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The guys spent the next couple of hours getting Nick to cool down and discussing plans for the upcoming tour. They were leaving in the middle of January and would be gone for about three months; their families were staying behind because of all the babies, house moves and other issues that were happening so it would be hard on all of them.

When they finally made it back upstairs, they noticed Rochelle and Addie sitting with the babies and Ava in the living room but there was no sign of Emma. Nick thought she may have decided to leave after he blew up at her and he was scared that he wouldn’t get the chance to apologize.

“She just ran to the store a couple of minutes ago,” Addie mentioned as though she could read Nick’s mind, “she’s coming back.”

As quick as relief passed over him, panic crept up just as fast.

“Doesn’t she know there’s a storm coming?” Nick said with concern and a nervous look. “It’s going to get bad fast, and she shouldn’t have done that!”

“It’s fine,” Addie replied, “she said the store was only twenty minutes away and she said she would be quick; she’ll be back before you know it.”

As soon as Addie finished speaking, they noticed that snow was starting to come down and it was rapidly building up; they all began to worry and hoped Emma would be fast.



Emma swore and slammed her hand against the steering wheel; she had offered to get more diapers for Addie and thought it would be a quick trip but all she had run into were problems. The local store was closed for the Christmas holiday, and she had to rely on the spotty GPS on her phone to find her way to a different store. On top of being lost, the snow that was only supposed to be light was swirling all around her making it difficult to see very far in front of her borrowed car.

Decreasing her speed again, she peered through the snow to see if there were any signs that told her where she was; she had relied on the damn phone and it seemed to have taken her as far away from civilization as it could. She wasn’t seeing any street signs or houses around her and she knew she should have turned back the minute the storm picked up. Taking the trip to the store was her way of getting some space from Nick and, although she thought she needed it, she should have been smarter about her choice of getting some distance.

She had started slowing down more when she noticed a truck coming from behind her; it seemed to be gaining on her and she didn’t understand what the person was thinking, driving at speeds that fast in this storm. There was no place for her to pull over as her side of the road ran a little ways above a stream and looked like it would be a steep slide.

When the truck sped up more, she tried to veer a little to give them some room to pass her; the truck couldn’t wait and sped up any way. The driver clipped Emma’s rear end trying to pass her and the strike caused Emma to lost control of the vehicle. The Jeep slid off the road above the stream and was heading for a tree. The owner of the truck never stopped and Emma could only do what she could with turning the wheel as far as she could. The Jeep slammed headfirst into a tree and Emma’s head slammed into the steering wheel; the airbag went off but by then, Emma had lost consciousness.


“Whose car did she take?” Nick asked with growing concern.

Emma had been gone for much longer than she told Addie, and no one had heard from her since she left. The possibilities of what was actually going on was making everyone increasingly nervous and they could only hope she would be back in the immediate future.

“I think your old Jeep.” Addie answered. “Is it a problem?”

“Jesus!” Nick swore. “That thing sucks in the winter; it has no good traction control and the tires are old as hell.”

If they were worried before, the friends started to panic again, and Addie began dialing Emma’s phone furiously hoping she would pick up.