"What ever possessed me to take a job so far from home? In the middle of winter no less." Mickey raised her eyes to the skies and watched as more and more snow fell to the freeway all around her. The worst blizzard of the season and she was stuck right in the thick of it. It hadnt been snowing at all in the small town Mickey taught in so her school had decided to finish out the day. Christmas vacation was due to begin the day after tomorrow but the way the snow was coming down the kids were going to get an extra day. There had been a lot of snowstorms since she started teaching, but she had always been able to make it home. This snowstorm looked a bit stronger than any of those had though. Deciding to teach at a school 50 miles from home was a matter of necessity at the time, but she had really enjoyed the two years she had been teaching there so far. Mickey was really hoping to continue teaching there for a long time. She lived in the town she had grown up in because she hadnt gotten tenure yet. Mickey hoped that when she got tenure she would be able to move closer to her job. Since that hadnt happened yet, she had to drive. It would have been nice if she could drive on major roads instead of the little two laners that tended to drift closed. "Minnesota, gotta love it." Mickey muttered struggling to see through the front window. The actual area that she could see through kept getting smaller; the defroster just couldnt keep up with the ice and snow hitting the windshield.
Traveling at 20 miles an hour was making the trip take twice as long, but Mickey didnt dare try to go any faster. Suddenly, something pink slammed into Mickeys windshield and got caught under the wiper. The fluttering caused Mickey to jerk the wheel, hitting an icy spot, and sliding her into the ditch.
"No, no, no. This isnt happening." Mickey moaned as she tried to move the car out of the ditch. Her wheels just spun helplessly in the snow and ice. "Aaargh!" Mickey yelled as she pounded her hands against the steering wheel. The car wasnt going to move. Mickey reached over to the glove compartment and pushed the button to open her trunk. She opened the car door, hissing as the cold wind tore her breath away. Mickey reached out and freed the pink cloth from her windshield wiper. "What the heck?" She was holding a sheer pink nightgown. "Where did this come from?" Mickey looked around and saw a faint light in the distance. Walking back to the trunk, Mickey pulled out her emergency blanket and winter weather kit and took them to the drivers seat. Then she pulled out the snowmobile suit that she kept in there and put it on. She looked towards that faint flicker of light in the distance again. Should I try to walk there? She had a cell phone, but it would be a while before anyone could get to her. The light didnt look too far away. Mickey, dont even think about it. You know better than to leave your car. You know that everytime the news channels do those stories about what to do in a blizzard they tell you to stay with your car. You are more likely to be found if you stay with your car. Decision made, Mickey zipped her snowmobile suit up to her neck and sat back down behind the steering wheel. Pulling out her cell phone, she went to call her parents.
The red light started blinking as soon as she turned it on. Of course theres no signal. A signal would be too easy. The light in the distance drew her gaze once again. The wind let up for a moment and Mickey could see that the light was coming from a beautiful old farmhouse down a long driveway just across the road from where Mickeys car went into the ditch. I could make it. I know I could. Mickey checked her cell phone again and there was still no signal. Mickey opened her car door, grabbed the winter survival kit, and walked to the end of the driveway. There were trees lining each side of the driveway protecting it from the worst of the wind. Mickey started walking down the driveway toward the light.
When she was about halfway down the driveway, Mickey stopped and checked her cell phone again. She had a signal. It was weak, but she figured she should try to call her folks anyway.
"Mickey? Where are you?"
"My car went off the road."
"Are you all right?"
"Yeah, mom, Im fine. The car is stuck though."
"Do you need me to send your father?"
"Not now. The car is stuck right across the road from some old farmhouse. There is a light on so I am heading for it. Ill be able to stay there even if no one is there. I should be fine until the storm passes. I dont want dad to risk traveling in this, its really bad."
"Ok. If youre sure youre all right. Call me again when you get into the house though, ok. I want to make sure youre ok."
"I will mom. You guys be safe too."
Mickey hung up the phone and started back up the driveway. A few feet away from the house she tripped over something and almost fell flat out into the snow.
"What on earth?" Mickey looked down to see what had tripped her up; it was a saddlebag. "Looks almost new. Must belong to the person in the house." She picked it up and hefted it over her shoulder with her winter survival kit. She started walking back towards the house.
The farmhouse was pretty run down. The outside needed painting, the steps on the porch looked like they would give way at any moment, and the front door was falling off of the hinges. Mickey carefully made her way up onto the porch and approached the door. She knocked, then stepped back. No one answered. Mickey walked along the porch, trying to see in the windows. She could see the light that she had seen from the road. It was over the dining room table, but she couldnt see anyone moving inside. She went back to the door and knocked again, louder this time. There was still no answer. She tried to open the door, but it was locked. Well, well, isnt this nice. And me without my lock pick. How do I get inside? It was getting colder. The protection the driveway had from the trees didnt reach as far as the porch. Mickey walked along the porch again, this time trying the windows to see if they were locked too. The ones reachable from the porch were all locked. Mickey went back to the door and pounded on it, yelling "Hello?!" at the same time. Finally, it sounded like someone was coming towards the door. The knob turned and slowly the door opened. The light from the dining room spilled out of the doorway highlighting the woman standing in the doorway.
"Oh my." Mickey breathed. The woman was tall. Much taller than Mickeys own 5 feet 4 inches. Dark, black hair cascaded past her shoulders, framing a beautiful face highlighted by the most intense blue eyes Mickey had ever seen.
"What do you want?" The woman yelled.
"Im sorry, my car "
"Why cant you people just leave me alone!"
"Excuse me? I dont know who you are, or why you would want to be left alone. My car went into the ditch at the end of your driveway and I was wondering if I could "
"I dont have a phone."
"Thats ok. I do. I called my parents. I was hoping I could stay here out of the storm until it was safe for them to come and help me get my car out."
"Fine." The woman stepped away from the door, and into the room. Leaving the door open for Mickey to step through.
"Wow!" Mickey walked into the entryway. "This place is beautiful." Mickey exclaimed as she took off the snowmobile suit and the rest of her winter clothes.
"Thanks. Have a seat. Im sorry about the way I acted when I opened the door. Ive had a rough couple of weeks." Mickey sat down on the couch in the living room.
"Thats ok. I havent noticed this place before. Of course it is a bit off the beaten path, but I drive by here practically every day." The woman sat down on the other end of the couch.
"I just got it. My aunt left it to me. Ive been fixing it up. I still have a lot to do, but it is coming along very well."
"That must be why you didnt hear me when I knocked the first time. I was just about ready to try and break in. Were you doing some work?"
"Yes. I was upstairs sanding the floors. Im glad you didnt break in. I know the door doesnt look like much now, but I would hate to have to replace it. Did you notice the design on it?"
"I couldnt really see much, it was too dark."
"I think I have a picture of it." The woman went over to a desk and rummaged through one of the drawers. "Here it is." She pulled a picture out of the drawer and brought it over.
"Is that a scroll?"
"Yes. And there is a quill here, just under the scroll."
"Why is there a horseshoe under the quill? And that? What is that?"
"I havent figured out the horseshoe yet. But that is a whip."
"A whip? Thats a strange thing to have on a door."
"Well, my aunt was a very big fan of a TV show about some warrior woman in Ancient Greece. Evidently she carried a whip."
"Ive seen that show a few times. The lead character does carry a whip, and the sidekick is an aspiring bard so that would explain the scroll and quill. I seem to remember that the warrior womans horse was kind of special too, maybe that is why your aunt put the horseshoe on the door. To represent all three of the main characters."
"Thats as good a reason as any I suppose."
"So, youre going to keep the door?"
"I think I will. Im planning to open this place up as an inn. I dont know what I will call the place though. I wanted to incorporate the design somehow, but I havent been able to think of anything yet."
"How about The Scroll and The Shoe?"
"Thats kind of cute. Do you know the area very well?"
"Yes and no. I teach in a town about 15 miles from here, but I live in a town another 30 miles north. So I know a little bit about the area, but not as much as I would if I lived closer."
"Do you think an inn would be a good business for this area?"
"I would come." Mickey said. Then after a long, somewhat awkward pause, "I mean, I would come for supper or something, if you had a restaurant, you know "
"I would like that."
Suddenly, the phone in Mickeys pocket started ringing. Mickey took it out of her pocket, grinned sheepishly at the woman and said, "Sorry, I forgot to call my mother. I told her that I would call when I got into the house."
"Mickey? Are you all right? You didnt call."
"I know Mom, Im sorry. I was talking with the woman who owns the house I found."
"Who is she?"
"Uh. I dont know."
"You dont know?"
"I didnt catch her name." Mickey looked over at the woman seated across from her, a question in her eyes.
"My name is Jordan. Jordan Macy."
"Her name is Jordan Macy, mom. Hey Mom, will you do me a favor?"
"You know I will sweetie. What do you need?"
"Will you call Sam and ask her to run over to my side and check on Tobias for me? He should be fine until I can get home; I left him enough food and water, but Id feel better if she checked on him."
"Sure, Ill call her as soon as I hang up with you. Are you sure youre all right? I can still send your father out to get you dug out."
"No, Mom, I dont want dad coming out in this storm. Ill be fine here until its over."
"Ok, if youre sure. Theyre saying that this blizzard may not be over for a few days though."
"Im sure. If the storm does last that long, well deal with it then."
"Be safe honey."
"I am mom. Talk to you soon." Mickey hung up. "Sorry about that. Sorry about not asking your name earlier, either."
"Thats ok. I didnt ask your name either. In fact, I still havent. Whats your name?"
"Mickey Winslow." The phone in her hand started ringing again. "Sorry, Ill only be a minute."
"Mrs. Babcock? Whats up?"
"I tried calling your house, but there was no answer. I decided to call the cell number we had on file. Are you all right dear?"
"My car went into the ditch on the way home, but Im fine. I found a farmhouse and Im staying there until the weather clears up."
"Well, dear you dont have to worry about getting into school tomorrow. The superintendent called off school tomorrow. Decided to start the Christmas vacation a day early. Have a good vacation. See you in the New Year."
"Ok, Mrs. Babcock, and thanks. Goodbye."
"Well, it looks like I get to start my vacation a day early. Theres no school tomorrow."
"Thats cool. What are you going to do?"
"Well, the first step is going to be getting my car out of the ditch. After that, I will spend Christmas with my family. The week between Christmas and New Years is wide open though. What are you doing for the holidays?"
"I dont really have any family to visit so Ill probably just stay here working on the house. Youre a teacher? What do you teach?"
"I teach Spanish. What do you do?"
"I work with computers. I took a leave of absence from my job to fix this place up. Im hoping that the Inn will make enough money so I can quit and do freelance work from here."
"Sounds like a great plan. I hope its ok that I told my mom I would stay here until the storm passes?"
"Yes, thats fine. Im really sorry, again, for the way I acted when I opened the door. Since my aunt died and left me this place, I have been besieged by people calling me."
"Why are they bugging you?"
"My aunt was very rich. She left everything to me. Some of the other family members werent too happy about it. Hence, the fact that Im not spending the holidays with them. Add to that the number of people calling me wanting me to donate money to their causes and I had to disconnect the phone and stop answering the door."
"Im sorry to hear that, no one should be alone for the holidays."
"Nah, its ok. I wasnt that close to my family before. I think thats why my aunt left me her inheritance in the first place. She knew that everyone else in the family would just squander it away. She wanted me to do some good with it. She knew that running my own business was a dream of mine. I cant believe shes gone, shes the only one I ever spent my holidays with."
"So, youre doing all the work on this place yourself?"
"I have many skills."
"Oooh, that was good. You sounded just like the character on the show. She says that all the time. You even look a bit like her."
"I thought you only watched the show a few times?"
"Yeah, well, I may have watched it a little more often than that."
"You watch it every week, dont you?"
"All right, all right, you got me. I watch every week, have an awesome collection of merchandise, and have even gone to a few conventions. Youve found out my secret. Now, what are you going to do with it?"
"Oh, I can think of a few things."
"That sounds intriguing." Mickey leaned a bit closer to Jordan.
"Good." Jordan leaned towards Mickey. As they got closer, their lips almost touching, the lights went out, and the phone on Mickeys hip rang again.
Mickey pulled back, "Sorry." She reached for the phone, thankful that she could answer it by opening it. "Hello."
"Hey Mickey. I just thought you would want to know that Tobias is fine. He was curled up on your bed, sound asleep."
"Thanks Sam. How are things there?"
"Things are fine here. How are you doing?"
"Oh, Im doing great." I was doing even better about 30 seconds ago.
"Will you be able to get out of there soon?"
"I dont truthfully know. I havent even looked outside at the weather lately. The farmhouse I found doesnt seem to have television either, and if Im not mistaken the power just went out."
"Well, the weather report I saw earlier said that the blizzard should last through the night. It may take them another day to get the roads clear. They should be clear by Christmas though."
"Then, Ill be home for Christmas."
"So, what about Jordan?"
"What about her?"
"Is she cute?"
"Well, is she?"
"Is she family?"
Thinking about the near kiss they had almost shared; Mickey smiled, "I would say, yes."
"Well then, good luck."
"You are so bad, but thanks."
"See you soon sis."
"See ya." Mickey hung up the phone, and looked up to see Jordan approaching with some candles and a lighter.
"Who was that?" Jordan asked, putting the candles out around the room and lighting them. Soon the room was lit by their soft glow.
"That was my sister Sam. She called to let me know that my cat was all right."
"So, what did she say to make you blush?"
"Huh?" Oh that was brilliant.
"When I came back in the room you were blushing."
"How could you tell?" Mickey asked, cursing her light complexion.
"The moonlight coming in the window, and the candlelight I brought in with me."
"So what did she say?"
"It was about me, wasnt it?"
"Yes. She asked me if you were cute."
"What did you say?"
"I said no."
"Oh." Jordan answered, disappointed.
"I said you were gorgeous."
"Oh!" Now Jordan was blushing, although it was harder to tell with her darker complexion.
"She also asked me if you were family."
"What did you say to that?"
"I said that I thought you were."
"You were right."
"You betcha." They were leaning towards each other again. This time nothing interrupted them and their lips met. The kiss started out very soft and gentle, but quickly grew. All too soon they parted, needing to breathe.
"Wow." Mickey whispered.
"Yeah, wow. That was nice."
"More than nice." Mickey said. She leaned in to taste those lips again, but her stomach chose that moment to announce itself.
"Hungry?" Jordan asked, smiling.
"I havent eaten anything since lunch. Im sorry. I seem to be saying that a lot."
"Yes, you do. Theres really no reason to be. Unfortunately, I dont know what I can do about it. I dont have a lot of food here, and everything I have needs to be cooked."
"So, dont you know how to cook?"
"No, I do know how to cook. Its just hard to cook in a microwave with no electricity."
"What about the stove?"
"Too bad we dont have a campfire." Mickey said.
"I know how to cook over a campfire. My dad is a real outdoorsman. When we were kids we went camping all the time."
"Well, I cant do a campfire, but I can do a fire."
"I havent been able to give you the grand tour yet, but this place has a ton of fireplaces. Theres only one problem."
"The only fireplace Ive had the time to clean out and make sure wont burn the place down is in the bedroom."
"Oh." Mickey answered, "that could be dangerous."
"Yes, it could be. Are you willing to risk it?"
"Ok, then." Jordan stood up, offered her hand to Mickey, and they went into the kitchen. Mickey went through the freezer quickly finding something she could cook over an open flame, then Jordan led the way back to the living room to pick up the candles. Walking together, they went up the stairs to the master bedroom. Even in the reduced light from the candles, Mickey could tell that it was beautiful.
"This room is amazing, Jordan."
"Thanks. It was the first room I worked on. I think it came out pretty good."
"I cant believe it." Jordan said, going to the stand next to the bed and looking through the drawer.
"I cant believe I forgot about this." Jordan answered, holding up the flashlight she had taken out of the nightstand. The flashlight was one of those big lantern types. She turned it on. The light illuminated a lot more of the room than the candles had. Mickey could see that the room was decorated with merchandise from the show. There was a lyre hanging on the wall over the dresser, a kite with the main character pictured on it hanging above the bed, and sitting on the dresser was
"Is that a spider?" Mickey asked, going over to the small aquarium.
"Yes, a sand spider. I told you that my aunt was a bit eccentric, didnt I?"
"But why keep all this stuff?"
"You watch the show too!" Mickey turned an accusing finger on Jordan. "This stuff is yours, isnt it?"
Jordan threw her hands up in the air, "All right, you caught me. Yes, I watch the show too. My aunt and I used to watch it together whenever we could. Most of this stuff is hers, though, including the spider. The kite is mine, and so is this." Jordan said reaching over Mickeys shoulder to point out the golden apple sitting inside the curio cabinet.
"Is that one of the ones from the episode where Xena restored Ares and Aphrodite to godhood?"
"Yeah, it took about two weeks of my pay, but I got it. Someone kept outbidding me on the auction, but I finally beat them out of it."
"Did you ever find out who was bidding against you?"
"No. Their online name was "
"Yep. Small world."
"Hey, no problem. You won it fair and square. Im just glad it didnt end up with some dealer who would resell it. Its nice to know a real fan got it."
"My aunt did buy the lyre. Its one of the ones they used in the last musical episode they did. I dont even want to know what it cost."
"Its very nice. Why a spider though?"
"My aunt was allergic to most animals. The spider was her pet. She got it shortly after the episode where Gabrielle appeared to Xena as the head of one." Seeing Mickeys disbelieving look, she added, "I did say my aunt was eccentric, right?"
"You did. What do you say we get some supper made?"
"Sounds good to me."
Mickey prepared the food quickly and they ate it sitting in front of the roaring fire.
"Ive always loved sitting in front of a fire, especially on cold nights like this." Jordan had taken the pillows from the bed and laid them out in front of the fire. Mickey was sitting across from her, finishing up her supper. "Mickey?"
"I think we need to talk."
"About whats happening between us."
"I kind of like whats happening between us." Mickey put the dishes to the side.
"Oh! I do too, dont get me wrong. I just think we need to slow things down. I just met you a few hours ago."
"I know. It seems strange; I feel like Ive known you for much longer though. But youre right. We should take things slowly. How would you like to come to my place for the holidays?"
"Thats your idea of taking it slowly!"
"Sorry, I just dont like the idea of anyone being alone for the holidays, and for some reason, I really dont like the idea of you being alone for the holidays. Theres always room for one more at my moms table."
"You bring girlfriends home to meet your folks often?" Jordan asked, her tone a bit hurt.
"No! I dont. In fact, you would be the first person Ive ever been involved with that my parents have ever met. I wouldnt take you as a girlfriend, just as a friend."
"Dont your parents know about you?"
"Sure they do. They are very supportive of my lifestyle. I havent had many girlfriends; in fact, Ive only taken one person home to meet the folks."
"Where is she now?"
"It didnt work out between us. We were like Black Powder. Explosive, but short lived. How about you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Any serious girlfriends?"
"Is she why you dont see your family for the holidays?"
"Not entirely. She was the proverbial straw. Things were never good between us. When they found out about us I was pretty much disowned. No one wanted anything to do with me, except for my aunt. Now, they all want me to be their best friend. They think that I will just forget what has happened between us. The jokes on them though. Now I am rich enough to really tell them where to go. I dont need them for anything anymore."
"Except for the love you should get from family."
"Well, except for that."
"Do you miss it?"
"Ive never really had it, so, no, I dont miss it."
"Thats too bad. Just think about spending the holidays with my family, ok. No pressure, but I would really like to have you there."
"Ill think about it." Jordan saw Mickey try to cover a yawn. "Youre getting tired."
"Yes, its been a long day. The drive home took a lot out of me."
"Especially since you didnt even make it all the way home."
"Didnt I?" Mickey mumbled.
"What was that?" Jordan asked.
"Nothing. Um, Jordan? What are we going to do about sleeping arrangements?
"Hmm, that could be a problem. The power is still out, so there wont be any heat in the rest of the house. You can have the bed; I can stretch out here in front of the fire."
"Thats silly. Ill take the floor, you take the bed."
"Or we could "
"We could share the bed."
"That could be dangerous."
"Yes, it could be."
"Are you willing to risk it?"
"Absolutely." Jordan responded with a smile, "after all, we made it through supper in front of the fire."
"Yes, we did." Mickey smiled back. "Do you happen to have a toothbrush I can borrow? And something I can wear?"
"Im sure I can find something." Jordan went to the dresser and pulled out a sweatshirt and a pair of sweats. "I think thesell work."
"Thanks." Mickey took the clothes. "Wheres the bathroom?"
"Just down the hall, its the second door on the left." Jordan told her. "Theres an extra toothbrush in the bathroom drawer."
"Ok," Mickey opened the bedroom door and shivered, "I can guarantee that this wont take very long, its cold out here."
While Mickey was in the bathroom, Jordan changed into her own pajamas. Soon, Mickey was back and it was Jordans turn. She turned from adding wood to the fire and got her first glimpse of Mickey in her clothes. Jordan couldnt stop the laugh that escaped her at the sight.
"Sure, sure yuk it up." Mickey grimaced.
"Sorry, but you look "
"I know, but at least Im warm."
The clothes were much too big for her, but Jordan had to admit that Mickey looked extremely cute in them. Of course, if anyone were to ask Jordan would have to say that Mickey was extremely cute no matter what. Her short, blond hair and emerald green eyes were quite the lethal combination. Jordan quickly headed for the bathroom and took care of her nightly ritual before she grabbed Mickey and kissed her senseless.
"Youre right. The temperatures really dropping out there. I hope the power comes back on soon. Its a good thing we have a lot of wood here. Are you ready for bed?"
"Uh-hm. Which side of the bed do you sleep on?"
"Good. I usually sleep on the right." Mickey pulled back the covers and slipped into bed. Jordan did the same on the other side. They both blew out their candles and settled in under the covers. After a few minutes, "Jordan?" Mickey turned to face her.
"Yes." Jordan turned to face Mickey too.
"I dont think this is going to work." She leaned towards Jordan.
"You dont?" Jordan leaned closer to Mickey, almost without realizing it.
"No." Mickey said, a question in her voice.
"Yes." Was Jordans answer as she pressed her lips to Mickeys, one kiss led to several, which led to several more.
Later, Mickey and Jordan were curled up together under the covers watching the fire. "Are you ok?" Jordan asked, kissing the top of Mickeys head.
"Im great. How are you?"
"Im ok. So much for taking things slow though huh?"
"I guess we messed that one up didnt we."
"Yeah, I guess we did. I just want you to know, I dont regret it."
"Neither do I. But, we have a lot to talk about."
"Yeah, but not tonight."
"No, not tonight." Jordan kissed Mickey again, "try to get some sleep."
"I will." Mickey yawned, "goodnight."
The next morning, Mickey woke to the sounds of Jordan stirring the fire. She looked over and saw the fire flaring up as Jordan added wood to it.
"Do you remember the episodes where Xena would spit fire?" Mickey asked suddenly.
"I always thought that was the neatest weapon in her arsenal."
"What brought that on?"
"I dont know. I was just watching you stir up the fire and I had a flash of a scene from the show. I think its great that you enjoy watching it too. I have a lot of friends on the internet that I can talk to about the show, but I dont have too many people I can talk to face to face about it."
"It is nice. I hope that there are a lot of things that we will find to talk about."
"It could take a long time to find out everything we have in common." Mickey said, throwing the covers back and stepping over to join Jordan by the fire.
"I dont mind, if you dont."
"Not at all. In fact, we could start over dinner."
"Dinner would be good."
"How about Christmas Eve?" Mickey kissed the corner of Jordans mouth. "At my folks house." She kissed the other corner.
"Are you trying to seduce me into going with you?" Jordan questioned, her lips almost touching Mickeys.
"Is it working?"
"Yes." Jordan replied, bringing her lips to Mickeys. Their kisses continued, increasing in intensity. Jordan stood, taking Mickey with her, and leading her back to the bed. Suddenly, she stopped.
"Theres someone knocking on the door."
"Ignore it. Theyll go away."
"Mickey!" A mans voice yelled out. "Are you in there?"
"Oh my God!"
"Its my dad."
"Yes. Ive got to go down there." Mickey jumped off the bed, pulling on the clothes she had arrived in the night before. She went racing down the stairs and opened the door.
"Hey dad, what are you doing here?"
"I came to help you out of the ditch. The weather has cleared up, so I headed out, and found your car."
"No problem, sweetie. I figured you would be happy to get home as soon as you could. Whos this?" Jordan had gotten dressed and joined them in the entryway.
"Dad, this is Jordan Macy. This is her house."
"Jordan, its a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for taking care of my daughter last night. Is there anything I can do to repay you?"
"No sir, Mickey was no problem."
"Sir! Call me Adam. Do you have any plans for the holidays?
"Adam, no I dont."
"Well then, you must come and join us for the holidays. My wife and I insist."
"I dont want to intrude on a family gathering."
"Nonsense, the more the merrier. Please."
"All right. Ill be there."
"Dad, I need to get a few things here. Why dont I meet you at the car?"
"Can I help you get the car out of the ditch, Adam?" Jordan asked.
"Sure, I can use the help."
"Ok, let me help Mickey get her things together and Ill meet you."
"Sounds like a plan."
Adam turned and headed back down the driveway. Jordan turned and saw Mickey putting on her snowsuit, hat, and gloves.
"So, I guess Im joining you for the holidays after all."
"Is that ok? If you really dont want to, Ill explain it to dad."
"No, thats ok. Id already decided to join you before you woke up this morning. I want to meet your family. Especially now after meeting your dad. He seems very nice."
"He is, and I promise you will enjoy yourself. My mom cooks a traditional holiday meal; turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, corn, and pumpkin pie."
"Sorry, lame attempt at a joke. Remember Gabrielles seafaring fare. It sounds like your mom puts on quite a feast."
"She does." Mickey and Jordan were dressed for the cold outdoors and standing by the door. Jordan reached out and opened the door.
"Wow, you were right about the door. It will look amazing once you get it restored."
"Care to help me?"
"Id love to."
"I know you werent planning on working too hard on your vacation but "
"Jordan." Mickey said placing her fingers over Jordans lips.
"I said, Id love to spend my vacation helping you."
"Oh. Great." Jordan pulled Mickey to her for a quick kiss. "Now, wed better go help your dad."
"Hey! Wait a minute!" Mickey grabbed Jordan and kissed her fully. "Thats better, now we can go."
"Better for whom?" Jordan groaned, "That was mean, Mickey. How am I supposed to look at your father now, much less help him?"
"Youll figure it out." Mickey replied breezily as she headed down the driveway.
Jordan just shook her head and followed along.
They got the car out of the ditch and Mickey gave Jordan her phone number and directions to her house before getting inside and driving off.
Mickey was just opening the door to her apartment when she heard the phone ringing.
"Hi Jordan, whats up?"
"Nothing. I um just wanted to make sure you made it home all right."
"Thanks, but I thought I was supposed to call you?"
"I know, but "
"I couldnt wait any longer. Ive already called three times."
"Thats really sweet Jordan. I just walked in the door, and the phone was ringing. A call to you was my next step. I wanted to hear your voice too."
At that moment Mickeys sister, Sam, walked into the apartment. The two of them lived in a side by side duplex. "Jordan, Ive got to go. My sister just walked in. Ill call you later, ok?"
"Ok. Talk to you soon. Bye."
"Bye." Mickey said, hanging up the phone. "Hey Sam. Whats up?"
"Nothing, I just thought I would see how your night went."
"It was fine. I was stranded in a snowstorm you know, not out on a date."
"Then why do you have a hickey on your neck?"
"You have a hickey."
"I do not!"
"Yes you do. Go check it out."
Mickey ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Sure enough, there was a hickey on her neck. "Oh no, I hope dad didnt notice that."
"So, your night went pretty well huh?"
"It was unbelieveable, Sam. I think Jordan is perfect; I have never felt so connected to someone I just met."
"How does she feel?"
"I cant answer for her, but I think she feels the same way. Shes joining us for the holidays. Youll get to meet her then, and you can decide for yourself."
"I cant wait. Well, Ive got to get back to the kids. Talk to you later?"
"You bet. See ya later." Mickey walked her sister to the door and saw her out. As soon as she shut the door behind her sister, Mickey went to the phone and dialed Jordans number.
"Mickey! Its great to hear your voice. Hows your sister?"
"Shes fine." Mickey replied. "Do you have any plans for tonight?"
"Not really, I was just going to do some work on the house, but the power hasnt come back on yet."
"Why dont you come to my place. I need to do some Christmas shopping and then we can go to dinner. Why dont you bring some clothes and stuff too and you can spend the night. That way you dont have to spend another night in a cold house."
"Ok, that would be nice. Mickey?"
"I think this is the start of something important."
"I think youre right. Who wouldve ever thought that I would be so glad to have my car go into the ditch on a snowy evening."
"Im very glad I opened the door to you."
"I am too. So, Ill see you in a little while?"
"Bye, Mickey." Jordan hung up the phone and looked over at the saddlebag sitting on the floor of the entryway where Mickey had put it the night before. There was a pink nightgown peeking out of it. "Where did that come from?" Jordan wondered, walking over and pulling it out. "This is my aunts nightgown. Mickey said something about a pink nightgown causing her to go into the ditch. How did this get outside?"
"Youre welcome dear." Jordan heard her aunts voice carry through the house as she carefully folded the nightgown up and placed it into the saddlebag.
"Thanks, auntie." Jordan smiled and went upstairs to pack her bag.
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