Never My Love
A Gaby FanFic
(based on the 'Notes of a Journey' trilogy)
Viewing Note: This story should be viewed with the Edwardian Script ITC font installed on your Windows platform in the c:/Windows/Fonts directory. Microsoft Word installs this font automatically.
Photo Credit: Permission to use the photo of Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, has been granted by the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts .
Taking Care Of Business
“Gabs? …. Ummm … what time is it?” Maddy wearily asked.
“Hmm … still Thursday ... but we’ve missed the first two shuttles into Banff … if that’s wot you mean,” Gaby whispered as she strained to prop herself up on an elbow to look over her wife’s shoulder at the bedside clock. “It’s just past nine.”
“Guess we should get up, then. Cor! … I feel like I’ve only had 15 minutes sleep!” (yawn)
“Funny … we weren’t tired when we got back…” Gaby playfully joked with a huge grin as she returned her head to the pillow and resumed holding her wife.
“I wonder why that is?” Maddy suggestively asked.
“No idea … an’ I think it’s closer to 10 minutes … not 15…”
“Sweetheart?” Suddenly, Maddy’s mood took on a more sombre tone.
“Maddy, none of that ... there’s no need,” Gaby softly observed as she gently caught a trickle of moisture running down her wife’s cheek.
“I keep thinking about last night. If Jules wasn’t watching out for you back in the States...” Maddy whispered as she wrapped her arms behind Gaby’s neck, pulling her into a long embrace.
“Forget about it … okay? It’s just going to eat you up if you keep thinking about it,” Gaby softly pleaded.
“You don’t mind if I keep rememberin’ how much I love you … do you?” Maddy innocently wondered.
“I knew I made the right decision back when you talked me into going to that ‘Obicon’ thing-y…” Gaby softly commented.
“…an’ what decision was that, pray tell...” Maddy mischievously wondered, still hugging Gaby.
“You were the girl I was going to marry…” Gaby softly replied.
“You really that knew back then?”
“Never a doubt.”
“Even after ... you know?”
“Hmmm ... nope,” Gaby sharply whispered.
“Not even a little bit?”
“What if I...?” Maddy whispered as her right index finger gently traced figure-eight’s around her wife’s breasts.
“Then I would’ve been very upset...” Gaby softly pouted before she gently rolled Maddy onto her back and proceeded to smother her with kisses.
Much later, after several false starts to get out of bed and a long shower where both girls had trouble concentrating on the task at hand, they were finally dressed and ready for a day on the ski trails.
“Why do we have to go into Banff, again?”
“…To get the bus for Mount Norquay.”
“We can’t just go there from here?”
“Nope … we have to catch it at the Banff Springs Hotel” Gaby cheerfully replied.
After making sure they had everything they’d need, the girls left the room and soon found themselves on the next shuttle, heading for the town of Banff.
“I text’d Cheryl and told her we were running late. She suggested that we’re met them for lunch at a place called ‘Lone Pine’ in the Cascade Lodge. Oddly enough, that’s where the shuttle drops us...”
“About half twelve an’ we’ll figure out what we’re doing after skiing.”
“Will we get there on time?”
“The schedule said we get there shortly before noon. If we get our connection … that should give us time to get sorted before we hafta meet the girls.”
“Sounds good,” Maddy agreed.
“I think it’d probably be a good idea when we get there, if we both had a proper lesson before we hit the trails. It might be more of a refresher for me, but I know it’s been a while since you were up on skis … right?”
“Uh huh…” Maddy quietly agreed.
“We’ll sort that out when we hire our ski equipment.”
“Do we need daily passes? I know you said we might want to come back…”
“We can always look into that later.”
“Hmmm … since you seem to have everything in hand, maybe I’ll grab a few. G’nite, sweetheart…”
After Maddy took a quick glance around at her fellow passengers, she decided to chance giving Gaby a quick kiss on the lips before settling back in her seat and closing her eyes. “Wake me when we arrive...”
Gaby just looked at her wife and slowly shook her head side-to-side. With a smile on her face, she set the alarm on her mobile to vibrate and then wedged it inside the palm of her glove before settling back in her seat for the remainder of the one hour ride.
Later, the movement of the bus gently shook the girls back to the real world, as it slowed to negotiate a rather sharp turn when it entered the Banff Springs property.
“Sweetheart? What we said last night about your ‘rents … you really think we can do it?” Maddy quietly asked, still leaning against Gaby.
“I think so. My sponsorships paid for this an’ we survived on our combined incomes okay … so I don’t see why we can’t do it again.”
“Maybe we should ask Jules and Gerhardt if they’d like to come in on it. That way, it’d be something from all of us,” Maddy wondered as the bus slowly pulled up to the hotel.
“Excellent idea!” Gaby enthused. “I think the sooner we talk to those two … the better. They won’t be able to put in much … but as you say, it’d be from all of us…”
“The more I think about it … the more I really want to do this, Gabs…” Maddy softly confirmed.
“So do I...” Gaby began.
“Banff Springs Hotel! Those continuing on to Mount Norquay … your bus should be here in about twenty minutes,” announced the bus driver in a loud professional voice. “Buses returning to the Chateau Lake Louise leave here on the hour … with the last one departing at 1AM.”
Following his announcement, everyone left the coach with many of the passengers waiting to get their skis from the bus’ storage compartments.
About a half hour after they left the Banff Springs Hotel, the girls found themselves walking into the Mt. Norquay reception area to see about equipment rentals and the other necessities of the day. After arranging their Nordic lesson and generally getting sorted out, they then made their way into the lower level of the ‘Lone Pine’ restaurant.
“Let’s grab some lunch and take it outside,” Gaby suggested.
“The girls said they’d meet us on the outdoor patio set off the upper level,” Gaby revealed as she handed Maddy a tray when they joined the line at the buffet. “Relax … we’ve got lots of time. Our lesson isn’t set to start until one.”
“How long is this lesson?
“Two hours. It’s private, so no one will laugh at you … much,” Gaby smugly replied. With her hands full carrying her lunch on a tray, Maddy’s only retaliation was to playfully stick her tongue out at her wife. “We’ll still have plenty of time to do the smaller trail at a comfortable pace.”
“How long’s this trail?”
“The map at the reception desk showed it to only be three kilometres.”
“Is that all? Oh well, then!” Maddy sarcastically voiced. Walking out onto the patio, she quickly spied an empty table with four chairs and a marvellous view of the slopes.
“There’s always the ten or fifteen kilometre trails,” Gaby smirked.
“Like I said ... the three kilometre trail sounds like a nice one to start with,” Maddy sweetly replied.
It wasn’t too long after they got seated when they both spotted two familiar figures slowly walking aimlessly amongst the lunchtime surge of skiers, all the while balancing their lunches on trays and searching the now crowded patio.
“Diane … over here!”
“Hi guys! See you made it,” Cheryl enthused as she and Diane joined the girls at their table.
“Hey, guys … snow’s great! Perfect conditions,” Diane chipped in as she started to take her lunch off her tray and arrange it on the table in front of her.
“How’d you two make out yesterday ... you know ... dogsledding?” Cheryl impatiently wondered as she pulled her chair in.
“Fantastic! The scenery was breathtaking and the company couldn’t have been more beautiful ... all in all ... a truly memorable experience,” Maddy quickly volunteered.
“Did you get to drive?” Diane asked.
“Naw ... I decided to ride in the sled both ways ... but Doug let Gaby take it all the way back.”
“Was she any good?” Cheryl inquired.
“Depends ... you talking about the ‘sledding ... or later?” Maddy mischievously offered while linking her arm with Gaby’s.
“Too much information,” Diane chuckled as she watched Gaby turn beet-red.
“Ummm ... how late you two figure on skiing, today?” Cheryl asked a short while later, successfully changing the direction of conversation.
“Well, we have a refresher lesson at one … then head for the trails … but I figure we can be back here by 4:30 … 5:00 at the latest. We’re only taking the smaller three kilometre trail today,” Gaby replied as she outlined their plans for that afternoon.
“Ummm ... you’re gonna miss the last return shuttle into Banff if you get back that late. Listen ... I’ve got my car, here … so don’t worry,” Cheryl commented. “Maybe we’ll grab some dinner at our hotel or somewhere else in town, if you want ... before you head back to yours.”
“Sounds good! Maybe even wander around town before the stores close tonight … if there’s time?” Maddy hinted as she gently squeezed Gaby’s hand.
“You thinking about any store in particular, luv?” Gaby quietly asked although she had a good idea of Maddy’s answer.
“Well … I’d kinda like to go back to that lingerie shop we went in last Monday,” Maddy coyly suggested.
“You really don’t think I’d say ‘no’ to that … do you?” Gaby playfully asked.
Diane glanced at her blushing sister before taking another forkful of her own salad and then in a deliberate effort to change the subject, she asked the girls, “Any plans for tomorrow?”
“I dunno … she’s the one with the itinerary,” Maddy joked while looking at Gaby.
“Not really. We were thinking of getting a two-day pass … but that’s not cast in stone, yet. Other than that … Friday’s wide open as far as having anything scheduled. Why?” Gaby ventured.
“How about Saturday?”
“Same … wot’s up?”
“Ummm ... after we met you two last Monday, I phoned Mark and told him about meeting you guys. I thought he might try to come out to join us for some skiing and to meet you, Gaby … but he told me that he can’t get away. However, he did come up with an alternative plan,” Diane explained.
“Go on...” Gaby cautiously prompted.
“It would mean you two would have to come back to Calgary with us tomorrow. You’ll stay with us at home … and Diane and I’ll bring you back to Lake Louise sometime Saturday,” Cheryl added. “Mom and Dad won’t mind.”
“Mark wants me to invite both of you to his cycling club’s annual dinner tomorrow evening. It’s being held at the Calgary-Marriot,” Diane disclosed. “They also hand out a few awards to the deserving … and if you two agreed to attend … it was hoped that maybe Gaby could even present one or two of the more prestigious awards to the girls?”
“Just the girls?” Maddy inquired.
“The awards we’re talking about are presented to both a male and female recipient. Normally the club’s president would give out all the ‘big’ awards ... but this time he agrees with Mark and thinks that the ones that’ll go to the girls might have more meaning for them if Gaby did the honours,” Diane explained.
“Sounds logical,” Maddy smirked.
“Sounds like Mark’s already run this by the club president,” Gaby observed.
“He ... was talking to Bill and mentioned we met you two...” Diane admitted.
“How big’s this club?” Gaby asked.
“About 80 members, but last year they seated over 200 at the dinner. As long as Mark and I have been going, it’s always been well attended by the club’s supporters.”
“What’s happening on Saturday?” Maddy inquired.
“We thought we could play it by ear,” Cheryl replied. “If nothing else, it’ll let us leave the dinner whenever … then we can just sleep in if we want and head back here at our own pace.”
“It could be fun, sweetheart … and you said we have nothing planned … let’s go?” Maddy sweetly asked as she put her hand on the table and gently covered Gaby’s hand with her own.
“I promised Maddy ‘no bikes’ while we’re on our honeymoon, but you heard her. What time you leaving?”
“That depends … do you have something nice to wear tomorrow night?” Diane asked.
“Seems I’ve heard that somewhere before…” Gaby jokingly whispered to Maddy.
“It’s not terribly formal or anything like that ... but it’s not exactly casual either.” Cheryl offered.
“No jeans!” Diane stage whispered.
“Sis and I usually go with a nice skirt, top, heels … that kind of thing,” Cheryl added.
“Also … there’s usually a silent auction of things donated by various people and businesses along with raffles or some such thing. All the money raised goes towards some annually designated charity,” Diane added.
“We didn’t bring much in the way of dressy clothes…” Gaby confessed. “And unfortunately ... I certainly didn’t bring anything that I could donate towards this auction.”
“We didn’t think we’d be going to a fancy dinner,” Maddy sheepishly added.
“You think that we could find some time to pick up something more suitable to wear, than what we have with us? Gaby wondered.
“In that case, we’ll pick you up at your hotel at around seven in the morning. That’d get us back in Calgary somewhere between nine-thirty and ten and give us a few hours to do some serious shopping before we have to get back to my parent’s to get ready for the boys.”
“The boys?” Maddy wondered.
“Wayne’s driving in later and he and Mark will pick us up for the dinner,” Cheryl mentioned.
“Hmmm ... better pack your choker and feathers, sweetheart,” Maddy playfully taunted her wife. “After all … it is sort of a public appearance for the World Champion.”
“You look for every opportunity, don’t you? Gaby smugly asked while looking into Maddy’s eyes.
“Only because I think you look so sexy…” Maddy playfully countered.
“What’s this?” Cheryl wondered.
“For some time, Gabs has had an interest in North American Indian jewellery ... to the point where it’s become her trademark. If you’ve seen photos of Gaby off her bike in cycling magazines or such, chances are you’ve seen her wearing her feathers…” Maddy pointed out.
“This I gotta see,” Diane declared, obviously intrigued by Maddy’s explanation.
“Crikey … it’s going on a quarter to one! We best get going Mad, or we’ll be late for the start of our lesson,” Gaby remarked when she caught a glance at her watch while reaching to finish her drink.
“Sorry to eat an’ run, guys … but…,” Maddy stated as the two girls took their trays and got up from the table.
“Before you go … five o’clock at the shuttle bus stop by the main entrance!” Cheryl quickly got in.
“We’ll be there … Auf Wiedersehen,” Gaby cheerfully replied. When they were out of earshot heading down the stairs to the lower level and their rented locker, she turned to Maddy.
“Don’t say anything to the girl’s in case nothing comes of it … but I’m calling Dad tonight. It may be too late to courier a couple of Team jackets to add to whatever the girls get as an award ... but if these girls are serious about the sport ... maybe I can help open the door for them.”
“The Youth Program?”
“Won’t be the first time that Dad’s talked to a girl outside of the EU,” Gaby flatly replied. “Anyway ... enough of that ... let’s go skiing!”
A short time later, the girls gathered up their rental equipment and had ventured outside to join their instructor before hitting the cross-country trails on their own.
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To Be Continued...
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