.
Olivia: “Ahhhhhhh!” She screams in terror as she nows sees the air but no ground before her as Sam holds her tight to him. However her knit hat that she had haphazardly stuck on her head, keeps going over the cliff–where she might have fallen.
Sam: “Olivia, Olivia.” Sam murmurs her name and pulls her back several yards from the edge, where they both collapse in a heap on the ground. He shudders to think if he hadn’t been in time and she would have fallen to her death.
Olivia: Crying now out of the fear of almost being killed, Olivia has one of her panic attacks. “Hmm! Hmm! Hmm!”
Sam: Recognizing Olivia’s symptoms as a panic attack, Sam gently but firmly takes her face into his hands. He speaks in urgent, but soothing tones. “Look at me, Olivia! Look at me! You’re alright! You’re safe! Look at me. Don’t faint. We have to get back to the cabin!”
Olivia: “Hmm.Hmm.” She whimpers, still crying.
Sam: “Olivia, I’m so sorry about everything. I realize that you may not want to be around me anymore.”
Olivia: “Hh! Hh! Hh! Hh!” Her breathing is still quick and shallow.
Sam: “But you have to know that my feelings for you are sincere–even if you no longer have feelings for me. You have to know that I think you are wonderful.” Sam strokes her tear stained wet cheeks with his thumbs and he kisses the middle of her forehead.
Olivia: “Hhh! Hhhh! Hhhhh!” Her breathing slows down.
Sam: “That’s right, breathe slowly.” Olivia concentrates on slowing down her breathing. “Olivia, I’m just a man–a very flawed man. I wish that I could take back some of the choices that I made in my life–the ones that make you think less of me. But I can’t. I can only move forward. I would like to date you and see if we can build a life together.”
Olivia: “Hhhh! HhhhH! I can’t tell you how I feel right now. Hhhhh! I’m too numb from the shock.” Then she adds wryly. And my backside is getting numb from sitting on this cold ground.”
Sam: “Ha ha ha! So is mine. Shall we stand up?”
Olivia nods and Sam helps her stand. Then as they begin to walk back to Sam’s cabin, they hear two horn blasts. Sam stops walking and listens with concern.
Olivia: “What is it?” Sam holds up his hand for her to stop talking and he waits and listens.
Sam: “Shhhh! Listen!”
With Todd Wakeforest turning up missing from being on the mountain that afternoon, the frantic search for him gets underway as all the Wakeforest and Delaney families, friends, and community help search for him before it gets too dark to see. They also bring extra jugs of cider and donuts to help warm and feed the searchers–and hopefully Todd–later. And just before they leave, William Wakeforest sounds the alarm–using a civil defense like siren horn [(10)] — in four sets of two quick blasts. One blast would mean hiker lost and a search is forming. Two blasts means that a Wakeforest brother is missing. The number of repetitions indicating which brother is missing, via birth order–one horn blast set for Sam, two sets for Kevin, three sets for William, and four sets for Todd. William hopes that their brother Sam will hear the siren blasts. William also hopes that Todd hears it–knowing that they are coming for him and that he should hang on.
When Sam hears the chilling sound of the warning siren. He stops and listens–two siren horn blasts, silence, then repeated three more times. Sam’s face drains of all color. Sam knows that it is his youngest brother Todd who is missing on the mountain and he hurries Olivia to his cabin.
Sam: “It’s Todd. He’s missing on the mountain. We have to get to the cabin, and then I’ll leave to search for him.” Sam tells Olivia hurriedly. But she is still out of breath due to her anxiety attack and now with them running back to the cabin. So she can’t respond.
Sam surmises that his brothers will bring the searchers here to his log cabin to start with. It is their emergency plan–and they have only had to use it once before, when a hiker got lost and had a sprained ankle one Spring. However, this is freezing Winter–a much more dangerous time for anyone to be missing. Sam quickly ushers Olivia back into his cabin. Roger is waiting with a concerned expression on his face. Both Sam and Olivia have a foreboding dread.
Around 4pm, Sam’s brothers and the others arrive at Sam’s cabin and confirm that it is Todd who has gone missing. And every moment is precious because Todd has been missing at least 2 hours–probably more when counting that he would have left the mountain around 1:30pm to give him time to get home by 2pm.
Roger and Olivia take Todd’s wife Mary aside and try to calm and soothe her as best they can. But they know that the situation is grave. This is how Tessa and Sam’s father’s brother, their Uncle Fred, had died–on the mountain, but from a heart attack when they were children.
The focus of operations is Sam’s log cabin–where Roger and Todd’s wife Mary, and Olivia will stay to wait. The twenty or so men then fan out in search parties of four people each–with Sam, Kevin, and William each leading three of the four search teams–they want no one else lost and possibly injured on the mountain today. Every team has a rifle to signal the other teams with two shots.
Dominic Perkins, his brother Alfred and his two sons all help with the search, too, as the fourth search team. Sam had given the fourth team leader, his friend Dominic, the extra rifle that he always keeps at the log cabin. Dominic [(11) right] is tall and physically muscular–like Sam–and more fit for traveling the mountain terrain than banker Roger would be. The Perkins are told to take the Southwest fork to search. It isn’t as steep there. So with them being inexperienced forest hikers, it is a safer area for them to look in. Though Dominic is ex-military–him having served in WWII with Sam. But Sam doesn’t want anyone else hurt on his mountain–if, indeed, Todd is hurt.
After 1.5 hours searching with no luck, Sam and his other brothers, and Roger and Olivia Delaney, as well as Todd’s wife Mary are frantic with worry after they had returned to the cabin. The sun is beginning to set at 5:30pm–which will make searching all but impossible in a little while. But the commanding Sam remains cool and focused on their task–finding Todd–as he and his mountain trained brothers head out together for one last search.
But not all of the searchers had checked back in to Sam’s log cabin command post. Dominic Perkins and his brother and nephews are still out searching the woods. And it is later in the afternoon when the light starts to fade around 5:30pm. They push on, hoping to find Todd. Knowing it is probably useless, Dominic still calls out Todd’s name as they continue to walk forward.
Dominic: “Todd! Todd! Where are you, man!” Nothing, no reply. But Dominic won’t give up. “Todd! Todd!” Then he waits, listening again, nothing. Once more he tries. “Todd! Todd!” And then they catch a break.
Todd: “Here! I’m here!” Todd feebly cries out. He has been in and out of consciousness. But the last shout being closer, jolted him awake.
And then, the Perkins family men find Todd lying in the snow in a small clearing, injured from a rabbit claw-trap on his right ankle and blood dried on his head from him hitting his head on a rock when he fell and going unconscious. They find Todd there lying semi-unconscious next to an enormous deer with many more antlers than they can count.
The deer has not seen these men in the woods. Majestic’s eyes narrow at the rifle in the one man’s hand. The deer takes no time to ponder whether they are friend or foe and jumps up and gallops away from the unknown man with the rifle. Then Dominic and his family rush to Todd, finding him breathing, but very cold.
Dominic had learned basic survival training in the military. So he has his brother Alfred help him get Todd’s freezing coat off of him. Then both Dominic and Alfred pull their coats on over Todd–to give him double warmth from their body heat. Dominic eschews Todd’s coat in favor of his older brother wearing it. They will have to find a way to create a pallet out of branches to carry or drag the large and heavy Todd to safety. Then Dominic points the rifle in the air and away from them and fires two shots to signal that Todd has been found–in hopes of getting other searchers to help them.
Sam and his brothers Kevin and William stop moving when they year the two rifle shots. They determine the proper direction the shots came from and start racing to the Southwest fork, praying that Todd is still alive. And they do find him alive–thanks to the Perkins family. Sam and Dominic embrace as men do–them understanding that each has now saved a life. Sam saved Dominic’s life when he landed that transport plane safely. And now Dominic has saved Sam’s brother Todd’s life. Fate has a way of bringing life full circle–as it has done today.
Then as the men lash some tree branches together to create a sled to drag Todd back to Sam’s cabin with, Todd lets them know that he’s going to be alright.
Sam: “You nearly lose a foot and almost freeze to death? And you want us to find your rifle in the snow?” Sam asks incredulously [(12) right] .
Todd: “Well, yes! It belonged to Grandpa. Please?” Todd whines.
And that was Sam’s clue that Todd will be alright–Todd whining, like the little brother that he is. Sam tousles Todd’s hair after finding his blasted rifle in the snow nearby and giving it to Todd to hold while they get him back to Sam’s cabin. Then, they just have to get Todd down the mountain in one of their vehicles, and to the local hospital that has been alerted that injuries might be coming their way when the sirens sounded. The Wakeforest family has gratefully survived the dangers of their mountain this day.
But some dangers are man made and could have been prevented–in the form of Roger Delaney’s revelations to his sister Olivia about Sam Wakeforest’s past sexual history. This knowledge has caused Olivia to question Sam’s interest in her romantically–and has subsequently caused Olivia to doubt herself again, as she retreats behind her guarded reserve.
And in the coming week, Sam knows that he and Olivia will have to have a frank talk about whether they might have a future together–if she will even agree to see him. And the nation will be seized with a crisis of conscience this coming week when a lady makes her stand–or her sit, in this case.
To be continued with Chapter 7
P.S. Dear Readers, This installment of “Love in the Great Pine Woods” was the last of my daily postings for this story while I was on my Thanksgiving vacation. I was writing all day long for each chapter–something I cannot do when I return to work on Monday. So for this story, I will now post updates on a weekly basis–carrying it through to the December Holidays. And I will resume writing and the weekly postings for my other in-progress story, “Thorin’s Journey: An Unexpected Love” as it winds down to its conclusion.
“Love in the Great Pine Woods” Ch. 06, by Gratiana Lovelace, November 28, 2015
1)The “Love in the Great Pine Woods” story cover is a composite of two images by Grati:
a)the Richard Armitage portrait is from the 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot and article interview, that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/ProjectMag-05.jpg;
b) the snowy Pine forest vertical image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/62/fa/ff/62faff1253d55f571eb3659cc7661e73.jpg
2) Image of Sam Wakeforest’s forest log cabin weekend home is a snowy cabin in Telluride, Colorado that was found at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e2/b9/15/e2b915af95e32cf1d21c31a959ddb6d8.jpg
3) Image of Sam Wakeforest inside his mountain pine woods log cabin is Grati’s composite of:
a) weekend home interior with bed and fireplace is a snowy cabin in Telluride, Colorado that was found at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/8e/ca/42/8eca4242200f04fc4698aafb89266f8d.jpg ;
b) The Richard Armitage portrait from the 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot and article interview, that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/ProjectMag-05.jpg
4) Olivia looking perturbed in a sweater image is Emily Deschanel as Dr. Temperance Brennan on the tv show Bones that was found at http://cdn2.wornon.tv/tiles/ralph-lauren-southwestern-sweater-emily-deschanel-bones.jpg
5) Roger Delany upset is Kevin Spacey in Call of Duty found at http://cdn2-www.playstationlifestyle.net/assets/uploads/2014/07/callofdutyadvancedwarfarescreenshotjuly294.jpg
6) Roger Delany unhappy in Sam’s Cabin kitchen is Kevin Spacey in Call of Duty found at http://cdn.iconeye.com/images/2015/03/kitchen_house_of_cards_2.jpg?1430477265
7) Olivia in a sweater refuting an accusation image is Emily Deschanel as Dr. Temperance Brennan on the tv shohwbones that was found at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/1f/f2/33/1ff2333bd61ba1ebd0576ccf89950796.jpg
8) Majestic deer named by Sam image is a large deer found at http://freephotocourse.com/uploads/2/7/2/8/2728490/2198733_orig.jpg; As I previously noted in my reference above with full photo link and credits, I found this image at FreePhotoCourse.com; and they asked today (March 26, 2016) that I add: image Copyrighted by FreePhotoCourse.com
9) Todd Wakeforest on snowy mountain gazing transfixed at the deer Majestic(background manip of fir trees from Pinterest) is Sam Heughan as the prince in A Prince for Christmas that was found at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/8f/af/c9/8fafc93091449138ac595fc16e5b1602.jpg
10) Civil Defense sirens began to be used in the US in1952.For more information visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_defense_siren
11) Dominic Perkins in snow is Idris Elba found at http://rollingout.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/idris.jpg?a5de54
12) Sam Wakeforest image is Richard Armitage in 2011 Project Magazine-BlkJkt664917000Oct0111RARU-pix-sized-brt
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