To any newbies, Welcome! To any ol' faithfuls, Hello again! Yes, that's right, I'm back with another story. Two in six months, wow! Just a warning though, it's not quite up to par, in my opinion, with "My Personal Human Thermos" and "Battle Scars." But then again, that's because it's aiming more for the cute than the funny. Also, the thing about this story is I've written it over the span of a year. I started it last Christmas and intended to get it to you then, but never got around to it. Then, the main male character was loosely based on a guy in my life at the time, and Macy was based loosely on me. Since then, there was another guy that entered my life that changed the inspiration a tad. That's not to say that the main character here is intended to be either of these guys, just as Macy is not me-this was simply born from a fantasy that I had a year ago, and decided that hey, why not write it down, but with new characters (i.e. not me and him) that stood a chance of this happening. And so...here it is. Enjoy.
All I Want for Christmas
"Alright," I said loudly as I made my way down the hallway, and rounded the bend to the living-room. "What's going on? Where is everyone? And…why the hell is Santa sitting on our couch?" And let's not forget the two unasked questions here: Who was this mysterious Santa and why was I finding myself attracted to him. That's not creepy at all, is it?
"What do you want with my lifeeeee?" I groaned, rolling over in bed and burying myself farther under my covers as my bed was attacked and I was assaulted by several hyperactive children.
Don't you just love Christmas morning?
I, having gotten back late from a reunion party with my friends last night, currently did not. I was paying for the late night. Although, seeing my friends and kicking back with some light booze had been just the ticket I needed to forget him for a while.
There was a chorus of "presents, presents, presents!" and "It's Christmas!" and "It's snowing!" as little hands tugged on my blankets, my hands, my feet…anything they could find. I silently cursed my mother for letting them in here—and my dad for never installing a lock on my door like I had once asked—as I grabbed my pillow and folded that over my head.
They grabbed that too, and proceeded to throw it across the room.
I groaned. Brats.
"Fine!" I hollered, and they began bouncing up and down, clapping. "I'm up! Now get out! I'll be down in five."
I cracked an eye open to look at the wide eyes and angelic faces. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. "Yes," I thrust a finger at the door, "Now scat."
Thankfully they left, giggling as they went. I looked longingly at the pillow on the other side of the room. But no, I couldn't. A promise was a promise. And besides, there would be coffee downstairs. Caffine would be good. Very good.
I swung my legs out of bed and forced myself to stand up and head for the dresser. As I reached it, a photo caught my eye and I cringed. Maybe my friends were right, maybe I was too hung up on Aaron. Well, that was a lie—they were right. It had been nearly a year since I had seen him, and we had only been together for two months before I had to go home after my study abroad trip had ended in February. I knew I spent too much time staring at my computer screen at night, hoping I could get a chance to talk to him. At times it had been easier than others, but recently I had been beginning to feel like a bit of a stalker. I blame the season—we had started dating right before the holidays last year.
I shook my head, forcing myself to stop thinking about it. It was too early in the morning for this. Instead I concentrated on pawing through my drawers and changing into my Christmas jammies that I had set aside to lounge around in today. Damned if I was going through any trouble to look presentable today.
Shuffling down the hallway, I yawned and tried rubbing the sleep out of my eyes.
"Stupid children, stupid Santa Claus, stupid eight-freaking-A.M. waking up," I grumbled as I trudged. Although, as much as I wanted to, I couldn't deny that inner child hiding in the back of my mind that was screaming and jumping for joy at the prospect of a white Christmas, but that was currently way drowned out by the tired adult part of my brain which needed coffee.
By the time I made it down to the living-room I was expecting to be bombarded by the screaming and laughter of children and my mother (who always managed to be awake this early and actually active), but it was eerily quiet.
"Alright," I said loudly as I made my way down the hallway, and rounded the bend to the living-room. "What's going on? Where the hell is everyone? And…why the fuck is Santa sitting on our couch?"
For indeed, the living-room was unusually vacant, save for the lone red-clothed figure sitting on the couch facing the entryway. Despite many of our crazy family traditions, having someone dress up as Santa had never been one of them. And I had heard stories from the years before I was born. Many times. Not once was a Santa figure ever mentioned.
I had stopped in my tracks and now took a step forward. As I approached, a grin spread across Santa's face, and his exceptionally blue eyes lit up.
"Alright creeper," I said, stopping now and holding my ground. I narrowed my eyes at the imposter, "Who are you and what have you done with my family? I'm warning you, I know jujitsu."
Santa stood up.
His fake white beard covered most of his face, from his cheekbones down, but I could still see his eyes and mouth. His eyes were glinting and there was a curl of amusement to his lips. I also couldn't help but notice that he was far from the stereotypical Santa—this man was tall and built, with broad shoulders and a very at-ease stance. His eyes were absolutely gorgeous, and they sent a tingle down my spine, one I hadn't felt in a long time. And his lips looked almost…kissable.
"Okay, Mister. I don't know who you think you are but you better start talking soon or else…" I was glad my voice wasn't shaking, because it was certainly unnerving me, this strange attraction I was feeling towards the stranger dressed as Santa in my house. And the fact that he was a stranger in my house. And my family was missing.
"Macy, Macy, Macy," Santa said, his voice mock-scolding, shaking his head. At the first "Macy," I froze—his voice sounded familiar. Too familiar. The accent was like a cross between British and Bostonian. "You think you would recognize Santa when you saw him."
My eyes went wide. I clamped my hands across my mouth. It couldn't be…
"I'm disappointed in you, Miss Macy."
I started shaking my head. No one called me by that name. No one except him…but that was impossible. Completely and utterly impossible. He was in Australia. Not Michigan.
Santa took a step towards me. I retreated. My heart pounded in my ribcage.
"I've heard you've been a good girl this year…" Another step forward on his part. Another step back on mine. My breaths were short—I almost felt like I could faint.
"And I wanted to make sure you got something special…"
I started looking around for the cameras and the people, waiting for them to call the trick on me. Or for purple monkeys and flying elephants—something that might signify that I was dreaming. By now, Santa was within a couple of feet of me, his determined long strides overpowering my meek retreat. I could feel my throat closing, tears pressing against the back of my eyes.
As he got closer, I could feel a shift in his mood. "And I wanted to make sure I could deliver it in person." He now seemed more serious than playful, and was standing less than a foot in front of me.
"So what do you think, Mace?"
I covered the distance between us with a shaking hand, reaching for the beard that masked his face. The material felt odd against my clammy hands, and it took every ounce of willpower I had to pull it down. I did it in one swift motion, holding by breath and closing my eyes. When I peeked them open again, my stomach flopped over and I felt the breath leave my lungs.
"Oh my god," I whispered. Aaron's face smiled back at me, just as I remembered it, but much, much more real. I brought my fingers up to brush against his cheeks. "Oh my god…" this time it was chocked out, as reality began to dawn on me.
It was Aaron. My Aaron. Standing in front of me. In my house. Dressed as Santa Claus?
I couldn't hold it back anymore—the dam that was holding back my tears broke and I gave a sob, then covered my face with my hands and spun around, trying to brace myself in case I was undergoing some particularly strong hallucination (in which case I needed to see a doctor) or was by some miracle having a very realistic dream (in which case I still might need to see a doctor).
The next thing I knew, there was a hand on my shoulder and I was being turned so that I re-faced the now concerned face of Aaron.
"Mace…" he started softly, and I lost it. Barring any sort of protocol or questions, I threw myself at him, wrapping my arms around his neck and burying my face against him. He gave a soft "oomph" at the impact and then wrapped his arms around me, pulling me tight against his body. I inhaled deeply, reveling in the scent that was him, letting the memories swarm my mind.
"Macy," he said again, and I felt his hands on my shoulders then, pushing me away slightly. I sniffled and kept my eyes below his chin. He chuckled. His finger came under my chin and tipped it up, and he cupped my face with his hands.
I gave him a watery smile and he chuckled, wiping my tears away in a gentle motion with a callused thumbpad. His blue eyes danced and he smirked at me, making my stomach do another flip-flop. "Did you miss me?" he asked. His accented voice waves of delight through my body, warming me to my toes.
I nodded vigorously, unable to form words.
His grin widened.
"Good," he said, tipping my head back a little farther and dipping his down to press his lips against mine. My heart nearly exploded at the contact. It was soft, and full of memories. My eyes fluttered shut and I returned the kiss, tentative at first.
All of the sudden I felt his hands on my back, strong and pulling me against him as he deepened the kiss, and reality slammed into me. Aaron was here. Aaron was here and he was kissing me.
Reaching up, I threaded my hands through his hair, keeping him close as I stood on tiptoe to reach him better, straining my calves my lips greedily sought his. He began to walk me backwards, and I complied, heedlessly following him until I felt my back pushed up against a wall. I felt his lips curl into a smile as he chuckled against me, the vibrations of his chest rumbling through mine.
He broke the contact between us, leaving me breathless as he placed his forehead against mine.
"Well hello to you too, Macy," he said, grinning broadly at me while fighting for control of his own breath.
I blushed and managed to squeak out a, "Hi, Aaron."
"I fly all the way out here—a solid twenty hours of travel time, mind you—dress up in a Santa costume and surprise you on Christmas morning and all you can say is 'Hi, Aaron?'" he scolded, but I could hear the obvious mirth in his voice—he always enjoyed teasing me.
I raised my eyebrows at him. "I'm sorry," I said, placing a hand on his chest and shoving. He backed off and watched me with an amused grin. "What would you like? Shall I grovel at your feet? Do you want me to strip in front of you? Shall I cry like a maniac and scream in delight? Or would you rather I just tell you to get the hell out of my house?"
His grin spread, "Well I think you've already done that last bit, but one of the first options might be nice," he began, then laughed as I slapped him across the shoulder. "Ah, Macy," he chuckled, grabbing my hand and pulling me into him, pressing another warm kiss against my lips. I complied all too willingly.
I heard a cough from behind us that had me tearing my lips away from his as if they were a hot iron. I spun around to face my family, who was amassed in a crowd behind me, several cameras in hand, mind you, all of them with this knowing smile. Even the bratty eight year old.
"Either get a room or sit down and get to work on the presents, but we'd like to get this show on the road here," my aunt said, being the bluntest of the family. She put her hands on my cousin in front of her, "The kids are getting antsy."
The rest of my family nodded and grinned, including my mother, who smirked at me and winked. My father just raised his eyebrows and took a swig of his coffee. I felt my cheeks flaring, and turned to Aaron to say something, but before I had a chance, he stepped forward, leaned down and scooped me up into his arms.
"I'm all for the room," he said as he settled me bridal style. "Which way?"
All of the adults pointed and made space, and the kids giggled as he carried me up the stairs the way that they pointed, all of them ignoring my wordless splutterings of protest. Miraculously finding his way, he managed to open my propped door, kick it shut behind me and dump me graciously on my bed.
Embarrassment temporarily forgotten, I grabbed his shirt on my way down, pulling him into a pile on top of me, straining for his lips before he even had time to balance himself. He laughed as he crashed against me, complying with my demanding kisses.
I hooked my legs around his back, pulling him closer. A sigh escaped my lips at the contact and I unintentionally increased the pressure with my legs as I also threaded one hand through his hair and clutched at the shirt on his back with the other—it was as if I couldn't get enough of him, as if I was afraid he was going to disappear.
Aaron groaned. "God, Mace," he said against my lip in between kisses. "You didn't miss me much, didja?"
My cheeks heated in embarrassment, but I ignored it. "Shut up," I growled at him.
I could feel the rumble of his chest against mine when he laughed in response. It only drove me crazier. One of his hands was held my waist, the other was on my face, and while he was kissing me with a passion, his hands never wandered or explored. At first I was frustrated, and then I realized…we hadn't seen each other in over ten months. And while we had had been going strong for those last two months I was in Australia, we had never really discussed what we were, or where we were going. In fact, we had just kind of ended my stay with "See you later," rather than "goodbye." It made it difficult to know what we were. Especially since I didn't know if we'd even been on the same page. But he had flown all this way…just to see me. That had to count for something, right?
And then, for the second time that day, it really hit me. Aaron was here. And he wasn't going to be disappearing. Well, at least not in the next few seconds. And he was in my room, in my bed and kissing me. He was here.
Again, tears welled in my eyes, but this time, I had no where to turn and hide, and I couldn't contain myself at one sob. I pulled my face away from his as I hiccupped back another sob. I felt his weight shift as he propped himself on an elbow to look at me, his eyebrows knitted, concern painted across his face.
"You 'right, Mace?" he asked, brushing hair away from my face as I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to stop the flow of tears. I nodded into his hand, sniffling as my chest heaved.
Aaron snored in disbelief. "Talk to me, Macy."
"I just…can't…believe…you're…here," I managed to choke out between sobs.
The lines on his face softened. "Oh, Mace," he murmured, and then the next thing I knew he was moving us, rolling so that he was on his back and I was snuggled against his side, half on top of him. I buried my face into his shoulder, and I felt his cheek rest against the top of my head as one hand ran through my hair in soothing motions. The other hand was snaked around my waist and held me tightly, his thumb gently stroking my side. I grabbed a fistful of his shirt as I cried harder, tightening my body as I tried to snuggle closer. He hooked one leg over mine in compliant understanding. "Shh, Macy," he whispered. "I'm not going anywhere."
I took a deep breath, breathing in the oh-so-familiar scent of him. I began to calm down, and a few minutes later, my body had stopped shaking, and I was once again composed. Highly embarrassed, granted, but no longer crying. Aaron gave me a squeeze.
I pulled away from him and sat up slowly, wiping my eyes. "Sorry about that," I said, wiping my eyes, giving him a shy smile. "I'm alright now."
He squeezed my waist with the hand that still rested there. "Yeah?"
"Good," he said, sitting up as well. He cupped my face with both hands and pressed a gentle kiss on my lips. "I didn't mean to make you cry."
I made a face and shrugged. "I'm a girl…what did you expect?"
Aaron laughed hard at that. "Too true. I should have seen that one coming, huh?"
I laughed. "Probably."
Reaching out, he laced his fingers through mine. "Well next time I surprise you, I'll keep that in mind," he said.
Not knowing how to respond, I simply smiled. For a moment we sat like that, just gazing into each other's eyes like love struck fools, each of us with a silly half grin on our face. A moment later, Aaron broke the spell by tapping me on the knee.
"I almost forgot," he said, letting go of my hand as he sat back on his heels, "I brought something for you."
I raised my eyebrows at him as started digging through the enormous pockets of his Santa-pants. "Seriously? You fly all this way, surprised me in my house and brought me something else? You didn't have to…" I trailed off as he pulled a red tube just smaller than the size of my hand out of his pocket. "Papaw Ointment!" I exclaimed, reaching for the tube.
Lucas' Papaw Ointment, essentially a balm made from fermented papayas, became a staple in my life while in Australia. While the back describes it as a "local topical application for boils, burns, chafing, cuts, cracked skin, gravel rash, splinters, open wounds, insect bites and nappy rash," it is most widely found in girls' purses as some of the best lip balm ever. I immediately opened the tube and spread some of it on my lips.
Aaron chuckled at me, shaking his head.
"Aaah, I love you," I said, smacking my lips together contently. "I missed this stuff so much."
I registered the stiffening of his body posture just as my brain replayed the tape in my head and I cringed. During our two months together, I had avoided using "I love you," in any context towards him, although it was something I did on a regular basis to all of my friends in situations just like this one—"I love you" replacing "You amuse me," for instance.
"Aha, I mean…"
"No, Macy, listen to me."
My mouth snapped shut, and I squirmed a little where I was sitting. I looked at his eyes, and then away again, down to my lap. I felt his hands beneath my chin, tipping it up.
"I…you know I'm not good at saying what I mean, Mace…"
"Neither am I!" I blurted, then promptly snapped my mouth shut, the heat in my cheeks flaring. He chuckled. I glanced up at him. He suddenly looked more relaxed; still serious, but not as tense as he had been a second ago. I gave him a weak smile.
"I know, Mace, I know. But…I do, actually."
I stared at him blankly, my eyebrows pulled together in confusion. "Do, actually…what?"
"Love…you," he said slowly, as if he were testing the words for the first time. "I love you, Mace," he said more confidently. I blinked, startled, as my heart skipped a beat with a thu-whump. He…really? I opened my mouth but before I could say anything, he barreled on. "I know…I know…we haven't really known each other that long, or at the very least we never dated that long, so it's not 'logical,' but love isn't logical, Mace. I don't know if I can say it was love at first sight—I mean, don't get me wrong, I found you extremely attractive and hell, I was most certainly intrigued by you—but I wouldn't say it was love. You know I don't believe in that shit," he rambled.
My god, this boy never rambled. It was always me who prattled on…I had never seen him this off his track before. It was like he was defending himself to me; afraid of what I would say. I reached out and took his hand. He looked down at our interlocked hands and gave me a quick smile.
"And I tried to fight it, Mace. I didn't believe it…I didn't want to believe it…"
"Hey now!" I interjected, pulling my hand away from his. "Don't you go all Mr. Darcy on me…that may work for him, but I…"
Aaron's hand snaked out and grabbed my hand back. "That's not what I meant! And see," he gave a small chuckle, "Its shit like that that I love about you. The random references you pull out of your ass. And yes, I know you hate Mr. Darcy's confession and prefer Captain Wentworth's letter in Persuasion, and frankly, that scares the shit out of me! I tried to forget about you after you left. Well, not forget, exactly, but I tried to stop feeling. I thought that we were just going to be what we were then…we never established anything, we just went with it. I thought you would leave, and it would hurt, yes, but I'd move on, but I didn't. My mates thought I lost it. And I won't lie to you, Mace…there were other girls," I felt a pang in my chest at this, although I always knew that it wasn't like he was going to stay faithful to a nonexistent relationship. But the mirroring hurt on his own face made it better. I just nodded, my face blank.
"Not at first, of course, but after a couple of weeks…and it just…none of them worked out. I picked them for their looks, and then every time I tried to take them out, I tried to take them to things you used to love…but they all thought I was mad. And then, after this one really bad night where I got into an argument with this chick, I finally realized what the problem was. I was trying to make them you. I was trying to make them you because I was in love with you. And then from there of course everything just fell together…I got in contact with your friends, and they put me in contact with your family and then I started working to gain money, and then I got my tickets and…now I'm here," he finished with a small huff of breath. I stared at him, still in shock over the speech he had just given me.
He fidgeted. "Say something, Macy."
I blinked at him. "Say it again."
"The whole thing?"
I rolled my eyes and shook my head at him.
"I love you?"
Grinning, I nodded. I watched as a relieved smile stretched across his face, lighting up his eyes. "I love you, Macy May Reynolds," he said, cupping my check with his hand. "More than you can imagine."
"And I love you too, Aaron Maximus Walker," I said, mimicking his confession. He cringed at the use of his middle name, and my grin widened in triumph. It felt strange, but amazing, saying it out loud.
"Well that's a relief," he said, wiping a hand across his brow in exaggeration. "Otherwise that would have been a waste of a plane ticket, huh?"
"Uh-huh. So…are you going to kiss me again, or are you just going to sit there?"
"Oh, I don't know, sitting here might just be more fun, watching you get all riled up. Then…"
He didn't get a chance to finish his sentence as I had leaned forward, grabbed his head, and pulled his lips against mine. Again, he laughed against me, but quite willingly returned the kisses. Unfortunately, the mood was spoiled a second later as my stomach rumbled loudly.
Pulling back, Aaron quirked an eyebrow at me. "Maybe we should get you some brekkie, huh, love?"
I pouted. "I don't wanna."
"Too bad, love, your stomach disagrees with you."
As if to prove his point, my stomach rumbled again. Aaron chuckled. "C'mon Miss Macy," he said, clambering out of the bed and holding out a hand to me. I took it with a grumble. "We can get back to this, I promise. I'm not going anywhere for a while."
At that, I tugged on his hand. He, having been heading for the door, turned back to me. He gave me a questioning look, his head slightly tilted.
"How long are you here for?" I asked, feeling my chest clutch in anticipiation.
With a smile of reassurance, he reached out, taking both of my hands between his. "As long as you'll have me."
I rolled my eyes at him. "No, seriously."
"I am being serious, Mace. Your parents said I can crash here with you during the rest of your holidays, and your mates at uni said they don't mind if I hang around the flat. I only bought a one way ticket over—I figured I'd play the rest of it by ear. Even got a work visa so I can bartend or something to keep the cash flow up."
I could only stand there blinking, my mind blown. That he would do this much for me was…overwhelming. "Seriously?"
He shrugged. "You know I've always wanted to live in the states, Mace. What better excuse to get my ass over here?"
"Oh, uh-huh, I see how it is now," I started in on him playfully, "You're just using me to get into this country."
Aaron snapped his fingers, shaking his head sullenly. "Damn," he drawled, "You caught me. Now if only I could just convince you to marry me so I could just live here forever."
My eyebrows snapped up and Aaron laughed at me. I gave him a shove. "Good luck getting that one past my father, boy," I said pointing a finger at him as I yanked open the door. "But just remember, my mother will want ten grandbabies and then when you run off to live your life in America without us, my father will hunt you down and kill you."
Aaron laughed again. "I'll keep that in mi…oomph," he spluttered out the ending as he collided with me at the top of the stairs. "Hey, Mace, you do realize you're supposed to go down those, right?"
"I just…they have cameras and they…and you…oh god," I groaned, my cheeks flaring again. My family was never going to lay into me for the next foreseeable future, teasing me to no end about this boy. "Do we have to?" I practically whined.
"Yes. Besides, I have more things for you down there."
"Well, hey, if you don't want your Tim Tams…"
"Tim Tams!" I yelped.
"Or mint slices…"
This time I could only let out a wordless yelp of glee. "Did you bring me jelly babies?"
He smirked at me. "I might have."
I threw my arms around him. Not only was he here, but he brought me my favorite Aussie foods! "Aaah, I knew there was a reason why I loved you," I said, standing on tip toe to place a quick kiss on his check.
"Oh, now who's using who?" he joked, giving me a light shove as I started down the stairs. I turned and stuck my tongue out at him.
Reaching the bottom, I gasped and spun. "I didn't get you anything!" I cried, horrified.
Aaron only smiled and reached out to tuck some stray hair behind my ear. "That's quite alright love."
"All I wanted for Christmas was you."
I wrinkled my nose at him. "Really?" I asked. "You're going to use that line? Really?"
He laughed at me. Again. "Sorry, Mace, but it's the truth. What would you like me to say, 'I've got everything I want right here in my arms,'" he said as he gathered me into a hug.
I made a noise of disgust and shoved him away, but still couldn't check the happy smile that wormed its way onto my face.
"Besides, I'm sure I can find a way for you to make it up to me later," he said, tossing an overexaggerated wink in my direction.
"You're a pig," I deadpanned.
"But you love me anyway."
I rolled my eyes. "I don't know why, but I do."
Aaron leaned in to kiss me. At that moment, my stomach decided to rear its ugly head again with a loud grumble. At the same time, I heard my mom call from the living room, "Macy, is that you? You guys better get your butts in here, you're missing everything!"
I groaned as Aaron chortled. "Coming, Ma!" I looked back at Aaron. "We better get in there," I said, jerking a thumb over my shoulder and starting to turn.
He caught me by the shoulder. "One last thing, first," he said. Cupping my face, he pressed a soft kiss on my lips. "Merry Christmas, Macy."
I smiled up at him warmly. "Merry Christmas, Aaron."
Well, there ya go! Hope you enjoyed it-I know it might be a bit choppy, but it was never intended to be my best work ever, just something to get out of my head and to be enjoyed. Any gaps in information were things that didn't fit into the flow and I figured you could imagine in yourselves, anyway. But if there are any blatent gaps that needed to be there and weren't, let me know-I had some trouble figuring out how to pace this one. Constructive criticism always welcome.
Happy holidays everyone, and a happy new year too!
Until next time,