Instant Attraction Read online

  “What’s this?”

  “We had a group come in late last night. Five brothers. I’m taking them up Sky Peak today and tomorrow. They want to hike up, then ski down the backside. That’s their deposit.”

  She looked inside and saw all the zeros on the check. “Nice.”

  “The roads are rough. If you go to the bank today, you’ll need the snowmobile to get there.”

  She stared down at the envelope. Bad roads. Snowmobile. On the one hand, it sounded like a great adventure. On the other, it sounded like an unusual obituary. But she was going deeper…so she stuck the check in the bank bag and pulled on all her snow gear. She went outside and stared at the snow-mobile sitting so innocuously out front.

  The key was in the ignition, the helmet on top of the seat. She pulled it on and straddled the beast, as she’d seen Cam do a bunch of times. “No problem.” Yeah, saying it out loud really helped. She turned the key and the engine jumped to life, along with her heart rate. Instinctively, she grabbed the handlebars and squeezed, and that’s when the beast betrayed her, leaping forward like a kicked bronco.

  With a small, strangled scream, Katie let go of the handlebars. The snowmobile went one way and she went the other, flying through the air.

  She landed facedown in the soft, newly fallen powder, which gave way beneath her, so that she sank in like a post. She was stuck so good that moving was all but impossible. She tried to keep it together, but it was dark inside the snow berm and she couldn’t get free, and the old panic gripped her. She gasped for air and inhaled snow. Not trapped in your car, she tried to tell herself. No flames licking at you…It didn’t work. Choking, coughing, she struggled, feeling like she was suffocating—

  A set of hands gripped her hips and hauled her up to her knees, tugging off her helmet so she could see.

  And what she saw was Cam, eyes and mouth grim as he hunkered down before her, peering into her face.

  “You’re back,” she gasped, swiping at the snow in her eyes.

  “Are you okay?” he demanded.

  “I don’t know.” Heart pounding, knees wobbling, she sank to her butt in the snow. “I couldn’t breathe, I—”

  He ran his hands down her limbs, then rescued her glasses from the snow and handed them to her. “What the hell were you doing?”

  “I…” She shook her head. “Need another second.”

  He blew out a breath, then craned his head to take in the snowmobile, which had hit a tree.

  She put on her glasses and gasped. “Oh, God.” Nope, she wasn’t okay. Spots swam in front of her eyes, as did memories of what her car had looked like after her crash, and the next thing she knew, Cam had pushed her head between her knees and was saying, “Deep breaths, that’s it. Come on, keep at it.”


  “Does that mean you’re back with me?”

  “I did not faint.” She lifted her head and forced herself to look at the snowmobile. “Oh, God. I did, I really killed it.”

  “Yeah, well, better it than you. So let’s get to the part where you tell me what you were doing.”

  “Attempting to get to the bank. Stone said I could. Hi, by the way.”

  “Hi. And Stone’s an idiot. Did it ever occur to you to ask for help?”

  “Sure. But I didn’t want to look like the stupid city girl.”

  He stroked her damp hair from her face. “You’re that most disconcerting shade of green again.”

  “Yeah, I’m sort of having a bad moment.”

  “I can see that.” His calm voice was going a long way toward making her calm. Or at least calmer. “Flashback?”

  “My car—” She took a quick peek at the snowmobile on its side near the tree. “It looked like a toy afterward.”

  “Ah, hell,” With a rough sound of regret, he pulled her in close. “I’m sorry.”

  “I’m okay,” she said softly.

  “So am I. Let’s just be okay together a minute.”

  She burrowed in, pressing her cold nose to his throat. “I’m sorry I killed your snowmobile. I’ll pay for the damages.”

  “No, you won’t. Trust me, we’ve put it through far worse.” He slanted her a look. “On purpose.”

  “Because you’re all tough badass Wilders, and when you ride crazy and crash into things, it’s on purpose, right?”

  “Not every time.”

  She closed her eyes, then opened them and cupped his face, feeling the stubble beneath her fingers. “Why didn’t you tell me you hadn’t been on the mountain since your accident?”

  “You were nervous enough, you didn’t need to worry about me chickening out.”

  “Were you close to doing that?”

  He flashed a grim smile. “More than you know.” He started to get up, but she held him back.

  “And how are you now?” she asked.

  “How are you now?”

  “I’m pretty damn fine. Now you.”

  He laughed roughly. “Always with the talking.”

  “Talking’s good for you.”

  “Are you sure? I’d think your tongue would get tired.”

  “It’s good for you here.” She spread her hand over his heart.

  His smile faded, but his eyes remained warm as he covered her hand with his. “I’m pretty damn fine too. Skiing with you the other day was…good. You thanked me for taking you, but I should have thanked you.” He got up and strode to the snowmobile. Grabbing the handlebars, he picked up the front end, muscling the nose away from the tree. Then he turned the key, and once again the engine roared to life.

  “Come here,” he said, holding the beast.

  “Oh.” She swallowed hard. “Well, I—”

  “Get on.”

  She looked at the machine, at the man waiting on her all calm and patient. Balls out. Heading over there, she slowed her steps when she got close. “Yeah, see I’m not sure about the whole driving thing. I don’t think I’m cut out for it.”

  He held out the helmet. “Let’s go.”

  “You know,” she said. “When it comes to your idiosyncrasies, I’m much more gentle than you.”

  He waggled the helmet.

  With a sigh, she put it on, then stood still in shocked surprise when he gently tucked a strand of her hair aside, out of her way, leaving his fingers on her for far longer than necessary. “Okay,” she murmured, “that works too.”

  He smiled, then leaned in and kissed her, not so gently.

  “Even better,” she managed when he pulled back.

  “Let’s do this, Goldilocks.”

  “Yeah, okay.” What could she do but swing a leg over the snowmobile and get on?

  But then he surprised her again by getting on behind her, slipping his arms around her, his thighs hugging hers. She felt his mouth brush the crook of her neck below the edge of the helmet as his hands skimmed beneath her jacket and shirt, and spread wide over her belly. “Put your hands on the grips,” he directed.

  With a shiver, she did.

  “Good. Now hold tight, and whatever you do, do not let go.” His thumbs stroked her ribs, nearly but not quite touching her breasts. “What did I say?”

  “Don’t let go,” she whispered obediently.

  “The brake is here.” He showed her where to pull with one hand, the other still stroking her belly.

  She drew a shaky breath and dropped her hands to his thighs, feeling the power there, squeezing—

  He directed her hands back to the grips. “You have to hold on, no matter what happens.”

  She shivered and tried to crane her neck to look at him, but he held her still. “Face forward. Keep your eyes on where you’re headed.” He slid his hands to her belly again, stroking up and down, until she was nothing but a melted bowl of goo. “Feel the weight of the machine.”

  “Cam—” She broke off with a gasp when the very tips of his fingers grazed the undersides of her breasts.

  “When you turn,” he murmured in her ear, “shift your weight, go with it. Got that?�€