"Thanks for coming," I said, shivering while I danced on the spot, trying to stay warm.
I couldn't wait to be in the comfort of the toasty heated yoga room at work. Not planning to be outside, I hadn't dressed appropriately for the chilly grey November weather. The wind was gusting in icy, frigid blasts; my track jacket and thin yoga crops weren't cutting it. When the tag said the pants felt 'naked', they weren't lying.
"No problem," Ethan said as he loosened the first lug nut with a grunt. Even he was struggling to unfasten them, and he was no slouch in the strength department. I'd had my winter tires put on last week and the tire shop must have really wanted to make sure they stayed put.
He added, "Are you sure you don't want to go wait in my truck? You look like you're frozen."
I was trying to hide the fact that my teeth were chattering at this point, but my blue lips were probably a giveaway. "No, it's okay. Really."
I felt weird enough asking him for help, especially since, in spite of what he seemed to think, I knew how to change a tire; sitting in the truck like a delicate princess was not an option.
"Well, at least go grab the hoodie I have in the front seat," Ethan insisted. "It'll help."
"Fine, fine," I replied, secretly relieved at his insistence.
Shuffling over to his truck, I opened up the door and retrieved his heather grey hockey team sweatshirt. It fit Ethan perfectly, but it swam on me, coming all the way down to my knees. Still, it was warm and even better, it smelled just like him; masculine and spicy-sweet.
I didn't want to give it back, ever.
"Are you sure you don't want to take me up on my offer and come with me to yoga?" I asked him as I waited, trying to stop myself from sniffing the sweatshirt in front of him like a creep. "I hear it's great for athletes."
He smirked. "I might have my man card officially revoked if I do. Not to mention what the team would say."
I rolled my eyes. His stubborn was showing.
"Oh, come on. Surely you must be more open-minded than that."
"I actually do have to study tonight-- I have a tax accounting midterm tomorrow. But tell you what," he said as he pulled off the flat tire, "I'll try it another time if you try something new too."
"Like what? Skating?" I asked.
He turned to look at me, wide-eyed with incredulity. "You don't know how to skate?"
"No," I admitted.
Growing up, I hadn't been very athletic-- or, well, very coordinated. I had excelled in school but sports were not my forte.
"That's practically sacrilegious. I think I might even be offended," he said with a laugh. "We have to fix that for sure."
YOU ARE READING
When nursing student Ryan Winters moves into hockey captain Ethan Russell's place, they both agree that they can keep things from getting weird. The only problem? Smoldering sexual tension that they both try to ignore. Ryan tells herself that all s...