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With Holly, and a Big, Red Bow

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  “What do you want for Christmas?” I asked aimlessly, staring off into space. It was only a few hours till Christmas itself, but my best friend wasn’t the easiest person to shop for.

  “A bit late to be thinking of that, isn’t it, Willa?” he chuckled, rolling over on his stomach to grin at me.

  I shrugged. “You’re hard to shop for. Tell me what you want. It might just be a bit late.”

  He grinned, moving to push his chocolate curls from his eyes as he stared up into my face. “Well that’s because what I want I can’t have.”

  I scoffed a laugh. “You’re Bam Margera. What you want, you get. What do you mean you can’t have it? Is it a country or something?”

  Bam laughed. “No, it’s not a country.”

  “Well then what?” I pressed, my curiosity piqued. Something Bam couldn’t have? It seemed impossible.

  Bam opened his mouth to speak, but thought better of it. “Nah, it’s nothing. I don’t want anything, Vil. It’s okay.”

  I pulled my best pout. “That’s not fair. I know you got me something.”

  “Yes, but that doesn’t matter. Just forget about it, Ville. It’s okay.”

  “No it’s not,” I protested, crossing my arms. It just didn’t feel right not to get my Bammie a gift. Of course, I was a fool to wait this long.

  “Drop it, Ville. Please? For me?”

  I tried to keep a straight face as he pulled his puppy-dog pout on me. I failed miserably.

  “Fine, fine! Just enough of that pout!”

  Bam grinned, cerulean blue eyes twinkling mischievously as he leaned back into his lounging position on the couch opposite me. He took another swig from the bottle in his hands, smiling triumphantly. I gave him my best scowl.

  “Still doesn’t feel right,” I muttered darkly, frowning. I wanted to give him something, but I didn’t know what. Somehow, I’d run out of ideas.

  “It’s okay, Willa. You’re here, and that’s all that matters,” he tried instead in a bored tone, tired of our argument. I scowled again.

  “That doesn’t count.”

  “I say it does. Drop it, Ville. Please? For me?”

  The pout again.

  “Fine,” I huffed. “But only because you said ‘please.’”

  Bam grinned and shook his head, turning back to look at the TV. We were watching my favorite movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was a tradition of mine to watch it on Christmas Eve, and Bam didn’t mind, so here we were, in his living room, drinking, and watching the movie. It was pleasant.

  A while later a mumble interrupted my focus on the movie, and I turned to see Bam had fallen asleep on the sofa, half-empty bottle still clutched in one hand. He mumbled something again, and I smiled. He often mumbled in his sleep, so I didn’t think anything of it.

  Until I heard my name.

  My ears perked up as I heard him mumble one of my nicknames, and I leaned forward automatically to see if I could catch whatever he was saying. Maybe he would tell me what he wanted for Christmas.

  I stopped, leaning back. If he didn’t want to tell me, it would be wrong to listen to him when he was unconsciously doing that very same thing. But then again...

  I sighed as my curiosity got the best of me, and I leaned forward again, hoping I wouldn’t regret my devious plan later on.

  “Willa,” Bam murmured, shifting slightly. I froze, unsure if he was awake or not, or if I should answer him. I watched him carefully, but he went on sleeping, his breathing deep and slow. I relaxed slowly, just watching him.

  “Willa,” he said again, this time a bit louder. I decided to answer him this time.

  “Yes, Bammie?” I whispered, getting up to sit next to him on the couch. He didn’t wake, but turned toward me unconsciously.

  “I’m sorry,” he mumbled, frowning in his sleep.

  “Why, kulta?” I asked, taking his hand subconsciously in mine.

  “I’m sorry you can’t get me anything for Christmas,” he said, and shifted again.

  “Why, darling?” I asked gently, urging him to continue. “What did you want for Christmas?”

  “You,” he mumbled, and I froze.

  “Me?” I breathed, stunned. My heart stopped.

  “Mm-hm,” he hummed, “With holly and a big bow round your neck.”

  I wanted to laugh, but instead I frowned. Was he really awake and messing with me?

  “Why?” I asked slowly, staring at him, hard. He looked asleep...

  “‘Cause I love you,” he said, yawning.

  I froze again, warmth flooding though me. My heart kick-started again, then picked up the pace to double time.

  “You love me?” I breathed, stricken. “You really do?”

  “Mm-hm,” he hummed again. “I love you, Willa.”

  I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My Bammie loved me? I’d been afraid to tell him I loved him for years. I thought that if I ever told him then he would be disgusted with me, and never want anything to do with me ever again. Loving him secretly was far less worse than losing him entirely. Maybe I’d been too blind hiding my feelings to see his? Or was this just the alcohol talking? I couldn’t tell.

  He didn’t speak again, so I got up off the couch, staring down at his sleeping form. A plan was starting to unravel in my head, and I darted off to prepare myself for the following evening. I knew what to get Bammie now, and I wasn’t about to pass the opportunity up.

 -x-

  “Merry Christmas, Willa,” Bam said, handing me a small package. I stared at it, then took it, smiling.

  “What’s this, Bammie?” I asked, turning the small parcel over in my hands.

  “Open it to see, n’idiot,” he chuckled, sitting back down on the couch. It had been a long day. Ape and the rest of his family had some over for Christmas dinner, along with the rest of Bam’s crazy crew. The castle home had been a zoo, but now everyone had gone, and it was quiet for once. The two of us were sitting in the living room in front of a huge, crackling fire, winding down after a long, long day.

  I slowly tugged at the dark purple ribbon tied around the gift, then gently pried away the black and silver wrapping paper to see what was inside. I gasped, staring down at the beautiful, leather-bound journal Bam had given me. It had a large, silver heartagram embossed on the front, with my initials etched into the ebony leather. There was a silver pen tied around it with another purple ribbon, and a small note pinned to the front.

  “Merry Christmas, Willa. Love, Bammie,” I read, and smiled. I hugged the book to my chest. “It’s beautiful Bam. Thanks so much.”

  “Glad you like it, Vil,” he said, smiling.

  I grinned, looking up at him mischievously. “Can I give you my present now?”

  Bam gave me a look. “I thought you didn’t get me anything.”

  “I found something at the last minute.”

  “Really?” Bam said slowly, still eyeing me cautiously. “I don’t know. You’ve got that wicked glint in your eyes...”

  I laughed. “You don’t trust me, Bam-Bam?”

  He smiled. “No, I do. Okay, what is it, then?”

  “I’ll be right back,” I promised, giving him a smug smile before I darted off to my bedroom. I stripped down to my boxers, then grabbed the holly leaves I had gathered the night before and threaded a couple sprigs into my shoulder-length, coffee-colored curls. As a final touch, I tied a big, silken red ribbon around my neck, and headed back into the living room to face Bam.

  My heart was beating out of sync as I neared the living room, suddenly very nervous. Bam was staring into the fire, and I smiled, clearing my throat nervously before he turned around to look at me, his jaw dropping open.

  “W-Willa?” he squeaked, then cleared his throat. “Uhm. What are you doing?”

  I gave him my sexiest smile, sashaying over to him before I sat down in his lap, looping my arms around his neck.

  “Giving you your Christmas present,” I murmured nonchalantly, smiling sweetly at him. He stared at me, dumbstruck. A terrified pang shot through me as I wondered if maybe he really didn’t mean what he had said the night before.

  Fuck.

  I felt my whole body turn red. I looked away, trying to scramble out of his arms, but he stopped me, pulling me back. My cheeks flushed in embarrassment, and I couldn’t look into his eyes.

  “I’m sorry. Last night you were talking in your sleep, and you said...” I trailed off, flushing a brilliant red. Fuck.

  “Ville?”

  I couldn’t look at him.

  “Ville.”

  I shut my eyes tight. Fuck. Here it comes. He’s going to say he hates me. He’s going to push me away in disgust any minute now...

  I flinched when his gentle hand hooked a finger under my chin, turning my face to look into his own. I shut my eyes tighter. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

  “Ville, look at me. Please?”

  Damn. I could never stand it when he begged. I opened my eyes slowly, but instantly regretted it, my own emerald hues locked hopelessly with the sparkling pools of blue.

  I tried to read them, but it seemed like they only went on forever, and ever, and ever. I trembled, wanting to look away. I cursed myself for being too weak to be able to break his gaze.

  Then he smiled at me.

  “You’re giving yourself to me for Christmas?” he chuckled, and I smiled sheepishly.

  “You said you wanted me,” I whispered in embarrassment, finally finding the willpower to look away. “You were talking in your sleep... I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have—.”

  “Hush,” he said, silencing me as he placed a finger on my lips. He turned me to look at him again. He was grinning.

  “I happen to like my Christmas present, very much,” he chuckled, looking over me. I flushed again as his eyes wandered. “With holly, and even a big red bow.”

  I smiled shyly at him, the terrified drum roll of my heartbeat calming as I reached up to replace my arms around his neck. “Really?”

  “Oh yes,” he whispered, pulling me closer into his embrace as he wrapped his arms around my waist. My heart went wild. “I love it.”

  “Love me?” I whispered, my heart suddenly pounding in my chest again.

  “Yes,” he breathed, and I exhaled. I hadn’t realized I was holding my breath. My chest swelled, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. It wasn’t from my Asthma. No, this was an entirely different feeling. I was euphoric. At least, that’s the closest word I can use to describe it, but it’s still a long way off from the happiness I was feeling.

  “Love me?” he whispered in return, and I smiled, placing a small kiss on his cheek.

  “Always,” I breathed back. He gasped softly, pressing his lips gently against mine.

  I stopped breathing, kissing him back. Slowly his lips sped up, and I opened my mouth to let his probing tongue dance slowly with mine.

  “Ready to unwrap your present, darling?” I purred as I pulled away, gasping for breath.

  “More than ready,” breathed back, his lips descending upon my collarbone. He kissed and nibbled his way back up to my neck, and I let my eyes slip closed and my head fall back as he softly kissed the hollow at the base of my throat before gently nipping the juncture between my neck and shoulder.

  “Then let’s start, my love. I can’t want to wait any longer.”

  He leered at me once more before he kissed me again, his hand snaking up to my neck to gently pull away the red, silken bow, letting it flutter, forgotten, to the floor.