Prompt: Candy Canes
Word Count: 930
Caning the Tree
"Cole, I swear to—"
"Jeez, chill!" Cole cut her off quickly, because if she started in on him she wouldn't stop. "I'm picking up the candy canes right now, okay?"
"It's Christmas eve. If you are not home with those candy canes before midnight, I will literally strangle you."
"I love you, too," he said cheekily and immediately hung up the phone. When Isabel got in her moods, well, he wasn't interested in listening in on them. He also wasn't sure why she thought he would remember candy canes, of all things.
(She'd reminded him daily for the past month.)
But whatever, there was no possible way for him to forget them right now, because he was holding them, walking toward the cashier. Nothing would keep him from buying these damn candy canes.
He slammed them down onto the check out belt, and the cashier flinched, blinking up at him. She was some tiny girl wearing a dark purple headband that looked awful with the green store uniform.
He glowered at her.
She squeaked and scanned the candy canes quickly. "$1.17," she said.
He handed her a five dollar bill and waited for her to break it, possibly tapping his feet. If anyone asked, he wasn't, though. He didn't really care enough to be impatient.
He was tired of this girl gaping at him. He was pretty sure she'd say something about NARKOTIKA in a minute. She looked the type to listen to it. He tried to remember if he'd ever liked interacting with fans.
Well, okay, hooking up had been nice.
Curse his monogamy.
Finally she gave him the change back and handed him the bag. "Merry Christmas," she said.
"Yeah," he responded, frowning. "You, too."
She pulled her phone out after he walked away (something he was aware of because he heard the click of a camera), and he imagined her tweeting, "Omg! Just saw Cole St. Clair at Dollar General!"
He felt his scowl deepen. Isabel so owed him.
(He refused to acknowledge that he might have avoided this girl if he had come earlier. He didn't know her schedule! For all he knew, she lived here.)
He drove home with Top 40 music blaring out of the radio. Isabel had preset all his stations to it, probably to annoy him, but the joke was on her—he secretly liked trashy pop music.
When he pulled up, Grace's truck was back in the driveway, which meant she and Sam were back from their date to Clichéland. He parked behind her.
Unlike the Dynamic Duo, Cole wasn't worried about shifting, which is why he spent the winter walking around in a thin sweater. He'd only taken the cure because Isabel bullied him into it.
(Also because, unfortunately, he liked being around her, even when she was pissed at him for not picking up candy canes, which she didn't even like eating, by the way, she just wanted them for the tree.)
Anyway, if the cure ended up not working, he'd be okay. You know, beside the fact that he'd feel (a crippling) sadness for Sam and Grace.
He trudged up the steps, shivering despite himself.
(Maybe Isabel would warm him up. If she found the candy canes satisfactory.)
He threw the door open dramatically and shook the snow out of his hair. He observed Isabel sitting on the couch with a scowl. "Hey, babe," he said, and threw the candy canes at her.
She caught them, the frown on her face almost comical. "I swear, Cole—"
"Mmhmm," he said, crossing the room quickly and sitting in her lap. "Shhhh."
"No," she told him, glaring.
He pushed a finger on her lips. "I brought you candy canes. A girl with terrible color coordination tweeted a picture of my butt, I am pretty sure."
She tensed even more, if that was possible, and examined the candy canes. "What girl?" She seemed satisfied with the candy canes, and set them on the coffee table.
"Cashier. Terrible, really. She didn't even greet me." He paused, leaning forward to crush Isabel a little more. "I guess she did say Merry Christmas, though."
Isabel kept frowning.
"Stop frowning. I bought you candy canes. What more do you want from me, woman?"
The frown did not disappear.
(He still thought she was mind-blowingly gorgeous this way, if he was being honest with himself.)
He groaned. "You are really mad at me," he stated.
She didn't bother to answer that; she just leveled him with an irritated stare, one eyebrow cocked.
(She shouldn't do that.)
There was really only one response—he pulled her face to his and kissed her hard, biting her lower lip when she didn't respond quickly enough.
When he pulled back, he reached behind him and grabbed the candy canes from the table. "For my pains," he explained while he unwrapped one and stuck it in his mouth. "Now, c'mon. We have a tree to cane."
"We are not calling it 'caning,' Cole," Isabel said coldly. (He thought it was forced, though.)
"We are," he said, shrugging. He tugged her to her feet and toward the tree. "Seriously."
He grinned at her. "Uh-huh."
She rolled her eyes and tried to hide a grin. "Stupid."
"You love me for my brains," he said, shrugging.
She looked at him, smirking slightly. "Guess so."
He ruffled her hair. "Yeah, yeah. I love you, too."
"I love you more," she said, and he decides not to argue (out loud). "Now, c'mon, we have a tree to cane."
Disclaimer: I don't own Shiver.
A/N: Written for the 25 Days of Ficmas (link on profile). This is kind of a companion to Warmth. But obviously can stand alone. (Day 7 is a success. Holla at yo gurl!)