Let It Snow • Devon Rhodes C hapter One T he view beyond the window, beyond the spindled railing around the wraparound porch, was right off a Currier and Ives print. A sparkly layer of white draped everything in sight. It was a winter wonderland to warm the heart. “Fucking snow,” Garrett Clark muttered under his breath, although there was no one there to hear him. The quiet of the house would have normally suited him to a tee. “I get the point already. It‟s a white Christmas. You can knock it off now.” He raised his voice in suggestion to Jack Frost or the Spirit of Christmas—whoever was responsible for the overkill on nature‟s décor. “Great. This is just great. And now I‟m talking to myself.” That was the problem. He was by himself. Usually he didn‟t mind being alone, which is why he did housesitting as a sidebar to his writing… with the occasional cross-country skiing and road biking thrown in for exercise. Pretty solitary pursuits, all. But over the holidays? Alone at Christmas, what a cliché. So sappy. Even he wouldn‟t write such tripe. 2 .
Let It Snow • Devon Rhodes C hapter Two ormally Garrett slept like the dead, a trait that N helped him immensely in his side job as a professional house-sitter, where he seldom slept in the same bed for more than a couple of weeks at a time. That night had been no different, so his abrupt awakening confused him at first as he tried to get his bearings. The light behind the curtains was hard to read—it was possibly still snowing or at least overcast. He leaned up out of his cozy nest to take a look at his old-fashioned travel alarm. After eight. Merry Christmas to me. The old house had cooled considerably overnight, and there weren‟t even any coals left glowing in the fireplace of his bedroom. The electric baseboard heater creaked and clicked at him, so he knew it had kicked on at some point, but it sure wasn‟t helping much. Quickly dressing in his slipper mocs and warm fleece, he hit the stairs, lured by the thought of the woodstove in the kitchen—that real heat which seemed to penetrate the chill more than anything man had come up with. 13 .
Let It Snow • Devon Rhodes C hapter Three Af ter some lighthearted sledding and a snowball fight, followed by a more serious three-hour cross-country ski loop, the four of them had cleaned up and helped Will with dinner preparations, playing a stop-and- start game of poker in between tasks. “Will, we‟re going to kick you out of the fucking game if you don‟t start playing more hands.” Will chuckled from where he was thickening the gravy, unperturbed by Chris‟s tone. “You‟re just pissed that you only have enough jack for a couple more hands at most.” “You‟re a bit more growly than normal,” Ethan observed, watching his friend throw down his cards in disgust. Chris didn‟t reply to the implied question, just pushed back from the table and folded his arms over his chest. “How can you even tell with him?” Will snarked. “Here. Come take out some of that aggression on the potatoes.” Will gestured with the masher at Chris. “Make yourself useful.” “Why does everyone always think I‟m such a good-for- nothing prick? Huh? Fuck.” Chris hopped up, snatched the utensil from Will, and laid into the potatoes. 22 .
Let It Snow • Devon Rhodes C hapter Four It had—predictably—taken longer than ten minutes for the other two to get their gear on and head toward the lift. All four men were in the anteroom off the kitchen. “They‟re running night skiing tonight, so we‟ll see you when we see you. Just leave the lights on,” Chris reminded them. “I doubt we‟ll stay until midnight, but you never know, especially with this overachiever. No need to wait for us to have your pie, but you‟ll have to whip the cream.” Will followed Chris out the outer door as Chris invited pot to meet kettle. As soon as the door closed behind their good-natured arguing, Ethan moved to take Garrett in his arms. The expected kiss didn‟t land, and Garrett opened the eyelids he didn‟t recall closing. As soon as he had Garrett‟s full attention, Ethan ran a thumb along his cheek. “The turret room. Strip and lay on the bed, face up.” Garrett‟s mouth opened slightly and he took a deep breath, suddenly nervous at the thought of adding this fragile, newly-hatched romance to their play. “Don‟t worry.” 32 .
About the Author DEVON RHODES started reading and writing at a young age and never looked back. After a creatively sapping career in the business world, she gratefully took some time off to be at home. At thirty-nine and holding, Devon finally figured out the best way to channel her midlife crisis was to morph from mild-mannered stay-at-home mom to erotic romance writer. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two girls, who are (mostly) understanding of all the time she spends on her laptop, aka the black hole. Visit her website at http://www.devonrhodes.com and her blog at http://devonrhodes.blogspot.com/. You can contact her at [email protected] .
Copyright Let It Snow ©Copyright Devon Rhodes, 2011 Published by Dreamspinner Press 382 NE 191st Street #88329 Miami, FL 33179-3899, USA http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/ This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the authors’ imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Cover Art by Paul Richmond http://www.paulrichmondstudio.com This book is licensed to the original purchaser only. Duplication or distribution via any means is illegal and a violation of International Copyright Law, subject to criminal prosecution and upon conviction, fines, and/or imprisonment. This eBook cannot be legally loaned or given to others. No part of this eBook can be shared or reproduced without the express permission of the Publisher. To request permission and all other inquiries, contact Dreamspinner Press at: 382 NE 191st Street #88329, Miami, FL 33179-3899, USA http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/ Released in the United States of America December 2011 eBook Edition eBook ISBN: 978-1-61372-284-8 .