Did you miss Chapter One?
Did you miss part one of Chapter Two?
Chapter Two Continued…
“Good morning,” he said, striking me as overly cheerful. Perhaps it
was my sour mood. Juan Jose was a local, hired to help with the show.
He was in charge of logistics. He was supposed to know the terrain
like the back of his hand.
“Juan Jose, I need your help. My boyfriend, Scott, isn’t at camp.”
A look of surprise crossed Juan Jose’s face. “What do you mean?
Not at camp? Where is he?”
“I don’t know. He’s missing,” I said, anxiety fluttering in my chest.
“I woke up in the middle of the night and he wasn’t in our tent. I went
looking for him with Parker.”
“Yeah, the tall guy. The one here with his sister. He was looking for
her, too, but she was down by the river—”
The look of surprise on his face changed to alarm and he whis‐
pered almost to himself, “The river?”
“Yeah. She said she was alone and hadn’t seen anybody. Well,
except for Cooper, but I already talked to him. He doesn’t know
where Scott is.”
Juan Jose stroked his dark stubble; a concerned expression
clouding his features. “Mmm.” After a moment, he said, “The river is
very high this year. Very dangerous.”
“Right.” Unease strangled the breath out of me as a vision of Scott’s
dead body floating down the river crossed my mind. “We need to
organize a search party! Can you help me with that?”
Juan Jose nodded, looking slightly dumbfounded. “He cannot have
gone far. The terrain is very steep.” He shrugged and stifled a yawn.
“Maybe he is hurt.”
“What’s the situation with wildlife around here?” I asked. “We
heard howling. Are there bobcats? Bears?”
Juan Jose shook his head. “Not many bears. We tried to reintro‐
duce the brown bear to the mountains, but the program hasn’t been
very successful. There are a lot of wild boars, though.”
The mother-and-son team emerged from their tents. The son,
whose name I’d already forgotten, approached me. “What’s going on?”
“My partner’s missing. Scott. Do you remember him? Tall—”
“We remember him, Georgia.” His mother stepped forward. She
was in her late fifties, the skin on her face still smooth. “He’s a doll.
Where did he go off to?”
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I don’t know.”
The two glanced at each other and then back at me and Juan Jose.
The son said, “Maybe he went looking for firewood or something.”
“It is really cold, isn’t it?” the mother asked. She crossed her arms
and stepped closer to the fire. “Practically freezing!”
I glanced at the firewood piled neatly by one of the pine trees that
lined the perimeter of our camp. “Well, being that we’re not short on
firewood, I doubt it.”
“Is anyone else missing?” the mother asked.
There was a sound of boots crunching on gravel from behind us
and a deep voice called out, “Todd and I are here,” Cooper said.
“Maybe he got scared of the competition.” Todd said, as they
joined us by the fire.
Cooper laughed and flexed his massive bicep while chuckling, “He
The action seemed so stupid and superficial it immediately irri‐
What was wrong with these people? Couldn’t they see the differ‐
ence between a real emergency and some stupid TV stunt?
Todd frowned at me and suddenly became serious. “Don’t worry,
I’m sure he’ll pop up any moment.”
Juan Jose glanced at his watch. “The rest of the crew will be here in
“I’m not going to wait for another hour to pass! I’m going to look
for him now.”
Cooper reached out a large hand and rested it on my shoulder.
“Calm down, darling. We’ll go with you. We can all look for him.”
“I’ll wake the others,” Todd said, transitioning into action mode.
He strode across the meadow toward the tents.
Soon the girls from Nashville emerged; both had taken the time to
do their makeup. Really? It was thirty degrees in the Pyrenees moun‐
tains, we were without showers, and the camera crew still hadn’t
arrived. I didn’t get it.
Parker and Victoria joined us at the picnic table along with the
other crew member who had overnight duty with us, Miguel. Juan
Jose explained the situation to Miguel in Spanish while Cooper
brought the others up to speed. Miguel fetched a trail map from his
tent and laid it on the table.
We divided up the nearby trails, agreeing to work in three teams. I
was to go with the local crew members, hoping they had the expert
knowledge of the trails that would help us find Scott first. Cooper and
Todd were to set off with the gorgeous girls from Nashville, DeeCee
and Daisy, who called themselves Double D, making me question
exactly how much terrain that search party would cover. Then the
mother-and-son team agreed to search with Victoria. While Parker,
with his ribs still sore from last night’s fall, was to stay at camp in case
As Miguel, Juan Jose, and I headed down the main trail, I saw a
familiar figure approach. I sprinted down the path nearly trampling
my best friend.
Becca hugged me, her auburn curls brushing against my check. I
sobbed into her shoulder.
“Georgia! What’s wrong?” Becca demanded, pulling away from me
so she could see my face. “What’s going on?”
“Scott’s missing,” I cried.
A small group of people led by Kyle, one of the makeup artists I
knew from the previous show, turned the corner of the trail and
“What do you mean missing?” Becca asked, her delicate features
“He’s gone. I woke up in the middle of the night and he wasn’t in
our tent. I went looking for him with Parker.”
She pinched the bridge of her nose, a look of distress on her face
as she glanced at Juan Jose and Miguel, who both looked stoic. “This is
going to get complicated, isn’t it?”
I choked back my tears as the other crew members
approached us. “I don’t know. I just know I need to go and look
“We organized a small search party,” Juan Jose said. “Some have
gone to look for him down by the river and others took the trail
“What’s going on?” Kyle demanded.
Becca ignored him and pulled out the walkie-talkie that was
permanently affixed to her hip. “The rest of the crew is behind me. I’m
going to radio down and see if anyone still has some cell reception.
We’ve got to call the authorities.”
“Authorities? Oh! Sounds exciting,” Kyle said.
“Shut up,” Becca admonished him, as she wrapped her arms
around me. “Don’t worry, G, we’ll find him. I’m sure he’s fine. Maybe
he got lost or disoriented or something, but we’ll find him.”
I felt myself nod in agreement, but the thought that penetrated my
consciousness was, I just hope we’re not too late
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