tagRomanceThe Christmas Wish

The Christmas Wish

by~¤MzJones¤~©

The room was dark and Isabelle sat quietly in front of her Christmas tree to gaze at the lacing multi-colored lights. Faith Hill’s melodic voice lingered in the background singing Where are You Christmas? She poured herself another glass of merlot from the half-empty bottle beside her and hummed along with the music, her eyes drifting out the window where large fluffy snowflakes quickly piled on the sill.

But the house, this year, felt so empty because something was missing. A lone tear rolled down her cheek; the void was him. Connor and Isabelle broke up just before Thanksgiving. He said things moved too fast, and that their relationship was too intense and often too volatile for him. They often argued. And she had to agree to the split. Both their pasts left them with scars and some open wounds they would rather forget.

But they were very passionate, sensitive people. They clicked so easily, in the beginning, on that day, at the crowded bookstore, falling into effortless conversation near a stack of mythology books, coddling two cups of cold coffee for hours. It was only after the sun set in the late spring sky-the clouds moved above, releasing a beautiful sun shower-that they prepared to leave. He stood looking into her eyes for a moment, and she melted. He took her in his strong arms and leaned down to kiss her. His soft lips hesitantly touched hers, at first, to set off a spark of electricity, until they slowly dissolved into each other’s embrace. Her body responded instantly to him, not as a stranger, but as a longtime lover. Her short, full frame fit perfectly into his tall, broad grasp. She felt his body pushing into her, and she responded in kind. They moved to pull apart but drew into each other, once again. Isabelle shivered as his teeth nipped gently at her lip; his tongue moved deeper in her mouth. When they separated, both were shaking and aching for more.

They fell into each other’s lives effortlessly. Two wounded souls finally able to rest. Those initial “I love you’s”, spoken hesitantly, seemed to seal their path together. Perhaps they were naïve, or perhaps they just chose not to see how hurt they really were by others before, but it soon surfaced: he wasn’t there enough, she was demanding, he was selfish, she was bitchy. Old fears and pains invaded their tranquil world, and neither faced what that would mean. In the end, they parted unhappily, new hurts added to the many garnered before.

In the weeks that followed, Isabelle tried to move on, but something in her heart just would not let go. She kept an open ear for tidbits of information passed on by her mutual friends; she found out that he did the same. He seemed to relish his time alone, and she was genuinely pleased to know he was happy. She spent most of her time with her girlfriends, finding solace in the girl chat and shopping sprees. He was always in the back of her mind, though, always in her heart.

But tonight, as she sat in front of the sparkling tree, he was there with her, and the tears flowed freely. She set her emptied wine glass aside and moved to the floor to push away the presents mounded high for family and friends. Suddenly, she found it-the small, gold-wrapped package tied with a thin, red ribbon. Holding it close to her heart, she sobbed a bit more. Inside was a small pewter dragon coiled to form a nest with its body. It was meant to hold a separate piece: a small tiger cub, which, for some reason, did not arrived in time to be wrapped with the dragon. It was fitting, in a way: he, the lone dragon, she, the lost cub.

When she first saw the dragon’s picture in the Christmas catalog, it screamed Connor’s name. She wanted to buy and give it to him right away, but instead, she waited. Then, as she wrapped the remaining gifts, it only seemed right to carefully include the perfect gift among the other presents as well. She meant to tuck it back away, but it seemed to need to be under the tree with piles of other brightly-wrapped gifts. But to her, it was another reminder of what was lost.

She placed the little dragon gift back under the tree, switched off tree lights, and made her way to the bedroom. Stripping off her jeans and sweater, moving quickly to the warmth of the bed, she rolled on her side. A bit dizzy from wine, perhaps, she imagined him in the corner of her eye-his sparkling eyes, his broad chest, his smile. She almost gasped, but he had become so familiar, seeing him there, remembering him. She lay staring out the black window watching the white snow fall faster, and as she closed her eyes, she whispered to no one.

“Santa, whoever you are, all I want for Christmas, this year, is another chance.”

She let out a soft sigh, and drifted into a dreamy sleep.

The morning sun crept along Isabelle’s face as the rude alarm clock sounded. She opened her pale green eyes to the brightness of Christmas Eve morn. Her throbbing head loathed to move from the warm comfort of her nuzzling pillow. Stretching her naked body under the heavy covers, she dreaded the lonely day before her.

She really wanted to return to bed to sleep only to reawake after New Year. Rushing her shower, she donned a pair of slacks and a sweater, then braced herself for the winter cold. Working only a half day at the gallery, she would later meet her girlfriends at the mall for lunch and a last bit of insanity shopping. But she still dreaded this day; the Christmas spirit eluded her this year. Although she managed through the pre-holiday hoopla, parties, and intimate gatherings, it was a time that to be shared with Connor.

Just a few more days, she reminded herself slipping her little Volkswagen into a parking spot at the mall. Inside, Tricia and Kaity, Isabelle’s anchors through this emotional storm, waited by the fountain with cheery, holiday smiles. Isabelle’s face brightened, and for that precious moment, her longing was set back in her mind.

They rushed through the shops gathering last minute gifts settling, finally, wearily, in the food court for a quick bite. After their meal, they wound their way through the throngs of last-minute shoppers to pass by the requisite Santa, servicing a queue of children to have their latent wishes heard and their pictures taken. Tricia suggested a pause for photographs with St. Nick. Stressed from the holiday rush, the trio agreed it would provide a well-deserved tension breaker.

They chatted in line. The excitement of the anxious children was infectious. Looking at the happy couples with their kids made Isabelle think about the family plans she made with Connor. So many nights in bed, together, Conner talked with her about a wistful future, of dreamy thoughts, and tomorrow’s hopes. Tricia and Kaity each took their turn with Santa, to be silly, and to have their photos taken kissing him on his rosy cheek. When it was Isabelle’s turn, she was hesitant to go up, but she sat herself in Santa’s lap, and he jolly-laughed at her embarrassment.

“Have you been good girl this year?” he asked, smilingly.

“Yes, Santa, I tried,” Isabelle said assuredly.

“So what is it you hope Santa will leave you under the tree?” he asked.

Isabelle thought for a moment. “Really, Santa, nothing this year for me, thank you,” she said, slowly rising from his lap to let the waiting, wide-eyed children have their turn.

But he gently grabbed her palm before she stepped away and spoke in a quiet, clear voice. “Never give up believing in miracles. Quite often, they take a little longer then we hope. Often, we are not ready for them when we ask for them, but they do happen. Keep your faith, Isabelle; Sometimes your faith is more important to others then it is to you.”

His words seemed to skate over her as she rejoined her friends.

As she hugged the Tricia and Kaity goodbye, wishing them a wonderful night, they begged in vain to invite her to attend the huge Christmas party they all attended every year since college, but Isabelle said no; she had too much to prepare for, including travel plans to her parents. Tricia and Kaity knew better and only reluctantly accepted Isabelle’s wanting to be alone with her sadness.

Arriving back home, Isabelle unloaded her packages and changed into her favorite pajamas: a pair of flannel pants and an old T-shirt of Connor’s. She put her long, red hair into a ponytail, finished final present wrapping, and started baking cookies to take to her mom’s tomorrow. With Christmas carols playing on the radio, and her tree glimmering in the living room, she tried desperately to find her Christmas spirit. As the last batch of cookies sat cooling on the kitchen counter, she curled up on the couch to click through the television channels for 'It’s a Wonderful Life'.

She began her replay of the day, mentally checking off the completed errands. And then her thoughts drifted back to Santa. His words now weighed heavily. They seemed so insightful, for a mall Santa. It then hit her-he called her by name. She new she hadn’t told him. Maybe he heard us talking while they were waiting? She tried desperately to think if they had called her by her full name. But Tricia and Kaity called her by her old college nickname, Belly, all day. It somehow all became unsettling.

While fidgeting and becoming lost in her thoughts, the doorbell rang to startle her. She looked at the almost midnight clock. It’s probably Trish or Kaity, she thought. Another last ditch effort to cheer me up? After opening the door, she froze and stared at Connor standing before her. It was snowing and he was dusted lightly in large fluffy flakes, his black leather coat glimmering wet.

“Hi, Iz,” he said, quietly. She just looked at him dumfounded. “May I come in?” he asked, glancing quickly out at the falling snow.

“U-m-m . . . yeah, sure,” stumbled out of her mouth. She stepped aside to let him pass and closed the door. “Please, have a seat,” she said, her right hand covering her eyes to shield the sheer embarrassment. “Merry Christmas, Conner,” she said, trying to regain her composure.

He smiled gently and shuffled his feet uncomfortably. They sat in silence for a few moments, looking at one another. His familiar cologne almost brought tears to her eyes. He looked stunning, his blue eyes so clear. Wearing a pair of soft cotton pants and a buttoned-up shirt under his jacket, she could just see the peak of chest hair at the unbuttoned top. She wanted to hold him and to kiss him, but refrained.

“Would you like something to drink? Or maybe cookie? Anything?” she asked, breaking the uncomfortable silence.

“No, no, thanks,” he sniffed. “I came by. . . something came to the house today, addressed to you. I thought it was odd, and I didn’t know what to do with it. I sat staring at it all day and suddenly, tonight, I thought it might be important, so I just jumped in my car and came over. Sorry, but I didn’t even think of the time. I should have called,” he blurted.

“That’s okay. I was up,” she offered. “Did you bring it?” she asked quizzically.

He fumbled his jacket pocket and removed a small package wrapped in brown paper. The word “Isabelle” was perfectly handwritten in inked script diagonally across the top. She turned the otherwise blank package over in her hands inspecting it for any signs of postage marks or a return address.

“Are you going to open it?” Connor asked with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a child. She looked at him and cocked her head. “I’m sorry, Iz, I just wondered about it all day. I mean how did they get my address? Who would send something to you there?” he added.

“Magic, I suppose,” she replied, trying to grin.

After tentatively removing the stiff brown paper, she revealed plain, white box. She opened the top and upended it. She gasped as the contents revealed a tiny, white tiger cub. As tears streamed down her cheeks, Connor leaned forward with open arms.

“Iz, honey, what is it? What’s wrong?” he asked, wrapping her in his arms. She could not speak. Instead, she let him embrace for a moment, then went to the tree to retrieve the gold package with Connor’s name on it. Without a word, she handed it to him and motioned for him to open it.

“It’s for you,” she whispered.

“Iz, you didn’t have to, honey,” he embarrassingly pleaded. “I . . . well . . . I didn’t get you anything.”

“Just open it, please, Connor,” she whispered, sobbing.

He removed the red ribbon and paper gently, unwilling to disturb the careful care of the wrapping. When he lifted the lid off the box he saw the dragon.

“Oh, wow! Iz, honey, it’s beautiful. Thank you,” Connor remarked, smiling. He held it flat in his hand to admire it.

Isabelle placed her hand under Connor’s to steady and position the small white tiger onto the body of the dragon. The dragon and tiger nestled perfectly together. Connor finally understood the significance of the pairing; his eyes welled with moisture. He reached with his free hand to wipe away hers as she swabbed his. As they giggled at the coincidence, Connor placed the coiled dragon and nestling tiger cub in the center of the coffee table.

“I don’t get it,” she said. “How did it end up at your house?”

“I don’t know, Iz. Maybe, there was a mix up with addresses. I don’t get it either.” Connor said perplexed.

Isabelle looked at him and smiled. “Well, thank you for bringing it. I do appreciate it,” she said, her defenses rising. She could not let her hopes up; she could not handle another fall.

They first stood together, but Connor moved toward the tree. “I couldn’t bring myself to put one up this year. Yours is beautiful, Iz. You did such a wonderful job.”

“Thank you,” she replied. “It’s nice of you to say.”

Isabelle turned away from the mental picture she often created during the past several weeks: Connor standing in front of the tree with her. She tried to hide her silently weeping.

Connor moved to hold her. “I’m sorry, Iz, I shouldn’t have come. I just . . . hell, never mind, I should go.” He squeezed her hard and kissed her on her nose. She felt him trying to let go, trying to walk away, but he didn’t.

“I miss you, Connor,” she whispered.

“I miss you too, Iz. More than you will ever know,” he sighed, still holding her.

She tilted her head and looked into his eyes, seeing all the things that had become so familiar. Above all, she saw love as he gazed down at her. Then there in the glow of the tree Santa’s words came to her.

“Connor, sometimes you just have to have faith. We lost it and stopped believing in each other-in us. I just want you to know, and I know it is a little late, but I believe in you. And I believe in love, and I believe in faith.” Trembling as she spoke, his grip relaxed; she thought he would leave.

“I don’t know how you do it, baby. How can you believe in me when even I can’t?” he asked quietly.

“I’m not sure, Connor, but just know that I do. Know that even when you can’t believe, I do.”

Pulling away from him, she was ready for him to walk out the door, but instead, he lifted her chin and placed his lips gently to hers. There were no words, only the moment to savor. She tasted the salt of their tears as they kissed and felt the ache she carried letting go, resisting the urge to hold it, instead holding only him. Her hands slipped under his jacket feeling his warmth and heat. Their kiss deepened passionately and they became lost in each other’s arms. Connor turned her gently around and walked her to the couch. He sat first pulling her onto him, their mouthing embrace continued more fervently, more deeply, more sensually. They released their shared pain, enveloping it, wrapping it with the joy of love.

Their clothing melted away, hot, searching, feeling skin connecting, two souls touching. Isabelle arched her back, and Connor traced his fingers over her face, swiping kisses across her throat and down her breasts, his mouth sucking her nipples hungrily. She felt him hard against her sex and lifted herself over him caressing his cock with her waiting pussy. She slid slowly down the length of his engorged shaft, feeling him fill her as she rocked her hips onto him. They moaned in unison, their mouths seeking skin to suck, to lick, to taste. Their thrusting hips quickly pounded into an eager rhythm. He rose to meet her soft grinding, his hands on her back flowing down to her bottom to pull her closer, pushing himself deeper.

Isabelle cried out, “Yes, that’s it, love!”

Connor moved so perfectly inside her, finding her deepest desires with each stroke, lovingly and passionately bringing her to the edge in the way only he could. She cupped her hands behind his head, pulling him close to her erect nipples, her hips humping against him. A searing heat overtook her flesh; nothing she had ever before felt prepared her for the intensity of the sensation. She groaned to Connor’s moans as he trembled inside her. Only moments remained before they both yelled out, their eyes locking onto the other’s, voices gasping urgent “I love you’s”, flesh moving in unison as violent orgasms washed along their bodies. Pumping furiously, Conner released himself into Isabelle’s depths as her orgasm fueled his..

Tears flowing and moans reverberating through the room, the lights of the tree dancing on their bare skin, they slowed their obsession to a gentle afterglow. Spent, Isabelle rested her head on Connor’s shoulder, feeling the aftershocks of her orgasm and letting out tiny moans. As she turned to kiss him, his hands, caressing her face, directed her eyes into his.

“Iz, I can’t promise easy, and I can’t promise you just anything, but I can promise this: I will believe in you, and I will believe in your faith,” he whispered consolingly.

Isabelle collapsed into his arms. “I have more then enough faith for the two of us now, love,” she sighed. And added quielty under her breath, “Thank you, Santa.”

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by~¤MzJones¤~© 4 comments/ 42402 views/ 2 favorites

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