Chapter 3- Part 2 The Snow is Colder on the Other Side of the Hill

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They walked almost half way around the mountain before going down to a small clearing with four generic four man tents set up around a burned out campfire and a few snowmobiles with trailers parked at the edge of camp. Perry was already there pulling out a canvas and poles. Chris first thought it was for her, but then he started putting up poles over the campfire. The canopy tent had a hole at the top to let out the smoke.

"Sit here, till we get set up." Dean said pushing her down on a log next to the fire pit.

"Uh, okay." Chris said as Dean disappeared behind a tent.

She sat there watching Perry set up the canvas and brushing the snow off of a tarp which was covering chopped wood. She took out her phone and turned it on, making it look like she was checking for service.

A small breeze whipped by and she caught the scent she was looking for. The pups were here.... Somewhere and they were alive. The falling snow was doing a good job covering up the smell but she could tell that they were not too far away from camp.

"Hey! You cold?" Perry called out from behind the woodpile. He had finally removed his outer layer of clothing and was sporting a thick hoodie sweater with leather gloves. Perry was young, at least 20, he had a slight body with a skinny face and dirty brown hair with kind brown eyes. Chris slipped her phone in her pocket and shifted towards the fire that Perry was making, In a few minutes he set up a log cabin with a small tepee in the middle using dry twigs, pine needles and kindling. He lite the bottom and within a few minutes, there was a roaring fire.

"Wow that was fast!" She took off her gloves and put her hands toward the fire, happy to be out of the snow and getting warm.

Perry laughed, "Yeah had a lot of practice." He began adding larger pieces of wood to the fire, which was letting out a soft yellow glow all around the camp site.

"So what is that other guy's problem?" Chris asked trying to sound nonchalant.

"Who?" Perry asked starting to set up the stones around the fire to lay out a grill.

"The other guy in the blue coat."

"Oh, Stan?.... He's just a dick." He mumbled opening a jug of water and pouring it into a big soup pot. "Why?"

Chris shrugged and held her hands out to the warm flames. "He kept glaring at me. What is your name?"

"I'm... uh Perry.... The other guy is Dean, and the two idiots who went off with the dog are Stan and Sam."

"I'm sorry, if I threw a wrench in your hunting plans."

"Oh, nah. Stan is just stupid."

"Perry!" Dean appeared in the firelight, Perry jumped looking around to Dean. Dean motioned Perry towards him with his fingers. Perry stood up looking guilty and walked over to Dean who put his arm around him and pulled him away from the fire light. They stopped outside of the tent line. Chris heard Dean whispering to him, "Don't get too friendly with her. She will be gone tomorrow. We don't want to make an impression." Perry nodded, "And stop calling the others stupid."

"But-" Perry began.

"But nothing. I know Stan is an idiot but he has a short temper and the last thing I need is for him to go off the handle." Perry nodded and Dean patted him on the back, letting him go and turning back toward the fire. He sat down across from Chris, holding out his hands towards the fire to thaw.

"So..." Chris said, looking into the fire. "Where are you guys going tomorrow?" Dean looked at her suspiciously, "for hunting, I mean."

"North." Dean said, Perry made his way back to the fire, placing the grate on the stones over the fire and putting the big pot with water on the grate.

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