Edited: 2/28/2016 :)
Ahh, Christmas. What a wonderful time of year.
This year, Carter and I were hosting a Christmas party. Despite the backbreaking work it took - and by backbreaking I mean partially watching Carter struggle to hang up Christmas lights - the house was fully decorated and ready for the guests. The festive lights blinked periodically upon the red and green streamers.
Entering the living room, I spotted a mischievous baboon in a Los Angeles Lakers jersey. He seemed to be filling one of the party bowls with burritos.
"Khufu!" I shouted at him, leaping over the couch. "What the heck are you doing?"
With an "agh!" and an accusatory look of protest, he shuffled away with his burritos.
I sighed and peered into the bowl. At least they had been frozen burritos, so it wasn't like they had caused too much damage to the little green striped Christmas mints inside. There didn't seem to be very many of them left, so I called out to Carter.
"What?" he asked, his curly head popping in from the doorway. "You don't need to yell, you know."
"What happened to all the Christmas mints in this bowl?" I asked him. "I could have sworn there were more."
Carter narrowed his eyes at me. "Sadie, you've been eating them since this morning."
Oh… Right. They were just so good; I hadn't realized that I had eaten that many.
"Let's hope the guests overlook them and choose something else," Carter said, eyeing the rest of the food on the table. He bit his lip in worry.
"Yeah, okay," I said, rolling my eyes. "Except they're right smack-dab in the middle of the table. They're basically the centerpiece."
Carter sighed and mumbled something under his breath. He walked over and picked up the delicate little bowl filled halfway with mints and moved it to a different area of the table.
"Happy now?" he asked, and I shrugged in response. "Now, excuse me, I have to go finish some last minute preparations."
As he left the living room, I made a silent prayer to myself hoping that things would go smoothly during the party.
When the guests started arriving, Bast arrived with Friskies and a jug of milk. I hugged her and asked her why she had brought them when we already had plenty of options for food.
"I thought we could eat them as appetizers!" Bast suggested, beaming.
I laughed nervously, patting her arm. "Uh, sure!"
The next guest to arrive was Zia Rashid in a flattering red dress for that extra Christmas-y spirit touch. I was pretty sure that Carter was drooling at a hundred miles per hour.
Uncle Amos also came to visit, a sack of Christmas presents slung over his shoulder like Santa Claus.
"To make up for last year," he clarified, smiling.
There were others who came as well. I recognized friends from my new school and some of Carter's nerdy acquaintances.
"Do you think everyone made it?" I asked Carter after awhile. Everything seemed to be going smoothly, and everyone seemed to be having a good time.
He looked around and nodded. "I think so." And then, as if realizing we were missing someone important, he shook his head. "No, there's one more person who hasn't arrived yet."
"Who?" I asked.
"He's probably just running late," he said, avoiding my question. Before I could demand an answer, he walked away quickly to help clean up a spilled drink.
I continued to help running the party with my brother while talking to many of the guests. There was a "dance floor" in the corner of the living room where an old stereo was set up and blaring Christmas tunes. I tried not to look over there too much because I could see Khufu flinging Cheerios around while he "danced."
"Hey, Sadie," Zia greeted, approaching me. "Nice party! What's up?"
"Thanks," I said, not really wanting to talk to her at the moment. "Nothing, just have to refill these snack bowls."
"Ahh, cool," she said, her eyes shifting away. What she… nervous?
"Listen," she continued, "You know your brother, right?"
"I wish I didn't sometimes, but yes," I answered suspiciously. "Why?"
"Well, I brought a Christmas gift for him, and I was wondering where I should put it," she said, holding up a small wrapped present in her hands. "Preferably somewhere so that he'll open it on Christmas day."
Ha, no gift for me?
I took the present and placed it under the Christmas tree. What was even inside it? Nude pictures of Zia? Oh my God, forget I said that.
"Thanks, Sadie," Zia said, throwing me a brief smile before leaving my side to let me tend to the snack bowls. Not five seconds later, Carter came barreling over to me.
"What did she say?" he asked, eyes wide. "Anything about me?"
I rolled my eyes at my brother's desperation. "She said she has a huge crush on you and secretly loves your total nerdiness."
"Whatever," he muttered. "Oh look, he's here."
I followed his eyes towards a familiar teenage-looking boy with a pale complexion and decked out in black, despite it being a Christmas party. His dark eyes scanned the room before they landed on mine.
I almost choked and grabbed at Carter's arm. "Dude, what? Did you invite him? I didn't invite him - Oh my God, do I look okay? Why did you invite him?"
Carter unhinged his arm from my grip and smiled slightly. "Merry Christmas." As Anubis approached us, Carter left my side to talk to someone else.
I felt my heart somersaulting into overdrive as he seemed to walk in slow motion, his tall, good-looking figure enticing my thoughts. It was like he was stopping time as some sort of god - well, I guess he was a god, but that wasn't the point. I threw him a nervous smile as he finally reached me.
"Hi Sadie," Anubis greeted, smiling. "Carter invited me. Sorry I'm so late."
"Oh, it's um, fine, you're fine!" I sputtered. "I mean, wait, no yeah, it's okay. I accept your apology!" Nervous laughter left my system. God, pull it together, Sadie.
"Nice party," he complimented, turning his head to look around the room.
"Thanks!" I said, gulping. "Uh… Do you want some snacks?" I gestured to the snack table.
His eyes browsed the table before stopping over something in particular. "I'll have this, I guess." Anubis dipped a hand into a bowl and pulled out a small mint between his thumb and index finger.
I was about to say what a good choice that was because the Christmas mints were actually really great, but I stopped myself when seeing that what he held in his fingers was the last one.
I didn't know what compelled me to do so, but I guess you could say I panicked as I grabbed the mint from his hand. Anubis stared at me in surprise.
"I have a strong love for these mints," I said, popping it in my mouth. "So I'm sorry that I just… Wow, I just took it from you." I was going to die.
Surprisingly, his warm chocolate eyes seemed to smile in amusement at my reasoning and that's when things started to get really bad. Anubis closed the distance between us and lifted one of his pale hands to my cheek. Really, it was just happening so fast when he-
He leaned in and before I could resist, his soft lips collided with mine. My heart was definitely not beating at a safe level at this point. Who knew the toilet paper god could be so… so… enchanting? I could feel my lips melding with his as heat seeped into my cheeks.
Before I knew what was happening, his tongue started to run over my bottom lip. At that point, I thought I would explode. Opening my mouth slightly to allow him entrance, a vague thought floated through my already spinning brain asking what the heck was happening right now?!
As soon as it had started, it ended as Anubis pulled away softly and peered at me with those melty warm eyes. He smiled with almost a cheekiness to it, seemingly rolling something around his tongue.
"Wh-what was that for?!" I asked him. I thought I was about to pee my pants.
"Merry Christmas, Sadie," Anubis laughed, shoving his hands into the pockets of his black jeans. God, he was so ho- And that's when I realized.
That death boy had just taken my goddamn Christmas mint.