My friend Rebekah has dared a few of us to take a prompt she posts and write a story (or part of a story) around it. Then we post them on Fridays. This is what she gave us for last Friday and I wrote an initial scene around the prompt. I hope you enjoy it. Rebekah posted hers, which you can check out here. Below is mine. Enjoy!
Unexpected Christmas Gifts
Samantha’s foot slipped on the slick ice and the mile high stack of Christmas presents her boss had sent her out to pick up flew in every direction. She squeezed her eyes shut anticipating the pain of her butt connecting with the ice laden street when strong hands wrapped around her waist.
Her butt landed, not on the ice but on a warm lap. The hands were still hard around her, fingers that could only be from male hands gripping her waist.
Sam blinked and opened her eyes. Everything was disorienting for a moment, until she looked down.
Under her was a body. A masculine body of hard angles and powerful muscle. And a wheelchair.
Presents were scattered like bits of flotsam washed ashore. People began flowing around the chair and the presents, nobody stopping to help.
“Steady there,” the man said. Sam looked down into eyes so blue it was like sapphires gleamed from his face. She swallowed and her face flushed. The wheelchair was one of those high end ones, probably more correctly called a power chair or something. It was currently stopped, the man having to release the controls to catch her.
Her face flamed and Sam scrambled off the man’s lap, regaining her feet. She looked around wildly at the presents that lay in the piles of snow, most dented from their fall.
“I…thanks,” she said. The ice that had been her downfall seemed to be no impediment for his plush wheeled chair. The man spun the chair on the slippery frozen water easily, pivoting to face the mound of fallen gifts.
“I’m Matt,” he said and held out his hand. She stared at it mutely for a moment and then gripped his hand in her gloved one. His handshake was firm, the strength she had felt when he saved her from an ignoble spill on the ice apparent.
“Samantha,” she said. “Um, thanks for the save.” She looked around helplessly. How was she going to get all the presents? Her grip on them had been tenuous at best, and now that they were on the ground she despaired of getting them to her car.
“Sure,” he said. “Need help with those?” He gestured to the presents and Sam looked at him uncertainly.
He was the kind of handsome that didn’t belong in a magazine. It was more the sort of looks that you found in everyday, those of next door neighbors, school deans and family lawyers. It was the kind of face that looked as if you could trust him. His black hair with a touch of silver and even features that were weathering well with time. His looks were arresting, once you got past the chair. She thought that most people probably never looked down.
Matt…oh now she placed him. He was, in fact, a lawyer, unless she missed her guess. She had heard about the new lawyer her boss had employed, and that he had some sort of disability, but hadn’t met the man yet. She hadn’t expected a chair. She looked up to where her company logo was blazoned across the front of the building, a frustratingly short distance away. She was hoping she could get everything across to the building safely in one trip but now that plan had gone to heck. She would have to rewrap most of the presents. She hoped there was nothing breakable.
He was looking at her intently and she resisted the urge to check her red hair to see how much damage it had sustained from her near fall. The wind and thick hat had already done its worst. Under the cap her thick hair was undoubtedly suffering from a horrible case of hat hair. Not that it mattered.
“You’re Norman’s office manager,” he said. It wasn’t a question. She tilted her head and he pointed to the silver and black of the packages. “Company wrapping paper. I recognize our logo. He’s been singing your praises.”
The “our” confirmed her thought that he was who she thought he was. “You’re our new attorney. Sorry I haven’t come to visit yet, I’ve been dealing with Christmas.”
His grin was lethal. White teeth flashed behind an upturn of lips. The whole combination made her forget she was on a frozen street with people giving them dirty looks. She wanted to sink into that smile.
“That’s Norman for you. We’d better get those presents safe,” he said and to her surprise, rose from the chair. He took out a cane from the back of the chair and balanced on it. Matt chuckled at her startled expression.
She looked from the chair to Matt to the presents whose wrapping paper was starting to discolor from the melting snow. “Um,” she said and her face flamed with heat again. She cursed her Irish background that made her fair skin and freckles prone to obvious blushing. She looked twelve instead of twenty-six, which had not been an asset in people taking her seriously.
“We can use my wheels,” he said. “The artificial leg isn’t so good on slippery ground, hence the chair. It will come in handy now.”
As she watched he reached for a present and plucked it from the snowbank and onto the power chair. It looked lightweight and expensive with a contoured seat and custom made parts. Out of the chair he was tall, probably 6’2”, with a muscular build that reminded her of athletes. She scrambled to assist him, pulling packages from their canted landing on the snow pack and depositing them on the now empty chair. To her surprise he was mobile with the cane, retrieving packages and depositing them on the chair faster than she could.
Once all the packages were safely off the ground he motioned to the chair with his dark wood cane and then used it to point to the three story building across the street emblazoned with their logo.
“If you would do the honors,” Matt said, pulling his wool coat shut against the wind.
With a start she realized she’d been staring. He was even more attractive up close. Which leg was artificial, she wondered, and then felt crappy at the thought. What did it matter?
“Oh, sure!” she exclaimed and got behind the chair. Matt did something and a lever released. The chair glided forward smoothly, its wheels bumping over snow as if it were on shock absorbers. It probably was. The presents were stacked precariously, but better than when she was trying to hang onto them.
As they pushed the chair across the street, Sam with her hands on the plush back of the comfortable looking chair and Matt behind her, she reviewed what she knew about Matt. Late 30s, from money, and of course disabled. He had gone to a good school, Harvard she thought, or maybe Stanford, but that was all she knew. It hadn’t crossed her mind to ask any questions about the new hire. He was an old friend of Norman’s, from grade school she thought.
One thing was for sure. Now that she had met him, she wanted to know more about this man. Much more.