Home > Risk on Ice (Boys of Winter #11)(2)

Risk on Ice (Boys of Winter #11)(2)
Author: S.R. Grey

But damn, they are nothing if not persistent.

Downcast eyes, sighs of disappointment, murmurs of how much I’ve changed—it finally all gets to me.

“Ah, hell.” I throw my hands up in the air, and, against my better judgment, say, “If you promise not to post our selfie anywhere—like, just keep it for yourselves—then maybe one little pic of the three of us will be okay.”

“It will be,” Vee insists, smiling triumphantly.

There’s mischief in Viv’s big blue eyes as she adds, “And of course we’ll keep it private.”

Oh, hell, I should back out and call this thing off.

But I wait too long and it’s too late.

The twins descend on me, crawling onto my lap, hugging me, kissing my cheeks, pulling up my black tech tee, and rubbing my abs.

Shit, this is exactly what I was worried about.

I’m just too damn nice.

Or maybe I’m having fun too. It’s like one final “what the fuck.”

Giving in completely, I roll with the situation.

And somewhere along the line, a selfie of the three of us mugging for the camera is taken.

 

 

A New Start

 

 

A long time ago, my brother Sebastian told me if I ever needed a place to stay, his home, no matter where he’s living, would always be open.

“I sure hope that offer applies to his new Las Vegas house,” I mutter to myself as I cruise down I-15 in Utah.

Blowing out a breath, I lower the driver-side window of my alpine green Volvo SUV and breathe in the cool night desert air.

I love September, with that hint of a change of season in the air. It reminds me that I’m changing too.

“Yes, I am,” I declare as I tap the steering wheel. “I, Kelsi Alderman, am starting anew.”

I’ve been driving for a while now, but I feel more refreshed than I have in a long, long time. I guess leaving your old life behind in Salt Lake City has a way of doing that to a person.

It sure has for me.

And another thing—this new version of me is in no rush. That was my old life, always running around, working too hard, staying busy, busy, busy.

Hell with that.

My new life is about slowing down and taking time to enjoy the little things.

I’ve adopted this new philosophy on this trip even, having stopped several times already. Not just for bathroom breaks and grabbing food.

No, I’ve made a point to pull over at several observation pull-outs along the way, simply to take in the pretty scenery.

Even the views from the road have been breathtaking—towering red rocks, snow-capped mountains in the distance, blue skies. There’s just so much beauty in the state.

The sunset also was magnificent.

And the black-velvet sky above me now, flecked with millions of twinkling stars, holds its own certain kind of charm.

I sigh deeply.

Yeah, I am definitely going to keep enjoying these things.

I’ve been on the other side, and that left me unhappy and bereft.

I had a high-powered job as a corporate attorney back in Salt Lake City.

I had a husband.

I had a house.

And then everything fell apart.

I found out my shitty husband was cheating on me.

So we got a divorce and sold our home.

I was just about to move into an apartment when I decided I’d had enough. It was time for a new start.

I took an extended leave of absence from my job, packed up my essential belongings in this SUV, put the rest of my things in storage, and hit the road.

I’m hoping to sort my life out. But in order to achieve that I need to spend some time with family.

And by that I mean my younger brother, Sebastian.

We’ve always been close.

That’s why I think he’ll be okay with me spending some time at his house to regroup. I recall him mentioning that he has a separate apartment above his multicar garage.

That would be perfect.

Seb and I are three years apart. I’m older and was always the one looking out for him when we were kids.

Our only other sibling, a brother named Drew, is years older than us. He was a teen when Sebastian and I were still children.

I guess that’s why Seb and I bonded from the start.

Drew is great, but there’s just not that super-strong connection like there is with Seb.

For example, when Sebastian first started playing hockey, at about the age of four, I was his first, and biggest, fan.

Now that he’s a hotshot forward in the National Hockey League, I’m still his cheerleader.

I feel bad, though, as I haven’t seen him play in such a long time.

Come to think of it, I haven’t really seen him at all for ages.

Yeah, it’s been too damn long.

I mean, we talk and text all the time, sure. But that’s not the same.

Like, he knows about my divorce, but he has no idea I’m doing this—starting over.

He also has no clue that I’m on my way to his house.

Boy, is he going to be surprised!

As I close in on Nevada, readying to cross the state line, I decide now is as good a time as any to take a short break. There’s a rest stop up ahead, where I can freshen up and hopefully grab a bottled water from a vending machine.

Once I stop and do exactly that, I hop back into my vehicle.

But before I hit the road once more, I lower the visor and peer into the mirror.

My big caramel-brown eyes stare back at me.

I smile.

I feel good and I look happier than I have in what feels like forever.

Damn, I am happier.

My eyes are bright and full of hope for my future, whatever it may hold.

Lifting my water bottle, I take a sip and think about how I want to define that new future.

Apart from just slowing down and enjoying everything, which is already established as a must, I’d like to have a family.

I’m thirty-three now. I don’t have another decade or more to waste.

My ex-husband didn’t want kids. And I was fine with that…until I wasn’t.

Yet another nail in the coffin of our relationship.

Sighing and flipping my chestnut-brown hair over one shoulder, I tap the visor back into place.

“Someday you’ll meet the man for you,” I whisper, like maybe the fates will hear me and make it happen.

But after a moment of thought, I add, “But he’s going to have to be mature and have his shit together.”

Yeah, no doubt.

Determined and brimming with hope, I start the SUV and head out of the rest stop, ready and excited to embark on this new life of mine.

 

 

Fallout

 

 

“Aw, hell. What the fuck is up now?” I murmur when I wake up on my first morning in Las Vegas to find my phone is blowing up.

This is the last thing I need.

Hell, I just flew in yesterday and had a really nice dinner last night with Sebastian and Bettina.

So why are things going crazy now?

Guess I’m about to find out.

Raking my fingers through my auburn hair, I groan and reluctantly sit up in the king-size bed in the hotel room the team has put me up in.

Bare from the waist up, I scratch my smooth chest and start scrolling through the texts…

 

Dude, are you crazy? What were you thinking?

 

Way to make a first impression, Hartwell.

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