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Love above the snowline, p.1
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       Love Above the Snowline, p.1

           Alli Stewart
 
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Love Above the Snowline
LOVE ABOVE THE SNOWLINE

  A short contemporary romance by

  Alli Stewart

  She hates snow… he’s a champion skier.

  He dumped her by text…

  She’s taken a job on the ski fields…

  How is Elaine Swift going to deal with a chance encounter with the glamorous champion skier from her past?

  Love Above the Snowline

  Copyright © August 2015, Alison Stuart

  Oportet Publishing August 2015

  Cover Design: Alison Stuart

  Cover photograph: Purchased with Licence from www.canva.com

  All Rights Reserved. This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical, without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

  This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

  Discover other titles by Alison Stuart at

  Author website: https://www.alisonstuart.com

  LOVE ABOVE THE SNOWLINE

  From where she stood at the end of the corridor, Elaine had a good view of the examining room. In one swift, professional glance she took in the expensive ski suit and the blonde hair of the woman lying on the bed. The beautiful face creased in pain and long fingers clutched the hand of her male companion who bent over her solicitously.

  Elaine’s throat tightened. It surely couldn't be...

  ‘You do know who that is, don't you?’ The nurse on duty with her, whispered in Elaine's ear.

  Elaine made a pretence of calmly flicking through her notes. ‘Gillian Stringer.’

  The nurse waved a hand. ‘Not her. She's a famous model of course. No... him!’

  Elaine gave a sort of strangled grunt that her nurse took, wrongly, to be a no.

  ‘That's Brendan Savage.’ The nurse wilted at the name, her eyes taking on a dreamy quality. ‘He was third in the World championships last year.’

  Elaine gave Brendan Savage a cold, hard eyed appraisal. He hadn't changed. He hadn’t changed. The tall, lean figure, brown hair, streaked lighter by the sun, the tanned face of a regular skier, deep blue eyes and a strong determined mouth were just as she remembered him.

  Alan had said nothing about the likelihood of running into Brendan Savage but then he had said nothing about a great many things.

  In that moment, Elaine Swift was not quite sure which he hated most, her job or her brother. Alan had been a doctor on the ski fields for the last four seasons. He loved mountains, snow and skiing with a passion equal to that which Elaine felt for sand, sun and water. This year the greater pull of a year's residency in London had lured him away from the mountains

  ‘You go instead of me.’ He said to Elaine. ‘You've nothing else to do and it will help you get over 'What's His Name'.’

  The family only ever referred to Elaine's erstwhile married lover, now returned to wife and family, as ‘What's His Name’. Even Elaine had taken to calling him that. Burying her misgivings about spending four months in sub zero conditions, she had agreed to Alan's suggestion.

  The three weeks she had spent at the clinic on Mt. Hotham had merely confirmed her worst fears. In her opinion the snow just made getting around difficult. Her feet were permanently cold from damp footwear. She had not found the courage to put on a pair of skis and to make matters worse she had not got over What's His Name.

  Now to crown her misery, she found herself face to face with Brendan Savage.

  Squaring her shoulders and putting on her most professional I’m-the-doctor-don’t-mess with-me-mask, sheset off down the corridor.

  Brendan looked around at their approaching footsteps. Elaine braved herself to look straight into those unforgettable blue eyes.

  She stood still for a moment, dumbfounded.

  While his eyes may have been unforgettable, her own hazel ones were obviously unmemorable. She saw no recognition at all in his face.

  ‘Hey where's Alan?’ he said, looking past her shoulder.

  She felt her breath catch in her throat at the familiar American accent. Taking a deep breath she willed him to remember.

  ‘In London,’ she said. ‘I am his sister, Elaine. I believe we have met before Mr. Savage.’

  ‘Darling, the pain!’ The woman on the table wailed in agony.

  To Elaine's relief, recognition and a lop sided smile that induced a sharp, unfamiliar, lurch in Elaine's stomach flashed at last across the handsome face.

  ‘Hey Elaine! I didn't recognize you with your hair all up like that and...’ He examined her critically and waved a hand in the direction of her face ‘And the glasses. How's Alan going?’

  ‘Fine.’

  Elaine self consciously whipped off her glasses, pretended to polish them and replaced them on her nose.

  She turned her attention to the woman on the bed. Elaine did not need X rays to confirm that the long, shapely, tanned leg was broken and she had no alternative but to cut the expensive ski suit away from the injured limb. She took to it with a large pair of scissors and unprofessional relish. The elegant Miss Stringer complained bitterly, the injury to her clothes causing her even more distress than the injury to her person.

  She informed her patient that she was in for a long ambulance ride to Melbourne.

  ‘Oh no!’ The beautiful face contorted. ‘I have a shoot in Sydney in two weeks. Brendan, darling, isn't there something you can do.’

  Brendan smiled and patted the slender hand. ‘Well, sweetheart, I'm no miracle worker. If the doc says your leg is broken, there sure as hell isn't anything I can do about it.’

  ‘I'll make the necessary arrangements, Miss Stringer. Now we'll just give you some morphine for the pain and make you comfortable while you wait for the ambulance.’ Elaine, confident in the nurse's ability to deal with Miss Stringer, turned on her heel and strode toward the sanctuary of the office to make the necessary telephone calls.

  She came off duty at 5.30 p.m. In the mid winter darkness, the lights of the ski village illuminated the snow around the windows. She had been told that this was an exceptionally good year for snow but the pretty and atmospheric scene was wasted on Elaine. She shivered and pulled her gloves on, her breath steaming the air.

  ‘Elaine.’

  The sound of her name spoken in a low voice she had not heard for three years made her heart jump. With masterful self control she turned slowly to face him.

  ‘Brendan.’ Even in the dark, she recognised the lean, athletic figure. ‘I would have thought you'd have been on your way to Melbourne with your girlfriend.’

  ‘She's not my girlfriend.’ With a trace of amusement in his voice, he added, ‘Although she would like to think she is.’

  Even in the gloom she was aware of the intensity of his presence. Like all top class athletes he exuded a sort of untamed energy as if he would spring into action any moment. She found it very unnerving.

  ‘Can I buy you a drink?’ he asked

  She regarded him for a moment. ‘I don't think so. Goodnight, Mr. Savage.’ Elaine tried to maintain a chill in her voice, equal to that in the air.

  She shrugged into the collar of her jacket, turned and started to trudge down the path toward her lodging.

  ‘Elaine, about what happened ...‘

  She continued to walk. ‘It was
three years ago. A lot has happened since then. You've become an international skier and I—‘ The pause was infinitesimal. What had she done in the last three years? ‘I finished med school and here I am.’

  He touched her arm and she turned to face him.

  ‘That's a mighty achievement. I always knew you'd be a great doctor.’

  The sincerity in his tone unnerved her and she blurted out, ‘Brendan, you dumped me. You texted me, for God's sake.’ She could still recall it word for word. 'Heading to States. Been fun. Call u sometime.'

  He never had. She had checked her inbox on a daily basis and jumped every time her phone buzzed and when it became apparent there would be no call, she had wept bitterly.

  ‘Excuse me Mr. Savage. This is my apartment and I have things to do. Good night.’ She extricated her arm and with as much dignity as she could muster stalked into the building, shutting the door in his face.

 
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