Back from a brief hiatus. I stopped writing late on in my pregnancy and now my second son is 1 month old. I've begun writing again and hope to update again soon. Thanks for sticking with me.

"Move it over here, man," Alex barked. His usual easy-going attitude had been gradually disappearing over the last two hours and Roxanne's patience diminished with it.

"Well if you stopped whacking me with it!" Logan replied, sounding tired and exasperated. He at least wasn't getting agitated.

Roxanne sighed from her seat on the sofa. She was sitting sideways with her legs crossed and her physics text book propped up in her lap, attempting to revise for her very last exam of the term. Once she got this one out of the way she was free to celebrate Christmas and party with the other students. She was sick to death of feeling so anxious and tense as she dreaded the approaching test while everyone else seemed to be high on cinnamon and mulled wine all day every day. And to think that December only started yesterday.

She clapped her hand over her ears in an attempt to block out the boys' loud voices however she could still hear them for the most part. The incomplete snatches of their conversation and the rush of blood and thumping of her heart turned out to be more distracting than their arguing.

She dropped her hands in defeat and dumped her textbook onto the free sofa cushion. What should have been a quick trip to the kitchen for a drink turned into an all out army training assault course as she weaved and meandered around the stacks and jumbles of Christmas decorations that the boys had strewn around the room.

She yanked the cola out of the fridge and, to be safe, took it with her back to the sofa. She was just sitting back down and tugging her notes back towards her when a loud crash brought her head snapping up.

"Whoops," Alex said sheepishly before dissolving into laughter.

Logan, hands on his hips, looked unimpressed as he stared up at where Alex still perched on the top of the step-stool holding the tatty old angel that Roxanne had made in preschool. The Christmas tree lay on the carpet at his feet.

"Rox," Logan said without turning away from Alex, "come help us before I kill your brother."

Roxanne waved her hand. "Go ahead. Feel free. Murder away."

"Charming, Roxie."

"Sorry, but physics, you know?" She gestured to her textbook. "Maybe if there was just one of you mucking about with the decorations I'd be able to concentrate. Not that it would help much."

"Do it in your room then."

She sighed. "No, I keep procrastinating in there." And that was putting it mildly. Her room was tidier than Logan's – not an easy feat and certainly opposite of its usual state.

"Stuck?" Logan turned to face her.

"Just a bit." She huffed, flicking a page over in her notebook and squinting at the symbols and equations.

"Come help." He nodded his head in the direction of the tree. "I'll help you after."

Roxanne hesitated before jumping up. "Where do you want me?"

Logan bent down to tug at the bottom branches of the fake tree. "Help me stand this thing back up."

She frowned but moved to do as he had said. Normally her use of the phrase 'where do you want me' would have gotten a different response. She was surprised at his lack of reaction, although she figured any kind of risqué comment might be slightly awkward post confession to her brother. She was also surprised, and a little unnerved if she was honest, that she felt disappointed by it.

It was the result she had been after for the past year or so, that he'd stop the comments and jokes about getting her into bed or something equally indecent. Now that she had what she had wanted, she wasn't entirely sure she liked it.

With three of them working away the tree was easily stood into position and decorated with a collection of old baubles and tree ornaments from both the Matthew's and the Shaw's households. They were all the tacky, falling apart and one off decorations that neither parents wanted to put on display anymore resulting in a mismatch of colours.

Roxanne was more than a little put out that her clay angel that she had made at the age of seven in junior school had been relegated to the 'not good enough for the family tree' pile.

"Dad said it gave him nightmares looking at it." Alex grinned at her.

Roxanne gaped at him. "He would not say that! He loved my angel. It's not . . . scary looking."

"I don't know," Logan injected quietly from behind her. His bare arm reached over her shoulder to hang a snowy blue bauble on the tree. Now that the heating had been fixed Logan was back to wearing his usual t-shirts. The warmth of his skin emanated through the cotton at her back. "It does have a fallen angel – shinigami look to it."

She twisted to look up at him. "Shinigami?"


"For the grim reaper," Alex supplied, stacking the decoration boxes. "Hey, next year we'll have a Halloween tree and it will fit right in."

Logan snorted.

Roxanne glared at them both muttering "dicks," under her breath and grabbed her notes and textbook off of the sofa. The resounding thud of her bedroom door slamming behind her was thoroughly satisfying; the thought that she was now alone with her revision was not.

They didn't leave her alone for long however. It had barely been ten minutes before a knock came at her door and then Logan was leaning in warily.

"Do you still want that help?"

"You promised, so you better. I don't work for free."

"Come on out then."

"Can't we study in here?" She asked, getting up from her desk with her things even as she protested. "Away from my moron of a brother?" She reached over to her desk lamp and prepared to turn it off.

"But it's Festive and cheerful out here and we worked so hard."

He pushed the door open wider for her to leave and stopped abruptly staring at the back of the computer chair she had just vacated. "Is that mine?"

Roxanne followed his gaze and froze, her hand still reaching for the lamp switch, as she caught sight of the thick black hoodie draped over the back of the chair. So much for returning it before he'd ever even noticed it had gone missing.

The day that the gas men had come to fix whatever had broken the temperature had taken a sudden nose dive from the cold seven or eight degrees that they had been suffering to a freezing two degrees. Roxanne never could abide the cold; she was usually the first to start wearing warmer clothes as summer turned into autumn and definitely the first to don a jumper and a thicker coat when winter rolled in.

It wasn't as though she had headed to Logan's clothes first, she had raided Alex's wardrobe only to find that the jumper she had intended to borrow he'd evidently been wearing and the others he owned were heaped into his washing bin. She'd retreated to her room after that, pushing away the brief thought of heading to Logan's room, before she couldn't bare the cold anymore. She'd taken one from the very back of Logan's wardrobe. He hadn't appeared to have worn it recently and she didn't even recognise it herself, she figured he wouldn't miss it and would never know.

Only she should have returned it days ago. It would have been the right thing to do, and she wouldn't be facing the current situation that had the potential to be extremely embarrassing.

"Er . . . what's yours?" she said, opting for the 'play dumb' route.

Logan looked at her briefly before stepping into the room and tugging the jumper off the back of the chair. He peered down at it in the dim light from her lamp, eyebrows furrowed, and a puzzled look to his eyes.

Roxanne contemplated denying it and just walking out; if she played it cool he'd drop it she was sure. Instead she flicked the lamp switch sending them into what would have been complete darkness were it not for the light filtering in through her open doorway.

"Oh, yeah, I borrowed it when the heating was broken. Guess I forgot." She brushed past his still form and left the room. "Speaking of heating, I hope you know a lot about thermal energy and heat flow."

"That's what you need help with? I thought you'd have that down, it's all algebra. You're good at algebra." Logan said behind her as she collapsed onto the sofa. "Aren't you?" he then asked more hesitantly.

"Maths I can do. Science I can do." Roxanne dropped the heavy textbook onto her lap and looked down at it in dismay. "Maths and science together? That I can't do. It just doesn't make any sense to me."

"That makes no sense to me." He murmured, sitting down on the edge of the coffee table opposite her and dropping the black jumper onto the carpet at his side.

For an hour she and Logan ran through equations on thermal energy, heat flow and capacity, and mechanical work until she had gone well past the point of irritable boredom and the triangles, sigma, deltas, and other Greek letters started to make sense. Now she just had to remember the equations, just knowing what they meant didn't count for much if she couldn't remember the formula in the exam. It didn't help that they all looked the same, or that half of her attention piqued on Logan's every movement and part of her was wondering if she could pick up his jumper and sneak away with it without him being any the wiser.

They called an end to revising when Alex strolled out of the bathroom, his dark hair slicked back and still wet from his shower. He peered over Roxanne's shoulder on his way to the kitchen and squinted down at her notes.

"Damn, man. I'm glad I chose Computer science and not science science. I can see why you switched degrees."

"Why did you switch?" Roxanne asked as her curiosity got the better of her.

She'd been wondering about the answer for some time. If she had been passing a degree as easily as Logan seemed to be with physics, she doubted she'd throw it to the side and try something else. She'd be too worried about failing, and after such a successful pass rate, she'd imagine a low mark every now and then would hit all the more harder.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do so I went with what I was good at. Physics wouldn't get me anywhere, or at least no where I want to be."

Alex grinned. "Plus there was that incident with Charlotte."

"That had nothing to do with it," he murmured in quiet protest but was unable to stop the fleeting sheepish look that crossed his face as he turned his gaze to the carpet at his feet.

"Now that I –" Alex cut short as his phone buzzed audibly in his pocket. "Yeah?" He answered, and made his way to the kitchen. Roxanne watched as he rifled through the cupboards, trying to ignore the now awkward silence that had fallen between her and Logan.

She felt awkward due to an almost overwhelming curiosity and odd sort of dread that began in the pit of her stomach and slowly took over her. She figured Logan felt awkward too, he looked it.

Logan stood and straightened the legs of his jeans with his palms and grabbed his jumper from the floor. "If you remember those," he nodded his head towards her book, "you should at least get fifty percent."

Before she could thank him for his help he had moved off towards his room and leaving Roxanne in an empty silence broken only by her brother on the phone. She wasn't sure which she regretted more, Logan leaving or him taking his jumper with him.

"—ask her. Hey, Roxie? You gonna come to the Student Christmas party at Venue next weekend?"

"Er . . . yeah, sure."

Roxanne and Jenny had spoken a few days previously about attending Club X's Christmas party. Club X was the onsite student club and their usual go to for nights out, unfortunately that meant it was also Adam's usual go to and bumping into him might put a dampener on her Christmas spirit. Besides, it would be more fun to go out with Taylor, her brother and Logan as well as Jenny, rather than it just be the two of them.

And fun was exactly what the doctor ordered after the stress of these exams, she certainly needed it. Not that she could relax for long. As soon as the Christmas break is over she had every intention of getting a job and easing the pressure on her parents.