“I’m afraid the storm is just getting worse, m’lord. It’s best not to travel to the country right now and stay in London.”
Of course Zach knew his solicitor was right. The snow had begun in London that morning and instead of letting up, it snowed harder, the wind picked up to be a biting cold, and visibility was next to nothing. It would be far too dangerous to travel England’s country roads by carriage.
He’d briefly thought of taking his stallion and making his way to his country estate, but even he knew that was foolhardy. It just wasn’t going to be the Christmas he had planned for. Perhaps, weather permitting, he’d get the chance to be reunited with Chris on Twelfth Night.
“Yes, you are correct, of course. And speaking of, it’s time for you to go home to be with your family, Jenkins. I’ll see you after the new year.”
After that, Zach spent the rest of the day sending the rest of his servants on their way so that he’d have his London residence to himself, at least until the next afternoon.
“I’ve set out your dinner in the dining room, sir,” his housekeeper, Mrs. Anderson, advised. “And I’ll be back in the morning to prepare your breakfast.”
“No, no, don’t bother. I won’t be up for hours. I plan on sleeping in. No need to come tomorrow until about two. And if the storm is worse, don’t bother coming until the day after.”
“Now, Mrs. Anderson, be on your way.” He pressed some extra coins in her hand. “And Merry Christmas.”
“Thank you, sir.”
And she was the last of those he dismissed. He was now quite alone in his London home and on the Eve of Christmas.
Zach ate his dinner of roasted goose, vegetables and a Christmas pudding.
Later he sat in his parlor, sipping some sherry and staring glumly into the roaring fireplace. He was feeling a bit sorry for himself to be sure. And it certainly it wasn’t the only Christmas he’d ever spent alone. And once the storm passed, he could travel to the country and eventually see his lover.
At some point he must have fallen asleep because he woke to the unmistakeable sound of a key in his front door.
Straigtening, he got up from his settee, left his parlor, and made it to the front entryway in time to find the door opening and Chris stepping into his home.
Snow covering his hair, Chris laughed, and closed and locked the door. “Happy Christmas.”
And as he went into Zach’s arms, he murmured, “It is now.”
*Kind of has a Cyndi Lauper’s I Drove All Night feel to it I think*