Read 31 Days of Winter Online

Authors: C. J. Fallowfield

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Humorous, #Mystery, #Romantic Erotica

31 Days of Winter (11 page)

Day Seven


I followed my usual
morning routine since arriving here. Wake up, curse my dreams for always
stopping before the good bits, masturbate the tension away and then get ready
for a run. The hamper had already gone by the time I got out and I gasped as I
felt the serious chill in the air. Smoke was curling out of the boathouse
chimney and I was sure I could smell bacon wafting over. I needed to move, I’d
freeze to death if I stood still much longer.

My lungs were burning by the time I made it around
to my marker and the water in the bottle from the fridge felt positively warm
compared to the cold air I was sucking in. I headed straight for a seriously
hot shower when I got in, but my hands still had a blue tinge to them. I made a
mug of coffee and some scrambled eggs and turned on my iPad, smiling to see an
email from Brooke.

Shift pattern attached, on for working a solid
two days & nights, picked up some extra shifts for some spare cash. Can we
facetime Saturday night? We could crack open some wine and just chat like we
were in each other’s lounges. I’d forgotten all about that Body Wand what with
my remote controlled eggs, so thank you for that reminder! I can’t believe this
guy’s THAT hot for you to overlook the whole gay issue?? And sure you’re
lonely, you haven’t been single for years. You finished with Matt and got straight
into a relationship with Zac, against your better judgement. Do you want me to
keep you updated on him or not? And I’m thinking when you get home you’ll have
decided it’s not a serious relationship you need, but just seriously great sex
with loads of different guys and I’m going to take you out and make that happen
for you. Get on with that writing, if nothing else you can write a hot guy-guy
novel and that will soon turn you off thinking of him in that way ;-) LYMY too

Saturday’s a date for sure, I better check that
unlimited Wi-Fi is actually included as I don’t want to push my luck given I’m
already staying in here instead of the boathouse. And yes, he is that hot
Brooke, I’ve never had a physical attraction to anyone the way I have to him. I
mean yes I fancied Zac, but this is on a whole other level that I’d never have
imagined existing. My body just reacts instantaneously around him, but you’re
right, why think about something that can never happen? I’ll look forward to
some nights out and seriously great sex when I get home then ;-) And no, I
think I’d rather not know about Zac thanks, this break was about me not him,
that’s not to say you’re not to fill me in the minute I touch down, in case I’m
that desperate I think about going back there again. You never answered my
question about Maisie? Is she ok? And thank you, you’ve just given me an idea
for my novel! Not the guy-guy, but the seriously hot detached guy :-) Xx

I made another coffee and went upstairs and
grabbed some cashmere fingerless gloves, pulled them on and fired up my laptop
and re-opened that blank page document and typed “
The Woodcutter’s Son”
at the top and began to type. I didn’t let up from the keyboard until I heard
the roar of Dan’s boat and cracked my knuckles as I watched him leave.
did he go every day for four hours?
I wondered. I went down and heated up
the risotto, poured a glass of white wine, grabbed the chocolate éclair and
loaded it all up on a tray and went back upstairs and read what I’d written so
far as I ate. I nodded, not bad, not bad at all. I fought against my editor
urges, deciding that I should just let the story take me where ever it wanted
to go and I could look at it with my editor hat on when it was finished. I
shoved my plate to the side and started typing again and it wasn’t until I
realised that I was squinting at the screen, that I noticed it had gone dark
again. I flicked on the small desk light and carried on until I heard the front
door being gently knocked.

I groaned as I stood up, I needed to make myself
get up and stretch more often, even at work I didn’t stay sitting in one
position like that for so long. It was no good for anyone. I flipped on the
lights above the stairs and headed down and prepared myself in case he was
standing by the door again as I turned on the outside light, but he wasn’t.
There was a load of shopping bags on the ground. I opened the door and carried
them in, making a number of trips, before relocking the door and remembering to
remove the key. I unpacked everything, feeling happier now I’d got some decent
cooking ingredients in. I went to screw up the bags and felt something still in
the bottom of one. I fished inside and found a small envelope with “Miss
Baxter” written on it again in his handwriting, inside was another letter and
some change from the food shopping.

You asked me why? I could tell you it was for a
whole load of stupid reasons if that would help you stop thinking of me in that
way, but the truth is there’s only one reason and it’s something personal that
I don’t want to discuss. If it means that much to you then I’ll go against my
better judgement and tell you, but I don’t think you’ll thank me for it, and I
don’t want to ruin your getaway. I’d prefer that you just accept that it would
hurt me to discuss it and see if we can try and get along for the remainder of
your stay. I’m lonely too.

I frowned at his last three words, had I actually
vocalised that to him? Or was it that obvious how lonely I was feeling that
he’d picked up on it? I rapped the letter on the worktop and sighed before
picking up the phone and dialled him.

‘Miss Baxter, was everything okay with your

‘Yes, perfect thank you, but you’ve given me too
much change.’

‘I told you that the hamper was an apology, you
don’t owe me for that. How can I help you, do you need more logs?’

‘More logs?’ I laughed. ‘I haven’t used any.’

‘You don’t like fires?’ He sounded surprised.

‘I don’t know how to light them. I’m a city girl. I
live in a modern apartment building with a gas fire, or rather I lived in,’ I added,
as I was reminded of the fact that I was now homeless.

‘Would you like me to come and show you how to
light one?’

‘I’d like to talk about your letter before I
answer that.’ I waited for him to say something, but all I could hear was his
deep breathing down the phone and he sounded slightly panicked. ‘It’s not what
you think, Dan. I’m not going to ask you to tell me, it’s your own private
business and you should be able to not discuss it if that’s what you choose to
do, but I
lonely, just like you. If we can agree that we’re going to
set aside our attraction to each other and not pressure or taunt the other into
a situation that could lead to us acting on it again, then I’d like to be
friends with you. If you’d like that too, maybe we could agree to spending a
few hours a day together as friends for companionship. Walking, running, eating
or whatever. God, sorry I’m waffling.’

‘I don’t mind, it’s nice to hear someone else’s
voice for that long.’

‘How long have you been out here alone?’

‘Too long. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not much
of a talker or sharer, I prefer to do the listening.’

‘Does that mean that we can be friends if I’m just
going to chew your ear off for a few hours every day?’ I asked and he laughed.

‘As long you don’t wander around in that tiny
shirt with no underwear again, or invite me over when you have sex hair and
flushed cheeks and talk about your vibrator, sure.’ I laughed this time.

‘Then you need to not chop wood shirtless or use
the phrase “come with me” so often, and you’ll have to start calling me Ellie
again.’ He laughed again.

‘Then it sounds like we have a deal, Miss …
Ellie,’ he corrected himself and I closed my eyes to hear my name on his lips
again. Hell, this was going to be difficult.

‘Have you had your dinner?’ I asked.

‘I was about to do some beans on toast.’

‘Is that all?’

‘I’ve never been much of a cook. When I have to
look after myself I live off toast topped with either cheese, beans or egg or a
variety of sandwiches and soup, or Pot Noodle.’

‘Well I’m an amazing cook, and modest with it too
before you say anything. Why don’t you come up here and I’ll make us both
dinner every night, that can be our friend time. I really need to keep my head
down during the day and you have your thing in the afternoon.’

‘My thing?’

‘Wherever you disappear to, and again, if you
wanted me to know you’d have told me so I’m not going to pry. Deal?’

‘Deal. What time do you want me?’

‘God damn it, we weren’t even a second into our
friendship and you’re asking inappropriate questions again. Come in half an
hour, shit now I’m doing it,’ I groaned and he laughed again. ‘Is there
anything you don’t eat?’

‘I’m not fussy when it comes to food.’

‘Then I’ll see you in half an hour, just friend
Dan.’ I put the phone down quickly. He still made everything sound like sex
even when he wasn’t trying. I looked down at my outfit, my thick woolly tights
again and denim shorts were my comfy lounging outfit and no guy ever found
tights sexy. My black jumper wasn’t too tight so my breasts weren’t as obvious
as when I’d been wearing the clinging polo neck yesterday, so at least he
wouldn’t think I was teasing him. Well this had to be a first, me dressing down
for dinner and going without makeup when a hot guy was coming over.
friend Ellie
hot friend
, I repeated to myself as I made a start in
the kitchen. I was so engrossed in my cooking that I jumped again when he
knocked the door and I felt nervous as I walked to get it.
Was this really a
good idea?
I unlocked the door and opened it, and watched him step inside.

‘How did you know it was me?’ he asked as I pushed
it to.

‘Who else would be knocking on a deserted island
in the dark?’ I turned to look at him and bit my lip. He’d shaved all that
stubble off and the shape of his jaw was so impressive.

‘You ok?’ he asked.

‘Yes, I just … you look different without your
stubbly beard. How old are you?’ I asked. He frowned as he looked at me. ‘Am I
allowed to ask any questions at all?’

‘That was another question,’ he smiled. ‘I’m thirty-four.’

‘If I ask something you don’t want to talk about
then just tell me, ok? Easy as that.’

‘Easy as that,’ he repeated and I nodded.
‘Something smells really good.’

‘I’ve made meatballs in a marinara sauce with
spaghetti, quick and easy given I only had half an hour to prepare it.’

‘Quick and easy?’ he laughed.

‘You really don’t cook at all?’ I asked as I
walked back to the kitchen and stirred the bubbling pot of meatballs.


‘When was your last hot cooked meal? Other than
hot sandwiches or stuff on toast?’

‘About a week ago when I met a friend for my
birthday lunch.’

‘A week?’ I exclaimed as I looked around shocked
and he just shrugged as he pulled out one of the bar stools on the other side
of the island and sat down. ‘But you’re ... you’re …’ I shook my head.

‘I’m what?’

A big strapping man at that. Men
like you can’t get by on one decent hot meal a week.’

‘I eat a lot of sandwiches, I can get through nearly
two loaves of bread a day,’ he shrugged. I burst out laughing again and he

‘How do you stay in shape on that crappy diet?’ I
asked as I tasted my sauce and smacked my lips. Out of habit I reached across
and offered the spoon to him, just like I used to with Zac. He looked surprised
and leaned forward and tried some and his eyes lit up. ‘Good?’

good,’ he nodded.

‘So your fitness?’

‘In spring and summer I run around the island a
few times, swim in the loch when it’s hot and I use the gym most mornings, all

‘You’re telling me that little boathouse has a gym
in it?’

‘No, there’s a gym in a building in the centre of
the island, up behind the house.’

‘Wow, your friend has some serious dough.’

‘He does.’

‘What’s his name?’ I asked as I drained the

‘That’s one of those areas I’ll decline to answer.
He likes his privacy.’

‘Ok, I guess you can’t tell me what he does

‘No, sorry.’

‘Do you want any wine? Red or white?’

‘I prefer red if you don’t mind.’

‘Then why don’t you uncork it and help yourself
while I plate up, I’m a white girl if you can fill me a glass.’

‘Sure.’ He joined me this side of the island and
smiled down at me as he reached up to get some glasses, with the familiarity of
someone who’d spent some time in here with his friend. I tensed up when his hip
brushed against mine and felt him stiffen as well and I quickly stepped away
and got the plates out of the oven trying to regulate my breathing. Just being
in the same room as him had my entire body primed for sex. I’d never
experienced anything like it. I loaded them up, putting a massive helping on
his plate and a small one on mine. I’d done enough for four meals, thinking I’d
freeze two, but given he’d been living on sandwiches he needed a decent meal.
When I turned around he’d put placemats out and was sitting on the other side
of the island with his glass of red and my place setting was opposite, probably
good that we had the island between us, but this meant that I had to look at
his gorgeous face while we were talking.

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