Snowed In


Unfortunately, before I could get started, there was a crack of thunder, and the lights flickered and went out.

"No!" I heard through the shared vent from the other locker room. I almost laughed. I scrambled in the dark, finding my phone and using its light to get dressed quickly.

I stumbled out of the locker room, to find Maya outside, hurrying to put on her shirt. She must have gotten out to be in the light. The white bombshell bra she wore made those breasts look fantastic.

She made a scoffing noise, and I apologized. We both shrugged it off. "Right," I said. "Let's see what Melanie's fermenter needs, and then we can see what we can do about the building."

"How much fuel do you have in your truck?" Maya asked, almost immediately.

"Full tank," I replied. "Why?"

"Mine is full, too. Can we use it to get heat to Melanie's heater?"

I paused, thinking it through. "Yeah. That's... that's an excellent idea."

It didn't take long to make it happen - just some tubing out to the engine. We would run our cars intermittently to step up the heat of the system. Later, we would also use the vehicles to charge our phones and computers.

Once that was set up - rather quickly - it became a question about the main building. We called the electric company, and they couldn't commit to when power would be back on.

So, we had a quiet evening in the dark. Our 'living room,' for the evening, was the conference room, with its big windows and long table. The same table I watched her lay her large breasts upon during my second day working here. She spent the evening on the phone with her kids, and I on the phone with my mom and brother. I only texted Kayla.

She texted back, saying she hoped I would be in town the next day for a Christmas Eve party.

Her text ended with an eggplant emoticon.

I sighed.

I called the railroad periodically, but they couldn't get us information on when the train was going to be moved, or when emergency crews were going to clear the blockage, or get the derailed car back on the tracks. I asked what I was supposed to do if there was an emergency on our end, like an injury.

"You'll have to transport the injured across the tracks, sir. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we do hope you and your loved ones have a Happy Holiday."

Maya and I set up 'home base' in the main entrance area, where we could see the parking lot and the railroad tracks. It was going to get cold tonight. I got a few camping lanterns I had packed, too.

When Maya wasn't talking on the phone, she was playing the violin, while I worked out in another room, doing push ups, sit ups, wall slides, and finally a set of yoga poses I like, which felt complete with the eerie violin music floating quietly around me.

When finished, I chatted with Maya, briefly.

"Do you think we need to sleep in shifts?" I asked.


"To watch Melanie's experiment."

Maya shrugged. "I'll be up late, talking to my family, and can fix it before I go to sleep. You're up at night, right? You can check when you get up."

"So..." I hesitated, not wanting to ask the question, "do you want me to sleep, like..."

"...In the bed." She said it in a voice that implied 'duh,' and sounded like a question.

"Are you sleeping there too?"

"We're both adults, right?" she


I thought a thousand different things, but none seemed like good things to say, so I just said, "Sure. No problem."

I inflated the bed, and covered it with the sleeping bag I had. Maya had packed some sheets and blankets, too, and I wondered where the hell she would be staying that she would need to bring those herself.

It was fairly early when I crawled into bed. I had changed into a sweat shirt and sweat pants. I didn't want to freeze, but I also didn't want to make Maya uncomfortable with me in just my boxer shorts, either.

I was nice and warm under my pile of blankets. I drifted off to Maya's voice murmuring through the walls of the conference room, Skyping with her kids.

Around 1:00 o'clock, I woke up. The room was illuminated through the windows by the glow of moonlight off the snow. It was that luster that seems to come from everywhere and nowhere all at once. As I became aware of my surroundings, I realized Maya was cuddled up against me, her head resting on my chest, her breasts against my stomach, with a leg draped across me.

She was a little uncomfortable, but it also felt good having her snuggled against me. The intimacy of sharing a bed was a nice feeling, one that I had not felt in too long. Her warmth was nice, too.

I didn't know what to do. As much as I liked having her on me, I felt like we were somehow taking one another's personal space. The thought of her body pressed against mine was starting to make things stir, and her leg was practically resting on my crotch anyway...

Finally, I worked up enough courage and sense to try to get out from under her. She gave a loud squeal when I tried to move her, followed by a pleased grumble of sorts when I stopped.

It seemed like I should just get up... rip off the band-aid, so to speak... but I didn't. I decided to just lay there for a minute, and enjoy her presence.

Without thinking, I buried my hand in her hair. This time, she gave a pleased groan, as I held her by the scalp, applying a tiny bit of pressure. She breathed quietly after that, but I worried that if she woke, she would feel my giant boner pressed on her thigh.

Eventually, I got up, although I didn't want to. She stayed asleep this time. First, I checked on the experiment in the lab. It was going to need more heat, so I started my truck, grateful that I had the foresight to get a remote start.

Then, to keep my erection at bay, I decided to do what I had set out to do yesterday, and clean the locker rooms and showers. Mopping and scrubbing with bleach are usually good activities for getting rid of sexual thoughts.

I took care of the men's locker room and bathroom in the soft, dim light of an LED camping lantern, and then, after a moment's hesitation, went to the women's. In the locker area, I noticed Maya had laid out her wet clothes from the day before. A pair of full-cut pink panties was drying on the bench. I wanted to sniff them, jerk off with them, play with them... but I didn't. It wasn't worth the risk, to say nothing of respecting her privacy. I did my best to clean while leaving her stuff alone.

Once finished, I grabbed a quick shower, fussed over Melanie's fermenter once more, and called the railroad. They still could not tell me anything, and the operator was getting quite irritated with my calling. I called the electric company, too. They, at least, assured me they were working on restoring power to the area.

I went back to bed around 4:00, where Maya promptly cuddled up to me.

The next day was Christmas Eve, and Maya and I spent the morning and early afternoon in an utterly unremarkable fashion. I worked, both on Melanie's fermentation experiment and some of my other projects, worked out some, shoveled snow in our parking lot, and generally just passed the time.

And while I was taking care of some paperwork, the power came back on.

"Thank God," Maya said. "Maybe they will get us unstuck this afternoon."

"I hope so..." I paused, looking out the window, thinking. "I hate to say this, but there is a chance that train may not move today. We may be stranded here on Christmas Eve."

"Yeah," she said sadly. Then, "Well, we need to have a Christmas party." She had not even hesitated in her complete change in subject.


"Sure. We're snowed in, and stranded by a train. But we've got the office Christmas tree, we can put on Christmas music, eat whatever food we have, and just enjoy ourselves."

"We might as well do something to celebrate Christmas," I said. We sat in silence for a few minutes, staring out the window.

"Does it seem cold in here?" she asked abruptly. It had been so cold the previous twenty four hours, I hadn't really noticed.

"It seems like the building furnace hasn't kicked on," I commented. "I can go up on the roof and check it out."

"OK," Maya said. "I'll take care of the experiment in the lab, and then set up for the party while I call my family."

The furnace had blown a fuse when the power came back on. It didn't take long to figure that out, and it wouldn't have taken long to fix, except I had to dig a path through the snow on the roof to get to the machine to inspect it. Being up on the roof, with the wind whipping around me, its ghostly fingers finding every crack, seam, and opening in my clothes, made me appreciate the fact that I would be spending the night inside.

By the time I was finished, it was getting dark, and my fingers were red and numb. My face felt that way, too.

I took a long, warm shower. After being out in the freezing cold, it felt good. I shaved, and then dressed in a green sweater over a simple black button up shirt and a pair of fitted trousers.

I could hear Bing Crosby from around the corner as I walked to the conference room, over the tinny-sounding computer speakers. But the warm nostalgia gave way to a different feeling when I walked around the corner to the hallway leading to the room.

"Wow," I said, "you didn't say you were going to get dressed up."

Maya grinned at me. "You're usually a sport coat away from being ready to go out. I... thought I should dress up a bit if I was going to a Christmas party."

She had on a dark grey dress, which was not even knee length. The top was fitted, with long sleeves, and a collar that left the tops of her shoulders almost bare. The fabric of the dress had threads of shiny material woven across it, giving it a lustrous appearance. The silvery material seemed to match the silver of her hoop earrings.

After a pause, she said, "Well, come on, then," and turned to walk into the conference room. I got to admire her back side in that tight dress while she walked into the room, and wondered how openly I had been checking her out. Her high heels clacked on the tile until we reached the room, with its dark carpet.

Christmas music was playing in the room from Maya's laptop, and decorations hung on the walls: Christmas lights and a wreath that she had apparently brought with her, ornaments hanging here and there. "It looks great," I said, and then added, "you too, by the way. Did you forget that you were in the middle of a chemical plant? And it's still freezing in here, huh?"

Maya just smiled at me, and shrugged, looking a little sad. "This is as good Christmas as we're going to have, isn't it?" she asked.

"Probably. Let's make the most of it."

We talked, and let the music fill in the silent parts. I asked her about her kids, and what she had gotten them for Christmas, what she was planning to do, when she got home. I could see the hurt on her face, a mother missing Christmas with her children. That was something she would never get back.

We also talked a bit about our families, and the nostalgia of Christmas.

"When I was a kid, Christmas was usually loud, and angry. My dad was usually drunk, mom was crying, and everybody was mad. It wasn't until I left home that I started to see the nostalgia of it all."

"That's... sad," Maya said.

"I guess so. It's... life can be bitter in the places where it feels like opportunity has passed everyone by. I want to go home for Christmas for my mom and little brother. I got them some presents, and was going to cook a nice meal for them. Something not sad."

"How old is your brother?" she asked.


"And that girl you date? Were you going to see her?"

"I don't date her, anymore, we just... hook up when I go home."

Maya sighed, and shook her head. "You and Lizzie both."

"What about you? Favorite Christmas memory?" I asked, changing the subject, and leaving the 'What is your...' part of the question implied.

"As a kid or as an adult?"

"How about both?"

"As an adult, it has to be Robin's third Christmas. Just that joy, that sense of wonder... Seeing the sense of transcendence on her face when she looked at our Christmas tree, or heard the song 'Jingle Bells'... sometimes I think that was the last time I... well..." she trailed off. I could guess where she was going.

In the background, someone on the computer's playlist was singing 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.'

She seemed uncomfortable, so I decided to interject. "The only Christmas song - especially Christmas pop song - I ever really identified with was 'Yelling at the Christmas Tree.'"

She gave me a quizzical look, and I explained how it was a song about a blue collar Christmas, full of misery, bitterness, and booze, even while being surrounded by loved ones and cheer.

She laughed, then apologized for laughing. "Don't worry about it. I've had it better than lots of other people."

She recomposed herself. "Anyway, my favorite memory as a kid was going for a sleigh ride with my parents when I was like, seven. The spray of snow, the sound of the horse hooves... It's those kinds of memories I want to make with Robin and Josh."

"Sounds fun."

"It was. Your turn. Favorite as an adult."

I took a sip of wine from my paper cup. "You don't want to hear about it."

"Oh, but I do." She was looking me in the eyes, and I thought that she could get a lot out of someone by looking at them that way.

I broke down. "Kayla," I said. "We... fooled around inside a Christmas tree display in a store not far from our town."

She started laughing. "Well, that's a memory! Was it prickly?"

"Yes, it was, and there was a lot of sap, too," I said with a laugh.

"Is that what you told people in the store all the sticky stuff was?"

It took me a minute, and then it was my turn to laugh.

"That's the first time I've heard you say something... like that."

She nodded. "I like to keep control of what I say. It's important."

We talked more, about Christmases past, about what we would do when we each got home. Maya clearly ached to be with her family, but she seemed happy. It was dark outside, and there was no sign of people working to move the train.

It wasn't long after that my phone buzzed with a text message. I briefly considered ignoring it to keep Maya as the focus of my attention. But curiosity won in a matter of seconds. "Hang on," I said. "It looks like Kayla texted me." A quick look revealed that she had sent me a picture.

I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I received.

Mascara was running down her concave cheeks, her blonde hair was tousled, and her eyes were bleary and out of focus. She looked drunk. Somebody else had taken the picture, pointed down at her. I say that someone else took the picture because her hands were busy with the cock she was sucking.

The photo had a date and time stamp placing it about ten minutes prior.

'Wish you were here!!' the caption read.

My mouth fell open.

"You've got to be fucking kidding me," I said out loud, tossing my phone to the side.

"Everything ok?" Maya asked.

I sighed, and shrugged. "I guess so."

"Show me," she said.

I hesitated. But, as she was keeping her gaze locked on mine, I gave in, and showed her the phone.

"Wow," Maya said, deadpan. She looked at me, and I just rolled my eyes. "That's, uh... that's classy. Do you want to talk about it?"

"I... I dunno. It's not a problem if she is with somebody else, and if she got impatient waiting for me to come home..." I was struggling for words. "I guess I just didn't want to know about it. I didn't want to see it. That's... I don't know, it's just not cool."

Maya laughed softly. "Being 'not cool' isn't the worst thing someone can be or do."

"Well, no, but..." It was hard to process this, with it being a new wound of sorts.

"Look, you said it yourself, you weren't dating her. You said you didn't care if she slept with other people. Think of this as a sext that went awry. Is that so bad?"


"You're entitled to feel however you need to, but be realistic about your reasons, and your expectations. Her failing was not cheating, it was rubbing your nose in it. That's mean, but you could say that given the circumstances, it's no different than getting personal during an argument. Call this a minor mistake... forgivable. One she needs to be held accountable for, but not a soul-scarring, friendship-breaking, life-changing one."

I sat back in my chair, considering. On the computer speakers, someone was crooning about how last Christmas, they had given someone else their heart.

"You're good at this," I finally said.

She shrugged. "I've been to my share of counselors."

It hung there in the room. "Do you want to talk about it?" I asked quietly.

She shrugged again. 'Why not?' the gesture seemed to say. "We were having problems... We started as high school sweethearts, who moved away from home, and started a family. And when I was pregnant with Josh, the younger one, we started having even more problems. We saw marriage counselors, and both of us went to therapists. And in the middle of all that, he started sleeping with his secretary at work. And... instead of compartmentalizing, I made some hasty decisions.

"I got him fired, even though it affected Robin, Josh, and me. I started sleeping with other people after the birth, once I was... physically ready. And he got a job back home, running his dad's company. And the courts decided that, given my actions, it made more sense for him to have primary custody. And home is a rural area, and getting work there is a challenge.

"And... I'm here until things get figured out."

She had been so honest in the past few moments, I felt like I was seeing her without clothes.

We sat in silence, before I delivered a melancholy "I'm sorry." I didn't know what else to say.

She shrugged. "It's fine. Life is complicated, and every decision you make can seem dumb in hindsight. I've learned since then that if you treat everybody respectfully, and stand by the most important people, and stand up to those that treat you or other people like garbage, then you won't have anything to really regret."

I smiled at her, feeling that weight on my chest from Kayla's text lift a bit. "Thanks," I said. "I hope you can get home soon."

She smiled back at me. "Thanks for listening. It's been a long time since I've talked with anybody about that."

I realized we were sitting fairly close together since she had looked at my phone.

"So..." I said, my voice trailing off.

"So..." she echoed, giving way to a little laugh.

"So, I don't know that we've ever really talked non-work or family stuff... what do you do on your own time?" I asked, grasping for anything to talk about.

She sighed. "I practice violin, read, do mom stuff by satellite... I'm on my own a lot. I was working on a master's degree a year or two ago, but I let that one go. Too expensive. Didn't seem practical."

"Really?" I asked. "This place will fall apart without you. I'm surprised they won't pay for it."

"Melanie won't approve it. She thinks I'm a threat to her if I've got it." She paused. "Welcome to office politics."

And she rolled those big green eyes, with the big lashes. I smiled, but not at what she was saying.

"What about you? What do you do on your time?"

I shrugged. "I work out. I... clean compulsively. I've been doing the 'drink too much' thing, although there's not exactly a burgeoning 20's scene here..."

"Make many friends?" she asked.

"Not really. Not enough, I mean. It would be lonely, but I try to stay busy."

"You'll be OK," she said, placing her hand on mine. I wondered if I should try to kiss her, but the moment passed.

An eye blink later, a new song came on the computer, and Maya gave a tiny squeal. 'All I want for Christmas.'

"I love this song!" Maya said. "You have to get up and dance with me when the tempo picks up."

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