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Authors: Christie Butler

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BOOK: Apres Ski
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Pulling back, Chelsea planted quick kisses on his lips.
“Didn’t you want to watch that show on the Discovery Channel?”

He shrugged. “That’s why God invented DVRs.”

* * * * *

“So tell me something.” Chelsea unzipped her jeans and
pushed them down, stepping out of them. They’d finished their wine and had forgone
the modern technology of DVRs and watched a nature show in real time.

“Keep taking your clothes off and I’ll tell you anything you
want.” Jud waggled his eyebrows at her, pulling his sweatshirt off and tossing
it on the floor.

Down to her bra and panties, Chelsea crawled onto the bed
and struck a seductive pose. “Was it all lies?”

Jud frowned, doffing his jeans. His erection strained
impressively against his boxer briefs as he sat on the bed next to her. “What
are you talking about? Was what all lies?” His fingers traced a path up her
belly to cup her breast and tweak her nipple through the lacy material of her

“The kinky sex thing.” Chelsea stroked a hand over his impressive
abs, stroking her fingertip along the length of his cock. “Do you really have
some crazy sexual needs that I’m going to have to fulfill?” Her stomach dropped
at the look he gave her as he dipped his head to her breast.

He nibbled at her nipple, unclasping her bra and removing
it. “I guess we’ll see, won’t we?” He cupped her breasts as if he was trying to
figure out how much they weighed. “Damn, Chels, these are some positively world-class
breasts you have.” He thumbed her nipples and they puckered tightly. “Yeah,
perky, round and ripe, little pink nipples perfectly centered. A work of art.”

Squirming beneath his gaze, Chelsea said, “I thought you
were an ass man.”

He winked at her. “I am, but I’m not averse to appreciating
a nice pair of breasts when I see them.”

“Mm-hm. So start appreciating them.”

His laugh was deep and melodious. “I like a woman who knows
what she wants.” He dropped his head and licked the underslope of her breast,
moving up to delicately run his tongue around her nipple before sucking it into
his mouth.

“Mmmmm.” She burned at the sight of his beautiful lips as
they devoured her flesh. Hugging his head to her breasts, she squealed with
delight as his teeth scraped against her sensitive skin.

“Let’s get these off of you.” Jud peeled her panties off and
tossed them on the floor. He stroked his fingers up her calf to her thigh,
pressing the heel of his hand against her mound as he moved to lie beside her,
propping himself up on his elbow.

Chelsea dropped her head back onto the pillows, looking up
at Jud just inches away. He pressed his lips to hers, his tongue delving into
her mouth as his fingers probed her pussy.

Her thighs dropped open as she moaned into his mouth, her
hips jerking when his thumb brushed across her clit. In need of air, she pulled
her mouth away from his. She pushed her pelvis against his hand, seeking relief
from his clever fingers.

“You’re so beautiful when you’re turned-on.” Jud’s eyes were
smoking hot, searing her. “I want to watch you come for me.”

The space around them seemed to shrink, her world reduced to
their two heated bodies. With one hand, Chelsea grasped his shoulder, laying
the other one flat on the bed to anchor herself. She licked her lips, feeling
his warm breaths as a caress. She rolled her hips as his fingers delicately
opened her, finding her sensitive spots, pushing her higher.

“You’re so wet, so tight.” His voice was low, strained. He
drove his fingers deep inside her, out to tease her clit, back deep inside. He
nuzzled her neck, whispering, “I can’t wait to fuck you, bury my cock inside

Chelsea groaned, the tension coiled inside her growing as
his words and fingers worked their magic. “Just do it.”

His laugh rumbled through her. “Come for me, Chels. I want
your pussy nice and juicy first.”

She shook her head back and forth. “You said I was wet. Come
.” She pushed her pelvis at him, dying for him, aching to be filled.

“Mmmm.” He rubbed her clit with his fingertips, light and
slow at first, working up to deeper pressure. “Come for me, baby.”

Chelsea looked into his eyes, found them intense and
demanding. She knew that she was going to need to get close to a man to have
sex with him, but this was almost unbearably intimate. Mesmerized, she tried to
focus on his eyes, but her vision was blurred by ecstasy.

The heat in her middle grew and she whimpered, her breaths
coming in quick pants. She tossed her head from side to side, trying to dispel
tension, but Jud placed his palm on her forehead to still her.

“I want to see you,” he whispered. “Come for me.”

Her hips thrust uncontrollably as she fell apart under his
gaze. Squeezing her eyes tightly closed, she went over the edge. Her breath
caught in her throat and she came silently, waves of sensation crashing through
her, made all the more intense by the emotion.

Jud kissed her, slowly removing his fingers from her swollen
flesh. “That was incredible, Chels.”

“Mm.” She was incapable of forming any other words just

“I hope you’re ready for more.” Jud sat up beside her.

Groaning, she rolled onto her side and curled up into a
fetal position. She felt him leave the bed and heard some rustling behind her.

Moving into her field of vision, he tore open a condom and
covered himself. He sat next to her and stroked her thigh.

She ogled his impressive erection, covered in latex.
“Haven’t been tested yet?”

He laughed. “This morning. I should get the results back any
time.” He leaned over her and kissed her neck. “Can’t be too soon for me.”

Despite her supersensitive flesh, she shivered. Still, she
remained firmly curled up into a ball. No point in making it
for him.

His lips were warm as he kissed a trail from her neck down
to her back, his hand rubbing up her thigh to cup her ass. “You gonna let me

Chelsea didn’t move. She heard him sigh and huff out a small

“Okay. I can work with this.” He jumped off the bed and
dropped a couple of pillows on the floor.

She squealed as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled
her to the edge of the bed, her body still curled up. He dropped to his knees and
moved close to her. Guiding his cock to her pussy, he slowly drove inside her.
“Damn, I didn’t think you could feel any tighter, but this is unbelievable.”

Chelsea’s legs shook. “Yeah, I didn’t think you could feel
any bigger.” She balanced on her forearm and looked up to see Jud looking
fierce and determined. He cradled her, one hand on her back and the other on
her bent knees. He started thrusting, gyrating his hips, finding every
sensitive spot as his cock spiraled inside her. Her ass bounced off of him with
every thrust, her momentum carrying her back deep onto his cock. He was like a
machine, relentless, pushing her higher.

“God, Jud,” she gasped. “So this…is what…it feels like…to be

He grunted with effort. “Yeah, you feel so good, Chels, so
tight. I’m not gonna last.”

“Neither am I. Go faster. Harder.”

Jud complied, the sound of their flesh slapping together
driving her wild. She clutched the bedding in her fist, hanging on for dear
life as she felt herself explode, flames tearing through her body. Her pussy
clenched around him and he came with a sudden jolt, grinding into her long
after he was dry.

Used up, Chelsea dropped to the bed, able only to move her
lungs to breathe.

Still inside her, Jud bent over her, supporting himself on
straight arms. Sweat from his brow dropped onto her breasts. “Wow, that was

“You just about killed me.” Her words came out in a rush as
she tried to find air.

He pulled out of her and struggled to stand. He left the
bedroom, Chelsea presumed, to dispose of the condom. She was asleep before he

Chapter Nine


By the time Chelsea pulled into her driveway, huge
snowflakes were falling. It was supposed to be a cold and dreary day, and she
was glad she didn’t have to work. Jud wasn’t so fortunate. Chelsea had stayed
snuggled up in his bed long after he’d left at 7:30. She’d moved over to his
side of the massive bed and slept, cocooned in his scent.

Surprised to see Megan’s car, she made her way past it on
legs still a bit wobbly from last night’s adventures. Chelsea considered
herself a jock, but she wasn’t used to using her muscles the way she had been
over the past few days.

Inside, she dropped her bag on the floor and found Megan in
the living room reading the newspaper. “Hey,” she said, flopping down on the

“God morning, Sunshine,” Megan said with a wink. “You look
absolutely wrecked. Or should I say absolutely fucked?”

Chelsea giggled.
Really? Am I really giggling?
Shecouldn’t help herself.

The latter.”

“Oh dear. You are so screwed, pardon the pun.”

“I know.” Chelsea sighed, some perspective forced on her by
her friend. “He owns me, Megs. And quite frankly, I don’t really care right
now. I’m so happy when I’m with him. It feels right.”

Megan looked at her, a knowing grin on her face. “That’s
great, Chels. I think you and Jud are really good together.”

“I think we are too.” Chelsea grinned back, her heart full
even though her head had other ideas. It kept telling her things like “once a
player, always a player” and “take a look in the mirror”. Kayla’s words echoed
back at her. Judson Tate was indeed a prime specimen of a man, both outside and
in. Was he out of her league? Well,
thought she deserved a great guy
in her life.

“Oh damn,” Megan said. “I’ve got to get to the store.”

Checking the time on her phone, Chelsea frowned. “Yeah, it’s
almost eleven. What are you still doing here?”

“I’ve got that reading tonight. Remember?” Megan grabbed her
purse and car keys.

Chelsea looked at her blankly.

“C’mon, Chels. I have that travel author doing a reading
from her new book. You promised me you’d come.”

Nodding, Chelsea vaguely remembered Megan telling her
something about it. But hey, she’d been kind of busy. “Uh, yeah, sure.”

“Don’t even think about bailing on me. It’s at eight

“I’ll be there,” Chelsea called after Megan as she fled the
room. She heard the front door open and shut, and then all was quiet. For a few
moments she sat, staring out the window. She wasn’t one to sit in stillness and
do a lot of reflecting, but she indulged herself for a minute. When
insecurities about Jud and their possible future intruded, she decided it was
time to get off her ass and do something.

After a shower and a quick lunch of a grilled cheese
sandwich and an apple, she was seated in front of her easel, ready to put some
finishing touches on her painting for Jud. Before she could start, her cell
phone rang. She didn’t recognize the number on caller ID, but she picked it up.


“Ms. Ryan?” The voice was male and she didn’t recognize it.


“My name is David Morrow and I got your number from Mara
Bergen. She told you I would be calling?”

“Uh, yes. She did.” Chelsea’s heart rate kicked up.

“I hope I’m not disturbing you.”

“No, not at all. What can I do for you, Mr. Morrow?”
please, please tell me
you want to buy three or four more of my pieces,
or maybe open a gallery for me

His laugh was husky. “What you can do is join me for a drink
this evening. I’d like to talk to you about your work. My apologies for the
short notice, but I’m leaving town in the morning.”

Okay, I’ll take it.
She swallowed a squeal of
delight. “Yes, that sounds good. It’ll have to be early, though. Does that work
for you?”

* * * * *

“Hold still, man. You’re just gonna hurt yourself.” Jud
finished applying a leg splint on some moron who’d had a little liquid courage
at lunch and had gone gonzo down some steeps. Unfortunately, his skis had
decided to take different paths around a tree, his femur taking the brunt of
the blow.

When Jud and Roger had come upon the scene, the guy’s leg
was bending at an angle that it never had before. And he’d been a pain in the
ass from the start.

“Take it easy, bro. That fucking hurts!” The guy pushed up
to his elbows.

“Sorry ’bout that,
.” Jud pushed on his chest.
“Lie down.”

Roger took over restraint duty, struggling to hold the guy
down while Jud finished. “Quit moving, he’s almost done. You’re gonna be fine.
You’re lucky you didn’t flatten your balls, dude. Be a shame if you couldn’t
reproduce.” He exchanged looks with Jud, rolling his eyes.

Lifting the guy onto the gurney, Jud thought he’d had just
about enough of this shit. There was still no place he’d rather be on a sunny
winter day than on a mountain. He loved working ski patrol, but people used to
actually be grateful when you’d show up to help them, rescue them from the mess
they’d found themselves in. Now, more often than not, he had to deal with
little pukes like this kid.

This was only reinforcing his decision to move on.

Popping his boots back into the bindings, he took off down
the hill after the snowmobile that was hauling their patient to the base. The
snow was getting heavier, so it was slow going, but they made it to the bottom
a few minutes later. He and Roger stood by while they loaded the guy into the

Roger looked at him. “Coffee?”

“After you.” Jud followed him into the restaurant at the
base and found a remote table while Roger fetched their caffeine. He had just
settled in a chair when his cell phone rang. The name on his caller ID made him
smile, and right now that was really saying something. “Hey, beautiful.”

“I have some news,” Chelsea said, dispensing with a

“From the sound of your voice, I’m guessing it’s good news?”
He could picture her jumping with glee, just as she had at the Bergen Gallery

“I think so. I got a call from the man who bought my
painting—ya know, the one Mara was telling me about?”

“Oh yeah?” He
happy for her, but in his current
mood it was hard to work up a lot of enthusiasm.

“Yeah, his name is David Morrow and he wants to meet for a
drink later.”

Jud frowned. He recognized the name, thinking he was the
producer of one of the movies that had been based on a Cam Wood book. “He wants
to meet you for a drink?”

“Yes! Isn’t that great?”

“It’s great, but why meet for a
?” Even as he
said it, Jud was kicking himself. What the hell was the matter with him? This
was a fantastic opportunity for Chelsea.

She was quiet for a moment. “Did I mention that his wife was
going to join us?”

Fuck. I’m an idiot.
“Oops, jumped the gun. I’m sorry,
Chels. I’m having a bad day. You go have a drink and knock ’em dead.”

“For a moment there, I thought you might have been jealous,”
she said.

“I was.” Jud smiled, realizing it had been quite some time
since he’d had that emotion. “Did he give you any idea what he wanted to talk

“He wants to commission a work from me.” She sounded
thrilled, but as if she couldn’t quite believe it.

“That’s amazing, Chelsea. I’m so happy for you.”

“Thanks! I’m happy too.”

“What time are you meeting them?”

“Six o’clock. At The Monarch.”

Jud whistled. The Monarch was the most expensive hotel in
town. “Wow. Make sure he picks up the tab.”

She giggled. “I’m pretty sure he’s treating.”

“Want to go out for dinner after?”

“Oh, I can’t. Megan has this thing at the bookstore I need
to go to.”

Shit. “No problem. Have a good evening, Chels.”

“Are you okay, Jud? You don’t sound like yourself. I can
skip the bookstore thing—”

“No, no. Don’t do that. I’m fine. Really. Just give me a
call after.”

“Okay, if you’re sure?”

“I’m sure, babe. Now go dazzle them.” He signed off as Roger
walked up with their coffee. He wasn’t sure why he felt so down. So he was
getting tired of the patrol thing—he was going to quit anyway. Huh.

“What’s the wife up to tonight?” Roger asked.

“Fuck you,” Jud said, but he was smiling. “She’s got a
‘thing’ to go to.”

“Wanna go grab some beers later?”

“Nah, not tonight. I’m kinda whipped.”

“I’ll say,” Roger said. “

Jud shrugged. “If you’ve gotta be whipped…” He took a sip of
coffee. He really
tired. And the only person he had any desire to be
with tonight was Chelsea. Yep, he was definitely whipped.

* * * * *

Clothes were scattered all over Chelsea’s bed. She’d tried
on several outfits and had finally made a decision—charcoal flannel slacks with
a white top and red jacket. Not too casual, not too dressy.

Checking her watch, she saw that she had plenty of time but
she didn’t want to be late. Outside, she walked carefully on the snow-covered
drive. She’d paid a small fortune for the boots she was wearing and she didn’t
want to ruin them.

It was a fifteen-minute drive to the hotel, so Chelsea took
the time to find some calm. She was anxious about the meeting but she was also
excited. She doubted that an important man like David Morrow would waste his
time meeting with her if he thought her work was only so-so.

Then, of course, there was Jud. He really
jealous and she had to admit, she wasn’t too disturbed by it. Little Chelsea
Ryan had made a super-hot man jealous. It was empowering, a good emotion to
channel before this meeting.

The décor of the lobby bar at The Monarch was typical
mountain chic—dark, hardwood floors with perfectly spaced area rugs, iron
chandeliers, overhead beams and low, comfortable leather furniture gathered
around distressed wood tables. Dry logs crackled in a large fireplace at the
center of the space.

With confidence, Chelsea approached the hostess—a brunette
Barbie doll dressed all in black. “I’m here to meet David Morrow.”

To her credit, Barbie smiled warmly. “Yes, Ms. Ryan. Mr.
Morrow has just arrived. Follow me.”

Chelsea was led to a table in the corner of the room by a
large window looking out over the range. She’d expected David Morrow to be
larger than life, power oozing from every pore. She was pleasantly surprised to
see that was not the case.

“Ms. Ryan?” Morrow rose to greet her. He was not much taller
than she, his hair dark and thinning.

“Call me Chelsea.” She extended her hand and he shook it
firmly. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Morrow.”

“David,” he said, turning to the woman seated next to him.
“This is my wife, Renee.”

“Hi, Chelsea. Thank you so much for joining us.” Renee
Morrow was beautiful, but not in the “Hollywood Wife” way that Chelsea had
thought she’d be. She was trim with dark, shoulder-length hair and she wore
minimal makeup. Not that she needed any—her porcelain skin was smooth and

“I was thrilled to be invited,” Chelsea said.

“Have a seat,” David said and motioned to a waitress, who
responded immediately.

Chelsea glanced at the table to see that her companions were
having cocktails. She didn’t drink much hard liquor, but she had watched every
episode of
Sex and the City
. “I’ll have a Cosmopolitan,” she told the

Morrow smiled at her. “I have to tell you I loved your

“Thank you so much.”

“At the risk of sounding cliché, I don’t know much about
art, but…” He smiled. “Your painting just drew me in. I kept returning to it, I
had to have it.”

Chelsea swallowed, then cleared her throat. She felt as though
her heart was about to burst out of her chest. “I’m so happy to hear you say
that. There’s no greater compliment to an artist than to hear that her work has
moved someone.”

Renee smiled at her. “It certainly did that. We weren’t
going to be leaving that gallery without your piece.”

The waitress arrived with her cocktail. Chelsea thanked her
and took a sip, when all she really wanted to do was jump up and dance around
the room.

“So you’re probably wondering why we invited you here,”
Morrow said.

Chelsea waited, trying to appear patient.

He opened a briefcase that sat beside him on the couch and
pulled out a photograph. He placed it on the table and slid it in front of her.
“I don’t want to insult you by asking you to paint a scene from a photograph…”

“Oh no. Artists find inspiration from all sorts of things.”
Chelsea looked at the photo. It was a winter landscape of a walking bridge
across a creek, snow falling gently. There was a large, red farmhouse-style
home in the background. “It’s beautiful. Where is this?”

David looked at his wife and held out a hand, as if asking
her to talk.

Renee smiled. “It’s Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where I grew
up. My parents still live there, but they’re getting older and they want to
downsize. It’s a huge home on acres and acres of land, and it’s getting to be
too much for them.” She looked at David, her eyes moist.

“They’ve put it all on the market,” he said. “As you can
tell, it’s an emotional time for Renee and her parents. This has always been
their favorite photograph, and Renee and I would love to see your
interpretation of it. I can’t think of a better gift for my in-laws.” He
covered his wife’s hand with his own.

Touched, Chelsea said, “What a wonderful idea. I’ll
certainly give it my best shot.”

“Thank you,” Renee said.

“What kind of time frame are we talking?” Chelsea asked.

“It’s certainly not urgent, but we’d like to be able to give
it to them for Christmas. Is that doable?” David asked.

BOOK: Apres Ski
13.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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