Me, Mercedes Bennion? Working for the US Forest Service? I’ve never thought of myself as the outdoorsy, hard-working type. But one quick glance at those mouth-watering forest rangers and oh, baby, sign this seventeen-year-old up for a whole summer of fresh air, mountains and starry, starry nights!
“Oh,” breathed Adrienne as she stood next to me.
“What?” My stupid overstuffed pack was caught between the van seats, and because it weighed at least sixty-five pounds, I couldn’t get it to budge. I yanked on it again. My focus had turned to releasing it from the aisle’s death grip.
“Benz,” she whispered. What was up with that?
“What!” My irritation had grown into a growl. I swear if my pack strap tore — or worse yet, the stinking fabric ripped — what in the world would I do for the rest of the week?
“Benz!” Her hand fluttered against my leg.
Swatting like one would a pesky mosquito, I tried to push away her attempts to get my attention.
“What!” I spun away from the van, nearly toppling Adrienne as I rotated. Before me stood an unfamiliar man.
I’d been expecting another Forest Service uniform, but this man wore jeans, work boots and a plaid cotton shirt — open midway to his chest. The bright sunlight brought out glints of gold in his longer than shoulder-length tawny curls, which displayed many shades of browns, reds and blacks. The front of his hair was pulled back and bound in some way, leaving the rest to hang to his shoulders. Dark metal aviator glasses sat on his nose as he peered over the top. Despite the angle of the sun, which made me squint, I could clearly see his brown eyes studying us. Whoa.
“Now that I have all your attention.” His focus bored into me. “My name’s Dan.”
Dan=rugged. Dan=tall, tan and oh my goodness! Dan=maybe better than Norm.
I felt a slow easy smile creep across my face. It’s official. I love Away Camp.