Thursday, November 29, 2007
Cindy K. Green's short story "Snow Kissed" is included in the Winter Wonders anthology, coming from By Grace Publishing on December 14. Other authors included: Joann Carter, Meg Allison, Muncy Chapman
Today is one of those days Logan Reilly wished he’d stayed in bed. Not only does he have to deal with the annoying Winter Wonderland Carnival but his close friend, that whimsical lover of snow, Holly Armstrong, was leaving town forever. The question is why didn’t she tell him and why today of all days does he realize he loves her? Can he change her mind and make her stay?
“So,” asked Logan, lifting his chin, a real smile moving onto his face now, “what are you up to this afternoon?”
She smiled back. “I’m off for a snow walk.”
“That’s what so stupid about this…this whole Winter Wonderland Carnival. There is no snow!” He raised both his hands in frustration.
“There will be,” she replied with complete confidence.
“How do you know? There’s no snow in the forecast. Cold, but no snow.”
“There’ll be snow tonight.” She stepped close to him, laying her hand in the crook of his arm while a swirl of pleasure moved around inside her stomach at the contact. “Just breathe,” she whispered to him slowly as she took in a deep whiff. “You smell that?”
He shook his head. “What? Burgers from down the street?”
“No,” she laughed. He could be so dense sometimes. “It’s the first snowfall.” She inhaled another intoxicating aroma of winter air. “It’s coming.”
“And what’s so good about snow? It’s just annoying and inconvenient.” He pulled his arm away and folded them across his lean frame.
“Snow is beautiful, magical.” Her voice came out breathy, the idea of snow making her feel all tingly.
“It’s cold, wet stuff that falls from the sky.”
“Then there are the wonderful clothes: hats, scarves, gloves…”
“…galoshes, wool socks,” he countered.
She continued, not to be undone by his cynicism. “Hot apple cider, hot cocoa, hot toddies…what is a hot toddy?”
He nearly laughed at her, a cute smile building in the corner of his mouth as he shook his head. “A hot alcoholic drink. You want to come in for some coffee? I just made a pot.”
She shook her head and took in a deep breath before releasing it. “No, remember I’m off to take my snow walk through Meriden.” She tilted her head up at him. “I’ll be at the carnival tonight though, not that you would dare show your face there.”
She paused, making a concerted effort to memorize his face, including his subtly uneven eyebrows. This might possibly be their final farewell. A breath hitched in her throat at the thought of never seeing Logan again. They’d shared so many wonderful memories over the years: spring picnics at the lake, midnight movies, and disastrous cooking adventures. Life wouldn’t be the same without him.
She should tell him she was leaving town for good. This was the perfect moment. Maybe he would respond by telling her she should stay—stay because he loved her too much to let her go. In my dreams. “Goodbye, Logan,” was all she could bring herself to say. It was easier than being disappointed.
“Bye Holly.” He said the words as he always did—with genuine warmth, when no one else was paying attention, that is. He released a small smile and Holly was caught in his gaze, a little thrill pulsing in her heart.
Logan was rugged from the clothes he wore to the tough and edgy persona he showed to the world. But his eyes, yes, his eyes betrayed his softer side. You would have expected him to have black, beady eyes by the way he barked at everyone, but instead he had these deep, soulful eyes in the most brilliant indigo Holly had ever seen on any person, man or woman. She would miss those eyes and these stimulating conversations. Well, everything that is Logan Riley.