When you open your bedroom door and see your mum sitting on your bed grinning like a Cheshire cat you know she's not just there to collect your laundry.

'Helloo…Mum,' I said slowly. There's also something strange about having a deer-in-headlights feeling when you're stepping into your own room of sanctuary.

'Christine!' she exclaimed, bouncing off my bed. I stared at the wrinkled face of Sponge bob Square Pants on the doona. 'You're finally back. I've been wait- Oh my! Is that grass in your hair?! What have you been up to, young lady?'

'I was walking Cookie.'

She wrinkled her nose. 'How many times have I told you not to walk him if you can't control him? Leave him to your dad when he gets home. That is if he gets home quick enough what with the Christmas shopping rush and-'

I do not see where this is going.

'- oh well, hurry up and shower.' She began picking the grass in my hair. 'Then come out and I'll show you the lovely dress I bought for you today. It's absolutely gorgeous-'


'Matches you perfectly and…oh, yes, the heels. I hope they fit you, if your giant foot hasn't grown another inch. I wonder where you inherited your foot size from. Probably your dad.'


'Actually I'll show you now. I've been waiting all afternoon. Does it seriously take you two hours to walk Cookie? I know he's twice your size and all but I thought we trained him to lead you well. Oh well, he probably saw a squirrel.'

'… we don't have squirrels in Australia, mum.'

She ignored me, turning around to open my wardrobe. Sometimes, I wondered how my dad put up with her. She could chat your ears off and then after she'd done that, she'd turn to the person on her other side and do the same. If it was just you and her…well... My dad, on the other hand, was the silent brooding kind. He was the type to sit there during family discussions (i.e. my mother's nattering) and read his newspaper, occasionally hiding a smile at my mother's theatrics. And then, after my mum leaves the room, he'd turn to me and say 'Peace at last.'

'Tada! It's bee-you-tee-full, right?'

I stared at her, deadpanned. She smiled brighter.

'Oh, come on. I know its pink- light pink, mind you- but it's not ruffly or even frilly. Besides, I couldn't find a red or green dress to go with the occasion. A proper one, mind you. The ones I saw would all have your boobies popping out.' She looked down at me. 'Or maybe not. Either way, we don't want to scare the kids over-'

'Okay mum. Stop. First, could we not talk about my chest-'

'Why, there's nothing to be embarrassed about. We're all girls here.' She paused at Cookie who just appeared behind my legs. 'Well, human ones, anyways.'

No, actually, I think our neighbours heard you too. 'Okay, what's going on? Why are you…' I paused, racking for the right word. '…so like this?' Descriptive, very.

Suddenly, a wide-eyed look dawned over her face. 'Why, Christine, you forgot?'

I stared at her, warily. '… I'm supposed to remember something?'

She nodded, vehemently. 'Yes, of course. It's the Logan's Christmas party tonight! How could you forget?'

Three things happened at once: Her mouth twitched. My eye twitched. Cookie sneezed.

'You told me we weren't going this year,' I said quietly. She planned this. I know she did.

She laughed. I give her brownie points for no trace of nervousness. Cause she should be. Very much so.

'Oh Christine. We go there every Christmas, why not this year?'

'Christmas is the time to celebrate Jesus' birth.'

She paused, not expecting my sudden religious outburst though she was the one reminding me every year at this time.

'With friends, family and no excessive alcohol.' And especially no Chr-

'This is about Christian Logan isn't it?' A twinkle came into her eye. It was my turn to look wide-eyed.

'No, this is about the fifteen year old who tried to kiss me, the 'chocolate' cake which had cashews and made my face bloated, the tinsel on the Christmas tree which somehow wrapped itself around my ankle and the present which exploded-'

'And Christian Logan.'

'…mum, did you not hear what I just said?'

'Mmm.' The smile dancing on her face indicated otherwise.

'I'm not going. You and dad can go. Tell them I'm sick or something. I have tons of stuff to do. But get my presents-'

'Nuh uh, you're going.' She held up the dress. 'And you're wearing this.' She nudged a pair of cream heels towards me. 'And those.'

'…no, I'm-'

'No arguing, darling. I hate arguing. It's so much better to just agree, right?' She stared me square in the eye.

'I'm not-'

She clapped her hands together. 'Okay, now that that's settled, hop into the shower!'

Christine. Christmas. Christian. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you a classic case of my mother's sinister and simplistic mind.

First up: me. Her innocent daughter of eighteen years. Just out of high school, waiting in anticipation for a reply from her dream college because she knows she must fight hard to free herself from her mother's numerous evil plots.

Second: Christmas. Yeah, we all know about Christmas. Personally, I love Christmas…that was until my mum interfered.

And last and very least, Christian Logan. See, this is one aspect where a mother acts different from a father. When my father first met Christian, he gave the former 6 year old a good hair ruffling and handshake. When my mother first met Christian, she cooed over how cute the boy was when he handed me his candy cane (I mean, really mum, don't mind the fact that he'd slobbered over half of it) and then practically squealed (no kidding) when he took my hand and led me to the play room. The year after, she made sure I was dressed in the frilliest pink dress she could find and nearly blinded me in my early childhood with the numerous pictures she took. Back then- if you minus the hovering (well, in-your-face) mother- Christmas at the Logans was quite alright. Well, great actually. Super. Fantastic. Christian and I would smuggle armfuls of marshmallows from the food table and eat them behind the Christmas tree; we'd team up in hide and seek with the other kids amongst numerous other games and mischief; and finally, we'd fall asleep watching the annual Carols in the Domain on TV whilst our parents finished up. I'd be lying if I said I didn't look forward to this party every year.

And then puberty hit (seriously, why can't the world just be ruled by kids?...no, don't answer that). He shot up and put on some muscle. I mean, I actually had to look up at him and he began to easily beat me in arm wrestles (that, by the way, is un-gentlemanly. If you're going to beat me, at least make it look like it was hard, you know). But those were all petty, I mean, everything else was still the same right?


He became popular. Like, really popular. Christian changed schools to mine at the beginning of senior year and from the moment he stepped in, he shone. For the first weeks of summer, Woodcroft High was rearranging and making way for a new star in its social ladder of glory. I mean, really everyone, don't mind senior year. It's just the stepping stone towards our pursuit of a career and place in life. Just ogle 'hottie' Christian Logan and your future is set. Uh huh.

Still, I thought, we're family friends, it can't hurt to chat to me every now and then. Yeah, so the fact that I've never been insanely popular (I have friends, just not half the school) means that I don't know how it feels to have such a busy schedule where some people (their name may or may not be Christine) simply must be excluded from having their own slot in your social timetable. In other words, the jerk didn't even talk to me during school preferring instead to entertain his basketball team and half the school's female population.

But, what I hated most was how after making me feel like I didn't even exist, he still expected everything to go back to normal (seriously, what was normal?) every time our parents got together. He would crack jokes about our parents around me, tug my hair, or sing 'Jingle Bells' at Christmas time with a mouth full of pudding like we used to. It's amazing how much a person can change around different people. And it just pissed me off more.

Oh, he got the message in the end what with my silent treatment and avoidance of him by constantly engaging in conversation with my father every time I suspected he was going to talk to me. My mother, on the other hand, did not notice anything. In fact, she only increased her 'advice' and nudging every time we met with the Logans.

And the fact that our names match…don't even get me started on how much my mum talked about God's plan and predestination yadda yadda because there is NO way that jerk will end up as my boyfriend, husband, soul mate etc. No way. Besides, the name thing is way too cheesy.

Unfortunately, that does not stop my mum from trying. Too often I find myself in the awkward situation where Christian and I are in the same room/car with my mum peering around the door or driving slowly alongside us. Christmas, it appears, is her master plot. Everyone forgives. Everyone celebrates. Everyone loves.

Uhh…no mum. You will not have prospective grandchildren by the end of the night.

"Anna, George! Come in!" Mrs Logan, the one woman who came close to matching the endurance of my mother's voice box, greeted us enthusiastically decked out with what looked like a tangle of red tinsel in her blonde locks. 'Christine, you look lovely! Oh, wait. I'll call my boy. CHRIS-'

I grabbed her quickly. 'Oh, it's fine Mrs Logan. Really. I'm sure he's busy at the moment with the party and everything so I'll just find him myself when he's free.' Not.

'Oh, are you sure?' From behind her, I could see my mum glaring daggers at me.

I nodded.

'Well, if you say so…' Mrs Logan walked off, dragging my mother with her who still managed to give me one last glare before she rounded the corner.

My dad glanced at me and shrugged. 'I'm going to…uhh…go as well.'

And there, friends, is how my parents abandoned me within 15 seconds of us entering this mansion. I now had three options. Go right, after where my mum disappeared in the direction of the kitchen and risk being 'hissed' at all night. Go forward, up the grand curving staircase and probably risk having a one-on-one encounter with He-Who-Must-Be-Avoided. Or go left, where the laughter, clinks and chatter was coming from and prepare to mingle with people I hardly knew.

And where the food was. Ok, left it is.

The first thing I noticed when I entered was the number of kids running around or crowding around the food tables.

'Where did they all come from?' I muttered as a little boy with spiked hair stumbled into my hip before grinning cheekily up at me.


I smiled down at him, suddenly overcome with a strong urge to squish his cheeks. Luckily, he ran off before I could act on it.

I hurried over to the food table on the far end of the room where fewer people were congregated, piling up a plate of food and then began eating in the corner. There was the usual bunch of people, I noticed. The Bradys, the Parkers, the Lees amongst many others. And then there were many I did not recognise. A couple in their late 30s standing on the patio conversing with a portly man who resembled Hercule Poirot. I didn't recognise half the children running rampage nor the group of what seemed to be uni guys and girls playing billiards in the adjoining room.

One of them turned around and the last morsel of chicken schnitzel in my mouth promptly fell out onto the plate I was holding as I recognised the messy brown hair and angular facial features.

Ok, scratch the uni thing. They were all (well, had been before graduation) from my school and grade. Christian and his mob. For a moment, I felt a stab of displeasure course through me when I realised he'd invited them over. So, okay, I didn't want to talk to him anyway. He can just entertain them and I'll just entertain myself for the rest of the night.

Suddenly, I didn't feel so hungry anymore.

Setting the plate down, I prepared to leave and go upstairs to watch whatever Christmas movie was on TV but Mrs Logan had other plans.

'Christine!' she exclaimed, seemingly appearing out of thin air and grabbing my hand. 'Finished eating already? No, you must try my chocolate pudding!' All of a sudden, her eyes whipped around in the direction of the entertainment room. 'There's Christian! Come on, I'll take you there.'

And much to my disdain and her enthusiasm, I abruptly found myself in a room where five guys and 3 girls had swiftly stopped all games, chatter and laughter, all eyes focused on me.

'Christian, look after Christine. She was standing out there with no one to talk to.' Mrs Logan seemed oblivious to the sudden cease in conversation. 'Call me if you need anything.' And with that, she flounced out.

Excuse me while I also flounce out and find myself a cliff.

There were a few more seconds of silence after her departure where I stared sullenly at the fairy lights decorating the border of the pool table. Daringly, I glanced up to find that most had returned to their previous activities, the guys back to the pool game whilst the 3 girls began whispering in the corner, occasionally shooting glances at me.

All except for Christian who seemed frozen to his spot on the other side of the pool table, cue stick in his left hand and mouth slightly open. His green eyes travelled down my length before coming back up and meeting my eyes.

Was he checking me out? I gave him a disdainful look, suddenly feeling self-conscious. So what if this isn't what I normally wear? No need to look that surprised.

He seemed to realise what I was thinking and immediately snapped his head away. I narrowed my eyes. Was that a blush?

'Hi, Christine Trudy right?'

I smiled politely at Judy Walters, the girl who had spoken. Behind her I could see Lorraine Fosters and Gina Millers watching the exchange. All three were highly sought after in our school though I had never seen them hanging out together. However, don't get me wrong. They weren't popular just because of their looks but their overall pleasant personalities. People couldn't really dislike them, unless you were the type to hate someone because they seemed to have everything.

'Yeah. Judy right?'

She grinned. 'Yep. Nice to meet you. Oh and don't feel intimidated by us,' she gestured backwards, 'We're not like a Mean Girls trio. We hardly know much about each other except who's dating who and such. You know, the usual.'

I nodded, not really knowing what to say. Gina Millers, I noticed, appeared to be glaring at me over her drink.

Judy saw where I was looking. 'Oh, don't mind Gina. She just really likes Christian, you know.'

I frowned, not seeing the connection. 'Yeah, well, so does half the female population at our school it seems.'

'Well, don't worry. Not me. Not that way' She looked confused. 'Anyways, didn't you know? He already likes-'

There was a sudden clatter and a red ball from the pool table suddenly came flying our way, landing with a sickening cracking sound on the floor before rolling away.

'Woah, dude, what was that?!' I turned to see Jordan and the others looking inquiringly at Christian who was making his way over.

'Excuse me ladies,' Christian drawled. Before I knew it, his hands were on my hips gently pushing me aside as he bent down to retrieve the ball. Removing his hands, he stared down at me, an unreadable expression in his eyes.


A single word and my stomach began to prepare for somersaults. Damn all the food I ate.

I nodded at him, attempting to present an air of indifference. Christian lingered a moment longer before I saw him shoot what looked like a warning glance at Judy.

I turned back to Judy who had suddenly developed a twinkle in her eye, not unlike the ones my mother sported frequently. 'What?' I asked, suspicious.

'Oh, nothing. So how do you know Christian?'

'Our parents met at a Christmas party a while back.'

'Really, when?'

'Umm, long time back. When we were 6.'

She gasped. 'So you've known each other for like 12 years!'

'Well, not really know. We only see each other when our parents meet up. Other than that, we don't talk.' Unknowingly, my gaze travelled to Christian who seemed really absorbed in chalking the end of his cue stick. Was he listening?

Lorraine appeared at Judy's side with a small smile. Quickly, I glanced at Gina who was glaring daggers at me. An image of Scrooge came to mind but I swiftly put it out of my mind lest I begin laughing.

'Hey, let's play pool. The boys are finishing up,' suggested Lorraine. Indeed, three of them (Jordan, Mike and Daryl) were leaning against the wall, cans of coke in hand. Judy nodded, walking up to Mike and grabbing his cue stick whilst Lorraine took Daryl's.

I stood aside and watched as Lorraine pocketed 2 balls in her first go. Judy shook her head, muttering something like 'She has one at home.' She pocketed 2 as well.

Suddenly, all eyes were on me. I paled.

'I don't know how to play. I've never-'

'Here.' Jordan began crossing over to me, cue stick held out. 'I'll teach you.'

I shook my head. 'It's fine, really. I'll just watch.'

He ignored my feeble protests and led me to the table edge. Somewhat panicky, I glanced around at the others looking for a way out but they all simply watched on except for Christian who was staring stonily at Jordan. Christmas love anyone?

'Ok, so you hold it like this.' He moved behind me and took my arms. I tensed at the sudden proximity. Can't you teach without touching? I felt like saying.

'And now bend-'

'Christine!' The voice was shrill and full of urgency. For the first time in my life, my mother had interrupted at the right moment. Jordan rapidly moved back and I let out a breath of air I hadn't even realised I'd been holding.

'I need your help now.'

Quickly setting down the cue stick, I walked over without daring to look anyone in the face. My mum took a hold of my arm and led me out of the room.

'What do you think you were doing?' she hissed, as we moved through the throng of people. 'Getting so close to that boy.'

'Mum. Please, I didn't want him that close to me either.'

'Well, you better not have cause the only boy I want you hugging is Chris-'


She grinned cheekily at me as we stopped at the foot of the grand staircase. 'Now, now. Don't pretend you don't like him too. Didn't he look so handsome in that shirt with the sleeves rolled up-'

'Mum!' I looked around to make sure others hadn't heard. 'Stop it.'

She waggled her eyebrows one last time before gesturing upstairs. 'Anyways, I need you to look after all those kids. We've managed to confine them in front of the TV upstairs but who knows when they'll start running around again. Almost toppled the Christmas tree over.'

I looked over at the Christmas tree underneath the grand staircase and noticed that it had indeed looked like it had a battering.

I shrugged. Anything seemed better than entering the billiards room.

Walking up the steps, I found myself face to face at the top with the spiky haired boy who'd crashed into me earlier. He had his arms crossed over his chest and chin held up defiantly.

'Kids only.'

I looked at him, amused. 'Oh really?'

He bobbed his head up and down. 'You may not pass.'

Aww, so cute! Once again, I felt like reaching out for his cheeks. 'Aww, you're doing a great job, guardian of the upstairs. Keep it up.'

With that I swept past him as he desperately made a grab for my arm. 'No, no, no. You're too big! You can't go in there. You hear me? Kid's onlyyy!'

The grin stretching across my face further heightened his annoyance. I reached the TV room easily, met with a number of curious faces peeking up from behind the couches. A few of the young ones were already asleep.

'Hey everyone! I'm Christine! What are you watching?'

Some of them turned back to the TV, disinterested. A feeling of déjà vu crossed me when I realised they were watching 'Carols in the Domain'

One of the little girls gave the boy clinging to me a scornful look. 'What are you doing Eddie?'

Eddie let go of me, suddenly bashful. 'She's too old, Rachel.' He refused to meet her eyes.


Eddie stayed silent then looked up. Seeing the mischievous look on my face, he glared then looked back at Rachel. 'Fine, you can stay.'

I grinned and reached down for his cheek. 'Aww, thank you so much Eddie.' He slapped my hand away, muttering something before creeping over to Rachel. Ah, I see how it is.

I found a space on the couch just as the kids began singing 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town.' Now, this is what I call fun.

A few songs later and nearing 10pm, more kids began nodding off, choosing to relocate to the bean bags surrounding the couches. I looked around at the sleeping faces. So adorable.

'All I want for Christmas…'

I jumped at the deep voice resonating from behind my right ear. Turning slowly, I found myself face to face with a pair of deep green eyes. Oh no…

'Your mum told me you were here.'

I scowled. Of course she would. 'Then, why'd you come?'

He came around the side of the sofa and plonked himself next to me. I couldn't help tensing. 'Why not?'

I tried to scoot over but I was already sitting on the edge. 'What about your friends? Shouldn't you be with them?'

I berated myself for the note of contempt revealed. I really had nothing against them, just given our present circumstances…

'Why? Jealous?' His eyes twinkled.

'In your dreams.'

'I'm…dreaming…of a white…Christmas.'

I switched my gaze back to the TV, eager to sit out the rest of the evening in silence. He seemed content to let me be until I realised that his leg was edging closer to mine. I whipped around to face him angrily.

'What are you doing?'

He didn't look at me though I could see a smile tugging at his lips. 'Shh, just watch.'

'There are kids here!'

'Well, it's not like we're doing anything inappropriate. Besides, look at them.'

I turned to where he was gesturing. There on the reclining couch was Eddie and Rachel, asleep side by side. Rachel's head of blonde curls was resting gently against Eddie's and…were they holding hands?

'Remember how we used to be like that?'

I stayed silent. He was gazing at me intently now, body shifting around to face me. And then, to my surprise, he reached for my right hand and entwined it with his. For a few seconds, I could only stare at our clasped hands, his large hand encasing my smaller one, before I snatched it back and held it as if burnt.

'What are you doing? Why are you suddenly…like this?'

'Christine.' His eyes bore into mine, holding me there as the butterflies began to dance around in my stomach. I saw a flash of something before it disappeared, replaced with a look of desperation and affection? No, I must be seeing wrong. 'Remember how when we were 7, we sat right here and fell asleep together?'

I nodded slowly, not exactly seeing where this was going.

'And that time when we were 8 and we hid under the food table behind the table cloth, laughing at other people's conversations and sneaking food off above us?'

I had a slightly wide-eyed look on my face, eyes darting around for a clue about his strange behaviour.

'What about that time we were 9 playing hide and seek with the other kids and we found the best hiding spot out in the backyard and came back in after they'd given up with mosquito bites everywhere?' He continued. 'And when we were 10, we sang 'Jingle Bells' for all the adults? And also, when we were 11, we toppled over the Christmas tree and redecorated it with only candy canes.'


'When we were 12, we had a water bomb fight and drove the guests crazy. 13, we went and burnt our primary school notes with mum's scented candles. 14, we almost finished a whole carton of cookies and cream ice-cream. And do you remember when we were 15?'

I ducked my head as he searched my face, a crimson red spreading slowly across it.

'When we were 15, I told you you were the most beautiful girl in the world and I would do anything for you.'

I sucked in a breath, an indescribable feeling coursing through me. I believed him, I remembered. I believed him until the following year.

Slowly, I lifted my head. His face showed no sign of teasing or any indication that this was a (horrible) joke. I could feel my heart pounding heavily in my chest as he took my hand again, caressing it softly.

'Then why did you ignore me? Why did you ignore me for 3 whole years at school?'

He looked guilty. 'Well, after I told you how I felt when we were 15, you didn't say anything. You just looked astounded.'

'Well, yeah, of course I was.'

'And then, your mum came along and said it was time for you to go and you still didn't say anything. What was I supposed to think?'

'I was in shock. I didn't know what to say. You try having someone tell you what you said for the first time in your life.'

'But couldn't you have at least…smiled? You left me there thinking that I'd stuffed everything up. That I was the only one who cared.'

'But that doesn't explain why you ignored me afterwards.'

'I didn't know what to say to you at school.' He ran a hand through his hair. 'I hadn't…I hadn't exactly counted on you rejecting me. I was going to tell you afterwards that I had transferred to your school, but…you left without saying goodbye.'

He looked dejected for a moment making me feel like reaching out and comforting him but I stopped myself. 'But still, you didn't even try talking to me.'

'Look. I was scared okay. Scared that you'd voice your rejection for real. Scared that the person I cared for the most would push me out of her life. Scared that you didn't return my feelings. Go ahead, call me a coward.' He sighed, a deep blush spreading across his cheeks, as he refused to look me in the face. 'So, I didn't say anything to you for the first few weeks. And then later, it became easier not to. To just watch you from afar.'

'And tonight? What makes tonight so different?'

'You took my breath away when I first saw you tonight-'

'My mum made me wear this.' Why was it so hot in here?

'And you should.' He grinned at me. 'And then, when I saw Jordan with you…' His fist clenched, 'I thought, I'm not the only one who finds her gorgeous. I realised if I didn't, someone else would snatch you away. And then I thought back to my confession when I was 15 and how cowardly I am now for not even daring to speak to you. So, here I am...'

He trailed off, eyes fixated on me and I saw the affection, tenderness and vulnerability reflected in those green pools. He was waiting for my response.

And I was tongue-tied.

'Christian. I..I..I need some air.' His face fell and a pang went through me. He removed his hand. 'I'm sorry, I really need…out.' All the blood rushing to my head was making me dizzy. Slowly, I stood up and began stumbling out, carefully manoeuvring around the sleeping children.

I stepped into the darkened hallway outside before resting with my back against the cool wall. Downstairs, I could hear the continued chatter as well as some music playing. An overwhelming flood of emotions streamed through me. Oh gosh, that was almost like…a proposal.

And then, I realised what I'd done. I'd once again left him without an answer straight after he'd poured out his heart.

I slapped a hand to my forehead. 'Christine. What have you done?' Oh man, I was such an idiot.

'I could name a few things that you should have done.'

I froze, realising that I hadn't gone far from the TV room at all. Three steps far, actually.

The lack of lighting made it hard for me to see him clearly but when he stepped closer, I saw the kaleidoscope of emotions running through his eyes, too fast for me to decipher.

'Christian, I'm sorry. I-'

'Shh… mistletoe.' He took another step forward, and I found I couldn't breathe. Then, wait…what?

'Mistletoe,' he repeated. I stared blankly at him, looked up above our heads, turned back to the smirk emerging on his face…

…and promptly ran off. Stuff tradition.

Except the heels I wore slowed down my escape considerably, not to mention Christian seemed to have predicted my actions.

A warm hand grasped my arm, and the next thing I knew I was pressed against the wall with Christian hovering over me, his hot breath fanning my face and one hand on my hip.

'Christian, please.'

'No.' he said defiantly, 'I'm not letting you run away this time.'

And before I could protest further, his lips swooped down on mine claiming them in one swift movement. I think he knew it was my first kiss but it didn't stop him from desperately working his mouth against mine. Christian kissed me hungrily, snaking his arm around my waist and pulling me closer. I began to feel extremely light headed, my knees turning to jelly, Christian my only support.

He nipped my lips and I gasped but he only used it to further deepen the kiss. 'Oh my' was the only thought running through my head as he began running his hand up and down my side. So this is what years of pent up emotions do to you, I thought amused. Christian must have felt me smile because he suddenly growled.

'Kiss me back,' he whispered huskily. 'Kiss me back, Christine.'

Slowly, I began to respond, moving my mouth tentatively against his frantic one. He made a rough noise in his throat when I lifted my hands and ran them through his hair. I could smell his cologne mingling with my perfume, wafting around us as we continued kissing. It was all too much. All these emotions were overwhelming my senses. It felt surreal.

He pulled back when he felt me begin to tremble, but stayed where he was, forehead against mine and eyes slightly clouded.

'Sorry, that might have been too…forceful,' he said between breaths.

I didn't know how to respond. I was feeling somewhat embarrassed for one thing and I didn't trust myself to speak, what with my chest threatening to explode.

'Christian. I…I…'

He stared at me intensely, waiting.

'No one's ever made me feel this way. I-'

'I love you Christine.'

I gasped as the words sunk in. He…loves me? The only answer I deemed appropriate right now was pulling his head back down for another kiss.

Suddenly, there was click and a flash.

We broke apart quickly and turned towards the culprit. Even in my dazed state, I could clearly make out the figure of my mother holding a camera, a wide smile dancing on her face.

'Mum.' Oh dear, I would never hear the end of this.

'I knew the mistletoe would work.' She was beaming. 'Oh my, these pictures-'

'Wait, pictures? How many did you take?' I turned to Christian with a panicky expression. He shrugged.

'Oh, just a few when you were on the couch-'

'On the couch?!'

'And then more when you began kissing.' I stared at her dumbfounded. 'That was pretty hot and heavy stuff going on there kids.' I spluttered as Christian began rubbing the back of his neck. 'But remember, no sex before marriage!'

'MUM!' I was utterly mortified. She winked at me, before skipping around the corner and down the stairs.

There were a few seconds of silence, before… 'Want to continue?'

I swished around and slapped his arm. He shrugged. The mood was totally ruined, anyways.

'Let's go downstairs and get some pudding,' I suggested with a sigh, turning around.

Suddenly, I felt warm arms wrap around me from behind.

'Oh, and I forgot to say something,' he whispered in my ear.

I waited, confused.

'Merry Christmas, Christine.'

I smiled. 'Merry Christmas, Christian.'


I think the fluff was a bit overwhelming for me as well but what can I say, it's Christmas~

I know I've still got 'Project Ashley' to write, but I really can't promise anything. The coming year is a crucial year for me and I must really give it my all. So sorry! Sigh, I should probably just stick to one-shots.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this Christmas one-shot. I might have gotten the billiard terms mixed up (I don't really play) so please don't mind them.

Also, I know there are many issues concerning plagiarism on Fiction Press running around. I'd just like to mention that I don't plagiarise and I'm totally against it. The stuff I write is clichéd so some ideas (i.e. hot guy falling for girl) are everywhere but I hope no one thinks I plagiarise. (I mean, for this story, I did a search of the 'mistletoe' stories here to make sure my story won't be too similar). I don't know, maybe I'm just paranoid.

Well, please pop in a review and while I'm at it, HAPPY NEW YEAR!