Draw Me Close

Draw Me Close by Nicole Michaels Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Draw Me Close by Nicole Michaels Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nicole Michaels
parking spot and Claire squealed as she saw a couple of her school friends wave as they headed for the bustling sledding area. “Hurry, Mom. My friends are here.”
    â€œClaire, please quiet down. We’ll get up there as soon as we can, no rush.”
    â€œIt’s busy today,” Lindsey said as she got out of the car and shoved a red knitted cap over her thick hair. “Guess that’s not a surprise since it might be the last big snow.”
    Lindsey adjusted the scarf Anne had loaned her, pulled on her gloves, and then helped unload everything else from the car. Claire, the sled, a thermos of cocoa, a bag of cups and extra snow gear. Anne was always prepared, and Lindsey smiled as she spotted the homemade marshmallows in a plastic bag. Only Anne.
    â€œOkay, how about if you guys head up and I’ll wait for you at the bottom?” Anne said.
    â€œCome on, Lindsey,” Claire yelled as she began to take off.
    â€œHey, little lady, you wait up. I can’t run in these boots.”
    Lindsey tucked the big toboggan-style plastic sled under her arm and followed Claire through the snowy field and then up the incline. It wasn’t long before she thought she might die, as the trek upward started to feel like climbing a mountain. With the wind blowing in her face, the cold biting at her nose, and the sun blinding her, she was exhausted by the time they made it to the top.
    â€œHang on, Bug. I need to … take … take a break,” Lindsey said, stepping over to the side and dropping the sled in the snow. Several groups of teenagers pushed by, laughing and roughhousing. Lindsey blew out a long breath and loosened her scarf. Funny how her cheeks were frozen but she was pretty darn sure that sweat was pooling beneath her clothing. She needed to join a gym. Fast.
    â€œHi, Mr. Derek,” Claire called from behind Lindsey. “Hi, Tanner.”
    Lindsey stilled. As if her heart weren’t already working overtime. She didn’t want to turn around but had little choice. And there he was, the object of her ire. He looked just as shocked to see her. Even a little panicked. He quickly looked her over and then stepped closer.
    â€œYou okay, Linds?” Derek asked.
    Lindsey shifted her boots in the snow in order to face them. His deep voice held a hint of concern.
    â€œI’m fine,” she said, retying her scarf and hating how short of breath she was. “Just not used to climbing hills.”
    â€œUnderstandable.” Derek gave her a halfhearted smile, and although Lindsey couldn’t see through his sunglasses, she could imagine his bright blue eyes staring back at her. He was in jeans, a puffy navy coat, gloves, and a bright orange knitted cap that appeared to be made for hunters. He looked ridiculous. And adorable. She suddenly felt like an abominable snowman in the coat she had on.
    Lindsey’s eyes flicked to the young boy standing beside Derek, her heart doing a flip in her chest. She looked back at Derek and he noticeably swallowed.
    â€œLindsey, this is my son, Tanner,” he said.
    The boy gave a shy smile and just like that Lindsey felt dizzy. This boy was … older than she expected. Courtesy of Callie, she’d known Derek had a son, known he’d been married and was now divorced. Her brain quickly tried to process how old he appeared to be. Definitely older than five as he was fairly tall. But certainly not a teen.
    She bit the inside of her cheek and looked up at Derek. The confidence she’d grown to expect from him was wiped clean from his face. For once Derek looked nervous. Incredibly so.
    Laying an arm across his son’s back, he pulled him in close and then cleared his throat before continuing. “Tanner, this is Lindsey. An old friend of mine.”
    â€œIt’s nice to meet you, Tanner.” Lindsey focused on the handsome little boy staring up at her. He had Derek’s blue eyes, full lips, and a mop of

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