Hello all!

This is my first submission to Literotica.

When I found out there was a Holiday contest, I was hit by this enormous writing bug. Despite the fact that it was well after 11 at night when I found out, I sat down and started to write. A few days more of writing, and this is what I've managed to put together.

I hope you enjoy! Don't forget to vote, comment, etc. Let me know what you love and what you hate!



It always makes me snort when the lonely hearts of the world lament their collective loneliness come February 14th. The sighs, the batted eyelashes, the complaints of isolation to anyone who will listen. It all seems beyond trite to me.

These people never seem to have any grasp of what real, true loneliness is. If they did, they wouldn't be so concerned with Valentine's Day.

The real kicker is Christmas.

It wasn't until this year that I realized it. It was my first year without my parents, and the weight of that reality didn't hit me for quite some time. I was so wrapped up in my job and the book I was writing (well, trying to write). I got all the way to December before it suddenly dawned on me.

I was alone.

There's not really any healthy way to cope with the feeling of being alone. Not one that works, anyway. Which is how I found myself at the local bar on a Tuesday night with four beers down and no end in sight. I was determined to drink until the crushing weight of loneliness dissipated.

Realizing my glass was empty, I flagged down the bartender, who gave me a concerned glance. I could tell by the look in her eyes that she didn't think I was capable of handling another drink just yet. To try to soothe her concerns, I pulled out the best smile I could. It came out more like a grimace, and her frown deepened as she passed me my fifth drink. I found that I didn't care about her concern for me as long as I had the next drink in my hands.

I took a deep drink and smacked my lips together, the pain lessening ever so slightly as my mind began to haze over into blissful oblivion. With any luck, it would only be another drink or two before I couldn't remember their absence. I would be able to slip into sleep without the crushing pain haunting me.

I glanced up from my drink as a couple took seats at the bar a few spots down from me. They were bundled up from the cold, their cheeks rosy from the brisk outside air. The girl had her head tossed back in a laugh, a grin wide across her face, as the man shrugged off his jacket. His smile was somewhat more subdued, as though he was trying to not give her the satisfaction of smiling at her joy.

My heart throbbed painfully, and I took another deep swallow of my drink. The warmth that radiated through me as I did was enough to pull me away from the couple, if only for a few moments.

I listened as the two ordered drinks and then fell into an easy chatter with each other. The woman seemed to be more of a conversationalist than her boyfriend, and she slid from topic to topic with only a few words of input from him.

It reminded me of the way my mother often spoke around my father.

My heart throbbed again, and I guzzled my drink until there was nothing left.

Frowning at the emptiness of my glass, I raised my hand to flag down the bartended again. She made her way to me, a hesitant look on her face.

"Miss, I don't think..." she began.

"I'm not a Miss, I'm Emma," I said, cutting her off. The slur in my speech was obvious, but I powered through despite it. "And I'm a grown ass adult. I'm fine. I can drink and have a good time if I want to."

The argument made sense in my mind, and I blinked at the woman, waiting for her to respond. She sighed, shifting her weight from one foot to another, and ran a hand nervously through her short brunette hair. She bit her lip and glanced around, as if looking for help.

I cleared my throat impatiently, pushing my glass towards her to urge her to fill it. Her internal debate was of no interest to me. My only concern was getting more to drink.

Suddenly, I felt a hand rest on my shoulder.

I spun around, caught off-guard, and stumbled in the process.

"Woah, there, little one," a deep, masculine voice murmured. I felt hands reach out to steady me, and my own hands instinctively flew out to catch myself.

They landed on the chest of the man who I'd seen earlier with his girlfriend. My heart throbbed again, though not in a manner that was entirely painful. I cocked my head at him, surprised to find him so close to me when he'd been seated several seats down just a few moments earlier.

"What do you want?" I blurted out, not thinking. Realizing my hands were still resting on his chest, I pulled them down to hang loosely at my side. He was far too close to me, and I stepped back to try and create some space between us. I didn't fully remember standing up, but I figured that was reasonable given my current state

The man raised an eyebrow at me, his blue eyes taking on an amused sparkle. I frowned. "Look, I just thought I might do you a favor, and call you a cab. It seems that you're alone here, and I'd hate for something to happen to you." His voice, a deep timbre of a man used to getting what he wanted, made my legs feel like jelly.

Or maybe that was just the beer.

"I'd hate for something to happen to you," I muttered, annoyed, under my breath. I heard a slight chuckle, and my cheeks warmed, realizing he'd heard my comment. "Look, I appreciate the concern, but I can get home just fine on my own."

To prove this, I started collecting my jacket and pulling on my gloves. I'd walked here straight from work earlier today, which was just down the street. The slightly longer walk to my apartment would be good for me. Hopefully the cold air would numb me just enough so that I couldn't think straight.

"At least let me call your cab for you," the man offered, running a hand through his dark hair. His blue eyes looked down at me, his concern palpable.

"No need, I'm fine walking," I responded, pushing past him. I stumbled slightly, the alcohol in my system quickly catching up with me.

"Are you insane?" He asked, catching my arm before I could get far enough past him.

It was my turn to raise an eyebrow at him.

The man gestured to the window, where I could see snow beginning to fall in earnest. "It's snowing something fierce out there, Emma. You shouldn't be walking home, not in weather like that, and not in your state."

I snorted in anger. I didn't like him thinking he could tell me what to do.

"Look, if you don't want me to call a cab, at least let me drive you home. You're not in a state to be walking anywhere, and the weather is supposed to get bad tonight."

I opened my eyes wide. He wanted to drive me home?

"Are you insane?!" I nearly shouted, taking a step back from him.

He furrowed his brows, clearly confused. "I'm a woman, alone. You think I'm going to take a ride from some random dude at the bar?"

He pursed his lips, understanding what I was insinuating, but obviously not happy with the end result. "My sister and I could both take you, and you could call your mom on the way to make sure you get home safe." He gestured to the kind, happy looking woman who I had incorrectly assumed was his girlfriend. She gave me a small wave, as if trying to reassure me that they meant to harm. His offer would have normally been reasonable, but I was anything but reasonable right now.

My heart panged, and in my loose emotional state, I felt tears pricking my eyes. "I can't call my mom," I whispered. "She's dead."

His eyes went wide with pity and I pulled away, shrugging on my coat more fully. I plunged out into the cold weather, unconcerned with the whipping wind and rapidly accumulating snow. My eyes stung with tears that quickly began to race down my cheeks, leaving icy trails down my face.

My heart felt like it was tearing in two as I tried my best to keep my sobs down as I trudged forward. The beer was clearly affecting me, and I scolded myself for losing control. I so rarely did, but the pain I felt drove me towards it.

I wasn't even halfway to the nearest intersection when I hit a patch of ice and fell.

Then everything went dark.


The room was so cozy that, even when I woke, it took me a long time to decide to open my eyes. Finally, the throbbing in my wrist and head demanded that I get up and look for some ibuprofen to dull the pain.

It wasn't until I sat up that I realized I wasn't at my apartment.

My heart began to race as I looked around at the unfamiliar décor. Memories of my time at the bar came flooding back, as did the deep-seated ache that accompanied the recollection of my loss.

The pain, however, was overwhelmed by the anxiety I felt when I looked around. I had no idea where I was and my heart pounded faster in my chest.

I remembered being at the bar. I remembered the bartender not giving me my last drink. And I remembered the bluest pair of eyes I had ever seen. But then everything got dark and fuzzy.

My head pounded harder as I tried to think through the events that had landed me here, and I unthinkingly pressed my fingers to my forehead to try and alleviate the pain. That sent a shock through my right wrist, and the pain waves caused me to hiss and clutch my wrist to my chest.

How had I hurt that? I examined it briefly, but didn't see any obvious issues with it. It was likely sprained from—the memory was just outside of my grasp, like a word on the tip of my tongue. My head was too foggy and achy to try and think it through, though.

There was a noise off to my left, and I whipped around to see those same blue eyes enter the room, followed by a woman who seemed familiar.

"You're awake," the man said, seeming relieved. He came towards me quickly, a glass of water in his hand. "I was starting to get worried."

"Starting to get worried?" muttered the woman, following behind him.

"Paige," the man said sharply, cutting the woman—Paige—off.

She looked contrite, but didn't say anything.

"Where am I?" I asked cautiously. These people didn't seem harmful, but I was still unsure of why I wasn't in my own apartment, alone. Alone. Another pang went through my chest.

"You're at—well—" the man began, running a hand through his dark hair. His eyes flashed slightly. He seemed somewhat concerned. I looked at him, nervous, hoping he would continue. His tongue darted out to lick his lips, and his eyes flickered back to Paige before he finally said, "It's a family home of sorts. Paige and I brought you here after you fell outside the bar. We were worried when you passed out."

I furrowed my brow. I had passed out? That didn't seem like me. "Well, I'm awake now. I should be getting home."

The thought seemed to anger the man, and I nervously took a step back from him. The movement seemed to jar him and he snapped out of his anger. "We have a doctor in the -- family. He's coming to look you over and make sure you didn't hurt yourself. I want to make sure you have a clean bill of health before you do anything else."

I nodded. The movement sent waves of pain through my head, and I pressed the fingers of my left hand against my forehead, trying to suppress the pain. The man moved towards me quickly, setting down the glass of water as he went. His hands wrapped gently around my shoulders. "Your head is bothering you," he stated. He shot a look at Paige, almost like he was telling her something, and she turned and left the room.

"Mmm," I offered my assent, sitting back down on the couch from where I'd originally awoken. He kneeled on the floor in front of me, his hands still gently resting on my arms. His concern for me felt palpable, though misplaced.

We sat like that for several moments before there was a light knock at a door. I peeked my eyes open to see a handsome young man enter the room, a medical kit in his hand. He must be the family doctor. Paige stood in the doorframe behind him, but at a look from Jordan, pulled the door closed and left.

"Jordan." The doctor said, extending his hand towards the man. I realized I'd yet to know his name.

"Doc," he responded, shaking the hand. He then turned back towards me. "Emma, this is Tyler. Around here, we mostly call him Doc. He's our family doctor, and I'd really like you to let him check you out."

Jordan spoke in low, soothing tones, and I found myself nodding my assent. Tyler pulled up a chair and began looking me over. He did the thing where he asked me to follow his finger. He asked me all sorts of questions about the date and the president and what my name was.

After a thorough examination, he seemed satisfied that I was okay. "I'd like to keep her under observation for tonight, though," he began, directing the information towards Jordan rather than me. I found it slightly irking, but for some reason, it calmed me to know that another person was being told the needed information. "When people black out, you really never know, and the brain is a finnicky thing. It's better for her to stay around where we can keep an eye on her in case things take a turn for the worse."

Jordan was nodding, but I started shaking my head. "I need to get back—I have work tomorrow and—"

Tyler cut me off, though not impolitely. "Emma, you can call into your work and tell them to not expect you. You have a head injury, and you need to take the time to heal and get better. Really, it would be best if you took the rest of this week off. You can call—whoever you need to call, and let them know that you're okay."

Jordan was looking at me, his blue eyes pools of worry. I nodded to Tyler, my eyes still on Jordan, feeling a strange need to ease the worry I saw. The worry abated, though there was still something in his eyes that pricked at me. I pushed the feeling away, glancing back at Tyler.

"Is there anything I can take for the headache or for my wrist? They're both in a decent deal of pain right now," I told him. Tyler nodded, pulling some medicine and passing it along to me. He picked up the glass of water that Jordan had earlier. I drank deeply, surprised to find out that I was so parched.

"Will you let me wrap your wrist as well?" Tyler asked. Oddly, his eyes rested mostly on Jordan when asking. I nodded quickly, holding my wrist out to him. Tyler didn't move, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jordan give a small nod.

Tyler began pulling out an ace bandage, and I pulled my wrist away from him, turning to Jordan. "Is everything okay?" I asked hesitantly. His eyes seemed tense again, but he gave me a tight-lipped nod. I found myself leaning into him slightly as I reached my wrist back out to Tyler, who wrapped it quickly.

I found myself yawning as Tyler wrapped my wrist, my eyes fluttering with fatigue. Jordan noticed, and passed me a phone. "You should call—someone before you start falling back asleep. Let them know that you're okay," he urged me, pressing the phone into my good hand.

I nodded and dialed the number for my landlord. He was the closest thing to a caretaker that I had since—I cut the thought off there as my throat began to tighten with sadness.

I spoke to my landlord quickly and quietly. He thanked me for letting him know, said he'd keep an eye out for me. After assuring him that I was safe and that I'd take care of myself, I hung up, and passed the phone back to Jordan.

Now that the call had been made, my tiredness wrapped around me like a blanket. I leaned more into Jordan for support. His arms enveloped me as I drifted off to sleep, the scent of cinnamon filling my nose.


Cinnamon reminded me of the holidays. It always had. When I was little, my mom used to make this beautiful smelling concoction on the first of December. She would pop in the oven and the whole house would lift with the smell of Cinnamon.

Every year, when I came home from school or just visited for Christmas day, she would make the same delicious smelling concoction. Every time I smelled that cinnamon spice, I knew I was coming home.

I woke with a smile on my lips from the memory, the light smell of cinnamon still itching in my nose. I was nestled on the couch, wrapped up in a cozy blanket. The lights were off, but the memories of where I was came to me more easily now than before. My mind was far clearer and my wrist, though still somewhat tender, felt significantly better than before.

I glanced around in the dark, sitting up. Mother nature was calling and I had no idea where to go.

I stood up, determined to hunt down a bathroom myself, when I noticed the heap on the ground. Curled up in a pile of blankets was Jordan, his eyebrows furrowed even in sleep. I bit my lip, a bit nervous to wake him, but knowing it was the best idea.

I knelt on the floor next to him, gently shaking his shoulder. He woke with a start, sitting up with wide eyes suddenly. I fell back slightly, surprised.

"Emma?" He asked after a beat.

"Yes." I said.

"Is everything okay?"

"I—um." I stuttered, nervous now that waking him was a poor decision.

"Bathroom?" he guessed.

"Ah- yes," I responded.

I could see him nod in the darkness, and he stood, then turned to help me stand as well. His hand rested on the small of my back as he guided me down a hallway. then stopped outside of a door. "Here we are."

I smiled my thanks up at him, and quickly took care of my needs. As I washed my hands, I glanced at myself in the mirror, shocked at my face. Streaks of mascara trailed down my cheeks. My eyes were a bloodshot red. My lipstick was smeared across my face, likely from sleeping on it.

I grabbed some tissue and set to work trying to fix the mess that was my face. It took some doing, but finally, I'd removed the worst of my residual makeup, and felt a bit better about showing my face in the household.

I left the bathroom and headed back to the couch. Jordan was seated on it, a phone in his hand, furiously typing a message. "Is everything alright?" I asked. He glanced up at me, and a smile crossed his face. He nodded once, finished typing his message, then patted the cushion next to him.

"Come sit with me."

I headed to sit next to him, curling my feet up under me the way I always did. He cocked an eyebrow at me and his eye twinkled in amusement. The moment lasted for a split second, then his furrowed brows returned.

"Emma?" he asked softly.

"Yes?" I responded.

He seemed to toy with the words in his mouth for several long moments before he finally spoke. "Why were you at the bar?"

I let the words hang as a million possible responses came to mind. My initial thought was to turn the question back on him, ask him why he was there. His audacity at questioning my right to be there annoyed me. But as my initial feelings faded, a voice seemed to whisper in my mind. Tell him.

I took a deep breath, and then the words came rushing out. "This is my first Christmas without my parents." My voice was rough with emotion, and before I knew what was happening, I was in Jordan's lap and his arms were around me.

My head rested on his chest, and I could hear his strong heartbeat. I closed my eyes, just listening to the sound, and let myself be held. This was so unlike me. I was never physically affectionate with hugs or anything like that. The only people I really hugged were my parents. And yet, the thought of leaving the warmth of Jordan's arms filled me with utter and complete dread.

"I—it didn't hit me until today. I just needed to forget about it. Remembering was just too painful," the words came spilling out as Jordan held me, as did the tears. "I just couldn't imagine not going home to them, to not get to hear their laughter or see their faces again, to not have the whole house smell like cinnamon—"

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