The stockings hung off of the sparse mantle frame, dangling over the fireplace that had never been used before. Lush pine green garlands were woven merrily throughout, glittering with fresh strands of white lights that, in the darkness, almost looked like glints of snow. The 6' tree that had barely made it through the door stood bushy and regal, decorated with a mish mash of ornaments both Callie and Arizona had collected throughout their lives. There were Popsicle stick reindeer, crudely painted wreaths housing red-faced toddler pictures, and dozens of cotton ball-bearded figurines of Santa. Both women were very proud of their childhood adornments, which blended in with the Svarski, Radakoff, and lavish round globes, dusted with glitter and set in deep red and green hues.
Faint sounds of Ella Fitzgerald's Silent Night played in the background, warm smells of cider Callie had boiled earlier made the pine-y air smell a bit like it had been spritzed with cinnamon mingled in with the chocolate cookies they baked earlier. The warm tones, the smells, and the lights were soothing.
"I love the way the Christmas tree smells," Callie said, grinning as she took a huge inhale through her nostrils, plopping down on the couch next to it.
Arizona, still fussing with the side of the tree that she thought looked bare, nodded. "I know, it reminds me of being a kid."
Callie was exhausted. Between cutting down the tree, tying it to the roof of Arizona's Subaru, and trying to get it int the house and into the tree stand that looked like something out of those Saw movies… not to mention decorating the beast, had really taken it out of her. She felt her eyes start to lid, listening to the Christmas song that felt like a lullaby, hearing Arizona hum along with it. It was cozy, and the couch was so well-loved that it seemed to cradle her in her own little nook. It didn't take long before she was out cold, snoring lightly, which spurred a giggle from the blonde, who was finally satisfied with the tree. This was their fourth Christmas together, and in keeping with tradition, Callie generally fell asleep after the entire operation.
Arizona tiptoed over to her sleeping beauty and tugged the fleecy Christmas blanket off the back of the couch, gently draping it over the peaceful woman. She smiled to herself and bent down to press a kiss to her temple. She would have gotten into the kitchen unscathed, if it hadn't been for a very warm hand with very warm fingers encircling her wrist.
"Lay with me," Callie said, almost pouting, and Arizona rolled her eyes.
"I was going to start dinner," The blond protested.
If she laid down, there was a good chance she wasn't going to get back up.
"Seriously, 'Zone.. we get pizza every year after decorating. What dinner were you planning on starting?" Callie chuckled.
"Fine, fine," Arizona singsonged before scooting in next to the woman and snuggling up to her.
"You're so freaking freezing. I swear you're part amphibian," Callie grumbled, recoiling once Arizona's bare feet touched her own.
"We're not all hot blooded, sexy Latinas like you, Miss Torres. Hopefully you'll forgive me someday."
Arizona kissed her, lightly, lips still tasting like cinnamon. It made Callie shiver a little, and prompted her to wrap her fingers around the back of the blond's neck, passing through soft waves, and pulling her closer again. Arizona obliged her, rolling on top of her underneath the blanket. Callie felt comforted by the added weight atop of her and wrapped her arms snugly around her.
Before long, that innocent little cinnamon kiss had turned into a full fledged make out session, complete with Arizona's hands sliding underneath Callie's t-shirt, teasing the soft skin there.
"Bed?" Callie mumbled against Arizona's earlobe, nibbling on it gently.
"Not yet," Arizona replied, biting her lip some. "I have a surprise for you."
Callie squinted. "Unless this surprise entails you being very naked in the next few minutes, I'm not sure if I'm game."
Arizona lifted herself off of the other woman. "Something like that," She teased.
Callie swallowed hard and sat straight up, watching as Arizona headed straight for the bedroom. "And no peeking!" Arizona called from behind the closed door.
The brunette's mind starting reeling, trying to recall the last time this happened. If memory served, Arizona ambushed her, blindfolded her, and tied her arms up with a silk scarf to the bed post. There was also ice involved. The memory made her shiver, in more ways than one.
"Close your eyes, Calliope!" Arizona called again, muffled behind the door.
Callie did as she was told, but the anticipation was killing her.
Suddenly the music switched from "Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer" To "Merry Christmas, Baby" which automatically piqued Callie's interest even more so. She shuddered pleasantly, thinking of what was going to happen. She had impeccable intuition. Usually when she thought something was going to be good, she was spot on.
"Okay, open your eyes," Arizona whispered huskily against Callie's ear before pulling away.
But no amount of intuition could have prepared her for the sight in front of her.
Every notion of Santa or Mrs. Claus or elves that used to rest innocently in her brain was now tainted forever with this searing hot image, forever to be embedded into her mind.
She couldn't and wouldn't be able to describe exactly what Arizona was wearing. It was fire engine red and belted at the waist, the skirt of it hitting right below Arizona's ass. The entirety of the garment was trimmed in white faux fur, with a hat to match. The best part of the ensemble were the high black leather boots. Callie felt like a cartoon wolf. She was afraid at any moment that her jaw would slacken, her eyes would bug out of her head, and she'd be tempted to shout "AROOOGAH!" after wolf-whistling the sight in front of her eyes. Instead, she could only clear her throat and blink to make sure this wasn't some Christmas cookie induced mirage.
"So, I bought this.. and…yeah…."
"You certainly did…" Callie smirked, grinning wolfishly. There was that metaphor again. "Planning on going caroling?"
"Calliope, come on. You know I'm not going caroling," She whined almost petulantly.
Callie kind of enjoyed watching Arizona squirm. It was a rare occurrence, and when it happened she just had to soak it up.
"I know, I know. Just feeling spirited? Christmassy?" Callie smirked, knowingly.
Arizona threw her hands up and started retreating, the skirt of that costume bouncing a bit as she angrily swayed her hips, walking back toward the bedroom. Callie groaned and propelled herself forward, taking a hold of Arizona's wrist and gently tugging her into her arms.
"You look…incredible. And you so cannot just walk away from me like that." Callie said softly, wrapping her arms around Arizona's waist, thumbs sliding over the soft material.
"Well," Arizona continued, feeling more secure locked up like this. "I just was trying to surprise you, is all."
Callie's brow arched, "Oh, I'm surprised."
"There's this and another gift. A totally, super freakin' awesome gift that you're not getting 'til Christmas day…"
"Arizonahhh…" Callie said with another pout. "That's five days from now!"
"Nope. No ifs, ands, or buts. Now are you going to enjoy this early present? Or am I going to have to put you on the naughty list?" Arizona said, her words like velvet against Callie's ear.
"Please do…" Callie retorted, slipping her hands down under the skirt, to find — absolutely nothing. This was turning out to be a very merry surprise.
Arizona folded into Callie's arms, those touches enough to fuel the fire even more. She liked spicing it up a little, even if their sex life was generally pretty amazing. And she felt sexy in red.
They kissed their way to the bedroom, only bumping one wall hard enough to disturb the portrait of Seattle's skyline, causing it to sway on its side and fall off of its nail. Callie could care less if the frame broke right now. She had one goal in mind: Getting Arizona on her back, and that skirt up over her hips.
"There are way too many things keeping me from your body right now," Callie complained, pawing at that belt.
Arizona laughed and shook her head, re-focusing those bottle blues back onto Callie as she took her by either shoulder and dropped her onto the bed. She mumbled, "Good things come to those who wait," before straddling Callie as the Latina sat on the bed. All Callie could think about was the fact that Arizona had no underwear on underneath that velor dress. She slid two anxious hands up along the outside of Arizona's thighs before doubling back and to slip along the silky skin of her inner thighs.
"When did you get those boots?" Callie asked, fascinated by her holiday bedecked girlfriend in every capacity.
"I can't tell you, Santa would kill me if I gave away the name of his shoe elf," Arizona said playfully and wrapped her arms around the woman beneath her.
"I can't even take you seriously," Callie laughed, and shook her head. She wasn't sure if Arizona was Mrs. Claus or an elf or just one of the Claus' sort of slutty, misguided daughters for this little costume show. This woman was turning her into a perv.
Arizona pushed Callie backwards so she was lying flat on her back and tugged on that long-sleeved thermal the woman was wearing. She looked so sexy in such a simple piece of fabric. Next went the drawstring on those cottony sweatpants. while both hands hooked in an attempt to pull them down. She rubbed through the thin cotton of her underpants, and Callie all but begged, "Off, take them off…" Which Arizona did…
with agonizing slowness.
Callie was moaning already, wanting more of this teasing touching that Arizona was giving her. Arizona brought it, though, fingers sliding inside of her, pumping, pushing, thrusting. Her body responded with healthy doses of groaning, peppering the otherwise quiet air with exclamations of "God, yes, Arizona…" She stroked Callie in ways that she'd mastered over the years, coupling her digits' pace with that of her thumb as it rubbed against Callie's clit, before ridding of the situation all together. Her kisses started at her clavicle and went further, in between her breasts, along her belly, nibbling at her hip and inner thigh. Arizona was intent on finishing this job with her tongue.
Which Callie never minded.
The woman did things with her mouth that made Callie wonder if they should get it insured. It was that good. As her tongue flicked rapidly against her and those fingers pumped inside of her, it wasn't long before she found herself arching high off the bed, grasping at Arizona's hair (after knocking that Santa cap off of her head), and holding her in between the apex of her thighs. The sight never got old. She was happy their neighbors were a couple of law students who weren't home for the holiday break. They didn't need that annoying knocking on the wall again.
She was stunned to silence. Absolutely stunned. Feeling a little like she'd just been awoken from unconsciousness with an ice cold bucket of water.
Arizona smiled from beneath the messy tangle of hair Callie had created and sat back up, beginning to take the costume off, starting with the belt.
"No," Callie stilled her hand. "Leave it on."
The blond's eyebrows shot upward. "Calliope…'
"What? You look… like one of those Victoria's Secret models," Well, better, in Callie's mind.
"Mm, points for you…" The blond nearly cooed, giggling as Callie flipped her on her back.
This could only mean good things.
"Boots too," Callie added as she parted Arizona's thighs, slipping in between them. Arizona suddenly felt hot all over, despite the scant outfit.
"Mmm." The blond nodded, accepting the fiery kiss from her girlfriend.
Callie didn't want to waste time, this was all just… hot. Arizona with those legs for days and that costume. There was no real time for foreplay. The Latina shook with anticipation as her mouth went to the girl's neck, kissing and biting it. Arizona's hands wrapped around Callie's back, pulling her in.
"Touch me…" She pleaded, and Callie groaned.
"Where?" The brunette grinned, playing with fire.
"Calliope, please…" Arizona squirmed underneath the woman, wrapping her legs around her. Callie felt the leather against her back, and gave in. She couldn't even pretend to be aloof right now.
Her fingers found what Arizona so desperately needed and two of them went in with ease. She wanted to stay like this, to look at Arizona, to keep her eyes locked within her own. This woman drove her insane, in every possible way, and feeling her literally wrapped around her body while she made love to her was quite seriously the best feeling in the world. The blond provided a wealth of pleasured sounds, keeping her hips in sync with Callie's wrist. Callie backed her movements with her hips, giving the thrusts some added leverage while her thumb went to work just north of her fingers.
Arizona tossed her head back onto the pillow with an appreciative moan. Her hips were going to hurt tomorrow, but it was so worth it.
So, so worth it.
"Calliope," She called raggedly and picked her head up to gaze into those searing brown eyes, and the way Callie was biting on her lower lip with effort.
Arizona couldn't hold it in any longer.
Fingernails scratched into the tanned skin of her girlfriend's back, legs tightening around her. The Latina shifted with her, never stopping, feeling Arizona start to shake. She was gasping for breath, trying so very hard to just…
"Oh, Calliope….Calliope… Calliope!" Arizona mumbled her name like a mantra, a prayer. And Callie would never get tired of the sound of it. Ever.
They stayed like that for a minute, the only sounds exchange being pants, trying to will more air into their lungs. Arizona slowly untangled herself from her love, and wrapped the blanket around them, grinning. No, glowing, at Calliope whose head rested on her chest, listening to her heartbeat.
Arizona chuckled a little and slid her fingertips through Callie's dark locks, combing them to one side. Callie looked up with heavy, contented eyelids and smiled. "So, wow…"
"Wow," Arizona mirrored her sentiments.
"I wasn't expecting that kind of surprise, but… wow." The Latina grinned.
"Wow, indeed," Arizona mumbled, kissing Callie's forehead. "Glad you enjoyed one of your presents."
"Wait!" Callie said, snapping into remembrance, "Can I at least get a hint at what the other present is?"
She had Arizona in an afterglow kind of daze. Sometimes this paid off for her with just enough vulnerability to get the blonde to spill.
"No!" Arizona mumbled definitively. "Drop it!"
"Come on, just one hint."
"You will, you always do. Now, enough." Arizona was only half-joking now and Callie rolled her eyes.
"God, it's not like it's an engagement ring or something, I'm not going to guess, seriously!" Callie huffed, eyes still smiling no matter how hard she was trying to keep a stoic face.
"Right…" Arizona replied slowly and looked away. "Oh, it's… late. Late. Late. We should um, you know, order pizza. If you're hungry."
Callie studied the blond for a moment and then pulled back. "Arizona…it's not…"
"Pizza, what kind of pizza do you want? Or Chinese? Hmm?" Arizona asked, shuffling out from underneath the woman and shrugging out of that costume in a few quick zips and tugs. She was digging through the side drawers for pajama bottoms.
"It's… really?" Callie felt like the Grinch who stole Arizona's Christmas.
She did have that Cindy Lou Who thing going for her right now. Mmm.
Callie mentally slapped herself. Focus.
"Mushrooms? Pepperoni? Veggies?" Arizona mumbled as she rooted through the drawer. She settled on one of Callie's shirts and began undressing.
"Look at me, Arizona." Callie quietly asked, knowing that this was suddenly far more serious than skanky Santa outfits and pizza.
The blond did, and squared her jaw after getting the shirt over her head.
"Is it…?" Callie asked, and Arizona swallowed.
She was the worst liar in the history of the world and she shook her head slowly, "N-nope!"
"Oh, oh wow…" Callie could feel herself tearing up and she blinked rapidly.
"I don't know why you're crying, it's totally not a ring. At all. Nope. Not a ring." Arizona forced a laugh, doing her best "nonchalant" which was really just sort of this jittery shrugging half-dance thing.
"Sweetie," Callie breathed and stood up, taking the sheet with her which she wrapped around herself, tucking it under her arms.
"Why do you have to ruin everything?" Arizona moaned and laid her head on Callie's shoulder.
Calliope wrapped her arms around the woman. "Let's get the pizza, come on. I'll forget about it."
Arizona burst into a loud clap of laughter. "You don't forget. Period."
"Come on. Pizza." She whispered and tugged Arizona's hand out of the room.
The blond gave Callie a small smile, feeling sort of defeated as she gave one last woeful glance to her underwear drawer.
The pair ordered the pizza and settled in on the couch, watching It's a Wonderful Life. They didn't speak. Arizona felt glum, and Callie was afraid tears would escape from her eyes at any moment. Oh and there was that whole feeling stupid for opening her mouth thing. Her heart was leaping. She wanted to call Mark. No, not Mark. Her mom. No, her dad. Cristina. Yeah, definitely. Hell she even wanted to call Meredith. Her mind was racing so fast that she couldn't focus on the movie or her girlfriend who was sitting with her knees to her chest, trying desperately not to look at her. So she figured she'd just close her eyes. Yep, just for a minute…
Arizona watched the end of the movie and turned to Calliope as the credits rolled. She hadn't been paying attention at all, and was instead lost deep in her head. She glanced at Callie, who hadn't uttered a peep during the entire film. The woman was asleep. It gave Arizona an idea. A really, really good idea.
Slowly untangling herself from the throw she tip-toed to the bedroom, opened her sock drawer, and retrieved that tiny little box.
Opening it, she studied the ring. Platinum band, square cut diamond, sitting there properly in its plush blue box. She closed it again and headed back out, sleuthing around the apartment like a private eye. She came back to the couch where Callie had the blanket tugged up to her chin, holding onto it with both hands— snoring.
Arizona took one of those hands. The left one, and very gently slipped the ring on her finger. It made her dizzy, sort of. It was real. Finite. She kissed it, never believing this moment was going to happen for her.
"Calliope, it's time for bed, come on, gorgeous." She whispered, still holding that hand.
"Awake, I'm awake…" Calliope mumbled and opened her eyes, studying those blues. "You…okay?" She asked, freeing her hand from Arizona's and resting it on her cheek. It took a few sleepy seconds, but then…
"Arizona…" Callie breathed, glancing at the ring, then back at the woman, then back at the ring.
"Yes…yes. Forever and a day, yes." Callie replied, nodding her head.
"Listen," Arizona chided. "And don't interrupt me."
"I love you Calliope Torres. I wanted to surprise you but you're a jerk, and that's okay too. I like that you keep me guessing, make me expect the unexpected. This was all going to be on Christmas morning with coffee and carols and… well… it's okay that it's now. Because I love you, like crazy. Even if you are the ruiner of surprises. It's good that it's now. Better even. So. I'm asking you to never change. To be mine forever. And… well, marry me." Arizona's voice cracked and she wiped her eyes with her free hand.
Callie's eyes were glittering with the happiest tears she'd ever had. More spilled when she realized Arizona was on one knee and everything.
"Forever and a day…" Callie assured, smiling through her teary eyes as Arizona kissed the knuckle between her ring and middle fingers.
Arizona shifted and slid herself into Callie's lap, kissing her with renewed happiness.
"Mmm," Callie said, pulling back some. "I only got you new Wheeleys… and a new black dress since I kinda… ripped the other one."
Arizona gently slapped her forehead with her palm. "You are a ruiner of all surprises, huh?"
Callie nodded, "Most of the time."
"What am I gonna do with you?" Arizona sighed, wrapping her arms around Callie's shoulders.
"I don't know, but you better figure it out. You're kind of stuck with me forever."
Arizona grinned, dimples coming out in full force.
"I'm okay with that."