Merry Christmas Everyone, I hope you all are having/have a great day.
No update today, instead I have a story for you. It is the same couple you met briefly in my last Wednesday Briefs short.
Happy Reading 🙂
My Perfect Christmas
I gritted my teeth and listened as my mother droned on about her upcoming visit.
“You have got the tree already, haven’t you? You know that will be the focal point of the room…Don’t forget that your father is gluten-free now, it disturbs his digestion otherwise…Penelope made this wonderful dessert last weekend. I’m sure she’d give you the recipe if you asked…of course, unless you take a few extra days off work you won’t have time to make it….”
I jumped in before she could go any further down that path. “Mom, you know this is our busiest time of year. I can’t just take time off when I feel like it.”
“You have a full staff. What’s the use of having them if you still do all the work yourself?”
I shook my head, we had the same argument all the time. “I may be the owner, mom, but I am also the head chef. Nothing leaves my kitchen without going through me first. Especially at this busy time. We’re fully booked right up to Christmas Eve, I need—”
“Yes, yes, I know. Your little café will be full and you want to be there to mingle with the people.”
I fumed silently, arguing with her was a waste of time. Little café, my ass. My little café was a four Michelin star restaurant. We regularly had celebrities eating there and even holding their events, celebrations, and lunch meetings there. We also offered catering services and had three booked for the Christmas period. And that wasn’t the end. After Christmas, we had a week before the New Year celebrations began. In all, I had three consecutive days off. Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and the day after. The twenty-eighth would see me back at the work getting everything prepped with my staff for the next big bookings.
But none of that mattered to my mother. I hadn’t followed her plan. She had wanted me to be a doctor. Then the plan was for me to marry some rich woman and settle down with two point four children. Well, I really messed up those plans when I announced I was gay. Then I fouled up even worse when I dropped out of school to work full time as a chef. I sighed quietly and tried to lock the feelings of being a failure and disappointment back in their box.
My mother’s voice broke through my thoughts. “Oh, did you see Penelope and her young man in the paper? He’s made partner in the law firm. He’s the youngest partner they’ve ever had. The pay rise will mean they can move up their plans of starting a family, because of course, Penelope will no longer need to work.” And so ‘perfect Penelope’ strikes again. She had the rich husband, and soon she’d give my parents the grandkids they wanted above all else.
“Is your young man still working on his pictures?”
“Yes mom, Andrew is still taking photos. He has a commission from—” But it was no use, my parents thought Andrew was a waste of space. It didn’t matter he sold his photos for thousands, or that he had requests from celebrities for photo shoots, and more.
My mother continued her rambling. “That’s nice, dear. Your father is calling so I need to go find out what he wants. Don’t forget we’re arriving Christmas Eve and will need dinner that day as the food on the plane is always atrocious and upsets your father’s gut, so we won’t eat on board.”
“Bye, Mom.” I barely finished before I heard the dial tone telling me she’d hung up first. I sighed and headed for the kitchen.
When Andrew arrived home I was sat at the kitchen counter sipping from a glass of wine and scribbling notes on a pad of paper.
“How many?” He took his coat off and hung it over a chair as he spoke.
“Two.” I replied and twirled the glass in my fingers.
“Great, what did the demon mother-in-law want this time?”
He stole my wine and I waited until he’d taken a large mouthful before answering.
“Her and father are coming to visit for Christmas.”
I sidestepped as Andrew sent wine spewing over the kitchen counter.
“What!” Andrew snatched the cloth I held out to him and started to clean the mess he’d made. “Why is that monster coming here? She usually goes to Penelope’s for the holidays. What’s happened? Is Penelope okay?”
“Mom decided it was time for a change. Or that’s what she said. Seeing as Penelope’s Oliver has made partner though, I’m guessing they’re celebrating and Penny doesn’t want anyone else around. Mom did hint Penny is thinking of starting a family, very soon.”
“Great.” Andrew finished my glass off and poured us both another.
I threw my hands up in the air. “She’s given me a list of what to cook, directions on how to decorate the house, and of course a timeline on getting it all done. I haven’t got time to do all this shit, and you’re as busy as I am, what’re we going to do?”
I shoved the pad of paper closer to Andrew so he could see what I needed to get and do within the next two weeks.
I could see him getting angrier and angrier as he read. “Half this stuff will need to be shipped in and will cost a fortune at such short notice. If we can get it at all. Then it will all need to be cooked from scratch. You already work in a hot kitchen six days a week. Why would you want to spend any of your precious days off cooking too?”
I shrugged. “What choice do I have? The decorations are going to be the hardest. Most tree places will have sold out of the kind of tree my mother has in mind. And anyway she’s not the one who’d be clearing up the fallen needles for weeks after.
Because, of course, a fake tree just wouldn’t do.”
“We’ll tell her that she’ll get whatever I cook for Christmas dinner and if she wants decorations she can go somewhere else. She’s got to learn that she can’t keep running roughshod over what everyone else wants. Everything can’t always go her way. Why doesn’t your father grow some balls and tell her what he really wants to do for Christmas? His idea of a romantic Christmas at home in front of a roaring fire sounded great when I spoke to him last. Why does she always have to—”
“Calm down, love.” I stepped in front of him as I spoke and laid a hand on his chest.
The action worked as I planned and soon I was enfolded in his strong arms and I took my first easy breath of the evening.
The restaurant had been jam-packed that day. We’d had a new boy start on the garnish station. A very eager new boy. Joey had knocked over and smashed an entire pile of plates when he turned too fast. He’d overcooked three garnishes and undercooked five. He’d tripped poor Rachel over and caused her to drop the food she was bringing to me. And that was all in the first few hours of the service. It only got worse. I had to send him home in the end and he’d been in floods of tears.
“Hmmm, so what shall we order for dinner?” I asked and grinned as Andy’s teeth nibbled on my neck.
“I’m quite happy to eat what I have hold of right now.” His breath brushed along my throat causing shivers to course through me.
I chuckled and allowed him to lead me to the bedroom.
“I need that entrée now, Denis.” I glared over my shoulder at the man in question.
“Ten seconds, Chef.” He arrived at the pass and after a cursory check I plated the food and sent it out.
“Okay, I need two chicken for table three. Lyn, I need three fish for table two. And Jenny, I need the garnish to arrive with them.”
“Yes, Chef,” echoed round the kitchen. The crashing of pans and yelled orders melded into white noise. I handed the pass to Donny and took the time to head out to the greeting area. The restaurant was full, with servers bustling about with drinks and food. The customers all seemed happy, chatting and laughing as they ate.
The scene reminded me of opening night, Christmas Eve a year ago…
The day was going terribly. The decorations weren’t finished, the tables weren’t all set, and four staff hadn’t turned up. I was at my wits end. Then Andy showed up. My wonderful boyfriend looked around and took immediate charge. He had the servers finishing the decorations in record time. He rung a few of our friends and they filled in for the missing staff. Between the two of us we set all the tables and everything went smoothly. The evening got even better when Andrew got down on one knee and proposed. The customers cheered and the staff brought Champagne. It was the best night of my life. Andy planned everything down to getting my staff involved and having them make us a special dinner at the end of the service.
My phone vibrated and broke my out of my wonderful trip down memory lane.
I slipped out of a side door to answer it. “Haldren.”
“Mr. Haldren, this is Gerard at Prachets. I am ringing with unwelcome news about your recent order. I’m afraid the shipment arrived damaged and must be returned to the supplier. I’ve just received information that the next shipment won’t be here until after Christmas. They’re just too backed up to get it here any sooner. We will of course—”
“Hang on, what do you mean you can’t get more until after Christmas? I paid over the odds to get delivery before Christmas guaranteed. That gift was for my husband what do you propose I give him now? Getting something else this close to the day is going to be well-nigh impossible.”
“Well, um, I can offer you a complimentary gift card for you partner. He can use it for whatever he chooses and of course, the delivery charge will be refunded for your item, delivery will be free as soon as it arrives in store.”
Complimentary gift card? Partner? It pissed me off when people couldn’t bring themselves to acknowledge Andrew and I as a married couple.
“You can take your complimentary gift card and stick up your tight fucking ass. I will also expect all my money back in my account by end of business tomorrow because you can shove my order after the gift card.”
I hung up on his stuttered reply and headed back to the kitchen. The service was up to the desserts now and everything was winding down. I helped Janine clean down her station before I headed back to my office to get some online shopping done before I had to do the final checks.
I sat with my head in my hands as I surveyed the sea of paper surrounding me. It was six in the morning and I had too much to do. I had times sheets to file, order sheets to send, mother’s list still to complete, and now on top of all that I had to find an alternative present for Andy.
I was a failure, that was the only explanation. I couldn’t think of any present perfect enough for the most important person in my life. What do you get a man who says he has everything he needs?
“How you doing, love?” Andy ambled in dressed in just a low riding pair of sleep pants. “Did you even go to sleep yet?” he dropped a kiss on my head as he headed for the coffee machine.
“I got a few hours.” I yawned as I spoke and ran my fingers through my already messy hair. I shoved the plans for Andy’s present at the bottom of the pile and rose to get another kiss.
“Hmmm, to what do I owe all the kisses so early in the morning?”
“Can’t I want to kiss my husband?” I snuggled into his arms and let out a heartfelt sigh. I loved the way he never asked why he just wrapped me in those strong arms and held me until I was ready to talk.
“So how far have you got with your mother’s list?”
I pulled away with a grimace. “Not very. The internet can only get you so far. I mean I can get the tree and most of the ingredients I need. But, I’m still going to have to put everything together on the day. Also, some places can’t deliver so I’m going to have to go and collect things on Christmas Eve before I go in to help prep for service.” I could hear my voice breaking and went to turn away. Andy held me tighter and I buried my face in his neck. Slowly I got control and looked up into his concerned gaze.
“This is too much for you, babe.” He shushed me when I tried to protest. “No, give me your mother’s list and I will deal with it. No arguments. I can put my new intern to work on some of it and work on the rest between shoots.”
I sagged against him in relief. Him taking control of the mess was exactly what I needed. If I could concentrate on the restaurant paperwork then maybe I could also have time to find the perfect present for Andy too.
I yawned hard enough to make my jaw crack. “Go to bed for a couple of hours. I’ll wake you up before I leave for the Anderson shoot at ten.”
I thought about arguing, after all, I was perfectly happy there in his arms. But, another yawn had him smacking my ass and sending me to bed.
I sat at a table after the prep was finished and trawled through site after site of what claimed to be unique gifts. I looked at personalized shirts, plates, towels, and even underwear. A site recommended to me on Facebook showed personalized condoms, cock rings, and to my utter shock, butt plugs. I could even have a dildo molded from own cock to give him, for when I wasn’t around. God, by the time I’d been looking for an hour I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cringe.
Finally, in a fit of desperation I text my best friend, Zara.
<I need help!>
Her reply was quick. <I’ve been saying that for years >
<Haha, no I mean it. The shop can’t deliver A’s gift for xmas>
<What!!! Why? WTF do they expect you to do? I hope you told them what for and got your money back>
Ha that was typical of Zara. She was always on my side and there when I needed her. I still remembered my first boyfriend in high school. God, she’d really laid into him when we’d split, until I’d told her that I was the one who’d dumped him not the other way around. We’d never have worked out, he was so far in the closet he was almost to Narnia.
<Z, I need a new gift asap. What can I get him? It needs to be something unique.>
<You, naked, wearing just a bow tie.>
<Haha, seriously. I need ideas like yesterday.>
<Leave it with me and I’ll text you with a list of ideas in the morning. Now get to work.>
<Yes dear x.>
I pocketed my phone and headed for the kitchen to do the last-minute checks before giving the okay to open the doors.
The night went smoothly with only a few mistakes to slow the service down. By the end of the night I was tired but happy. Now if could only find the perfect present for Andy I would be ecstatic.
At home, I surfed the net a while longer but still couldn’t find anything that stood out as the gift.
Argh, I wanted to rip my hair out at the roots. I had five days, count them, five days to find the gift to rival all other gifts and I was still drawing a blank. I’d looked at everything from underwear to sex toys to books. Nothing stood out as unique. I knew Andy would have picked out the perfect gift for me, he always did. I needed to get this right. I didn’t want to disappoint him. I was already a disappointment to my parents, I couldn’t cope with being the same to my husband.
Then the phone rang and my day got even better…
“Darling, how are the preparations going? If you need my help I can always come down early. Of course, Penelope has never needed any help, but then she has her young man to support her.”
I really didn’t have time for my mother’s usual bitchiness, and I knew just how to wind her up and hopefully get her off the phone quicker.
“That’s okay mom, Zara is helping me with the decorations. You know she has a good eye for artistry and interior design.”
“Zara!” I grinned as my mother’s voice became a screech. “Why would you ask that trashy tart to help you decorate your home? Why would you even allow her in your home? She’s probably already stolen anything of value you have.”
Enough was enough. “Mom, you know very well Zara is no thief or tart. Just because her parents weren’t very honest doesn’t mean she is the same. She runs a perfectly good business and is doing very well for herself. Actually, she’s getting married next year, I’m hosting the ceremony and reception at the restaurant. I’m sure she would extend you an invitation if I asked.”
My mother sniffed, I could almost see her in my mind wrinkling her nose as though she was smelling something bad. “I’m sure your father and I will be busy on that date. But, do offer my condolences to her intended. How much money is he paying?”
I hung up. If I hadn’t I would have said something I would’ve had to apologize for later, even if I meant every word.
I went back to my list and started again with a new internet search. I entered the search terms; ‘unique gift something different male’, and hit enter.
I flicked through the results not really paying attention until a picture caught my eye.
It couldn’t be.
That would be perfect.
Please let them have it in stock. And please let them be able to get it to me in time.
I registered with the site and entered all the details it asked for. I added the item to my basket and proceeded to the checkout.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the in-stock label next to the item. I just about jumped for joy when I saw the option for express delivery, and the option of having the item put together for me by the delivery people.
I checked all the relevant boxes and added my payment details. Within twenty minutes I was refilling my coffee cup and congratulating myself on a job well done.
Now all I had to do was get through the next four dinner services and two parties and I was golden.
Oh, and call Zara.
I fished out my phone and after checking the time I hit the speed dial.
“Yo, do you realize what the time is? Just ‘cause you don’t sleep don’t mean I don’t.”
“Z, I know you never go to bed before midnight and it’s not even eight o’clock yet. I need a favor.”
“It’ll cost you.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. I need you to be at my place tomorrow afternoon while Andy’s at work. His gift is being delivered between one and three and I need it put in the basement until I do the big reveal.”
“You finally found something? What is it? Is it a spanking bench? Oh, what about a St Andrew’s cross? Or—”
“Zara! No, I haven’t gotten him anything sexual. Just get it put in the basement, I’ll have more people coming on the twenty-second to set it up and arrange the room how I want it.”
“But, I want to know what it is.” Zara’s voice had taken on a whine and I grinned, it wasn’t often I got one up on her.
“You’ll see when it’s all set up…after Andy’s seen it first.”
“Fine!” She let out a dramatic sigh and a giggle before hanging up.
I shook my head and headed to service with a bouncy step. Nothing was going to ruin my good mood.
“Mom, I told you I have everything under control. It will all be ready for your arrival on Christmas Eve.” I’d only been home a few hours and I wanted to get to bed, I didn’t want to be trying to calm my mother down about a visit I didn’t even want to happen.
“Are you sure, dear? I know how easily you men get distracted and with no woman to help you I’m sure you need some female guidance. I hope you’ve got the place decorated appropriately, we’ll be taking photos to show the family and I don’t want you embarrassing us. Penelope always makes sure there’s a specific spot made up just for the family photo. I always praise her organization skills. She seems to have that innate female skill of making everything come together perfectly.”
Of course, she does. Perfect Penny would be perfect at anything. The sun shines out of perfect Penny’s backside. I’m just the fucking, faggot, family failure.
“Are you listening?” I heard the warning tone in my mother’s voice and wondered what I’d missed. “You know since you got with that lay-about you’ve become lazy. You don’t call—” I wonder why? “—you don’t visit—” again why was that a surprise? “—and you’re always busy for family events. You even missed the family Easter BBQ.”
“I was busy, Mom,” I tried to cut her upcoming tirade short, but it wasn’t to be.
“You’re always too busy. That man has taken you away from where you belong. You should have settled down with one of those nice girls we introduced you to. You could have had children by now and not left it all to your sister.”
“Mom, I’m gay! I would never have been happy with a woman. I would have just made us both miserable. What woman deserves that?” My words were in vain though, my mother was on a roll.
“Who cares about happiness? What about family duty? And living up to your responsibilities? You were supposed to continue the family name. You were supposed to become a doctor and have a son to follow in your footsteps. You—”
I hung up and curled into a ball on the couch. I didn’t need to hear the rest. The list of what I had been supposed to do was long and she would keep going until I ended up apologizing for anything I could think of just to make her stop.
Why couldn’t she be happy with me as I was? Curling tighter I let the tears fall. I was tired and had another long night to look forward to. I wanted to fall into bed and stay there for a week.
“Eric?” Andy’s voice was thick with concern. “What are you still doing up? You should have been in bed at least an hour ago.”
As soon as he was near enough I locked my arms round his neck and clung. He rubbed my back and kissed wherever he could reach until I’d calmed down enough to loosen my grip.
“Come on, love, let’s get you into bed.”
I allowed him to guide me to our bedroom. He stripped me and tucked me into our big soft bed. I let out a contented sigh when I felt him settle next to me and pull me back into his arms. This was what I needed. My husband meant everything to me and I needed him in my life. I would never take the gift of his love for granted. I wanted to cherish it in my heart forever.
I half woke to hear shouting drifting in from the living area. I couldn’t make out the words, but I could tell Andrew was upset about something. I tried to make my tired limbs work enough to untangle myself from the blankets, but he’d made sure I was so well-wrapped that I didn’t get very far before sleep pulled me back into its welcome embrace.
The next time I woke up I was glad to find Andrew curled around me again and watching me with a mischievous smile.
“What have you done?” I narrowed my eyes as Andrew put on the fakest innocent expression I had ever seen.
“Me?” He pointed a finger at his own chest. “I ain’t done nuffin’.”
I shook my head at his mangled English. I looked at his face and decided I didn’t care what put that smile on his face. I wanted him and I wasn’t getting out of bed until I had him.
I rolled on top of him and took a kiss. It didn’t take long for him to take control and I soon found myself stripped of the blankets and bared to him.
“I see you’re definitely awake now.” I shuddered as he gave me one long stroke before standing to strip off.
“I’m not the only one awake.” I took in the sight of him standing tall and proud by the bed. I held out my arms and he moved into them to give me a morning I wouldn’t soon forget.
“Josh, what are you doing here?” My former boss and mentor grinned and stuck a thumb over his shoulder.
“Your man asked for my help with his plan.”
Andrew followed Josh in and he wore a matching grin. What were they up to? I had a service to prep for. And my parents were due at our home soon. Andrew had reassured me he had it all under control when I asked why no decorations were up, and why the tree hadn’t arrived yet.
“Love, why are you here? Why aren’t you at home getting everything ready?”
“Everything is ready. All I need you to do is find some chef’s whites for Josh and get your coat. I have everything else ready in the car.”
“You’re not making any sense.” I looked from one man to the other and could see Josh was trying hard not to laugh. “What’s going on?”
“Your parents are at this moment heading for a romantic break at Josh’s getaway cabin. I spoke to your mother, and when that didn’t work, I had a few strong words with your father.
“After a fair bout of yelling and few threats, he grew a sudden backbone and agreed they’d be better off not visiting anyone for Christmas. Apparently, he doesn’t want your mother knowing about his last visit to the Vegas casino I saw him at. I was there taking pictures of some event and found one of him when I checked the proofs later the same evening. I’ve been wondering if they’d come in handy for something. Your reaction the other night was the last straw.
“As for us, we’re booked into the honeymoon suite of the Keomian hotel. I did a shoot for the owner last year and he was only too happy to accommodate us. We’re staying there until you need to be here to prep for the New Year crowd. Josh is taking the service for you tonight, so get him up to date and we’ll be good to go.”
I worked on auto pilot. I introduced Josh to my staff for the night and showed him the basics he needed to get through the night’s service.
Before I knew it, I was walking out the door on my husband’s arm.
It was Christmas Day! And I was in heaven. I was in a luxury suite in one of the top hotels with my husband curled up warm behind me. All was perfect in my world.
I’d had a mini panic attack in the car when I realized I wouldn’t be able to give Andy his gift on time, but then I remembered I’d taken photos and video footage on my phone. I was sure he wouldn’t mind seeing photos of what was waiting for him at home. I’d been so tired when we arrived I’d fallen into bed and after feeling Andy wrap around me I’d dropped into a dreamless sleep.
But, now…I snuggled back into the warmth of his arms.
“Mmm, you’re the best thing to wake up to Christmas morning.” Andy’s voice was soft with sleep, but part of him was very hard and definitely awake.
I wriggled back pressing my ass to his groin causing us both to let out heartfelt groans.
“I want to take my time with you.” Andy’s voice was a husky whisper in my ear. “I’m going to start here.” He licked the shell of my ear causing a shiver to run down my spine. “And end up right here.” His fingers travel down my still shivering spine and over the curve of my ass. “Then I’m going to make love to you until you are begging me for release.”
I was ready to start begging right there and then, but he was as good as his word.
He started by kissing me until I wasn’t sure I could have told you my name. His lips sent quivers through me as he headed for my sensitive nipples. No one had ever paid so much attention to them as he did, he always spent enough time on them to have me writhing under him. How had I got so lucky to have such an attentive husband? He was a god to me.
The more I wriggled the more he tormented me. I was a hot, panting mess by the time he moved on and I only got hotter as he settled on my hard, leaking cock. I tried to grab on to him. I wanted him in me or I was going to finish in an embarrassingly short amount of time. I wanted us to come together. He obviously had other plans because all he did was bat my hands away and pin them to the bed by my hips as he swallowed me down to the root. I’m not sure if I screamed when I came, but I’m damn sure my vision went grey and when I came back to my self he’d already flipped me onto my front.
“Ready for more,” he purred in my ear and slid down my back. I pushed back into him and heard a chuckle right before his tongue hit my ass.
He kept such a tight hold of my hips he was sure to leave bruises. All that thought did was to ramp up my arousal again. It seemed my body wanted to make up for all the late nights and missed love making. I tried to push back. I wanted him in me. Right. That. Second. But, his grip was too tight and all I could do was take whatever he decided he would give me. Damn the man was a fucking tease.
Finally! I felt a slick finger breach me. He glided in and straight onto my hot spot. I swear if he hadn’t still been holding me with his free hand I would have lifted off the bed at the pleasure that shot through me. I was hard and dripping again, as though I hadn’t already come once.
“Now! Now! Now!” I demanded as one became two, then three, then four fingers. He was taking too long, and damn him the bastard was doing it deliberately.
“Ah, you’re so tight and hot,” Andy groaned when he eventually gave into my begging and slid his cock home in on long slow glide. He must have been all teased out as he took up a fast pounding rhythm. Our sweat-soaked bodies slid against one another as he leaned over me and seemed to thrust harder and deeper, as though he was trying to meld us into one being.
My climax didn’t just hit me, it knocked me out—again. I don’t know how long had passed, but I woke to find myself cuddled up to Andy’s firm chest with our legs tangled together.
“Back with me, love?” he chuckled in my ear. I mumbled a reply before snuggling closer to his warmth causing him to laugh harder. “I need to move so I can get your present.”
I perked up at that, I loved presents, and I wanted to show him what he’d see when we got home.
“Okay.” I shifted to the side and while he reached into the bedside table I scouted around for my phone. I leaned off the bed and found my pants lying just under the edge. Pulling them up with me I fished in the pockets until I found what I wanted.
I turned back to find Andy holding out a small box with an adorable expression on his face. I took the box and set about teasing the shiny paper off it, being careful not to damage it.
“Do you really have to do that with every present you receive?” he huffed after a few minutes of me trying to get into my gift.
“Yes,” I claimed defiantly and continued to pick until I had all the tape undone and I was looking at a gift box from my favorite jewelers. Opening the box I let out a gasp at the beautiful rings I revealed.
Andy was fiddling with the blankets and didn’t look at me as he spoke. “After I proposed we got married quite quickly and our rings were what the shop had in stock. We said when we could we’d replace them with more personal ones. I designed these and got Benny to make them. I remembered what you said about no gem stones because you don’t want to have to take it off for work.”
“They’re perfect,” I breathed as I took in the sight before me. The gold gave off a rainbow hue when turned to the light. Each ring had a series of designs etched into it. On closer inspection, I saw the images correlated to events in mine and Andy’s relationship. There was a picture of a fish; because we met when I ran into him—literally—by the fish stall of the local farmers market. Next was a tree; we had our first kiss under a tree when we went on a hike. The list went on, they were the perfect gift.
I threw my arms around Andy and kissed him with all I had. “I love you, they’re perfect, just like you are.”
Pulling back I reached for my phone. “Your gift is too big to be moved and since you packed for me, you knew I wouldn’t have it here with me. But, I do have pictures and a video for you to look at.”
I handed him my phone after hitting play on the slideshow I’d set up.
I watched Andy’s face grow wide with shock as he watched my gift unveil before his eyes. I thought about all the favors I’d called in to get it done in time. The basement of our home transformed within days into a modern games room. The focal point was an old-fashioned pinball machine I’d found online. Andy loved all sorts of arcade games, and I paid a lot to make sure it arrived at the time I specified. Zara had made sure it was out of sight, and after some wheedling on her part, had helped with the interior decorating I needed done to make the room ready. The room had the pinball machine, three games consoles, and space so Andy could add to it as he found other games he wanted.
This time it was it him who jumped me and kissed me to distraction. The knots I’d had since the call about his original present unknotted. He liked it and I wasn’t a failure. At least not to the one person who matters—my husband.
This was the best Christmas present ever. Spending the day in the arms of the one I love more than anything else in the world.
MAY ALL YOUR WISHES