Stud passed the Jimmy with the propped hood. He stopped and got out, taking a look at it. The faint whiff of electrical fire clung to the air. Everything looked in order otherwise, the battery was disconnected and it was safe enough.
Wonder if they needed help? If their phone was empty and they were trying to find help for a tow.
Stud was back in his truck and driving up the mountain. Hell of a stretch for the electrical to give out on. Steep <incline> with little break.
And he had Boomer with him. The big dog would dissuade any crazies. If he found the truck’s owner, Boomer would keep him safe enough.
Dusk wasn’t far off. And while the day had been warm, it had definitely cooled off. Whoever left their truck was hopefully outfitted for the weather.
Boomer grumbled and lay down in the seat, the German Shepherd’s huff as he got comfortable again. Stud gave the dog a scratch. He was lucky his mother didn’t like the dog once he was grown. Stud had taken him and it was like the dog was perfect for him.
They drove together, up the hill, towards Stud’s house. It was a smaller affair compared to the other cabins in the area. But it was completely self-sufficient. Solar panels, a septic tank and brown water marsh. The land took care of him and he took care of the land. He couldn’t wait to be rid of it though. Another developer had come around, angling for the land. It had been in his family for years and he was ready to leave it. He’d never asked for it. He’d never wanted it. His father had run cattle on the land, but it was never his dream. He’d wanted to go to Washington and make beer. But instead, he stayed here, looking after the land and the last of his father’s dwindling herd.
The quiet was pleasant. But the moving of his beer making supplies was always difficult. He could build a brewery here, he supposed. But it was so far out of the way. And it was such a struggle. And, he was land rich, but money poor. He didn’t have enough money to build a brewery or anything. Just his basement set up.
He sighed. It was going to be what it was.
Over the top of the next rise, he saw a person walking up the hill. Arms clasped together. They must be cold. The temperature in his truck was dipping into the low fifties.
As he got closer, he realized it was a woman. Sure his name was Stud and he had the reputation as a lady’s man here in town, but… for this, for picking up a woman walking along the road like this?
She heard the truck because she turned around. As she saw the truck, her eyes widened.
“Miss, are you okay?” Stud asked.
“My truck caught on fire while I was on my way to pick up my aunt. I tried to call, but my phone was empty.”
“Do you want a ride there?”
She raised a skeptical eyebrow.
“Boomer can sit in the backseat.” The dog stuck his head out the window and gave her a smile.
She shook her head. “I don’t feel comfortable getting in that truck with you.”
“You’d rather be cold?”
She considered a long moment, holding her arms to herself in an effort to get warm. “No, but…”
“I won’t hurt you. The temperature’s dropping and I’m sure it’s a long way to wherever you’re trying to go.”
She shook her head.