After five hours Kitty’s mom went from rough to drill sergeant. Jason mixed tirelessly in the kitchen while Kitty and I untangled lights in our station.
Their mom marched through with more orders just as we were finishing up the last strand.
“Perfect, girls when you’re done with that get started on the cookies. Jay-Jay is falling behind.”
I looked at Kitty and she mouthed an apology before helping me off the floor. I checked the watch Tristan gave to me for my birthday and grabbed my phone before heading to the porch.
“Where are you going?” Kitty asked.
“I have to make a call.” I punched in the numbers while I walked. The phone barely rang before Ethan picked up.
“Hey, did you get caught in traffic?”
“I wish,” I glanced back and watched Kitty help Jason frost a two-tier cake. “I’m stranded with Kitty and her family because of the weather.”
When Ethan didn’t respond I spoke up, “Hello?”
“Yeah, I’m here. I was looking over some paperwork.”
I kicked around a pinecone as I stood underneath the patio ceiling. The rain came down in sideways streams with wind threatening to knock over anything that dared to be outside.
“Well, there is good news.”
“And that is?”
“I’ll probably be able to get the papers in by next week.”
“Next week? I needed those yesterday.”
I shut my eyes and listened to the rain pelting the ground, “You’ll have them soon.”
Ethan sighed, “Tara if you don’t get this deal-”
“I’m fired, I know.” I cut in before he could say it again.
“I was going to say you won’t get the promotion.” I let his voice echo through the phone.
Kitty knocked on the window and waved for me to come inside. “I need to go.”
“Yeah, I’m sure you do.” Ethan paused, “Tell Jason I said hi.”
Before I could respond he told me there was someone walking into his office and ended the call. I rolled my eyes and joined Kitty and Jason.
Their mom buzzed around and grabbed several bags of decorations from the living room.
“Start packing the van. We’re going to be late!”
“What about the cookies?” Kitty asked.
“Cynthia is taking care of those now!”
Jason sighed and boxed up the cake before leading the way outside. Kitty dragged a suitcase of costumes behind her while I carried the mini corn dogs.
The ice-covered pathway prevented us from sprinting to the van and safety from the rain.
I hurled myself inside after Kitty and Jason both secured themselves in their seats. Their mom impatiently waited for me to shut the sliding door.
The overly cautious driving of their mother had us arriving at the church in just under a half hour. The second I walked past the double doors the smell of pine hit me.
Jason’s mom dragged him into the back of the church while he struggled not to destroy the cake.
I struggled to push up the sleeves of my sweater and shifted uncomfortably in the heat. I watched Kitty drop her suitcase at the altar and I placed the corn dogs on a pew.
“Are you okay?” Kitty looked concerned all of a sudden, “You look really red.”
I fanned myself with my hand, “Yeah, I’m good. It’s just really hot in here.”
She shrugged, “It’s not that hot. They keep it warm for the winter so I guess it’s a little toasty.”
“Are you kidding? It’s hot as h-”
“Fucking hell,” Jason swore as he came down the hall.
“Jason,” Kitty hissed, “Keep it down or mom will freak.” I felt like I was getting a peek into their adolescence.
“It feels like I’m being burned alive in here,” He glanced at my tomato red face, “and I think Tara agrees.”
As soon as the words left his lips footsteps came down the hall and a blonde angel made her way to Jason. I rubbed my eyes but she was still there. Clear as day.
“I thought I heard your voice,” She grinned and wrapped her arms around his neck. Her white dress lifted midway up her thigh as she stood on her tiptoes to bridge the gap between their mouths.
Kitty and I watched as she shoved her tongue down his throat and I felt breakfast returning to mine.
Kitty coughed just before I ruined her dress and they peeled away from each other, “Amber! I haven’t seen you since you were sixteen.”
I scanned over her perfectly sculpted body and wanted to slither away into a cave.
“Hey, Kathy,” Amber grinned while still gripping Jason with her Christmas themed claws, “It seems like it’s been forever doesn’t it?”
“Yeah,” Kitty shot Jason a piercing glare, “A long three years.”
He looked anywhere in the room except towards me and when Amber batted her eyelashes at him he grinned. I pinched myself but it was no use.
My lip ached from me biting it in an attempt not to let my temper get the best of me when Jason slid his arm around her waist.
Amber decided that waiting any longer to address me would have been considered rude, “Oh, hi! You must be Kathy’s friend.” And Jason’s almost something but there was no reason to get into details.
I plastered on a fake smile, “I’m Tara.”
Her halo bobbled as she spoke, “I’m Amber and I’m so glad you’re filling in for Ruthy. We’ve put so much work into the play this year.”
I blinked, “Play?”
Amber nodded, “The Christmas play.”
Kitty snickered and I wondered how I got there. When my eyes finally found Jason it was obvious. I let myself get sucked in. I should have taken the keys and ran.
Before I could get more information on what part I had to play Jason led Amber into the back of the church. Several people stopped him just to shake his hand and thank him for all the help he did.
I could still hear Jason as they disappeared from my sight.
“So you’re really not hot in here?”
Kitty’s voice pulled me out of my reeling thoughts, “You okay?”
I shook my head and glanced at her, “Bah Humbug.”