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TOUCH OF SPRING
An Erotic Short Story by Evie Hunter

FIRST KINDLE EDITION
Copyright Eileen Gormley, Caroline
McCall 2014

All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in
a retrieval system or transmitted, in any
form or by any means without the prior
written permission of the author, nor be
otherwise circulated in any form of
binding or cover other than that in which
it is published and without a similar
condition being imposed on the
purchaser. All characters in this
publication are fictitious and any
resemblance to real persons living or

dead is purely coincidental. The right of


Eileen Gormley and Caroline McCall to
be identified as the Authors of the Work
has been asserted by them in accordance
with the Copyright, Designs and Patents
Act 1988.
This ebook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. It may not be re-sold or
given away to another person. If you
would like to share this book with
another person, please purchase an
additional copy for each person you'd like
to share it with. Thank you for respecting
the work of this author.

Visit www.eviehunter.com
Follow Evie on Twitter @pleasureswinter
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ALSO BY EVIE HUNTER

Full length novels available in the Kindle
store:

The Pleasures of Winter
The Pleasures of Summer
The Pleasures of Autumn
The Pleasures of Spring

Short stories available exclusively in
Kindle store:

A Touch of Winter
A Touch of Summer
A Touch of Autumn

* * *


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Epilogue

* * *

This book is dedicated to the Val Cenis
Mountain Rescue Service which got
Eileen Gormley safely down La Goulet in
January 2014

CHAPTER ONE
The only sound was her panting breath
and the squeak of the snow under her
skis. Almost two metres of fresh snow
had fallen overnight, and although more
was promised, Roz was enjoying the
break in the weather.
She paused on a flat area of piste
and gazed down at Zermatt, tiny and
perfect, below her. In a brief gleam of
sunlight, she could make out her hotel.
She turned to point it out, and
remembered she was alone. The man
beside her was a stranger, a photographer
whose telephoto lens swept from the
Matterhorn down to the resort.
Roz sighed. Zermatt was a
romantic jewel, not a place to be alone.
She adjusted her goggles to ski on

when a loud whooping caught her


attention. Three skiers were taking
advantage of the deep fresh snow to try
their hand at off-piste on the steep
mountain above.
One of them slipped, and as he
tumbled, an entire sheet of snow loosened
and slid, slowly and inexorably, towards
her.
Roz barely had time to scream
before she was enveloped by the
avalanche. She was tossed over and over
in an icy white blanket until something
hit her on the head and the world went
black.


Measureless time later, the sound of
voices reached her and she forced open

her eyes to dim white. She was twisted in


an impossible position and she had no
idea which direction was up.
She moaned with pain, and a voice
yelled, Ecouter, il y a quelquun.
Roz tried to respond but pain
made the world fade again.
She roused when she was being
strapped to a stretcher. The rescue
workers were brisk and careful, and
assured her in English that they would
look after her. One tightened straps across
her body before the other man pulled an
orange cover over her, raising a hood
which obscured her view of the dark
clouds overhead. Her skis were fastened
on beside her.
She had a semi-hysterical thought
that the cover matched her hair.

The rescue worker clicked into his


skis. All right? We are going down, he
called, before the stretcher shifted and
she found herself sliding head first down
the mountain.
She resisted the instinctive urge to
grab a strap to prevent herself from
slipping out of the stretcher. She was
secure, if not comfortable. Every moment
increased the pain in her head. The hiss
of the stretchers runners on the snow
was loud enough to hide any sounds she
made so, alone in her orange cocoon, she
gave herself up to pain.
Her tears ran unchecked into her
hair, but she discovered that her nose was
blocked. Almost upside down as the
mountain rescue worker skied straight
down the steepest, most direct slope

back, her nose could not run.


She had no idea of how long it
was before they slowed and came to a
stop and the cover was pulled back.
There were several bumps as the stretcher
was attached to a noisy little skidoo and
dragged along the flat to the medical
centre.
Dimly, Roz noticed that the snow
was falling again, giant flakes landing on
her stretcher. By the time the skidoo
stopped at a large building, it was
covered with white. Two paramedics
came to help her onto a hospital trolley.
Once inside in the warmth, she
was checked over by a nurse who helped
her remove her ski jacket and boots.
Nothing was broken but the pain in her
head was becoming unbearable.

Whats your name? the nurse


asked in perfect English.
That was easy. Roz Spring.
Date of birth?
She had to struggle to make her
tongue form the words. June 28, 1985.
And where are you staying in
Zermatt?
Roz groped for the answer, but her
mind was blank. I dont know.
Are you staying in Zermatt? the
nurse asked, pen poised over a form.
Roz closed her eyes, trying to fit a
picture to the words, but nothing formed.
Is that where we are? I cant remember.
Ill alert the doctor to check you
for head injuries, the nurse said, helping
Roz to lie back down on the trolley. You
may have a touch of amnesia. Dont

worry, Im sure it will only be


temporary.
How can I have amnesia? I know
exactly who I am.
She was Roz Spring, Londoner,
daughter of Peter Spring, who was
currently on remand awaiting trial for
computer fraud. She was twenty seven
years old, an expert at parkour, good at
hustling people and able to Domme any
man she met. And oh fuck she winced
as she remembered and her head
throbbed painfully to punish her she
had witnessed a murder in Paris and now
Interpol and a private security form were
after her, trying to bring her in as a
witness.
Not happening in this life. Roz
Spring did not do Witness Protection.

What she couldnt remember was


why she was in Zermatt.
Two hours later, she had been
examined and prodded and MRId until
she was exhausted. The young Swiss
doctor confirmed that she had a head
injury, but assured her that she was young
and healthy. With rest and patience, she
would recover her memory. He gave her
painkillers and left her to rest.
Roz lay in a small private room,
listening to the television more than she
watched it. She flicked channels and
discovered that she understood French
better than German, but could pick out
enough words to hear that a famous Van
Gogh painting had been stolen from the
Zermatterhof hotel the evening before.
That triggered a memory of a

small painting of bright red flowers in a


plain frame.
Poppies. She knew its name.
The painting of poppies had been
stolen before, the announcer said before
he went on to discuss the history of the
painting.
Panic seized her. She knew the
painting before the news reader
announced it. How was that possible?
There was one way. Her heart
dropped like a stone. Could she have
stolen it? She had no memory of taking it
or where she might have put it but the
name resonated with her.
Roz struggled to a sitting position,
waiting for more about the theft, but the
newsreader was solemnly announcing
details of the avalanche which had killed

two skiers and injured two others. Her


avalanche, she realized with a chill. She
had no idea how close she had come to
dying.
The heavy snowfall had triggered
another avalanche which had closed the
train line to Tsch. Zermatt was now cut
off from the rest of Switzerland. Well,
that might give her a respite in which to
find the painting and get away.
She flopped back onto the bed,
battling the blanks in her memory. How
could she not remember stealing
something like that?
Where is she? The voice was
masculine, forceful and carried a sexy
Irish burr. Where is Roz?
Her door opened and a man
entered, bringing with him the cold air of

outside. He was still covered with snow,


but his dark eyes were vivid and
determined.
Roz! Thank god.
She would have known him
anywhere. Andy McTavish. So what if
shed only met him a couple of times
before? The former Irish Ranger wasnt
someone a girl would ever forget.
She barely had time to register his
name when he swept her into his arms
and kissed her.
Oh God! His cold lips were urgent
on hers, possessive and insistent. They
slanted against hers, demanding a
response. His arms crushed her against
his muscular chest, so tightly it was
difficult to breathe.
Who cared about breathing? Roz

had spent many an empty night dreaming


about Andy McTavish, wondering if she
would ever see him again, wondering if
her memory could have played her false.
She had no idea why he was in her
room, kissing her as if she was his hope
of heaven, but decided she didnt care.
After coming so close to dying,
she wasnt going to pass up a chance like
this. Roz put her arms around his neck
and kissed him back.
Andys kiss gentled, became warm
and tender. Roz, he whispered, and
returned to her mouth, his tongue
sweeping in with absolute certainty.
She licked at it, sucking eagerly
on it, hungry for more. His heart thudded
heavily against her breasts and she
pressed up against him. She slid her hand

into his hair, which was as black and


silky as she had imagined.
He kissed his way along her jaw,
muttering something in between each
kiss. She anchored his head so that she
could return to his mouth. As if it were a
signal, his lips plundered hers, almost
bruising in their intensity.
I swear, Roz, if you ever do
anything like that again, you wont sit
down for a week, he said.
She pulled back. Are you out of
your mind?
Maybe she was the one who was
out of her mind. She knew perfectly well
who Andy McTavish was. He was the
security operative who had been ordered
to bring her in and make sure she gave
evidence before she disappeared into

Witness Protection.
They had met chasing through the
streets and catacombs of Paris.
They werent even on kissing
terms. Where the hell did he get off,
thinking he could spank her?
No, but you clearly are, he
snapped. What did you think youre
doing, going skiing on your own, getting
caught in an avalanche and not calling for
me? Ive been going demented searching
for you.
Roz sat up in the bed, anger
allowing her to ignore the throbbing in
her head. What business is it of yours
what I do?
Maybe a bit of bravado will keep
him off the track of the missing Van
Gogh.

He stared at her as if she had


sprouted horns and a tail. Roz. Youre
my wife.
Roz didnt know whether to laugh
or spit. Married? To you?
The door opened and the
uniformed nurse popped her head into the
room. You have found your wife, Herr
She stumbled over his name, before
eventually strangling out an
unrecognisable version of McTavish.
Yes. Andy smiled at her.
No, Roz announced firmly. The
cheek of him. Was this how he planned to
take her into custody, by pretending they
were married? Not a chance.
The nurse glanced from one to the
other and was about to speak when the
sound of the Tardis blared loudly in the

tiny room.
Andy reached for his phone.
The nurse shook her head
disapprovingly as the ring tone increased
in volume. She pulled the door open.
Outside, if you please, Herr McTavish.
No telephones are permitted in the
hospital.
With a last reluctant glance at Roz,
he left the room, speaking quietly into the
phone as he hurried down the corridor,
followed by the nurse.
Roz swung her legs over the side
of the bed and the room swayed
alarmingly. She blinked, waiting for it to
come back into focus before stumbling
towards the locker where her clothes
were stored. Knowing Andy McTavish,
she didnt have much time.

She dressed as quickly as she


could, grabbed the painkillers that the
nurse had left for her and slipped into the
corridor. She carried her heavy ski boots
and tiptoed on stocking feet. Her
thumping headache would have to wait
until she was out of here. So far, so good,
but she needed her skis.
The lobby of the small hospital
was crowded with people anxious to
discover if their relatives had been
involved in the avalanche. Roz tapped an
orderly on the shoulder and requested
directions to the storeroom for patients
property.
She forced her feet into her ski
boots and scanned the room. A broken
telephoto lens was testament to the
ferocity of the avalanche she had been

swept up in. She had only the vaguest


memory of the skis she had hired that
morning. Why did they have to look so
alike? She didnt have time for this, Andy
could return at any second.
There was something familiar
about the handle of one of the ski poles.
She was certain that she had seen the
colourful design on the handles before.
Roz tugged them from the pile. They
would have to do.
The door swung open and a tall
man with sallow skin and cropped brown
hair entered. Gorev. The name popped
into her fogged brain. She knew him.
Vadim Gorev, one of the nastiest
gangsters the Russian mafia had ever
produced.
He cocked his head and grinned.

Red? What are you doing here?


Same as you, she said, proud
that her voice didnt tremble. Now, if
youll excuse me.
She strode confidently towards the
door, but Vadim stepped into her path.
Not yet. I think we have a little matter to
discuss.
His narrowed eyes left her in no
doubt as to what kind of a discussion he
meant one that involved her thawing
body being found by hill walkers in the
spring. Roz drew in a deep breath to
scream. This was a hospital. Someone
would come to help her.
The door was pushed inwards
again and Vadim was forced to step out
of the way of a stout, middle-aged man
carrying a stack of boxes.

Roz seized her chance. Pervert,


she shouted at Vadim.
Doing her best impression of a
helpless female, Roz pointed her finger at
the Russian. He pushed me in here and
tried to touch me.
Bristling, the portly attendant put
the boxes on the bench. He was almost as
tall as the Russian and thirty pounds
heavier.
Ill call security, Roz said as she
stepped into the corridor. Clutching her
ski-poles in her hand, she headed for the
nearest exit.

CHAPTER TWO
Outside, the evening air was crisp and
cold, after the heat of the hospital. Roz
shivered and zipped up her ski jacket.
Bloody avalanches and bloody Andy
McTavish. How had he found her so
quickly?
She couldnt get out of Zermatt
yet and she needed shelter. Roz patted the
pockets of her jacket. Damn. No credit
cards or wallet. A search of the smaller
pocket revealed a ski pass and a handful
of Swiss francs. Not enough to pay for a
hotel, and she had no idea where she had
been staying before the avalanche.
It would have to be the youth
hostel. She could afford a bed in a dorm
and if she was lucky she might be able to
talk her way into a private room. She set

off slowly. Leaning on her ski poles, she


climbed the hill toward the hostel. Her
head ached as she walked.
The lobby of the large chalet was
bright and cheerful, but the earnest
student behind the desk was adamant that
she had no single rooms available. All
she could offer Roz was a bunk in a four
bed dorm with a shared bathroom. Roz
shrugged and handed over the notes. She
used her change to get a bottle of water
from the vending machine. The pain in
her head throbbed in time to the music
playing in the coffee bar. She was too
exhausted to think. She needed her pain
meds and sleep.
Two sets of bunk beds lined the
walls of the narrow room. Out of habit,
she checked the bedding and was relieved

it was clean. She stripped off, and stowed


her clothes and boots beneath the bed.
Swallowing the pills she had taken from
the hospital, Roz cocooned herself in the
duvet and drifted off to sleep with
memories of Andy McTavish kissing her.
Kissing her. God, could that man
kiss. His mouth was a weapon, sexy and
lethal. What would he have done if the
nurse hadnt arrived? Fevered visions of
Andy slipping his hand beneath her robe,
drifted through her imagination. He
stroked her breasts with those clever
fingers and pinched her aching nipples
until she gasped.
The hospital room drifted away
and Roz was floating in a delicious
fantasy of Andy carrying her up the stairs
of an ancient castle and kicking the door

closed behind him. There was a fireplace


in the turret room and she could almost
feel the warmth of it. Andys laughter as
he sent them both tumbling onto the
antique bed. Andy leaning over her,
winding a handful of her hair in his fist to
hold her in place while he took her mouth
in a possessive kiss. .
Oh yes. She didnt usually let guys
be in charge but this was so good. Roz
squirmed beneath his touch. Breathless
little whimpers filled the room as she
arched against him mindlessly, brushing
her breasts against his chest. Helpless
with pleasure, she luxuriated in the
barrage of sensation. Andy kissing her.
Andy nibbling her neck, pausing to graze
her nipples with his teeth on his journey
south. .

The first long, slow lick made her


gasp. It was too much but at the same
time, not enough. She tangled her fingers
in his hair as he licked again, deeper this
time, lingering on her clit. She cried as
the first waves of orgasm spread out like
ripples on a pond. His clever mouth and
probing tongue continued to pleasure her
even as she struggled to process the
sensations. A second wave, stronger than
the first. obliterated every thought. There
was nothing but him.
Andy, she cried out. She wanted
him inside her.
Laughing, he crawled up her body,
and nudged her thighs apart with his
knee. Hand clamping around the base of
his cock, he rubbed the tip against her
core. The hard set of his jaw, the heat in

his eyes, made her arch against him.


Now.
Whatever pleases my lady, he
said and thrust home.
Roz awoke with a jerk, struggling
to remember where she was. The dream
had been so real. She stared at the
wooden slats of the bunk above her. The
small dorm was fully occupied now. A
soft snore from across the room made her
want to giggle. From castle to hostel in
the space of a second - what a come
down. How could she have imagined her
and Andy McTavish together? It couldnt
happen, not in a million years.
She burrowed back under the
duvet and closed her eyes.

Morning came, bringing daylight and


noise. Her head thudded so hard she felt
nauseous. Roz pulled the covers up over
her face, but the yelling of the two Irish
kids in the corridor told her it was time to
get up. She dragged herself out of bed,
downed another pain pill and staggered
down the corridor to the showers. She
had to hold herself up against the wall.
The hot water revived her a bit but
having to get dressed in the same sweaty
clothes again ruined the effect.
She had to find out what she was
doing in Zermatt and then get out of town
before Andy McTavish caught up with
her. After that erotic dream last night, she
wouldnt be able to meet his eye.
She rooted through her pockets
again, hoping to find a few more coins or,

better still, a couple of hundred franc


notes. No such luck. But in the small
sleeve pocket of her jacket which held
her lift-pass, she found a key card.
Roz turned it over. Zermatterhof
Hotel.
She caught her breath. She could
never have afforded to say there, so this
was proof, she had stolen the Van Gogh
from the hotel. But where was the
painting now? The room card had no
number on it. Of course not, that would
be too easy.
During the night the snow had
stopped falling, and Zermatt was an
artists dream, steep snow-covered roofs
shadowing the streets, the spire of the
Catholic Church spearing the sky and the
Matterhorn rising in the background. The

snow was at least six feet deep, but with


typical Swiss efficiency, all the road signs
had been uncovered so no one could
claim ignorance of speed limits. Did
speeding skiers get a ticket, she
wondered?
She couldnt even afford breakfast
in the hostel, so Roz clipped up her ski
boots, wondering where she had learned
that. She had no memory of learning to
ski, but she knew what to do. The hard
plastic boots had slippery soles and she
needed her poles to help her get safely
down the hill towards the town.
A horse-drawn carriage appeared,
hooves muffled by the snow and only the
jangle of the harness and the giggling of
the Japanese tourists in the carriage
warning her of its approach. Every step

she took jarred her head and Roz would


have loved a lift, but she had no money.
First order of business, getting
cash.
In the main town, a small electric
delivery van had pulled up at the bottom
of a steep lane-way. There was a discreet
jewellery shop six steps up it. The driver
got out of the van and glared at the steps.
Roz stepped forward. Frau
She squinted at the sign over the shop.
Muller sent me to collect that from
you.
He handed over the box with
relief, and she scribbled an illegible
signature on the delivery docket. Roz
headed up the snow-covered steps to the
shop. A fortune in watches was displayed
in the window and her eyes widened at

the prices.
Delivery for Frau Hilde Muller,
she called out as she entered the shop.
Roz frowned as she scribbled on her copy
of the delivery docket. Im afraid there
is fifty francs owing on this. Delivery
charge.
The assistant in the shop, a
handsome blond who couldnt have been
more than twenty, looked panicked. She
is not here. He opened the cash register
and handed Roz a fifty. Im so sorry.
Damn it. Now she felt guilty. That
boy was as cute as a kitten. But she took
the money and put it in her pocket. At
least she could afford breakfast.
One quick stop at McDonalds for
food and Roz began to feel a little better.
Now for the Zermatterhof Hotel.

The exterior was imposing


enough, huge and covered with twinkling
fairy lights. She had to psych herself up
to climb the steps to the grand foyer of
the hotel. How much did it cost to stay
here, she wondered, and felt dizzy. It
wasnt just the warmth of the log fire
after the cold outside. It was the sight of
the blank area on the wooden-panelled
wall surrounded by police tape.
Yes, this was all too familiar.
She sank into a leather upholstered
chair and wondered what to do next.
Frau Campbell.
Roz ignored the polite call, until it
was repeated by the receptionist. Frau
Campbell. Your room is ready.
Roz blinked. What? Who was
did the receptionist think she was? And

who was Frau Campbell?


Your shower has been repaired.
Is it satisfactory?
Was she still dreaming? Roz
coughed, and recovered herself. Why
dont you show me?
The receptionist smiled. Of
course, Frau Campbell. I would be happy
to. She led the way towards the oldfashioned lift with Roz following like a
stray cat.
Holy crap! It wasnt just a room, it
was a whole suite, with its own log fire, a
huge fur rug on the floor, a view of the
Matterhorn and a bed big enough for six
people. The receptionist ignored the
luxurious furniture to lead the way to the
bathroom, all white marble and opulence.
One of the shower heads over the round

tub looked a little shinier than the others.


Im not sure how it broke, the
receptionist apologized, But its no
problem, all fixed.
She excused herself, leaving Roz
alone in the suite.
Roz dashed around it, searching
rapidly. It was obvious a couple shared
this suite, there were both male and
female clothes stacked neatly in the
antique mahogany drawers. Roz felt a
flash of envy for the woman, whoever
she was. The clothes were a little
understated for her taste, but the quality
was superb and they even looked as if
they would fit her.
There was a small safe in the
wardrobe, but it was locked and she had
no idea what the combination was.

Damn it, in the warmth of the


room, she could smell her own sweat and
the stinky clothes she had been wearing
since yesterday. The suite was silent and
she had it to herself. Shed never get a
better chance.
Roz stripped off and turned on the
shower. God, that felt good and the
vanilla scented shower gel was heavenly.
Even her persistent headache was less
annoying in the warmth. When she
reluctantly turned off the shower, she
wrapped herself in fluffy towels and went
to have another look at the safe. Still
nothing. If the painting was in it, she had
no idea how to get it out.
Exhaustion caught up with her.
She knew that she should get out of here,
but the huge bed was calling. She lay

down, and the white duvet puffed up


around her, hiding her from the room. It
was like diving into a pile of whipped
cream, she decided.
She would rest for a few minutes
before she forced herself back into her
dirty clothes.


The insistent mouth against her ankle
made her tingle in all the right places.
Another sex dream. It must be the blow
to the head that was making her dreams
so vivid. Still, it almost made up for the
headaches. Roz wiggled further into the
duvet and parted her legs to allow her
dream lover access to her inner thighs.
She was sex starved, she decided.
Note to self; when this was over, she

needed to get laid. She couldnt


remember the last time she had taken a
lover. A real one. Not the kind who
wanted to be flogged or locked in cages
or treated like puppies. She wanted a
man.
The mouth became more insistent,
a bite here, a flick of the tongue there,
and OMG was he going to? Oh yes, he
was. It felt so good. So exactly right, as if
he could read her mind. He should patent
what he was doing.
He parted her robe and she
luxuriated in the touch of his hands as
they paid particular attention to her
breasts, pinching one nipple while he
teased the other with his tongue. She
gave a happy little murmur.
The nip of his teeth brought her

fully awake and her eyes flew open.


Andy McTavish. Again.
Flecks of snow decorated the soft,
dark strands of his hair. His sensual
mouth was stern. You deserved that for
worrying me, he said. Ive been out all
night looking for you.

CHAPTER THREE
Roz pulled the edges of her robe together.
Well, youve found me. Now, if you
dont mind giving me some privacy, I
need to get dressed.
His expression hardened. As a
matter of fact I do mind. Youre in my
bed, and I believe thats my robe youre
wearing.
Of all the hotels in Zermatt, how
the hell had she managed to end up in his
room? Out of the corner of her eye, Roz
glimpsed her ski clothes scattered on the
floor. There was no way she could run
away from this one. Striving for dignity,
she edged off the bed. If you were a
gentleman, youd turn around.
If you were a lady, I might.
He caught the direction of her

gaze and moved to intercept her. Whats


up with you, Roz? Youve been acting
strange since the avalanche. Maybe you
need to go back to the hospital?
And run in to Gorev again? Roz
was in enough trouble without meeting
the Russian again. She had to find out
where shed hidden the painting and get
out of Zermatt for good.
No hospital, she said as she
reached for a sock. Where the hell had
she left her panties?
Andy snatched it from her hand
Now I know theres something wrong.
You have a wardrobe full of clothes and
youre putting on damp socks?
Taking her by the wrist, he pulled
her to the wardrobe and opened the door.
The clothes she had lusted after earlier

greeted her. She could never afford


clothes like this. Boots, yes they were
necessary for her job when she worked at
the clubs. And gloves, well, they were
something she adored, but these clothes?
She stroked a soft woollen tunic
wistfully. The rich autumn colours would
be fabulous with her hair. Someone had a
lot of taste and money.
A spike of pain hit and she closed
her eyes. Damn headache hadnt gone
away. She needed more meds. Roz didnt
realize she was swaying dizzily until she
collapsed against a hard, muscled chest.
Ive got you, Andy said as he
wrapped his arms around her.
She relaxed into his embrace. He
smelled so good, spice and wood and a
hint of something citrusy. If they werent

on opposite sides of the law, she would


have been tempted. But Andy McTavish
was a no-go area. He should have a big
neon sign over his head flashing Danger!
Danger! Roz lifted her head reluctantly.
His dark eyes were filled with
concern and a hint of something else. I
think you should lie down.
That would be such a bad idea.
She didnt realize she had spoken the
words aloud until he laughed.
Thats my girl. He dropped a
light kiss on her forehead. Lets get you
dressed then.
He riffled through the wardrobe,
pulling out the woollen tunic and a pair
of slim fitting pants. Whistling, he
opened a lingerie-filled drawer and put a
matching set of bra and panties on to the

pile and topped it with a pair of angora


socks.
Roz laughed when she saw the
cats face embroidered on them. They
looked like something a toddler would
chose, but she loved them.
You can get dressed in the
bathroom if you want. Housekeeping will
take care of your dirty clothes. And when
youre ready, well have a little chat.
Roz closed the bathroom door on
his concern. Clever Andy. They were
four stories up and the window wouldnt
open wide enough to fit a child through.
And he had kept her boots.
She was going nowhere for a
while.
She dressed quickly, surprised that
the clothes fit her so perfectly, right down

to the undies. Opening the bathroom


cabinet, she searched for something to
untangle her still-damp hair. Roz caught a
glimpse of her reflection in the mirror.
Beneath the mass of hair, she had a fine
collection of bruises. She covered the
darkening skin with arnica cream, hoping
that it would help. She couldnt avoid
Andys little chat any longer. It was
time to face the music.
The wonderful smell of coffee
greeted her and - was that a plate of
crepes? Her mouth watered. Apart from
McDonalds, she couldnt remember when
she had last eaten and this was exactly
what the doctor ordered. Munching
happily, Roz cleared the plate in record
time and was sipping her second cup of
coffee before she realizes that Andy was

smiling.
Something funny?
Im glad to see the bang on the
head hasnt affected your appetite.
It was time to get down to
business. Nothing affects my appetite.
But crepes with maple syrup happen to be
my favourite.
Andy leaned forward. I know. In
fact, I know all about you. Your Dad is
Peter Spring, you have a sister Sinead,
and your grandmother lives in
Castletownberehaven in Ireland.
A series of images flashed
through her head - her Dad, wearing a
prison uniform, the sister she hadnt seen
for years and her grandmother who didnt
give a damn whether she was dead or
alive. So? Youre an investigator. It

wouldnt have been difficult to find out


about my family.
A smile quirked his mouth, giving
him a rakish air. You wear size six
shoes. Youre a glove addict and you own
at least two dozen pairs of boots.
That bit was probably true, if only
she could remember where shed left
them. So, you checked out the size on
my ski boots while I was in the bathroom.
Clever you.
You love parkour and youve
worked as a stunt woman in several
movies, he continued.
Yeah. I worked at a lot of things.
Some that she wasnt particularly
proud of. Roz shut the door on those
memories. Swindling the blond kid in the
jewellery store earlier hadnt been fun.

He would probably get into trouble and


that bothered her.
Please go on. This is such fun.
Andy ignored her sarcasm. Let
me see. You wear a 36C bra. You think
your ass is too big and you have a scar on
your thigh from the time you dived into a
hedge when you were twelve.
Andy sat back, looking pleased
with himself.
The first two could fit half the
female population of London. The scar
you saw earlier. Good guess with the
hedge, but try telling me something you
cant find out on Google. But his
knowledge of the scar rattled her. Her
Dad would have killed her if hed caught
her jumping off a balcony to get away
from a mark.

Andys dark eyes glinted at the


challenge. He wasnt giving up. You
have a delightfully sensitive spot behind
your right knee that makes you squirm
when I lick it. You have a heart-shaped
freckle above your ass which is pretty
cute. And you melt if I pull your hair
while Im kissing you.
Roz couldnt stop the blush that
flooded her cheeks. Holy freakin cow.
She swallowed hard. The beauty mark
Andy could have discovered from
photographs, but she had told no one
about her knee, and as for the hair
thing It was as if this man had been
raiding her fantasy drawer.
Its a trick, she told herself. She
knew his reputation. Andy McTavish was
a man whore. When he wasnt saving the

world, he was seducing women for a


living. He couldnt know those things
about her. It was pure guess work.
He was trying to make her believe
that he knew her and there was no way
that she could ever forget sleeping with
him. Roz decided to brazen it out. You
cant possibly know any of those things.
Oh I can. Andy nodded in the
direction of the bed. Would you like to
prove me wrong?
He was serious. Andy McTavish
actually expected her to go to bed with
him to settle a bet? A part of her was
tempted. He had occupied far too much
of her dreams since the avalanche and it
couldnt hurt to
Bad girl, Roz. No playing when
youre on a job. Roz pushed her plate

away and stood up. She had to get out of


this room and as far away from Andy
McTavish as possible before she did
something she would regret. Besides,
what would happen if Frau Campbell
came back and found them making out in
her bed?
And how could she have forgotten
Frau Campbell? The woman at reception
thought she looked like her. Andy
McTavish was here with another woman
and he actually expected her to hop into
the sack with him. The devious,
unfaithful, womanizing bastard. She
would show him.
Why not? Roz purred, in her
best sex kitten imitation. But first, why
dont I change into something pretty?
She opened the wardrobe and

scanned the contents. There were some


silk scarves and neck ties that she could
use to tie him to the bed. She could
borrow his wallet and get the hell out of
Zermatt before she ran into anyone else
from her past.
Roz pulled open the lingerie
drawer and was immediately filled with
envy at the sight of the wisps of silk and
lace that greeted her. Was that a corset?
Her jealousy for the missing Frau
Campbell went up a couple of notches.
She dug deeper. Her hand fastened on
something hard and she pulled it out. The
studded handle was part of a red and
black deerskin flogger. That would do
nicely. What other toys had the kinky
Frau packed for her weekend?
Looking for this? Andys voice

came from behind her and she turned.


He had stripped off his shirt to
reveal a six pack that would make a cover
model jealous. His skin was tanned and a
light dusting of hair covered his chest,
trailed down his abdomen before
disappearing in a V into his jeans. He
held a riding crop which he tapped lightly
against the palm of his other hand. The
sound of leather striking flesh made her
nipples harden, something that Andy was
immediately aware of, given the way his
eyes had zeroed in on her chest.
My face is up here, she snapped.
Why so it is. Andy laughed as
he tapped the crop against his palm. Are
you ready to play?
Roz itched to hit him with the
flogger, but he looked far too comfortable

with that crop in his hand.


Andy wasnt like her usual clients
who craved an assignation with a
dominatrix. They wanted to be tied up
and flogged, or locked in a cage or
occasionally treated like puppies.
Andy was a much more
challenging prospect. She would relish
bringing him to his knees. Bring it on,
Irish. Lets see how good you are.
Without taking his eyes from her
face, Andy backed away, toward the open
area near the fireplace. Several candle
stubs sat on the mantel. An image flashed
into her head of two naked bodies
writhing on the fur by the light of the fire.
What would it be like, she wondered, to
lie on the rug with him and
Ouch, Roz yelled as a blow

from the crop landed on her thigh. You


bastard, I wasnt ready.
Andy laughed and danced away.
In a move Roz had learned at a medieval
fencing class for stunt women, she
stepped forward and lashed out with the
flogger. The leather strands struck his
chest and a red flush bloomed on his skin.
She stepped away quickly before he
could retaliate.
That was uncalled for, Andy
said, but the mirth in his eyes told her he
had barely felt the blow.
For long minutes, they circled
each other, each searching for a chink in
the others defences. Andy landed the
next blow and Roz yelped at the sting on
her hip. He wasnt holding back. Neither
would she.

Blow and counter-blow followed.


Side step, twist and turn, the sound of
shallow breathing, the scent of leather
mingled with the moisturizer she had
used earlier. Neither of them could gain
the upper hand. He was good, she
admitted. It was almost as if they had
fought this way before.
Roz lunged, flicking her wrist with
precision, landing three blows in quick
succession. Like that? she teased.
Youd make a very pretty sub. Pity I
dont have time to train you.
In no universe is that ever going
to happen. Andys mouth firmed at the
challenge and the speed of his next move
surprised the hell out of her.
Roz spun, trying to avoid his
attack and received two blows on the ass.

His teasing laughter hurt more than the


crop.
No more Ms Nice Girl. Andy
McTavish was going down. Taking him
unawares, she feinted, and then dived and
rolled. Coming to her feet, she attacked
again, this time aiming for his weapon.
The leather strands tangled around
the crop and she jerked it from his hand.
It sailed across the room, landing on the
far side of the bed. Now she had him.
Roz closed in, peppering his chest with
tiny flicks of the leather strands. His jaw
tightened with each blow but Andy didnt
back away. Why was he just standing
there? Why wouldnt he submit to her?
She had won, hadnt she?
His arm shot out and he refused to
flinch as the strands of the flogger

encircled his forearm. With a twist of his


wrist, he grabbed the leather and jerked
the bunched strips of deerskin. Roz held
on tightly as he pulled her towards him.
The rasping sounds of their breath
mingled in the room. With a final tug,
Andy jerked the flogger from her grasp
and tossed it over his shoulder.
Im going to test one of my
theories, he said as his arms closed
around her and he grasped a handful of
her hair in his fist. Pulling gently, Andy
forced her to meet his gaze. Hot,
predatory and intent, he didnt bother to
disguise how much he wanted her. The
match might be over, but the game was
still in play.
The smell of sweat on his skin was
dizzying. Roz forget that she was

supposed to win, forgot everything but


the heat in his eyes and the feel of his
powerful arms around her. Her breasts
were crushed against his chest.
Andys mouth found hers in a
searching, probing kiss that was an
exercise in pure domination. He held
nothing back. Adjusting his grip on her
hair, he tilted her head to get access to her
throat. Roz shivered when his teeth
grazed her skin. It was too good and she
couldnt fathom why it felt so familiar.
Roz sagged against him,
surrendering to the onslaught of pleasure.
His tongue circled hers in a lovers duel
and she kissed him hungrily. His hot,
opened-mouthed voracious kisses left her
mindless. She felt that he knew her soul.
How could it be so good with him?

Andys hand in her hair, the touch of his


skin, the scent of him could only have
one ending.
They were like fire and ice. Some
dark part of her had known it from the
first time they had met in Paris. Even if
she wanted to, she couldnt fight this
thing between them any longer. For the
first time in twenty-four hours, Roz
stopped running and gave herself up to
the inevitable.

CHAPTER FOUR
As if she weighed nothing, Andy lifted
her in his arms and headed for the bed.
While he walked, he pressed a hard
ruthless kiss onto her open mouth,
making her squirm to get a little closer, to
increase the teasing pressure. How did
the man do this to her?
He raised his head, smiling a pure
conquering smile. You're so responsive.
I bet you are wet right now.
He was right, she realised, and
something clicked.
She couldnt do this. It didn't
matter that Andy McTavish was a
walking talking female fantasy. That he
had a body cover models would kill for.
That his abs, now pressed against her
side, were rock-hard and defined. That

his eyes were a seductive combination of


intelligence and warmth which melted
her insides. That the arms holding her
made her feel safer than she had ever felt
in her life.
He was not hers. Hell, she had
only met him twice in her life before.
That day in Paris had given her many
views of his spectacularly fine ass but
they had barely exchanged ten words.
And in the hospital, she had discovered
that he could kiss like a dream. And that
he could lie with a totally straight face.
He had been so convincing when he told
the doctors that he was her husband that
for one wild moment she had almost
believed it herself.
Roz was the first to acknowledge
that she was no saint. She knew that the

only way she was going to get into


heaven was to con St Peter into doing a
few prop bets. She wasn't proud of it, and
she swore that she would change and go
straight, just as soon as she got her life
sorted out. But there were some things
she did not do.
And they included fucking men
she didn't know, and stealing another
woman's man.
She jerked herself out of his grip,
and was pleased to land solidly on her
feet. Her balance was getting better.
Sorry, Irish, but I'm calling time on our
little interlude.
Roz was tempted to grin at the
shocked expression on his face, if only a
nasty little niggle wasn't making her
wonder if she had just make a colossal

mistake.
What the hell is wrong with
you? he demanded.
Apart from the headache,
massive collection of bruises, lack of
memory and a few crop marks? Not a
thing, which is why I am calling it a day
before we do something that we both
regret. Or have you forgotten Frau
Campbell?
Who? He looked genuinely
blank.
Your other woman.
He took a step closer to her.
There is no other woman.
Roz gestured to the wardrobe full
of clothes. Then you kept your crossdressing habit a really big secret. I'd
admire you more if you just told the

truth.
Andy clenched his fists, as if he
were fighting to keep from grabbing her.
How often do I have to tell you? Frau
Campbell is you. You're my wife. We're
married.
The pang of longing that shot
through her almost brought her to her
knees, but she wasn't going to give in.
Damn it, she had her standards, and she
would not be lied to. She held out her
ring-less left hand.
Oh yeah? Good try. You almost
fooled me.
Andy took her hand in both of his,
and the touch of his careful fingers was
shattering. He turned it over, feeling the
spot where a wedding ring would have
been. They must have taken it off in the

hospital. You have one that matches


mine.
He held his hand up, displaying a
rose-gold ring on his third finger. Look
at the engraving. He tugged at it, trying
to get it off.
Roz backed away. Fuck, fuck,
fuck. He was married. Andy McTavish
was married. No, it wasn't possible. She
had almost made love with a married
man. She stumbled, sick to her stomach.
She had to get out of here. Roz
picked up the abandoned woollen tunic
and pulled it over her head. Ignoring his
order to stop, she grabbed her jacket and
dashed for the door. Bile rose in her
throat and she held her hand against her
mouth to prevent the crepes spewing up
all over the fur rug.

Roz, stop, Andy called when he


realised she was leaving. He snatched up
his shirt and was shrugging into it when
the sound of a Tardis stopped him. Roz,
wait.
She slammed the heavy door of
his suite and ran down the corridor, trying
desperately not to cry.
Fuck him, he wasnt the first
married man who had made a play for
her, but he was the first who had made
her want to give in. Even now, even
knowing he was a liar, with a wife at
home who had no idea he was screwing
around with Frau Campbell, she wanted
to go back and climb into that bed. She
wanted to lick her way down his body
and reduce him to a stuttering boneless
puddle of lust.

Roz headed for the stairs, flying


down them four at a time and it wasn't
fast enough. An elderly man blocked her
escape route, so she gripped the banister
and allowed herself to tip over to the rail
below. He gasped but she kept going,
moving as fast as possible until she
reached the ground floor.
She could hear Andy running
behind her, his steps loud even on the
carpeted marble. The vast foyer of the
hotel looked endless. Would she be able
to get away before he caught her?
From the corner of her eye, she
saw a door opening and a dozen skiers in
gaudy jackets poured into the lobby,
laughing about the amazing day they had
spent on the slopes.
That must be the way to the ski

room. Roz ducked in through the crowd,


wiggling her way between them, and flew
down the wooden steps. She ignored the
skiers still struggling to get out of snowcovered ski boots and smiled at the sight
of the open door leading outside.
Her escape route.
Stepping onto melted snow made
her realise that she was still in stocking
feet. She had left her boots and ski poles
upstairs, so she grabbed a pair of
snowboarding boots and shoved her feet
into them. They were three sizes too big
for her, but at least they were warm.
Roz climbed the rubber-matted
slope that bought her to the side of the
hotel, and headed to the street. She risked
a glance over her shoulder was that
Andy on the other side of the hotel

doors?
She dashed up the steps of the
Catholic Church and stepped inside. The
interior was all high gothic and dark
seats, with a golden altar that belonged in
a museum, and a ceiling painted with a
modern version of the seven deadly sins.
Roz stared up at the skeleton
grinning at her from a TV screen and
wondered how many sins she had
committed? An elderly nun puttered
around on the altar, changing candles and
watering flowers, but she didnt bother
Roz.
She had no idea how long she sat
there before the dimming of the light told
her that night was drawing in. It was time
to leave.
She stepped outside and felt an

arm tighten around her neck.


Hello, Red. Fancy meeting you
here. Now, where the hell is my
painting?
Gorev. Oh, fuck!
She wriggled in his grasp, trying
to get free until the hard point jammed
into her side told her that he was armed.
Roz stopped struggling.
Good girl, Vadim said. We
dont want to cause a scene, do we?
Someone might get hurt.
The nun emerged from the dim
interior, the keys to the church jangling
on her belt.
Gutten abend, she greeted them
with a smile as she locked the door. Any
urge Roz had to shout for help, died in
her throat. She had seen what Gorev was

capable of. He would have no problem


killing the grey-haired nun where she
stood. Roz couldnt be responsible for
that.
Roz nodded politely and allowed
Gorev to walk her up the street toward
the mountains and out of Zermatt.
Where was he taking her? Was he
going to kill her? The questions buzzed
inside her head like a hive of angry bees.
Why hadnt she stayed at the hotel with
Andy? She would have been safe there.
Or maybe he would have hurt Andy.
This way. Gorev nudged her
towards an old chalet. Unlocking the
door, he shoved her inside. Roz stumbled
and fell to her knees.
Take off your boots, he ordered.
Somehow, she knew that it wasnt

because he was worried about dirtying


the polished wooden floor. She obeyed
quickly and handed the boots over. She
wouldnt be going anywhere for a while.
Inside. He gestured to the
kitchen.
Roz glanced at the knife block on
the counter and winced. The lethal
selection of Victorinox kitchen knives
made her feel ill.
Gorev dragged a straight-backed
chair into the middle of the room and
pushed Roz onto it. A rope was tied
around her body, holding her in place.
This was going to be bad.
Where is the painting? he
demanded.
She tried for levity. Arent you
going to offer me coffee first?

The blow that struck her the cheek


made her head jerk back.
His eyes narrowed. Let me tell
you how this is going to be, Red. I will
ask the questions and you will answer
them. Otherwise there will be pain. A lot
of pain. Do you understand?
Roz swallowed hard before
nodding.
Good. He rubbed his hands
together, warming them up. Let us
begin. Where is my painting?
I dont know, she said.
He raised his fist to strike her
again.
Please. I dont know. You have to
believe me. I hit my head during the
avalanche. I dont remember anything.
What a pity, he said, without a

trace of sympathy and hit her again.


Roz lost track of time. The same
questions over and over, interspersed
with blows to her face and abdomen. A
splash of cold water against her bruised
flesh told her that pretending to black out
hadnt worked.
Gorev tugged on her chin, forcing
her to look at him. Cant damage the
goods too much or maybe he wont want
you back.
Who was he talking about? Who
wouldnt want her back?
He pulled his phone from his
pocket and punched in a number. Give
me the Matterhorn suite.
He drummed his fingers on the
table top while he waited for the
connection. Not a good sign.

You know who this is. I have


Red. Bring me the painting or Ill kill her.
Ill phone you in the morning with
instructions.
Roz could have sworn that she
heard Andys Irish burr in response.
Fuck. Andy couldnt possibly know
where the painting was. He had only
tracked her down at the hospital. The Van
Gogh had been stolen before then.
Do you take me for a fool?
Gorev snapped. The painting is missing
and Red is in town. You will find it.
Without warning, Gorev struck her
again and she cried out. Knowing that
Andy must have heard her scream only
added to her misery.
I think we understand each
other, Gorev said quietly into the

receiver. Get it or Red dies.


Gorev untied her and dragged her
to her feet. Roz stumbled as he pushed
her along the hallway and up the steep
wooden staircase. The doorway at the end
of the corridor must have been a
teenagers room. Posters of One
Direction hung over the bed. Oh great her last night on Earth and she got to
spend it with Harry Styles.
Gorev shoved her onto the single
bed. Roz waited until she heard the door
being locked and the sound of his
footsteps on the stairs before she rolled
onto the floor. A glimpse of her face in
the mirror made her wince.
Gorev had added to the bruises she
had collected in the avalanche. Despite
her aches and pains, she carried out a

quick search of the room. Roz checked


the window. She was on the first floor
and there was quite a drop and the ground
dropped away from the chalet steeply.
Impossible for most people, but she had
done harder stunts than this, and without
an airbag. She would manage, but she
needed footwear or she would freeze.
The shoes in the wardrobe and
beneath the bed were all too small for
her, but she found some thick socks and
pulled them on. They would have to do.
With a last glance around the room, Roz
climbed onto the window ledge and
dropped into the snow.
The ground hurtled towards her at
alarming speed. She hit the earth and
rolled. It was a textbook landing, the
snow almost making up for the lack of an

airbag, but it was icy cold. Roz lay


panting on the ground for endless
seconds, not quite believing that she was
free. Now she had to find Andy.
She headed for the road. Someone
would help her. In the distance she heard
the sound of a skidoo. The small
snowmobiles were popular in Zermatt.
Sliding on the snow, Roz stumbled into
the middle of the road and waved her
arms at the approaching vehicle. Stop.
Please stop.
The vehicle skidded to a halt and
the female driver pulled off her helmet.
Frau Campbell, what are you doing
here?
Roz wanted to scream her relief. It
was the receptionist from the hotel. Oh,
thank god. Ive been kidnapped. Can you

give me a ride?
Of course. She nodded. With
typical Swiss efficiency, she produced a
spare helmet and insisted that Roz put it
on.
Relief washed over her as the
skidoo started up again, the sound of the
engine loud on the quiet lane. When she
realized they were heading in the
direction of the chalet, Roz tapped her on
the shoulder. Were going the wrong
way.
Short cut, the receptionist said
and Roz relaxed a little. The woman lived
in Zermatt; she knew where she was
going.
Up ahead a parka-clad figure
stepped out on the road. No. it couldnt
be. Dont stop. Keep going, Roz

shouted.
The woman ignored her, pulling to
a halt beside Vadim Gorev. You idiot,
she snarled at him. She almost got
away.
Despite her struggles, they
bundled Roz inside the chalet once more
and up the stairs to her room. Harry
Styles grinned down at her from the wall
as they tied her to the wooden bed frame.
She wouldnt be going anywhere
tonight.
In the darkness, Roz gave in to the
tears which had threatened for hours.
Why couldnt she remember stealing the
painting? She would give it to them just
to get free.
The receptionist, Frida, must have
tipped Gorev off that she had been there

with Andy. Now he was being dragged


into the mess. When he was unable to
produce the painting, she would die and
they would probably kill Andy too.
They were both going to die and it
was all her fault.

CHAPTER FIVE
By morning she was so stiff that she
couldnt move, but her bursting bladder
insisted that she must. Frida stuck her
head into the bedroom to see if she was
okay.
Please, let me go to the
bathroom, Roz asked. She was hoarse
and she desperately needed a drink. As
soon as she had peed.
Frida, damn her, laughed and
untied Roz's legs.
Roz tried to stand up, but her legs
were frozen and her arms, tied at her side,
would not support her. She toppled back
on the bed. Help me, please.
She hated begging. But the idea of
making a mess in front of this woman
horrified her. Even though it was barely

dawn, Frida looked tidy and wholesome.


Her blonde hair was braided neatly, and
her ski thermals were crisp and matching.
Frida looked at Roz's hands and
exclaimed in horror. Roz tried to see over
her shoulder to see what was wrong. She
could feel nothing.
Gorev sauntered in, masculine and
menacing, eating a pastry. His expression
changed when Frida spun Roz around to
display her hands. Hmm, I must have
tied them too tightly, he said, and pulled
out a knife from his pocket.
It was a Swiss army knife,
complete with attachments and multiple
blades. Roz flinched when he opened
one, checked its edge, and then flashed
down with it. She was aware of a
sensation of movement, but her hands

were still numb.


With the final slice, they flopped
uselessly at her sides. She was horrified
to see they were black and swollen. She
tried to open her fingers and they refused
to respond.
The Irishman will be upset. You
were not supposed to damage her, Frida
said.
Gorev shrugged. I doubt that he
wants her for her hands.
Frida helped her to the bathroom
and left her alone for a few blessed
minutes while she tried to force her
useless hands to pull down her pants.
They refused to cooperate, and in the end,
she had to wedge herself against a tap so
that she could pull them down.
The relief of being able to use the

toilet was almost enough to make up for


her dismay at the state of her hands. With
difficulty, she managed to get her trousers
back up again, and washed her hands, but
she couldnt feel the water or do more
than swipe them clumsily against the
towel afterwards. Showering was out of
the question.
Frida was waiting outside the
bathroom and looked with distaste at her
messy mop of hair. You have time to eat,
and then we go.
Roz would have killed for coffee,
but couldnt manage to hold a cup. Gorev
stuck a straw in a glass of orange juice
and allowed her to drink it dry. He even
topped it up again for her. Thank you,
she said grudgingly.
He shrugged. Orange juice is

cheap.
She went back to hating him. How
had she got into such a mess? Whatever
chance she had to escape had
disappeared. She couldn't open the latch
on the front door even they left her alone.
She was as helpless as a baby.
After Gorev and Frida had flirted
with each other over a breakfast of boiled
eggs, cheese, toast, honey and coffee,
they bundled Roz into her ski jacket, with
Frida zipping it up for her, like a mother
with a toddler, before pulling on a
helmet.
There were two skidoos outside,
and Gorev lifted her onto one of them
before climbing on behind her. She hated
to admit it, but she needed the support of
his arms to stay on the damn machine.

His warmth surrounded her and she could


smell him. Not bad, he had clearly
showered this morning. Just not right.
Not like Andy McTavish. What
was it about the Irishman? Something
about him fitted perfectly with her. His
mouth was just right for her skin. His
scent teased her nose. His hair tempted
her fingers. His cock... Roz stamped
down on that thought. She didn't know
about his cock. Thinking it was the
perfect fit for her pussy was just a
delusion.
But as the little machine laboured
its way over to the Klein-Matterhorn
cable car, she wished she hadnt rushed
out of his hotel room so quickly. She was
under no illusions. There was a good
chance she was going to die here, and she

would be going to her death wondering


what it would have been like to make
love to Andy McTavish. She wished she
had taken the chance that had been
offered to her.
What a pity there were no doovers in life. Andy was one she would
certainly have done over.
Gorev and Frida both wore
goggles as well as helmets, but Rozs
eyes were unprotected from the icy air.
That was why they were watering. No
other reason, she told herself firmly.
She forced movement into her
hands, but they were still numb.
Gorev must have felt something.
He shouted, to be heard over the engine
of the skidoo, They will hurt when the
blood comes back. And he smiled.

Bastard.
Frida got to the cable-car first. The
sign said the first ascent was at 9am, and
it was only 8.30, but she led them up the
stairs. Don't worry, she said. My uncle
works in the restaurant at the top. I've got
his lift pass; we can go up with the staff.
To Roz's dismay, Frida flashed her
pass and they walked into the cable car
unopposed. There were a couple of men
wheeling on crates of bottled water and
wine, three waitresses already in their
uniforms under a warm jacket, and a piste
patroller with long skis and grizzled grey
goatee.
Any urge Roz felt to call for help
disappeared when the point of a knife
stuck into her side. Gorev leaned into her.
No fuss, no muss. Do we understand

each other?
She nodded.
He pulled out his phone and
dialled. Take the cable car to the top of
the Klein-Matterhorn on the first ascent
of the day. No cops, no security. And
bring the goods. He hung up at once.
Roz had to admire the plan. The
only way up was the cable car. Andy
wouldnt have time to get any back-up
into position in time to help. Either he did
what they told him, or she was dead. Life
sucked.
The ascent was breath-taking, in
all senses. They were already high up the
mountain, and going higher at an
alarming rate. Roz's ears popped as the
cable car climbed. When it swung going
over a support pylon, she lost her balance

and stumbled. Gorev caught her arm and


she hissed in pain.
Agony streaked up and down her
arms and she clenched her teeth to hold
back the cries of pain. The point of his
knife remained stuck in her side, warning
her to silence.
Frida chatted to the waitresses,
and it was obvious Roz could expect no
help from them. The glacier passed
beneath them, blue ice showing hard and
lethal beneath the snow.
A bump signalled their arrival at
the top station, and they got out. Roz's
breath fogged in the freezing air, and she
shivered, not entirely from the cold. The
panoramic view deserved her attention,
but all she could think of was the throb of
blood returning to her hands. They felt

huge and swollen, but her efforts to flex


her fingers produced only tiny twitches.
Gorev and Frida, still chatting and
keeping an apparently casual grip on her
arm, stood where they could see the cable
car departing on its way back to the town.
When it returned, would Andy be
on it? Roz realised she was breathing
faster, and it wasn't just fear. They were
at the highest point in Europe it was
possible to get to without climbing gear,
and the air was thin enough to make
breathing difficult.
She forced herself to take slow,
even breaths as she waited for the cable
car to return. Please let Andy be on it.
Please Andy, don't let her down.
The cable car emerged from the
clouds, swinging over the last support

pylon and heading to the top station. It


was packed, helmets and skis obstructing
her view of the people on it.
It docked and the skiers streaming
out through the doors, lumbering onto the
snow. A noisy crowd of children sorted
themselves into ski school classes, put on
their skis and slid off down the mountain.
Roz waited, even more tense than
the two behind her, for Andy to appear.
Another couple of skiers straggled out,
clipping up their boots when they reached
the snow. No sign of anyone else.
Go and look, Gorev told Frida.
She glared at him, but obeyed,
disappearing into the building.
Roz held her breath, but Frida
emerged shaking her head. No sign, the
cable car is empty.

Gorev cursed. The bastard has


double-crossed us. He's taken the
painting and gone off with it. Damn
him. His accent sharpened as he spoke,
betraying his origins.
The roads are open again, Frida
said. He must have abandoned her. Shes
no use to us now.
She looked at Roz with all the
emotion of a bug collector about to
dissect a beetle. We need to get rid of
her.
Gorev opened his mouth as if to
protest, then nodded. You are right. She
can identify us. There is no point being
stupid.
He gripped her arm, and even
though the padded jacket, the touch sent a
jolt of pain through her. She struggled to

get away from him, but he had no trouble


holding her.
Bring her, Frida said, pointing to
the cable car.
Roz's spirits lifted a little. If they
went down to the town, she had a chance
to get away. Her arms might actually be
working by then.
They were the only ones in the
cable car, and as they got in, the operator
closed the door and pressed the
mechanism to head back down the valley.
What is your plan? Gorev asked
Frida. It was clear who was in control.
But Roz had no illusions that taking out
Frida would get rid of Gorev. He wasn't
one of the most feared members of the
Russian mafia for nothing.
And how could she remember

that, but not remember stealing the


painting?
Thats easy, said Frida. We
throw her out of the cable-car. Her body
won't be found for months. We'll be far
away by then.
What about the operator? Gorev
asked, gesturing at the parka-clad driver
and keeping his voice low enough that he
didn't hear.
Point a gun at him and he'll do
what he's told.
And if he doesn't?
She shrugged. A tragic accident,
two bodies.
Gorev smiled a smile that chilled
Roz's blood. This was a man who had no
problem with tossing an innocent driver
out of his own cable-car. He glided over,

gun concealed by his body, until he was


right behind the operator.
ffnen die Tr, he said, in
halting German, and jammed the gun into
the operator's side. Frida had taken hold
of Roz's throbbing arm and was holding
her ready.
Open the door.
Would the driver obey? Roz was
too scared to hope. She had no doubt that
Gorev would shoot him if necessary and
she couldnt bear to bring harm to the old
man. But she didn't want that door open
either.
She had no illusions about her
ability to fight off the conspirators in her
present state.
The operator didn't reply, didn't
obey.

Didn't you hear me? Open the


damn door. Gorev poked him with the
gun.
You forgot say to the magic
word, said a familiar Irish voice, and a
long muscular arm whipped out at the
gun.
Andy! He had come for her. Relief
and something else made Roz lightheaded. She barely registered the violent
scuffle as joy and delight flooded her.
Andy was there. He hadn't left her to die
alone.
And he never would. She had only
met him a few times, but somehow, she
knew this man. Whatever he promised,
he would do. And he would never let her
down. Never.
A smile curved her mouth, and she

didn't care that she must look like an


idiot, grinning away while her man was
rolling around on the floor, trying to
wrench the gun off a muscular Russian
with murder in his eyes.
Roz took a step forward, planning
to help him. A good kick at the right time
could go a long way towards deciding the
fight. A yank on her arm jerked her back.
Come with me, you stupid bitch,
Frida hissed. She yanked Roz towards the
control panel. Men are useless.
Roz pulled back, but the pain
almost knocked her over. Her arms felt
three times their real size and throbbed
with a sick vicious pulse.
Frida dragged her over to the door
and peered at the operators panel. My
first boyfriend showed me how to do

this, she told Roz, and stabbed a button.


With a hiss, the doors slid apart, allowing
the glacial Alpine air into the cable-car.
Roz realised that Frida intended to
push her out, and Andy couldnt help her.
He was still rolling across the floor with
Gorev.
Frida dragged her closer to the
door, which yawed open almost the width
of the cable-car. Far below, the frozen
glacier gleamed, pristine and deadly. No
amount of parkour skills would enable
her to survive a drop like that.
Adrenaline flooded her, so that it
seemed she moved in slow motion when
she hooked a foot around the bar beside
the door and yanked her arm free from
Frida's grip. Roz lashed out, and though
pain flared brightly, her blow landed.

Frida staggered, her goggles askew and a


snarl on her perfect mouth.
You bitch, she said, before she
rushed at Roz and pushed her.
The force behind it almost rocked
Roz off her feet, and she struggled to
keep her footing, all too aware of the
sheer drop behind her. Although there
was a rail all around the cable-car, as well
as posts and hand straps dangling from
the roof, she couldnt trust her poor
abused hands to grip any of them
securely.
The cable car reached a support
pylon and swung forwards before
crossing it and dropping backwards with
a stomach churning drop. But the
momentum of the swing was all Roz
needed to let her shift position and move

away from the door.


She got a quick impression of the
two men still rolling on the floor, but now
Andy was on top. Masculine grunts and
curses were loud in the silence of the
mountain.
She put her head down and
charged at Frida, shoving her backwards
into the car, away from the door, and
pinning her against the wall. The Swiss
woman hit the wall with a satisfying
thump and yelped.
Roz brought her leg up and kneed
the hand which held the gun, knocking it
to the floor.
Now let's see how tough you are,
bitch.
All the fear and rage of the past
two days welled up, giving Roz the

strength of two women as she kicked and


pounded at Frida.
Tie me up, would you? Thump.
Threaten Andy, would you?
Kick.
Drag me up a mountain? Headbutt.
Toss me out of a cable car? Yeah
right. Punch.
The silence behind her distracted
her. Roz looked around and saw that
Andy was there, grinning like a proud
parent, while Gorev lay unconscious at
his feet.
Would you like to give me a hand
here? she snapped.
He grinned, displaying a dimple in
his lean cheek. Really, was the man
totally perfect?

Are you kidding? You look like


youre doing just fine.
And she was, she realised. There
was something about working together
like this that just felt so right.
Don't just stand there, pick up the
gun and tie her up, she told him.
He saluted her, without a trace of
mockery. Yes, ma'am.
In economical movements, he tied
up both of the conspirators. Now we can
enjoy the view on the way down.
And he kissed her.
She had a moment where she
wanted to protest, then forgot it. Who
cared about the stupid view?

CHAPTER SIX
Roz stared at the walls of the interview
room in Zermatt police station. They had
gone around in circles for hours. Did she
know where the painting was? Why had
Gorev kidnapped her? What did she
know about the theft? Her hands hurt, her
head ached and she was still without
boots.
A kindly police woman had given
her a pair of heavy woollen socks. She
poked her toe through the fabric of one of
them and decided that she needed a
pedicure.
Beside her, Andy shifted in his
chair. Let me get this straight. You know
that my that Roz has nothing to do
with the theft but shes still a suspect?
Inspector Jelk sighed.

Unfortunately, she is the best lead we


have at this time. Vadim Gorev and his
accomplice are refusing to answer any
questions. The other man involved in the
theft was killed in the avalanche and we
still have no idea where the painting is.
Andy leaned across the table. If
you have evidence against Roz, then
charge her. Otherwise, were leaving.
Roz shook her head. There was
too much testosterone in this room. For
long moments, the two men stared at
each other then Inspector Jelk shrugged.
Very well, but dont leave Zermatt.
Andy helped her to her feet. When
he opened the door, the aroma of fresh
coffee made her stomach growl. She
couldnt remember the last time she had
eaten. Feed me now or lose me forever.

Poor baby. Dont worry, Ive got


everything covered.
She shuffled along the corridor
beside him. Yeah, she was really looking
forward to seeing that.
Outside the station a horse-drawn
carriage was waiting. Roz perked up.
This beat walking in socks.
For the first time in hours, Andy
smiled. Hooking his arms beneath her
knees, he lifted her up. May I serve my
lady?
Roz could think of a dozen ways
in which he could serve her. Most of
them were definitely x-rated. Despite the
fact that Andy was unshaven and a little
battered around the edges, a fizzle of lust
exploded in her abdomen. You may.
She giggled as he carried her

across the icy path and deposited her in


the carriage before climbing in beside
her.
First things first. From beneath
the seat Andy produced a fur rug and
wrapped it around her. The warmth was
amazing.
Roz could have kissed him.
Whats next? Please say food.
Andy reached into his pocket and
pulled out a small tissue-wrapped parcel.
I went to the hospital yesterday. The
nurse said that she had to take it off you
when you were having your MRI scan.
Roz carefully unwrapped the tiny
parcel to reveal a rose-gold wedding
band. Imagines flooded her, as swift and
merciless as a tidal wave. Music. Andy
holding her while people around them

cheered. Her wedding day.


Andy slipped the ring onto her
finger. He pulled her into his arms and
kissed her hair. I cant have you
wandering around Switzerland, not
knowing who you belong to.
A trickle of tears threatened to turn
into a torrent and she buried her face in
his chest. Memories rushed to the surface
like bubbles in a champagne glass.
Riding out with him in a meadow on a
warm day. Andy dressed in chain mail
and carrying a sword? She would have to
ask him about that one later.
Oh sweet god. Roz lifted her head
and gasped, Emma? Poppy?
Hush, theyre both fine.
But how could I have
forgotten She faltered when she saw

the bright gleam of tears in his eyes.


Andy McTavish was crying.
When I heard you were caught up
in the avalanche, I thought Id lost you. I
got to the site, but they told me that
theyd already taken people to the
hospital and that two skiers were dead.
I rang everyone I could think of,
trying to get information. You have no
idea what state I was in by the time I
found you. And then you didnt
remember me.
Roz scrambled onto his lap and
captured his face between her hands. His
tanned cheeks were cold. The urge to rip
every stitch of clothing from him so that
she could touch his bare skin was
overwhelming. Instead, she settled for a
hungry, lingering kiss.

Andy pushed her away gently.


Naughty Mrs. McTavish. Not here. We
have a ways to go yet.
Gornergrat railway, he told the
driver.
On the way, Roz nibbled her way
through the supply of energy bars he
always kept in his pockets, but she was
still starving and when they joined a
group of eager hikers at Riffelberg.
Bloody man of mystery. Andy had
refused to tell her where they were going
and had extracted a promise that she
wouldnt ask any of the others. A hike?
They were on a very belated honeymoon
and he wanted to take her hiking? But
when she scowled at him, Andy just
laughed.
He adjusted his backpack and

handed her a pair of ski-poles to help her


on her way.
Youll love it, Andy said with a
grin. Come on, its only ten minutes
from here.
They followed the group through
the crisp white snow. The air was clean
and cold and despite her craving for a
little luxury, Roz began to cheer up a
little. They were together. Nothing else
mattered.
Up ahead, she heard a womans
delighted laughter, and the enticing
aroma of mulled wine drifting on the icy
air made her mouth water.
Welcome, everyone.
The stark whiteness of the ice
village contrasted with the slate-grey
mountain peak in the distance. A burst of

laughter escaped her. Only Andy would


remember that she had a childhood
fantasy about being a snow angel. You
got me an igloo?
A blond man smiled as he
approached them. Your accommodation
is this way.


The entrance was set into a bank of hardpacked snow. Inside was a series of
rooms that Roz itched to explore. The
interior was covered in ice carvings;
birds, fish, mountains and tiny villages.
In the centre of one room, a platform of
ice was covered with sheepskins, furs and
sleeping bags. The wall behind was
decorated with the giant wings of an
eagle.

Food first, Andy announced.


On a covered tray, a selection of
cured meat, bread cubes and salad leaves
awaited and a pot of fondue bubbled. Roz
devoured it eagerly and afterwards lay
back on the sheepskin rugs to stare at the
round ceiling. The room was cold but not
freezing and with food inside her she was
beautifully warm. I think Ive died and
gone to heaven, she murmured happily.
You havent seen the best bit
yet. Andy pulled her to her feet and
down a flight of stairs.
Wisps of steam escaped from a
bubbling whirlpool. In one corner, a
bottle of champagne sat in a wooden
bucket, flanked by two glasses. He had
thought of everything.
Do you need help getting out of

those clothes?
Roz flexed her fingers. The
movement was a little easier and the
warm water would probably help. I can
manage. Why dont you go first?
Without taking his eyes from hers,
Andy shed his clothing quickly. Roz
wanted to whistle. How could one man
be so edible? He stepped into the warm
water.
Andy disappeared beneath the
surface and rose again, shaking the water
from his hair before turning his attention
to her. Is there a problem, Mrs.
McTavish?
No. I was just admiring the view
of your ass.
Roz pinned her hair into a neat
twist. She fumbled with the zips and

fastenings on her clothes before laying


them on top of his. She followed Andy
into the pool and lowered herself quickly,
keeping her head above water to keep her
hair dry.
Jesus. Andy brushed a stray curl
away from her face, uncovering the
bruises on her cheekbone and temple. He
tilted her head, his touch infinitely gentle.
Gorev?
Roz nodded. She didnt want to
think about that now. Not when she had
found Andy again.
His mouth formed a thin hard line.
Stand up. I want to see the rest.
Its bloody freezing, she
protested. But his uncompromising
expression drove her to her feet. Roz
shivered as he examined her for damage,

checking her arms and legs for bruises. I


will kill him. I will break every bone in
his body.
She was damned if she would
allow Gorev to intrude on their
honeymoon. He had hurt her enough.
You can do that tomorrow. Tonight, you
get to kiss me better.
The anger faded from Andys face
to be replaced with something else. He
pulled her into his arms, wrapping her in
a warm cocoon of male flesh and
bubbling water. Yes, maam.
Roz closed her eyes, listening to
the slow thud of his heartbeat against her
ear. She was home.
No sleeping yet. I have plans for
you tonight.
Roz sat up. Andys plans were

usually inventive and deliciously


naughty. She watched as he opened the
champagne and poured two glasses.
Its a little bit late, but happy
honeymoon.
The bubbles tickled her nose and
the contrast between cold air and warm
water made her hum with pleasure. She
closed her eyes. As honeymoons went,
this was pretty perfect, except that it had
been sexless. There was one way to
remedy that. Setting her glass down on
the tray, she moved slowly through the
water, hunting her prey.
Andy backed away until he hit the
edge of the pool. I do believe youve
cornered me.
Roz slid her palms over his chest.
Sometimes it was hard to believe that he

was all hers. She cupped his face in her


hands and teased him with a lingering
kiss. Andys searching hands explored
every inch of her skin. He pinched her
aching nipples until she squirmed, before
travelling south to squeeze the rounded
globes of her ass and draw her flush
against him.
Fire and ice. The elemental force
of desire. She felt it every time she was
with Andy and could never imagine
being with anyone else. His hard erection
pressed against her belly and his mouth
closed over hers in a hard demanding kiss
that took her breath away.
When they drew apart, they were
both shaking and it wasnt from the cold.
Bed. Before we freeze.
They scrambled out of the pool

and dried off quickly. Race you, she


said.
Roz fled up the steps and climbed
into her sleeping bag and lay giggling on
the pile of sheepskin rugs. Despite the
cold, it was cosy.
Andy tugged at the edge of her
bag. Get out of there. Im going to zip
them together.
Within minutes, he had
extinguished most of the lamps and they
were tucked up side by side, staring at the
ice carvings. Outside, the wind whistled
around the snowy slopes. It was like
being in another world, another time.
There was nothing but her and the man
lying beside her. It was wild, primitive
and strangely erotic.
She wiggled against Andy,

needing to be skin to skin with him.


His first kiss was gentle, a slow
tentative exploration. She flicked her
tongue lazily against his and was
rewarded with a groan. Greedily, she
deepened the kiss, answering his hunger
with her own. He stoked her back and
thighs, learning her again. It felt as if they
had been apart for months rather than
nights. I missed you, even when I
couldnt remember who you were.
Andys low laugh echoed around
the room. I did my best to remind you.
Several times. But Im not sure if I
approve of you making out with a man
you didnt know.
Roz pinched Andy hard and he
yelped.
His eyes narrowed, promising

retribution. Temper, temper, Mrs


McTavish. I think you need a reminder
about whos in charge.
She put her hand on his chest,
holding him. What was all that Frau
Campbell stuff about? You have no idea
how much I worried about that.
He shrugged. Havent you
noticed how difficult the Swiss find it to
say McTavish? They started called us
Herr and Frau Campbell in the hotel
because they could pronounce it.
Andy rolled, pinning her beneath
him and he insinuated his leg between her
thighs, holding them apart. Bracing his
weight on one arm, he trailed a path
between her breasts with his index finger
and traced slow circles around her
abdomen.

Desire unfurled like a sail,


swelling until it reached every nerve
ending. Why had he stopped? Roz arched
her hips, seeking more of those
tantalising touches. She murmured
impatiently.
The infuriating circling of his
fingertips continued, moving closer to her
aching core, but not close enough.
Are you wet for me? he
whispered.
Andy knew exactly what he was
doing. He was going to drive her to
distraction. Turn her into a mindless
writhing thing. Despite the flood of
sensation, Roz forced herself to lie still.
Why dont you find out?
The suddenness of his invasion
made her gasp. Oh God, that felt so good.

The slow, pumping finger was joined by


a second one. She arched against him,
seeking more pressure but he turned his
attention to her clit. The sensual torture
continued, dragging her close to the edge,
but never enough to let her fly. Her soft
moans echoed around the icy chamber.
She tossed her head from side to side, her
face brushing against the fur beneath her.
Andy was going to kill her.
If she didnt kill him first.
Taking him by surprise, she
grasped a handful of his hair, raised her
face to his and nipped him on the mouth.
Now, God damn you.
Yes, maam. Andy nudged her
thighs further apart and thrust home.
She felt stuffed, impaled by him.
How could she have waited this long to

have this? Within the confines of the


sleeping bag, Roz locked her thighs
around his, holding him in place. His
chest moved slickly against hers, the soft
hair brushing against her nipples. She
raked her nails along his back, pleased
when he groaned. Roz wanted to torture
him as much as he had tortured her.
Her every nerve ending tingled.
She shut her eyes against the coming
storm. Her orgasm rolled out of nowhere
and she rode the tide of sensation, crying
out his name. Andy. Andy. Andy. He
powered into her, slamming his flesh into
hers. The tension in his jaw told her that
he was close. His words were lost as he
thrust home one final time and buried his
face in her hair.
They lay in a shuddering tangle of

sweating flesh and mingled breath. Roz


held him tight, waiting for her racing
heart to return to normal. She stroked his
back, soothing the marks she had made,
smiling when he shuddered with tiny
aftershocks. They were still joined
together when she drifted off to sleep.

EPILOGUE
Next morning, fed, showered, dressed in
fresh clean clothes and feeling great, Roz
couldnt keep the smile off her face. That
had been the most amazing night.
Maybe she should bump her head
and lose her memory more often. The
tingly impression of Andy as a sexy
stranger, combined with the security of
knowing he was her beloved husband,
had been mind-blowing. Every touch had
been at once familiar and the stuff of
fantasy.
Even now, watching Andy as he
took a sip of his hot chocolate, she had to
pinch herself to believe that she was
really married to him. She had a man who
could look sexy with a blob of whipped
cream on his nose.

She took a mouthful of her own


chocolate, and sat on the wooden bench
which allowed her a panoramic view of
the mountains and the town. They had
been skiing on the nursery slopes all
morning, doing beginner exercises, until
he were sure she was up to anything
more.
So how are you feeling? Andy
asked.
Roz wiggled her hands. Apart
from the livid bruising on her wrists, they
were back to normal. Good. I think I'm
ready for something a bit more
challenging.
His eyes lit up. Typical Andy, no
matter how carefully he skied with her,
he loved speed. How about we get the
Klein-Matterhorn lift?

She shuddered at the thought of


getting back onto that lift.
And ski down the mountain to
Cervinia for some real Italian pizza for
lunch?
That stopped her. Real Italian?
Sure. You can ski from the KleinMatterhorn into Cervinia in Italy. It's all
on the same ski pass. Ski there for the
afternoon in the sun, and get a cable car
back up and ski home.
That sounds like fun. She sipped
her hot chocolate, enjoying its warmth in
the cool air. She couldn't resist licking the
blob of cream off Andy's nose, and he
kissed her soundly.
She was slightly breathless when
she sat back down again, and he had a
predatory gleam in his eyes. So have

you any idea what happened to the


painting? She asked to distract him.
He shrugged. Not a one. But
they'll find it. The police are searching
everyone before they let them leave
Zermatt. Even the heliport has been
closed down.
I suppose. But I can't understand
why Gorev was so convinced I had it.
There was something nagging her. He
knew Frida had stolen it. Why were they
after me?
Maybe your reputation preceded
you? Andy stood up and stretched, the
movement displaying his lithe strength in
a way that dried her mouth. God, he was
magnificent.
Come on; time to ski if were
going to be in Italy in time for lunch.

He fastened his jacket and then did


the same for her. She was perfectly
capable of zipping up her own jacket, but
enjoyed having him fuss over her.
Especially when he kissed her as he did
it.
Roz was considering the prospect
of sex in the snow when he pulled her
helmet onto her head and stood back. He
stepped into his skis and watched
critically while she did the same. He
handed her a pair of ski poles. You can
have these back, it's steep at the top of the
run. Youll need them.
Roz took them and moved off.
Then she stopped. Something was wrong.
These arent my poles.
Of course they are.
She shook her head. These ones

are longer and heavier than mine.


You've been using them for the
last couple of days.
She examined the poles. They
were black like hers, but at least 10cm
longer, and a lot heavier. She hadn't really
noticed when she was slogging on foot
through fresh snow, but on the groomed
pistes of the Schwartzsee, the difference
was impossible to miss.
They're not mine. I must have
picked up someone else's poles.
She shook them. They're
unbalanced too. One is heavier than the
other.
I wonder if theyre the kind that
you can fill with alcohol. Let me have a
look at them. Andy took them from her.
He examined the heavier one, and

the top of the pole popped off. He sniffed.


Damn it, no booze.
He turned it up, and something
slid out. It was a tightly rolled piece of
cloth.
Oh god! Roz knew exactly what
it was. With shaking hands, she unrolled
it, and saw a vase of scarlet poppies,
mesmerising in their beauty. I did have
it all the time.
Your poles must have gotten
mixed up in the avalanche. Or at the
hospital. Andy stared at the million
dollar painting. She could see him
working it out.
Frida admitted stealing the
painting. They must have been planning
to ski into Cervina with it and get away
through Italy, but their courier got caught

in the avalanche.
Roz concentrated, trying to
remember the accident. I thought he was
a photographer. He was taking photos of
the mountain.
Or using a telephoto lens to
check for pursuit.
Duh! So obvious when he pointed
it out.
She looked at him through her
eyelashes, in a way she knew he couldn't
resist. Andy, could we keep it? No one
knows that weve found it and it would
look amazing over the fireplace in Lough
Darra.
He snorted. Your criminal
background is showing. You know we
have to give it back.
She sighed. It has been worth a

try. Oh, very well. But lets wait until


tomorrow. First, I want the most
expensive pizza on the menu. And
champagne. And a night to remember.
He grinned, a sensual promise that
make her breath catch. Whatever my
lady desires.
He kissed her. Now, let's ski.
Together. And she kissed him
back.


THE END


You can read more about Andy and
Roz in The Pleasures of Spring
Available now in paperback and ebook

ABOUT EVIE HUNTER


Evie Hunter is actually two authors,
Caroline McCall and Eileen Gormley,
who met at a creative writing workshop
in Dublin in 2010. Eileen adores Regency
romance while Caroline loves to write
sexy sci-fi and paranormal stories.
On discovering that they shared a
secret passion for erotic fiction and had
scarily similar taste in books, they
became the best of friends. Carolines
compulsive fondness for cleaning and her
serious addiction to chocolate is
countered by Eileens hatred of all sweet
things and her ability to write almost
anywhere there is room for her laptop
Together, they got a chance to cowrite a series of erotic novellas for an
American publisher. When they

completed the second one without killing


each other, they decided to take on
something bigger.
In 2012, they abandoned their
families and locked themselves into a
haunted house for the summer to write
The Pleasures of Winter. Eventually, they
emerged into daylight, saying 'Never
again'.
Thankfully, it didnt last for long.
The Pleasures of Summer was released in
May 2013 and The Pleasures of Autumn
followed in October 2013.


The Pleasures of Spring is out now

Roz Spring is an actress and a
chameleon, the kind of woman who
always lands on her feet. But even she
can't talk her way out of witnessing a
murder. Roz must go into hiding before
the murderer comes for her.

Andy McTavish has turned his


back on a life of privilege to prove
himself in the world of international
security. Tall, dark and dangerous, Andy
is the ultimate seducer and hes never met
a woman who can tame him.
Roz needs his protection and, to
get his family off his back, Andy needs a
fake fiance. The solution is obvious.
Getting up close and personal won't be
hard, as the chemistry between them is
electrifying. But as two practiced
charmers drive each other beyond the
limits of sensual endurance, they find
their usual defences are no good. When
the barriers come crashing down, a raw
passion emerges that neither wants to
admit.
They know that when the

murderer shows his hand, they will face a


fight for life and freedom. And if they
survive, what will happen when the need
to pretend is over?


Evie loves Pinterest!
If youve ever wanted to know what
images the author sees when she is
writing or the pictures and places that
inspire her, have a look at Evies Pinterest
pages. There is a Pinterest Board for each
of Evies books.
pinterest.com/eviehunterbooks
Reader Advisory: dont open this in the
office!

Evie would like to thank:
The covers for Evie Hunters Touch

series are designed by Claire Chilton.


www.ragz-books.com/authors/clairechilton.html
Wed also like to thank our editors
Patricia Deevy and Davina Russell and
the team at Penguin Ireland. Our special
thanks to website designer and IT support
guy Seoirse MacGabhann and the
wonderful Catherine Ryan Howard for
publicity

Tell us what you think!
If you enjoyed A Touch of Spring, you
can read more about Andy and Roz in
The Pleasures of Spring. Evie loves to
hear from her readers. You can contact
the author directly at
www.eviehunter.com
Find out more on

facebook.com/eviehunterbooks or follow
the authors on Twitter @pleasureswinter

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