So we just counted down to the New Year in Thailand, and holy crap I actually finished this chapter! It was nowhere near done 12hrs ago but the whole New year impetus kicked in and I did it.
So Happy New year to all my readers whether you've actually crossed over or not. I want to thank everyone for sticking with me another year. Cheers.
"Babe", Santana tried to wake me up with kisses down my back. I would love to get our mack on but it was too early and I was tired. Our flight home to New York had been overnight and we'd gotten to bed at four in the morning.
"Honey, you promised your brother you'd take him sightseeing today remember?" Santana's soft voice cut through my sleep.
"Too tired," I grumbled. My promise replayed vaguely at the back of my mind. But he was going to be here for a week so sightseeing could wait. "Let me just call him."
"You aren't going to cancel are you? Babe Dylan was so excited." Santana reminded me of how awesome Dyl thought his first trip to New York was going to be. But darn I was so tired and just wanted to spend the rest of the day cuddling under the sheets in Santana's bed.
"You also promised him the best pancakes in New York City."
"Alright, I'm getting up," I sat up and blinked a couple of times. My vision focused on the most beautiful girl, my beautiful girl who gave me a ring and promised to make us official one day.
"I'm going to pour us some coffee while you get ready okay?" She smiled and left me with a sweet kiss. Life was good.
Santana and I met up with Dylan in front of the 'Sugar Shack' which was the name of the little café we loved to frequent.
"Did you sleep well?" I asked.
Dylan nodded. "I did, but I feel bad for kicking you out of your own apartment."
"I'm not complaining," I winked; sure that Santana and Dylan knew exactly why I gladly gave up my bed for a week. It was Santana who thought it was a good idea for Dylan to come spend the New Years with us in New York. My parents were happy to go along with the plan and Dylan was ecstatic. He pretty much forgave her for everything right on the spot. I half suspected that was Santana's plan all along. Dad and Mom gave him some extra cash apart from the money he made from tutoring so he could do a little spending in the city. But I drew the line on spending for a hotel room. I also didn't want my brother to sleep on the couch so Santana and I agreed that Dylan would stay at my apartment and I would sleep at Santana's.
"Is it wrong that I'm not totally grossed out?"
"You thinking about your sister and someone else in that way at all is wrong," I grimaced.
"Gotta agree," Santana nodded.
"It'd be a lot easier if you two weren't looking at each other like you're planning to do it later, all the time."
"We do not!"
"Yeah, where is this coming from Dyl? Brit and I are totally normal."
Dylan just smirked and cocked his eyebrow like 'really?'
Of course I knew that Santana and I were sort of checking each other out at each possible moment. And is that a crime? Because she's so smoking and I guess she loves me so she's always looking out for me (aka. Checking me out) But we're not that bad right? Like, we aren't that obvious.
"Sure," He shrugged and caught my attention again. Santana also abruptly turned her neck back towards him. Yeah, okay we were totally lost in one another just then. "Totally normal for two people in love."
I smiled because hell yeah! I was in love with Santana and she probably will deny it, but Santana is pretty smitten. Just the other day I wanted to make a snowman in my parent's front yard and Santana absolutely refused to join me. But after fifteen minutes, there she was all bundled up in who knows how many layers and helped me roll a giant snowball. She also participated in a snow fight which I instigated, even though she was terrible at throwing and mostly got bombarded with snow.
We took Dylan on a tour of the city. Santana did most of the narrating since I kept getting the facts wrong. I admit I made some stuff up too just for the fun of it and to make Santana laugh. Dylan didn't seem to mind our front seat banter and just enjoyed the busy sidewalks and awe striking skyscrapers.
At one, Santana took us to a quaint little bistro just off Central park. Its large windows provided a lovely view of the barren trees covered with snow. After lunch Santana had to go back to Slash so she dropped Dylan and me off at the ice skating rink. She promised to join us as soon as she was done taking care of business.
We hadn't told Dylan yet what exactly Santana did for a living. She had gotten away with telling my parents that she was the manager of an entertainment complex. I'm sure images of cabaret shows and off-Broadway play's ran through their minds, nothing like coyote dancers or skimpily clad serving girls.
For a good hour Dylan and I skated on the giant rink of ice along with a handful of New Yorkers. A lot of them were families with children. We didn't mind though, it gave us the opportunity to get creative with our skating and gain the applause of a small crowd of kids. Ice skating was another of those things our family had grown up doing. When Santana and I went back to Lima, our whole family went to a mountain skiing resort for the day as was tradition. Santana was a pretty good skater but wasn't adventurous enough to do tricks. Her excuse was that she was afraid she'd break her perfect butt. I laughed; of course I didn't want that to happen.
"So, can you see yourself living here?" I sat with Dylan on a bench two or three meters away from the ice. We were taking a break and talking about Dylan's future. He didn't know yet where he wanted to go to college but he was starting to consider some places.
"It seems like a good place, but that may be because you're here." He smiled at me. "I honestly don't want to live so far from home."
"I get that," I nodded. "When I first moved out here, it got pretty lonely. It's not a great city to be in all by yourself." Every once in a while I let myself think back to the dreams that Quinn and I had dreamt together. I wondered where I'd be, what would have happened if she was still here. Life in New York would have been so much easier but in some ways, her not being with me helped me to grow up faster, to build my own life.
"But you'll be here, so that's a definite pro for New York."
"And having you here would be a definite pro, Dyl." I smiled. "But you should pick the place that you'd get the best education and best chance to play football."
"Do you want to get back on the ice?" I asked. Dylan nodded and helped me get up. Half an hour later, I spotted Santana trudging along. Her skate clad feet clunked towards us.
"How did everything go?" I pecked her lips and helped her get steady on the ice.
"It's going great," she replied as we began to skate leisurely, holding hands. "I also called up a few campuses to see if they had any staff who could give us a tour. Columbia, Cornell, Syracuse, SUNY, and Ithaca are a go and of course I'll show him around NYU."
"Thanks for putting in the effort babe, you didn't have to."
"It's no problem, I want to make the best case for New York because I know how happy you'll be if Dylan ends up living nearby."
"Half of those places probably don't offer football scholarships."
"From what I hear, Dylan is also pretty smart so he could get an academic scholarship too."
"You've really thought of everything huh?" I smirked. She had definitely looked at some of New York's best collages.
"Yup, I get shit done." I laughed at her thug expression and then took off, daring her to chase me on the ice. We skated for another two hours before we were tired and Santana wouldn't shut up about freezing her toes off and never retrieving them again.
The next few days were spent visiting the different college campuses. And even though Santana's schedule was increasingly busy, she worked around our time together so she spent most of the day with Dylan and me. Over the few days I started to see a bond forming between the two of them. Once Dylan became familiar with Santana, they had lots of intellectual discussions that I was happy to sit back and listen to. They were both so smart which I supposed helped them get along apart from having major disagreements on some topics.
Tomorrow night is Christmas Eve, Santana and I still hadn't decided what we were going to do. Usually, I stayed in and had some company over for wine while we watched the ball drop over Time square on the television. Santana said she mostly worked at Slash and drank to making it through another year.
"I know its cliché and everything but since Dylan's here maybe we could go to Time Square and watch the ball drop."
"If you want to baby," Santana responded and rolled us over so she was on top. It had been a long day of driving and walking and sorting out an early New Year party brawl. Slash's VIP rooms were booked every night till the fifth of January, so a little bit of extra wild was to be expected from the guests.
I sighed as Santana cupped the back of my neck and guided my mouth to hers. We traded soft kisses and heavy breaths.
"But I'm going to dread all the people, I just know it." I grumbled against her lips. As much as I wanted to keep up with her sweet lady kisses, I knew we had to make a decision.
"Uhuh, crowds are no fun. They whack you in the face and step on your toes and their giant fur coats block the view." She rolled onto her back and looked at the ceiling like I was doing.
"Do you have any other ideas? Maybe we could bring him here, you said some artists were booked to sing right?"
"Yeah but I'm still not comfortable bringing Dylan here, even if we don't tell him that this is my business. It's still a risqué club that provides show's for people to wank over so…"
"It looks like we're just going to do the boring thing and have wine at my place then." I sighed.
"What do you think about going on a cruise?" Santana propped herself up on her elbow an excited grin on her face.
"Santana Lopez, do not tell me you have access to a personal boat too." Seriously, I wondered how a person of Santana's stature could get all these amazing things. She certainly wasn't poor but she still lived in a small room above the club and (playfully) complained about increasing the employees' bonus.
"Well, again, it's not mine. But these past two years Mr. Warner has been inviting me to his New Year bash on the Yacht Manhattan which is apparently an amazing experience if I go by Andy's accounts. I've always just not showed up because I had no reason to get dressed up and pretend like I was having a good time."
I had to blink a few times as I gathered this information.
"It's super high class and whatever so it's not that interesting."
"Santana, that sounds like the most amazing way to spend New Year's Eve!" I squealed. Anything was better than drinking wine at home but a freaking Yacht!
"Wait, you're serious about going Brit?" Santana asked.
"Hell yeah! If only to see you in a dazzling dress and to drink champagne on the River."
"I think that can be arranged then,"
"You are just full of surprises Santana," I shook my head.
"Uhuh, and I think you'll like this one." She smirked and I suddenly jumped from the contact of her fingers running up and down my sex. "I'll take care of everything in the morning but right now? I want to make love to my girlfriend."
I giggled at her cheesy line but soon swallowed when she began to rock me into pure bliss.
Dylan was over the moon when he heard our plan. We were gathered around my dining table brunching on pancakes Santana and I bought on the way to my apartment when Santana broke the news that she'd managed to get three invitations from Mr. Warner, two of which were her old saved up ones she said.
It was only after the excitement that Dylan realized he hadn't brought a suit. Santana said that Andy might have one he could borrow. As for the two of us, dress shopping was in the cards.
I felt bad leaving Dylan at the apartment all day but Santana was adamant that nothing that she currently owned would suit the occasion. Thus she had to get a new dress. I was just going to pop into one of my favorite fashion boutique and pick something that went along with Santana's dress. I asked Dylan if he wanted to accompany us. He took a deep breath and gingerly asked if he could hang out at the apartment.
When we got to the boutique, Santana said she'd be dropping me off. I was surprised that she wouldn't be coming with me because she never said we were getting our dresses separately. After a weak effort to get her to accompany me (because I secretly liked the idea of being stunned by Santana's look later), I hopped out of the car and we agreed she would come get me in two hours.
"Hey Artie," I said over the phone as one hand slid through the many dresses on the rack. Marley's boutique had every kind of dress, of every brand, for every event. The boutique wasn't very large but because of her amazing organizing abilities it had become the perfect fashion house. It was already a busy day with quite a few celebrities and rich wives searching for the perfect dress for a new years eve party.
"Long time since I've heard from you," Artie said. "How was the honeymoon back home?" I had been so caught up in the holidays that I hadn't talked to him much.
"Oh it went quite well, my family was in the holiday mood and accepted Santana. So that's one less thing to worry about going into the New Year."
"Glad to hear that, you sound happy."
"I am, gosh she's amazing. I can't imagine how I lived before meeting her again. Did you know that she got us invites to an exclusive Yacht party on the Hudson?"
"Sounds amazing, so I guess no party at your place tonight?"
"If you could even call it that," I rolled my eyes, "it was like a pity party for all the people who had nowhere to be on New Year's Eve."
"Hey! A party's a party. Anyway it works out because Sebastian was able to get off the damn schedule and spend a holiday with me for once. We're partying at the Hotel on Rivington, I know it cost us a small fortune but Sebastian really wanted to do it for me. They have great music and spirits all night."
I giggled at how enthusiastic Artie was, "You guys totally deserve it." I said.
"Actually Artie I called because I kind of need your assistance."
"Oh, you don't know what to do with your mess of hair and minimal makeup skills, am I right? And you want to impress your lady love." Damn he knows me so well.
"So do you think you can come over?" I bit my bottom lip.
"Of course honey, what time should I pop over? I never know what I'll find there these days; I don't want to walk in on you two…ugh."
"Lesbian sex is not gross, and anyways my brother is staying over so I'm sleeping at Santana's."
"Ooooh, I might just go early then. I have to see how handsome he is in real life." I rolled my eyes. I had shown his some pictures of my family and by the way he fawned over a recent picture of Dylan in his football uniform, I was pretty sure he had a crush on my brother. Ewwww. I mean, Artie is a very good looking gay man but Dylan is my brother.
"Whatever." I knew Artie was harmless. "Santana and I will be back at around three so head over whenever you like."
"Okay girl, I'll see you then."
"Thanks Artie, bye!" I hung up and realized half an hour had passed and I had not seriously looked at one dress. Shit.
It's a good thing I'm friends with Marley otherwise I wouldn't have found the perfect dress in time. All it took was for me to describe the kind of event I was going to, what color I wanted to wear and if I wanted to look sexy or beautiful. She was a genius with clothing. She quickly retrieved seven dresses that fit my needs and put them on a personal rack for me. They were all so gorgeous and I really could have picked any one of them. I settled for a shimmering white dress that would catch every bit of light and make me shine. It went all the way to my ankles and accentuated my form with an open back. It said simple and elegant and Marley was absolutely sure that I would be the center of attention on that Yacht. 'Some men and women will fall overboard at your beauty' she exaggerated in her Romanian accent. I giggled because that would be pretty funny, as long as Santana wasn't one of those people swooning off the deck. Then I'd have to rescue her and playing Jack and Rose was not going to be fun.
Santana picked me up and had her dress already stowed away in a dense suit bag so I couldn't see it at all. I only knew it was either black or white since that was the color we agreed upon. I just hope hers is black and it probably is. Black is her favorite color.
When we got back, Artie was already there and to my surprise he was playing a game with Dylan. I didn't even know I had one of those, what do you call them, Xbox's? Well, it was all sorted out that I in fact did not own an Xbox and that Artie had brought it and hooked it up to my giant flat screen. Dylan seemed to be having a good time thanks to my best friend and editor. That must be the hundredth thing I owed him for.
The game kept Dylan busy while Santana and I hopped into the shower. The two boys made puking faces when I called Santana to bathe with me but they really didn't need to worry. We were worried that we wouldn't have enough time to get dolled up and so were on a mission to shower as quickly as possible – no dilly dallying.
For the next two hours, Artie helped with our hair and makeup. Santana eventually relented and accepted that he was a pro at this. Dylan thought Artie was the coolest guy ever that he was handicapped but obviously more talented at grooming and gaming than anyone else in the room. He liked Artie a little bit less when he fussed over Dylan's hair and clothes even insisting he put on some light makeup. He was given a lecture on looking perfect for a formal evening and dressing to impress.
"I think we're ready to leave now," I adjusted my dress for the nth time, nervous at how Santana would react to seeing me in it. Dylan already told me I looked like the angel of mercy and Artie compared me to Aphrodite but I just wanted to look perfect for Santana.
"She's gone to get the car!" Artie said excitedly and couldn't contain his hands from clapping together. It was Santana's plan to pick up Dylan and me in front of the building. So I still hadn't seen what she was wearing. Dylan got up and shuffled in his suit, it was slightly big but he looked so handsome in it. Artie was madly in love with the picture of Dylan.
"I look alright Artie?" Dylan asked for confirmation.
"You, young man, are exquisite. The ladies and gays will be all over you tonight."
"Thanks," Dylan chuckled and then held out his arm for me to take. "Shall we be going sis?"
Santana lead the way to the brightly lit dock. I purposefully hung back so I could get a full view of the back of her dress. And Oh God did her ass look glorious. There seemed to be a problem of sorts and I could see Santana getting mad (Hot!) until we were finally let in.
"So what was that about?" I caught up with her before she could get lost in the crowd.
"Just some assholes that weren't going to let Dylan in; It's an above 21 only event but he already got clearance."
"Oh, I didn't know San." I didn't know that she had to convince them to bend the rules to make this night perfect for us.
"It's fine, there weren't supposed to be any problems. Brit."
"Uhuh?" My eyes snapped up to hers.
"Stop starring for a second?" The annoyed tone in her voice dissolved immediately.
"I was just admiring what's mine." Guilty.
"Right, I'm going to go say hi to some important people and then we can spend the rest of the evening together."
"Okay," I nodded, letting her go.
"Unless you want to come meet them with me? I'd…I would love to introduce you to them." Something in Santana's voice made me think this was a bigger deal for her than just simple introductions.
"Do they know about us?" I asked.
"They know that there is a 'someone'," Santana said nervously, "I didn't bring it up they just knew."
"Hey, its fine…great actually. What you and I have isn't a secret anymore and it makes me so happy." Santana blushed and I took her hand. "So, care to introduce me?"
I got a nod from Santana as she led me away.
"Is this the one?" A clean shaven man, tall and wearing a fashionable suit asked as soon as we approached the table. His hair was white and he had a slight bend to his back but he got up and extended his hand to me.
"Yes, this is my girlfriend, Brittany." Santana beamed.
"I'm Antony Warner. But you can call me Antony. I've been trying to get Santana to call me that forever. I've given up on that now." He chuckled.
"It's very nice to meet you Mr. Antony, I've heard only the best about you and I want to thank you so much for lending us your jet to travel home. Uh…sorry I'm really excited to be here."
"Don't be, it's nice to see some people with enthusiasm." He turned and winked at Santana who was pretty much holding her breath over the whole encounter.
"And Brit," Santana relaxed a bit, "These are my business partners for our upcoming venture in Paris. Gentlemen this is my girlfriend."
"Ah yes, the one that help our talking go faster. Ms. Lopez always rush to telephone sweetheart. Good business for us." One of the men joked, Santana blushed. He grasped my hand and gave it a soft kiss.
"Wow, and you are engaged? Congratulations!" He shouted with joy as he eyed my ring. If my face was burning I'm sure Santana's was on fire.
"What a surprise Santana!" Mr. Antony cried. "How long have you been engaged?"
"Uh, ummmm," I struggled to put a coherent sentence together.
"For a week," Santana said and I was shocked that she didn't correct what was a very inaccurate statement. "I gave her the ring when we went home." There were so many things I wanted to say in that moment. I had so many questions too. I felt dizzy, a good dizzy if that even exists. Like I had just achieved my highest dream and didn't know if I was awake or asleep.
"If you don't mind, I'm going to get some air and find my brother." I said. I was feeling too much and there were too many people around.
"Okay," Santana said not looking into my eyes. "I'll find you, babe." She took my hand and tugged to get a reaction out of me.
"Sure, I'll see you." I gulped.
"I…I love you. And I won't be long." She let go of my hand and was only able to nod as I walked off.
The rest of the evening went smoothly. I hung out mostly with Dylan and made sure his conversations with the ladies were only polite. I definitely wasn't trying to cockblock him but everyone here was 21 and over, much too old for my sixteen year old brother.
"Enjoying your time?" I asked him as we stole some more snacks. We were pretty much camped out at the table.
"Yeah, I feel great. And this Yacht is awesome."
"Hey, do mind if I go to Santana for a minute?" I asked just as I saw her walking around the deck. For a while she had been sitting down with the men, talking about god knows what. The seat beside her was vacant and had been vacant from the time she sat down. She probably had saved it for me, for if I wanted to join them. I wasn't too interested in sitting down though because there was a whole Yacht to explore.
"Sure, I'll just go find Andy." Dylan said. I had introduced the two and they hit it off immediately.
"Don't let him give you any alcoholic drinks and you behave." I gave him a stern look.
"I will, go get your girl." He winked and I turned to hunt Santana down. She wasn't where I'd last seen her.
I found her with a glass in hand and leaning over the rails to look at the vibrant New York City skyline.
"Hey, that water looks cold. Should I start taking my shoes off?"
"What?" Santana turned around, her face was pensive but she smiled when she saw me.
"Titanic. If you jump, I jump. I know I didn't get the line right but it was something like that." She smiled for real this time.
"That definitely isn't going to happen," Santana chuckled and pulled her coat closer.
"Good, because I really don't want to take a cold swim either." We took our time looking at each other, just looking. We hadn't really had the chance to spend time together since we got on the Yacht.
"Santana," I said and she stopped.
"Sorry you go first," she said eyes darting nervously again.
"I just, I want you to know that what you said back there…it made me feel really good. And I know you have a reason for not denying what they said but I'd be totally cool if you didn't take it back." I didn't know what I was trying to say. I only needed her to know that jumping the gun, in my eyes, hadn't been a bad thing, that I didn't regret hearing her practically confirm that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together as one person.
"I was going to apologize actually," Santana chuckled. "I don't know why I didn't just tell them. Maybe I thought it'd be easier than to explain everything. And maybe it ran through my head that one day I was going to ask you anyways, that you'd be mine forever anyways and it didn't matter that you aren't yet, officially. I'm sorry…I should have explained…"
I cut her off with a finger to her lips. I didn't care what her reason was really. Once again she confirmed that she was in it for real, that we both wanted the same thing. I didn't want her to apologize for making my heartbeat so fast it might burst. No, there was nothing she had to be sorry for.
In the background the countdown was beginning. The chanting of the numbers rang in my ears, only distantly. I was focusing on Santana and only her. Her bright eyes, dainty nose, plump lips. God I loved her, and if I had a ring right now I might bend one knee and make it official. I remembered what she said that night 'I feel like I've had all the time in the world to think about who I want to spend the rest of my life with'. I wasn't surer of anything in the world.
A great cheer came up from the deck, but all I could hear was my heart pounding. I only had to look in Santana's eyes and then lean in. The fireworks exploded and painted the sky as my lips touched hers. I could hear them boom and see them out of the corner of my eye but most importantly I felt it. With her.
This is not the end, but it almost is (It would be a lovely ending though, right?). There's one more twist still to come. Until next time.