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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00020]Mining Guild Headquarters—Aolani—Christmas Morning

Emmelia Spenser received a lovely surprise when she woke on Christmas morning. Brett fixed her breakfast and served it to her in bed. He was a kind, soft spoken considerate young man. He sat on the edge of the bed, as she sampled the meal he had made for her.

“It’s delicious. Thank you. I can’t remember the last time a man made me breakfast.”

His answering smile was tinged with sorrow.

“Brett, is something wrong? You look so unhappy.” Touching his hand, she looked into his dark brown eyes. With a pang, she thought again of Ben.

“No, Emmelia, but I know you’re lonely.” Biting his lower lip, he seemed to make up his mind about something. “You miss him a lot don’t you?”

Emme got very busy with buttering her toast. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Brett. Miss whom?”

“Don’t be embarrassed, Emme. You talked in your sleep and you cried some too. This guy, Ben. He must be a hell of a man. You’re hopelessly hooked, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” she admitted, shyly.

Setting the tray aside, she started to rise from the bed, but Brett held her hand, asking her to stay.

“Would you like to spend the day with me? My friends and I are going skiing in the Lowdan Mountains today. Fresh powder fell during the night, it’s perfect.”

Emmelia stared at him, stunned. “Why, thank you, Brett, but you don’t have to include me. I’m fine, really.”

“Emme, you’re not. You need a day to relax. When’s the last time you just cut loose and did something silly—like going skiing with a group of guys on Christmas?”

She thought a moment, “I don’t think I ever have, to be honest. When you grow up the only child of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the mighty Mining Guild, you have duty handed to you early. I was expected to take my father’s place when he retired. But the bastard died young and I got all this.” She gestured around her at the luxurious apartment.

“You hate it, don’t you.”

Emmelia turned her face from him. He riveted her with a look, so much like Ben, she couldn’t deny the question. Head up, shoulders back, she replied, “I detest it.”

“Then come spend the day with us, we’ll have fun. Some of the guys are bringing their girlfriends along. You can be my date.”

Emmelia giggled, liking the idea despite herself. “I look more like your mother, than your girlfriend, Brett.”

He chuckled, taking her hand and kissing it. “My friend Steve is seeing a woman who is sixty-three and you’d never know it. You don’t look your age either, Emme. You look fantastic.”

She hesitated, not sure how to answer.

“Will you go? We’ll hit the slopes, have lunch at the lodge, maybe spend the night up there. Come on, what do you say?”

Emmelia wiped a tear away, smiling at this gentle, soft spoken, young man. “I would love to. I’ve not been on skis probably since before you were born.”

Throwing his head back, Brett laughed heartily. “Then we’ll teach you how to ski again! I hear it’s like sex, you never forget how.”

Laughing happily for the first time in ages, Emmelia agreed to go. “I don’t know what to pack!”

“Everything you need will be provided. Just get a shower and get dressed in something warm and comfortable. I’ll call and let them know you’re coming.”

“It won’t be inconvenient?”

“No, Emme. My dad owns the place.”

Patting her on the fanny, he went to the comlink, while she went to get ready.

As she bathed, she thought, Oh, Ben, he’s not you, but is it all right if I fill the empty space with something? She knew in her heart that Ben wouldn’t mind.

© 2014 Dellani Oakes

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