I've been flirting with this story idea since December...

Title: Snowed Inn. pt1/?

"Oh, look! It's lovely." Gillian said, smiling in delight as Cal parked the rental car in the snow covered driveway of the Bed and Breakfast.

Cal shot her a scornful expression,

"Even after a divorce you're still all for that romantic slop. Do you still read romance novels?" he slouched lower in the seat, looking through the windshield at the two story house.

Gillian frowned at him. He'd been acting like it was her fault that they had to drive up to Toronto, Canada in a rental through snow storms. If he really wanted to blame anyone it should be the temporary replacement for Heidi.

The Lightman Group was hosting a seminar for the RCMP and SCIS, the Canadian versions of FBI and CIA. The temp missed the call/confirm time for their hotel so she had to find some place for them to stay, unfortunately all the motels and hotels around where the seminar they were hosting had been booked months in advance. The only place they could find was a B&B an hour drive from the hotel to where the seminar was taking place.

"Bloody snow." Cal mumbled, "We aren't that far from New York. Bloody country is a giant snow storm."

Gillian thought the snow was nice. It made her think of warm Christmases with lots of family.

"It's not that bad." She reached over and patted his knee. He only gave her a doubtful expression. She grabbed her purse and pulled the neck of her coat closer before reaching for the door handle, "Oh, and Cal?" she turned to face him, "Please don't offend anyone. No matter what happens."

He looked hurt. He was good at it.

"Oi, Luv. Do you really think I would?"

"Yes, Cal. I do." She opened the door and got out of the car.

Before they could knock at the front door it swung open, warming them instantly, to a short plump greying woman. Gillian thought the woman looked like she pictured Mrs Claus would. She threw her arms out as if she were about to embrace them in a hug.

"Oh, come in, come in! It's freezing out there." She ushered them in, turning back into the house, "Paul!" she yelled into the house. A handsome young man in his late twenties appeared in the front foyer. "Get their bags. Bring them up to their room."

Paul gave Gillian a warm smile as he took the handle from her suitcase from her. He had perfect white teeth and dimples on each side. His sandy blonde hair was short but ruffled like he'd just gotten out of bed. Gillian thought of Ryan Reynolds then focused her attention on Mrs Claus.

"I'm Shirley Brassard that was my son, Paul." The stout woman turned around and began walking towards a large desk. She obviously expected them to follow her.

Gillian shot Cal a warning look. He carefully schooled his face to a blissfully blank expression.

Shirley sat down at a large desk and faced the computer screen there. She clicked the mouse, looking for the check in information.

Gillian glanced to the left to the grand stair case that Paul had disappeared up moments before. It reminded her of a staircase that belonged in a romance novel. She looked to the right, through an archway where she could see two wing backed chairs facing a coffee table and a lit fire place. She grinned. It was so perfectly romantic. It would be the perfect backdrop for reading her newest romance novel.

Cal looked like he was going to be sick. She elbowed him before Shirley could see him and flashed him a smile indicating for him to do the same.

"Ah, yes." Shirley spoke suddenly, "You must be the Lightman's." she grinned up at them, a glint in her friendly blue eyes.

Gillian blinked.

"Excuse me? The Lightman's?"

"Uh huh. Mr and Mrs Lightman." Shirley checked her screen again, "The young woman on the phone said Lightman group." She gave them an expectant look, waiting for them to confirm.

Gillian didn't have to be as good as Cal to know the older woman was genuine. Shirley had no idea she misunderstood. Cal stayed silent next to her, which she was pleased about. He more than likely believed the woman too.

"Ok, well, there has been a mistake. We are from the Lightman Group. This is Dr. Lightman. I am Dr Foster. We're not married." She explained simply.

"Oh, honey, there's no need to explain to me." Shirley replied.

"No. I mean, we need two rooms. Separate rooms." Gillian stressed the separate part.

Shirley flushed slightly,

"Oh, I'm sorry, Hun. We're all booked up."

"Really?" Cal asked. He tilted his head, reading the older woman's face. Gillian patted his shoulder.

"We'll work it out." She kept her face from him so he couldn't see her unease. "All right, Shirley, thank you. We'll take the room." She gave the woman a smile as she accepted the key.

Shirley came back around the desk she patted Gillian's hand affectionately, like a caring mother.

"I'm sorry dear. It's just the night, I have a couple leaving tomorrow…" she paused, her eyes going to the windows framing the front door that faced the road. Gillian turned, as did Cal, to see nothing but white through the glass.

"This is just peachy, Luv." Cal replied giving his trademark smile grimace.

To Be Continued…