"Jazzy!" My parents exploded as soon as they got out to the car.
"Honey," Mom purred, reaching for Jazz over the passenger's seat. My sister leaned into her grasp. "Did she hurt you?"
"What happened?" Dad asked, turning around in the driver's seat so that he was facing Jazz and I. "Your mother and I were talking to Kwan's parents and the next thing we know, Paullina was shouting at you."
"Are you hurt?" Mom repeated, brow furrowing in worry.
"I'm fine," Jazz said immediately. "She didn't hurt me. We were just … picking at one another a little and it got out of hand. I feel sorry that it happened at the Sanchez's. I should have behaved better than that."
"It's not your fault that Paullina didn't act in the best way possible. Now," my mother reflected, "if you antagonized her, even a little, you know that a bit of the blame lies on you. But I don't want to blame you for how badly she reacted."
"Can we go home?" Jazz asked. "I don't want to stay here anymore."
"Of course!" Dad exclaimed, swinging around to face the front and turning the key.
"Danny," Mom asked as the car slowly moved down the Sanchez's long driveway. "What has Paullina got to say about it?"
"I don't know," I answered with a shrug. "I finally broke up with her."
I swore that I saw Mom smile when I told her this.
As we left the driveway and moved toward home, I slid into the middle seat so that I could whisper to Jazz.
"Are you really all right?" I asked, pretending that I didn't see the tears welling in the corners of her eyes. Jazz wouldn't want to be called out on her tears; she liked being the strong older sister for me, the girl who never broke.
She nodded, even though anyone who looked at her could tell that something was fucking wrong. And, being the fantastic little brother that I was, I knew exactly how to bring a smile to her face. Growing up, Aladdin had been Jazz's favourite Disney move and she'd watch it every time she was sad. Over the years, I'd memorized all of the songs and whenever she started looking even slightly upset, I'd start belting out lyrics in the most obnoxious tone I could manage. My singing wasn't pretty but it never failed to make her smile.
"Oh, I come from a land, from a faraway place," I began, dragging out the end of every word.
"Danny," Jazz muttered. To anyone else, it might have sounded like a warning, like she would be upset with me if I continued, but I knew better.
"Where the caravan camels roam," I belted in a mock-opera tone. "Where it's flat and immense. And the heat is intense! It's barbaric, but hey, it's home!"
"Danny," Jazz repeated, though she didn't sound nearly as annoyed or upset about what had just occurred.
"When the wind's from the east; and the sun's from the west; and the sand in the glass is right. Come on down, stop on by! Hop a carpet and fly, to another Arabian night!"
As I launched into the next part of the song, Mom and Dad joined in from the front seats. It was the only part of the song that they knew and they gave it their full effort when they sang along.
"Arabian nights; like Arabian days! More often than not, are hotter than hot! In a lot of good ways!"
I raised my eyebrows at Jazz suggestively and leaned in toward her at the last line, causing her to giggle and shove me away from her, but she sang the last bit of the song with us, laughing the entire time.
"Arabian nights! 'Neath Arabian moons! A fool off his guard, could fall and fall hard, out there on the dunes!"
As we parked in front of Fenton Works, Jazz grabbed me in a tight hug.
"I love you, little brother," she said, squeezing me tightly around the ribs.
"I love you too, sis," I replied, holding her just as tightly.
Hearing my family members shout my name one after another made me curl up into my mattress, shove my head underneath my pillow, and pray that they would leave me alone for just five more fucking minutes. I knew that it would never happen – everyone else was far too addicted to Christmas morning – but a man could dream, right?
It's not like I'm against Christmas morning. I love Christmas morning, just like the rest of them. However, unlike Jazz, Mom and Dad, I didn't enjoy Christmas morning beginning at five-thirty. When I was little, five-thirty didn't feel very early at all. Now that I was almost eighteen, five-thirty might as well be in the middle of the goddamn night for the amount of excitement I felt for being awake that early.
"Danny!" Mom called me again. "We're waiting for you!"
"Come on, son!" Dad shouted, sounding more excited than a five year old on a sugar high waking up to a fucking pony for Christmas.
"I'll get him," I heard Jazz tell Mom and I cringed.
Jazz was the worst person in the world to have wake you up.
I was trying to turn myself into an immovable ball when Jazz burst into my room. She threw my door open with such force that I was 100% convinced it was going to rattle the ghost zone enough for the ghosts to flee out of the portal. Then, she flicked on my light. Even with my head stuck under my pillow, I could sense the light and I hated it. Next, my dumb sister ripped all of my nice, warm comfortable blankets from me – leaving me shivering in the unexpected cold wearing nothing but boxers.
No one could ever say that Jazz Fenton wasn't completely evil.
"Heart boxers, Danny? Are you still fourteen?"
I groaned in response.
Jazz jumped over my body so that she was sitting on my mattress, back against the wall. She then dug her cold ass toes under my ribs. I had ice powers; my body temperature was lower than the average human beings but her toes were still the coldest fucking things I had ever felt.
"Come downstairs for Christmas!" Jazz urged, shoving me between the shoulders.
"C'mon," Jazz continued, pushing me.
I realized too late what she was doing.
I glared up at her from my new position on my bedroom floor. She grinned back at me, leaning over the mattress so that she could properly laugh at me.
"I'll stay here while you put some pants on," Jazz informed me with a chuckle. "Just to make sure you don't go back to bed."
"Pants," I muttered to myself, groping along the floor. "Pants."
I slipped through the air, relishing in the feel of the open sky compared to the confines of my living room, which, by the time I had left, had been piled high with breakfast and lunch dishes, wrapping and tissue paper, and gifts – though those were carefully arranged under the tree. I touched down outside of Sam's balcony doors and hoped that she liked the 'gift' that I was giving her. I had put more time and effort into it than I would probably admit to, and I didn't know what I would do if she didn't like it.
I waltzed through the door.
"It's cold as hell outside," I immediately bitched, though the temperature hadn't even come close to reaching that of my skin … or Jazz's toes.
"Ghosts get cold?" Sam asked immediately, turning around to face me.
"This one does," I answered, shivering dramatically as I moved toward her. "Come warm me up!"
For every step I took toward her, Sam took one back.
"No closer!" She ordered.
"Why? Don't you want to cuddle?" I could clearly see the goose bumps popping up on her arm. I didn't want to freeze her because I felt bad that I couldn't warm her up afterward.
"I don't want to get hypothermia."
I stopped moving and folded my arms across my chest. She didn't want to cuddle? Fine. We'd get right to the present. "Get your warmest coat."
Sam just blinked at me, confused. "Why?"
"Don't you want your surprise?"
"Why do I need a coat?" Sam pressed.
"Because it's not here," I said shortly, before changing my tone. "Put your coat on, babe?"
She grinned at the pet name. "All right," she gave in. "Give me a second."
It felt literally felt like a second from the time she sprinted into her closet and appeared again, wrapped in a black, puffy jacket.
Even though Sam slightly resembled a penguin in the thick coat, she was adorable. From the bright eyes, always framed in black eyeliner, to her toes which were encased in grey sneakers that had zippers going along the sides, she was amazing.
"Lovely," I commented before I could stop myself. Immediately trying to cover up the sappy slip, I held my arms out and said, "Come on, let's go!"
Sam teetered forward a step and I could see her mind working as she tried to figure out what we were doing. I knew the exact moment she figured it out because she almost seemed to glow with excitement.
"Are we going flying?" She demanded, eyes wide.
"Yes," I confirmed. "We are."
"Well stop wasting time! Let's go!" Sam took a flying leap and it was only due to my reflexes that I was able to catch her before she crashed into the ground. I swept her up close to me and her legs slid around my hips so that she could hold onto me.
"Well if I had known it would only take this little effort to get your legs around me," I teased her in a low voice.
"Sex obsessed teenage boy," Sam exclaimed, shoving my shoulder.
"What else can you expect from a guy with such a hot girlfriend?" I countered quickly.
Sam's mouth opened, as though she was going to retort but, in the end, she had nothing. I strangled laugh left her throat before her entire face turned bright red and she ducked her head away from me.
"Aww," I continued taunting her gently. "Did I embarrass you?"
"Shut up," Sam muttered against the top of my shoulder where her face was currently hidden. Her answer only served to tell me that I had managed to embarrass her. "Can we just go flying?" She whined.
As tempted as I was to give into her, I was more tempted to continue aggravating her.
"I can feel your blush."
"No, you can't."
"So you are blushing," I stated with a laugh, kissing the side of her neck
"Phantom!" She exclaimed, fingers grazing over my ribs as though she were intending to tickle me. I tensed and hoped that she didn't continue it.
"It's cute," I consoled her.
"There's nothing cute about looking like a tomato," Sam moaned dramatically.
"I don't know," I mused, pretending that I was really thinking about it. "The look works for you."
Sam laughed and lifted her head off of my shoulder so that I could see her face; it was still tinged with pink. "Okay, you charmer, can we go flying now?" She repeated.
Well, I'd had my fun. And I was really anxious to see her reaction to my gift. As nervous as I was for her to see it, I honestly thought she would love it. Sam loved things that people created themselves. She loved gifts that people took care in planning; making sure that every little detail was executed perfectly. That's exactly what I had done with her gift. I hadn't wanted to let her down; I hadn't wanted to disappoint her. I wanted to give her something unique and romantic and I honestly thought that I'd accomplished my goal perfectly.
"Whatever the lady wants," I agreed and we left her room, heading to the open air.
I don't own anything recognizable. Thanks to my betas: Forever Sky.
I'm not sure when the two updates a week will start, for multiple reasons.