Secret Santa
Page 18

 Sierra Dean

  • Background:
  • Text Font:
  • Text Size:
  • Line Height:
  • Line Break Height:
  • Frame:

“Just playing in the snow.”
“Wanna give us a hand?”
“Us?” I dropped my attention from the sky entirely and looked past her on the sidewalk. A cab door slammed closed and the driver took off.
Nolan shuffled up the path, trying to see over the stack of gifts he carried. “Hi,” he said, his voice muffled by the bulk of his burden. I grabbed the heavy boxes from him, and he was more than willing to let them go.
“What are you guys doing here?”
“It’s Christmas,” Brigit answered, as though that explained everything. Then she added, “No one should be alone on Christmas.”
It was hard to say whether she meant me or herself and I didn’t ask. Nolan blushed a little, and I figured he must have told her I was spending the night by myself.
“I was making hot chocolate.”
“Ohh.” Nolan opened the door for us, letting the gift-bearers in ahead of himself, then locked my apartment door behind us. “Count me in.”
Brigit dumped the gifts next to the tree and made a beeline for the television. When I returned from the kitchen with two new mugs of partially mixed hot chocolate, she’d put Elf in and was curled up in the armchair, beaming at me. Nolan had taken up half the loveseat and was giving Rio the greatest gift—that of the belly rub.
I handed each of them a mug, then plunked down beside Nolan and propped my feet on his lap. My own cocoa was lukewarm and tasted like candy. The gifts under the tree were forgotten as I listened to Brigit giggle at Will Ferrell’s shenanigans. I wanted to say something, to thank them for being here with me, but nothing seemed quite right. So I nestled in and smiled so hard it hurt my cheeks.
My family was home.