seven-thirty ,” Austin grumbled more to himself than to Nick who was way out of ear shot anyway.
After a long hot shower, Austin felt more awake and ventured out to the kitchen where almost everyone except for Ava was moving around, grabbing breakfast. “Good morning,” Austin whispered to Rachel as he reached around her for a coffee cup. She topped her coffee off and then poured some for Austin before setting it back down.
“Thank you for taking me to bed last night.” She smiled shyly.
“Excuse me?” Tom frowned at Austin.
“Whoa, wait.” Austin laughed as he held up his hands. “I literally just took her up to her bed. She fell asleep on the couch.” Austin chuckled as he saw the relief on Tom’s face. It was obvious these guys were really protective of Rachel.
Before Austin could say anything else, his phone began to vibrate. “Excuse me,” he answered on his way back to his room to see what urgent matter his coworkers couldn’t handle now. After a fifteen minute conversation, Austin was finally able to join everyone else. Most of them were getting their things ready for their day on the mountain.
“Rachel, aren’t you going?” Nick asked as he brought out his and Chelsea’s snowboards.
“I don’t know.” She chewed on her lip. Austin could tell she was nervous about something, but he wasn’t sure what.
“Rachel, please come. You can take it slow. I’ll stay with you if you want.” Talia sat next to her and placed her hand on Rachel’s shoulder.
“Doesn’t Rachel ski?” Austin asked Trevor quietly.
Trevor chuckled softly. “Yeah, in fact she could probably wh oop all of our asses if she wanted.”
“Then why is she unsure if she wants to come?” Austin frowned. Trevor paused and studied Austin for a minute before shaking his head.
“It’s just been a while,” Trevor finally said before walking back to his room.
It didn’t take long to convince Rachel to join them and soon everyone had their gear and was walking toward the base of the mountain, one of the many perks of the location of the condo—walk out skiing!
Rachel, Talia , and Chelsea walked ahead of Austin and the guys. Austin couldn’t help but admire how sexy Rachel looked in her tight ski pants. They hugged every curve, and damn if her butt wasn’t something he could stare at all day.
“She really does look good, Trevor ,” Tom mentioned as they walked.
“I know. I agree.” Trevor nodded.
“Shit, considering how she looked even just last month, I’d say she has come a long way.” Nick added. “Fuck, though, those cancer treatments almost killed her.” Nick shook his head.
Austin froze, and it took the guys a minute to realize he had stopped. “Cancer?” he whispered, barely audible. Trevor closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
“ Ow!” Nick hollered as Tom punched him in the shoulder.
“You seriously have a bigger mouth than brain, Nick. I’m going to get you a fucking shock collar, so every time you are about to say something stupid I can remind you to shut the hell up,” Tom said as he and Trevor walked back to where Austin was standing, mouth gaping.
“Why didn’t anyone tell me? God, I’m such an ass! I made those comments about her hair and everything , and you all just sat there.” He started to pace. “Fuck, I asked her what she would change in her past or if she wanted to see into her future … No wonder she had a hard time answering! How could you all just let me make an ass of myself?” Austin didn’t know what to think. He was shocked and mad, but most of all, he was scared. He was scared because he had really started to care about Rachel, and now he found out she was sick. He didn’t want to lose her, too. The first time he put something before himself or his work, and now it might be taken away from him. He couldn’t do this again.
“Austin, it wasn’t like that ,” Trevor tried to explain.
“Fuck.” Austin rubbed his hands over his face. “I can’t do