Dream Lover (Chapter Two, page 1 of 17)

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"I'm afraid your estimation of the situation is right, Miss Benson. We'll be here for the night." He didn't look in the least happy at the prospect.

Knowing it would be a long night in the confines of her small SUV, Charly suggested they stay outside for a while and stretch their legs while they could. The storm had abated totally, although there was still a low cloud cover moving rapidly overhead.

"Let's climb over the trees and have a look at the road on the other side. Are you game?" She challenged him with the question, knowing it was a bit unfair because he was again wearing dress pants, shirt, tie, blazer and loafers.

"Oh yes, I'm game, Miss Benson. Let's go."

Progress was slow as they tried to make their way over and under and around trunks and branches of trees. Some still had roots attached with earth clinging to them, torn from the ground like matchsticks. Finally crawling through to the far side of the blockage, they stood looking up the road to another mess of trees in the distance, also blocking the road.

"One night here may be a slightly optimistic estimate, Miss Benson." McKinnon had his hands in his pockets and, as she was just behind him, she had a good chance to admire his firm hips, the material of his trousers stretched tightly across them.

Moving up beside him, she suggested hopefully, "Maybe the other side isn't so badly blocked. Want to come and see?"

"Why not? There really isn't much else to do. Besides, we're already quite wet from climbing around this mess. Or hadn't you noticed?"

She hadn't, not until he mentioned it. And suddenly Charly began to wonder at the wisdom of her actions. The temperature had dropped considerably with the arrival of the tornado and it would be a long night.

Making their way back to the car was a bit easier and once there, she changed her mind about exploring further. In fact, the car was beginning to seem like a better place to be, with every passing minute.

Once inside, she started the engine and turned the heater on full power. Then she fiddled with the radio until she found the Belleville station.

As news of the devastation reached them, they listened in silence, each wondering and worrying about their own family and friends. The reports made no mention of the Isle. Most of the damage was to the northeast end of the city and outlying areas. There had been no fatalities reported as yet and, on the whole, it seemed less severe than the Barrie tornado.

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