Originally posted on December 3, 2015 – This is the last scene I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2015 that took me over the 50,000 word count.
“You did a great job with this Christmas tree! It’s beautiful how you finished it off with all this tinsel,” Tyler yelled from the living room.
We had just gotten back from another holiday party and were in my apartment. As soon as we had walked in, I had lit the tree to show off just how pretty it had turned out. To add to the ambiance, I had turned on some Christmas music before heading to my bedroom.
“It should be beautiful! It took Ella and me almost all weekend to do it. It would have gone much faster but we kept getting distracted by the Christmas movies on the Lifetime channel,” I yelled back as I released my hair from its tight bun and shook my hair free. I kicked off my heels, peeled off my stockings and took off my earrings.
“You guys like that romantic shit, don’t you?”
“Yeah, we couldn’t resist.”
I went back to the bedroom doorway and observed him admiring the decorations and playing with the tinsel. Tyler was handsome in his suit but yet I could see the wistful little boy in him as he stood there in awe.
He slid his jacket off, threw it onto the chaise and unloosened the first few buttons of his dress shirt. I watched as he looked down and noticed the brightly wrapped gift box under the tree. When he bent down, curiously looked at the gift tag and picked up the box with a puzzled look on his face, I was smiling from ear to ear.
My naked feet barely made a sound as I tiptoed back into the living room.
“That’s for you,” I singsonged from behind me.
Tyler swung around quickly, looking at the box he was holding. He was at a loss for words because when he went to speak, no words came out. His reaction was priceless.
“You got me a present?”
Tyler was acting like a kid in a candy store.
“No. It’s for some other guy called Tyler,” I teased.
“I thought that you didn’t care for the commercialism of the season?”
“What I said was that I have all that I need and that’s why I don’t need presents at Christmas. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like giving gifts. Go ahead. Open it.”
Tyler’s grin took up his entire face and I couldn’t help but smile along with him. At first, he patiently peeled away the edges of the wrapping paper, glancing at me as he did.
“You really didn’t have to get me anything.”
“I know Ty. But I wanted to. And it’s nothing extravagant, you’ll see.”
Then, Tyler quickly ripped the last pieces of gift wrapping off. He caressed the boxed set of Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective children’s books.
“Delaney! This is so…thoughtful! How did you know?”
He gave me an incredulous look.
“Don’t worry, it’s not because of my psychic abilities,” I joked. “You said that you loved those books as a kid and that you almost had the entire collection.”
I realized that he had forgotten the conversation we’d had on our way to work when he first started giving me a lift. I would never have pegged him as an avid reader growing up but then again, he’d managed to surprise me with lots of other things he had shared.
Tyler nodded. “Yeah, I almost had all 28 or 29 books and then my mother threw them out. Thanks so much.”
He gave me a bear-hug and swung me around. We were both laughing.
When Tyler put me down, he was grinning like he had a secret.
“What?” I asked.
Tyler put my gift down onto the coffee table, went over to the couch and grabbed a small bag hidden behind it.
When had he left that there?
“I got you a little something too.”
From out of the bag, Tyler produced a jewelry box. I hesitated for a long moment before taking it from him.
Now, I was the one surprised.
“But I said that I didn’t want anything,” I protested.
“I know. Open it.”
I shook my head in disbelief as I opened the small box. The treasure that lay within was a beautiful silver Pandora bracelet with a number of charms attached. I carefully took it out of the box.
“It’s beautiful Ty. But you shouldn’t have. It’s too much.”
I looked at him with big eyes. He came a little closer, took the bracelet out of my hand and hooked it onto my wrist before I could protest.
“If you don’t like my choice of charms, we can always exchange them.”
“What did you choose?” I was trying to decipher what the charms were in the dimness of the room.
With one hand, Tyler held my wrist and with the other, he touched each charm and explained.
“This one is a “D” for your name, a suitcase because you like to travel, a purple crystal because you love that color and a Christmas tree as a reminder of our first Christmas …”
Our first Christmas? The sweetness of those three words melted me in all kinds of ways.
“This is too much Ty. I know how much each one of these charms cost. I can’t accept it.”
“I really think that I can afford it Laney,” Tyler joked. “And if you can’t accept my gift, then I guess that I won’t be able to accept yours,” he countered, pointing at the books I’d given him. I was quiet for a moment and then closed the gap between us.
“Okay, Ty. I adore the bracelet and the thought you put into it. It’s really gorgeous,” I said into his chest as I hugged him.
“I know your taste. And what you’d like.”
Tyler held onto me tightly. When I tried to pull away, he let go of me just enough to give me a serious look. Simply standing there, looking at him with the twinkling tree lights, the soft music playing and the glow of the city lights seeping into the darkness of the room through the balcony door as a backdrop to the evening…The combination of it all got my mind thinking naughty, naughty things.
My eyes must have been speaking volumes because his words spoke exactly to what I was thinking.
“Laney,” Tyler said in a deep whisper, “If you keep looking at me like that, I’ll have no choice but to kiss you in front of the entire world out there.”
The world? I was confused by his words and even more dazed from the way he was staring at me. He motioned his head towards the city lights beyond the balcony doors. While the world outside was rushing around at a frenzied pace with last minute details on Christmas Eve, there we were, simply standing still in our own little world.
I had managed to keep Tyler at a safe distance since the last incident but in that moment, my resistance had all but disappeared.
My eye caught the fake mistletoe Ella had hung from the ceiling right above where we stood. Tyler’s eyes followed mine to it and he grinned.
“From the looks of it, I really don’t have much choice now. And why should we break with a mistletoe tradition?”
One little kiss wouldn’t complicate things that much, right?
“Tradition? I guess that my hands are tied.”
Tyler grinned. “Unless you like that kind of thing. But you don’t strike me as a Fifty Shades of Grey type of woman.”
“And what would you know about Fifty Shades?”
“Don’t worry, I know enough.”
Tyler slid a hand up my back to pull me in closer, something which was already near to impossible. I stood still like a statue as he tilted his lips down towards mine. But just as he got close, he stopped and searched my eyes to see if I would pull away.
Instead, I raised my chin and brushed my lips against his as encouragement. We kissed so softly that his lips were like feathers against mine. With each touch, he deepened his kiss. And I returned each kiss slowly, wanting to savor the sensuousness of it all. I had entertained this little fantasy more than once over the months so I was going to take the opportunity of enjoying it.
Our bodies molded into each other, our chemistry off the charts as it had always been. As we kissed, again and again, I felt myself quickly losing self-control. I gently broke away to catch my breath.
“Well, that’s some powerful mistletoe.” I tried to make a joke of the intense moment, which was extremely difficult with Tyler’s lips hovering just inches away from mine.
Tyler exhaled deeply and leaned his forehead down against mine.
“Why can’t we take this further Laney?” His voice was a husky whisper and when I peeked up at him, his eyes were closed.
“Because,” was the only response I could utter. My entire body was still tingling, making me curious at what a “total Tyler” experience would do to me.
“Because …we’re friends. Not friends with benefits.”
Tyler leaned in for my lips again but this time, I managed to turn my face away. His kiss fell onto my cheek.
“Why are we fighting this? We could be so much more than just that Laney.”
Half-heartedly, I tried to extract myself from his arms.
“We aren’t compatible Tyler.”
“Laney, you know that’s not true. We just felt that compatibility.”
“There’s a difference between compatibility and chemistry.”
I was now wishing that we hadn’t opened that door. It was a door that I wouldn’t be able to completely shut. Ever again. That kiss would be the only thing on my mind for a very long time.
“So you’re finally admitting to our chemistry?”
Tyler held onto my waist with both hands as if he was afraid I would flee.
“I never denied it. We’ve had chemistry from that very first day at the coffee shop. But what you think you want is quite different than what I know I want.”
“What in the world does that mean?”
“Forget it Tyler. It’s Christmas Eve. Please, let’s not do this now, okay?”
I tried to step away again but he wouldn’t let me.
“No, I disagree. Let’s do this now.”
I sighed heavily and shook my head.
“You really want to talk about this now?”
It was the last thing I wanted.
Tyler kissed my forehead and then whispered into my hair, “Who said anything about talking?”
“For God’s sake, is that four letter word always on your mind?” He was about to take me from turned on to turned off.
“Yes and no,” Tyler said, looking me straight in the eye. “Whenever I’m with you these days, I am thinking of a four letter word. But the one I have in mind starts with an “L” and not with an “F” like what you were thinking.”
It took me a minute to understand what he meant and when I did, his words hit me. Hard. My mouth opened in surprise. I had not expected that.
“What are you saying Tyler?”
Tyler smiled and took advantage of my open mouth to kiss me, thoroughly and deeply. Then, he planted slow and soft kisses down my cheek, up the length of my neck and to the sensitive spot behind my ear. A spot that would soon be making my knees weak.
His hot breath tickled my inner ear when he sucked on my earlobe. His chest heaved with each breath against mine.
“Aren’t you tired of pretending that there’s nothing between us?”
I let out a soft uncontrollable groan as I enjoyed what he was doing.
“I’m tired of us driving at 30 in the 60 lane. Aren’t you tired of going 30?”
I felt Tyler’s tongue trace its way down the side of my neck and back up to my ear.
“Go 60 with me, Laney. Go 60…” he whispered into my ear.
With what Tyler was doing to my ear and my neck, my brain could no longer process any kind of rationale thought so I gave up on trying. My entire body was burning up.
I was willing to do 60. Hell, I was more than willing to do 120 and take my chances at a fiery crash and burn with him.
I looked into his dark eyes.
“We can start at 60, ” I said under my breath. “But if I need more speed, I’ll take the wheel…”
©2015 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.