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Here continues A Thanksgiving Tale, if you haven’t read it, I recommend you do as it will make this story easier to follow. I have changed the name of the story to A Winter’s Tale as Thanksgiving is over.
Before I let you start reading I would like to thank my editor C.P. who helped me out more than I could have hoped. Even so, all the mistakes still left are mine. Enjoy the ongoing story of Ione and Spencer.
A Winter’s Tale Chapter 2
(C) Kraveree 2016
It wasn’t a good day for Regan Selby-Winter. Not only was it a long tiring day, but one where she would not see her children. Rose, Sondra and little Alexander who were at the Winter family home in North Dakota. Her parents were taking care of them during the several weeks between Thanksgiving and the upcoming Christmas holiday.
She peeked at the large copper clock’s roman numerals, a gift from one of the partners, when Regan had joined the firm. That had been almost eight years ago. A lot had changed. She no longer was the rude Yank, or the redhead who married above her station. She had demonstrated she was her own woman, ruthless when needs be.
“Five past eight, this must be the shittiest day of my life,” the bright star of Merger Land muttered, proceeding to rub her eyes. “Perhaps I do need new glasses.”
She put down the report she was reading. Too many legal issues had choked the negotiations to a standstill and she felt like she was pulling at a dead horse. Concluding that she was, Regan made a decision.
Regan walked over to the office door, opened it with a deep sigh before calling her assistant. “Ginny, you can go home, I’ll close up.”
Ginnifer Pallas looked up and blinked. “Of course, Lady Selby-Winter. I’ll just finish up the mail and then I’ll be off.”
“Ginny,” Regan said, frowning, “for the hundredth time, call me Regan when we’re alone. Don’t bother coming to work tomorrow, I am not going to be here. This mess can wait till after Christmas.”
Ginny nodded as if stung by the harsh words.
Seeing the effect of her badly chosen words, Regan felt like kicking herself.
“I meant you can take the rest of the year off. It will not cost you any vacation days because this mess isn’t your fault.” Regan was relieved to see Ginny’s face turn back to her normal pleasant sparkle, another crisis averted.
“And since we’re on the subject of the holidays and the announcement of bonuses, yours will be quite substantial. I would be lost without you.”
Ginny paled and then started to stammer. “T… t… thank you.”
“No, thank you. Now get the hell home and tell that gorgeous girlfriend of yours how lucky she is.”
“I will… But don’t I need to book a flight back to the states?”
Ever the loyal and attentive assistant, Regan could no longer stop herself and walked over to the red-haired girl. “Ginny, go home. I feel like Scrooge right now and I know Elizabeth would love to see you before going to bed. I don’t want her to think I am the worst boss in the world. I’ll book the flight myself and you can go kiss that girl of yours before the end of the day.”
Ginny, torn between duty and love, chose the right option and started gathering her things.
“I’ll see you next year?” Ginny asked once she collected all the things she would need for the sudden break from work.
A big smile bloomed on the small woman and then she quickly hugged Regan. “Merry Christmas.”
“Humbug,” Regan roared and burst into a childish giggle. It was the first time Ginny had shown such affection.
“Always wanted to say that,” Regan said as she inhaled the scent of Miracle, her sister Hailey’s favourite perfume, and apparently Ginny’s too.
Ginny grinned big and wide as she let go of her boss. She was looking a bit flushed from embarrassment, but all of that disappeared when Regan took the Irish born assistant’s hand and squeezed it gently.
Once Regan had walked Ginny to the elevators, the tired executive returned to finish up her day. She booked a flight online for the next day, business class, to New York using the corporate account. Sat down behind her desk and pulled out her phone and dialled her sister’s number.
“You’ve been naughty again,” Chelsea said when she walked into the sweltering dorm room. The scent of a woman in heat tickled her nose.
“How did it go?” Ione asked as she got up from her ruffled bed. The blushing raven-haired sophomore knew she had been caught jilling frigging off again. She silently blamed Spencer for her constant state of arousal.
“Fine, now back to you,” Chelsea said and put down her backpack on her unmade bed. She had left in a hurry that morning to avoid being late for her final OChem sometimes known by the little-used title “Organic Chemistry.”
“For almost a year, you were like Ione the Frigid Nun and now this. Spencer sure makes you horny as hell.” Chelsea stressed her words with a sensual tongue licking her upper lip.
Sheepishly, Ione wiggled her nose and looked shyly at her feet. Chelsea was right as güvenilir bahis always., She she had fallen deep and hard for Spencer. “I… I really love her.”
Raising her eyebrow, Chelsea walked over to her roomie and used her index finger to lift Ione’s chin up. Deep amber eyes searched Ione’s grey. “You know what I told you, right?”
Ione nodded as much as Chelsea’s finger allowed. “Yes, that she’s a celebrity and that I am going to get hurt and that I am in denial.”
“Forget what I said,” Chelsea spoke softly. Thinking back, she decided it had been she who had been blind. Ione wasn’t just in love, the raven-haired pixie was head over heels, tumbling down the mountain, utterly defencelessly in love. Chelsea just had been too busy with her finals to notice.
“How you ever passed all your classes with her on your mind confuses the shit out of me.”
Ione blushed deeply and tried to look away, but Chelsea’s finger proved stronger.
“I wish I could be there… when you see her again. I’m expecting Richter 10s and hurricane F5s on the news.”
Fear haunted Ione’s eyes as the raven-haired sophomore remembered that wasn’t going to happen soon, if ever.
“We have to keep it a secret,” Ione said after a few swallows. Her hurt was hidden well, but not from her best friend and roommate. “She’s not out.”
“Err… She… You know, that part really sucks,” Chelsea said, as disappointment replaced enthusiasm.
On impulse, she pulled Ione close and hugged her fiercely like only best friends can. She ignored Ione’s scent of arousal underlaid by hints of lavender soap and sweat. “Only one more night before you see her again.”
Ione nodded. In twenty-four hours, she would fly to New York, pick up Spencer and then, on to Minot.
“Grab some lunch?” Chelsea asked when she realised she was hugging Ione for the longest time, their bodies much warmer than before.
“Sure,” Ione said slowly and disentangled herself from Chelsea’s arms. “Let me take a quick shower first.”
Ione reached for her toiletries, but didn’t get far, as her phone rang with ‘Defying Gravity’.
“Hi, Regan,” Ione said when she picked up.
“Hey Tails, how are you doing?” Regan asked with warm affection.
“Great, passed all my finals and I am seeing Spencer tomorrow.”
“Great! I’m looking forward to seeing her,” Regan said and then continued on before Ione could interrupt. “I’m flying into New York tomorrow. Long story short, I got called back to London. John’s still on his tour and the kids are at mum and dad’s. I was wondering if we could hook up tomorrow.”
“Sure, Spencer will be arriving at twelve thirty-five, I can look up the flight number, it’s KTP3-something”
A long moment of silence kept Ione wondering if her words had reached her sister.
“… -27, got it… We’re on the same flight.”
“Wonderful, you two should try and hook up, too. Moira already left for the states, so Spencer is flying solo.”
“Who?” Regan asked confused.
“Moira is Spencer’s assistant, the woman who drove Spencer and I to the Minot airport, Thanksgiving’s weekend.”
“Oh yes, I remember. I’ll see what happens. I am so far behind sleep that I could wake up next year, if not careful.”
Ione rolled her eyes. “You should take better care of yourself now that you are pregnant,” Ione said, concerned and also a bit angry because Regan should know better.
Ione knew her sister well., Regan could go on and on until she would either collapse or break down. Neither option Ione liked so much.
“I’ll be fine, going to bed now, and then I’ll take a company car to Heathrow. I can catch up on sleep on the flight to New York.”
Ione shook her head. Regan could be so smart and stupid at the same time.
“Off to bed then,” Regan continued. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Love you, sis, sleep tight.”
“Oh, can you call Kylie for me and tell her I sold her painting and that she should ship the other two she wanted to sell. To my home.”
“Sure, I can do that. Now go before I call John.”
“Yeah, funny, love you too.”
After a quick shower, Ione found her roommate packing for the holidays. She had a hard time deciding what not to bring as her suitcase wasn’t closing.
“I bet we can close it if we both sit on it,” suggested Ione.
With a twinkle in her eye, Chelsea nodded wickedly. Seconds later both girls were bunny hopping on the suitcase. Once the sound of the closing click sounded, the sophomores got off the abused suitcase.
“Done,” Chelsea said.
Ione laughed and then went to get dressed for lunch while shaking her ass at her roommate.
The hammering rain swept over Sander Lewis as he got out of the car. He was bent over, shielding a box of Kylie’s favourite chocolates from the sudden storm. With his elbow, he slammed close the car door and then ran the short distance to the front door of his home. Before he reached the dark red front door, it opened with a squeak. “Have to oil that,” he thought.
“Are those for türkçe bahis me?” Kylie asked with a wink. The voluptuous Winter girl wore an old short-sleeved shirt and cotton pants hiding most of her lovely curves. Covered in paint, she smelled worse than a chemical plant.
The smell didn’t deter Sander and he kissed his fiancée deeply and long. Kylie purred through every second of the wet kiss.
“I’ve finished the room; wanna see?”
Sander nodded and followed his excited Kylie through the house until they reached the source of the paint smell.
“Amazing,” Sander said, impressed as he walked around the room. “You did such a great job. Our baby will love it.” With a dreamy stare, he placed his hand on Kylie’s warm, life-filled tummy.
“He or she will.” She smiled at Sander. “I wish we could tell my mum and dad about us.”
“I am not the one holding you back. It was you who said to wait until after the first trimester…”
“…which is in January. I know what I said, but I so much want them to know they are going to be grandparents again.”
“It’s your call. But I think my mother knows already.”
Kylie felt anger rise up. Her first thought was that Sander had accidentally spilled the beans, but then her face softened as she figured it out. “It’s because I refused wine at dinner.”
Sander nodded. “She’s very good at putting two and two together.”
“Yes, it is annoying at times,” Kylie mused. Her soon to be mother-in-law was as smart as a whip, a senior partner at a law firm with offices all over the states of Virginia and Maryland and one in Los Angeles. Like Sander and Kylie, she lived in Leesburg just 33 miles west of Washington, D.C. “But I love her still.”
“Good, because she’s coming over for dinner tonight.”
“Tonight? I still haven’t finished the room and we’re off to mum and dad’s tomorrow.”
Suddenly, Kylie was feeling very stressed and vulnerable.
Sander came to her rescue by starting to clean up the room. “She invited herself. But I think it is a good thing. Now we can tell her about having the wedding in Devils Lake.”
“You haven’t told her yet? You wuss!” Kylie exclaimed, but there was no malice in her voice, only warm affection. “I understand. Your mother scares me too at times.”
Sander grinned guiltily. He did feel like a wuss.
A quarter of an hour later, the baby’s room was cleared of empty paint buckets, splattered plastic drop cloths, dirty brushes and rollers. Sander had hauled away the garbage while Kylie had put the brushes and rollers into water to clean them.
They found themselves on the couch with tea and slices of home baked cake a little later. Sander noticed that the box of chocolates had been placed strategically on the coffee table. Three empty sockets eyed Sander accusingly.
“I better get ready so I can shop for dinner,” Kylie yawned, but Sander stopped her from getting up.
“Mum’s bringing take-out from that new Korean place over on Promenade Drive.”
“Really?” Kylie asked, blinking her eyes. “That would be a first,” she muttered.
“Yeah, I think she has something important to tell.”
A call from work made Sander move off the couch to look at the shared calendar on the refrigerator. While Kylie poured another cup of tea, Sander moved around a few appointments in January.
When the call ended, Sander looked at the rearranged calendar shaking his head. “Construct is like a lottery, – most of the times you don’t get anything and when you least expect it, you get a payout you weren’t prepared for.”
“We’ll figure it out, honey. At least you have a job.”
Sander chuckled. Before he sat sitting down again, he noticed a car pulling up on the driveway and went to open the front door to let his mother in.
The dark blue Volvo S70’s headlights flashed twice and he heard the clunk of doorlocks locking moments after a tall steel-haired woman in her late forties, got out of the car. She carried a plastic bag steaming in the cold air of the late afternoon.
“I am a bit early, hope you don’t mind.”
Lauren Lewis, dressed for a boardroom drama, air kissed her son and flew by like she owned the place – which wasn’t far from the truth.
“Hi, Lauren,” Kylie said as she got up from the couch to meet her mother-in-law. After a gentle hug and sincere kisses, the bag of deliciously smelling food found itself on the dinner table surrounded by Sander’s hasty arrangement of plates and cutlery.
“Sorry to be so early, but I know you two will be driving off early tomorrow.”
“Don’t remind me,” Sander groaned, which got him a frigid stare from his mother. “Long day,” he put forward as an excuse, which Lauren accepted with a somewhat absent smile.
A water filled carafe completed the setup for dinner and the three quickly sat down to eat.
“I have something I like to share with you. I know it may come as a surprise, but I am human after all. Even though Sander may call me the ice queen or the iron maiden.”
Kylie gave Lauren her most sincere and open smile while güvenilir bahis siteleri Sander remained neutral, having gone through many dramatic announcements in his life that had turned out to be duds.
“I am going to move in with Jackson.”
“Jackson?” Sander almost choked on the word. “He’s like, my age.”
“He’s thirty-one, don’t be so dramatic. He makes me happy, something you don’t seem to get.”
Sander shook his head and dug deeper into his plate, ignoring his mother completely.
“I think he’s a good guy,” Kylie said diplomatic. She too had reservations about the couple, but it was Lauren’s life.
“I love him and we’re going to spend Christmas at his parents.”
“What about grandma?” Sander interjected.
“She’ll be fine, Pete’s going to pick her up. I hope your uncle is good enough for you to take care of his mother?”
Sander and his mother soon got into their usual argument, making the phone going off in Kylie’s pocket a blessing.
Excusing herself and moving off to the kitchen, Kylie took the call.
“You should look at your phone, sis. It’s me,” Ione said happily.
“Oh, hi, Ione.”
“Calling at a bad time?” Ione asked a little worried.
“No, no, it’s fine. Sander and his mother are having one of those silly ‘conversations’.”
Ione had been well briefed on the relationship between Sander and his mother. Their passive-aggressive conversations were fuel for many a good laugh in the Winter Family household. “I just wanted to relay a message from Regan, she called me earlier but I went on a lunch with Chelsea and we got a bit distracted.”
“I got distracted,” Chelsea called out in the distance.
Ione giggled. “Chelsea got distracted by a hot-looking guy and she got his phone number, which took a bit of doing. I can be a good wing-woman if needs be.”
Kylie imagined Ione with a guy and chuckled. “So what was it Regan wanted me to know?”
“Oh, yes,” Ione said. She was momentarily confused and had to collect her thoughts while Chelsea giggled loudly in the background. “Regan’s in London again, don’t ask why. She sold your painting and she asked if you could ship the other two you were going to sell.”
“She sold my painting!”
“Yes… Isn’t that what you wanted?” Ione asked confused.
“Of course I did, but I never expected her to follow through.”
“That I can relate to. Regan can be a bit distracted at times.”
“I’m going to call her right now,” Kylie almost shouted.
“No, you’re not. She’s asleep and she has a plane to catch at the crack of dawn. That is why she asked me to call you, because you’d probably keep her on the phone for hours.”
Kylie flashed red with guilt., Ione was spot on, again. “I’ll talk to her when we’re at mum and dad’s.”
“That’s fine, I’ll be meeting up with Regan at JFK tomorrow. She’ll be on the same plane as Spencer.”
“Spencer’s coming too! That is so great!”
Ione couldn’t agree more. “So unless you got more, I got to run. Bags to pack and legs to shave.”
“Actually, there is. Henry is not going to be at mum and dad’s over Christmas. He has to work, but he asked if you could give him a call. He feels bad for not getting a chance to really talk to you over Thanksgiving.”
“I’ll call him, don’t worry.”
“Good, he seemed a bit down.”
“I’ll cheer him up for sure. Love you. Got to go, here’s my bus.”
“Love you,” Kylie said quickly and then disconnected. With a sigh, she zeroed in on the dining room where son and mother were having an argument.
“Doctor Winter, Doctor Winter, telephone please. Doctor Winter.”
Henry Winter, pediatrician, widower, and father of two, ran up the stairs taking the steps two at a time. He was late as usual, the morning rounds had taken much too long. Then he was handed a case of meningitis which had taken up a lot of time over the rest of the morning and afternoon.
Now, halfway into his shift, Henry felt a little energy dip coming up. He had been on his way to get some food when the intercom called his name. As he reached for the phone he hoped it wasn’t his meningitis patient.
“Doctor Henry Winter.”
“Doctor Winter, we have an inbound vehicular accident involving two girls, six months old, both. They are three minutes out.”
“Got it,” Henry said and rushed to the ER on the ground floor, again taking the stairs as the elevators were in high demand this time of the day.
When he arrived at the ER he saw that, as usual, it was overcrowded, loud and bordering on anarchy.
“What’s up?” Henry asked Doctor Allison Dormer, who ran the ER.
“Two six months olds inbound, one has a head injury and the other has lost her left leg and god knows what from getting launched out of the vehicle.”
Henry had noticed from previous situations that Allison got borderline emotional when it came to babies or infants. It hadn’t yet interfered with her work, more by avoiding than by coping. Perhaps not the best of solutions but Henry was fine with this. Still, Allison was at her best when it came to managing chaos, which made her invaluable in the ER.
“Who can I take?” Henry asked, scanning the room for other doctors.
“Take Bellamy and if it is bad, you can have Kilpatrick too.”
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