Disclaimers, the characters and story are the sole possession of the author and may not be reproduced, posted or sold without the authors permission. So there! If for any reason real or imagined, you are uncomfortable with or do not wish to read a story with graphic descriptions of consenting adult women in a loving and sexual relationship then do not read this story or anything else I have ever written. If for any reason it is illegal for you to view this story then go away and dont come back until it is no longer a crime.
A special thank you goes out to my beta reader Mountain Girl.
As always this is for Heather.
"How much longer?" Bill my handyman inquired as I rubbed my weary brow.
"They check out on Sunday," I informed him with a gleam in my eye before heading toward the source of our troubles. Based on the loud ruckus coming from the bar, the Manning party was in full swing again. Peri Manning had booked my humble little lodge for a full week as some sort of celebration. She and her fourteen guests had taken every room, and caused nothing but trouble since the moment they checked in.
My Inn wasnt ever going to compete with the bigger complexes in Stowe or Killington but it was my Inn. Snow Crest is a nice, quaint lodge that did a good business during the ski season and the off-season as well. It was normally quiet and comfortable with big stone fireplaces in the bar and restaurant. Since Ms. Manning and her companions checked in the Snow Crest had been neither comfortable nor quiet.
The entire group were adults that chose to behaved like a bunch of juvenile delinquents. It started with the snotty, scrawny brunette who was sharing a room with the hostess. Oh and when I refer to Debbie as scrawny I mean it. The brunette could make Ally McBeal look positively chubby. Debbies surly attitude began at check in. I was polite even though I find it undignified for a grown woman to whine, not to mention it is annoying as all hell.
Debbie whined about everything from the size of the room to how cold it was. Call me crazy but if you go on a ski trip cold weather should be expected. Then again after partying all night, most of the entourage never made it to the slopes in the morning.
"Frank," I growled at my befuddled bartender as he wrestled a bottle of Chivas away from one of the male guests.
"I told them," Frank muttered as he managed to snag the bottle of scotch away from the intoxicated young man.
"Lock everything up if the cops swing by we are screwed," I firmly instructed him before working my way through the melee of people. "Ms. Manning a moment of your time?" I politely requested from the weary looking redhead. It wasnt the first time I had to speak with her during their short stay. Somehow I did manage not to explode. Frankly, I was more than a little surprised that her guests had been such a problem. When we had spoken on the telephone she was gracious, polite and very charming.
She even complimented me each time she had to increase the reservation. Originally it was a trip for two that somehow escalated. I was initially looking forward to meeting the endearing woman with a voice that sent a slight shiver through my lonely body. Then she arrived with the whiner and the fantasy blew right out the window.
"Ms. Manning, my apologies, but the serving laws in the state of Vermont are very strict and we need to shut the bar down," I informed the tired looking woman in a professional tone. "Weve already gone past the hour of closing and according to the law most of -your guests should have been shut off quite sometime ago," I stressed that it was her guests hoping that she would understand that I fully expected her to assist me in defusing the situation. "There are a few other transgressions that have me concerned," I added sensing that the groups behavior may have had some chemical assistance.
"Im sorry Miss Danner," she emphatically apologized.
"Why are you apologizing to her?" Debbie whined as she stumbled over and draped her arm over the redheads shoulders. I wasnt surprised by Debbies outburst she and the others seemed to be under the impression that the staff was to be at their beck and call twenty-four seven. Not to mention there was never a kind word or gratuity to accompany any of their outrageous demands. "Its my party and I want the bar to stay open."
"I thought it was my party as well," Peri grumbled under her breath.
"True you are guests," I noted hoping to calm the drunken woman. "And I want to do everything possible to ensure you and your guests enjoy themselves. However if I lose my liquor license Ill be out of business," I watched as Debbies jaw clenched and Peris face grew dim. "I also assumed that with the weather forecast for tomorrow that you and your friends would be eager to hit the slopes. The snowboarding should be great. You did mention that you wanted to try it. Ill arrange a shuttle but if you want to beat the crowd I suggest that you leave very early."
"Bull shit," Debbie snarled as I rolled my eyes.
"Günter," Peri called out to the beefy blonde man in the corner of the room. "You ready to hit the slopes in the morning?"
"Damn right," he belched. "Bout time we showed these yokels how its done."
I quirked my eyebrow and sneered at his statement. Personally, Id loved to show the drunken idiot up but I let it slide for the moment I was more interested in clearing out the bar. I did briefly contemplate teaching him a lesson on the slopes but Peri disrupted my thoughts. "Train leaves at seven anyone not on it buys their own breakfast."
The crowd grumbled as I said a silent thank you that she finally pointed out that she was footing the bill for everything. "Peri," Debbie began to whine.
"Baby, I want to see you in those new clothes you bought just to show off on the slopes," Peri placated the brunette in a sickeningly sweet voice.
"Okay," Debbie finally conceded with a hiccup. "Come on guys!" She bellowed as the group followed behind her.
"Thank you," I offered to the irate looking redhead who coolly ignored my words. "Ill have your transport waiting and Ill arrange the lift tickets and lessons."
"Fine," Peri abruptly offered before storming out of the room.
"That is one unhappy woman," I noted understanding that Ms. Mannings attitude probably stemmed from spending all of her time babysitting.
"No kidding," Frank snorted in agreement as he began to tidy up the bar. "Shes a lot nicer then the others, that girlfriend of hers just works her nerves."
"Just what is it that they are celebrating?" I ask as I begin to help him put the bottles away and clear the glasses.
"Anniversary," he answers in a sullen tone.
"Youre kidding," I snicker at the thought. "Now why would anyone want to share something so romantic with so many other people?"
"Why not share your happiness with your friends?" Frank countered. "You remember mine and Victors last anniversary party?"
"A big party sure," I agreed. "But a whole week? Have the party then spend the week alone, thats what Id do. Plus I get the distinct impression that these are Debbies friends."
"Yeah, me too," Frank sighed in agreement. "I also think that Debbie isnt very concerned with which team she is playing for."
"What?" My shoulders slumped suddenly feeling sad for Ms. Manning. "You think that the skinny bitch is messing around with one or more of the other guests and sticking her girlfriend with the bill?"
"Just a hunch," he lied as he slipped off his apron.
"Right," I scoffed. "You hear everything back there. Drive safe."
"Going to bed?" Frank encourages.
"Not yet," I grumbled. "I have less then four hours to deliver on my promises to Ms. Manning. Ill sleep on Sunday after they check out."
"Are these people still alive?" George the driver of the van questioned me as the motley crew stumbled out of the lodge and into the van.
"Barely," I chuckled.
"Trust me you look great," I heard Peri reassuring the whiner as she pushed the brunette towards the door. Much to everyones regret Debbie halted in her tracks and stomped her foot.
I took a deep breath before approaching the duo with the package containing their lift tickets and lesson schedule. "Here is everything you need," I offered breaking through the standoff.
"Thank you," the redhead politely responded.
"Again with thanking her?" Debbie wailed as my ears throbbed from the shrill sound of her voice. "This is what she is paid to do," she added with disgust before stomping off.
"The weather is perfect," I continued ignoring the brunettes tantrum. "I almost wish I was joining you."
"Peri!" Debbie screamed from the doorway.
"Almost," I muttered under my breath.
"You any good?" The redhead asked warmly ignoring her girlfriends outburst.
"Yes," I purred in response. I blushed slightly as I realized that I was flirting. "I grew up around here," I threw out to cover my faux pas.
"Perhaps youll get some time off and you could show me?" Peri nervously inquired her emerald eyes gleaming up at me. I opened my mouth to respond but Debbie shrieked out once again demanding the redheads attention. Peri grunted as she followed after her wailing girlfriend.
"Have fun?" I called out feeling very sorry for the small redhead.
"Now why dont I believe that the two of you were talking about skiing?" Was snickered from behind me.
"Helga," I cautioned the maid. "I dont know what you are implying. I was simply being polite to a guest. And I am a good skier."
"No," Helga began to argue. "Im a good skier, everyone else who lives here is a good skier you are a champion. Amazing for all the bragging these knot heads are doing that not a one has recognized you."
"Maybe they dont eat Wheaties?" I theorized with a chuckle. Truth was that ninety percent of my guests dont recognize me, which is just fine by me.
"I told you that you shouldnt have covered your face for that picture," Helga argued.
"For the one hundredth time the picture was of me skiing of course my face was covered," I growled as I tried to walk away. I was never comfortable with being what some people considered a celebrity. I just wanted to ski.
"Fine," Helga conceded with a heavy sigh. "I have to get busy cleaning their rooms. You dont want to know what Ive been finding in there."
"Im sure I dont," I grunted in agreement. The less I knew about these people the better; I felt that I was already privy to far too much information.
"Peace and quiet," I sighed with relief as I stepped into the empty bar failing to notice the lone figure sitting by the fire.
"Theyre sleeping," Peri murmured from her perch as she swirled what appeared to be good cognac in a sifter. "All tuckered out from the slopes."
I smiled at her it was nice to see her finally relaxed. "Frank give me one of those too," I instructed pleased when he handed me a snifter of Remi Martin. "Excellent choice," I offered as I took a seat across from her and enjoyed the warmth.
"You were right about the weather," she began with a shy smile. "I wanted to stay and do some night runs. But," her voice turned sullen as it trailed off.
"There is a storm coming in wouldnt be a good night for it," I offered in an attempt to soothe her. I knew I had failed in my attempt when her emerald eyes turned back towards the fire. "Did your friends have a good time?"
"Yes, I think they did," she smiled her eyes still locked on the fire. "We had more than one mishap on the slopes," she snickered. "Theyre not a very coordinated lot despite all of their boasting. Maybe after a good nights sleep and no partying they will fare better tomorrow."
"Probably," I agreed as I wondered why I was sitting with her and not catching up on my own rest. Peris eye lifted meeting mine and I felt the air catching in my lungs.
"Pity," I muttered as I realized just why I was sitting by the fire my mood slipping knowing that she belonged to someone else.
"Speaking of skiing," she coyly began. "Wasnt there a woman named Danner on a couple of the Olympic teams. Dynamite Danner they called her. I seem to recall she turned pro at some point."
"Really," I shrugged while internally cringing at the awful nickname the press stuck me with when I was just a child. Her smile turned positively mischievous as she held me in her gaze.
"Loved your Chapstick commercial," she snickered with a broad smile.
"Crap," I groaned with a slight snarl.
"You dont really use that do you?" She inquired playfully.
"No, that was the one product I endorsed that I dont use," I confessed. "But it helped pay for this place."
"Do you miss it?" She asked me in a serious tone.
"Miss what?" I inquired not understanding what she was asking me.
"Skiing," she continued in a gentle tone.
"I ski all the time," I shrugged. "Just not at that level any longer."
"Okay," she countered with an infectious laugh. "I guess the correct question would be do you miss the competition?"
"No," I answered her honestly.
"Really?" She continued seemingly truly curious.
"Really," I assured her. "Granted if I had blown out my knee earlier in my career I probably would have been devastated. I accomplished most of my goals. You have to understand that I showed promise when I could barely walk and all I really wanted to do was to ski. I wasnt allowed to do that I had to compete. Now I live a quiet life and hit the slopes when I feel like it. Enough about me, Tell me about you."
"Not much to tell," she sighed with a hint of regret.
"Okay, Ill and narrow it down," I teased her grateful that she cast another playful smile over at me. "What do you do for a living?"
"I dont," she grimly answered me.
"Beg pardon?" I urged her on. "What did your grandfather invent glue or something?"
"No," she laughed lightly and I felt my insides tremble. "I invented or created this formula when I was a graduate student at MIT and it is used in products that can be found in almost every household in the world."
"Nifty," I shrugged understanding that she didnt want to make a big deal out of what she had accomplished. It was concept that I truly could understand. "So you sold your formula and now youre a lady of leisure."
"Sort of," she smiled and once again I felt my insides quivering. "I patented the formula."
"Smart," I congratulated her. "Now you just sit back and let people pay you to use your idea. Now what?"
"I have no idea," she brightly answered my question. "Thank you."
"For?" I inquired not certain why she was thanking me.
"No one asks me that," she explained. "Everyone just assumes that is it. I did what I set out to do and now Ill just party."
"I have a unique perspective," I offered as she sipped her cognac. "I retired from my chosen profession when I was just barely twenty-four. My injury drove the groupies and sponsors away leaving me alone with the mountain. Now it is all I want." I lied knowing that if I could have someone like her to share it with my life would be complete.
"Must be nice," she sighed before trying to stifle a yawn. "I need to get some sleep," she shyly offered before bidding me good night.
The following morning I was surprised when I greeted Peri only to receive a brisk response before she and a handful of companions climbed into the van and headed off to the slopes. "Have a nice day," I glumly muttered to myself before setting about my duties for the day.
I was walking down the corridor on the second floor when I heard "Shit the sun is up!" Shrieked from inside of one of the guests rooms. My insides boiled as I recognized the shrill tone coming from the wrong room. I suddenly understood Peris cool demeanor as Debbie bolted out of what I assumed was Günters room wearing only a bed sheet. "Out of my way!" She screeched as she blew past me.
"Gladly," I hissed under my breath as I reminded myself that Sunday was only four short days away. Infuriated by the womans demeaning attitude I retreated back to the lobby so I could get some work done. A few moments later I was hiding in my office when I heard the bell at the front desk being chimed repeatedly. "This day sucks," I grumbled when I discovered Debbie still clad in a sheet banging on the bell.
"I need to get into my room," she demanded. "Bitch left without me," she sputtered under her breath as I snatched the bell from her grasp.
"Follow me," I snarled as I snatched up the master key and stormed past her. I listened to unkind words towards Peri as I guided her up to the room. I fought to control my anger, constantly reminding myself that it was none of my business if Peri had decidedly bad taste in women. "Here you go," I grunted as I opened the door for her.
"Oh, I need something special at dinner tonight," she prattled on.
"Such as?" I growled as my eyes narrowed.
"I dont know," she whined. "A cake or flowers something. I didnt get a chance to shop before we left. Just make sure it says Happy Anniversary and put it on the tab," she concluded before slamming the door in my face.
My jaw hung open as my eyes tried to burn a hole in the door. I growled deeply before turning almost knocking Helga over. "Should I wait to clean up in there?" She sheepishly inquired.
"Yes," I sighed as I tried to reign in my anger. "Just make certain it is done before Ms. Manning returns," I explained as Helga followed me down the hallway.
"Funny thing," Helga began.
"What?" I snapped.
"For someone who didnt have time to shop, Im finding a lot of tags from new clothing in her waste basket," Helga informed me as we descended the staircase.
"I cant believe that woman," I grumbled with disgust. "First she forgets to sleep in her own room and now shes trying to make nice with some last minute anniversary cake and sticking Peri with the bill."
"Screw her, Dionne," Helga brightly suggested. "Tell her you forgot or that us yokels dont know how to bake a cake."
"I cant, she is a guest," I reminded the both of us.
"Dionne?" Helga tried to coax me.
"I need to find a cake," I snapped before ducking into my office. I went about planning a special meal complete with cake, flowers and a gift from the bitch. I felt sick as I planned the evening, knowing that the plans and subtle touches I was adding would be what I would do if I was the one who was celebrating an anniversary with the attractive redhead.
The party was a success for almost everyone. I had a strange sense of anger clouding me each time I caught the somber look in Peris eyes. For the life of me I failed to understand how someone as special as Peri ended up with someone as obnoxious as Debbie. Despite the argument the couple had earlier which everyone at the lodge overheard, Peri simply accepted Debbies half ass excuse of falling asleep in one of their friends rooms after she finished up the plans for the party.
"See I told you I was planning a party," I overheard Debbie boasting as she guzzled down more of the expensive champagne I had selected before once again admiring the diamond bracelet Peri had given her.
"Everything is lovely," Peri agreed her brow furrowing as she spoke. "The flowers, balloons, cake everything. Thank you," she added smiling for the first time that night. My insides churned when she kissed her girlfriend while the others clamored for more champagne.
"Uhm Ms. Clifton," I interrupted the couple as I slid the two elegantly wrapped presents I had purchased over to the scrawny bitch that stared up at me with confusion. "You asked me to hold these for you," I prompted Debbie.
"Of course I did," she boasted as she snatched up the larger package and thrust it into Peris face startling the redhead. Debbie looked on gleefully while waving at Frank for more champagne. I smiled as Peri broke out in laughter when she opened the present.
"That is perfect," Peri giggled as everyone including Debbie looked at the Junior Chemistry set I had snuck into town to purchase with glazed over looks of confusion clearly plastered on their faces. I on the other hand was as proud as a peacock.
"I dont get it," one of the female guests said.
"It is a joke," Peri explained for the womans benefit.
"Oh," the woman nodded. "I still dont get it."
"Ill explain it later Cindy," Debbie quickly blurted out as she thrust the other gift at her lover. The brunette licked her lips nervously as Peri carefully unwrapped the smaller gift.
"Oh my God, I love it," Peri stammered as she held up the simple crystal prism.
"Really?" Debbie sneered in disbelief.
"Yes," Peri gushed as she held it closer to the candle placed on the table seemingly mesmerized by the flash of colors. She was smiling brightly as she placed it down onto the table. I was elated until Peri captured her lover in a steamy kiss to thank her. Unable to with-stand watching them any longer I ducked out of the room.
I was just about to make it into the safe confines of my tiny apartment, which was located behind my office, when I felt nails digging into my forearm and my body being spun around. "What the hell was that about?" Debbie hissed as she glared at me.
"What do you mean?" I retorted confused by her attitude. I just saved your sorry ass and youre mad at me? I internally screamed.
"Those cheesy gifts," she sputtered bitterly.
"She liked them," I tried to reassure the angry woman.
"My friends are going to think Im cheap," she fumed.
"And that is what is important tonight?" I stammered out while my eyes widened in horror.
"What did I expect?" She bemoaned as she threw her hands up. "Dont think about adding that crap to the bill."
"I wasnt planning on it," I whispered as she strutted back into the dinning room.
I retreated into the safe confines of my apartment as the party carried on into the wee hours of the night. Unable to sleep I wrapped a bathrobe around my body and snuck into the bar. I didnt bother turning on the lights since I was very familiar with every nook and cranny of my lodge. I poured myself a cognac and made my way over to the fireplace.
When I struck the match so I could light a fire I saw her sitting there in the same chair she had occupied the previous evening. "Im sorry Ms. Manning I didnt see you," I apologized as I lit the fire. "I hope Im not disturbing you."
"Not at all," she glumly replied with a wave of her hand.
"Here," I offered as I handed her my snifter. "It needs to be warmed," I added before rising and pouring myself another glass. I debated on taking my glass back into my room and giving her some privacy. She looked so sad as she watched the flames growing. I took my seat beside her and said nothing.
It was hard for me not to speak, as I wondered why she wasnt upstairs celebrating her anniversary with her lover. "Thank you," she finally said as she took a sip of cognac.
"Youre welcome," I carefully responded.
"Not for this," she muttered as she swirled the dark liquor around in the snifter. "The party was very nice, thank you."
I was just about to ask her why she was hiding in a dark empty room when someone else beat me to the punch. "What are you doing down here?" Debbie whined from the doorway.
"Why not, you werent in our room." Peri flatly retorted her eyes still locked on the flames dancing in the fireplace.
"Well goodnight," I quickly asserted as I jumped out of my chair. My throat burning as I downed the cognac and made a hasty retreat as Debbie stomped into the room.
"This is growing tiresome," I could hear Debbie sighing.
"I couldnt agree with you more," Peri droned in response as I lurked in the dark hallway. "We need to talk." I silently applauded Peri as I began to step away.
"I know what you are going to say," Debbie cut her off. "Im bored as well. All this snow and cold we should leave in the morning. In fact the gang agrees that we should head to someplace warmer for the rest of the week."
"You want to leave?" Peri stammered.
"Yes, dont you?" Debbie pressed as I forced myself away from the sounds of their conversation.
I have no idea how the rest of their discussion went. All I knew was that the following morning the Manning party did not check out. I got the distinct impression Debbie was less than happy and Peri went off to the slopes by herself while the rest of my guests slept in before demanding breakfast at three in the afternoon.
"Do it," I instructed my chef before retreating into my office. In all my years of competing I had my share of groupies and sycophants circling around me, but they paled in comparison to the band of wayward idiots laughing it up in the dinning room. My assessment was confirmed when after receiving a call from the hospital I rushed into the dinning room.
I managed to suppress the urge to call Debbie a bitch when I found her curled up in Günters lap. "Ms. Clifton," I cleared my throat trying to get her attention as she fed the beefy man.
"What?" She sneered obviously unhappy with the interruption.
"I dont want to upset you," I carefully began. "But I just received a call from the hospital and Ms. Manning has been injured. Nothing serious, just a broken arm."
"Oh?" She shrugged before plucking up another piece of fruit to offer to the large man. "Is there anything else?" She griped as I stood there staring at her.
"Dont you want directions to the hospital so you can go get her?" I stammered as she stared blankly up at me. "Does anyone want to go get her?" I pressed on as the group stared at me as if I had just suggested something completely ludicrous. "Fine," I growled as I turned to make my leave.
"Wait," Günter called out and I blew out a sigh of relief. "A bunch of us want to do a night run at Dynamite canyon have a van ready would you?"
"You mean Ryder Canyon?" I gaped at them.
"Thats the one, Dynamite Danner used to train on it because it was the hardest run on the mountain," he boldly explained to me as if I was the stranger in town.
"I know," I sneered. "And there isnt a one of you qualified to handle it, much less at night."
"I beg your pardon," he scoffed at me. "I could do that run blindfolded."
"Fine," I snarled as my ire grew. "Tell you what sport if you think you or any of your friends can handle the canyon Ill take you there in the morning and if any of you beat me down the hill the week is on me and Ill leave the bar open all night. If I get to bottom first everyone of you little bastards are out of here when we get back."
"Extend our stay for another week and got yourself a bet honey," he proudly proclaimed as his friends cheered him on.
"Deal," I shrugged. "Now if youll excuse I need to pick up your friend."
"Maybe thatll put her in her place," I could hear Debbie snickering.
"How are you feeling?" I asked once I found Peri who was sitting helplessly in the waiting room.
"Like a complete jackass," she grumbled looking around in a vain attempt to find someone else with me.
"Dont," I tried to reassure her as I helped her into my small hummer. "Accidents can happen in the best of situations."
"That isnt why I feel like a jackass," she sighed as I climbed into the drivers seat. "You wouldnt have another room available?"
"No, Im sorry your friends took every one," I grimly informed her. "But Ill have plenty of room tomorrow," I added proudly.
"Theyre leaving," she snorted with disgust. "Good riddance. So when did they decide to check out before or after my accident."
"Oh they dont know theyre leaving," I smirked confidently. "Ever hear of Ryders Canyon."
"You mean Dynamite Canyon," she corrected me. "The one they renamed after you, when you won the Olympics? Günter has been ranting about trying it ever since I started planning this trip. I checked it out."
"You didnt try to ski it did you?" I asked suddenly concerned.
"No, Im not a complete idiot," she shot back. "That isnt a ski slope, it is a cliff. How did you not get hurt training on that? It is a straight drop to the bottom of the mountain."
"I could do it because I knew what I was doing and I was in shape for the slope," I dryly explained as I carefully maneuvered along the mountain roads.
"Again it isnt a slope it is a freaking cliff," she stammered. "I was terrified just reading all the warning signs they place on the way up."
"They have to put those up," I said as my smirk grew. "Every season some Bozo thinks hes good enough to handle it. Speaking of Bozos let me tell you about the friendly little wager I made with your buddy Günter."
She was pale by the time we reached the lodge. "How many of them are going to try?" She stammered nervously.
"Trust me half of them will drop out on the ride up," I reassured her. "The other half will bolt for the gondolier after reaching the top. Except maybe Günter, hes just bone head enough to think a woman couldnt beat him to the bottom."
"He could get hurt," she continued. "Despite everything, I really like Günter."
"Despite everything?" I nervously questioned not wanting to be the one to tell her that her buddy Günter was probably sleeping with her lover.
"I wasnt certain until you just asked me that," she scowled as she opened the door to Hummer. I quickly raced over to help her out.
"I dont know anything," I professed.
"Doesnt matter," she sighed. "I know. Normally right about now Id be convincing myself to just go and talk to her. Im finished," she explained as I helped her into the lodge. "This was supposed to be a romantic weekend for two so we could rekindle our love life, now Im just really happy that shes only going to be here for one more night. Im also happy in the knowledge that I have it in writing that she gets nothing if I kick her to the curb."
"Look if you need a place to crash tonight my apartment is here on the ground floor," I offered feeling positively giddy over what Peri has just told me. "Trust me when I kick the crew out of here you are more than welcome to stay."
"Honey?" Debbie squealed as she bounced into the lobby. "Did you hear that Günter just got us a free week up here?"
"I thought you wanted to leave?" Peri snarled. "Im fine by the way."
"Yeah thats what she said," Debbie shrugged.
"Debbie we have to talk," Peri calmly informed the misguided woman as Günter cringed.
"Bye-bye Debbie," Günter smirked. "So we still on for tomorrow, Ms. Donner?"
I opened my mouth to correct him about my name instead I heard myself saying, "Bright and early."
"Im looking forward to my extended stay here," he smiled confidently. "Oh and for the record, I flirted with Debbie but I wasnt the one shes been sneaking around with. Peri is my friend I wouldnt do that. It was Mark."
"The scrawny dweeb?" I scowled.
"No accounting for taste," he shrugged and I was just about to tell him who I am when he continued. "Better order more of that fancy champagne for tomorrow, youll need it."
"Ill see you in the morning," I beamed suddenly thinking that maybe I missed competing just a little.
I was confident about the morning race the only thing that kept me pacing through half the night was Peri had failed to return from her talk with Debbie. The rest of the guests kept whispering about the shouting coming from their room. I was just about to turn in when I heard loud screaming coming from the lobby.
I discovered Peri standing in the lobby holding a suitcase. "Youll be hearing from my lawyer!" Debbie bellowed before storming up the staircase.
"What was I thinking?" She muttered as she stared up at the now empty staircase.
"You were thinking that you need a place to sleep tonight," I quickly offered as I waved for her to follow me. My heart skipped a beat when she complied with my request.
"This is nice," she said with sincerity as she looked around my simple home. "And only one bed?" She stammered slightly.
"Im taking the sofa," I interjected not that I didnt want to share a bed with the lovely redhead; I just doubted she would be interested.
"No," she flatly refused. "You have a race tomorrow."
"And you have a clipped wing," I argued. "Either I take the sofa or we bunk together."
"Maybe I should wake up Günter," she sighed. "He offered to let me crash on his sofa for the night. It wasnt him by the way."
"So, Ive heard," I confessed. I had already checked the registry and confirmed that it was Marks room I saw Debbie falling out of the other morning. "Let Günter sleep. Im not bragging but even though he is in good shape, hes not in that good of shape and I grew up on that hill."
"Again I need to say cliff," she smiled. "Okay so we bunk together."
"Not if youre going to be uncomfortable with it," I protested already resigned to sleeping on my sofa.
"That isnt the problem," she whispered as I caught the slightest hint of a blush illuminated by the firelight. "Im comfortable with the idea, too comfortable."
"Im comfortable as well," I carefully responded as I pulled back the bedding and slipped out of my robe revealing my pajamas. "Lets go to bed?" I timidly suggested as my heart raced.
"Ive been waiting for you to say that," she teased me as she kicked off her shoes.
"For how long?" I inquired as I watched her struggling with her sweater.
"Since the first time I heard your voice," she stammered as she continued to fumble with her sweater, the cast on her arm limiting her movements. I climbed over the bed and began to help her. "But I was trying to focus on saving my relationship," she explained once I had lifted her sweater off of her body. She reached for the zipper on her pants and my hands reached out and halted her movements.
"Let me help?" I implored her as I crawled off of the bed and stood before her. I swallowed hard as our eyes met. Her emerald orbs dancing in the firelight as I lowered the zipper on her jeans.
"This is going to take getting used to," she whispered as I began to lower her jeans down her firm body.
"What is? Being single?" I hesitantly inquired as I sank to my knees so I could remove her pants.
"No," she sighed happily. "The cast, being with Debbie is almost like being single at times." She explained as she balanced her body by placing her good hand on my shoulder as I slipped her jeans off of her body. Encouraged by the soft inviting tone she was using I ran my hands up along her legs and looked up at her. The look in her eyes simply stole my breath away. "Is this a good idea?" She asked me in a husky tone that made my body ache while she ran her fingers through my long, dark hair.
I wanted to shout that it was a brilliant idea, yet I was fearful I might scare off this captivating woman. "Peri, we can just sleep if that is what you want." I vowed fully willing to simply lie beside her without touching her. I wasnt thrilled at the prospect, but if that is all Peri offered then that is what was going to happen.
"Thats not what I mean," she blurted out quickly. "Sorry, I just well, Uhm I want this. I really want this, but isnt it bad luck before a race?"
"No," I reassured her with a huge grin.
"Its just that I was under the impression athletes never did this the night before a big event," she softly cooed as she began to massage my scalp in the most pleasant manner.
"Some feel that way," I sighed as I leaned into her touch.
"I just dont want you to get hurt tomorrow," she smiled down at me, my stomach fluttering in response.
"Even though the race is lopsided, I take the canyon very seriously and I know that winning is never a guarantee for anyone," I explained before kissing her stomach. "Trust me," I whispered against her skin. "Making love the night before a race has never hindered my performance," I continued to reassure her as I began to unbutton her blouse while rising to a standing position. "In fact, at times Ive found it helped boost my confidence," I added as she moaned while I slipped her blouse from her body.
She melted against my touch as I unclasped her bra and removed the garment. "Wait," she giggled as the tips of my fingers brushed against the swell of her breasts. "Youre not telling me you won a gold medal because you got laid the night before? Do I even want to know who it was?"
"You know that is what my coach said," I quipped as I drank in the sight of her naked body. "You are so beautiful," I said with a happy sigh. "Peri, do you want this?"
"Yes," she moaned as she laced her fingers through my hair and drew me in for a searing kiss. "Im tired of fighting against my attraction for you." I kissed her again my tongue gently exploring her mouth as my hand cupped her breast. I moaned deeply as I felt her nipple puckering against my touch.
I caressed her breast as I felt her fumbling to unbutton the top to my pajamas. "Crap," she grumbled as our kiss came to an end. I kissed the cast on her hand before guiding her down onto the bed. Her eyes lit up as I began to remove my clothing. I felt as if she was caressing me with her eyes as my garments fell to the floor. "Now I understand how you got the nickname Dynamite," she blew out with amazement.
"I hate being called that," I grumbled as I curled up beside her.
"Dionne," she offered as she reached out and began to trace my trembling skin with her blunt nails. I mirrored her actions my heart racing as I caressed the curve of her hips moving slowly up to the gentle swell of her breasts. We kissed again and again as our hands explored more and more of the others body. I loved the feel of her skin prickling beneath my fingers as I drank in the sweet taste of her mouth.
In the back of my mind I was fearful about rushing things and just perhaps Peri was only in my arms because of what she had just walked away from. Yet, as our kisses grew deeper I brushed aside those thoughts knowing that in the morning we could explore our feelings. This night was about desire. It was simple I needed her and she needed me.
I rolled her onto her back, my thigh slipping between her legs and hers between mine. Each of us released a strangled cry as we felt the others passion on our skin. We began rocking together in a slow sensual rhythm. My body was pulsating as she moved in perfect unison with me. I felt as if we had become one. I felt her good hand slipping between our bodies, the cast pressing against the bare flesh of my shoulders.
She parted my swollen nether lips while I kissed her neck. The musky aroma of our passion filled the room as my lovers fingers glided along my wetness. I suckled the hollow of her neck feeling her blood racing beneath my lips as her fingers captured my throbbing clit. She stroked my aching nub as I traced her shoulders with my tongue.
I lifted my hips from her touch, she moaned in disappointment. Her moans quickly turned passionate when my lips greeted her erect nipples. I teased one with my tongue and mouth while my fingers taunted the other. Her body rocked urgently beneath me. I could feel my wetness greeting hers when the rhythm of our bodies grew wild.
The sounds of her moaning mixed with the creaking of the bed filled my ears as I feasted upon her firm, round breasts. My hands and mouth explored the softness of them as I ground my clit against her firm body. She chanted my name in a breathy whisper as she guided me back up her body. Peri captured me in another searing kiss her tongue parting my lips while my fingers drifted lower and I parted her wetness.
I called out her name when her fingers rediscovered my passion. Slowly we began stroking the other, our bodies grinding slowly as we drove the other to the brink of insanity. She felt so soft, so wet, and so amazing that I became lost in her. I slipped inside of her, feeling her mirroring my actions. Our hands and bodies quivered as we filled one another.
Our tongues became entwined as we plunged in and out while our bodies crested against the other. Finally we reached the peak and fell freely screaming into the warmth of the others mouth. I held her tightly her hand caressing my body as I panted her name in her ear. I felt her tenderly teasing my nipples fanning the flames of my desire. She guided me onto my back and straddled my body.
Her cast inhibiting her touches only slightly as our clits met and our bodies swayed. Once again our bodies danced together as she suckled my nipple eagerly. I gave my body over to searing passion as our bodies ground together. I teased her nipple with my teeth and my tongue as my nub throbbed against hers. Once again I was free falling as she fell along with me.
Her body collapsed against mine and I wrapped her up in my arms. She kissed my chest before lifting her head. Her smile was brighter and her eyes blazing. "Now that is a happy woman," I commented more to myself elated by seeing her truly happy for the first time. She released a purr as she lifted her body up on her arms. She winced as her broken limb tried to support her supple body.
"Easy there," I cautioned her as I helped her down onto the mattress. I lifted her broken limb to my lips and kissed the thin cast. "Amazing," I said in wonderment as I studied the light plastic cast. "I wish these were around when I got hurt."
"Still itches," she responded with a playful scowl. "I wish I had gotten my work done sooner."
"Wait," I cut off her next thought. "Thats what you did?"
"Plastic is lighter, smaller, more durable, more environmentally friendly, more reusable, more recyclable and stronger," she boasted. "My formula is just one way that made that possible. I got the idea when I was a teenager looking at my mothers Tupperware thinking it was too bulky and not pliable enough. Then I thought about the vest that cops wear and it just took off from there. A decade later I helped solve the problem. Not a great contribution to mankind."
"Are you kidding me?" I gaped at her. "You are the reason there is more room in my refrigerator and the parts to my toilets dont wear out as quickly. Most importantly why I sleep better at night knowing the vest my brother wears on patrol will help keep him safe. Not to mention my grandmothers new hip there are so many things that save lives every day because of what you did," she stared over at me with amazement. "What?"
"You get it?" She whispered as her hand came to rest on the curve of my body. "I cant believe that you are impressed."
"Why shouldnt I be?" I questioned her in bewilderment. "Im in bed with a brilliant scientist."
"Your face was on a box of Wheaties," she gaped.
"Big deal," I shrugged not understanding why she was impressed with me. "I just got down the hill faster than the other guy. That is nothing more than gravity. Well gravity, the right equipment, and training so that my body is more aerodynamic. Peri all I accomplished was going from the top of the hill to the bottom really fast."
"That is why you trained at the Canyon," she blurted out in sudden understanding. "The lack of an incline made your body move faster."
"Yes," I nodded with a smile. "I trained on a lot of slopes. I used the Canyon so that I could learn how to hug the pylons as tightly as possibly going at an accelerated rate of speed without touching them. I knew I could never reach the speed I could at the Canyon in competition, but when I did compete I was ready."
"Honestly, I never thought you were a dumb jock," she began slowly as she caressed my hip. "I just never suspected that you were a math geek like me."
"That would explain my degree in mathematics," I chuckled as her fingers began to drift lower. She lifted her body as her fingers danced along my skin sending tremors through me. She paused when she reached the scar on my knee. I felt a rush of warmth encompassing me when she leaned over and kissed the scar.
"I saw it on television," she started to say as I flinched. I had seen the video of my fall far too many times. I was winning; I clipped the flag and my body spun out of control. I could still feel the pain, the wind rushing against my body as I crashed and spiraled down the mountain. "What happened?"
"I got cocky," I confessed. "Winning comes down to fractions, one sixteenth of a second and you win or lose. I was so far ahead in that competition I knew I had it and I forgot that you dont control the mountain, the mountain controls you. In one hundredth of a second faster than you can blink an eye I lost control. That was it. Im lucky I cant compete any longer but I can walk and ski. Speaking of cocky, I need to tell your buddy Günter who I am. It will give him a chance to bow out gracefully."
"I already did," she shook her head as her fingers resumed caressing my thigh. "I almost didnt since he forgot to tell me about Mark. But I dont want him to get hurt. He doesnt believe me. For some reason everyone thinks your name is Diane Donner."
"Youve done everything you could," I reassured her.
"Not everything," she retorted with a saucy grin as she lowered her head and began to kiss my thighs. My body quivered as my thighs parted. I gasped when I felt her tongue parting me. My body arched as I felt her flattened tongue gliding along my sex. I wrapped my legs around her as she suckled my nub. My mind and body spun out of control as her teeth and tongue drove me higher. I was flying as I exploded against her. She snuggled against me kissing me deeply as I tasted my passion on her lips before once again claiming her body.
Regrettably we were forced to stop so I could sleep. The following morning after I gave Günter and crew a chance to back out Peri rode with me in the H2 while the others piled into the van. I had to snicker as I noticed how Debbie seemed to be brushed aside and her so called friends tried sucking up to Peri. The free ride was over and all of them wanted back in Peris good graces.
The redhead was polite enough but her message was clear none of them were her friend except for Günter. The party was over. Both Günter and I beamed at how she brushed them off. My predication proved accurate and by the time we reached the top of the Canyon almost all of the arrogant knot heads tucked their tails between their legs and bowed out of the competition.
The remaining few who were still bragging took one look over the cliff and quickly decided that they would rather ride the gondolier down to the bottom, except of course Günter. "This is incredible," he gasped with excitement. Although I understood his excitement I needed to talk to him.
"Dont try to control it," I cautioned him as he waved me off. "Im serious," I fumed. "Ive skied the Canyon you havent," I sternly informed him. "Take it slow, once you lift off hold your body tight and try to land with your skis down. Then go slowly until you get the feel of the mountain."
"I know what I am doing," he balked.
"I know you think you do," I cut him off. "Ill give you a head start and watch to make sure you are okay then Ill follow."
"Youre giving me a head start?" He laughed as his pride over-rode his senses.
"Im serious," I scolded him. "Ill follow and once Im certain you arent going to kill yourself then Ill smoke you."
"Fine," he grunted as he slid up to the edge rocking on his skis until he lifted off soaring through the cold air until his body landed on the snow. My heart raced as he fumbled slightly yet remained standing.
"Dont fight it," I hissed under my breath sliding my goggles down as I prepared to fly.
"Good luck and be safe," Peri offered tenderly before kissing me lightly.
"Ill see you at the bottom," I smiled brightly before I returned my attention to Günter and my own descent.
I watched as he finally began to do as I had told him. The snow crunched beneath my skis as I slid back and forth working up enough propulsion. Once I felt confident that both Günter and I were ready I flew off the edge. The wind fought against my body as I leaned into it allowing my body to soar. There was nothing on earth that could compare to the feeling of flying freely through the air. My body did as I had trained it to do and I felt another rush as I landed perfectly.
I followed behind Günter watching to ensure that he was, indeed, going to make it to the bottom in one piece then I took off leaving him behind. I relaxed into the speed and the feel of the wind whipping against me while my skis trembled against the snow. Then just as quickly as it began, I was at the bottom awaiting the others.
"Hey Dionne," I heard called out. I smiled as I turned to see Pete, an old friend, unloading his gear.
"Hey Pete," I responded keeping a careful eye on Günters descent.
"Whats up giving lessons these days?" He asked with concern.
"Something like that," I snickered as Günter neared the bottom.
"What a rush!" Günter shouted as he finally glided up to me. "I cant believe you smoked me like that."
"What are you an idiot?" Pete groused at him as I pulled up my goggles and wiped the snow from my face. Günter gaped at my friend. "You thought that you were going to beat Dionne Danner? That is quite a set you got on you."
I could still hear Pete laughing as he walked away. "Youre Dynamite Danner?" Günter stammered.
"Its Dionne," I quickly corrected him.
"Wow, I skied with Dionne Danner," he blew out in appreciation. "I dont get it if you can still ski like that why arent you still a pro?"
"Because against the kids out there now, it would be like what we just did only Id be the last one down," I explained. "That isnt what is important, did you have fun?"
"Hell yes," he blew out as he stared back up the mountain just as the others joined us. "Strange Im honestly afraid to do it again but I also,"
"Cant wait to do it again," I smiled as I patted his arm. "Trust me I understand. Im itching to get right back up there."
"But you have a lot of guests to check out," he laughed as Peri wrapped her arms around my waist.
"What the hell happened?" Debbie demanded. "How could you let her beat you?"
"I didnt, shes just better," Günter beamed. "Apparently not just at skiing," he smirked down at Peri as Debbie stomped off. "We need to get back and pack."
I removed my hold on Peri just long enough to remove my skis and brace them on my shoulder while the others slumped off. "Are you staying?" I hesitantly inquired.
"Yes," Peri gushed in response before cupping my frozen cheek and drawing me in for a lingering kiss. "Actually I was thinking of extending my stay if you have a room for me."
"Oh I know where you can sleep," I snickered as I bumped her playfully with my hip. "If you stay until that is healed," I added as I glanced down at her arm. "Maybe we could hit the slopes together?"
"How can I refuse," she responded with sly smile. "But what will we do in the meantime?"
"Ill think of something," I promised as I led her to the parking lot.
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