SURPRISE! We'll talk below :)

I roll down my window, allowing the cold, crisp air to infiltrate the car. I need something to keep my eyes open after driving nine hours straight. The loud music from the radio comes to a halt as ringing chimes through the speakers. Alice's name pops onto the screen.

Glancing at the time, I answer the call, "Alice? What are you doing up at three-thirty in the morning?"

"I woke to pee and thought of you," she says, her voice soft. "Have you made it?"

"Almost." I sigh and look to the GPS. "Six point eight miles to go, and it can't come soon enough. It's already started to snow."

"I called ahead, and everything is taken care of," she says. "The cabin is stocked, and you don't have to worry about a thing for the next week."

"Thank you," I say, blinking back tears. "I don't kno—"

"Nonsense," she interrupts, her usual upbeat voice stern. "You have nothing to thank me for. I did what any decent friend would do. I want you to take this week and put all that crap behind you. No one deserves it more."

Hot, salty tears stream down my cheeks, and I suppose that's one way to stay awake. "Still …" I trail off, not wanting to sound any more pathetic than I already do. "Looks like the final turn is just ahead."

"Perfect." I can hear the smile in her voice. "You're going to lose signal soon, so I'll let you go." She pauses, sighing. "Have a good week, Bella."

The call goes dead, and the car is silent for only a beat before the too-loud music returns. I hastily turn it down as I slow to make a right. One point four miles to go and the snow has already blanketed this smaller roadway. I creep down the narrow two-lane road, careful not to end up in a ditch.

It'd be my luck.

My eyes burn with the need for sleep, and my body aches from being perched behind the wheel for the long drive. I can barely remember the trip. Two states have passed, and my fog-filled mind barely knows where I am or where I came from.

"Your destination is two-hundred feet on the right," the robotic voice of the GPS says, and I can just make out a mailbox through the curtain of falling snow.

I slow and carefully turn into the drive, afraid I might miss and hit the ditch instead. Snow falls harder now, and as I look around to the thick woods and dark drive, I begin to second-guess myself. Maybe this isn't such a bright idea after all.

Foreboding moves over me as I roll deeper down the snow-covered drive, but a moment of relief flits through me when I catch sight of a faint light in the distance. Alice said she's taken care of everything, so of course, she wouldn't expect me to show up in the middle of the night to a dark cabin.

Weary and empty-minded, I shut off the car, leaving my bags for the morning. Approaching the door, I punch in the number Alice provided, and it clicks open. A light is on over the stove and remnants of a fire glow from the hearth.

All I can think of is sleep. I scan the space, looking for the only door off the main room. Pushing the front door shut behind me, I start toward it, already unbuttoning my blouse. Only a faint glow of light peeps through as I enter the dark bedroom, but it's just enough to make out the bed on the far wall.

Pushing the door closed behind me, I move across the room, slipping my shirt from my shoulders and dropping it to the floor. My skirt follows, and I feel around for the blanket.

Slipping into the cool comfortable softness, my eyes close as soon as my head hits the pillow.


Okay, a few things.

This story is a drabble that I'm gonna call this the 25 weekdays of Christmas. Hopefully, I can land it at 25 chapters. It'll post on daily, M-Fri, until Christmas Day.

There is no team. No pre-readers or beta. This is just me, sneaking in a story, hoping it's a good surprise for everyone.

Because there's no team, if this bad boy goes off the rails, it's all me :D

This was supposed to be a light, fluffy tale. I think it is in some aspects, but there's also a little heavy.

This story isn't for prudes, and just because a chapter ends implying sex doesn't mean the next starts w/sex. I wanted it to be sexy without being too sex-filled.

I won't be able to reply to reviews, but I love you all and will reply to final chapter ones … after Christmas.

See you tomorrow :)