Hold the Lift:A Rinkside in the Rockies Novella

By: Aven Ellis


Journaling Project Day 7

Today’s Date: January 7th

Today I feel: Excited! OMG this really happened. FOR REAL!

Goals Met: I think I met goals I didn’t know I had.

Vision for Tomorrow: Filled with fajitas and a gorgeous man.


I smell like a Mexican restaurant.

I don’t even need to sniff my shirt to know I do. After a long day of testing fajita recipes, I reek of spicy grilled beef and chicken. Throw in some sweat from running around a kitchen for eight hours straight and it’s practically a fiesta of stink.

Good thing I’m waiting alone for this elevator.

I wait for it in the parking garage of my apartment building, thankful to be almost home so I can shower. No, maybe I’ll take a luxurious bubble bath. With music and a glass of wine. That sounds fantastic.

And so adult.

Because even though I’m twenty-three, I truly feel like an adult now that I’m living in Denver and starting my post-college life. I, Sierra Crawford, have finally left my home state of Indiana and my horrible, entry-level job writing for a boring ladies’ magazine called Mature Indiana Woman, and have made it to the Rocky Mountains. I’m a for-real adult, living in the LoDo part of Denver—that’s lower downtown to the natives—with a roommate and a job as an assistant editor in the tasting department of Rocky Mountain Cooks magazine in a field I’m passionate about—cooking.

I’ve also decided to journal this year, too. Just to document my new adult life and to help me focus on personal goals and growth. I’m excited to now have a new job and city to write about.

Life is definitely looking up.


The elevator chimes, and I slip inside, glad to be one step closer to my bubble bath. I wait for the doors to close, and just as they begin to, an accented voice yells out, “Hold the lift please!”


Two thoughts flash through my head. One, the voice belongs to a British man, but more importantly, should I ignore it? I mean, I really stink, so I’d be doing him a favor by letting the doors close. But I guess it’s this guy’s choice, right? I punch the door open button, and the doors open back up.

And in front of me I find a totally hot guy with a huge dog.

“Thank you so much,” he says, flashing me a smile.

I take a quick moment to assess him. He’s in his twenties, with gorgeous blondish-brown hair with highlights that shine like gold. His eyes are pale blue, his smile perfect. He towers over me, but that’s not hard since I’m only 5’3.

“You’re wel—” I start, but then his dog bolts straight for me and sticks his nose straight in my crotch.

“Gah!” I jump backwards, dropping my canvas grocery bag on the floor. The British guy looks mortified.

“Leia, no, stop!” He pulls back on the leash and gets her off me, and I see a blush has colored his cheekbones. “God, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what got into her. Here, let me get your shopping.”

He grabs my bag and hands it to me as the elevator doors close.

“Thank you. But it’s not her fault,” I say. “I know I smell like fajitas.”

Then I realize what I am implying. Oh God, kill me now.

“Not my crotch,” I say, backpedaling.

“What?” the guy asks, furrowing his brow.

I don’t blush easily, but my face is on fire right now.

“No, I mean, I spent all day cooking fajitas, and I smell like meat. That’s probably what your dog went for. But hopefully my crotch doesn’t.”

A slow grin spreads across his face. “Okay. You smell like Mexican food, your crotch doesn’t; I’ve got it.”

This really can’t be any more mortifying.

I clear my throat. “What floor?”

“Six, please,” British guy says.

I nod and punch six on the panel, then eight for myself. The elevator begins to climb and then stops with a jerk, one that sends me tumbling into the back wall as the dog barks.

“What just happened?” I ask, alarmed. “Why aren’t we moving?”

British guy goes to the panel and studies the buttons. He punches his floor button, nothing.

“Apparently we’re stuck in the lift,” he says.

Oh no. No, no. I can’t be stuck in the lift with this hot guy after this humiliating conversation. And smelling like fajitas.

“We can’t be stuck,” I say. I put my Whole Foods bag down and move next to him, studying all the buttons.

“Well, if we aren’t moving, we’re stuck,” he says matter-of-factly.

“Then we need to get unstuck,” I say, punching the help button. “There. That should get maintenance to come fix it.”

The guy laughs. “Have you dealt with maintenance here at all? It’s horrible. We might be out by midnight.”