After the Storm

Their second run was slower than the first. Rad no longer was at the head, content to slow his pace to Lainie's. Halfway down the mountain Rad stopped, took her hand when she did the same, and together they sidestepped up a rise. It was a small ridge that gave them a view, somewhat obstructed by trees, of both sides of the valley. On one side was the cleared run of the slopes, and on the other a forest of trees, fallen logs, a tangle of growth, and beautiful virgin snow. At the bottom of the valley a tiny mountain stream fought vainly to keep from being covered by snow, here and there disappearing altogether only to break free farther on.

"A Rocky Mountain high," Lainie breathed, and immediately felt embarrassed at expressing such a poetic thought. She glanced at Rad hesitantly through her veil of lashes.

But his face was directed toward the scenery. "Yes," he agreed quietly. "And a much more effective high than could ever be obtained from alcohol or drugs. Rocky Mountain high—lyrical but logical." He smiled down at her. "Are you ready to go again?"

She nodded and followed him as he made the traverse from the ridge back to the slope. They maintained a slow steady pace with Lainie taking a yard or so lead. She knew the cause of her lightheartedness was the sudden opening of the door of communication between them. Perhaps there was still something to be salvaged from their relationship.
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