Home > Risk on Ice (Boys of Winter #11)(6)

Risk on Ice (Boys of Winter #11)(6)
Author: S.R. Grey

“Thanks,” he says.

I turn to Sebastian, and, in the brighter light, I notice my brother has on black lounge pants and a worn-out gray tee.

Cringing, I ask, “Shit, you weren’t sleeping, were you?”

“No.” He shakes his head, chuckling. “I got ready for bed, but I wasn’t really tired. So I came down here to watch TV.” He gestures to the big spiral staircase. “Bettina’s sleeping, and I didn’t want to keep her up with the TV turned on in our room. She has an early morning tomorrow. But enough about me.” He blows out a breath. “What’s going on, Kelsi? I think I’m ready for those details now.”

My brother knows me well enough to know I’m not the kind of person to just show up unannounced unless there’s a very good reason.

And there is.

“I just really needed to see you,” I say softly as I shrug my bags down my shoulder, letting them tumble to the floor. “After these past few months, Seb, I realize I need a reset on my life. I want to start anew.” I get choked up as I go on. “This is the first place I thought of when I questioned where I should go to think things through. It’s safe here, and I can reassess and reevaluate. Hopefully, it won’t take me too long.”

I wipe away a single tear, and my brother encircles me in another big hug.

“Hey, hey,” he says, patting my back. “You always have a place with me. I’ve told you that a hundred times. And it’s true. Like I said before, I’m glad you’re here. After all you’ve been through, Kels, you deserve some time to regroup. Stay as long as you like.”

With more tears flowing, all I can choke out is “Thank you.”

I hold on to my brother, happy I didn’t have to flat-out ask if I can stay for a while.

He knows me so well.

After I pull myself together, I step back and wipe away my tears.

Seb moves my bags off to the side and asks me if I want to go into the living room to talk some more.

“Yes.” I nod. “I’d like that.”

It’s all good from there, kind of like old times even. We hang out on the sofa, talking and catching up. I fill him in on everything. I even tell him how I took my good ole sweet time driving to Vegas. I explain that I wanted to take in the beauty of the desert landscape.

“I plan to live my life like that now,” I share. “I want to enjoy every-freaking-thing.”

“I think you should,” Sebastian says, smiling. “You’ve spent so many years driving yourself to be successful. You deserve a break.”

“That’s all true.” I sigh. “I was successful, and I made a lot of money. But I was never all that happy. Still, it’s not all bad. That money is why I can afford to take a few months off. Hell, I could take even longer—much longer. And maybe I will. I don’t ever want to work like that again. I want to work to live, not live to work.”

Nodding, Seb says, “That’s a good philosophy.”

“I think so too.”

I could talk to my brother all night, but we both need some sleep.

I tell him that, and he says, “Yeah, I have practice in the morning.”

“Then let’s definitely wrap up.” Leaning forward, I roll my shoulders back and ask, “Is it okay if I crash in that apartment above the garage?”

“Er, um…” His face falls. “We may have a problem there.”

“Uh-oh, what kind of problem?” I ask, perplexed.

Sighing, he says, “It’s currently occupied.”

Now I’m really confused. “Huh? Who’s staying up there?”

I guess that lamp being on makes sense now.

But who’s here?

Sebastian never mentioned any houseguests the last few times I talked to him.

Guess I’m about to find out.

After blowing out a breath, he says, “I should’ve mentioned it sooner, but we were too busy catching up. But, yeah, I have another guest who will be staying with us for a while. He actually moved in earlier today. If I had known you were coming, Kelsi, I would’ve put him up here in the house and not in the apartment. Still…” He raises a brow. “We can ask him to move into a bedroom over here, if you like.”

I’m fine with his houseguest, whoever he is, remaining in the apartment.

So, waving my hand, I say, “No, that’s okay. Let him stay where he is. I’ll just pick out a bedroom over here.” I glance around and add, “Maybe one on this floor, as I don’t want to get in your or Bettina’s way.”

Softly, Sebastian assures me, “You could never be in anyone’s way, Kelsi. But sure, you can stay on the first floor if you feel more comfortable.”

“I do,” I say.

“Okay, then let me show you the bedrooms down here.”

Yawning, I reply, “Sounds good. That drive is catching up to me.”

Standing, Seb says, “I bet.”

After my brother shows me the bedrooms, I choose the one farthest down the hall. It’s the most private, and I like it best. There’s an en suite bathroom and a big flat-screen TV on the wall. It’s big, and I like the taupe and soft pink color scheme. I also am a fan of the light wood furniture and the nice king-size bed.

There’s a sliding glass door that Seb informs me leads out to the backyard and to the in-ground pool.

“Perfect,” I say, laughing. “I can go swimming anytime I want. Sunbathe too. This is definitely the room for me.”

“I think it’s a good choice,” my brother agrees as he sets my bags on the carpeted floor. “I’ll bring in the rest of your luggage in the morning before I head out to practice.”

“Okay, thank you.” I stifle another yawn as I say, “Just set my stuff outside in the hall if I’m still sleeping, which I probably will be after this long-ass day.”

He gives me a mock salute. “Will do.”

I then remember something. “Oh, hey, Sebastian?”

“Yes?” He turns back to face me.

“Who is the other houseguest? You didn’t say his name, just that he’s a dude. Is it anyone I would know?”

He replies, “You don’t know him personally, but he is a hockey player. We used to play together for the Panthers, so you’ve probably heard of him.”

“Okay, what’s his name?”

Sebastian replies, “Alex Hartwell.”

I suppress the urge to laugh out loud.

Have I heard of him?

I sure have.

I was lusting over his picture just a few short hours ago.

So Mr. Trouble, the hot guy with the sexy abs, is staying at my brother’s house.

Hmm, this could make for an interesting time.

I may be thinking all of this, but to Sebastian, I pretend that I’m clueless and just mumble, “No, that name doesn’t ring a bell.”






I sleep great and wake up feeling super fucking well-rested.

My phone is quiet this morning too.

Now this is the way to start the day.

Stretching and yawning in my nice big-ass bed, I sit up and take a look around the apartment, my temporary home for a while.

Okay, so the bedroom isn’t huge, but it has exactly what I need. Apart from the bed, there’s a dark teakwood dresser, a matching nightstand with a lamp, an adjoining bathroom, and a walk-in closet.

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