Snowbound Sweethearts


Imagine this: A snowed-in cabin, a too-sexy-for-words Romeo, a softly lit fireplace, and just enough wine for two—who knew being stranded can be this thrilling? The worst blizzard of the year gave me the best weekend of my life!

I’ve never been a big believer in coincidence or destiny until that one fateful, winter day—when I literally crashed into the life of my dream man.

It was a late winter afternoon, and we were in the middle of another dreary snowstorm. The main route home was blocked off due to accidents on the slippery road, so I was driving along a secondary road I’d never been on before. I was focused on getting home before it got dark and the slushy roads froze solid.

The next thing I knew, my car started sliding and spinning out of control. I took my foot off the accelerator, gripped the wheel, and braced myself. The car slid up onto a snow-covered lawn and spun front-end first against a pine tree. I heard a loud thud, and then a crunch, as the car rocked to a stop. With a shaking hand, I turned off the ignition and let out a long sigh of relief; things could have been much worse. Thankfully, I was the only person foolish enough to be driving on the narrow stretch of deserted road.

My heart thundered in my chest like a drum. I closed my eyes and slumped over the steering wheel, trying to calm my jangled nerves. Suddenly, someone was pounding on the driver’s side window.

“Are you all right?” a man shouted through the closed window.

I sat up and looked into the man’s familiar features. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Am I seeing things? Out of all the people to come to my rescue, Royce is my knight in shining armor!

I unhooked my seat belt and opened the door.

Royce grinned as I stepped out of the car. “Cynthia? Is that you?”

I couldn’t help but smile. “Sure is,” I replied.

About three months ago, my company hired Royce as a freelance consultant. Most of the time, he worked from home, but every so often, he came into the office to work on special projects. Those were the days I loved going to work.

Royce caused quite a stir when he first started working for us. All the ladies in the office were drooling over him and speculating about his love life. With his light-chestnut hair, sculpted features, and eyes the color of a June sky, he’s a dream come true.

Was he single? Dating anyone? Whenever anyone tried to pry, Royce always gave a coy answer and went back to work. He was friendly toward the women, but not very social—except when it came to me.

I was attracted to him from the moment he was hired. Because Royce was only in the office a few times a month, he was given a small workspace next to mine. When I learned about the seating arrangement, I was thrilled, but I made myself act realistic. Royce was new to the area; he might have a girlfriend back home, or even a wife, for all I knew. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to act like the rest of the women in the office and throw myself at him. I hung back a little, and hoped that he’d come to me—if he were interested.

It didn’t take long before we became friendly, and we hit it off pretty well. I found out that we had a few similar hobbies and we read the same mystery novels. I didn’t want to pry into his personal life and he never offered any information, so his “availability status” still remained a mystery—even to me.

I always made a special effort to dress a little nicer and splash on an extra touch of perfume when I knew Royce would be coming to the office. Deep down, I hoped that one day he’d notice me and ask me out to lunch—or even better, dinner—but through all our friendly conversations and occasional, shared coffee breaks, he never made a move.

Shaking off my thoughts, I realized that Royce was still waiting for me to answer his question. He was standing less than three feet away from me, his hair dusted with snowflakes. Between the car accident and seeing Royce, I was almost at a loss for words.

“I’m okay,” I said, a little dazed. I turned and looked at the road behind me. There were no other cars in sight. Where did Royce just come from, and why isn’t he wearing a coat? “What are you doing here?” I asked.

He smiled, displaying a set of dimples that can melt the polar ice caps. “I saw what happened. You landed on my front lawn,” he said, gesturing past the pine tree to a red house in the distance. “The roads are terrible. You shouldn’t be driving in weather like this. I’m glad you’re not hurt, though. Let’s take a look at your car.”

The wind swirled my blond hair around my face as I followed Royce to the front of the car. The hood was caved in on one side, the left front fender was dented, and the headlight lay in pieces in the deep snow.

“Great,” I muttered. “Now what? We’re in the middle of a blizzard and—”

Royce stepped closer and wrapped his arm around my shoulders. “Come inside and get warm.”

My pulse surged. Royce’s innocent gesture sparked my long-repressed lustful feelings for him, and a wave of heat flooded over me. I was feeling anything but cold right then, but I certainly wasn’t about to argue. I relaxed and took a deep breath. Royce smelled woodsy and manly. The scent of him comforted me, and drew me in closer. I gazed up into his eyes. “Thanks for coming to my rescue.”

He grinned and hugged me a little tighter. “My pleasure. Let’s go inside and call a tow truck. Your car’s not going anywhere for a while.”

I smiled as we trudged through the snow toward the house. Fate delivered me right to Royce’s door. Now what would happen when we got inside?

I entered the living room and looked around. A fire was roaring in a huge, stone fireplace, and lit candles were strategically placed around the rustic-style room.

“Were you expecting your girlfriend?” I blurted out, and then quickly tried to regain my composure. “I mean, I don’t want to intrude on anything. I can—”

“No, don’t worry. It’s nothing like that.” He chuckled. “The power went out about an hour ago, and I lit a fire to keep warm. And I was reading the paper by candlelight. Let me take your coat.” The wide-planked wooden floor creaked as he walked toward me.

I stared into his eyes and felt all my tension drain away as he fussed over me. Royce leaned close to the side of my neck as he slipped the coat off my shoulders. “And for the record, I don’t have a girlfriend,” he whispered in my ear.

My pulse soared, and I swallowed hard. That was the best news I heard all day. There was no doubt in my mind that Royce was making himself available to me, but where could this lead? If I was brave enough, I could have turned my head and kissed him. The thought of his lips moving against mine made my skin tingle. It seemed like Royce wanted to take charge of the situation, and I wasn’t about to do anything to ruin the moment. At that moment, I was all his.

Royce draped my wet coat over the back of a chair near the fireplace. I couldn’t help but notice that the flickering firelight made his eyes twinkle and accented his sculpted jaw line.

I took a moment and studied his trim figure as he tossed a log into the fire. It was obvious from his muscular build that he worked out a lot. He wore black jeans and a maroon sweater that was stretched tight across his wide chest. I imagined trailing my hands down his wide torso, then inching them lower. . . .

Royce cleared his throat, interrupting my wicked fantasy. “Are you warm enough?”

“Yes, I’m fine,” I answered, realizing that I’d been staring at him. “Thanks for being so nice. I know this is an intrusion. . . .”

“It’s my pleasure, Cynthia. I’m glad you’re here.” He grinned. “Make yourself comfortable. I’ll call a tow truck,” he said as he left the room.

I sat on the plush, green sofa and listened to the crackling fire. Even though I just saw Royce at work the week before, something about being in his house made him even more irresistible. This would be the perfect opportunity to make a move on him—if I’m brave enough. It was obvious that we felt a growing mutual attraction, but the spark between us needed some kindling.

Deep down, I was thrilled that fate brought us together, but what then? Should I be brave and make the first move, or sit back and let Royce set the pace? After all, it is his house. . . . I stared into the fire and pondered my delightful, yet unusual, situation.

A few minutes later, Royce returned, carrying two glasses of red wine. He handed me a glass and sat down next to me on the sofa.

“I called three towing services, but everyone’s tied up because of the blizzard. They’re predicting ten inches tonight.” He arched an eyebrow. “So I guess you’re stranded here with me. I hope you don’t mind.”

My heart raced at the thought of spending the evening alone with him. Would I mind? Not at all! The living room was warm and cozy, the vanilla-scented candles cast a romantic glow on the walls, and I was snowed-in with a man I was crazy about—what more could I ask for?

I sipped my wine and inched a little closer to Royce. “Lucky me,” I said, teasing him. “So, what do you want to do? The power’s out, so we can’t watch TV or listen to music. . . .” I trailed off and gazed into his eyes, hoping he’d catch the hint and take things from there.

“I want to ask you something, Cynthia.” He took a deep breath and leaned toward me. “I’m not really sure how to say this, but . . . lately at work, I’ve gotten the feeling that you’re attracted to me.” He gazed into my eyes. “Am I right, or is that just my imagination? Be honest with me.”

I quickly took a sip of wine and tried to compose myself. Did I hear Royce correctly? Is he coming right out and asking me if I like him?

I swallowed my wine and braved the truth; what harm could it do? “Yes, actually—I am,” I said. “I noticed you on your first day at work.”

To my relief, he chuckled. “Good. I’m glad to hear it.” He sipped his wine and sighed. “That makes me feel better.”

“Why?” I asked.

He glanced into my eyes. “Because I feel the same way about you. I just wasn’t sure. . . .” He trailed off and was quiet for a minute. “Let me explain. I’m a consultant; I only come into the office a few times a month, and every day I’m there, all those other women—”

“—are after you.” I laughed. “I know. They want to know everything about you—if you’re single, what kind of car you have, what you do for fun. I hear it all the time,” I said.

He grinned. “Exactly. They throw themselves at me whenever I walk in the door. But you. . . .” He covered my hand with his. “You’re not like that. You play it cool. I come into the office and sit next to you, and try to concentrate on my work while you smell so good.” He squeezed my hand. “And we get along fine, too. But the thing is, I can’t figure out if you’re being friendly toward me because I work there, or if you like me. So there I sit, wanting to ask you out, but afraid if I do, I’ll offend you and—”

“I wouldn’t be offended. Trust me,” I quickly interrupted. “I didn’t want to act like everyone else in the office when it comes to you. I figured if you like me, you’d let me know.” I gazed down. Royce’s hand still covered mine, and I was in no hurry for him to move it. I looked into his eyes. “So, I guess we both can admit that we like each other, huh?” I asked.

“Oh, you can definitely say that. Do you know I get absolutely no work done in the office?” He smiled. “When I’m there, I think about the two of us together. I spend most of my day imagining what things would be like between us. I’ve wanted to get close to you for so long,” he whispered as he stroked the side of my neck.

Royce’s touch sent a ripple of desire racing through me. I felt my lower body throb with a familiar ache. I licked my lips suggestively. “Now’s your chance. I’m not going anywhere tonight. What would you like to do to pass the time?” I teased.

Royce bent close and kissed me long and deep. “Why don’t I just show you?”

I leaned back on the couch and watched the flames flicker in the fireplace. The hour I’d just spent with Royce was amazing. The moment his lips touched mine, we lost all control. We kissed and fondled each other like a couple of teenagers. Our hands wandered and explored, heightening the lustful feelings we suppressed for months.

When things were getting hot and heavy, Royce pulled away and said that there was no need to rush into anything—we still had all night together. I agreed. Just being near Royce was thrilling enough, but to feel his strong arms around me, pulling me close and then kissing me down to my soul was breathtaking. What would it feel like to be his lover?

Royce entered the living room and set a tray of cheese and crackers down on the coffee table. “I do have to play good host, and make sure my special overnight guest is comfortable,” he teased. “Are you enjoying your stay here?”

I smiled up at him. “Absolutely. This is the best night I’ve ever had.”

Royce strolled to the window and peered outside. “This is some storm. It’s still coming down out there.”

I rose from the couch and stood next to Royce. The more time I spent with him, the more I found myself attracted to him. I grinned. What would the women at the office think if they could see me now?

I gazed out the large picture window. My car was completely covered in snow. “There has to be at least four feet of snow out there.”

“I know.” Royce slipped his arm around my waist and pulled me close. Heat sizzled between our lower bodies, and my skin tingled.

“It looks like we’re stranded here together. Maybe even all weekend,” he said.

All weekend? The idea excited me. “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be,” I said, wrapping my arms around Royce’s neck and pulling him close for a kiss. “I hope it never stops snowing.”

That snowy, winter weekend was the start of our blossoming romance. No other man ever made love to me like that before. Royce is a fantasy come true. We were snowbound, with nowhere to go and nothing to do except get to know each other—all weekend long.

A tow-truck came on Sunday afternoon and took my car to the repair shop. Royce was kind enough to help me arrange for a rental car, and promised he’d see me at work on Tuesday.

That Monday, all the women at work asked about my rental car and wanted to know the details of my car accident. That kept them busy gossiping for hours.

I spent the whole morning in a daze, elatedly reliving the passionate, intimate moments Royce and I shared. I was deep in thought when I heard a loud commotion and a woman named Josie squeal, “Oh, my God!”

I stood up from my desk and walked down the hall to see what was happening. Is there an emergency? Is it someone’s birthday?

I saw Josie standing near the front desk with the rest of the women from the office. An embarrassed-looking deliveryman stood in the doorway.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“If you’re Cynthia, then these are for you,” the deliveryman muttered, handing me a bouquet of roses. I took the flowers, stunned. I knew they had to be from Royce. Who else would send me roses in winter? I opened the card. It read: This will give them something to talk about until tomorrow. Love, your snowbound sweetheart.

“Who sent them?” Josie asked.

“The guy who helped me with my car,” I replied smugly as I carried the flowers back to my desk, grinning the entire way.

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