At his house, he waited at the garage door until she opened it. She was not naked. She had on a red-and-white-striped dress over red leggings. Her blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail at the nape of her neck and held in place by a large red bow with a twig of holly.
“Don’t you look like Christmas?” He bent and gave her a quick kiss.
“I’m sorta in the Christmas mood today.” She pulled him inside. “Close your eyes.”
She led him down the hallway.
“I smell something like an apple,” he said.
“That’s an apple candle.”
“You’re not taking me to the bedroom.” He knew they had not gone in that direction.
“The world doesn’t revolve around the bedroom, Brett.”
“Silly.” She squeezed his hand. “Turn left.”
He knew they had to be in the main part of the house, where the great room and the kitchen were located. She maneuvered him past the furniture. “Stop here,” she said.
He stood still, his eyes still closed. “All right.”
She positioned herself in front of him. “Open your eyes.”
He did and the first thing he saw was her smile. “Surprise,” she said as she stepped aside to reveal a Christmas tree beside the fireplace, where a couple of logs burned. The artificial pine tree was aglow with colorful Christmas lights, and hanging from its limbs were little model cars attached to red ribbons. He stared at the tree. It was a heart-jarring moment, something he would have never expected.
“I know you said you don’t put up a tree.” She looked as if his silence had given her second thoughts. “I thought it would be fun to have one this year. Complete with Hot Wheels. When Amber and I were shopping, she was looking at toys for her son, and I saw the boxes of Hot Wheels. The idea hit me, and I just had to try it. So with some ribbon and hot glue, it worked.”
He nodded, unable to speak for the lump in his throat.
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I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas day whether you're with family, friends or simply enjoying your own company!