Read an Exerpt of Happy Birthday to Me

His birthday. That was why he was on this road, at this time, alone, and trying to get back to Denver before the day ended. He hunched his shoulders and stared down at the ground between his feet. He should have stayed in Fort Collins but, for the first time in his thirty-five years, he was looking forward to spending this day -- his day -- with the rest of the team, even though nothing more lavish than a few drinks at Inezís Place had been planned, and he was at a loss as to explain why it had become important to him.

Three hundred and sixty five days of the year to choose from and he had been subpoenaed to appear in court in distant Jackson County on this day of all days. Not that it should have surprised him; he had a long history of non-events to look back on and one more should not have worried him in the least -- but it did.

He did not want to be standing at the side of the road with night falling, still far from home with no company but that of a very dead deer. He shivered again, not entirely sure if the reaction was due to the falling temperature or a physical response to the fact that he had just slammed into a tree at fifty miles an hour. Whatever the reason he had to admit he was feeling a little shaky.