One Drop

By Aislinn Cailin

The last of the mistletoe was up. With a relaxed sigh, Casey jumped off the chair she was standing on. She couldn't believe how perfectly this year's Christmas was turning out. The tree was absolutely gorgeous, especially with the golden angel Casey had made at a crafts show a couple of weeks ago, she had found the most gorgeous red and green outfit at the mall yesterday, her gingerbread cookies were finally coming out perfectly, and to top it all off, there was a bit of snow coming in every day. Yes, everything was fabulous. It was as if Santa himself had planned all of this.

What else do we need? She thought, humming to herself. Oh, of course! Her Christmas music!

Casey hurried upstairs to get the collection of Christmas CDs she had complied over the last few years. They had the best Christmas songs. This year, everything would be perfect.

She went back downstairs and popped in the first CD. Jewel's version of Joy to the World started up.

A voice from inside the kitchen started singing along.

"Joy to the World, Casey is dead. We'll bar… becue … her head!"

Annoyed – why of course, it would have to be Derek to put a damper on her Christmas spirit – she went inside the kitchen.

"Well, well. And I thought you might have been too old to sing childish songs like that."

Derek continued rummaging in the fridge. "At least I'm old enough not to listen to that garbage."

Casey's temper flared. "That's not garbage, that's a beautiful version of Joy to the World. Maybe if you were a bit more cultured, you'd appreciate it."

Derek pulled a carton out of the fridge and snorted. "Maybe if you weren't such a hag, you'd like to listen to some real music, other than this Christmas crap."

Casey cocked an eyebrow. "This coming from the guy who was listening to All I Want for Christmas is You, last night?"

Derek turned around and closed the fridge with his foot. "Well that's the exception."

"Why? Because it relates to one of your whores?"

Derek smirked. "Wouldn't you love to know who that was for?"

"Actually, I wouldn't, thanks. I have better things to waste my time on."

Derek shrugged and raised the carton to his lips.

"Derek, that's disgusting! The eggnog's not just for you! And could you please not drink all of it? They run out so fast on the shelves."

Derek wasn't listening; he kept on chugging away.

"Derek!" Casey went around the table, trying to grab the carton. He turned around, avoiding her hands with a bit of difficulty, but finishing his drink all the same.

"Derek, please! There are more people in this world than you!"

She at last managed to grab the eggnog out of his hand. Peering inside, she saw that there was hardly any left. She flung the carton at him. Derek ducked. The carton bounced off the window and landed in the sink.

"Aren't you a bit too old to throw tantrums?"

Casey gave him a death glare. "You stupid, pompous jerk! Do you know how often we have to go to the grocery store just to get one damn carton? The rest of us actually try to drink a little, especially with six other people in this family. Couldn't you at least save one drop for us? Can't you think about someone else for"

The way Derek was staring at her cut her off abruptly. He wasn't looking at her the way he normally did when she yelled at him – a bored, careless glance. Instead, he had a slight smirk on his lips, and there was a strange expression in his eyes. Amusement, excitement, some sort of newfound energy, but one that Casey couldn't quite place.

"Why are you looking at me like —"

He cut her off, stepping closer to her. "Want one drop?"

Casey's eyes flashed with anger. "All right, give me one drop."

He grabbed her by the arm and pressed her close to his body, his eyes so powerfully fixed on hers. Before Casey realised what he was doing, he had bent down and brushed his lips against hers gently.

He tasted of peppermint and eggnog and something else – something so entirely Derek. Casey didn't know if she found it hard to breathe because they had yet to come up for air, or because of what he was doing to her.

Then, as abruptly as he started, he broke off. Casey opened her eyes, eyed the smirking smile once again. He had yet to let go of her, and pulled her closer.

"One drop," he whispered, his lips brushing her ear, before finally letting her go. He then walked out of the kitchen.

Dazed, confused, Casey leaned back against the table. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, she registered that O Holy Night, the song that was playing now, had abruptly stopped — almost as if someone had turned it off. All I Want for Christmas is You started up in its place.

Author's Note: Hee, just a little Christmas treat for all of you. Hope you liked it. All reviews are appreciated, especially constructive criticism. :)

Happy Holidays & New Years!

- Aislinn Cailin