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Spirk (with a small dose of Pinto)

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Holidays

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 25

Chapter Twenty-Five: Christmas

It had been a long time since Jim had an old fashioned Christmas like this. He had vague memories of his very early childhood with Sam and his mom. But those had long since faded. They were only brief snapshots in the mind now.

Last Christmas, his mother had already been quite ill and it was hard to be festive and celebrate anything. He’d tried for Lily, but fortunately she had been young enough she cared mostly about the paper than the meager presents he’d given her.

He had vowed then that this Christmas would be different for both of them, but then he’d lost his job, and it had looked bleak again.

Not anymore.

If there was such thing as a Christmas miracle, Jim had experienced it.

They all got up early, of course.

Lily could hardly contain herself to wait and really, Jim was like a big kid himself. Only Spock came down much more sedately.

While Lily ran around the house noticing that Santa had eaten her cookies and drank her milk, Jim took the coffee Spock had made him gratefully.

A few years back his mother had given him one of those Christmas sweaters. It had a reindeer on the front that looked more like a moose really, with a string of lights hanging off his antlers. They lit up with some battery hidden in the material. He hadn’t worn it last year because as before it hadn’t been a very festive year last year, but he’d put it on this time, and was delighted by the eyebrow raise it had elicited from Spock.

“Daddy! Daddy! Santa was here!”

Jim grinned. “I know. Let’s go see what you got.”

They ran to the living room, well Lily did, Jim and Spock followed at a far slower pace, and Lily saw the pink and purple bike waiting there. She squealed with delight.

As Jim watched her fuss over the gift, his gaze strayed to his stocking hung by the chimney. Not so much with care as it was quite crooked.

But the thing that Jim noticed was that some sort of paper now stuck out of his stocking. One that had not been there when he and Spock went to bed.

With a frown, Jim went over to his stocking even as Lily started tearing through the wrapping paper of her other presents.

He pulled out the paper, unfolded it, and stared.

It was the deed to the farmhouse and it had been stamped PAID. It was all in his name.

Spock walked over to him. “Is something wrong?”

Jim waved the paper. “Do you know anything about this?”

“What is it?”

“The deed to the house. It says it’s all paid off but…Spock, did you do this?”

Spock shook his head. “I did not.”

“Are you sure? Because it wasn’t there last night and…”

“Jim, I am sure. Vulcans do not lie. I had nothing to do with that paper or paying off your house.”

“Well. What the hell?” Jim glanced at Lily. “Angel, can you come here a second?”

Lily reluctantly left the coloring book she had been leafing through to come to where he and Spock stood by the stockings.

Jim bent down and scooped her up so that she was relatively eye level with the two of them.

“Do you know who put these papers in Daddy’s stocking.”

“Santa!”

“Uh. Yeah. Not Santa. Really, who put them there?”

Lily scrunched up her face. “Santa, Daddy.”

Jim shook his head. “Did someone tell you to put them in Daddy’s stocking?”

“Nope.”

“Okay.” He exhaled. “Did you see who did then?”

“No, Daddy. But it was Santa.”

“Santa…”

“Jim,” Spock said softly. “It seems clear that Lily does not know where they came from either other than Santa Claus. As you know, you put her to bed yourself.”

Spock was right. But still.

There was no Santa. Well, other than Jim himself. So…

“Angel, was this the wish you wanted for Daddy? The one on your list?”

Lily smiled. “No, Daddy.”

“Did Daddy get the present you wanted for him from Santa?” Jim asked then.

Lily pointed to Spock, smiled and nodded.

Jim laughed. “You asked for Spock?”

“I asked Santa for a present to make Daddy happy. And he gave you Spock.”

Jim grinned as he looked toward Spock. “Yeah I guess he did. Santa’s awesome.”

Lily giggled.

“Okay, sweetie. Spock and I happen to know about a present from Santa that’s going to make you very happy. So why don’t we get it for you?”

Jim put his wiggly excited daughter down, but then turned quickly to Spock. “I meant that, by the way.”

“Which?”

“If you’re my gift from Santa I must have been very very good.” He leaned in and thoroughly kissed Spock. Then he held up the papers again. “I don’t know who’s behind this and maybe the idea someone was in the house without us knowing should freak me out, but…I thought I was going to have to sell this place when we went to San Francisco. And now? Having this place for my daughter someday?”

“Very good news.”

“Yeah. And it sure looks legit.”

“Then it probably is, Jim. Whoever is behind it, wanted it to be in the spirit of Santa, so perhaps, we should just view it that way and be thankful.”

Jim nodded. “You’re right. Let’s get that present.”

He led Lily over to the wrapped cat accessories while Spock went up to Jim’s bedroom to fetch the cat carrier which held the little orange ball of fluff.

Jim sat on the floor next to Lily as she tore open the paper on a litter box and scoop. He withheld a laugh when he could see how confused she was. Then she opened a pet bed. And then finally, a bag of kitten food.

Then Spock arrived and placed the carrier in front of her. He opened the cat carrier and the kitten tumbled out.

Lily clapped with glee. “A kitty!”

Okay, those totally weren’t tears in his eyes, Jim swore.

Spock knelt down next to him and Jim knew that Spock’s dark eyes didn’t look extra moist either. No way.

They shared a look. Of love. Of happiness. Of the future.

Together.

And somewhere sleigh bells jingled, but Jim was sure he must have imagined them.

Merry Christmas.  

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Jim walked outside and looked around. But he didn’t see Spock. Not anywhere he could see in the immediate area. For a moment, Jim glanced back at the house thinking maybe he had been wrong about Spock coming outside.

But then he saw a flash of color in the darkness. The Christmas red and green sweater Spock had reluctantly put on because Jim had asked him to.

With a smile and warmth blossoming in his chest, Jim headed toward the barn where he could see Spock leaning against the dark red structure.

“Hey, babe, you okay?”

“Affirmative.”

Jim walked up to Spock and was pleased when his Vulcan straightened enough to pull him into his arms.

“Sorry you came with me to see my family for the holidays?” Jim was only half teasing. The Kirks could be challenging for most people, Jim guessed, but especially staid Vulcans like Spock.

“I am not.”

Jim pulled back to look at Spock. “You sure? I understand if we’re too much. And honestly, I didn’t know Sam and Aurelan and Peter and Uncle George and Aunt Loulabelle and…

“Jim. I am not sorry.”

“It’s a full house. And with Bones here too…did you come out here because you got a little…overwhelmed?”

For a moment, Spock didn’t answer, but finally he slowly nodded. “They are rather boisterous.”

“They are.” Jim kissed him. “Are they too much?”

Spock blew out a breath. “To be with you, nothing is too much.”

“God, I love you.”

“My affection for you transcends everything.”

Jim laughed. “Some how that sounds way better than my simple I love you.”

Spock shook his head. “Not to me.”

Jim hugged him close. “Aren’t you cold out here, babe?”

“I was before you came out. But if that is your way of asking me if I am ready to come inside, I am.”

Jim held on to Spock as they turned toward the house. “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” He chuckled. “Want some hot chocolate?”

“I could get…frisky.”

“I’m counting on it, Spock. I’m counting on it.”

And Some Final Pictures

Christmas Platter
One of my Wines of Christmas
Snow! Well…what passed for it at Knott’s Merry Farm
Our Work Stairs That Aren’t Quite Finished
Work Decor
Work Decor

Cookie Making

On December 8th we attempted to make cookies, here a are some pictures

Decorations Sister’s

Her Table
Fire Place Mantle and Chair
Front Entryway
Gingerbread Lights (She likes Gingerbreads)
Her Tree

Decorations (Mine-Home)

I got a request from J who missed my usual decoration pictures I have posted in the past. So…here are some pictures, post 1. I will do other posts.

It was the day after Thanksgiving and all through the house…elves. My sister bought me a little Elf tree this year, so I decided to do all elf decorations. Yes, I am a dork. Anyway this is much much much smaller tan the usual tree, but it was cute!

Ignore any mess you see!

Elf Tree
Elf Tree With Elves
Elves (two on the right are boyfriends so their arms are linked! ha ha)
More Elves
Elf Stuff plus Home sign and lights (Home sign is cool you change the “O” depending on the season, so after Christmas, it’s a snowflake, February a heart, etc)
Close Up
Deer Lights and Cardinal Lights
The elves get a friend!

Here We Go a Wassailing

Regency Pinto from The Thought of You is Consuming Me

I had left London much later than I should have and I’d had to stop at an inn and stables to rest my horse for quite a bit longer than I had planned or anticipated.

Therefore it was full on dark and light as I rode up the long pathway to the Quinton Country Estate. I saw no indication of light in any window as I approached and I realized with some dismay, Zach had stopped expecting me.

Before he’d left London for the Christmas season, we’d discussed the day I should make my arrival there, if I was going to. It had been far from certain. He’d been so hopeful that I likely had been too encouraging in my agreement to try. My parents had made it clear they wanted me to stay in London, spending the break from University with them, instead of in the country with my friend. As he would only ever be to them. To anyone.

Thus the reason I had left too late to make it to his home at a decent time. I’d been trying to make both them and him happy and it had exhausted me, to be honest.

And as discouraged as I was by the sight of his dark unwelcoming house, I made my way to the stables to store and properly care for my horse.

By the time I had finished to make my way to the house, I was exhausted beyond reason and stumbling up the path to the door. I knocked.

Of course there was no immediate answer. It was Zach’s usual practice to send his servants away during my visits so we could freely explore our affections for each other.

I knocked again.

Waited.

Nothing.

I did not relish sleeping on his doorstep nor with my horse. I knocked louder and harder.

“Zach! Zachary!”

When I was about to lose all hope, I heard the snick of the lock. I straightened as the door opened.

“Christopher?”

He looked wrecked. His cravat was askew and his hair disheveled. And definitely redness around the eyes.

I smiled. “Who else?”

Zach blinked. “I…didn’t think you were coming.”

I almost hadn’t but of course I didn’t say that. I couldn’t. Instead I said simply, “Of course I was coming. Can I come in?”

He seized me then, pulling me into the house and into his arms. For a long time we just held each other. It had been too long since we’d had such a private opportunity to do this. His arms around me felt better than anything.

Finally he pulled back and cupped my cheek with his very warm hand. I hadn’t realized how cold I was. “I’m so glad. You look cold and miserable.”

I laughed, which turned rather watery because the exhaustion was making me emotional. “I’ve had a rough day.”

“Me too. Come into the kitchen.”

He pulled me there, unwilling to let go of me for even a second. And I was glad.

My chest ached when we reached the kitchen for I saw discarded food, thrown away. I knew instantly he had been preparing a feast for me and when I had not come…

“Zachary,” I whispered, tears springing to my eyes.

“I’m sorry. I’m afraid I had rather a melancholy fit when you didn’t arrive when I thought you should.” He shook his head. “I’m embarrassed and mortified.”

I drew him close and kissed him for a long time. “Even if I had not been able to come that doesn’t change the way I feel about you. I love you. Adore every single bit of you.”

“I return those sentiments tenfold.” He smiled wryly. “And while I have ruined our perfectly good supper, I had not yet discarded the wassail.”

I laughed as he went to a sideboard and dipped glasses into a bowl of wassail. He handed one to me.

I took a large sip. “You do a fine wassail, my love.”

“Tomorrow when we wake I will spoil you endlessly with feasts and love all the day long,” Zach assured me.

I kissed him once more. “This may yet be the best of Christmases.”

“I vow it.”

Wassail Recipe

Joy to the World

Jim sucked in a breath as he gazed down at the perfect little angel nestled in Spock’s arms. She had blue eyes, dark hair and the most perfect set of pointy ears he had ever truly seen. Present company excepted of course.

“I’ve never seen anything as beautiful as this little munchkin,” Bones said, leaning over the tiny baby girl. “What are you two gonna call her?”

“Well.” Jim paused to exchange of adoring looks with his husband. He could hardly believe she was here. After all their planning for her. All the donating this. And testing that. Mixing genes. All of that had brought her.

“Don’t tell me it’s going to be something like T’Spock or T’James,” Bones said dryly.

“Hardly, doctor.”

“Let me hold her,” Jim said, reaching for her. He could barely contain himself. But fortunately he had an indulgent husband. Spock actually smiled gently as he carefully placed the baby in Jim’s arms. Emotion clogged his throat. “I’m gonna cry.”

“Me too,” Bones said, rolling his eyes. “A name?”

“Spock and I went back and forth on whether to name her in the Vulcan tradition or the human.”

“Indeed. But ultimately since she is three quarters human, we decided it would be more appropriate to use a human name.”

“Right.” Jim smiled and leaned over to kiss Spock.

Bones sighed.

Jim just laughed. “And then we couldn’t decide if we should name her Amanda or Winona. Something like that.”

“Indeed. Or some combination. Such as Amanda Winona or the reverse.”

“I even thought of Leonora or Horatia.”

Bones made a face. “She’s far too lovely for either of those.”

“Agreed,” Spock said.

“So…we discarded all those.”

And?”

“Considering the time of year she was born…”

And?”

“How pleased we are at her arrival,” Spock put in.

And?” Bones kept getting louder and louder.

Their daughter, to her credit, did not seem upset by her Uncle Bones’ theatrics.

Spock arched a brow. “Her name is…”

Jim met his gaze and smiled with all that he felt in his heart. Which was…

“Joy. Her name is Joy.”

In Dulci Jubilo

Chris got close to the screen, bending at the waist at an odd angle, as he peered at the video I had just put in the player.

After having just a moment ago teased me for still having a VHS player.

“Mom sends me home videos like this one. How else can I play them?”

Chris got even closer to the screen.

I shook my head affectionately. “Need your glasses, Christopher?”

“No. I just can’t believe this is you. Wow.”

But it was, of course. Well, thirteen year old me. I did go to Catholic school after all. And I was standing on a choir stage, wearing a choir robe, red for Christmas, singing in a Christmas pageant. The song was in Latin, In Dulci Jubilo.

“I didn’t know you knew Latin.”

I snorted. “I don’t. I learned the song. I don’t speak it.”

“Look at those pink cheeks!”

“Christopher.”

Chris laughed. “I can’t help it. You were so damn cute. Oh. My. God.”

“Do you want a glass of this eggnog or what?”

He straightened, but instead of walking away from the TV screen, he dropped down to his haunches in front of it. “You sound good.”

“You can’t possibly pick out my voice out of all of us.”

Chris laughed again. “No. I meant all of you together. I don’t think you’ll beat the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or anything, but you’re good. Really good.”

“Eggnog?”

“Uh-huh.”

I went over to the table where I’d left the carton of eggnog and poured some in two frosted holiday glasses. I picked up the brandy bottle.

“Brandy?”

“Of course.” He rose,  finally turned away from the TV. The beat up T-shirt he wore rose up to expose some of his belly. Chris absently scratched at it. “Let’s hear it.”

I arched a brow, giving my Spock character a run for his money. “Hear what?”

“In Dulci Jubilo? Do you remember it?”

“Sure, I remember it. But I was a kid with my voice having not changed yet. Now I’d sound like a frog trying to croak it. Just listen to kid me singing.”

“Spoil sport.” But he was smiling as he took the drink from me.  “I love that your mom recorded that kind of stuff and sends it to you to see. That’s so sweet.”

“That’s the Quintos. Sweet as can be,” I said, dryly.

“Well, I know you are.” He took a big swallow of eggnog and then put down the glass, coming into my arms. He took my glass and put it down beside his, then looped his arms around my neck. “Thanks for coming here.”

“You came here, remember? This is my house.”

“I know. I meant here. For Christmas. Instead of staying in New York. Every time you go away, you take a piece of me with you.”

I snorted. “Lord, you’re corny. Quoting from songs now.” But I kissed him, long and slow.

“So. In sweet rejoicing, right?”

“Yep. That’s the translation. Dates back to medieval times in some forms. It’s been popularized and modernized since those days.”

“Well, I like to rejoice at how sweet you are,” Chris cracked.

“Try not to be quite so much of an ass.” I kissed him to soften the words.

“I do try, honest,” he murmured against my lips. “How about we cuddle on the couch with our eggnog and watch little Zach sing and then watch corny Christmas movies together all night until we fall into bed and ravish each other?”

“Sounds like the perfect night to me,” I agreed. “Love you.” He smiled, bright and beautiful. “Love you, too.”

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