Just This Once (Last Frontier Lodge #3)(71)

By: J.H. Croix

Cam, on the other hand, had worn his seat belt. He’d sustained some nasty bruises, a jagged cut on his cheek, and a fractured arm. Since the day he walked out of the hospital, he could hardly breathe for the grief at times. He’d tried to make a go of it in Utah, but it was filled with one too many painful memories. He couldn’t stop skiing because it was the only thing that brought him a modicum of peace, so he’d been drifting from ski lodge to ski lodge, following the jobs. When he’d seen the ad for Last Frontier Lodge, he figured it was perfect. It was one of the few ski lodges he and Harry had never visited. They likely would have had it been open during their heyday, but it had been shuttered for almost two decades until Gage reopened it last winter.

Cam stopped along the trail at an overlook. A small valley opened up beside the trail with a stream winding through it. It was frozen in the deep of winter, but the sun struck sparks off the ice. A pair of moose stood on the far side of the field, lazily nibbling on a cluster of trees. He lifted his eyes up beyond the field. The bay spread out before him in the distance with another mountain range rising tall on the other side. If he didn’t know there was a ski lodge nearby and a town at the feet of these mountains, he could convince himself he was in the middle of nowhere. He took a gulp of the bracing air and tried to push the pain of Harry’s death out of his mind.

As he skied back toward the lodge later, Ginger sashayed through his thoughts. He couldn’t say why, but he couldn’t forget her eyes, so bright and with a flicker of vulnerability that called to him.


A few hours later, Cam walked downstairs through the hall toward the lodge restaurant after a shower. He was good and tired from skiing almost all day and starving as a result. As he walked, he was staring at the floor, idly following the pattern of the carpet, when he collided with someone. He looked up, straight into Ginger’s eyes. She wasn’t wearing ski clothes that obscured her figure anymore. Oh no. She wore a pair of pants that hugged her full hips and swirled around her ankles, and a blouse that was fitted at the top and with a scoop neck. The curves of her full breasts rose above her blouse. As his eyes made their way up, he could see her pulse fluttering in her neck. Oh damn. Damn.

He literally had to force his eyes up, only to have them land on her lips, which were plump and full. Her bright blue eyes held a sharp gleam. She had an edge to her he hadn’t noticed before.

“Well hello, Cam. Fancy meeting you here. Are you heading in for dinner?”

Cam found himself nodding though he couldn’t seem to speak. “How about you join me and Marley? I figure since you’re here for a while, we might as well be friends.”

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