My Perfect Mistake (Over the Top Book 1)(4)By: Kelly Siskind
I maneuver my black jacket and press my long underwear top just so, hoping to mop up the uncomfortable wetness. As I shift to the left, I notice a break in the trees. I glance down the till-death-do-us-part run then back at the path. Better to bushwhack through the glades than have my braless and sweaty self rescued by the ski patrol.
Forcing my legs to move, I push forward and squeeze through the opening, dodging the trees as I pick my way toward the next run. There’s a steep dip past the last line of branches, the perfect ramp to shoot me onto the groomed trail. A quick breath, a shift of my stance, and I catapult myself forward, gaining momentum. I hit the edge of the run perfectly. My legs relax, the blades on my feet glide, and I’m so relieved not to be pounding the moguls that I let my skis fly. For a moment. Like a second. The length of time it takes for some jerk to blindside me and send me on my ass.
I haven’t fallen while skiing since forever. I ski fast and hard but always in control. It’s a good thing. Hard-packed snow is about as soft as concrete. My left butt cheek smarts, a bruise no doubt forming, and I immediately regret laughing at that other dude’s face-plant earlier. Distant grumbles carry through the frosty air as I gingerly pick myself up and stretch my legs. With all body parts intact, I glance at the idiot a few feet below who skied into me.
My jaw almost hits the snow.
If a hot ski dude is what I’m after, fate just intervened. His helmet is off as he inspects what could be a crack in his goggles, and oh, my God, that hair. Dirty blond and shoulder-length, tousled in a careless, sexy way that has me picturing my hands dragging through it. Add the stubble, the wide shoulders, and the tight booty that is unmistakable even in his ski pants, and I’m about to land on my ass again.
Richard looked nothing like this guy. His short black hair was always tidy, each strand gelled in place. He was good-looking in a GQ way with his cut cheekbones and Armani style, and Lord knows I found him attractive. When I’d browse his selection of men’s magazines in our apartment, though, I didn’t linger on the clean-cut images of guys in suits with their button-down shirts and silk ties. I’d pause on the men in the jeeps. The ones climbing a mountain, three-day stubble accentuating a strong jaw. Like hot ski dude right in front of me. Maybe it was because those guys were the polar opposite of the Dick, or maybe I don’t have a “type.”
When Mountain Guy stops checking over his gear, he swivels his upper body toward me, that shoulder-length hair doing some sort of model thing as he rakes a hand through the layered strands. “Next time you merge onto a run, you should look uphill so you don’t run someone down. And you owe me a pair of goggles. These are trashed.”
Come again? The throbbing pain on my butt returns, along with a searing anger that has me shaking. He may be kind of right, but his tone and righteousness snaps my spine straight. I’m tired of taking crap. Tired of pussyfooting around guys because they think they run the world. Normally, I’d be all I’m sorry and it won’t happen again, but I tossed that bra and that girl off a chairlift. “You can’t be serious. You totally blindsided me. Skied right into me. I’m not buying you squat.”
He stretches his neck, the shorter strands of hair by his chin falling across his face. He slings his small pack off his shoulders, unzips it, and shoves the damaged goggles inside, then he straightens and flicks that hair. “The skier coming down has right of way. It isn’t rocket science. If I were a kid, that shit could’ve been a lot worse than some cracked goggles. So pay attention the next time you barrel onto a hill.” He shoots me a blistering look, like the dude owns the freaking mountain. Like I’ve never skied before. Then he mutters, “Idiot.”
Come to think of it, I do have a type. I’m pretty sure it’s Ass. Hole.
“Get over it.” I jab my gloved middle finger in the air, fist my poles, and push off, skiing past his cute butt and model hair as the word “Bitch” follows behind me.
I don’t glance back. I ski hard, taking wide, sweeping turns, picking up as much speed as possible, leaving the Asshole and my anger behind, because wow, was that liberating. My skis are barely on the snow, the wind whipping something fierce, my breasts unrestrained. This must be what crack feels like. Or eating the largest bowl of Lucky Charms. Marshmallow-only Lucky Charms. Now I just want to let loose and swear a bunch and speak my mind. And buy Lucky Charms.
And that red bra.
Fuck me. I’m in Colorado, on Aspen Mountain, gazing out at a kickass view, and I’m wound tighter than a drum. The endless mountain vistas usually calm me. Something about their size, imposing and downright impressive, puts life into perspective, the trivial day-to-day stresses no longer so heavy. It reminds me how lucky I am. To be here. To be able to barrel down a slope, nothing but the wind whistling in my ears and the scenery blurring by.