Author’s Note: I decided to do one more take for Didi Oviatt’s December WIP writing prompt challenge. Just because. 🙂
Elsie put on her lavender chenille pullover shirt. It was at least five years out of season, but she still loved how soft it felt. Plus, it looked amazing with her black dress slacks. She smoothed down the hem and went to work on braiding her frizzy hair.
Hildreth sauntered into the room. “Hey, Els. I just got a call from Master Shinowa.”
“Oh? What’s wrong?”
“Jim-Marie apparently went out to eat with some of the other trainees and they all came down with food poisoning. So, needless to say, he and Master Shinowa are going to be no shows to our Annual Hunter’s Only Get Together Fun Filled Extravaganza Of Amazing Good Times Had By All, which is also known as the AHOGTFFEOAGTHBA party.” He scratched the back of his head. “I think we need a catchier acronym because there’s just no way to pronounce that attractively.” He gasped and his expression brightened. “No! All we have to do is rearrange the letters a little and boom! We can call our party the Agatha Hogboffet Party! How awesome is that!”
Elsie laughed. “You’re nuts.” She tied up her braid and strolled over to him. “And demented and a complete lunatic.”
He grinned. “You’re forgetting a very important noun.”
She stopped in front of him. “An absolute idiot.”
“Hm. Idiot would have worked just fine on its own.” He wrapped his arms around her waist. “But absolute idiot will do as well.” He scrunched his fingers into her shirt’s soft fabric. “Mmm. I love how this shirt feels on you. So soft and pretty.”
“Are you talking about the shirt or me?”
He let out a surprised laugh. “Why, Elsie Mayhew!” He went into a broad, undefinable accent that may or may not have been Southern-inspired. “I’m just all shocked and appalled! What an audacious thing to say! My good gracious!”
She laughed. “Such an idiot.” She pulled him into a kiss.
Hank and Dave stood outside Mark Caten’s bedroom. They were dressed in their full guard uniforms – red-orange hooded robes with ornate white and gold masks.
Dave huffed out a breath. His full face mask amplified the sound. “It isn’t fair. Why do we always have to do the Christmas shift? It’s become almost a tradition.”
“Hey.” Hank switched his spiked club into his other hand. “Just be glad that we get to do it together. Remember what happened last Christmas?”
“I don’t want to think about it. That was awful! I missed you so much.”
“I missed you too, babe.”
Dave sighed again. “I wish I could just grab your hand and run to our room and—”
Hank edged closer to him and took his hand. “So do I. But morning will come and then—”
Dave’s heart fluttered in anticipation. “And then.”
“Baby, I’ll be all yours.”
“Eeeeeeeeee! You’re so romantic!” Dave dropped his weapon and flung his arms around Hank’s neck.
Hank laughed. “Oh, I love you.”
Ambrose sat beside Barbara in the pew.
The church was dark with only candles lighting the ceremony.
Ambrose tried his best to stay focused on the Mass happening in front of him. Then, Barbara folded her fingers with his fingers.
A contented smile stretched across his face. He looked to the tabernacle and whispered a soft, two word prayer, “Thank You.”
The choir sang the Kyrie and, in the candle lit darkness, they sounded like angels.
Hildreth released Elsie and smiled lovingly at her. “It’s going to be an awesome Christmas.”
She spread her hands on his chest. “And you know it.”
“Is it midnight yet?” Dave asked eagerly.
“Not yet.” Hank checked his watch. “Just a couple more minutes.”
Dave lowered his hood and untied his mask. He set the mask next to his fallen weapon. “How about now?”
“Not yet.” Hank lowered his own hood and removed his mask. He dropped the mask on the ground.
Dave embraced him and laid his head against Hank’s chest. “How about—-”
“Now.” He hugged Dave. “Merry Christmas, babe.”
Ambrose glanced at Barbara and smiled.
She looked straight ahead with that very serious and very intent expression on her face. And he just couldn’t resist. He kissed the rim of her ear and whispered very softly, “Merry Christmas, darling.”
She looked up at him and smiled. “Merry Christmas.”