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Extrait ajouté par Gkone 2017-07-15T16:15:31+02:00

« — Si tu me donnais quelque chose de doux..., dis-je au bout de quelques longues secondes de face-à-face.

— « Quelque chose... de doux » ? répète-t-elle d’une voix étranglée.

Quelques mèches se sont échappées de son chignon. J’en caresse une et je l’enroule autour de mon doigt.

— Ouais, quelque chose de doux et de chaud. Il fait froid dehors.

— Tu veux...

Sa voix se brise, et je sais que c’est dans la poche. Je ressens un petit pincement au fond de moi – comme un brin de déception, si tant est que je m’autorise à espérer quoi que ce soit – mais je l’ignore. Je suis parvenu à mes fins, après tout.

— Tu veux quelque chose de doux et de chaud ? répète-t-elle.

— C’est comme ça que j’aime le café.

Entre autres. J’évite en général de sortir des trucs aussi ringards, mais les sous-entendus m’amusent.

Ophelia paraît un peu troublée, mais elle acquiesce d’un hochement de tête et se tourne vers les machines à expresso. Puis elle s’active une minute ou deux, sans me regarder, et revient avec un gobelet de café frappé.

Décontenancé, je scrute tour à tour son visage et le gobelet.

— Ça n’a pas l’air très chaud...

— J’ai pris une initiative. J’avais l’impression que tu avais besoin de te rafraîchir les idées.

Là-dessus, elle se penche par-dessus le comptoir. Maudit col roulé, ai-je le temps de penser avant qu’elle renverse le café glacé sur mon pantalon. »

Copyright © 2014 by Tracy Deebs-Elkenaney

Tous droits réservés.

© Bragelonne 2017, pour la présente traduction

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Extrait ajouté par Folize 2017-12-03T12:42:22+01:00

- Et pour monsieur, qu’est-ce que ce sera ? demande-t-elle, les doigts en suspens au-dessus de la caisse enregistreuse.

Elle a les ongles vernis en vert, presque exactement du même vert que ses yeux. Je ne m’attendais pas à ce qu’elle ait les ongles manucurés, avec ses airs de dure. En tout cas, j’aime bien la couleur, et je ne suis pas mécontent de découvrir que sous des apparences trompeuses se cache peut-être une autre femme.

Non que cela ait une grande importance. J’ai envie de coucher avec elle, pas de connaître ses qualités et ses défauts.

- Je ne sais pas…, dis-je en forçant le côté rauque de ma voix, avec ce demi-sourire qui me permet en général d’obtenir tout ce que je veux. Qu’est-ce que vous avez de bon ?

- Tout dépend de ce que vous aimez, répond-elle, exactement sur le même ton, mais avec une attitude purement professionnelle.

Second indice qu’elle me réserve peut-être des surprises.

Intrigué, malgré mes intentions moins qu’honorables, je m’appuie contre le comptoir et j’étudie la carte. Ce que j’ai envie de lui dire n’a rien à voir avec le café. Or quelque chose me souffle de m’abstenir de lui dévoiler mes fantasmes. Cette approche ne marchera pas avec elle, pas avec cette fille au visage délibérément inexpressif, à la voix provocante et…

Je regarde ses mains toujours en équilibre au-dessus de la caisse. Ses doigts aux ongles verts tremblent légèrement. Je réprime de justesse un sourire satisfait. À l’évidence, je la rends nerveuse – meilleure nouvelle de la journée !

- J’aime tout, dis-je enfin.

- Ouais, j’ai entendu parler de toi, réplique-t-elle platement.

- Ah bon ? Et que t’a-t-on dit exactement… (je jette un coup d’œil au badge épinglé à son pull) Ophelia ?

Elle lève les yeux au ciel.

- Tu sais très bien ce que les gens disent de toi, Z. Maintenant, tu comptes passer la nuit à me regarder avec des yeux de merlan frit ou tu veux commander quelque chose pour ton harem ?

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Extrait ajouté par Underworld 2016-05-10T00:12:13+02:00

Extrait offert par Tracy Wolff

(Source : http://tracywolff.blogspot.be)

Z’s smile is back and for the first time I realize it’s not the smile I’m used to. Not the little half smirk, half grin he gives the world. No, this smile lights up his face. It creases his cheeks and the skin around his eyes. It’s a real smile, I realize with a mixture of discomfort and delight. For the first time since I met him—other than in bed last night—I think I’m getting to see the real Z. The one only Luc and Ash and Cam ever get to see.

“Good. You get dressed and I’ll make coffee.” He drops a quick kiss on my forehead before turning away.

I watch him walk away, my eyes glued to his very fine ass even as I wonder who actually looks that good in a pair of thick snowboarding pants. The answer is no one. No one, that is, except Z Michaels.

Though I dragged out my shower forever, I race through getting ready. I don’t know how long Z is planning on staying—probably not long—and I don’t want to miss a minute of the time I can spend with him. I know it’s a bad idea, know I’ll be disappointed if I put any hope at all into this thing between Z and me.

Which is stupid, I tell myself as I scramble into a pair of leggings and a fluffy green oversized sweater. It’s not like I want anything from him except breakfast. It’s just that it might be kind of nice to be his friend. I don’t have any, and he doesn’t have many. . . .

I don’t know. It’s just that there seems to be a lot more to him than what he lets people see. I want to know what’s there.

By the time I get a little bit of makeup on and my hair dried with a diffuser—which takes forever—Z has breakfast laid out on my tiny table. Chocolate croissants; breakfast sandwiches with egg, cheese, and bacon; fresh winter fruit salad.

“That’s a lot of food,” I tell him, eyes wide.

“I didn’t know what you’d like, so I got a few different things. Plus, I eat a lot, so . . .” He ends with a shrug.

“Right.” Sudden comprehension dawns. “The snowboarding thing.”

“Yeah. The snowboarding thing.”

I grab one of the plates he put on the table, heap it high with fruit and a big chocolate croissant, then grab a fork and my coffee before crossing to the bed.

“You want to eat there?” he asks, eyebrows raised.

“Don’t you know? There’s nothing better than breakfast in bed.”

“Nothing? Damn. Obviously I did something wrong last night.”

“Fishing for compliments is so unattractive,” I tell him with a grin. “Especially when you know just how right you did everything last night.”

“Oh, yeah?” He grabs a plate, shovels an astonishing amount of food onto it. “You think I did everything right?”

“I did come like nine times.” I watch as he settles next to me on the bed. “And then you brought me chocolate for breakfast. I’m not sure what more of a job performance review you want.”

“The chocolate’s the key, huh?”

“I’m not going to lie. It helps.”

“I’ll remember that.” He leans forward, presses soft kisses across my jaw and down my throat. “And for the record, you came ten times.”

That startles a laugh out of me. “You kept track? Wow, Z, you’re a real romantic.”

He arches a brow at me. “In some circles, ten orgasms could be considered romantic.”

“In some circles, one orgasm could be considered romantic.”

“Well, then I’m ahead of the game.”

“Which is exactly how you like it.”

“Damn straight,” he says with a nod. “But if you want, we could go for eleven, just to make sure.”

I narrow my eyes at him. “How come I think eleven is actually code for twenty?”

“Because you’re a smart girl.” He reaches over and rubs his thumb firmly over my nipple. Heat streaks through me, and I arch into his touch, despite myself. “And a sexy one.”

My breath catches in my throat as he puts our plates on the floor before sliding his hand over my stomach and into my leggings. Still, I manage to ask, “You think I’m sexy?”

“Now who’s fishing for compliments?” he whispers as he strokes gentle circles around my clit.

The boy knows what he’s doing—God, does he know what he’s doing—and it only takes a minute or two before I’m trembling over the edge of orgasm number eleven.

“And for the record,” he whispers against my lips in between long, drugging kisses, “I think you’re very sexy. I also think you did everything right last night, too.”

I roll my eyes, nip at his lower lip. “Well, obviously.”

He laughs. “That’s some ego you’ve got going on there.”

“Not really,” I say as I shift to kneel between his knees. “After all, you’re still here, aren’t you? I figure that’s all the performance review I need.”

“Yeah.” He turns serious fast. “I’m still here.”

“In case I didn’t say it earlier, I’m really glad you are.” I tug his pants down below his knees. “And since you are . . .” I deliver a long, lingering lick to his very aroused cock, then suck it deep into my mouth.

He doesn’t say anything else for a while, but then again, neither do I.

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Extrait ajouté par Underworld 2016-05-10T00:08:38+02:00

Extrait offert par Tracy Wolff

(Source : http://tracywolff.blogspot.be)

By the time I get to the counter, the tension inside me has reached critical mass. Part of me expects my skin to split open under the pressure of it any second now.

Old guy has moved on, thank God, but now there’s a small line of people between me and new girl. I focus on her to the exclusion of everything else, take this shot at checking her over to block out the rest of my fucked up life.

She looks good up close, and even though she’s wearing jeans and a turtleneck, both items are tight enough that I can see just how smoking hot her body really is. Too bad we live in the snow ‘cuz this girl should never wear a coat.

I pass the time imagining what I’m going to do to her when I get her alone.

Where I want to touch.

Which spots I want to kiss. To lick. To bite.

With her there are so many that I’m not sure where to start. At the nape of her neck, right below where she’s bundled her hair into that messy bun? At the birthmark right below her jaw on the right side of her neck? Or at the tiny little dimple that flashes in her left cheek whenever she smiles at a customer?

Wherever I start I know exactly where I want to end up. But now I’m just torturing myself, and by the time I get to the counter, I’m grateful I’m still in my thick snowboarding pants. Otherwise, my interest would be obvious to everyone in the damn room.

“What can I get you?” she asks, her fingers poised over the register. For the first time I realize they’re painted a funky green that almost exactly matches her eyes—not what I was expecting from her with all those tough girl vibes she throws out. I like the color though, almost as much as I like knowing there’s more to her than I thought.

Not that it really matters, I remind myself. I want to fuck her, not get to know all her twists and turns.

“I don’t know.” I let my voice go a little huskier than normal, give her the half-smile that usually gets me whatever I want. “What’s good?”

“That depends on what you like.” She mimics my tone exactly, but when I search her face there’s nothing but polite professional interest there. It’s my second clue that I might be in for more than I bargained for here.

Interested despite my less than honorable intentions, I lean against the counter and contemplate my choices. The answer I want to give her has nothing to do with coffee and everything to do with what I’ve spent the last five minutes fantasizing about. But something tells me that kind of approach won’t work with her, not this girl with the deliberately bland face, kick-ass voice and —I glance down at the hands she still has poised over the register— trembling, green-tipped fingers.

I barely bite back a grin. Looks like I make her nervous, after all. It’s the best news I’ve had all day. “I like just about anything,” I finally tell her.

“Yeah, I’ve heard that about you,” she answers dryly, sounding less than impressed.

“Oh, really? And what exactly have you heard—” I glance down at the black and silver nametag pinned to her shirt—“Ophelia?”

She rolls her eyes. “I think you’ve got a pretty good idea what people say about you, Z. Now are you going to stand there all night batting your eyes at me or are you actually going to order something for your harem?”

“My harem?”

She nods toward Lila and her friends, and this time the look on her face lets me know just how unimpressed she is. Damn. Looks like my reputation really has preceded me. Or Lila’s has. She’s one of the winter regulars who have a lot more money than sense. Somehow I doubt she’s got the intelligence—or basic good manners—to be nice to the barista. Which means I really might be screwed here.

It matters more than it should. Normally I don’t give a shit what people say about me—and they say a lot, especially since Luc, Ash and I turned pro—but something about the way Ophelia’s looking at me is making my palms sweat. It’s a first for me, and one I’m not all that happy about.

“I barely know those girls.”

“Like that’s supposed to impress me?”

“I don’t know.” It’s the most honest thing I’ve said all day. “What would impress you?”

She eyes me disdainfully. “Way more than what you’ve got to offer.”

So much for honesty. That’s why I work so hard not to put myself out there—it always bites you in the ass. Determined to get control of the situation, I rest my hands on the counter and lean into her. Then I turn it on, the same look I gave those women earlier. The same look that’s gotten me every girl I’ve tried for since I lost my virginity at the age of thirteen.

Ophelia’s eyes go wide and she bobbles the cup she’d reached for seconds ago. This time I don’t even try to hide my smile.

“Why don’t you give me something sweet,” I suggest after she’s stared at me for a few long seconds.

“Something … sweet?” Her voice sounds strangled.

“Yeah.” A few strands of hair have escaped her bun, and I reach out to stroke an errant curl before winding it around my finger. “And hot. It’s pretty cold outside.”

“You want—“ Her voice breaks. She’s breathless now and I know this is it. I’ve got her. I feel a little twinge deep inside—one that I might identify as disappointment if I ever let myself hope for anything-- but I ignore it. This is exactly what I wanted, after all. “You want something sweet and hot?”

“That is how I like my coffee.” Among other things, my look tells her. Not that I’m cheesy enough to say shit like that. But I can imply with the best of them.

Ophelia’s eyes are a little hazy now, a little unfocused, but she nods jerkily. Then, before I can say anything else, she heads over to the espresso machines and fumbles around for a minute or two. She doesn’t look towards me once, and when she comes back, she’s carrying a large glass of iced coffee.

Confused, I look back and forth between her and the drink. “That doesn’t look very warm,” I finally tell her.

“Yeah, well, I made an executive decision. It looked like you needed something to cool yourself down with.” And then it’s her turn to lean over the counter. I have a quick second to curse the turtleneck-- I’d really like to see what this girls’ tits look like-- right before she dumps the coffee all over the front of my pants.

###

He doesn’t react right away. And when he does, it’s not at all the way I expect.

Maybe it’s the insulated snowboarding pants or maybe it’s his too cool attitude, but Z doesn’t screech or yell or even curse. He just looks at me, that too-gorgeous-for-his-own-or-anyone-else’s-good face of his frozen in surprise. Whether it’s because I dumped the drink on him or because he’s finally figured out that I played him, I don’t know and I don’t care. All that matters is he gets the message and leaves me the hell alone.

Still, some instinct deep inside me whispers that not much surprises him. The fact that I did makes me happier than it should.

And then he smiles, and I know I’m right. Because it isn’t that come-sit-on-the-big-bad-wolf’s-lap-and-let-him-take-a-little-bite-out-of-you smile that he leveled at me a few minutes ago, the one that weakened my knees and nearly melted my brain cells along with those of every female in the vicinity. No, this is a real smile. A genuine grin ripe with amusement and speculation and something else I can’t even begin to identify.

But whatever that unknown thing is, I’ve been around the block enough to know that I’m in trouble. That this meeting probably won’t end well between us. At least not for me.

Still, what was I supposed to do? Stand here with my heart pounding and my knees knocking together like some kind of ripe-for-the-picking-damsel-in-distress?

Throw myself at him like every other girl in a hundred mile radius does?

Let him think I’m going to be just another notch on his snowboard?

I don’t think so.

I did what had to be done, nipped his totally impersonal pursuit in the bud before it got completely out of hand. It’s not that I think I’m in any danger of falling for him—rich, pretty boys like Z make me break out in hives— especially when they’re adrenaline junkies. But still, I’m not taking any chances.

Not after what happened in New Orleans.

Just the thought of Louisiana, of Remi, has my stomach churning and my chest aching. I’ve been doing so well, too.

Minding my own business.

Getting my life back in order.

Looking into classes at the community college so I won’t be stuck in this dead end job—this dead end life—forever.

At least until Mr. my-balls-are-bigger-than-my-bank-account here comes along and decides to mess with me just because he can. Fury burns through my veins at the thought and I glare at Z. Suddenly I’m itching to dump another cup of coffee on him. One that isn’t iced this time. But I need this job and already people are pointing and staring. If my aunt or uncle pass by and see all the commotion, I’ll be out another job. And seeing as I’ve already gotten banished from the gift shop and one of the restaurants in the twelve days I’ve been here, I’m kind of running out of options.

Annoyed but resigned to doing some kind of damage control, I pull out a clean rag from under the counter and thrust it toward him. “Here. You can use this to clean up.”

“I’ve got it, thanks.” His grin widens and it only ticks me off to see that my ire amuses him. At least until he reaches for the back neckline of his shirt and pulls it over his head in one smooth movement. By the time he starts dabbing at his black pants with it, my anger is a thing of the past. And so are my brain cells.

I can’t help it. I try to stay pissed, but it’s hard to actually formulate thoughts—any thoughts-- when I’m confronted with a half-naked Z.

I mean, the guy’s an alien. He has to be, because human beings just don’t look like this. At least not outside of magazine shoots and Hollywood movies. And maybe not even there.

Despite the winter weather, his skin is a soft, golden bronze that’s a testament to just how much time he spends outside with his shirt off—despite the snow. His arms are big, his shoulders well-developed. And his abs. Ohmigod, his abs are a work of art. Forget six pack. This guy has an eight-working-on ten pack and for a second—just a second—my eyes nearly cross as I imagine what it would be like to lick a path straight from his collarbone to his navel.

He shifts a little under my scrutiny and for the first time I notice the scars he’s got—on his arm, his chest, over his ribs, down the side of his abs. Way too many scars for a normal guy to have. But he isn’t a normal guy, I remind myself. He’s a snowboarder, one known for taking crazy risks and doing really wild stunts. Is it any wonder his body is so torn up?

Not that the scars make him look bad. Just the opposite. Somehow they only reinforce the beauty of all that hard-packed muscle and golden skin. The same way his ink does. I try to look away, but I can’t. I’m fascinated by the tattoo that covers the entire right half of his upper body. It’s a wall of tribal looking flames in shades of black and gray that start somewhere below his waist and lick all the way up to his shoulder, over his pec and down his right arm. It’s beautiful, really well-designed and sexy as hell. On his left side is another tattoo, this one a bunch of words in a fancy black script that I’m too far away to read. But I want to. Suddenly I’m dying to know what words are so important that a guy like Z would brand himself with them.

Something tickles the side of my chin and I have an abrupt, mortifying fear that it’s my own saliva. That I am literally standing here drooling at the work of art that is Z Michaels. I dash my hand over my chin just in case. Turns out I haven’t lost complete control of my salivary glands—it’s just a lock of hair that escaped from my bun.

The realization snaps my brain back into action. A few seconds too late, but I’m a big believer in better late than never. Or, at least I am now.

“You know, we have a rule here at the Lost Canyon coffee bar,” I tell him with a little flick of my fingers. “No shirts, no shoes, no service. You should probably go take care of that somewhere else.”

The dark eyes he turns on me are filled with disbelief, and maybe, just maybe, a hint of respect. I’ve spent days watching how the female population around here responds to this guy and I’m pretty sure that I’m the first one to call him on his shit since he hit puberty. Maybe even before.

Just look at the girl he came in with. He was all over her when they first walked into the lodge, just like he’s been every time I’ve caught a glimpse of him the last few days. Not that I was looking for him, or anything. But still. Then, within five minutes of being here, he’s hanging out with another girl-- the trashy looking one who’d thrown herself in his path like a kamikaze pilot on a hari kari mission.

Though, to be honest, it’s hard to blame him for the second girl. Whoever she was, the look she’d given him had told Z loud and clear that she didn’t mind if he climbed on right there in the middle of the coffee bar. My only surprise was that he hadn’t taken little-miss-can’t-open-my-legs-fast-enough up on the offer.

Not that it’s any of my business-- at least not until he came up to the counter and started in on me. I don’t care if every other girl in town is okay with whatever tiny piece of Z she can sink her claws into. I don’t play that way, even if I am interested in a guy. Which, in this case, I definitely am not. After what happened with Remi, there’s no way I’d touch this guy with a fifty foot pole.

“Wait a minute,” he asks when he finally gets his slack jaw working again. “You’re refusing to serve me, even though it’s completely your fault that I’m shirtless?”

“First of all, I offered you a towel. You’re the one who decided to take your shirt off. Second, I’m being generous and not charging you for the spilled drink. And third, I don’t make the rules. I just follow them.” Again, I flick my fingers at him like he’s a particularly annoying gnat. “So move along before someone from management sees you and has you removed from the building.”

He snorts, like even the chance of that is too far-fetched to contemplate. Which it probably is. My aunt and uncle love the fact that he comes here to practice with his friends. At dinner the other night they were talking about how to convince him to sign on with them like his friends had. So far they’ve offered him everything but ownership to the lodge and he’s turned it all down.

Must be nice. To have so much money from endorsements and sponsorships and family that you can just walk away from a shitload of it for no reason at all.

“Management is going to remove me from the building?” he asks incredulously. “You’re the one who just dumped a drink down my pants.”

“On your pants, not down them,” I feel the need to clarify.

“I didn’t realize there was that big of a difference.”

“Yeah, I bet you tell that to all the girls.”

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Extrait ajouté par Underworld 2016-05-10T00:07:14+02:00

Extrait offert par Tracy Wolff

(Source : http://tracywolff.blogspot.be)

I stiffen despite myself, then glance at Luc to see if he’s now plotting to throw me off the mountain. But he’s too absorbed in the camera debacle at the moment to pay much attention to where Cam is or what she’s doing.

“What’s up?” I ask her after the silence between us gets uncomfortably long.

“You know you can talk to me, right?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“I’m serious.”

“Me too.” I shoot her a baffled look. “I thought we were talking right now.”

“You know what I mean. I’m worried about you. We all are.”

Damn. Now it’s a tag-team intervention? What the hell does a guy have to do to self-destruct in peace around here? “I’m fine, Cam.”

“You always say that.”

“Because it’s always true.” My heart’s pounding like I just barged a run, and it’s all I can do to stand still. I wait another few seconds, expecting her to step back, hoping she’ll take the hint and stop touching me. But she doesn’t. Instead, she moves closer, wraps her arm around my waist, rests her head on my shoulder. I can feel it—the pressure building up inside me until I’m like the cork in a champagne bottle that’s been shaken way too much.

When I can’t take it any longer, I step away.

Make a show of zipping up my jacket.

And ignore the look of hurt that flashes across her face.

Immediately the cold seeps back in, but I refuse to react. Cam’s watching me closely, looking for any chink in my armor, and I refuse to give it to her. Refuse to let her in any closer than she already is. She might be my friend along with Ash and Luc, but there are some things even best friends shouldn’t see. Shouldn’t know.

Except . . . “I know this is a bad week for you, Z. You can run from it all you want, but it’s not going to go away.”

This time when she places a hand on my shoulder, it’s pure instinct to knock it off. Pure self-preservation. “Jesus, Cam, will you please just leave it the fuck alone? If I wanted to go all hippie commune and talk about my shit, believe me, I would.”

“It’s not healthy—”

“Really?” I cut her off. “What about my life makes you think I give a fuck about being healthy?”

“Come on, Z.”

“You come on.” I drop my board on the ground, strap my right foot in.

Cam knows what’s going to happen, and she narrows her eyes at me even as she steps back to give me room. “You can’t run away from this conversation forever, you know.”

The adrenaline rush is already starting, drowning out her voice and all the other shit I don’t want to deal with right now. I look back at Luc and Ash, who’ve finally got their cameras mounted and working, and think about joining them on the run they’re about to take. It’s what they’re expecting, and I almost do it. Almost push off and glide over there so we can board the trail together. We’re backcountry, so the run is pretty raw and unstructured, but the truth is it’s just not what I’m in the mood for right now. I want something hard, something that’ll take every ounce of concentration I’ve got. Maybe then I can stop thinking about all the different ways I’ve fucked up.

With that in mind, I strap my left foot in, and without giving the others any warning about what I’m planning, I push off from the little plateau I’m on.

And then I’m fucking flying.

Cam screams as I go over the edge, but the sound is drowned out in the rush as I board straight down the side of this fucking mountain. There’s no real trail, no path to follow, nothing but a narrow crevice with steep walls on either side.

One wrong move and I’m toast—I can slam into one of the jagged walls, plow into one of the huge rocks that spring up every few feet, or just lose control and go tumbling head over heels. But I’m not planning on doing any of the above. At least not right now. This is virgin backcountry chute, and I’m riding this bitch all the way down.

There’s a dip up ahead of me and I know if I hit it at just the right speed and angle, it’ll launch me about twenty feet into the air, so I brace myself, get ready—

Hot fucking damn. I really am flying. I pull a trick, a sick 1080 inverted cab, then bend my knees and brace myself for the first landing. I hit hard but keep control as I rocket down what is now an almost completely vertical chute.

I have one brief holy-shit moment, one quick second to think that maybe this isn’t a good idea after all. But it’s too fucking late to worry about dying. All I can do now is ride.

So I do, twisting and turning to accommodate the rock formations and trees and fucking boulders that seem to pop up out of nowhere. I hit a couple more lips, catch some sick air off them, and manage to bust out a couple more tricks. I pull off another 1440 and a wicked double backside rodeo 1080, but most of the time I’m just enjoying the most kick-ass ride of my life.

In the middle of it all, my sat phone starts to ring. I know it’s Ash or Cam or Luc calling to bitch me out, but it’s not like I can exactly answer right now. I’m too busy trying not to die.

I hit another lip, this one so huge I’d swear it was a manmade ramp if I didn’t know better. Bracing myself, I do everything I can to gather speed going into it, ’cuz the only thing worse than coming off one of these things fast is coming off it slow.

I make it up the ramp, launch out into the air, and have my second—and biggest—oh-shit moment of the ride. Because there’s nothing fucking there. I’m free-falling . . . fifty, a hundred, two hundred feet, maybe more. I can’t tell at this point. It’s fucking ridiculous. The biggest air of my life and I’m too focused on trying to find the ground to even a pull a trick.

Finally—finally—it’s rushing at me. I twist around, try to get a decent look at what I’m going to be dealing with when I come down. The slant is good and the pow looks like it’s packed pretty tight in this area, so I deliberately relax, loosening my limbs so I won’t hyperextend anything when I land.

I land better than I have any right to, on a slope that’s much milder than the one I just came off. I think I’m getting pretty low, figure the ride has to be almost over, so I put everything I’ve got into it, building up my speed for what I figure has to be the last jump. This whole ride has been fucking front, so what the hell. I pull out the trick I’ve been working on in secret, the one nobody knows about and that I’ve never seen anybody land before.

The triple McTwist 1440.

Shaun White invented the double McTwist 1260, made it famous all over the world. But with the right air, I know I can get an extra twist and an extra half rotation, and I can’t think of a better time to try it. I hit the slope just right, gain some sick air, and just go for it.

I nail it.

I fucking nail it, right before I land in the middle of the fucking worst grouping of trees I’ve ever seen. Then I’m speeding down the last section of the mountain, weaving between trees and praying that I don’t slam into one at fifty miles an hour.

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