EJK:So, it's been a while since I last wrote something for this story but the rewrite is coming up so stay tuned. This is a New Years one shot for the holidays since I was too lazy to write for Christmas. Think of it as a combination of both. It's still New Year's Day so it counts for something. If the format looks a bit strange, it's because the document manager is being a douche and I had to copypasta my text into an old file. So happy New Year's may you spend it with the ones you love!
Corrine: Disclaimer: EJK doesn't own Style Savvy and the one shot takes a few months after Dominic and I meet but we're dating. Just think of this plot/story as separate from the Satin Roses plot. And don't forget to review!
The year had gone by too quick. How long had he known her for, only a month nearly two? All in all, he felt as if he knew her for much longer. He wanted to know even more. Staring into the vast vaulted ceiling of his bedroom, Dominic felt the dull pangs of an eggnog-induced hang over fade as sharp pangs of a Corrine-deprived wanting took over. It was the dissatisfying emptiness that left Dominic desperate for Corrine's soft touch and gentle laugh. Oh that sweet, soft laugh of hers that stilled tinkled in his ears despite not seeing her in days.
For the holidays, they decided to spend it separately, with their respective families to avoid the awkward conversations that would ensue if they were absent. Instead, they chose to spend New Year's Eve and the following day together. Dominic had just arrived back home from Tokyo, where his enthusiastic and exhausting sisters harangued him for seventy-two hours straight without any breaks. Still, he loved them and he had a joyful time in Tokyo, having been away from home for much too long. His grandparents were still lively and healthy much to Dominic's relief and they pampered him endlessly with large meals and warm embraces. Then, the day before he left, Dominic's grandfather called Dominic into his study.
"Dominic, you appear to be successful this year even more so than your father." His grandfather's heavily accented English still bore his regal upbringing and elegance.
Sixty years ago, the half-Japanese half-English Soichiro Strata had arrived to a xenophobic Tokyo to create the Strata Corporation with only a few hundred dollars in his hole-ridden pockets and it has thrived ever since. Dominic had an undying respect for the aging man, who sat across from him, still appearing strong and passionate as he had been in his younger years.
"It was thanks to your guidance, sir." Dominic bowed respectfully, taking a seat in the stiff Queen Anne furniture. Soichiro observed his young grandson, his only grandson, with quiet approval.
"I hear that you've taken up with a special woman?"
"Your sisters cannot stop talking about it." Soichiro laughed mirthfully, his coarse laughter echoing in the enormous study. "A miraculous whirlwind romance, so I've heard?"
"Well, I suppose so." Shyly, Dominic stared into his lap in embarrassment.
"Chin up, my boy. There's nothing to be ashamed of. I met your grandmother fifty years ago and knew that she was the one for me the moment I picked up her cap. I have no regrets. Love is fickle but rewarding."
"Yes, sir." Dominic smiled tentatively at the black and white photo of his grandparent's wedding pictures. They were garbed in simple, white clothing yet the warmth their eyes shared was strong with happiness. Their eyes held the same amount of warmth to this day.
Standing up, his grandfather walked over to Dominic, towering over his tall grandson. He offered his fist, unfurling his calloused hand to reveal a small velvet box. Dominic took the proffered box and removed the top, then, he stared stupidly in surprise. It was a small white gold ring with two small cherry blossoms adorning it. In the center of the blossoms were clear, sparkling diamonds, the white gold flowers cradled them delicately.
"It was your grandmother's request. She is much too shy to offer it herself, but she wanted you to have it. Sabina has no need for it, Mara is too young, but you have someone special now. Whether or not that girl is the one for you is not up to me, but if she is or you find the one, your grandmother, no, we want you to give her this ring. It has blessed our marriage with happiness and strength and we hope it gives you and your loved one the same effect. If that woman never comes along, feel free to do as you please with it. We know your first marriage ended abruptly but we have faith that you'll be less impulsive and more thoughtful with the next one. This is why we give you this ring. It a symbol of our lasting love and commitment. We have faith that you won't forsake it, this time around."
Closing the top of the box, Dominic carefully placed the special gift in his pocket and bowed in thanks, "Thank you, I have faith that this time it will be different."
Staring at the velvet box that his hand clasped firmly, Dominic wondered how much of his promise was meaningful to him. Was it different with Corrine? She gave him refreshing joy and mirth, but so had Bella in the earlier stages of their marriage. Now, that marriage was dead and their friendship had been ruined, mangled to the point where he couldn't recognize it. He hoped that it would be different. Peering over to his alarm clock, Dominic sat up with a start as he realized he was late in picking up Corrine from Penn Station. Not a good way to start the New Year.
As the town car skidded to a stop in the parking garage of Penn Station, Dominic dashed out the door, leaving Godfrey to admire his new bowtie by himself. As he entered the busy station, he bit back a groan of annoyance as he waded through the messy, crowded train station. When he finally fought his way out of the crowd, Dominic speed-walked to their designated meeting place, a small pseudo-French café that Corrine insisted had the best cinnamon buns, patiently awaiting his long missed companion when he arrived. To his relief, Corrine hadn't arrived yet and he sat down in a cushy wooden chair, wiping off the sweat that dripped off of his worried face. After ordering four cinnamon buns, Dominic waited in anticipation. Ten minutes passed from her arrival time and the hot cinnamon buns cooled as Dominic lost his patience. Shoving a sticky bun in his mouth, Dominic began devouring it voraciously, ignoring the sweet icing and crumbs that clung to his cheeks. When he finished his first one, Dominic spent his time playing with the other, not wanting to eat it as hungrily as he did before.
Then, his phone took the opportunity to distract Dominic from his ongoing frustration. Accepting the call from his Blackberry, Dominic asked hollowly, "Hello?"
"Dominic?" Corrine's voice rang out clearly through the fuzzy connection their phones had.
"Yeah, it's me, dummy. Listen, my train was delayed due to the snow from last night and I'll be an hour late. I'm sorry." Her disappointment was genuine and wrought with worry.
Understandingly, Dominic replied, "No, it's completely fine. You can't control the weather. So, should I go back home?"
"Yeah, that's probably a good idea. Don't worry. I'll just get a cab when I get here."
"Has your mother taught you nothing? No 'buts,' got it?" He could hear her sigh breathily into the phone, "I'll be fine. You worry too much for your own good. Go home, watch that Doctor Who marathon with Godfrey, help Eunice with cooking dinner, just do something to forget about me, okay? I'm sorry that I ruined our plans but next year we'll get it right. I know we will."
"Fine, Corrine Flynn, you put up a good argument."
He could hear unbridled laughter crackle from the other side of the connection, "I really don't. You're just an easy pushover."
"It's never 'bye,' Dominic. It's 'see you later.'" Wistfully, Corrine commented before ending the connection between the two.
Slumping back into his seat, Dominic shoved another cinnamon bun into his mouth to prevent screaming in frustration.
The cursed snow began falling again as Dominic arrived home, wondering if Corrine would be further delayed. It was four hours before the year would end and he dreaded spending it alone, he wouldn't be alone in a physical sense but emotionally. Parking the car in the garage, Godfrey spent a good amount of the time fumbling for the key, muttering about finding a pen in the car. Dominic glared at his elderly companion and manually unlocked his door, exiting into the frigid air that was filled with snowflakes that danced in the cold, blustery wind. Walking up the stone driveway that led to his mansion, Dominic curiously found the lights in it to be on. Eunice was the only one in the house and she rarely cared to have the lights on unless there were guests. Dominic nearly tripped as he hopped up the stairs that led to his home. Turning the icy doorknob, Dominic felt warm, ginger scented air melt the frost off of his face as he ventured inside. Dominic didn't know what to expect but he knew what he hadn't expected. He hadn't expected to be greeted with silly string sprayed in his face.
"Surprise!" There, ten feet from him, was the best gift he would receive that year. Corrine jumped up and down in enthusiastic fervor, spraying more gold silly string into the air. When she was greeted with silence, Corrine calmed down and sighed in disappointment, "I guess this wasn't the greatest surprise but I know you like to spend holidays in peace. It does look pretty pathetic when only one person yells surprise. Not my greatest idea… I'm not even in a nice dress or anything, but I just came like an hour before. But I brought my sister-in-law's gingerbread and there's nothing that can beat good gingerbread…"
Timidly, Corrine brushed back an errant strand of her auburn hair as she shuffled awkwardly in her knee length velvet skirt and bronze tinted sweater. Her eyes wavering uncertainly under Dominic's gaze, she made as if to speak further but Dominic began to walk up to her. Without any words, Dominic wrapped her in his cold arms as he nestled his head in the crook of her smooth neck. Tightening his grip, Dominic feared that if he let go then Corrine would fade away like a dream. Delicately, Corrine let her thin arms wrap around Dominic's back and she rested her head against his. There they stood in blissful peace for what felt like eternity, the reality surrounding them melting away in a warm embrace.
"What's this?" Corrine had finally let go but she felt a lump in Dominic's coat pocket. Dominic winced as he remembered that the velvet box that he had pocketed in a haste. He hadn't planned on telling her about the ring, wanting to save the moment for a special occasion in the future. Pulling out the wrapped albeit crushed cinnamon buns, Dominic laid them on the coffee table besides the gingerbread.
"You know what? I have a feeling that I don't want to know." Taking a seat in the soft cushion of his sofa, Corrine began nibbling the warm gingerbread she had brought back. Offering a heart shaped piece, Corrine smirked at Dominic's confusion. "My sister-in-law said that these are meant to be shared with the one you love. So guess what? I'm hungry and I love you. What a perfect coincidence."
Breaking off half of the heart, Dominic savored the spicy sweet flavor of the treat and he slumped down into the seat besides her. Coiling his arm around her shoulders, Dominic allowed Corrine to rest her head onto his shoulder, watching the falling snow in tranquility. The entire moment was spent in silence until Dominic realized that Corrine had drifted off into sleep, soft breaths huffing from her slightly parted lips. He didn't move in fear that he would disrupt such a lovely image instead he brought out the small velvet box and gazed at the two cherry blossoms resting on the cushion. Such fragility, such beauty yet he felt a warmth exuding from the golden flowers, warmth only found in the sunniest of spring. It was comforting. Dominic realized that he felt peace and comfort, the feeling that nothing could cause a discord in the stillness and he felt satisfied. Contentment beyond relief. Surely enough, Dominic felt the effects of jet lag creep up on his mind and he allowed his eyelids to droop shut. His last image being the serene form of Corrine, ignorant and blissful. His last thought being hopeful of a continuing future of comfort and fulfillment with a new companion.
EJK:Yeah, I forgot to mention that it would be cheesy. Eh, it's the holidays, if it's not cheesy it's bland. So read and review, you know the drill. And my college applications are finally done so I'll be updating more!