Five years after the death of her husband, ballet teacher Emile Meunier just wants to drive home after a long week of work and have a quiet Christmas at home. But everything changes when her car breaks down and she finds herself in the little town of Holliday on Christmas Eve.
Then she gets an offer of food and a place to stay from the town mechanic Nyra. Is it just a moment of kindness from a stranger? Or a chance at something more?
When Nyra emerged from the kitchen, Emile had turned the television over to the weather report and was frowning at the screen from where she sat on the couch.
“They said the storm has left nearly six inches of snow on the ground tonight -- and another four is predicted by morning.” She looked over, and her expression lightened. “It seems I made the right decision.”
“Absolutely.” Nyra set the pizzas down on her coffee table, then straightened up. “Care for something to drink? I don’t have wine, but there’s beer, some soda, or I could put the kettle on.”
Emile chuckled. “After today, I think I could use something a bit stronger, but a beer will do.”
With the help of a few beers and a good bit of the pizzas Nyra had finally started to feel more relaxed and at ease, and she was glad to see that Emile seemed to feel the same.
Be honest, she chided herself. She’s acted more at home than you have! Looking over at the gorgeous woman -- still wearing her clothes! -- part of Nyra’s brain thought Emile being ‘home’ in her apartment didn’t sound bad at all, and she was mentally smacking herself for that when something suddenly occurred to her.
“Going to get colder tonight too, isn’t it?”
“Mm?” Emile looked over from where she’d been contemplating her third bottle of beer. “Yes, I believe so.”
Nyra reached up to rub nervously at the back of her head. “I’ve got a couple blankets, but the living room tends to get pretty drafty. Originally, I was going to offer you the couch, but you might want to take my bed instead, and I can sleep out here.”
Emile shook her head. “No, no, I couldn’t possibly ... you have been very kind, Nyra, but this is your home. I would not feel right about taking your bed from you.”
“I appreciate it, but I don’t want you put out any more than you already have been.” Nyra set her own beer down. “I mean ... you’ve had a hell of a day, honestly.”
Emile laughed again - not the almost desperate release of tension she’d had down in the garage, but a gentler, warmer sound. “That is true, but still, please, Nyra. The only way I would take your bed is if I was sharing it with you.”
God, she has a beautiful laugh.
Wait, what did she just say?