I'm excited to be part of this year's Rainbow Advent Calendar, which the lovely Alex Jane has organised. Click this link to find the list of all this year's stories. There's also a Facebook group you can join.
My story is a sweet short between Addy and Fitz from my angst-free Valentine's novella, Oblivious. I hope you enjoy this festive slice-of-life scene.
Copyright Colette Davison 2022
I come home to find Fitz sitting on the floor, surrounded by Christmas decorations. He grins as soon as he sees me, bounces to his feet, and runs and jumps into my arms. It’s a good thing he’s a foot shorter than me. I hug him as he wraps his arms around my neck and legs around my waist. He greets me with a slow, lingering kiss.
“You taste of pine trees.” He inhales with a chuckle. “You smell of them too.”
“It’s that a hint to take a shower?”
“No. It’s nice.”
“What’s all this?”
He glances over his shoulder. “What does it look like?”
Fitz pretends to ring a bell. “First prize goes to Addy.” He leans backwards. “It’s our first Christmas.”
I frown. “No, it’s not.”
“Yes, it is.” He waggles his ring finger at me.
“Oh! You mean as a married couple?”
My frown deepens. “How will that make it different from any Christmasses we’ve spent together?”
Fitz and I have known each other since we were ten. We lived together for a few years before my sister knocked our heads together and convinced us we were a couple without knowing it. We’ve spent quite a few Christmasses together in this flat.
“I dunno. It just will be.” He leans his head on my shoulder. “We should make some Christmas traditions.”
“Decorating the tree together.”
I chuckle. “We already do that.”
“Baking and decorating cupcakes.”
My chuckle morphs into a full-on belly laugh. “You do that every year.”
“But we could do it together.”
I wince. “Only if you want the cupcakes to look like a dog’s dinner.”
Fitz wriggles out of my arms and sits in the middle of the floor again. He picks up the fairy lights and begins untangling them. “I want this year to be special, Addy. Our first Christmas should be, don’t you think?” His brown eyes are wide as he looks at me.
My heart swells to twice its normal size. Damn, I love him. I’d do anything to make him smile. I kneel beside him. “We’ll put the tree up together. You can put the star on the top.”
“Our tree’s too tall. That’s like asking me to get something off the top shelf at the supermarket. No can do.”
I kiss his nose. “I’ll lift you.”
“You say the sweetest things.”
“You can give me a crash course in cupcake decorating.”
I peck his lips. “And making. We can even sing carols if you want.”
He screws his face up. “That might be going a bit far.”
I laugh. “No carols.” I look at the decorations. “Did you get mistletoe?”
“We need some.” I point to the ceiling by the front door. “Right there.” I purse my lips and point to the ceiling above where we stand to cook. “Or there.” I scratch my beard. “Or there.” I point above the sofa.”
Fitz cackles. “We’d end up decorating the whole ceiling in mistletoe.”
“Now that’s a good idea. I knew there was a reason I love you.”
“Aye, for my cooking skills.”
I rest my forehead against his. “That’s one of many reasons. Let’s put the tree up.”
We work together to get the fake tree out of the box, assemble it, and fluff out the branches.
“Maybe we should get a real tree,” Fitz muses. “We could go and choose one together. Then the whole flat would smell of pine trees, just like you.”
“You want to spend all of Christmas hoovering up pine needles?”
He frowns. “Good point.”
After checking that all the fairy lights are working, I put them around the tree. I decorate the top half, while Fitz adorns the bottom half. When we’re done, we step back and admire our handiwork, arms folded and heads tilted towards each other.
“It’s bottom-heavy,” I say.
“The top’s sparse, more like.”
“Less is more.”
Fitz snorts. “Only up to a point. You need at least twice as many baubles.”
“Or you need half as many.” I wrap my arm around his shoulders. “Let’s not make arguing about decorations a new tradition.”
“Are we just going to leave it?”
“I’ll add a few more.”
“And I’ll take a few off.”
I squeeze him. “See? Compromise.”
We return to work, adding and removing the red, blue, and purple baubles until there’s a more even spread. It’s not as minimal as I’d like and not as crowded as Fitz would.
“It looks great,” Fitz says as we survey the tree again.
“It’s missing something.”
“The star.” I pick it up, hand it to him, and then crouch down so he can sit on my shoulders.
“I’ll get vertigo up here,” he jokes as I stand tall. “Ow!”
“Mind your head.” I look up and watch as he places the star on the top of the tree with great care.
He wipes his hands together. “All done.”
I put him down, and we embrace as we stare at the tree for several minutes.
“You’re right.” Fitz sighs.
“This wasn’t any different to previous years.”
“Let’s make cupcakes.”
“What about dinner?”
I shrug. “We can eat later.”
Fitz gets everything we’ll need out and turns the oven on so it can heat up. He talks me through weighing out all the ingredients and mixing them in the correct order. We make a batch of vanilla cupcakes and some chocolate ones. Somehow, I get cake batter on my fingers and—
“You’re messy.” Fitz laughs and motions to the corner of his mouth.
I touch the same spot on my face. Sure enough, I have cake batter there. Instead of wiping it away, I swipe my finger over his nose.
“Hey! What did you do that for?”
“So I can do this.” I kiss his nose, tasting the sweet batter. I run my finger around the edge of the bowl and then smear batter over his lips. “And this.” I kiss him and lick the batter away. “So good.” The problem with being so much taller than Fitz is that it hurts my back if I kiss him for too long. I scoop him into my arms and sit him on the worktop. “Better.” Then I get more leftover batter and paint his mouth with it again.
“You’re being very silly,” Fitz notes.
“Is that a problem?”
“No. It’s fun.”
I’m usually more serious, but I can have playful moments when I’m in the right frame of mind.
“Maybe this could be a new Christmas tradition,” I suggest.
“You being silly?”
“I meant eating cake batter off your lips, but me being silly works too.”
Fitz sniggers and loops his arms over my shoulders. He strokes my nape tenderly and spreads his legs, allowing me to stand between them.
“I love you,” I tell him.
“I love you too.”
“How long have we got until the cakes are ready?”
“About fifteen minutes. Why?”
“Plenty of time for kissing.” I lean close to press my lips to his but pause when his eyebrows tug into a frown.
“Am I trying too hard?” Fitz asks. “I know I did when we first got together.”
“You were scared then,” I remind him.
He rolls his eyes. “That’s the understatement of the century. I was afraid of losing you as a friend and nervous about the physical stuff.”
I cup his cheek. “Are you scared now?”
“No. Of course not. You’re my tree.”
“And you’re my—”
He smacks his hand over my mouth. “Don’t say it.”
I smirk and kiss his palm.
He moves his hand away slowly. “I’m not scared or nervous anymore. I wanted our first Christmas to be special.”
I thread my fingers together at the small of his back and push him to the edge of the worktop. “It will be. Do you know why?”
“Because we’ll spend it together. You don’t need to try hard to make Christmas special. You make every day amazing just by being you.”
His freckled cheeks blaze red. “That’s sappy.”
He dips his chin and lowers his lashes, hiding his eyes and coy smile. “You make every day wonderful too.”
“I like the Christmas traditions we’ve fallen into over the years. Don’t you?”
“Yes. No more overthinking or trying too hard. I promise.” He looks up and meets my gaze. His cheeks are still pink, and he’s smiling sweetly. “We’ve got a few more minutes until the cakes are ready.”
“What are you suggesting?”
He grins. “More kissing.”
I brush my lips over his. “More kissing sounds amazing.”
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. I'll leave you with this lovely chibi artwork of Addy and Fitz by Sarah Jo Chreene.