Of Reflections and Romances

A one-shot follow-up to last year's 'Of Holly and Hobgoblins'. Hard to believe that it's been a whole year! I got so many more readers than I expected, thank you so much for all the wonderful reviews, and I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing! What began with a simple Christmas story has grown into an entire holiday-themed series (the latest of which still needs completion – I will get to it, please be patient!) In the meantime, here is a little bit of fluff.

Merry Christmas! ~ W.J.

Sarah stared into the mirror over her dressing table. What she saw was a sixteen-year-old girl clad in a red blouse with trailing lace-trimmed sleeves matched with a red-embroidered vest, her hair pulled up in a loose twist and fixed in place with a hair pin that was adorned with a beautiful crystal rose. Hazel eyes watched the glass impatiently. She idly fingered the heart-shaped pendant around her neck. She was the only one in the room, and yet her own reflection wasn't all she expected – or wanted – to see.

Should I say it?

She took a deep breath, and then, using her best, most commanding theatrical voice:

"I wish the Goblin King would-"

"-appear here right now?"

She jumped involuntarily as another reflection suddenly appeared in the mirror beside her, its owner finishing the soliloquy for her.

"Geez, you scared me again! Fashionably late as always, I see!"

He accessorized his wintry outfit, also arrayed in red and trimmed with luxurious fur, with his trademark smirk. Thus adorned, he quoth: "Love sought is good, but given unsought, is better.*" He affectionately chucked her chin as he said it, making a matching colour of warmth permeate her cheeks. "Speaking of 'searching', can you guess where your Christmas present is?"

He stood with his hands hidden behind his back, an impish – or rather, a goblish – expression on his face. She gave him a chagrinned look. "That's hardly a fair challenge! Just how many locations are possible with you? Or do you want me to search a whole labyrinth for it?"

Their knowing smiles mirrored each other. "Well then, I'll give you a generous hint!" He obligingly raised both hands, which were revealed to be empty, and offered her something in his right which hadn't been in it a moment ago. She had time to realize that it was a gleaming, transparent sphere of crystal…

Then the orb left his hand, arcing up over her head; startled, her eyes instinctively followed it upwards… as she watched, it gradually changed, turning into a vaguely wreath-shaped curl of foliage that sprouted spontaneously in mid-air…

"Merry Christmas, Sarah…"

She had time to notice that the crystal had turned into a sprig of mistletoe that obediently remained suspended above her head, before a halo of golden hair imposed itself between her and it. A pair of deep-blue eyes gazed steadily into hers. He moved even closer, their matching pendants clinking softly together.

"… and Happy Anniversary."

And he gently smothered any unuttered reply upon her lips with his own.

* From Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act III, Scene I.