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With Everything I Am (2)(8)

By´╝ÜKristen Ashley

“I don’t know. This doesn’t feel rude,” he teased and she giggled quietly again.

“Can I give you your gifts now?” she asked and his eyebrows went up.

“Do you think that’s all you’re going to get?”

She blinked again, adorably, and then breathed, “There’s more?”

Callum used her hair to tip her head back, bent his own and against her lips he murmured, “Yes, baby doll, there’s more.”

Then he gave her a Good Morning Merry Christmas kiss.

She was blinking again when he lifted his lips form hers.

He was chuckling again when he let her go, reached beyond her to nab her coffee cup and he handed it to her. Then he grabbed her hand and guided her into their bedroom.

Callum had been up awhile. Long enough not only to make coffee but also to deal with the mess the soggy towel made of their bed and collect the presents his mother had stashed in the garage yesterday while they were sledding and place them under the tree.

When they arrived in the room, Sonia stared at the tree like a thirty-seven year old girl who just learned there was a Santa Claus.

Sonia’s shining eyes came to his and she smiled, “I’m guessing this means you like Christmas too?”

He slid an arm around her shoulders and grinned down at her. “All my people enjoy any occasion that gives them an excuse to celebrate. But this,” he gestured to the tree, “is because you like Christmas so much.”

Her expression changed and she was gazing at him like she did last night, like she was trying to read him, understand him, assess the validity of his words.

And, just as she did last night, she must have liked what she saw for she melted into him.

“Let’s have Christmas,” she suggested in a soft voice with soft eyes looking up at him.

“Let’s have Christmas,” he agreed on a murmur, bending his head to touch his mouth to hers.

He went to the bed, threw all her pillows on the floor by the tree and they sat on them, Sonia declaring excitedly that this year she got to “play Santa Claus”.

“You can do it next year,” she assured him as she started organizing packages with what appeared to be unbridled joy.

Watching her, Callum decided that next year, and every year, since she obviously had so much fun doing it, Sonia would play Santa Claus.

Callum found, to his delighted surprise, that she was far more generous with him than any of her friends and neighbors. Callum also found that she liked clothes a great deal more than he suspected seeing as she hadn’t worn the same outfit twice in the three weeks they’d been together. He had new cords, shirts, belts, jeans, sweaters and even a new, stylish, brown leather jacket with a thick, insulating layer which would be perfect when they got back to Scotland. Clearly, these gifts were what were in the copious deliveries that she rushed to the door to confiscate from whichever of his wolves had accepted it before she ran upstairs with the packages but came back down empty-handed.

His mother had followed the same bent, buying Sonia a variety of new clothing except, unlike her normal gear, all of this was more durable and meant to be layered for easier use going in and outside in cold temperatures. Regan also bought her bath salts, lotions and things to wear in her hair.

Sitting amongst the discarded paper, ribbon, bows and boxes with piles of stash by both of them, Callum looked around and muttered, “We’re going to need another year to use all this stuff.”

Sonia, sitting with her ass to her calves, leaned forward and beamed, “I know! Isn’t it great?”

What was great, Callum thought, looking in his queen’s shining, happy eyes, was that they were done unwrapping and now they could move onto an even more enjoyable part of the morning.

Therefore, he reached for her and pulled her off her calves, into his arms and buried his face in her neck.

His lips trailing up to her ear, he heard her say, “You’re not quite done.”

He lifted his head and looked at her only to see she suddenly appeared apprehensive.

“What is it?” he asked cautiously, not happy that the shining light had died in her eyes and anxiety had replaced it.

“You have one more present,” she whispered like she didn’t want to say the words.

She took a deep breath, pulled out of his arms, stood up and started digging in the branches of the tree. She found what she was looking for and gracefully dropped to her knees. She held out a small wrapped box topped with a large bow that engulfed it.

He took it and unwrapped it while she spoke uncertainly, “I didn’t know, you know, if I should but I thought…” She hesitated. “Well, then I thought I should. But now, I’m thinking…” She paused again as he pulled the jeweler’s box out of the wrapping, allowing the paper to fall unheeded to the floor and flipped the box open with his thumb “You don’t have to wear it!” she finished on a strangled cry.