Read 31 Days of Winter Online

Authors: C. J. Fallowfield

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

31 Days of Winter (13 page)

‘Why so grumpy?’ I called.

‘It’s going to get difficult.’ It was my turn to
frown, I thought we’d agreed that we’d make an effort to be friends and he was
quitting already? ‘Because of the weather,’ he added with a nod to the sky.

‘You’ve been here when it’s snowy before?’

‘Yes, it’s unusual for there not to be snow for
most of December and January up here.

‘How long have you lived up here?’

‘Just over three years.’

‘Locally?’

‘Yes, close by.’

‘You couldn’t have stayed where you were and come
over when the tenants needed you?’

‘No. We need to get going. Don’t you have a proper
coat?’ He frowned as he looked me up and down over the rim of his mug.

‘This
is
a proper coat,’ I replied looking
down at my wool jacket, belted at the waist.

‘It’s not waterproof. I’ll get you one of mine,’
he turned on his heel and disappeared inside and I walked over and stood on the
veranda.

‘I’m fine honestly, I’m really warm and I’ll be
indoors while I’m out.’

‘You realise the last part of that sentence made
no sense?’ he chuckled as he reappeared. ‘Why are you standing outside?’

‘You didn’t invite me in.’

‘Are you a vampire?’ he cocked an eyebrow and
looked at me with a smile on his face.

‘No, don’t tell me that you watch
The Vampire
Diaries
?’

‘The what?’

‘Do you even own a television?’ I laughed.

‘No. Would you please come in and close the door,
you’re letting the snow in and the heat out.’

‘So what do you do at night?’ I asked as I stepped
in and closed the door.

‘I mostly read.’

‘Mostly read?’

‘You ask a lot of questions,’ he observed as he
watched me undo my belt. I was trying to regulate my breathing, I could see
what he was thinking as he was watching me and the temperature in this enclosed
space had shot up several degrees in seconds.

‘If I didn’t ask questions would you tell me
anything about yourself?’

‘Another question?’ he smirked.

‘Another avoidance?’ I smirked back as I unbuttoned
my coat. My eyes ran over his chest, he was in a navy cable knit jumper with a
white and navy flannel checked shirt underneath, and very dark navy jeans with
a pair of timberland boots. He was so rugged and outdoorsy, so unlike the men
in London that I was used to seeing who were always in suits and immaculately
styled, but it did nothing to dampen my desire for him, if anything it made him
more appealing.

‘Turn around.’

‘Please,’ I reminded him.

‘Please will you turn around, Miss Baxter.’ He
said in a way that left me in no doubt that non-compliance was not an option,
so I did as I was told. ‘Thank you.’

‘So, mostly read?’ I asked and then gasped as I
felt the softest brush of his fingers across each side of my neck as he reached
for my jacket lapels.

‘Yes, mostly read,’ he replied, virtually in my ear
and I closed my eyes as I felt his cheek brush against my hair, his delicious
smell invading my nostrils.

‘So when you’re not “mostlying” what else do you
do?’

‘Stuff.’ His hands moved down and my mouth dropped
slightly as I thought he was going to grasp my breasts, but his hands skimmed
over them so lightly and grabbed the edges of my jacket and started to slip it
off my shoulders.
How could he make taking a coat off feel so sexy?
I
knew my nipples were pert again and I wiggled my hips trying to dampen the
longing inside me.

‘What stuff?’ I asked as he pulled my jacket
completely off and stepped back.

‘Non-reading
stuff.’

‘O my God. You’re seriously hard work, has anyone
ever told you that?’

‘Arms, please,’ he instructed. I rolled my eyes
and held them behind me and felt him pulling a new coat up them.

‘Why won’t you answer the question?’

‘Because it wouldn’t make you happy to hear the
answer, Ellie.’

‘You don’t masturbate to illegal things do you?’ I
asked, half joking as his hands reached over my shoulders to pull the coat
together and he moved back closer to me,
much closer.
His full body
length was pressing up behind me and I could feel an erection and the warmth of
his breath as he tucked in behind me.

‘Not illegal no, but I do think of things I shouldn’t
while I am,’ he whispered, the low baritones of his voice vibrating through me
and I nearly sank to the floor in a puddle.

‘You enjoy “non-reading stuff” a lot then?’ I
asked as his hands moved to squeeze my shoulders and I felt his cock flex against
my backside.

‘It’s taken up more of my time since you arrived
and it’s very enjoyable. Do you do much non-reading
stuff
?’ I felt his
nose move through my hair and heard him inhale and let out a small groan. I
reached up and grabbed the coat lapels and drew them around my face, his coat
smelled of pine tree smoke and
Dan.

‘Every morning and night since I got here,’ I
nodded. ‘Did you just sniff my hair?’

‘Did you just sniff my coat?’ he growled as his
hips circled, grinding his erection against me. I groaned as I felt the state
of my knickers and quickly pulled away and walked to the door.

‘We need to leave or you’ll be late for whatever
you do every afternoon,’ I sighed and turned around to see his teeth working
over his lower lip, his nostrils flaring and the orange flecks burning in the boiling
green liquid of his eyes. He closed them, swallowed and rubbed both hands over
his face and sighed heavily. When he opened them again it was like I was looking
at a complete stranger, all that desire for me had vanished in an instant,
everywhere but that tell-tale large swelling in his jeans.

‘Do your coat up,’ he snapped and turned and
walked towards the back of his house. I quickly opened the door and closed it
behind me and ran to the end of the jetty and took in some cool air to try and
quell the volcano rumbling inside me. How the hell was I supposed to stop
reacting like this around him, like I’d die if I didn’t have him inside me? I
reached down with trembling fingers to do up the zip on his thick padded ski
jacket, it was way too big for me and I had to turn up the sleeves. I heard him
close the door behind me and felt the vibration under my feet as he walked
along the planks of the jetty. I waited until I heard him start the engine
before I turned around and tried to avoid looking at him as he held out his
hand to help me into the boat.

‘Thank you.’ I immediately let go of his hand as I
got in and quickly scrambled up to the bow and sat facing the water and the
mainland.

‘You’d be warmer down by me again,’ he yelled over
the noise, but all hint of emotion had left his voice.

‘I prefer it over here, thanks,’ I shouted back,
my eyes fixed firmly ahead of me.

‘As you wish,’ he called. I turned up the collar
on his jacket and stuck my hands in his pockets, even with my full wool gloves
on the cold was biting. I found something round and hard in his pocket and
pulled it out to have a look. It was a Werther's Original boiled caramel sweet.
I smiled and my eyes teared up, they’d been my dad’s favourites. Every Christmas
all he wanted as a gift was a bag of Werther’s and he’d get very stern with me
if I spent any more money on him. I was suddenly hit with a gutful of
homesickness, it was bad enough that I didn’t have my parents to share it with,
but now I was without Brooke and Zac as well, and it was my favourite of all
the holidays. I struggled to contain my tears and realised my tissues were in
my own coat back in his house. I rummaged in my bag but had none in there and
had to wipe them on his sleeve and sniff really hard, at least he couldn’t hear
me over the sound of the engine. I watched as he expertly pulled up alongside
the jetty.

‘Wait until I’ve tied up,’ he called, so I dusted
the snow off his coat and shook it off my hat. ‘Here, stand up slowly.’ I
looked up to see his hand, grabbed it as I got up and the boat started rocking.
Before I knew it he’d hauled me into his arms, one tightly around my waist, as
he tipped my face up to look at him and gently wiped the tears off my lashes
with his thumb.

‘Please tell me these aren’t because of me?’ he
asked quietly as he looked down at me, still holding onto me tightly, my arms
squashed up against his chest.

‘No,’ I bit my lip and shook my head.

‘Why are you upset then?’ he asked looking
puzzled. I opened my left hand and showed him his sweet that I’d been
clenching. ‘You’re upset that I like Werther’s?’

‘Not you no, it just brought back memories.’

‘Arsehole?’ he sighed.

‘No,’ I looked off to the side as he was still
holding my chin. ‘My dad.’ I whispered.

‘Your dad?’

‘I got him a bag every Christmas, they were his
favourite.’

‘Were?’

‘He died.’

‘I’m so sorry,’ he whispered and I could hear the
sincerity in his voice, which only made his physical proximity that much harder
to bear.

‘Please, will you let me go?’ I asked, my voice
trembling and he hesitated before doing as I asked. I looked down, grabbed his
hand and put the sweet in his palm then walked towards where the Land Rover was
parked and waited for him to activate the central locking. I opened the door
and quickly, and ungracefully, scrambled up into it before he had a chance to
touch my bottom again, like he had on Monday. By the time I sat down he was
already holding my seat belt out for me. ‘Thank you.’

‘You’re welcome,’ he replied as he gently closed
the door. As he climbed in next to me he held out a cotton handkerchief.

‘I’m ok, thank you.’

‘It’s clean. Keep it. In case you need it later.’
He gave me a concerned gaze, so I smiled at him quickly and shoved it in my
pocket and looked out of my window as he started the engine and made a start
along the dirt track, which was only visible due to the fact that no trees were
protruding out from the white. I winced as we went over another pothole and I
bounced off the hard seat again.

‘You’re not used to Land Rovers?’

‘Not much call for them in the city,’ I replied as
I stayed watching the scenery.

‘Probably more a Ferrari or Porsche girl I
expect.’

‘What makes you say that?’

‘You seem refined, not used to country life. I’d
imagine this Zac had money and spoilt you, purchased you shiny baubles and
whatever new handbag or shoe was in fashion so you’d look good on his arm.’ I
turned my head and glared at him, even though he kept his eyes on the road
ahead.

‘You make it sound like I’m some spoilt entitled
princess.’

‘Are you?’

‘No, I grew up on one of the roughest council
estates in London, it’s not my fault a guy with money found me attractive.’

‘I didn’t say it was.’

‘You implied it,’ I retorted, annoyed.

‘No I didn’t.’

‘Well, it felt like it. I earn decent money myself
and buy my own clothes and accessories, but yes, when he was doing well Zac
would buy me jewellery and take me to nice places, and why shouldn’t he have a
Porsche? He worked hard for it. It didn’t just land in his lap.’

‘I’m not judging. Just commenting,’ he shrugged.

‘No, you’re judging.’

‘So he’s self-made, is he? Not born from money?’

‘Why do you care so much about him?’

‘I don’t,’ he uttered with a grunt that sounded
like a laugh.

‘So why the twenty questions?’

‘Just wondering what you saw in him. Was it the
money?’

‘You’re so out of order,
again.

‘Now who’s avoiding questions?’ he stated and I
gritted my teeth as I was launched in the air and slammed down again as he
pulled off the track and turned left onto a small main road.

‘Fine, it wasn’t all about the money, but yes, he
was a charmer, he made me laugh, I was young and impressionable and naïve. So
when he came to pick me up from our rough estate in a Porsche and took me to a
fancy restaurant, it spun my head a little and I grew to like it. Is that what
you wanted to hear?’

‘I want to know how you feel about it.’

‘About what?’

‘The fact that if you don’t go back to him you
won’t have that life again.’

‘Unless you’ve forgotten, the last twelve months
of that life weren’t exactly happy ones, so if I end up jobless or homeless I’ll
go back to where I came from. I managed perfectly well before Zac, thank you.’

‘You’re angry with me now.’

‘You don’t know what my parents sacrificed to help
get me out of that estate and to get a decent job. They worked hard and I
worked hard. I had to work every night and weekend and study in the middle of
the night just to make it through Uni financially and get my degree. I didn’t
have my career handed to me on a silver platter and sit filing my nails all day,
thank you,’ I bit back. He was right, I was angry with him now, how dare he
judge me.

‘I didn’t imply that, you did.’

‘What is this, Dan? You seem to be deliberately
pushing my buttons, why are you so bothered?’

‘Because I don’t want to see you go home and fail,
I want you to remember that you’re stronger than that, that you don’t need to
run back to him, you’ll be fine on your own.’

‘In twenty-four days you won’t ever see me again
anyway, so what’s it to you if I go back to him?’

‘Because I care about you, Ellie,’ he replied as
he turned to look at me. ‘You need someone who’s going to put you first in
their life and not treat you like a trophy wife.’

‘I’d rather not talk for the rest of the journey
if you don’t mind,’ I advised him, feeling so confused. He really seemed to
care for me, the sexual attraction was obvious, but then he could also be such
a jerk.

‘As you wish.’

‘God you’re so damn infuriating! You’re hot,
you’re cold, you’re sweet, then you’re an arse, then you’re all caring with
your bloody handkerchief, and now suddenly you’re all formal again. What the
hell’s your deal?’

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