Instant Attraction Read online

  her to the side and then down to the ground.

  Screaming the whole time.

  Once again Cam fisted his hand in the back of her jacket and hauled her upright, just as the skiers behind them dismounted their chair and nearly ran her over. Moving them both to the side, Cam waited for her to catch her breath. She was gripping the front of his jacket as if her legs weren’t quite steady.

  He knew the feeling.

  Her ski cap had slid down over one eye, her glasses were askance, but she looked up at him and shot him a wry smile.

  And absolutely melted his heart.

  “I promise, I’m better at the rest,” she said, and blew a strand of hair from her face.

  There wasn’t a woman he knew who could make the best of every situation and keep a positive attitude, including Annie, whom he’d loved since the beginning of time. Quite simply, he’d never met a woman like Katie. Ever. “You okay?”

  “Physically, yes. Mentally? The jury’s still out.” She straightened her cap. “Okay, let’s do this. Let’s see this run you’ve got in mind.”

  “Mt. Easy.”

  “Mt. Easy?” she repeated.

  “It’s the bunny slope.”

  “You don’t think I can do this.”

  “Listen, Mt. Easy is a very nice run, and—”

  “You really don’t think I can do this.”

  “Okay, let’s just say I want to be sure.” For both of them.

  She lifted her chin. “You know what? Bring it on, hotshot. I’m going to show you what I’ve got.” She turned herself and started poling toward the face of the mountain, which happened to be an expert-only run. He should know, the trail was named after him.


  “No, I’ve got this. I’m going to show you what I’m made out of, Cameron Wilder, holder of all the world titles, I—”


  “I really can do this, you know, I—” Her breath left her in a whoosh when she got close enough to look down at the 2,000-foot steep, moguls-as-high-as-a-house run.

  “That’s a double diamond,” he told her. “It’s called Wilder Way.”

  She stopped so fast her cap slid into her eyes again. “Okay, you know what? Maybe you should lead.”

  Katie survived skiing in no small part thanks to Cam, who looked like poetry in motion on his board. She could have watched that long, lean, tough body move all damn day, but that wasn’t conducive to staying upright on her skis. He encouraged her to make the best of the slopes, correcting her dubious technique when she asked, but he let her have her adrenaline rush, which she did in spades. Hitting the hills with the wind in her face and some questionable speed beneath her skis turned out to be the most exhilarating thing she’d done in a long time.

  “So,” he said when it was all over and done as they pulled up to the lodge. “Was that good for you?”

  Her heart began to hammer because she thought—hoped—she knew what was going to come next—them. “It was the best time I’ve had here yet.”

  “I’m thinking we can top it.” He shut off the Sno-Cat and turned to her, one arm on her head rest, the other sliding over her belly to hold her hip, crowding her a little, which she happened to like.

  She crowded him, too, leaning into him. “What did you have in mind?”

  With a low laugh, he nuzzled the curve of her neck, which pretty much sizzled her brain cells and melted her bones into mush. He began working his way up to her jaw, coaxing her into a heated bliss as he made his way to her mouth, when he went still.

  She opened her eyes.

  His were opened too. Not on her but on something behind her. Craning her neck, she locked gazes with Stone outside the Sno-Cat.

  “I need to talk to you,” Stone said to Cam.

  “Busy here.”

  “Busier than you think. Your group showed up a day early for their cross-country ski into Glory Valley. Crossed wires, I guess.”

  “Maybe you could take the trip.”

  “I have something else lined up.”

  “Yes,” Cam said, shooting his brother a meaningful look, “but it’s probably not as important as my thing.”

  Stone just shook his head. “You’re up, dude,” was all he said, and walked away.

  Cam let out a breath. “It’s a conspiracy,” he muttered.


  “I’m sorry, I’ve got to go lead the trip. After I kill my brother.”

  With sex off the table, Katie headed inside the lodge. Annie was in the kitchen cleaning up after serving their guests chicken enchiladas. One look at her had Katie sighing—baggy jeans, a bulky sweater, and an apron that read: NEVER TRUST A SKINNY CHEF.

  Though she’d rather be burning calories right now instead of consuming them, Katie got herself a plate. “Nice apron. What happened to your new clothes?”

  Annie grated some more cheese for her. “You ever have a day that’s just a complete waste of mascara?”

  “You don’t wear mascara.”

  “It’s a good thing too. Today would have been a waste of it.”

  “Annie, you’re on a mission, remember? Getting Nick to see you.”

  “Yeah.” Annie stopped with the busy work and leaned back against the counter. “I’m afraid.”

  “Of what, wearing clothes that fit you?”

  “I’m afraid that he still won’t see me and then I’ll have to kill him. If you think I look bad in these clothes, think of how I’d look in prison garb.”

  Katie laughed. “Look, I’ve seen the way Nick looks at you. He’s going to see you, I promise. Now remember, you’re as fierce as they come. Go show it.”

  Annie arched a brow. “Aren’t you mighty.”

  “Hey, I’m the Mighty Queen. Besides, you have to dream it to live it.”

  “You dreamed about running an office out in the middle of nowhere?”

  “I dreamed about living my life to its fullest. Balls out.”

  “You don’t have any.”

  “It’s a euphemism.”

  “Yeah, I don’t think I’m as optimistic as you.”

  “Maybe you ought to try that too.” Katie wrapped some extra cheese in a napkin for Chuck and stuffed it into her pocket, determined to win him over yet.

  It was snowing. Light, plentiful flakes drifting through the air with a silent beauty, stacking on top of the already snow-ladened landscape.

  The bushes didn’t rustle.

  Back in her cabin, Katie stood at the door and called for the scraggly cat. When he didn’t come, she left the cheese out on the doorstep. She put on her pj’s and looked at herself in the mirror. Men’s boxers and a cami. Not exactly Victoria’s Secret material, but it was all she had. She tried to keep her eyes open, listening for Chuck, listening for Cam.

  Neither came.

  In the morning, she woke up sore and stiff from her foray on the mountain. Walking like an old woman, she opened her door and checked for the cheese.

  It was gone, probably courtesy of the fat raccoon waddling off her porch. “Hey, that cheese wasn’t for you!”

  The big guy actually stopped and craned his neck, giving her a look that had her letting out a startled squeak and slamming the door. She showered and dressed, then tentatively opened the door again.

  No raccoon.

  No Chuck either…

  But lots of fresh snow. She made her way through it, which someone had thankfully shoveled from her path all the way to the lodge’s front door. She went directly to the kitchen, where Annie shoved a plate of food and a hot mug of coffee into her hands.

  “The guys got stuck on the pass last night,” Annie said. “Trapped there by the storm.”

  “Are they okay?”

  “They’re boys. They love that stuff.” Annie looked at her speculatively. “You didn’t tell me you skied with Cam.”

  Katie blinked. “I thought you knew.” She paused at the look on Annie’s face. “Is that okay?”

  “He hasn’t been on his snowboard since