The land below was such an unrelieved plain of whiteness that Ekaterin had very little sense of perspective. It wasn't until the auto-landing program took over the rented lightflyer that she realized just how close they were--and, therefore, how small the only visible building was.
She looked over at Miles as they drifted the rest of the way down to the snowy surface. He was scanning the area, obviously searching for the holiday cottage they had been promised, even though the nav beacon made it quite clear that they had arrived at their preset destination.
Ekaterin found herself bracing for his reaction, and realized even as she did how wonderful it was to know that the reaction in question wouldn't be a furious explosion--or a furious silence--but only an overwhelming determination to fix this.
Of course, it was still going to be overwhelming; for a start it was bound to involve at least another hour in the lightflyer, returning to Edmonton to demand an explanation for the deceptive nature of the advertising. The lightflyer had only a quite primitive commset, and she doubted there was anything better inside.
That had been rather a lot of the appeal, when Ekaterin had wistfully suggested going somewhere snowy and remote for a few days. Everything had been lovely so far--meticulously planned and relentlessly lovely, every hour of every day they'd been on Earth. Every time she wanted to point out to Miles that she'd already married him--even more irrevocably, had already conceived two children with him--and that he need no longer put so much effort into wooing her, he'd pulled out some other perfectly-calculated delight and she found she couldn't ruin his fun.
Still, she'd been very much looking forward to a few days of peace and quiet, with no interesting plants for a hundred kilometers that Miles might feel compelled to show off to her. She had felt reasonably certain there would be nothing Miles might want to do outdoors at all, given his aversion to the cold.
The lightflyer set down with a quite sturdy little crunch, and Ekaterin realized that a circle of snow had been packed down firmly to make a landing-place. There was a neatly squared-off channel dug to the door of the ersatz cottage, which seemed hardly larger than the lightflyer, even when they were parked beside it.
"Well," Miles said, packing a wealth of diplomatic forbearance into a single syllable.
Ekaterin reached for his arm before he could say more. He turned to look at her, and visibly swallowed whatever he'd been about to say next.
"We should at least have a look, shouldn't we?" Ekaterin said. "It might be quite nice inside."
Miles didn't look away. He did start to smile. "I've slept in roomier jumpship cabins, I think. But then I rather enjoyed sharing one with you last month, Lady Vorkosigan."
Ekaterin smiled back. "I was thinking just the same thing. After all, we'll only need the bed."