“Almost done!” she yelled through the door. “You should have woken me up before you left!”
She finished drying her hair and opened the door to the room. Glancing out, she didn’t see anyone there.
Emma looked around and there was no sign of Nick. She had just turned around when he jumped out from behind the door.
“Jesus Christ Nick! Are you trying to kill me?”
“No.” Nick said with a laugh and pulled her in for a hug. “Just thought I’d make sure you were awake.”
“I am now you big jerk!” Emma smiled and kissed him gently. “Why did you want me dressed and ready?”
“I have another surprise!” he replied with an enormous grin.
“Another one? What is it?”
Nick helped her get on her jacket and then put a scarf over her eyes. He led her down a path and they walked for what felt like forever before he finally told her to wait and pulled off her blindfold. It took a few seconds for her eyes to adjust to the light and she groaned when she finally saw it.
There was a huge pond that had frozen over and many of the lodge’s guests were taking advantage of the clear day to get in some ice time.
“Do you remember the conversation we had about skiing yesterday? Ice skating’s kind of the same thing.”
“No it’s not.” he laughed and handed her a pair of skates. “There are no mountains, slopes, trees or rocks. You’re good.”
Emma just shook her head. “Don’t say anything if you have to save me!”
“I will gladly rescue you.”
She smiled and pulled on her skates. Once they were both laced up, she tentatively climbed out onto the ice and grabbed Nick’s arm to help steady her. She held on for dear life and let him lead her around the ice a few times. Once she started to get comfortable, she let go and slowly skated around the outside while she watched him race around a few times. He looked like he was having a blast and it made her smile. This whole trip had been terrific for them and she was dreading having to go back to real life and everything that came with it.
She was so distracted by watching Nick that she didn’t realize how close to the edge she’s gotten. The ice was much thinner there and her skate broke through part it. The blade wedged itself in and sent her tumbling backwards onto the ice. She banged her head when she went down and when she opened her eyes, Nick was kneeling next to her. His face was filled with worry and she tried to reassure him she was fine.
“I saw how you went down, you’re not fine.”
“You banged your head Emma, that’s not fine.”
“I’m awake and talking. I’m good.”
She lay there for another minute and tried to sit up. One of the doctors from the lodge came down to check her out and told her she might have a concussion. She tried to tell them she was fine but they insisted that Nick take her to the local hospital to get checked out. Not listening to her protests, he and the doctor moved her to the side of the lake and Nick took his skates off. He carried her up to the car and followed the lodge’s directions to a small hospital in the next town over.
Emma continued to object as he settled her into the emergency room lounge so he could go and sign her in. They waited for a few hours and then were called in. The doctor examined her and agreed with the lodge doctor.
“You definitely have a concussion. I think we should keep you for the night.”
“No way!” Emma yelped as tears sprang to her eyes. “I don’t want to stay here.”
She hated hospitals and she knew that they would make Nick leave when visiting hours were over.
“I think you should…”
Emma cut Nick off with one look and turned to the doctor. “I’ll let you do an x-ray. If it comes back fine, I want to go home.”
The doctor tried to reason with her again but he found the same answer. She would consent to an x-ray and unless something was broken or fractured, she was leaving. He left to order the test and Nick turned to her.
“I still think..”
“I know what you think but I am not going to stay here tonight. I haven’t thrown up..”
“Thanks for sharing.” Nick joked, trying to lighten the mood.
“Or gotten drowsy.” Emma continued, ignoring him. “I honestly don’t think I hit it that hard and I know the x-ray will be ok.”
An orderly came in to take her to radiology and when she returned fifteen minutes later, she found the room empty. Panic started to creep in and she couldn’t figure out why Nick would leave. Just as she was calling for the nurse, Nick came throw the curtain holding his phone. He saw the scared look on her face and wrapped his arms around her.
“Where’d you go?” she asked quietly.
“To make some phone calls.”
“Well my first phone call was to Addie.”
Nick laughed as he watched Emma’s eyes get big.
“Yup. She said if you do not spend the night in the hospital, she’s gonna come up here and keep you awake all night. She didn’t make it sound like a lot of fun.”
“It wouldn’t be.”
“So are you gonna stay or do I have to call her back?”
“I don’t have much of a choice.” she replied. “When do you have to leave?”
“That was my second call. I got you a private room and I get to stay with you. I’m gonna run back to the lodge and pick up all our stuff. I’ll be back by the time you get settled into the room.”
“Promise?” she whispered.
“I promise Em. I’ll be back before you know it.”
She nodded and he leaned down to kiss her. With a wave, he left and returned an hour later with their stuff.
“Was I fast enough?”
“Could have been faster.” Emma teased with a smile.
“Apparently, your concussion hasn’t made you less of a wiseass.”
Emma laughed and shook her head. “Nothing will do that.”
They were interrupted by a nurse coming in to check her vitals. The doctor had suggested that she try to stay awake for as long as she could and if she fell asleep, someone would need to wake her every so often. Nick told the nurse he would let them know if she was having any problems and the nurse left. Once she was gone, he told Emma to move over and crawled into the bed next to her. If she couldn’t sleep, at least she could rest wrapped in his arms.