Her small hand fit perfectly in his. After a month of chasing her, literally around campus, she was lying next to him. Reese wasn’t sure of what the date was anymore. He just knew that there was freshly fallen snow on the ground. And he knew, from their past conversations that she would have loved it. He would have kissed her. And laid claim to the kiss that she owed him from a drama in school. But she was in a coma and he wanted her to remember it. Well, that wasn’t the only reason why he didn’t. Nathan, her cousin was there also. The two men stood guard over Laba.
She had stolen his heart from the first time he saw her race across campus, her long black hair streaming behind her. For that matter, he wasn’t completely sure as to why God had allowed him to fall for her either. But, Reese knew, that if she ever woke up, that would have been the best Christmas gift that he had been given.
Reese wasn’t sure why God had allowed this to happen. It was a freak accident. She was sledding down Blind Man’s Curve and made an error causing her to crash into a tree. No one was completely sure how this mountain girl had lost control of the sled. Let alone, why she hadn’t bailed when it veered off course. But she hadn’t, and in a moment the air that had been filled with laughter and fun, turned serious. His Amazonian woman had been knocked out, and was only breathing with the aid of CPR being given.
“Nathan, why are you here? I thought the doc sent you home.” Reese said, looking up at the elder man.
“Just like I thought the nurse sent you packing, kid.” Came the short retort.
Reese shook his head. “I couldn’t leave her alone here. You know her family...”
Nathan simply nodded. “Why do you think that I’m here?”
The two men drifted back into silence. Reese could hear the muffled sounds of music, Christmas music, coming out of a speaker somewhere. He sighed and closed his eyes again, cradling her delicate hand.
“C’mon babe, wake up. For me...for Nathan.” He whispered, aware of Nathan’s eyes watching his every movement.
Emboldened, Reese leaned up and placed a chaste kiss on her cheek. Then, sat back down in the cold, hard hospital chair.
There was nothing that Reese could do, except to talk to Laba. And, so talk he did. He spoke of everything that he could have thought of from their shared professors to the beach back home. Laba had been fascinated with growing up on the beach, herself being a mountain girl. And, later she had confided in him that she had never been to the beach in her life.
Something stirred Reese out of his memories. But he couldn’t figure out what. He glanced up at Nathan with a frown. Nathan’s eyes were glued on Laba’s face. Her hand moved in his again.
Reese’s eyes went from her hand up to her battered face. Her eyes were fluttering open. It was a slow process but finally her hazel eyes opened and Reese smiled.
“Merry Christmas, Laba.” He said. She blinked several times in confusion baffled as to where she was.
“You’re in the hospital, Laba” Nathan said, moving to sit on the bed next to her. And Reese watched as she lunged into Nathan’s arms, crying. Nathan didn’t say anything as he allowed her to cuddle close. He carefully moved the IV tubes so that he could hold her better.
Reese didn’t move, he knew that he was still on her list of guys to avoid. So he just watched her. And silently thanked God for giving him a second chance, and a Christmas gift in one. Laba knew that it had been a dare to go down the hill without a helmet--his brother’s dare. Given only because she had bragged bout doing that back home, in her mountains.
But, for now, it didn’t matter. There was still time, now that God had granted him a second chance. And Reese was not about to start complaining. For now, he was content to watch Laba until she was ready for their Texas two-step flirting game once again. He smiled faintly in anticipation for the games to begin again.
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