They climbed higher up the hill behind the house until they were well within the woods. The full moon illuminated the trees so much that she looked around for the spotlights. Puffing and out of breath, she leaned her hands on her knees when he stopped at last.
“What’s the matter?” Ben asked. “Don’t you go to a trainer anymore?”
She shook her head and sucked in a cold lungful of air, regretting it a moment later. “No, I gave him up. I haven’t worked out in weeks.” It was really four months, but she didn’t want to tell Ben the reason she’d stopped working out, and going out, for that matter, was because she’d found out the income stream she’d depended on for so long was drying up and she had cut back all her spending.
“Well, you can’t tell. You look…” He stopped, and she wondered if his ruddy cheeks were from the cold night air or embarrassment. “You look just the same as when I saw you the first time.”
She snorted and shook back her hair, which had come out of his wool cap she’d grabbed on the way out of the house. “I don’t look seventeen anymore, Ben, but I’ll buy you a drink for saying so.”
The corner of his mouth twitched in what might have been a ghost of a smile. “I don’t drink anymore, but you can buy me lunch once the snow melts and we can actually make it into town.”
“Oh, goody! Elk burgers sound wonderful.”
“Don’t laugh! We might be eating them soon if a thaw doesn’t come.” He started walking again. “Come on, slowpoke. We’re almost there.”
“Where are you taking me?” Falling into step beside him, she immediately sank into a deep pocket of snow and yelped. He dropped the saw and grabbed both of her hands to pull her out.
She looked up at him. “So, this is your wicked plan.”
“What plan?” He waited until she was standing on firmer ground before releasing her. For a moment, she’d felt the hard pressure of his fingers around hers, and a shot of electricity had nearly stunned her.
“You’ve lured me all the way out here so you can…”
His blue eyes reflected the moonlight off the snow so that they were no longer blue, but silver, like the eyes of a wolf glowing in the darkness. She forgot her joke, and it was just as well because he didn’t look as if he wanted to hear it.
“So I can what?”
He stepped closer. Or maybe she had. She wasn’t sure anymore.
A drifting snowflake fluttered across his eyelashes and he blinked. Before she could think, she reached up and brushed it off. His warm breath turned to mist in the air, mingling with hers. She stared up into his eyes while a torrent of emotions sang through her. Matt had never looked at her like this. His eyes never went all sleepy and dreamy when he was about to…
Good grief, was her ex-husband about to kiss her?It seemed natural to slide across the foot or so of snow separating them and fall into his arms.
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