Day 1 of our holiday extravaganza celebrating not only our 1 year anniversary but this special time of year with our families and friends is a BONUS holiday scene from the IN FLIGHT SERIES by R.K Lilley!
CHRISTMAS EVE IN BALI
It had been a hectic day that had culminated in a rehearsal dinner for Stephan and Javier. The ceremony would happen in the morning. It would be a small gathering of their closest friends on a private island. It was a dream wedding, and one I was only too happy to provide for them. I considered them both the dearest of family, and there was nothing I wouldn’t do for the ones I held dear.
Now, at last, we had a moment of respite from the constant festivities. The four of us were sharing a small bit of Christmas tradition that I remembered from my childhood, though it was a new version of it that allowed for four adults instead of two parents and one child.
I’d gotten us each a large Christmas stocking, and we’d all gotten each other gifts to fit inside of it. No price limit. Only a limit of size, which made things tricky, though not too tricky.
Javier opened his first. Bianca had painted him a very tiny portrait. It looked like it had been taken from a photograph. He was smiling and handsome, his eyes sparkling. It was stunning. He fussed over it, flattered and pleased.
He and Bianca were both reticent creatures, to be sure, but they had found their way into each other’s hearts.
Next he fished a small package out of the stocking that turned out to be some small plastic heart bracelet that made him burst into tears for some reason. I didn’t glean the full context of the gesture, but I understood that there was some history behind the bracelet, and that Javier was very happy to receive it.
Next he fished out an even smaller box from me. Inside of it was just a key on a keychain. The four interlocked silver circles etched onto it needed almost no explanation.
“A Roadster,” I provided. We’d spent plenty of time talking cars, and I knew this was his dream one.
That did not get tears, but it did get screams.
I was still smiling as Stephan started in on his stocking.
He opened a portrait of himself with his arm around Javier that had him giving Bianca a very affectionate smile.
“I’ll do a much bigger one for the wedding,” she told him, smiling back. A long look passed between them, as they spoke to each other in their own silent language. I was growing accustomed to that, albeit slowly.
He opened a Rolex from me, and after his gratifying reaction to that, he opened a rather lascivious set of dice from Javier that made him blush and stammer, and then put it away before Bianca got a good look.
I shared a grin with Javier. We both enjoyed making our lovers blush.
I went through my stocking next. Javier had gotten me the latest version of our preferred online shooter game. I laughed. It was perfect
“We’re partners next week,” he told me.
We had Thursday game night now, and a rule had been made after our first few times playing. I didn’t get to be on the same team as Stephan, because that was a blood bath. Instead, we alternated partners, and I got Javier every other week. It was a fair system, because none of us could ever predict who would win. And I enjoyed it, because sometimes I liked to hunt Bianca, and sometimes I liked to hunt with her.
Stephan had wrapped up a stack of photos for me. All of them were of Bianca over the years. I nodded my thank you to him. He was well aware how much I’d treasure the gift.
Bianca had painted me a very small portrait of my parents, from a photo that was taken just after their honeymoon. She’d known it was a favorite of mine. She smiled when she saw my blank face.
“We need more of them around the house, I think,” she mused. I nodded and put it aside, trying not to get choked up at the cheerful gathering.
Bianca opened her stocking gifts next. Javier had gotten her a phone case with some adorable blonde anime character on it. Stephan had gotten her the latest in some Manga she was following. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that it was already in her library. I had connections that got them to us faster than the general population.
She opened my gift last. It was another family heirloom, though less flashy than some that I’d given her. This one was a detailed silver locket, and inside of it I’d placed pictures of her and myself. I’d set it onto a small bracelet, since her neck was spoken for. She loved it considerably more than the last garish diamond bracelet I’d given her. She did not value things at their monetary worth. I adored that.
It was the best Christmas I could remember, and the very best part of it was that I knew there would be many more to come.
Series Reading Order
Book 1 – In Flight
Book 2 – Mile High
Book 3 – Grounded
Book 4 – Coming Soon 2014 – Mr. Beautiful