With the cold weather settling in, it seems appropriate to take a look again at this Amber Heat story from my backlist. My interest in the Winter Olympics sports crops up here. Seri's professional drama is roughly modeled after the experience of Peekaboo Street, an athlete I admired. I was crushed when injury shattered her career, and the thing about fiction is you can write the ending any way you wish.
In a world where we sometimes have no control over fate, that's a great deal.
Copyright 2007 Carolina Valdez
Cover Art Copyright 2007 Trace Edward Zaber
Buy Online http://www.amberheat.com/Avalanche.html
After a serious crash in competition, ski patrol leader Seri Lohan, a Super G gold medalist, will never compete again. Chad Jenkins, next year’s hope for another downhill gold for the U.S., is seriously injured on Seri’s patrol watch, and she volunteers to take care of him.
Years ago, Chad broke her heart. She’s determined not to let him do so again, but, trapped with him in a chalet by a blizzard, all the old sensual tensions and longings emerge. He desperately needs her help and isn’t above using seduction as a means to keep her with him. If she succumbs, what will it do to her relationship with the man who’s asked her to marry him? What will it do to her heart?
“So cold,” he murmured.
“Keep him warm. He mustn’t get cold again,” the ER doctor had said.
She’d covered him with all the blankets in the chalet, brought the heater up to full strength, and stoked the fire, but she had to admit she was cold too. Cold and tired. The storm still raged outside. With this awakening, she’d brought him through the hours they’d said she’d have to wake him to be sure his brain wasn’t bleeding, and now her body hurt all over from mental and physical exhaustion.
He’s cold. I’m cold. Oh, what the hell, she thought, he sees me just as an old friend. I refuse to sleep in a chair.
In the bathroom she removed her after-ski boots and outerwear, rid herself of the discomfort of a bra over her full breasts all day and shed her black panties. She slipped under the covers beside him wearing only her long, black silk thermals. He stirred and quieted. She curled near him, just close enough to share her body warmth.
Falling instantly asleep as if drugged, she stirred briefly when she felt someone brushing the tendrils of hairs that had escaped from her braid back from her face. Opening her eyes, she saw that she and Chad now faced each other.
“Hi,” he said, his voice soft. He smelled of antiseptic and soap. In the flickering light of the banked fire, his eyes had darkened to lapis lazuli.
That’s who he is in real life, she thought. Someone deep and mysterious who keeps his thoughts close to his chest. This was the Chad she knew.
“Hi,” she whispered back.
His lips, warm and soft, closed on hers.
Desire threaded through her body. Alarm bells rang distantly in her head. Thankfully, Chad went back to sleep, and she didn’t think he was aware she hadn’t returned his kiss. It had been shit hard, but she hadn’t done all the things she’d wanted to do with that mouth, that desire-igniting mouth with its warmth and all encompassing sweetness.
Nothing had changed since high school. And she was a fool...
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