SEBASTIAN - Holidays Pass
WaterRose, Meadow Mountain, Grier Country
Snow had begun falling on Meadow Mountain. And with it came Sebastian. Dragging in a wiltry tree he’d cut down.
He glimpsed the valkyrie at the end of the hall on the second level. Peering down to watch him drag it through the foyer.
He smelled the bread Elengard was baking and saw candles were already brightening every window.
Every year she watches me.
She’ll stand in the shadow of the stair dais and watch across the foyer as I decorate the tree.
He sensed her wanting to help.
As he neared the bottom of the crate, he unfolded the bit of cloth there. He lifted a pearl earring in its blue inlay. He’d offered it back to her after the holiday in 1702 but she’d shook her head, turned up her nose and left the library without a word more.
Unwilling to explain why she wanted it on the tree. He knew. A peek in her mind had revealed the truth. He hung it carefully in nearly the same spot she’d put it the first year.
He picked up the thin chain of green stones next. Trying to hang it as close to the spot she’d put that one as she had in 1703. Toward the back of the tree.
Hoping I’d not notice she’d done it without invitation. He smiled softly at the memory. He’d pretended he hadn’t seen it.
She still hadn’t come to try the chocolate that year.
Or any year since. He sighed.
Hanging the silver chain that connected two earrings near the bottom, where she’d again hoped he’d not notice it’s pretty flashing in the firelight.
But I did.
There was a stone for every year. And he hoped his careful placement had become their sort of inside humor.
Him carefully hanging them where she’d hid them. And her pretending she didn’t notice he took them every year and replaced them in the crate to hang the following.
“It is pure idiocy you do this every year.” She said acidly from the doorway.
He barely spared her a glance over his shoulder. Then why do you contribute so carefully. Every year.
“You’re a fool.” She shook her head and left the room.
But he felt her watching from across the foyer as he finished decorating.