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Authors: J Q Anderson

Intercepted

BOOK: Intercepted
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J. Q. Anderson

 

This
book is a work of fiction. All references to historical events, real people, or
real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places and events
are products of the author

s
imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or places or persons, living
or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright©
2015 by J. Q. Anderson

All
Rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof
in any form whatsoever.

Cover
design by Okay Creations

Formatting
by Michael Stegen

 

To my family,

for their unconditional love and
support of my wicked, naughty and endless imagination

The
wind brushes the snow into a
cloud of dust. I squeeze my eyes, my blood pulsing in my ears.

I'm cold, so cold.

The
restraints on my wrists bite into my skin as I use the last of my strength to
try to break free. It's pointless. This is how it ends.

I'm
going to die here.

It's
depressing that the sum of the broken parts of my life has added up to this. I
couldn't save Tango. I couldn't save Mom.

I
can't even save myself.

I
surrender to the darkness that pulls me down and let numbness invade me.

And
the pain that envelopes me, begins to drift away.

 

Chapter
1:
Natalia

 

I scan the room listlessly and my eyes lock with
his. A corner of his mouth curves up like he knows something. I immediately
look away. Rule number one: No getting involved with the guests.

Dani snaps me back to the present as she slides a
tray filled with glasses and beer bottles on the bar. Zack, the bartender,
immediately clears them away and starts on the next order.

Zack, Daniela and I met during our first year of
culinary school. Every summer, winter if you are in the northern hemisphere, we
take a break from our lives in Buenos Aires to spend three months in Aspen
where we cater to America

s wealthy
after a day on the slopes.

Zack and Dani are my best friends. My only
friends.

After that night two years ago, I keep it simple:
work and money. The only two things that matter now.

All in all it

s pretty sweet. Wake up. Ski. Work. Smile. Split
the tips with Zack and Dani. Ski again at night. We scored this gig because
Zack knows the owner of the resort, so we get to live here, too, even though we
are not full time. The three of us always get the same shift, which leaves us a
couple of hours to go skiing on the one chair that

s open till midnight. We

ve been doing it for four years. The pay is not
great, but we make more money on tips than we would in three months in Buenos
Aires working any other job. This is my last round. I graduated last month and
after this season I am planning to get a “real job.”

“The guys on six are loaded already. The one on
the left practically eye-fucked me while I was taking his order.
Boludo
.”
Dani checks her hair in the mirror paneling the back of the bar. My eyes dart
to the guy.

“Ew. He

s like
fifty
.”

Zack shakes his head and Dani shrugs.

“Yeah. Well he needs to hit the gym if he wants a
twenty-three year old ass.”

“Dani! Gross.” I nudge her with my elbow. She
chuckles and refills the tray with the new drinks Zack made.

Dani is a hopeless flirt. She doesn’t really
discriminate by age as long as the guy is good looking and sexy. All she has to
do is flick back her sandy, waist-long hair and her victims are doomed under
those glacier blue eyes. She also works out diligently, so guys hit on her
non-stop. She loves it.


The guy on twelve keeps staring at you. What

d you do to him?

She laughs.

My eyes go up and once again I

m struck by the intensity of that look. I blush
furiously and turn around to pick up my own tray, now filled with new drinks. I

ve seen him at night on the slopes, always by
himself. He

s a good skier and sort of

ugh,
insanely good looking. My cheeks warm up again.


Nothing,

I mutter defensively. Zack looks at me from the
corner of his eye and chuckles.

I

m not
like Dani. I

m here for the money. I

ve applied for a hotel management internship in a
hotel in San Diego, but the cost of living in the U.S. is unreal. I almost have
enough for the first four months of rent, and after this ski season I

ll have enough to carry me over until the
internship ends. If things go well and I play my cards right, they will hire me
afterwards and I

ll have a good paying job under
the tutelage of one of the best chefs in the country.

I secure the tray on my hand and set off toward
my section. Without really meaning to I glance over at the guy to see if he

s still looking. He is now focused on the people
at his table. I can

t help
noticing everyone

s expression as he speaks. He

s got their full interest and seems at ease with
himself. I stop at my table and smile absentmindedly as I hand out the drinks.
My attention is still with the guy. I

m standing
no more than two feet away from him, but he is facing the opposite way. I

m relieved by the fact that he can

t see me because by now I

m pretty much staring. For the first time I
notice he

s not

alone.
A perfectly groomed hand with scarlet fingernails threads in his hair at the
nape and stays there, playing with the rebellious, faded strands at the end. I
feel an inappropriate pang of envy at the much older woman getting his
attention.

Apparently Dani is not the only one dismissing
the age barrier.

He leans over casually and kisses her, but doesn

t linger.

A question from a girl at my table yanks me back
to the now. I blink at her in a daze because I have no idea what she just said.


Did you get all that?

She
repeats. Thank God she

s not one of
those stuck-up brats that are all over here. She smiles and repeats the order
of food and I write it down this time.

 

By the time my shift ends it

s after eight and I

m dog tired, but can

t wait to get on the slopes. This week seemed
endless and I

m still getting used to the
change in altitude. But none of it is enough to stop me from my second passion
after cooking, which is skiing. To me, the best time to hit the slopes is at
night, alone.

We finish cleaning up and I tell Dani I

m going to ski a quick run, then bed. She and
Zack will stay up with some of the crew playing poker, which will soon relocate
to someone

s room and turn into
strip-poker.

I yawn as I wipe off the last table before
calling it a night. There

s still one
more group of guys tucked in a corner. They are loud and the drinks keep
coming, but it

s Dani

s section. She

ll make good tips.


You made it through another night.

I
snap my head around at the husky voice behind me. My heart momentarily freezes
at the pair of golden-brown eyes that are locked on mine with a familiar
intensity. It

s the guy. On cue, I blush
and look down at my table, wiping it again.


Yup,

I say, and I

m
ridiculously uncomfortable all of a sudden.


Do you like your job?

I look up and this time I meet his eyes dead on,
because the question seems a bit too personal for a complete stranger, then
frown and push the chairs so they are flush against the table.


I

ve seen you
here every night,

he says as a way of explanation.

And all the guys that hit on you. Must get old.

WTF? I still for a sec, absorbing the words, then
shrug and pick up the rag I was cleaning with.

It

s a job.


I know the feeling,

he mutters.

I glance at him and his mouth is pressed hard,
his eyes lost somewhere in the pale blue glimmer of the snow outside. His
features are very masculine, the straight lines of his face blending
harmoniously. A slight stubble covers his face. It

s kind of hot. His eyes suddenly meet mine and I
curse myself inwardly for being caught staring.


Have a nice evening,

I
say, tucking the tray under my arm. I dart to the bar and down the glass of
water Zack always leaves for me there. My heart is pumping in a weird way. Like
I just ran suicides. I resent it and will it to settle. It doesn

t. Dammit. I don

t need this.


Got yourself a date?

Zack
chuckles without making eye contact, because he knows better. He is busy
loading clean wine glasses on a rack.

I make a show of rolling my eyes and slide him
the empty glass.


Later.


Later. Don

t feel
obligated to show up at the poker game. I may have a shot if you are out.”

I smile as sweetly as I can manage. “We

ll see.”

Back in the room I share with Dani, I go straight
to the closet and retrieve my ski boots, dropping them by the bed. They were a
gift from Marc along with ridiculously expensive ski pants and jacket. I

m not really into clothes or expensive stuff, but
I have to admit having good boots makes a huge difference. Skiing in Aspen is
the ultimate treat. Zack is an instructor in Argentina during the winter, and
over the last three years taught me everything I know. Now I go pretty much
everywhere in the mountain, including double diamonds. All except one. The
Women

s Downhill. Not since the accident. The thought
makes me shudder and I immediately close the door on it. I slip into my
UGGS-those I bought for myself- and head out for a well deserved late-night
run.

BOOK: Intercepted
12.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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