When Ben Dalton got injured, his Olympic ski racing dreams turned into a nightmare. Back in Scotland, and licking his wounds, the chance to become a trainee ski instructor with White Cairns Ski School seemed like the answer to his problems. But a new romance and working with a promising racer raise old longings, and make him question his path. Should he stick with what he knows, or step out into the unknown?
Ben looked at the Valentine card in his hand. For the first time ever, he had no idea who’d sent it.
In the past it had been obvious — someone he was seeing, or a girl at school with an obvious crush on him, or else a signature which removed all of the mystery and intrigue.
But this one was different.
Nothing written on it, except a large X in nondescript blue biro. Nothing exceptional about the pre-printed sentiment in the card: ‘Be my valentine’. Nothing non-standard about the hearts and flowers in the illustration; perhaps a more feminine choice, but unremarkable, so hard to tell.
He turned the envelope over. Nothing out of the ordinary about the printed address, except that it had been printed, rather than written by hand, which meant the person — she? — had a computer, or access to one, and an inkjet. Nothing unusual about the label, although he’d been addressed as ‘B. Dalton’, which meant they knew his surname, and ruled out most of his skiing pupils — except the few who recognised him from his ski-racing days and occasional appearances on Ski Sunday. Nothing special or foreign about the stamp — just a bog-standard first-class Queen’s head on a coloured background, over-stamped by an unreadable postmark.
Nothing extraordinary at all, really.
The only unusual thing about this particular valentine card? It hadn’t arrived on Valentine’s Day.