New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff’s edgy, emotional Extreme Risk series continues with the story of a lost soul and the fearless beauty who inspires him to take a flying leap back into life.
Ash Lewis has poured every last ounce of his blood, sweat, and tears into reaching the very top of the professional snowboarding world—until the unthinkable happens. After the biggest competition win of his career, Ash’s mother and father are killed in a tragic accident. Unable to handle the idea of going back out on the snow to pursue the dream his parents shared with him, Ash feels that he has no choice but to walk away from snowboarding forever. Then he meets Tansy Hampton.
Wild, fun, and impulsive, Tansy has a different look and a new passion every week. As a cancer survivor who spent the past several years waiting to die, Tansy has a fresh perspective on life—even if she doesn’t have a clue about what she actually wants to do with it. But she’s determined to find out, and that means making the most of her time while she still can.
From the very beginning, their chemistry is intense. But while Ash can’t stop chasing the ghosts of what can never be, Tansy stays firmly focused on the possibilities the world holds for her—and for them. She’s already picked up the pieces of one shattered life. Now she’s determined to help Ash do the same.
Another text message comes in, though, followed by a third one and a fourth one and I can’t resist picking up the phone and at least looking. At this point, if it is Luc or Cam, it’d be rude not to answer. I’ll just tell them I have a headache or something. And if something is wrong, I need to know about it, too.
Except, when I look, it isn’t Luc or Cam trying to get my attention. And it isn’t Timmy’s parents telling me he’s taken a turn for the worse. It’s my sister, Anna.
Anna: How’s Chile?
Anna: Have you slept with any hot Latin guys yet? Or any superhot snowboarders?
Anna: Helllloooooo? Come on, Tansy. Inquiring minds want to know.
I can’t help smiling as I type a response. Then again, Anna always makes me smile. Even at the worst times.Me: Chile is great. And no, I haven’t slept with anyone but myself.
Me: How’s home?
Anna: Boring. And I want details. You mean no one’s even tried to feel you up? What’s wrong with those guys? You’re on vacation with a bunch of superhot, super-fit guys. It should be all sex, all the time! Are you not giving out the right pheromones?
I don’t answer right away, because I’m not sure what I’m supposed to say here. I mean, Ash feel me up. He also did a lot more than that. He just didn’t let me reciprocate. Or make any move today like he wanted me to reciprocate. Ever.
Anna: That’s a lot of radio silence. Squeee! What happened? I WANT DEETS! Tell me everything!
I debate for several more seconds, trying to decide just how badly I want to humiliate myself here. Then I decide, screw it. Anna’s had a ton more experience with guys than I have. Maybe she can help. I type my response fast, then hit send before I can think better of it.Me: If a guy goes down on you and then walks away before you can do anything for him, what does that mean?
Oh, crap. It really is as bad as I thought.
Me: Ash. He, you know, but then when I tried to do the same for him, he wouldn’t let me.
Me: You’re not helping!
Anna: Right. Sorry. The mind is boggling.
Anna: I’ve got it together now. Tell me everything that happened.
So I do. From drinking in the bar with Luc to finding Ash on the patio to trying to talk to him about the avalanche to him kissing me to shut me up to him going down on me to him walking away.
Me: Still not helping.
Anna: I know, I know. It’s just . . . does he think his friend likes you? Maybe that’s why he didn’t want to make a move?
Me: I kind of think if he was worried about that, he wouldn’t have gone down on me to begin with!
Anna: Hmm. Good point.
Anna: I don’t know.
Me: Do you think . . . do you think I wasn’t any good? I mean, I didn’t really know what I was doing.
Anna: Well, what did you do?
Anna: You asked for help!
Me: I don’t know. I just . . . I don’t know!
Anna: Okay, okay, okay. Well, did it feel like you were doing it right?
Me: I don’t know!
Anna: How can you not know? Was he hard?
Me: Oh, God.
Anna: He wasn’t hard????
Me: Of course he was hard!
Anna: Oh, well, that’s good.
Me: Oh, God.
Anna: Stop being such a drama queen.
Me: Anna! I’ve never done this before!
Anna: I know, but every girl has to start somewhere.
Me: I tried. I failed.
Anna: Weird. I mean, usually I have to rip my own hand off a guy’s dick. Amid many protests.
Of course she does. Anna is beautiful and funny and sweet and so much more experienced at this than I am. Not that I’m bitter or anything. Especially when she’s not even giving me any tips here.Me: So. Not. Helping.
Anna: Well, are you sure your technique is correct?
Me: How would I know?????
Anna: I don’t know. Hey, have you tried watching porn? See what they do?
Anna: You know, to check out your technique. Maybe you really are doing it wrong. I mean, it’s not that difficult, but everyone has to learn somewhere.
Me: I am not watching porn to figure out how to give a blow job!
Anna: Oh, come on. You can’t tell me you’ve never seen it before. This time, just consider it a tutorial instead of entertainment.
Me: Of course I haven’t watched porn before.
Anna: Yeah, right.
Anna: Wait . . . you’re serious?
Me: I’ve spent my life in the hospital! When exactly am I supposed to have had this great education in pornography?
Anna: Your room had wi-fi.
Me: Seriously? With the nurses and doctors and MOM AND DAD coming in at all hours? I was supposed to watch porn?
Anna: That’s what I did most of the time we were waiting for you to get out of chemo or surgery. Headphones, man. Best. Invention. Ever. I mean, next to internet porn.
Me: Oh. My. God.
Me: Oh. My. God.
Anna: Oh, come on. Lighten up. You’re in a hotel room, alone. When is there going to be a better time to figure this shit out? Doesn’t the hotel have like, pay-per-view movies? Get one of those.
Me: I’m working here! I don’t think that can show up on the expense report!
Anna: Oh. Right. Well then, do what every other kid in the world does. Download that shit off the internet.
Me: I can’t.
Anna: You totally can.
Me: I can’t.
Anna: You totally should.
Me: I. CAN’T!
Anna: I’m sending you links. I won’t take no for an answer. Do it. I expect a full report when I text you tomorrow.
Me: Oh. My. God.
Anna: Have fun! :)
Me: Are you there?
Porn? My sister expects me to watch porn to figure this out? Is she serious? I wouldn’t even know where to start! There’s no way I’m going to do that. No way. I can’t believe I even told her. I expected real help. Not porn.
Oh. My. God.
I flop back down on the bed, pull the pillow over my face. And try very hard to ignore the fact that my obviously insane younger sister might actually have a point.
Not that I’m going to listen to her, because . . . Eeew. Porn. In a hotel room. Could I be a bigger cliché?
Except . . . how else am I going to learn? I could ask Luc, I guess. He’d probably be willing to teach me. Except . . . except, no. I think I’d actually rather throw myself into a volcano.
And Ash is obviously off-limits for so many reasons.
I could find some other guy—some hot Latin guy, like Anna keeps talking about—to show me, but that seems pretty ick, too.
Maybe the porn isn’t such a terrible idea, after all.
What am I thinking? It’s an awful idea. A horrible idea. An unbelievably bad idea. Except . . . how else am I going to learn?
Besides, I am completely alone in a hotel room.
No one would ever know.
And maybe I could, possibly, actually learn something? I mean, presumably, these people are professionals. They know what they’re doing, right? Not that I think Ash will ever touch me again, but someone else might. Someday. And I don’t want to scare him away, too.
Oh, God. I can’t believe I’m even thinking about this.
I’m not thinking about.
But I am. I totally am.
No, I’m not.
I stay where I am for another five minutes or so, going back and forth in my head, trying to decide what to do. I want to go to sleep, or to at least forget Anna ever suggested it. But I can’t forget it. It’s right there, in the front of my mind, taunting me with the possibility. Making me wonder. Making me—
Screw it. I throw the pillow across the room, then pick up my tablet off the nightstand. I don’t have to do anything. I can just check my email, see if Anna sent any links. She probably didn’t. She was probably just messing with me.
But if she did, maybe I could try one out, just to see what it’s like. And if she didn’t . . . well, if she didn’t, then I’m sure I can find something else to do with my time. Something that does not involve naked strangers.
Except, when I log on and open my email account, the first thing I see is an email from Anna with the subject line: 69 Things You Need to Know. Jesus. My sister really does have the sense of humor of a fifteen-year-old boy.
There are a bunch of links—sixty-nine to be exact (and can I just ask where my sister finds the time to watch this much porn?????)—to sites with names like comegetthebigdick.com and tapthatass.net. I mean, seriously? Do people actually Google this shit? I don’t even know what to say.
I stare at the list for long seconds, trying to figure out where to start. But each site looks worse than the next, so finally I end up closing my eyes and just clicking.
I end up at comeandgetme.com and my eyes nearly bug out of my head at the pictures on the home page. Naked women on their hands and knees, with—
Okay, nope. Need a new site.
I randomly click again, and this time I end up at a site with a bunch of naked men on the home page—all with enormous dicks. God, is it even possible for them to be that—
Nope. Close that. Random click again.
This time it’s a gay site, which, okay. I mean, guys know how other guys like to be touched, right? This could be a good site for me. I could learn a lot. Except is that guy doing what I think—
Nope. Close that.
What the hell kind of deranged lunatic is my sister anyway? is what she was doing while I was getting ? Jesus. I’ve only been at it five minutes and I feel like my eyes, and my brain, need to be permanently bleached.
Okay. I’m going to give this one more shot. If it doesn’t work, I’m giving up. I’ll go find a convent or a monastery or something where I never have to worry about giving hand jobs or blow jobs, or any other kind of jobs, ever again. I hear Tibet is nice this time of year. I could totally be a Buddhist. I look great in orange. Plus, I’ve already done the shaved head thing a bunch of times.
Taking a deep breath, I brace myself and click on another site, this one with the dubious web address of howmanylicksdoesittake.com. I’m not going to lie. I’m a little concerned, but it seems like the best option—holy shit. Is that a Doberman?
I’m done. I’m done. I’m so fucking done.
I start to close it, but there’s a hard knock at my door and it startles me so much that I end up clicking on a video near the top right side of the screen. Obscene noises fill my hotel room.
I try to click it off, but a little window pops up asking if I’m sure I want to leave. Yes. Yes, God, yes. I’m sure. But when I click the yes, it just takes me back to the video.
No! Goddamnit. I can practically feel the viruses leaping through my firewall by the second—and only half of them are electronic. Is it possible to get STDs from a porn site?
The knock sounds again, a little louder and more impatient this time.
“Coming. I’m coming!” I shout, even as the woman on screen starts giving a pretty good impression of doing that very same thing.
Oh my God.
I am so going to kill Anna the next time I see her.
I try once more to close the window, but that same stupid box pops up again. And again, it refuses to let me actually shut anything.
“Tansy?” Ash’s voice comes through the door. “Are you okay?”
“Fine! I’m fine!” Fuck it. I click pause—of course the stupid thing lets me do—and then I bury the tablet under a pillow on the bed.
I’m so freaked out by everything I’ve just seen, and by the fact that my sister is obviously some kind of sex fiend, that I forget to be nervous about the fact that Ash is on the other side of my door. At least until I open it and find myself looking straight up into his beautiful, concerned face.
“Are you all right?” he asks, reaching a hand out and pressing it to my forehead. “You sounded funny. And you look a little flushed. Are you sick?”
“No, I’m good. I was just . . . exercising.” Exercising? Seriously, Tansy? Is that the best you can come up with?
Ash doesn’t seem like he’s buying it, either, at least judging by the way he’s looking at me. “In your jeans ?”
“Uh, no. Of course not. I forgot my yoga pants so I was working out in my underwear, but then you knocked and I had to put my jeans back on.”
“Oh, right.” His eyes darken a little and he shakes his head as if he’s trying to clear it. Not that I blame him. I did just mention my underwear to him. He probably thinks I want a repeat of last night. Which, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind. Well, except for the last part. And the part where my guy of choice is probably, at this very moment, trying to figure out how to get the hell away from the crazy sex fiend who doesn’t know how to take “not interested” for an answer. It’s a good thing he’s never met Anna. He’d probably run screaming into the night. Then again, probably knows how to give one hell of a blow job.
Oh, God. Where is a bottle of bleach when you need it? I am never going to forgive my sister for this.
“Tansy? Are you sure you’re all right?” Ash puts a hand on my arm, closes the door behind him and guides me toward the bed. “Why don’t you sit down for a couple minutes? You look a little . . . ”
Bewildered? Freaked out? Insane? Is this a multiple choice test, because right now, I swear I’d pick all of the above.
“Hot. You look really, really hot.”
Somehow, I don’t think he means that in the good way.
I sit, because I can’t do anything else, not with Ash standing over me like that. And because I really, really need him to stop touching me. My mind knows he’s not interested, but all my body remembers is the pleasure he gave me last night and it is very interested. Sparks are tearing through me, originating at all the places he’s just touched and spreading outward from there.
Except, as I settle onto the bed, my hand brushes against my pillow. As it does, I must jostle the tablet and unpause it because the next thing I know a series of very loud, very unmistakable sounds is filling up my hotel room.
Ash’s eyes go wide as he registers what the sounds are, and then a wicked grin creeps across his face. “Exercising, huh?”
Why, why, is there never an erupting volcano around when a girl needs one?
Hope you enjoyed it! I'll post another excerpt tomorrow!