Sheriff, sorry for the trouble, but Mike came to get me. Our cells wouldn’t work cuz of the storm. Thanks, Andy Porter
Crumpling up the note, Emma heaved a sigh and wrapped her arms around her body, trying to stave off the cold. She’d driven quite a bit out of town in order to pick up Porter, whose car had become stuck in the snow, only to find that someone had beaten her there.
To make matters worse, her own Bug was now hopelessly stuck on the wintery road and cells were down.
It took her 15 minutes of hiking through knee high (and ever growing) snow to reach the closest house, Jefferson’s mansion. Since everyone had regained their memories, she’d seen him around town with his daughter, doing this or that, but he’d kept his distance due to their last inauspicious meeting.
The house was dark, but less than a minute after she pounded on the heavy door, it swung open, revealing Jefferson holding a small candle.
“Emma?” he asked in surprise, taking in her appearance and stepping back. “Come in. You must be frozen.”
Through chattering teeth, she said, “My car got stuck.”
He nodded and rapidly peeled off her gloves, hat, scarf and coat before hustling her into the sitting room where a fire was roaring. “Why would you come out on a night like this? I had Grace stay with one of her friends in town so she wouldn’t have to be on the road and that was hours ago!”
“Andy Porter’s car died and he called for help, but one of his friends picked him up before I got out to him. Then I got stuck…What the hell do you think you’re doing?!”
She grabbed at his wrists with numb fingers as he reached for the button on her jeans. The firelight reflected off his eyes as he replied, “Your jeans are soaked and you could have frostbite. You need to take them off…tell you what, you do that and I’ll find you something to wear and something warm to drink. No funny business, I promise.”
Since she was freezing and couldn’t see any deception in his eyes, Emma nodded…which was how she found herself wearing one of Jefferson’s shirts, snuggled under a blanket in front of a roaring fire while they drank hot chocolate.
It was a surprisingly nice way to spend a night.