It was so peaceful and serine with the gentleness of the snow outside the window that Nina had little trouble falling asleep herself and she enjoyed a long nap.
She awoke to find herself on her side facing Harlin who was lying on his back staring at the ceiling.
"How long have I been asleep?" She asked with surprise.
"About ninety minutes," Harlin reported.
"Wow," she exclaimed. "I guess I really needed the escape."
"I have been feeling sorry for myself in my grief," Harlin told her. "About a month ago I had the flu," he said after thinking about it for a few minutes. "I was really sick and it made me think of Margaret in her illness and I was hit by this wave of grief that I'd never felt before. I was defeated being left a widower and I guess I basically gave up."
"It's part of the process," Nina said.
"Why did you come here today?" He asked.
"Maybe I'm your snow angel," she said.
"Sent to save me?"
"Do you want to be saved?"
"Yes," he whispered.
"Well, that's the first step," she said. "Letting go by admitting we are powerless and that our lives have become unmanageable."
"There were times," Harlin said after a while. "When Margaret and I would take an afternoon nap together and when we woke we'd make love."
"Sounds romantic," Nina remarked.
"I miss those times," he sighed.
Nina stared at Harlin for a long moment. "Would you like to start some new times?" She asked.
"I don't know if we should," he admitted. "I don't know if I'm ready."
"How will you know?" Nina challenged.
He let out a sigh of confused resignation. Nina moved closer to him, leaning in and giving him a brief kiss. He didn't resist so she kissed him again and he let her.
"I think you might be ready," Nina decided before sliding off the bed, standing and pulling her sweater off over her head and then she shimmied her slacks down her legs.
Harlin watched with amazed fascination as Nina removed her bra and panties before she leaned down and tugged Harlin's pajama bottoms down his legs. He was relieved when he saw that he had grown between his legs.
"I can't remember the last time I made love in the afternoon," Nina admitted as she fell on top of him.
Later, as they lay under the sheets watching the snow fall outside the window, Nina cuddled against Harlin, contently resting her head on his shoulder, she looked up and smiled at him.
"Climaxing in the afternoon releases so much grief and guilt, doesn't it?" She asked.
"Yes," he said.
"Do you want me to go get your whiskey for you?" She asked.
"I don't think I need that anymore," Harlin replied, kissing her forehead.
Late in the afternoon, Nina made them a delicious dinner out of the microwavable dinners in the freezer.
"I'll go shopping tomorrow once the roads are clear," Harlin promised as they ate dinner in bed.
"We deserve second chances don't we?" Nina wanted to know.
"Yes," Harlin assured her.
"Do you want to sign up on the substitute list?" She asked.
"Okay," he agreed.
They made love again and then sat in the chairs by the window in the dark and watched as the snow continued to fall.
They went to bed together and were awoken in the middle of the night by the sounds of Andy's pickup truck plowing out the driveway, the thuds of the blade crashing against the tar.
"I love that sound," Nina said in the dark.