Home For the Holidays

I wanted to visit GranGran more than anything. She was in the hospital now, still fighting a losing battle with cancer, and I was finally off from school for Christmas break. But I couldn't; Devin would be there. And seeing Devin was worse than not seeing GranGran.

Mom had tried her best to get me to come, but I'd told her I had a school project that would take forever, and they wouldn't be back until New Years. I had more than a week to myself. Alone, save for my dog Ruby.

Alone. No Devin. No. Devin.

I spent Christmas Eve watching old holiday flicks on TCM, lightly scratching Ruby between her ears. Whenever I wasn't petting enough, she'd huff and push her nose against my leg until I complied.

The phone rang.

"Hello?"

"December?"

"Hi, mom."

"Hey, sweetie," mom said, sounding tired. "I just wanted to check up on you. We just got to your aunt's house."

"Oh," I said. "How's GranGran?"

"We're going to the hospital first thing in the morning," she said. "Devin couldn't make it," she continued, wearier by the minute. "He still has exams he said."

"Oh."

"Listen, Carrie needs help with something..." she trailed off."Are you alright by yourself?" she asked.

"I'm fine," I said.

"I love you, December. Next year will be better," she promised.

"I know," I said. I hung up.

Devin hadn't gone after all. I could have seen her... I may never get to see her again. I drew my feet up to my chin. Ruby licked my hand. I looked at the time. It was a little after ten.

I stood up and walked to the master bath. My parents had a Jacuzzi tub. I needed to relax. I filled it with water, turned on the jets, and sunk in. The scalding water felt wonderful. Ruby stood on her hind legs and looked at me, wagging her tail. I smiled. "I love you too, girl," I said.

My cell phone rang. I jumped a bit, forgetting I'd had it in my pants pocket. I reached for them and pulled it out. I looked to see who was calling and paled.

It was Devin.

Ring. Ring. It was my first Christmas without him. I wouldn't let him ruin it. Ring. I wouldn't pick up the phone. He couldn't hurt me anymore. He was in Georgia. Ring. Ring. Ring. But if I didn't answer, the next time I saw him would just be worse. Ring. I just...

Ring. Ring.

"H-hello?"

"What the fuck is wrong with you? Answer your god damn phone faster!"

"I'm sorry," I whispered, shaking. Oh god, he was mad. He was mad and when he saw me he'd-

"I need to fucking see you or I'm going to go fucking insane," he shouted. I heard allot of wind in the background. He was in a car.

My heart stopped.

"Mom said you weren't there so I told her I had exams. I wish that stupid bitch would just die already. Why the fuck didn't you go? I want to see you!"

"I have a project for school," I said, curling into myself. I clutched the phone until my knuckles turned white.

"Yeah," he laughs a little. "That's so like you. You're so studious." His voice softened. "I'm so proud of you, Deccie."

"Thank you," I said, shaking all over despite the hot water. I wished that he was still yelling. He was always worse, saying the strangest things when he spoke to me in that hushed tone.

I thought the wind would drown out his voice, but his words still rang in my ears.

"I miss you so much, baby brother," he whispered huskily. "I knew college wouldn't change a thing. I'm so fucking lonely without you. "

"I-I'm sorry," I said.

"Do you miss me too?" he asked.

"I h-have to go..." I stuttered.

"Don't you fucking hang up on me you little shit!" he screamed.

Silence, except for the wind. He calmed down. "I need to hear your voice. I was going to surprise you, but I couldn't wait. I need you now. Oh god, I need you December," he almost moaned.

I couldn't say anything. I couldn't even breathe. What was he talking about? What was he...? 'No,' I thought. 'Don't do this to me.'

"But I'm almost there," he said happily. "Almost...yes." I could hear a sick smile in his words. The wind stopped.

Outside, a car door slammed.

I threw my cell phone across the bathroom and screamed, crying. "No!" Ruby ran from the room, frightened. The front door opened. She yelped. "Fucking dog," he said.

I heard him walk through our parent's bedroom. He opened the bathroom door and leaned against the frame, smirking. I backed away from him.

He took his clothes off, his lean muscles threatening violence with each move he made. While he always did sports, I read books. My scrawny frame was no match for him.

It never was.

He stepped into the tub, reaching for me. "No, Devin, please," I twisted away, but he wrapped a firm arm around my waist, drawing my closely between his legs. I could feel his hard-on. I wanted to throw up. Disgusted, I looked away.

He jerked my head around, biting my lip and kissing my hungrily. I bit his tongue. "Stop it!" I screamed. He grabbed a fist full of my hair and yanked my head, smacking me across the face. I sobbed.

"Shh," he comforted me. He turned me around and stroked my back and sent kisses down my neck. I shuttered.

"Can't you see how much I need you, December?" he asked, almost sadly. He trailed a hand down my chest, then lower still.

He kept... touching me until, to my shame, I responded. I felt his smile on my neck.

"You need it too," he said.

Later, he dried me off with a big towel and laid me down, unclothed, in our parents bed. I turned onto my side even if it hurt to move.

"I have a gift for you," he whispered. He crawled under the covers and laid over me, turning my face to look at him. He sat up slightly, and held a necklace up for me to see. It had a tiny golden lock on it.

"Never take it off," he said.

I nodded. "Ok."

He put it on me, and kissed me. "My December," he said in my ear.

The next morning, mom called again.

"December," she said, "GranGran died."

A/N: haha. Poor December. I hope everyone else has a better Christmas than he did. :/ Please review!