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31 December, 2013

BANG!

Neffydd sat with Tomoe at the bar of the restaurant fiddling with her napkin while she waited for her next song to be up and for Jedi to arrive. She was worried because he had already gotten lost in the horrible blizzard once, tonight and the roads were just getting worse.

She sipped at her second drink of the night and nibbled the appetizers, not really hungry because the anxiety was filling her belly. She distracted herself with a game on her mobile com, becoming absorbed in the placement of letters and words.

"Neffy..." Her sister caught her attention and pointed to the back of Neffydd's seat.

Neffydd turned to look and saw that Jedi was standing there, bundled in several warm layers. The tension drained out of her body as a smile crept across her face.

"Well, there you are!" She touched his cold jacket as he opened it to the warm room, then pulled him in for a hug. "I was worried..."

He proceeded to tell her the story of his trip, which included getting trapped on the high speed thoroughfare in a white-out and not noticing until he was lost, trying to turn around on a service road but getting stuck on the piled snow and returning on the empty road while his vehicle sometimes slid sideways.

They decided that it might be a good idea to stay at their friend's lair for a a few hours until the snow eased. So they packed up and headed out; Neffydd hopping in beside her lover and Tomoe riding with their friend to keep him company.

The domicile was just a couple miles down the road and the snow had slowed a little to a gentle dusting over the heavier, wetter stuff that had fallen early in the evening.

They stopped at the market for salt to bless their friend's property against the ice that was forming on every surface, then headed toward their destination, again.

They turned off the main road, onto a less traveled thoroughfare and immediately Neffydd started feeling uneasy. Maybe it was the low, hazy light being cast by uncared-for street lamps that had been placed just a little too far apart... Maybe it was the way the tires never really got good enough traction, sliding ever-so-slightly with every rotation... Maybe it was the way the snow blew across the windscreen with the gusts of heavy wind; blowing first clear, then obscuring everything for a couple seconds at a time... Or, maybe it was the way the cold seemed to leach into the vehicle, no matter how hot the air from the hotter blew...

The vehicle slipped down the lane, Jedi deftly correcting the trajectory every time the vehicle went off course.

Then things went very wrong. A vehicle further ahead of their friend's was cut off at an intersection. A simple thing that should cause fists to shake and curses to rise, but no more. The vehicle in the lead tapped their breaks to slow, as did Neffydd's friend. Jedi tapped his breaks but the vehicle didn't slow. Instead, the rear of the vehicle slid to the side. Jedi corrected, but the vehicle kept going in the new direction, again out of control. Jedi corrected a few more times as Neffydd watched helplessly out the wind screen.

She saw the on-coming vehicle bearing down on them when they first started to slide, but she hadn't been too worried because it had been so far away. Now the truck was rushing toward them... not slowing or swerving or breaking. If anything it appeared to be going faster toward Jedi's careening carriage.

Neffydd tried to go limp, forcing her muscles to soften through her fear. She turned to face her lover, ready to tell him that she was afraid that the truck would hit them, she's still not sure if she actually said the words. The headlights were just feet away but Jedi finally had the vehicle under control... then...

BANG!

Neffydd's seat was shoved into the dashboard, pinning her leg between them as the car's momentum was changed, again. They were spinning. She was flung back into her seat, leg still pinned; she would later explain the feeling as being the wet towel flicked across a jock's buttocks. Her seat moved back as the weight of her body was thrown into it.

And they stopped. The engine was still on, but making a sick noise, so Jedi turned it off and looked over at Neffydd.

"Are you OK?" He asked with concern. Pain overloaded her senses and she couldn't respond for a moment. "Neffy??"

"Pain..." She forced the word out, shoving the pain into the box it belonged in. "I'm... not broken." She moved her limbs, testing their stability, then grabbed the handle of the door. She was anxious to be out of the damaged vehicle.

She climbed out and glanced around. There was already a small crowd of on-lookers and someone helped her to her feet.

"Are you OK?" She reaffirmed her health, but the question was repeated a few more times by several people. Her leg was in agony, but she could walk around. Walk it off... she thought to herself as Jedi disembarked and went to check on the other driver. Don't let it get stiff...

Jedi returned and pulled her into his arms. "Are you sure you're alright?" His breath was warm against her neck and she took comfort in the pleasant sensation. She folded closer to him, nodding at his question. He kissed the top of her head and held her closer.

"Are you?" She murmured into his chest, then looked up into his face.

"I'm alright." He replied with a nod and a kiss. She pulled her face away from his after a moment and gazed at the ruined vehicle...