The next morning Dana and Eva headed off to a café for some tea before an afternoon of manicures and pedicures – the sort of little indulgence Eva could never justify, but Dana managed to talk her into. Thanks Dad, she thought.
"So, hubs convinced me to go snowboarding with him and Jamie this weekend, do you want to come?" Dana laughed. "Please come, it'll be weird if you don't."
"Jamie tried to convince me yesterday too," she laughed. "I guess I'll go."
Dana smiled. "Do you guys hang out much at home? You seem close."
"We do lunch sometimes. My boss sends me over with work stuff every once in awhile." Eva shrugged.
"I always thought you guys would get along. Similar sense of humour," Dana laughed. "Got any juicy gossip on him?"
If only you knew… Eva laughed. "Like I said, Dana, mostly work stuff. I don't know."
"Geez. You're boring sometimes, you know?" she teased. "Where else am I going to get the juice on my brother?"
"Maybe there's no juice to get?" Eva suggested, busying herself with her teabag.
"Come on," Dana laughed, glancing at Eva. "He's got to break sometime. I know Jamie, he's not all work. He's still a man."
Eva rolled her eyes. "Anyway, when are we going to leave for the mountain, then?"
That night she and Dana drove up to the mountain to hit the slopes. They were supposed to meet the guys there, but didn't run into them until well past ten when the lifts stopped running and they all ended up at the condo, exhausted. Dana knocked on the door, music from inside indicating that the guys were already in there.
"Hey!" Mark opened the door, planting a kiss on Dana before stepping out of their way. "You made it! Didn't see you out there!"
"We had to start on the little hill for the beginners…" Eva teased, sticking her tongue out at Dana.
Dana rolled her eyes, throwing her jacket on a chair while Eva went into the other room to change into her jeans. "We're not all so reckless!" she paused. "Where's Jamie?"
"In the shower," Mark shrugged, throwing his arms around Dana and pulling her close, kissing her.
"Wow, that's sickening," Eva teased, trying to smooth down her wind-and-snow mussed hair. "I'm going to change and then head down to the pub. When you're done canoodling, feel free to join me," she rolled her eyes, taking her bag with her into the bedroom.
She sat in the pub with a pint of cider, listening to the hockey scores in the background, filtering out other conversations. She didn't care about the game all that much, but she didn't want to feel like the third wheel in the Alexander/McGregor Family Ski Trip, or to the Dana-Mark love story. It made her feel awkward about being single, and about spending so many holidays with Dana's family instead of her own. So it was better to be down at the pub.
"That any good?" A guy slid onto the stool next to her, smiling.
"Hmm?" Eva looked up, feeling like she'd been off in space.
"The drink, I don't know what to order next." He had hazel eyes and hat head.
She looked at her glass as if the answer was inside it. "It's alright, I guess," she shrugged, offering a smile.
"I'm Nick," he held out his hand.
"Eva," she shook it, smiling. "You been here long?"
"On the mountain?" He asked, leaning on the bar. "A few days. Vacation. You?"
"Up for the weekend with some friends."
"But at the pub alone?" His eyes followed the bartender. "Bummer."
She shrugged, swallowing some cider while he ordered.
"Where are you from?" he asked, his eyes catching hers, his interest a nice distraction, and Eva thought, What the hell. Let's chat.
"Are those your friends?" Nick asked with a laugh, eyeing the doorway.
Eva glanced over her shoulder and saw Dana waving frantically, clearly trying to catch Eva's peripheral vision and failing. Mark stood next to her, looking embarrassed.
"Yep," Eva raised her eyebrows and drank, laughing. "Sorry about her, she's-"
"Excitable," Nick finished.
"Yeah…more or less," Eva pretended not to notice Dana winking at her from behind Nick as she slid into a booth. "Anyway…"
Eventually, they moved over to the booth with Dana and Mark, the four of them chatting amicably before Jamie finally joined them, sliding into the booth next to Mark, across from Nick.
"About time," Dana teased. "Longest shower ever, bro."
He rolled his eyes and ordered a beer. "I'm Jamie, by the way," he held his hand out to Nick.
"Nick. Good to meet you," Nick nodded, shaking his hand before turning back to Eva, asking her about her job.
Jamie shrugged at Mark and watched the waitress at the bar, not feeling very chatty. He half-listened to Nick talk about chemistry and his sister talk to Mark about a friend, and engrossed himself in the hockey game.
After a few beers, Dana and Mark headed back to the condo for the night.
"Do you watch that?" Nick asked Eva, as Jamie tuned back into their conversation. "It's hilarious."
"No, never seen it," she looked across the table at Jamie. "Have you?"
"That show with the aliens?" Eva shrugged. "What's it called again?" She looked at Nick, who was looking at her.
"Do you want another drink?" he asked, watching her set down her empty glass.
"No, I'm fine," Eva leaned into the seatback, tired.
"You sure?" Nick smirked.
"Yeah, think I'm gonna call it a night," she sighed. "Nice talking to you, though."
Jamie shotgunned the rest of his beer, getting ready to follow her out.
As she slid out of the booth, Nick grabbed her hand. "You gonna be here tomorrow night?" he asked, quietly, casting a glance at Jamie, lingering near them.
"Don't know," Eva shrugged, "maybe."
"You should come down, you're a really cool girl-"
"We'll see," she giggled, pulling away from him. "Nice to meet you, Nick."
She adjusted her scarf and Jamie followed her out, silently.
Exhausted and sore, she headed out of the washroom after changing and grabbed a blanket off the arm of the recliner, unfurling it.
"What are you doing?" Jamie asked gruffly from the kitchen, swallowing a glass of water. "Take the sofa."
She paused, looking over at him. "Well, I just thought, since you're tall-"
"Don't fight me on this," he argued, and though she couldn't see him well in the dim lamplight, she felt his eyes on her. She slowly walked towards the sofa, sitting down at one end and spreading the blanket. "Are you okay, Jamie?" She asked, quietly.
Jamie plunked into the chair, turning out the lamp.
"Goodnight," Eva said after a pause, laying on the sofa uncomfortably. What was up with him?
"Goodnight," he echoed through the dark.