Christmas, Colorado # 4
When the flight attendant showed Vivi Westfield to her first-class aisle seat, she stopped breathing at the sight of a long-legged, broad-shouldered man slouched in the window seat with a champagne-colored Stetson covering his face. Every time she saw a tall, exceptionally built man wearing a Stetson, she’d had the same reaction.
This was worse.
This was painful.
Because this man’s scuffed, brown cowboy boots looked the same as the ones that had spent a week under her bed. So did the well-worn jeans that encased thighs that appeared to be as hard as the ones she’d run her bare foot along. She recognized the black T-shirt with the Rocky Mountain logo that hugged his wide chest. An extraordinary chest she’d kissed her way up and kissed her way down. Broad shoulders that she’d clung to. Muscular, tanned arms that had wrapped around her, and large hands that could easily crush a man but had caressed her gently, and at one time, she’d misguidedly thought, lovingly.
At the flight attendant’s impatient sigh, Vivi dragged her gaze away. “Ah, is there another seat available? I’d rather not sit in first class. Too close to the front of the plane.” The woman’s black-penciled eyebrows snapped together when Vivi continued, her voice barely a whisper, “In the event of a crash, it’s forty percent safer to be at the back.”
Safer for her. She needed time to prepare herself for the sight of his to-die-for face. She remembered that face, remembered kissing that face, falling head over heels in love with that face. And those amazing grass-green eyes of his wouldn’t miss her reaction to seeing him for the first time in eighteen months. They’d never missed anything.
He’d know he’d broken her heart.
At least that was one positive thing that had come out of writing an advice column. Vivi had learned what she had to do to move on with her own life. She needed to prove to Chance as much as to herself that she was over him. That he hadn’t ruined her for any other man. When Superman entered her life, she’d hoped that was the case. He’d been proof that all those soft, romantic feelings hadn’t shriveled up and died. It didn’t matter that he was no longer in her life. Everyone needed a rebound guy, and Superman had been hers.
Hopefully moving on from Chance would be as easy as moving on from Superman. Since the day Chance dumped her, she’d rehearsed her first face-to-face with him a million times. She knew exactly what she’d say and how she’d act. She’d even planned out what to wear. Which was so not Vivi. She was a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl. But she’d packed an outfit that oozed cool sophistication. It sure as hell wasn’t the yellow rubber boots, black leggings, and seen-better-days, off-the-shoulder green T-shirt she currently had on. And a brief encounter with Chance on Main Street was not the same as being trapped beside him on the four-hour flight to Denver.
Vivi’s lungs constricted, and her face tingled. Good God, she was having a panic attack. And the flight attendant’s tight smile and negative head shake was so not what she needed to see right now. Maybe the woman at the gate was right and it was Vivi’s lucky day. Maybe this guy who leaked testosterone from his pores wasn’t Chance McBride after all. Her gaze went to the man’s overlong, copper- streaked, dark blond hair.
No, it was not her lucky day. This was the second worst day of her life. The worst day had been when she’d woken up to a note on her pillow. And the words “Take care, Slick” in Chance’s bold, masculine handwriting.
Debbie Mason is the bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series. Her books have been praised for their "likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots" (RT Book Reviews). She also writes historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca. Her MacLeod series has received several nominations for best paranormal as well as a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. When she isn't writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their four wonderful children, an adorable grandbaby, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.