After Midnight

After Midnight by Katherine Garbera Page B

Book: After Midnight by Katherine Garbera Read Free Book Online
Authors: Katherine Garbera
anyone into doing anything, but this is something I don’t think even you can simply force under your control.”
    She dropped her arm as she realized how defensive that might look to him. Then she spun on her heel and started walking again. As she moved across the resort grounds, she paused to look around her. It was the kind of day she used to love. The snow was thick, perfect for a fresh run, and the sky looked clear and endless. This was her favorite sort of winter.
    “I know that,” he said, quickly catching up with her. “I’m just saying every time I dare you to do something—”
    “It backfires,” she retorted. The bet on a kiss that had started all of this hadn’t spurred her on to greater skiing glory. Or had it? She’d kept her head down and trained harder to prove he didn’t bother her. That his flirting couldn’t shake her. Maybe that was what she needed to do now. Put her head down and pretend he couldn’t affect her.
    “I’ve got this.”
    “You know,” he said, “it wouldn’t hurt you to admit that you can’t do it all on your own.”
    “I don’t need an entourage to remind me— What is it exactly that they do for you?” she asked sweetly.
    “Nothing. They are friends, not an entourage. Something that seems foreign to you.” He reached out and gripped her arm. “You have people who care for you, but you are always so afraid to let them in.”
    “Let
you
in,” she said, jerking away. “That’s what you really mean.”
    “True. Why is that?”
    She stopped walking and looked over at him. He had put on a pair of sunglasses so she couldn’t see his eyes. “You scare me. You make me confused. I don’t really like it.”
    “I don’t like it, either, but we are going to have to work together.”
    “Why?” she asked.
    “I’m the only person who knows you haven’t skied since your surgery, aren’t I?”
    She nodded. When she got home she was taking that damned resolutions list off the fridge and adding “no drinking champagne” to it. Maybe if she hadn’t been drinking she wouldn’t have found him as attractive and confessed all sorts of things she should have kept to herself.
    “Carter, please. Just let this go. I’ll figure it out and no one will have to know anything,” she said.
    “I can’t.”
    She sighed in frustration. “Why not?”
    “Because you made me your New Year’s resolution and I’m determined to give you a year you won’t forget.”
    “I was drunk when I said that,” she said. But despite her annoyance with him, his words made her feel warm like the sunshine on her face. There was more to Carter Shaw than she wanted to admit. Mainly because if she didn’t keep him at arm’s length she might do something foolish, like fall for him.
    And it was foolish. Though she hadn’t seen him in person for the past two weeks, she’d seen him online on the gossip websites with a bevy of women at the Thunderbolt Energy Drink Extreme Winter Games as he’d promoted his upcoming professional debut in California. She knew that he was a player.
    She had to seem like a novelty to him. And while she got that to him she was different, a challenge of sorts, how long would it take for that to wear off and for him to move on? She wasn’t being down on herself. She had plenty to offer a man, but not one like Carter. His expectations were based on a model of woman and a lifestyle that made hers seem boring.
    “You weren’t drunk. If you want to pretend you were, then fine,” he said tersely. “I don’t know why I keep chasing after you.”
    She didn’t know, either, and she wasn’t foolish enough to guess. “Thank you. I guess I’ll see you next week at our meeting.”
    “Yes, you will.”
    She walked away and admitted to herself that she was disappointed he’d let her go. She’d hoped that maybe he’d follow her. But she knew she’d have shut him down if he had.
    She got changed in the locker room and, as usual, putting on her ski clothes brought out

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