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Zoe delicately slid her fingers through the blinds, breath held in anticipation. After peering outside she grinned, her breath whooshing out of her in a delighted rush. The city was blanketed in a pure, thick white. It was stunning. With a satisfied sigh she let the blind snap back into place. A forced holiday. How perfectly lovely.

While she wasn’t normally much for staying in she was burnt from several hectic weeks. Cleaning up all those post holiday indulgences and helping the suddenly conscience stricken prepare for Lent made for grueling work. With a happy little skip in her step she sashayed back to her bedroom. Her to do list had gotten embarrassingly long and she was going to put more than a dent in it! As much as she thrived on her active and social life style even she needed an at home day now and then. And with a weather imposed holiday she didn’t even have to feel bitter about it – no party was being missed in this mess!

Nine hours later she was rejuvenated. She’d performed an invigorating yoga session, made breakfast from scratch, and enjoyed a leisurely coffee break while watching snow fall. Then she’d done her maintenance: deep conditioned her hair, and given herself a mani/pedi while wearing one of those annoying clay masks on her face. After taking a long bath she’d dressed in some decadently soft Eileen Fisher lounge wear and made herself a late lunch while sipping on a cherry merlot. She’d worked into the evening the only way should could in this weather: through emails and phone calls. She’d declined three Skype requests. Today was not a day for full face and dressed to the nines. But she had scheduled a luncheon, two dinners and an office call. And accepted the invites to four different social events. She’d gotten back ahead of the game; exactly where she liked to be.

Glancing out the window she noticed the almost full moon peeking through the thinning clouds. Most of her block had stayed home as well so the snow glittered under the cool glow. It was odd to see New York so still but it was a charming scene just the same.

Her thoughts drifted to John and she felt a smile tilt up the corners of her mouth. He would be a lovely distraction this evening. Drifting over to her small bar, she indulged in a second glass of that lovely merlot. She had seen him just last week completely by accident. With his mussed hair, unshaven jawline and heavy work clothes he’d looked rugged and exciting. The faint bruising along one high cheek bone and scraped knuckles surprisingly didn’t detract from his appeal. Zoe didn’t normally like the rough and ready look. John was an exception. To a lot of rules.

Sighing, she settled in front of her laptop and spent the rest of a delightful, if lonely, evening perusing designer clothing. With an embarrassing number of outfits ordered she retired early, content with her accomplishments for the day.


The next morning she was not so sanguine about the weather.

“You have got to be kidding me!”

Her voice echoed oddly around her tiny apartment. No going out in that mess. She peered out again in consternation. It was snowing even harder than it had been yesterday! It was too late in the year for this shit. She’d just ordered a set of spring dresses for goodness sake!

Spinning around she stared at her suddenly shrinking apartment. Just yesterday it had been so cozy. She sneered over at her bookshelf. It was there for looks, she’d never been much for reading for pleasure and damned if she’d start now. She peered out the window again. Fetching her phone from her bedside she checked the weather. Confirmed. It was a blizzard. They were projecting 6-8 inches. Even if it stopped snowing soon (NOT in the forecast) the snow would be hellacious to clean up. She’d be trapped in here for days!

“Absolutely fabulous.”

Closing her eyes Zoe concentrated on breathing evenly and unclenching her teeth. This was not a problem. She’d be fine. But she really wished she had a treadmill. Running until exhaustion would be nice. Then she could sleep through this nightmare. Bowing to the inevitable she settled for aerobics in front of the TV.


Blowing a frustrated breath out of pursed lips she flopped onto her couch. She was bored. The quiet of a snowed in New York and the creeks and whistles of her empty home were not helping to relax her mind. Two hours of aerobics hadn’t helped. A warm bath hadn’t helped. Making her grandmothers soup definitely hadn’t helped. Though she did remember fiercely chopping vegetables with fondness. Glaring at her neat as a pin apartment she reluctantly went back to her book.

“I don’t even like you.”

Pathetic. Evidently she couldn’t go a day without someone to talk to before she started nattering at a book.

And then the musical tones of her doorbell rang through the living room.

“Oh, thank God.”

Tossing the book back onto the table she focused on not rushing to the door. As much as she was glad of the diversion, there was a blizzard outside that no one should be out in.

She sidled to the door to peer through the peephole. A pleased grin was insuppressible as she opened the door.



She waited a moment, but he didn’t say anything further. Rather than his usual coiffed appearance he had dressed for the weather and he looked delectable. She quirked her eyebrow, head tilting in a silent invitation for him to speak.

He shrugged a shoulder, his smile lopsided.

“I was bored.”

She smiled fully then, shivering a bit in the cold. She watched his eyes dip down and then snap back up quickly. Pleased, she stepped back to allow him entry.

“God, me too. Let’s so something about that, shall we?”