Just a quickie if you happen to be snowed in...
Traveling from New York City to Houston to meet her future in-laws and announce her engagement, accident prone Bailey finds herself in a situation beyond her control. All flights are cancelled the night before Christmas Eve, leaving Bailey stranded at the airport with a cowboy from her past.
Against all odds, Sebastian manages to rescue Bailey from one disaster after another, but is it too late to rescue her from her future? Faced with a heartrending dilemma, does Bailey turn her back on the man who offers her a life of security, or does she run off to Maui with a cowboy?
Snorting out a laugh, despite herself, Bailey moved in closer so her nose almost touched his, the small breaths she managed to persuade into her lungs weren’t going to be enough to sustain her. Her eyelashes fluttered, her eyelids started to close. They flew open again as she felt him give a sharp tug at her hair.
It tumbled over her shoulders, wild and bouncy, sending pins flying in all directions as she slapped his hand away.
“You’ve ruined it. What am I going to do now? Keep your hands off.”
His smile was wide and lazy, making her heart hitch as he wrapped a curling tendril of her long blonde hair around his index finger and drew her face back down to his.
“I love your hair. Why would you do that to it when it’s just perfect as it is?” Reluctant pleasure at his admiration spread glowing warmth through her chest. His mouth hovered closer, then closer still, his breath fanned across her skin before he dipped in, touched his lips to hers and made her melt.
Terror gripped her as she realized what she was doing and with a strength born of desperation, she slapped her hand on the cowboy’s shoulder and sent him sprawling to the floor.
“Jesus Christ, Sebastian, what do you think you are doing?”
“Saving you from yourself.” He sat up, drew his knees up to his chest and draped his forearms over his knees. “You’re about to make the biggest mistake of your life and someone has to stop you.”
Taking a long, slow draught of air-conditioned oxygen, Bailey stared down at his all too familiar face and felt sheer panic engulf her at the thought of how much damage this man could do to her heart.
“I don’t need to be saved. There’s no mistake.”
“Well, where in hell’s name is he? It’s the day before Christmas Eve, it’s minus ten out there, a blizzard’s coming, and he left you alone. Why?”
“I had to work an extra two days to make sure everything was in order before I left for the week.” She begrudged the fact she actually felt obliged to explain anything to him and annoyance had her giving a sharp flick of her foot as she uncrossed her leg once more. The pointed toe of her smart patent heels jabbed neatly into his shin, and for once she felt totally unrepentant about her lack of spatial awareness as he yelped and drew his legs back rapidly.
Rolling his eyes, he moved to his knees.
“He’s the goddamned boss, Bailey. He left you to clear up while he went on ahead and started his vacation early.”
“His parents needed him to attend a function.”
“His fiancée probably needed him to help carry her luggage.”
“It’s okay, don’t fuss. The luggage is already booked on; I only have my purse with me.”
He glanced around, sighed heavily before waving his hand at the empty seating next to her.
“Where’s your coat?”
“Well, I put it in the top of my suitcase when I arrived, save carrying it.”
He rolled back to sit on his heels while he studied her. Bailey felt a warm heat spread
up her neck into her face. He was the only person she knew who could make her blush just by meeting her eyes.
As she tried to distract herself, she dug into her purse and pulled out a small, black rubber band. She scraped her unruly hair back from her face and held the rubber band in one hand while she pulled her hair through with the other. Wrapped around once, it was too loose, so she yanked it tight and pulled her hair through a second time. Too tight, her two middle fingers trapped between the elastic and her hair.
He continued to stare.
She glowered back, gave her fingers a desperate wriggle and wondered if he’d noticed. She saw the annoying twitch of amusement on his lips again.
“Your arms are going to start to ache if you don’t put them down.”
She wrenched at her hand, felt the tear of her acrylic nail as it parted company with her middle finger, just as the rubber band snapped, pinged off and her hair tumbled wildly around her face again. Red poker hot heat surged though her finger making her want to whimper and slide it into her mouth to ease the pain.
She stared down at her perfect French manicure, ruined by a missing acrylic on one hand and a broken one on the other. Her eyes rose to his slightly blurred face as he chuckled and rubbed his forehead.
“You did not get hit by my rubber band. Do not try to tell me you did.”
Sebastian simply removed his hand and let her see the little white wheal mark surrounded by red. She squinted and leaned forward to take a closer look as he picked the broken rubber band up from his lap and wiggled it at her. Blowing out a disgusted breath, she sat back in her seat and crossed her arms over her chest. It was probably the safest thing she could do today. She was having one of her minor destroy-the-world days. It would blow over, and tomorrow she would be back to normal. Almost. As normal as her life ever got.
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