A/N: HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all of you, my wonderful, amazing, patient, generous, witty, fascinating and beautiful READERS! Whatever and if anything you celebrate this season, all my BEST WISHES to all of you! You are an enormous part of my life, and I LOVE YOU dearly!
It was already dark outside, when John once again returned from the kitchen, finally having turned off the oven, his dinner ready, and he went back on his li-lo, when suddenly a giant snowball hit the glass of the window. He took off his glasses and came up to the window, but couldn't see anyone in the street, although it was well lit by the streetlamps, and he turned around to return to his book, when another thump shook the glass behind him. He twirled around, but once again the street seemed empty.
He quickly threw his jacket on, pushed his feet in the boots and stepped outside. There wasn't a single soul in the street, everyone was probably sitting down to Christmas dinner already, and then the entrance door of the next house opened, and a bright red head stuck out. She was twisting her head, as if also trying to see someone, and then their eyes met.
He couldn't see her face well, but he thought he saw blush spreading on her cheeks, and he gave her a small friendly wave. She lifted her small hand as well, but instead of waving she froze in the same pose, and he realised she was staring at his front yard. He looked as well and saw a snowman.
Unlike his little friend hidden behind the bins this one was definitely male, wearing a long haired, black wig, tied in a ponytail, had a beard and a long colourful scarf. It was also very much hench, and was posing in a typical bodybuilder stance. It was intricately made, and John suddenly had a growing suspicion that the snowman was a caricature, and he might know whom to.
He was going to give her a slightly sarcastic look and maybe even come up to the fence to inquire whether he should be insulted or flattered, when he saw another snow figure in her front yard. And in complete mortification he realized that it was his little Elfette, the garland bow and freckles all in place, and he froze staring at it.
And then the most wonderful sound he had ever heard in his life reached his ears. She was laughing loudly and openly, her laughter silver and merry, and he couldn't help it and a guffaw burst out of him. They came up to the fence at the same time, and she stretched her hand across it.
"Hi, I'm Wren," she had a lovely voice, melodic, with a sarcastic lilt to it, and he shook a surprisingly strong little hand.
"Hi, I'm John." He looked back at the snowman in his yard and smirked. "Thank you for the giant carrot, I'll consider it a compliment and not the mocking of my nose." She snorted and hid her face behind her hands. And then she peeked at him from between two digits, and he caught the impish sparkle in the one eye he could see. She had amazing eyes, slanted, almost Asian, greenish-brown, like Baltic amber.
"Well, at least I was more realistic. I do not have such enticing curves," she pointed at the snowlady on her side, and he chuckled.
"I'll be honest with you, I didn't expect anyone to see her. My nephews made her and hid her behind the bins." She was smiling to him widely, and he loved the bright red mouth, and the angular face, and then he blurted out for no conceivable reason, "I added the freckles, the ginger curls and the Elf outfit."
She laughed again, wrapping her arms around her middle. "I was so hoping no one would see me in that costume! There was a palava, and instead of a proper costume the rental company sent me... Well, you apparently saw it," she indeed was blushing, and it looked adorable. And fit. She was fit. He almost couldn't believe how fast and hard it hit him, and here he was, a flurry of emotions and imagining snogging her over this very fence. Blimey, he hadn't felt like this since uni. "I volunteer in children's hospital, and then I opened the bag, and there was that slag of an Elf in there," she made a funny disgusted grimace. "I worked the whole shift in my winter jacket. I was the Elf Who Just Couldn't Get Warm. They put me at the back when carolling. I am horrible anyroad, so it didn't matter. But I was boiling!" He was guffawing by the end of her story.
"I have to say that was the first time in my life I had inappropriate thoughts towards an Elf!" She blushed some more and giggled. "And I swear the snowmaiden was to stay behind the bins."
"We hid mine behind the garden shed!" Her voice was no less surprised. "I don't understand how it got out! My friend Thea and I made him, but with all honesty it was her idea with the wig," she chewed on her bottom lip. "Will you believe me if I say we were making David Gilmour?" He barked a laughter.
"No, but I'll tell you I fancy you even more now since you know who he is." As soon as this statement fell off his lips, he froze and cringed. He had never in his life been so forward. Or so clumsy in chatting up a girl. She was blushing and staring at him, and then something changed in her eyes. She took a deep breath and gave him a direct look in the eyes.
"What do you do for Christmas, John?" He thought he could just kiss her at that moment.
"Eating dinner alone. You?"
"I can't cook. So I have some Chinese, which I don't fancy much." She was starting to smile to him, and he thought that even in a simple white jumper she was still as mind-blowingly sexy and cute as in the Elf corset.
"I don't have any pudding," he decided he should warn her.
"I am a baker, and I have twenty six boxes of biscuits in my kitchen." He shortly wondered if he had already fallen in love with her. "And plum pudding. And I just finished decorating a yule log."
"Marry me." Her eyebrows jumped up to her hairline, and then she suddenly grabbed his hand and pulled him down. Her soft cool lips pressed to his cheek, above his beard, and then she giggled and rushed back to the house.
"See you in an hour?" She shouted over her shoulder, and he was still standing half-bent staring at the spot where she was a second ago. Her hair was soft, a curl had brushed the tip of his nose, and she smelled of lilacs.
"Yeah, I'll start setting the table," he croaked back, and she disappeared inside. He looked at the snowman in his yard and then guffawed loudly. "Are the two of you in conspiracy? A bit of Christmas miracle?" He asked the snowman, surprisingly not feeling like a complete idiot while talking to a shape made of crystallised water. "Did you decide to get yourself a little perky ginger too? Good on you, mate." John patted the snowman's shoulder and ran inside. There was a lot to prepare.
They were cuddled on his li-lo, he wrapped around her, the crown of her red head tucked under his chin. In one hand he held the book, a plate of sweets under the second one.
The wind was howling and the thunder still growling, and they had a business getting themselves and their ponies along. Still it was not very far to go, and before long they came to a big rock standing out into the path. If you stepped behind, you found a low arch in the side of the mountain. There was just room to get the ponies through with a squeeze, when they had been unpacked and unsaddled. As they passed under the arch…
He had a magnificent voice, she thought, low and smoky, and one could feel he was really enjoying the story. She was enjoying the feeling of his strong, scorching body around her. She could just imagine being in those snow-covered mountains, with wind slashing the grey stone, and she moved into him tighter, and he pressed his cheek to the top of her head. He smelled of juniper soap, some expensive cologne, and herbs he roasted vegetables in, and her Florentines, which were actually her signature ones, and he kept on stealing them from the box.
They had talked and talked over dinner, he taught History in the uni, and she loved his odd sarcastic humour. She had caught him stare at her lips a few times, and they shared their first kiss taking dishes to the kitchen after they were done with the turkey, which was exceptional actually. The kiss was exceptional as well, her head swam, and she grabbed handfuls of the red cashmere jumper on his chest. They had to stop to catch their breath, her cheekbones were flaming, and he gave her a warm smile.
He kept on reading, she was warm and cozy and wondered where the familiarity was coming from. She slightly shifted, so that she could see his profile, and he suddenly looked at her from the corner of his eye. She decided she loved the crinkles in the corners.
"It's snowing," she softly said, and he looked at the window. "I should probably be going..." She sounded uncertain even to her own ears. He looked at her again, and the corners of his lips twitched. She expected a joke, but he suddenly leaned to her ear, and she found out that this voice was not just for audio books. Blimey, the man could sing, even if it was nothing but a half-whispered humming.
"Baby, it's cold outside..." She laughed, and he nuzzled her neck, "I'm lucky that you dropped in… Look out the window at that storm..." She did and saw three lonely snowflakes fly by the window.
"You are a duffus," she purred and pushed her hands into his mane. He hummed agreeing, and she quickly kissed the tip of his indubitably long nose. "Alright, quote for a quote?" He nodded and was leaning to her lips, and she quickly whispered before it was too late. "Let it snow..."
Soon all the lights were out in the house, a few candles left in the living room, fire still crackling in the fireplace, while outside two snowmen were pressed together in the yard. They happily sighed in each other's arms, feeling they did a jolly good job today. Climbing the damn fence was an aggro, but look at the result!
May all your Christmases be white!