Excerpt for The Trouble with Fishing by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Trouble with Fishing

Rebecca J. Vickery

Smashwords Edition

The Trouble with Fishing

Copyright © 2017 by Rebecca J. Vickery

Cover Art Copyright © 2017 by Laura Shinn

Edition 2 ~ All Rights Reserved

Smashwords Licensing Notes

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The Trouble with Fishing is a work of fiction. Though some actual towns, cities, and locations may be mentioned, they are used in a fictitious manner and the events and occurrences were invented in the mind and imagination of the author. Similarities of characters or names used within to any person, past, present, or future, are coincidental.

To everyone who loves a fisherman/fisherwoman; we either learn to enjoy the sport with them or spend lots of days alone.

Rob surprises Lena with a trip to help them get to know one another. But hiking and fishing for five days? Lena is a city girl and wants to go home. Rob soon realizes he made a mistake, but it's too late now.

Walker, the fishing guide, hides his amusement at Lena's designer jeans, new boots, and Hollywood sunglasses when he first meets her. But there's something about the short, well-rounded brunette which draws his attention. He knows she's going to be trouble – he just can't imagine how much.

Does Lena feel the sparks between them? She definitely thinks the guide is well built, and when he renders first aid to her sore feet, she's impressed. But what about the man she came with?

Chapter One

Lena grabbed hold of the low swinging tree limb as it flew toward her face. Between providing a feast for the bugs, being beaten to death by bushes, and rubbing blisters on her shoulders and heels, she was having a wonderful time – delighted to be here. Not!

Wait until I get Robert alone. If I have any energy left, he's going to get a piece of my mind. What an idiotic way to spend a vacation. Traipsing through the woods so he can throw a string in a river and kill a fish. Why can't he just go to the market and buy a dead fish like everyone else?

"Hurry up, Lena. The group's getting pretty far ahead. We need to catch up," Robert called back to her. "He says it won't be long now until we make camp."

"I'm coming." He says? He says this and he says that. Robert sure seemed taken with their guide. Anyone would think the man was the original Daniel Boone to hear Rob tell it. Wish he'd say the spa is just around the corner. Complete with masseuse and a hot tub.

She slapped another bug off the side of her face and trudged on. It would have been nice to stop a few minutes when she reached Robert, but he took her hand and kept walking.

They finally caught up to the rest of the hikers. A small clearing with four tents and a ring of rocks in the center awaited Lena. She didn't expect the Hilton, but she at least hoped for a cabin. A primitive shower? Maybe an outhouse?

"All right, folks. You can take off those packs now. We're camping here for the night. We'll hike to the river for fishing in the morning. Ladies, you'll be in those two tents and gents in these two." Walker shrugged off his over-sized pack to begin taking out supplies. "We'll need firewood. Everyone helps. Don't wander off too far and don't bother any wildlife."

Robert slid out of his backpack then helped Lena with hers as she stood there gaping at the accommodations.

She groaned in relief as the straps slid off the grooves dug into her poor abused shoulders. She sat down to untie her hiking boots.

"You heard Walker. We need to help gather wood for the fire. Come on, Lena."

But Lena couldn't hold back her irritation any longer. "How much did you shell out for this vacation, Rob? I think it was enough so I shouldn't have to pick up sticks to make a fire. Let the guide do it. My feet hurt and I'm tired."

Robert took in the mulish expression on her normally pretty face. He started out expecting this wilderness experience to bring them closer together. Instead, he discovered they didn't have much in common. Not that Lena complained too much. She'd been a pretty good sport until now. He had surprised her with their destination, after all. He didn't exactly know when it began to dawn on him that she preferred bright lights and creature comforts to roughing it. Rob really liked her, but he could already tell their relationship wouldn't go much farther – especially after this goof up.

"You rest," he offered. "I'll pick up your share too. I got you into this."

Lena sighed as she retied her boot. "No, I'll help if that's the way this works. No one is going to call me a slacker."

Chapter Two

Walker watched the short brunette with the slightly large rump take her boyfriend's hand and allow him to pull her up. A half-smile tugged at the guide's mouth. The cute little baggage screamed trouble. He'd known it when she walked up to the check-in point wearing Hollywood sunglasses, brand new hiking boots, and snug designer jeans. She'd struggled to keep up all day – always lagging behind, the last to finish eating, and the first to want a break. He shook his head hoping she could last through the night, much less the remaining four days of the trip.

Why on earth would a man bring a girl like her on a trip like this? It wasn't as if they would share a tent. His brochures clearly stated that on the singles trips, ladies and gents maintained separate sleeping quarters and were chaperoned. Not many people seemed to care about that anymore. But he did.

Striding over to a notched tree at the edge of camp, Walker reached up to untie a rope and lower the load of supplies Calvin packed into the camp by mule the day before. No way would a good guide ever ask eight tenderfeet to carry enough equipment, food, and water to last five days. They had enough to do carrying their own clothes and a water bottle. Most of them held up better than he expected on the hike in – except Lena.

A couple returned to camp with their arms full of sticks and limbs for the fire. These two, Eileen and Kevin, obviously knew a little about hiking and camping. They walked at the front of the group all day and still seemed pretty chipper. Their boots looked well-used and sturdy. Walker enlisted them to help prepare supper.

Two of the women wandered in next and added to the wood pile near the fire ring. Janie and Helen were best friends who wanted to practice their new art of fly-fishing. They'd signed up for the trip to add something different to their annual get-away week.

Clark, a middle-aged business man, wanted a trophy rainbow or cutthroat trout to show off on his office wall. The story of the trip would be a bonus to share over drinks at the country club. He seemed like a nice guy, but had no trail experience other than an elk hunting trip once before. He added a few sticks and pine cones to the growing pile of fuel for the fire then went to check out the tents.

Walker spotted Derek dragging a large tree limb behind him as he came from the woods. The over-achiever of the bunch, Walker thought in amusement. His parents sent him on the trip to force him out of the house before he shipped off to college in the fall. A whiz on computers, the nineteen-year-old knew all about camping – from a video game perspective. Hope he doesn't expect points for the largest chunk of wood.

Beans simmered in a large pot, cornbread baked in the Dutch-oven, and Walker expertly flipped the pork chops on the flat iron he used as a grill. He was glad to see Rob and Lena straggling back into camp. The sun dipped behind the horizon earlier and he'd begun to think he would need to go look for them soon.

Lena dumped her small armful of twigs on the pile and half-heartedly brushed off her shirt. In a small voice, she asked, "Which tent will I be in?"

"You'll be sharing with Eileen...the one on the end." Walker pointed with the long fork he held.

"Thank you. Good night, everyone." She didn't wait for a response, but headed straight to her room for the night. Extremely grateful she didn't have to sleep on the ground, Lena groaned as she sank onto one of the low, blanket-covered, camping cots inside the canvas structure. The last hour of picking up firewood finished her.

She untied her new hiking boots and tugged them off. Her feet felt as if a layer of skin came with them. Not bothering to undress, she stretched out and gave in to the utter joy of not having to put one aching foot in front of the other.

Sometime later, Lena heard a thump and blinked as light filled her eyes. She used a hand to shade them and rose up on one elbow.

"Sorry. I didn't mean to wake you. I needed to use the lantern to find my pajamas." Eileen scrabbled around in her backpack and tossed out clothing. "I brought you a chop and a piece of cornbread. I thought you might be hungry if you woke up."

"Thanks. I was so tired before..." Lena sat up with a loud moan and accepted the napkin-wrapped food and a bottle of water.

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