"Are you really doing your exercises?" Greg couldn't believe his eyes. Sara was doing her exercise and he didn't have to mention them or force her. What was wrong with her?
"I've a mission."
"Yes." Sara put repeated her exercise ten times before she continued. "I want to have breakfast with you, Sofia and Felix on Angels Landing next summer. For that I need to be fit and these exercises help me."
He smiled. They drove to a spot from where they could see Angels Landing. As much as Sara wished she could try to climb 5785 feet mountain, it wasn't possible. The trail was 2.4 miles with very steep parts and there was no way she could climb it. No matter how many breaks she made.
"Hopefully Sofia makes her exercises too."
"She will. Felix will force her just like you would force me. We're caught with two very mean men."
"Somehow it's hard to feel sorry for you." He handed her a towel.
"Thanks. Done. Time for a shower."
"Do you need a hand in there?"
"If I do I'll call you." She accepted his hand to get up. Getting up from the ground was very difficult, her legs didn't have the strength to support her every time she tried it. Sometimes she dropped back on her rear end and had to start all over again.
"I'll be here waiting." He put the grocery bag on the table and started to put their food in the fridge. The little shop didn't have much, was very expensive but better than going out for dinner every night. Tonight they had their dinner in the restaurant, the next days they'd eat in their cabin. A lot of food he used to eat at college and the first time he had his own apartment. Instant food was handy and you could get used to it.
From his laptop came music and he hummed while he cut some carrots for their tour tomorrow. Most times they just drove around, made a little walk or he pushed Sara in the wheelchair. Something she didn't like much.
"You know I feel like I don't want to get back to Vegas anymore." Sara came back from the bathroom, dressed in her PJ, ready for bed.
"I like living in the cabin, not many people around, the silence at night and the fresh air. You can really breath here."
"And no bodies at every second corner."
"Are you telling me you want to quit your job? I don't like this idea, Sara."
"I won't, don't worry."
"Good. Want a little cookie before you go to bed?"
"No, my teeth are brushed."
"Okay then I go to the bathroom. Will you come and rescue me out of the shower if I need you?"
"If I say yes you'll start crying out my name as soon as you're under the shower so I won't help you. That's something the ranger can do."
"You're a mean woman, Sara Sidle."
"I heard that before." She grinned. There were many times she got called mean, it wasn't something she minded. Usually the people who called her mean were her friends, other people didn't dare to say these words out loud. Another benefit when you're known to be not very kind and friendly and – mean.
She turned off the music and all lights beside the little one next to the bed. It was after ten, still early but they were on holidays and Greg didn't get a lot of time to sleep the last days and as soon as he was back in Vegas, he had a lot of work on his hands. Their trip was supposed to give him time to refill his batteries. For her it was the first change since their day trip to the Grand Canyon to see something else than Sofia's house, her condo or the hospital. It was good to be away from Vegas. Very good. She felt like a human again.
"You know it's a kind of strange to go to bed now. In Vegas life starts at this time and here everybody is since hours in their cabins. Only a handful of people are in the restaurant that will close at eleven."
"It's nice, isn't it?"
"I forgot how it felt, reminds me of my childhood." He slipped next to her. "Safe and quiet."
"Will you tell me another story of your family now?"
"No, I keep the stories for work."
"Does that mean you don't like my family stories?"
"You say weird things most times, I don't want to kick you out of the bed for telling weird things."
"Thanks." He switched off the light and pulled her closer. "I should throw you out of bed for that."
"You'd never do something like that."
"Don't be too sure."
"I am." She got her arms around him. "Didn't we agree on everybody has its own side?"
"No, WE didn't agree on that, YOU agreed on that."
"Right. I should get over to my side, shouldn't I?"
"If you want that, yes."
"Actually I don't want that. I want to be close to you." She kissed his cheek. "Very close." Her lips touched the corner of his mouth. "Closer." Her lips met his and kissed them. Not stopping there her tongue demanded entrance to his mouth which was granted. He welcomed her with responding the kiss, getting his arm under her, shifting her a bit so that he was with his upper body on top of her. His hands found their way under her shirt, stroking her back softly while they were still kissing.
This was the best Christmas gift for both of them.
"You didn't tell me! How dare you?"
"What?" Sara looked confused at Sofia who stood in the door frame with angry eyes, hands on her hips, swaying a bit because she didn't have the balance to stand still.
"You didn't tell me! You kept it a secret!"
"I'm not quite sure if I can follow you…I didn't tell you what? And please come in and have a seat. Where are your crutches? You're not supposed to walk without them."
"Don't try to change the topic." Sofia came into the room and dropped herself next to Sara on the brunette's bed. "I should kick you out of the house."
"What for?" What could possible be so bad that she did to give Sofia a reason to kick her out of the house? On Christmas Eve. Not this day meant anything special to Sara but she knew it meant something to the blonde.
"You and Greg." Sofia had seen Sara kissing Greg goodbye. Not like you kiss goodbye a good friend, a long and very passionate goodbye kiss you only gave your lover. "Kissing in the hallway."
"Not oh that. It's not an 'oh that'. It's huge."
"Why? Are you telling me you are jealous? Are you interested in Greg?"
Sofia stared at Sara for a moment until she realized the brunette wasn't kidding her. It was a serious question. How could Sara be so…Sara?
"No, I'm interested in you, Stupid."
"What?" Now it was Sara who looked puzzled. "Are you telling me…?"
"Sara, try to think like an ordinary person for once. All I wanted you tell is that you didn't tell me you and Greg were a couple, what you are supposed to tell your best friend and I wanted to tell you off for that. That's it. It's not about jealousy and I'm not interested in him or you. I want to be informed that's what this is about."
Sofia sighed and closed her eyes, stretching out on Sara's bed. "You're a strange person sometimes."
"Because…why didn't you tell me?"
"That I'm apparently strange?"
"About you and Greg." Sofia couldn't believe Sara couldn't follow her. Or did she only pretend she couldn't follow her?
"I didn't know it's important."
"Let me repeat me myself: I'm your friend, girlfriends tell each other everything, especially when it has anything to do with relationships, boys and…these two things are enough. You're supposed to tell me."
"Okay." Sara closed her eyes and exhaled. This was a weird conversation. A conversation she had no idea why she had it at all.
"You should tell me what happened in Zion. Between you and Greg before you start to tell me about the weather, any nature disaster or science news you saw on TV…"
"There weren't TVs in the cabin."
"Whatever. You and Greg!"
"What can you possible want to know?"
"And everything is your business because we are know each other?"
"Friends, Sara. We're friends. One day you will feel comfortable about that. You missed me while you were away, it's a sign of friendship and care."
"Who said I missed you?"
"Open your eyes, look into my eyes and tell me what you didn't miss me." Sofia leant on the side and looked at Sara, her arm over the brunette's belly.
Sara blinked at her with one eye. "I didn't miss you – the first ten minutes." Sara pulled Sofia in her arms. "The next time I want you to join us. You know I want to climb Angels Landing in the morning and have breakfast on top with you, Felix and Greg."
"As long as you don't want to do that any time soon."
"Maybe in May?"
"Sounds good. And Greg wants to do that too?"
"Yes. And I did the first step. I kissed him. The second night. We were in bed – a king sized bed – and suddenly I realized that he was everything I wanted. He is very smart, he's funny and trustful. I know that his feelings for me are real, he would never disappoint or hurt me. And he gets me out of the world of science to do some crazy things, things are good for me and see the world like…like a human and not like a scientist."
"Good decision. And you're right. He's good for you. You look happier."
"I am happy."
"I didn't say but."
"You didn't have to I heard it anyway. Talk to me, Sara."
"Not today, okay? Lets…lets talk about only about happy things the next two day. Lets have happy Christmas and we talk about other – not so happy things – later."
"Yes. I promise."
"Okay. Anything I can do for you?"
"You can get me a hot chocolate, I'm too lazy to get up."
"No way I leave your arms. It's nice and cozy in here." Sofia kissed Sara's cheek. "Are you ready for a night with my parents? They'll come over for dinner."
"And they'll be here tomorrow, a happy family Christmas."
"Without your new boyfriend."
"Without one of my best friends. If I weren't been ill I would be with him at the lab. It's a place I feel definitely better than here. I belong into the lab and not into a family feast; a family I don't belong to."
"Who said you don't belong to this family?"
"I'm not a Curtis."
"You don't need the surname Curtis to belong to the family. It's about emotional connection." Sofia took Sara's hand and held it. "You are part of my family, Sara. And you don't belong into the lab over Christmas, you belong into my living room, under the tree with a million gift boxes and a smile on your face, a hand on your stomach because you ate too much. That is how you're supposed to spend Christmas."
"I never spent Christmas like that."
"In that case it's about time you experience this."
"My first real Christmas." Sara stroke softly over Sofia's back. "I'm glad I spend my first real Christmas with you. And Felix. He's a great guy, a real sunshine. I will miss Greg but I can see him before he goes to work and he will wake me up in the morning for a little Christmas breakfast. Knowing Greg he comes up with something special." Sara smiled. Greg always found something to surprise her.