Author's Notes: I appreciate those reviewers who trust me enough to know I would never cause irreparable trouble for Sam and Jules. I hope this chapter lives up to that trust and that you are pleased with the outcome. Warning, the language is a little more intense in this one.
Disclaimer: The show Flashpoint and its characters were created by Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern and belong to them and its respective networks. I am making no money off this story and it is for entertainment purposes only. However, this particular story is my creation and should not be used without my express written permission.
Christmas Green…with Envy
Despite the fact that Heather seemed determined to play tonsil hockey with her tongue, Sam was aware the moment Jules swept past them. Despite the fact that he'd been trying not to draw unwanted attention to the kiss he'd neither asked for nor wanted, he now gave Heather a push backward breaking the lip lock. Despite the fact that every head in the room would turn to look at him and question what had happened, he called Jules's name desperately. Most heartbreaking of all, despite the fact that his one word cry seemed to overpower even the Jazz band in the middle of a spirited song, the woman he loved never even glanced back before leaving the hall.
Sam started to follow but Heather grabbed his arm. "Let her go, Sam. If she can't handle seeing two old friends sharing a kiss under the mistletoe, then she doesn't deserve you."
Sam's eyes flashed. He was so mad, he wanted to plant his fist into something, anything. Instead he reached up and ripped the offending greenery from the entryway and stuffed it uselessly in his pocket. The he pointed at Heather warningly. "Don't. The only thing she doesn't deserve is the shit she's put up with since we got here. Stay the hell away from me and her."
He snatched his hand free and turned his back on the woman who continued to plead with him to listen to her. He paused at the coat check, debating whether to take the time to retrieve their jackets. No question it would be cold outside, more so for Jules whose sleeves barely covered her shoulders. However, several late arrivals had the attendant busy and Sam was in too big a hurry to get to Jules to wait. He burst out the door looking in both directions without seeing her.
Had she put her set of car keys in her little clutch bag before they had left the hotel? It was too small to hold much. He remembered her putting in her wallet, cell phone, and hotel key, but he didn't remember seeing her with her car keys. Though it would serve him right if she'd left him, the lack of keys probably meant she hadn't taken the jeep, but it did mean she was probably on foot in the severe cold.
He pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed her phone, knowing even as it was ringing that she wouldn't answer if she was upset. When, as expected, he got no answer, he put the phone back in his pocket and took off at a jog toward the gate. He couldn't be sure that's where she'd head instead of toward his parent's house but it seemed like the best direction to start. Even if he didn't find her along the way, he could get the guard on duty to radio the base MPs to help join the search.
About three blocks of jogging, he saw her lone figure walking huddled up as best she could about twenty feet ahead. He'd never been so relieved to see her. "Jules, wait."
At his cry, she started walking even faster until one of her ankles twisted slightly in the heels she wasn't used to wearing. The stumble gave him the opportunity to close the gap and he lightly took hold of her cold bare arm. Alarmed but not surprised at how cold she really was, he instantly shrugged out of his suit coat, knowing it would at least offer some protection against the chill of the night.
"Jules, will you please just wait?" He offered her the jacket. "Here put this on before you freeze to death."
She pulled her arm free and continued to walk away from him, limping ever so slightly. "Leave me alone, Sam. I don't want to talk to you right now. I don't want to hear you try to explain that it wasn't what it looked like and that I'm over reacting."
Sam fell into step beside her, trying unsuccessfully to at least drape the jacket around her shoulders. When she bated it away, he growled lowly. "Dammit Jules, wear the jacket. Blue might be a beautiful color for a dress but as a skin color, it's not so nice."
"Like you even care," Jules spat out. Her voice sounded pinched and her breath was visible in the cold air. Her words sliced through him worse than anything the cold wind could possibly do.
He grabbed her arm tightly so she couldn't pull away. His hold was tight enough that it might leave bruises but he'd apologize for that later. First he had to get her to listen. "Jules, you know I care. I know what you saw looked bad but please give me a chance…"
She stared at him, her eyes sparkling from a combination of unshed tears and righteous indignation. "A chance to what? To explain why you were kissing Heather right there for everyone to see? To justify that it didn't mean anything because it was just mistletoe/ To rationalize why I shouldn't be pissed off?"
She tried to pull her arm free but he tightened his grip. She could still get free if she wanted to; she could break free of much stronger holds without blinking an eye but she wasn't sure she had the fight left in her to put up the effort. Sensing, if not a surrender, at least a temporary cease fire, Sam pulled her close and lowered his head so that his lips covered hers. When she didn't protest, he deepened the kiss and released his grip on her arm. Now that both hands were free and she wasn't pulling away, Sam slid his jacket up her arms so that she was now wearing his jacket. Then he cupped the back of her head lovingly. He drew her in even closer to his embrace; even though she didn't melt into his arms she wasn't pushing him away either. When he finally broke off the kiss, he let his forehead rest on hers.
"You have every reason to be pissed off. I'm pissed off too. Not at you but at Heather. I didn't even realize I was standing under the damn mistletoes until she pointed it out and insisted that tradition demanded a kiss. I wanted to tell her to shove off; I should have told her. The only reason I didn't was that there were several people standing around egging it on, not that that's any excuse. I leaned in to give her that same kind of innocent peck on the cheek I had to give Amy from Central Booking the other day when Spike caught us standing under the mistletoe he hung in the barn. But at the last second Heather grabbed my head and kissed me full on. I was too startled to do anything at first; couldn't believe she'd be so bold and brazen to do something like that right there in front of everyone. Once I was over my initial shock I still didn't know what to do."
It was on the top of her tongue to offer some suggestions. She'd had a few men kiss her in her lifetime that she hadn't wanted to be kissed by. They'd ended up flat on the ground wondering what the hell had hit them. But then Sam continued. "What was I supposed to do? Give in to the urge to shove her away or flip her over my shoulder like it was some hand to hand combat? If a guy gives a girl an unwanted pass, nobody things anything if the girl smacks him for it. But reverse the positions and it's a different story. As much as I wanted to stop her, I couldn't do anything without causing a scene and looking like a jackass. Maybe I should have because I'd much rather look like a jackass and get my ass handed back to me by every man in that room who didn't understand what had happened than hurt you. I'm sorry, Jules but I swear to you; she was kissing me not the other way around."
A few tears slipped down her face and she refused to meet his eyes. "It looked to me like you were enjoying it." But as the scene replayed itself in her mind she had to admit that Sam's hands on Heather's shoulders were more in a defensive position rather than seductive. He might not have ended the kiss in a forceful manner but he wasn't encouraging it either. That realization didn't erase the pain in her heart. It didn't explain why he hadn't told her about the engagement.
"I wasn't." Sam assured her. "Come on, it's cold out here. What were you going to do, walk back to the hotel without your coat and in those shoes?"
She rolled her eyes. "Don't be ridiculous. You had the key to the jeep and I figured there was no way they'd let a cab on base without a damn pass so I was going to the gate. I figured I could convince the guard to let me sit in the heated building until a cab arrived to take me back to the hotel."
He could still feel her body shaking in the cold despite his suit jacket. He knew neither of them were dressed for being outside and they were at risk of hypothermia if they didn't get inside pretty soon. "Come on, let's get back inside and we can talk about it."
He turned back toward the reception hall but Jules refused to move. She shook her head. "I'm not going back in there. I'm sorry, Sam; if you want to go back you can but there's nothing you can say or do that will make me step foot in that building again. I'll just go on to the gate like I planned to and get a cab."
Sam sighed and knew he hadn't even begun to scratch the surface of getting her to forgive him. "I don't want to go back; I want to get you out of the cold. So let's go to the jeep; I'll get the heat going and run back in to get our coats. Once we're back at the hotel, we can talk this through."
Jules shook her head. "There's nothing to talk about. Sam, really, go back to the party. I'll get back to the hotel on my own just fine."
Sam looked around to make sure they hadn't attracted the attention of anyone but fortunately the road seemed cleared of traffic. "Jules, I swear to God that if you don't agree to come back to the Jeep with me, I'm going to throw you over my shoulder and carry you back kicking and screaming if I have to."
Jules's eyes narrowed and her chin jutted out. "You wouldn't…"
Sam's blue eyes were serious. "You really want to take that chance? I mean it Jules, as beautiful as you look tonight, you aren't dressed for this weather. We can stand out here arguing all night, but your teeth are chattering so much as it is that I imagine the base's cipher experts are trying to figure out the code they are hearing. Do you really want to risk getting sick this close to Christmas?"
Reluctantly Jules allowed him to lead her back down the street toward the parking lot. She wasn't ready to forgive him or to really even listen to what he had to say, even if she was starting to realize maybe the kiss hadn't been as searing as she'd originally imagined - at least not on his part. However, her fingers were completely numb and the rest of her body wasn't far behind. When Sam tried to put his arm around her waist as they walked she sped up just enough to stop him. Sam sighed deeply as he followed her. Once at the Jeep, he unlocked the door and waited for her to get in the passenger side. He turned on the engine to get the heat flowing and made sure it was turned up on high. Then he glanced over where Jules was huddled in the passenger seat with her back toward him. His mouth was set in a grim line. "I'm going in to get our coats. Promise you won't leave without me."
She shrugged but didn't answer him. He sighed. "Please, Jules. Let me get our coats and we'll go back to the hotel. Give me a chance to explain everything and if you don't want me to stay, I'll see about getting a different room for the night."
She sighed as well. "Don't be ridiculous, no sense going to that expense." Sam was about to release a breath of relief when she continued. "If I kick you out, you can always spend the night with your parents. I'm sure you'd like that anyway; it'll give you a chance to catch up with your former fiancée."
Sam's eyes widened in surprise and he shook his head. Fiancée? Where had that come from? "Jules, what are you talking about? I told you Heather and I dated when we were both kids; that's all. Why would you think we were ever engaged?"
Her shoulders were shaking harder than before and he was pretty sure it wasn't because of the cold. His suspicions were confirmed when she reached up to wipe at her eyes with the back of her hand. Her voice also gave proof to her tears. "Sam, close the door; you're letting the heat out."
Sam slammed the door and strode angrily toward the building. Once inside he bypassed the coat check attendant and went straight to the ballroom. He found Heather standing to one side talking to his mother. He crossed to them and grabbed the younger woman by the arm, turning her to face him.
"What the hell did you say to her?" His voice was dangerously low and threatening.
"Samuel, let her go. You will not cause any more of a scene tonight than you already have." His mother warned but Sam ignored her.
"Heather? Answer me?"
The redhead pouted. "I don't know what you're talking about, Sam. What makes you think I said anything to her? Maybe she's just a super jealous person who can't stand to see you talking to another woman."
"She's not. And she didn't exactly see me just talking to another woman. You kissed me and you didn't care who you hurt when you did it. I wish to hell I had made a scene bigger than anything Mom believes I've already done. I lost one girlfriend because you played the manipulative bitch, but I'll be damned if I'll lose the best relationship I could ever hope to have." Seeing Heather's hint of a smile, Sam's eyes narrowed even more. "Before you get your hopes up, let me assure you it won't happen. I know once she and I talk through everything, we'll work it out and it'll be fine. I know that because I know Jules, and I trust that the love we have for each other is stronger than any shit you can stir up. I just want to know the exact nature of that shit before I have to try."
"Language, Samuel; there's no need for vulgarity. Let Heather's arm go as well. You're acting like …."
He glanced over at her, the vein in his temple throbbing visibly. "Mother, with all due respect, shut up. You haven't done a thing during our visit to make Jules feel comfortable and I should have said something about it immediately. I never thought Dad would be a more gracious host than you but at least he was willing to give her a chance. You'd better decide quickly if whatever you hold against her is worth losing me over, because I swear to you I will never come back to visit if I don't think the woman I love is welcomed here. Get it Mom? Jules is a part of my life now and if you can't accept her, then you can't accept me."
The Braddock matriarch's lower lip quivered but there was no way she'd show any real emotions when there was an audience that could see. "For how long? Sam, she already hurt you once; how long will she be a part of your life before she decides it's too much work?"
Sam let go of Heather's arm and stood there looking from one woman to the other. "Both of you, listen and listen good. I love Jules and she loves me. I hope like hell she's going to be a part of my life for years to come; that is if the two of you haven't completely fucked things up for me. I love her like I've never loved anyone else, and she's the only woman I ever want."
Elizabeth Braddock flinched at his word choice but shook her head. "I didn't raise you to be that insensitive, Sam. I don't care how upset you are; it doesn't give you an excuse for speaking that way to your mother or to the woman you once pledged to marry."
Again Sam shook his head. "What the hell? Jules alluded to the same thing. Where did either of you get the idea I've ever been engaged to anyone?" He looked back at Heather. "Is that what you told her? That there was more to our relationship than a teenaged crush? Damn you, Heather, damn you to hell. I'm out of here before I completely lose the only woman who will ever matter to me."
As quickly as he came, he reversed direction and headed back out to the foyer. The shaking in his hands had nothing to do with cold as he requested and accepted his and Jules's coats. His blood was boiling with anger so much that this time he didn't even feel the bite in the air as he left the reception hall. He was half afraid the jeep would no longer be in the parking space but he was glad to see it hadn't moved.
Once he was inside the vehicle with the door closed beside him, he leaned over to drape Jules's coat over her still shaking body. Then he tenderly brushed her hair from the side of her face even though she was turned so he couldn't see it. Her skin was still too cold for his liking. He opened his mouth but wasn't sure he could speak past the lump. He swallowed hard and tried again. "Jules, sweetheart. In the years we've known each other, have I ever lied to you?"
She shifted in her seat so that she was facing him, her face splotchy. "I didn't think so."
He winced at the sound of doubt in her voice and then sighed. "I promise you I haven't. I've always been honest with you even about things that aren't pleasant to talk about. I told you earlier that what Heather and I had was over a long time ago when we were still teenagers. That was the truth but there are things I didn't tell you about her - about us. I didn't keep it from you because it was something I needed to hide but because it makes me mad every time I think about it. In light of what happened tonight, I think you earned the right to hear them and maybe - hopefully - it'll help you understand what's been going on. But I need you to trust that I will always tell you the truth, even if it doesn't make me look good."
Jules nodded but her eyes trailed out the window to the end of the building. There was no mistaking the figure standing there watching them. She stiffened. "Can you wait until we get back to the hotel? I feel like I'm going to suffocate if we stay here much longer."
Sam nodded. "Fine. Fasten your seatbelt and we're out of here."
The ride back to the hotel was made in complete silence. There was so much Sam wanted and needed to say, but he knew if he got started he'd never be able to concentrate on driving. As soon as he pulled into a space in the hotel parking lot, Jules was out of the vehicle and striding awkwardly toward the hotel. Sam followed as quickly as he could but as he approached the elevator that she'd just stepped into, the door started to close. Even though he knew she saw him coming, she didn't try to hold the car for him. He had to take the next elevator and hope she hadn't slipped the chain on the door by the time he got there.
His key worked in the door but as he stepped into the room, Jules wasn't in sight. His suit jacket and her dress were discarded haphazardly on the floor as if she hadn't cared what happened to them and he could hear the shower running in the bathroom. He felt better seeing that the necklace and earrings he'd given to her had carefully been replaced in the box they'd come in; he hoped that was a sign that she hadn't given up completely. He hung up the dress and jacket and debated whether it was a good idea to join her in the bathroom or just wait until she came out. Deciding there was little he could do until she emerged and was ready to listen, he emptied his pockets. He wasn't surprised to see that he had about ten missed calls but he didn't even look to see who they were from. He didn't care who was trying to reach him; the only thing that mattered was the person he was trying to reach instead. He also set the piece of mistletoe that had started the whole mess on the nightstand as well.
After about five minutes the shower switched off and a couple of minutes later the bathroom door opened. Jules, now dressed in her fuzzy pajamas, sank down on the end of the bed but wouldn't meet his eyes. Sam knelt in front of her and picked up her right foot and began to knead the tired muscles. She didn't pull away but she looked at him.
"What are you doing?"
"I promised you a foot massage when we got back. I know your feet are hurting; I can tell by the way you are walking."
Jules frowned. "You also promised me that I was the only date you wanted to have tonight."
Sam paused momentarily in his foot rub. "You are. I know I screwed some things up tonight but I would never lie to you. Heather and I dated when we were teenagers and Dad was stationed in Vancouver. We were stupid kids who didn't have an inkling what the word love meant even if we did use it to get what we both wanted. Yes, we experimented with sex but that's all it was - sex; didn't mean anything to either of us. I was telling the truth when I said when we left Vancouver, Mom was the one who missed Heather the most. I never gave her another thought. Maybe that's callous but I was a teenage boy who was more interested in the now than what was."
He resumed his massage but his eyes were locked on Jules's face. He was glad to see she was watching him as well. "She wasn't even around when I first joined Special Forces and was placed under General Isaac's command. I didn't really care because I was casually dating someone else. And when I say casually I mean exactly that. We liked each other but we didn't make any promises before I went off to my first tour. Not like I had much of a chance for dating anyone else while I was gone; you thought fraternization rules were strict with SRU but that's nothing compared to the military but I knew it wasn't fair to her to tie her down when I couldn't guarantee when I would be back."
Jules couldn't imagine ever dating Sam casually; even before they'd broken up the first time and were keeping things secret, their feelings had been far from casual. "And when you got back?"
"We started dating again, still pretty casual. However by now Heather was in town as well. I was still her friend so I didn't think it was strange when she turned to me for help. Someone was messing with her, trying to scare her. Someone taped a razor under her door handle and then left her dead roses at her door. She didn't have any idea who was doing it but she was scared. I let her stay with me because she was too scared to stay at home. That didn't go over well with my girlfriend; which I thought was a bit ridiculous considering I know she dated many other guys while I was gone and I wasn't even dating Heather. Finally my girlfriend gave me an ultimatum: choose between her or Heather."
He switched over to her other foot and Jules played with the fringe on the throw at the end of the bed. She knew Sam hated ultimatums. "Let me guess, you chose Heather."
He nodded. "Not because I was interested in her romantically but because she was a friend in danger. Amazingly enough, as soon as Janet and I broke up, Heather's stalker seemed to disappear. I got a little suspicious wondering if he'd ever existed in the first place. I couldn't prove anything so I didn't say anything. Still I suspected she manipulated things to make sure Janet and I weren't together. I was so glad to leave for my second tour just so I could get away from her. I signed over my apartment lease to her and never looked back. The day I left for Kandahar was the last time I saw her until last night. I swear to you Jules there was never anything romantic between us the whole time her father was my CO and I NEVER even hinted at any kind of proposal."
Fresh tears slipped down Jules's face. "But your mom even said you were engaged…"
"If I had to guess, I would say because Heather lied to her as well. Mom would believe anything Heather told her. If Heather said that aliens had just landed a spaceship in the front yard, Mom's first reaction would be to ask whether we thought they'd enjoy cheese and wine or if she should offer them something sweet instead. If Heather told her that we were back together and, even better, engaged, Mom would be ecstatic."
Wiping at her face Jules nodded. "That's why you didn't want to help her today when she started talking about her boyfriend breaking into her apartment."
Sam nodded, sitting back on the floor in front of her, her foot still in his hand. "It wouldn't surprise me if there wasn't any boyfriend at all. It just felt like one big manipulation. Maybe I should have said something about all this earlier to you but I didn't have any proof to back that she was faking anything last time or this time."
"She sounded so convincing. Both at the house talking about her boyfriend and tonight telling me how in love the two of you had been. If she's lying, then she believes it more than I did."
"She's lying and maybe she does believe it. Doesn't make it true though. Frankly I don't care what she believes as long as you know the truth. I love you and only you. She means absolutely nothing to me."
Jules stood and walked away from him to stare out into the darkness of the night. She rubbed her arms as if she was still just a little chilled. With each exhalation, the window fogged up and then dissipated with each inhalation. "If you knew or suspected she was just a manipulative bitch, then why did you give her the opportunity to kiss you?"
Sam loosened the knot on his tie and then slid it from around his neck tossing it to the bed. "Not because I wanted to hurt you or get close to her."
He rose and stood behind her, his hands lightly skimming up and down her arms. He buried his face in her damp hair. "Every time I've been on base since Matt died I felt like I was some sort of pariah, but tonight was different. I felt accepted once again, even if I am with SRU instead of the military. I even felt like I had Dad's approval on my job and you and damn if it didn't feel good. I swear everything with the mistletoe happened just like I said. I should have stopped it but I didn't; not because I wanted her to kiss me but because I didn't want to lose that sense of approval by once more screwing up. Instead, I screwed up even worse because I hurt you. I'm so sorry, Jules."
"I told you she couldn't get under my skin unless I let her. I'm not the jealous type, Sam. I trust you and I trust us; I shouldn't have let her shake my confidence in myself. From the moment we got here I've felt like I was out of my element and like I didn't fit in. And then I met Heather and I really felt out of my element. She's everything I'm not."
Sam turned her in his arms so that she faced him and cupped her face in his hands. "You're absolutely right. She's everything you're not." Then quickly, before she could take it the wrong way, he continued. "She's manipulative, vicious, and just plain slutty. Things you could never be. I knew something was bothering you and I should have been more perceptive about it. I should have done everything possible to make sure you never had any reason to doubt me. I don't deserve it but I hope like hell you can forgive me."
Jules rested her head against his chest and Sam felt a surge of hope rise in him. She sniffled. "Your mom told me tonight that she thought you would be better off with someone else. I hurt you before and she's sure I'll hurt you again. And she's partially right; I did hurt you…"
Sam kissed the top of her head. "The situation hurt me. We couldn't have everything we wanted - our job and each other - not at that time. Neither one of us were willing to give up our spot on Team One. When it first happened, it was much easier to put the break up all on you rather than take equal blame. I should have made it clear to Mom you weren't responsible. Now that we're back together everything that happened before doesn't seem important."
"Heather had already told me you'd been engaged and that you would resent me if something happened to her because you didn't help her. I let that wash over me because I didn't believe half of what she said. When your mom confirmed part of her story and then added in the 'you're not right for my son' it bothered me more than I want to admit. Still, your opinion is really the only one that matters to me so I was willing to over look it."
Sam frowned. "And then you come out and see Heather getting up close and personal with me. Shit, Jules; I'm sorry. If I could go back in time and fix this I would. You've got to know that the only person I ever want to get caught under the mistletoe with is you. In fact had I noticed it when we came in, I would have made sure to stand under it with you just so I had an excuse to kiss you like I really wanted to without Mom being able to say a word."
Jules paled. "Shit Sam, we left the party so early; your mom is going to be so pissed at me; she'll never like me."
Sam leaned down and kissed her lips; unlike the kiss he'd given her on the cold street on the base, this one was light and sweet. "Don't worry about Mom. I told her before we left that if she couldn't accept that you were an important part of my life, then I wouldn't be coming back."
"Great, now she'll really hate me." Jules chewed on her bottom lip.
Sam freed her lip from her teeth and kissed it gently as if to soothe the hurt she might have caused it. "No she won't. You are my choice, Jules; you're the woman I love. I know I made a royal mess of things tonight but it's true. She'll accept you because she just wants me to be happy. You are the person who makes me the happiest. She'll come around; trust me. If she doesn't, it means we get to spend our vacation time doing things other than visiting family. I'm not going to complain about that."
The worry still filled Jules's eyes. "Your family is important to you, Sam. I don't want to be the cause of fric…"
"You aren't the cause of anything, Jules. Yeah, family is important but you are important as well. I love you Jules. You are all I want for Christmas, for New Years, every day all year long and for years to come. I just hope I didn't hurt you more than you can forgive me."
She lowered her head. "I wish I could say I wasn't hurt but I'd be lying. Thinking I lost you hurt a hell of a lot. I get that Heather was to blame but she's not the only one. I should have trusted you; I know you don't lie and you never encourage other women who come on to you. I let her use my own insecurities get the better of me just like you let yours. If you can forgive me, I can forgive you, but the hurt's going to take a while for me to get past."
Sam nodded, his own head downcast. "I understand. If you want me to, I'll go downstairs and see if there's another room available."
He turned to leave but Jules caught his arm. "I don't want you to get another room."
He glanced back at her. "Do you want me to sleep on the floor?"
She shook her head. "No, I think tonight I need you a lot closer."
Sam pulled her close once again; his eyes searching deep into hers for any signs of doubt. "Are you sure? I'll totally understand if you need your space."
Jules stepped even closer into his embrace, wrapping her arms firmly around him. "Tonight when I left the reception hall, I got a taste of what space away from you felt like. It felt wrong and cold. Tonight I need it to feel right and warm. I need you to remind me that you're mine and that I'm yours."
He led her over to the bed and picked up the piece of mistletoe from the nightstand. "I promise you Jules Callaghan, that from now on I'll pay extra special attention to this damn stuff and make sure I'm never caught standing under it with anyone but you."
Jules glanced up at him with just her eyes as her lip once more found its way between her teeth, Then she tipped her head just slightly. "Can I hold you to that?"
Sam nodded, tossing the mistletoe behind him. "Yeah. Although I'd rather just hold you, period." He leaned down and kissed her, tentatively at first in case she protested but then with growing intensity. He lowered her gently to the bed, covering her body with his own. He blazed a trail of kisses from her lips to her ear. "You don't have a problem with that, do you?"
"Not at all."