Monday is the big day, but we’ve got a little sneak peek for you today! Check out the sizzle between Grady and Mia!
I walk into Warm ‘N Toasty, the comfy log cabin restaurant with a large double-sided fireplace nestled in the middle and comfy leather booths lining the outside edges of the room. It’s the go-to for most of the riders because of its proximity to the chairlifts and loose dress code.
Though, Dax might’ve forced the owner’s hand when he showed up last year in only his boxer briefs. To his defense, it was an unseasonably warm winter day. The girls weren’t complaining.
My eyes scan the room until I spot Candice’s arm up in the air, waving me over, while a sour looking Mia sits across from her. I weave through the tables, fist-pumping and high-fiving a few fellow boarder’s hands. They all study where I’m going with curiosity when I don’t stop to chat.
Mia has one yoga pant clad leg propped up on the edge of the bench and a slice of pickle an inch from being devoured into her mouth.
“Ladies,” I say, shrugging off my coat and hanging it on the hooks between the booths.
I slide in on the other side of the booth next to Candice. Mia doesn’t even so much as glance in my direction.
“I got you a water.” Candice eyes the tall bottle of water on the table in front of me.
“Thanks.” I snap the seal open, downing a hefty gulp, my gaze trained on Mia the entire time.
She bites off a piece of the pickle, showing her teeth like she’s a guard dog who’s cornered me. When she’s done chewing, she brings her drink to her lips and sips it.
I turn my attention back to Candice. “So, are we celebrating something?” I ask.
“Great idea.” Candice raises her hand to flag down the waitress.
The red-haired waitress, Natalie, stops at the edge of our table, an array of empty hot chocolate mugs on her tray. “Hey Rogue,” she says and then looks across the booth from me. “Mia.” Her eyes widen and she does a double take at the both of us.
Yeah, you got it right. Grady Kale and Mia Salter are sitting at the same table together.
“What can I get you?” she grants Candice her undivided attention.
“I need a bottle of champagne.”
“I don’t drink champagne,” I mumble.
“Me either,” Mia murmurs.
Candice’s attention moves from me to Mia and then back to Natalie. “Well, I do. Just a glass then.”
“I’ll grab that for you now.” Her hand lands on the edge of the table, pausing for a second. “Rogue, do you want anything else?”
Mia scoffs, but when my gaze shoots in her direction, she pretends to concentrate on her Bloody Mary.
“Um…yeah, Nat, can you grab me an Amstel?”
Nat’s knuckles knock the wood table. “Sure thing.”
She’s a good distance away before Mia’s gaze stops following her. She has to know Nat, she’s the owner’s daughter and one of Mia’s biggest fans.
“Surprise, surprise, another female who caters to Grady.”
Candice ignores Mia’s snide comment. “What’s up with the Rogue thing?” she asks, sipping her mix drink.
Mia snickers, twirling her celery around in her drink. “That’s what they call him because he only cares about himself.” She looks across the table, daring me to argue with her.
“How’s that?” Candice asks, a little warily.
I bet she knows for sure now that having both of us as clients is a bad idea.
“My friends started calling me that when I was younger because of the tricks I’d do. I’d try stuff no one else would dare to.” My eyes bore over at Mia, but apparently her drink is still more interesting than me because she can’t meet my gaze. “I set myself apart.”
“More like you isolated yourself. I think your nickname should be changed to Ogre.” She laughs to herself, pulling the piece of celery from her drink, smiling to herself.
“Okay, you two. I know there’s history, but we have to remain professional,” Candice says.
“Ogre, huh? I don’t think you were staring at me yesterday like I was Shrek.”
Nat comes back, placing a glass of champagne in front of Candice and a beer down in front of me. I lift the bottle to my lips as Nat slides a plate of pickles, celery, olives and a pepperoni stick in front of Mia.
“Thanks, Nat.” She grabs the pepperoni stick and chomps down on it aggressively. “I love biting down on a good piece of meat.”
Nat glances to me and then hurries off to help some other customers. I wish I could go with her.
“There wouldn’t be a problem if you kept us in our assigned corners,” I say to Candice.
“Unfortunately, that’s not a possibility. Why do you think I’m celebrating?” She lifts her champagne.
Mia’s foot falls to the floor and she lets the celery plop back down into her glass then leans forward, fixing her eyes on Candice.
I swivel in my seat, giving Candice all my attention.
“What exactly are you celebrating?” I ask.
Candice’s smoky grey eyes move between the two of us and then she plasters on the fakest smile I’ve ever witnessed, and I’ve seen many. “You were both chosen to represent the snowboarding team on a press tour. Yay!”
Mia leans back in the booth, downing the rest of her Bloody Mary. “Not going to happen.”
Once again, Mia Salter and I see eye-to-eye about something.
Remember to pre-order Cold As Ice using the links on this page so that you’ll get the bonus prequel, Iced Out, included! Note: Amazon will be a live release and will include the prequel for a week after release.