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Chapter 9- Perfect Girls Stand Under Mistletoe

Cat always knew what Christmas was, it was supposed to be a holiday filled with cheer and presents, it also comes with a fat white-bearded man that falls down chimneys and brings gifts for the good children and coal for the misbehaved. While Floeya does celebrate such a holiday, Cat has never found herself too into it, maybe she was just jealous how so many people would spend time with their families during this time while she was stuck in the castle, not a single family member by her side.

Andrain seemed particularly excited for this Christmas, after all, it would be the first that he would be celebrating with Caterina. While Cat herself has never relayed her previous experiences with Christmas, she didn’t want to disappoint Andrain after all the work him and the boys went through.

Even Issac decided to put aside his ire and join in, still, he wasn’t happy to be carrying the entire Christmas tree by himself. Vera then righted this by volunteering to go along with him to pick out the tree, as well as hull all the decorations with him.

“I don’t want any funny business while Vera and I are gone,” Issac was lecturing the boys before he left. “Am I clear?”

“Crystal.” The boys answered in unison.

“Remember to call me if anything goes wrong okay Cate?” He added as he glanced over to the princess.

“O-oh, of course!” She snapped out of her thoughts. “I do hate how he worries so much,” She turned to Vera, the older woman scoffed.

“I’ll make sure he doesn’t call to check up on you guys too often,”

“He does very much resemble a nagging grandmother.”

“I wouldn’t disagree with that statement.”

Cat knows all about Andrain’s old lifestyle, how he would always hold the wildest parties in the Crowne Manor, not she minded, it was a part of him: be the life of the party. However, this wasn’t a party, they were just having a small get together in the dorms since Issac declared that he had already cleaned the house and he didn’t want anyone ruining his hard work. That last part was directed at Andrain personally.

“Just get going already! All the good trees are probably taken by now!” Cat pushed her attendant with a huff and he unwillingly exited, Vera sighed and trailed behind.

“Oh by the by,” Vera pauses and turned to the group. “I have taken the liberty of placing mistletoe around the apartment. Have fun!” With a final wave, she closed the door behind her with a bang.

“Pardon? What is mistletoe?” Cat finally inquired after a few moments of the boys’ stunned silence.

“Oh umm...” Karl was the first to say something, although it wasn’t the answer she was looking for.

“It’s some weird Christmas thing where if two people were to stand under it, they have to kiss.” Andrain finished, Cat sensed that he was too happy about that.

“That’s an odd tradition.” She tilted her head.

“Well, it’s tradition Catty. And since Vera was so *kind* as to scatter some around I suggest we look up while we walk.” Andrain already had his head angled upwards. “You’ll never know when it’ll strike you, keep your eyes peeled boys... and Catty,” He narrowed his eyes as he scanned the ceiling. “It’ll come when you least expect it.”

“Your sounding way too ominous about this...” Damien deadpanned.

“Wait a minute. Aren’t we missing George?” It took her a while to notice.

“He decided to spend Christmas with the animals at the shelter,” Karl answered.

“Aw... that’s sweet of him,”

“Don’t get too chummy about it, I suspect that he just used that as an excuse to avoid all the decorating and will just swing by later to sneak some cake.”

“Well, it’s sweet of him nevertheless.”

“I’m already looking up! Do you see anything Andrain?” Damien was too busy looking at the ceiling to notice that walked straight into a table. “Ah fuck! Note to self: also look at where you’re going...”

“Poor thing.” Cat walked over to him and looked at the small bruise on his elbow, she touched it cautiously. “Does it hurt?”

“Wait...Shit!” Andrain was apparently also not aware of his surroundings and that resulted in the three of the falling to the ground while Karl burst into laughter.

“Oh look guys there’s the mistletoe!” Karl pointed up and Andrain and Damien struggled to get away. “Hey Cat.”

“WHAT?” The two boys exclaimed as they glanced up at the two redheads grinning at them. Andrain looked at Damien and gagged.

“Get the fuck off!” Andrain reaches out a hand as if he was already dead.

“Already way ahead of your asshole!” Damien was the first to escape and he made a beeline for the door.

“Yeah well, I don’t swing that way either.” Andrain finally picked himself and brushed the dust off his shoulder.

“There he goes...” Karl stared at the door that Damien used to escape. “Well, that’s one less pair of hands to assist us, think we can still get the turkey done?”

“I feel like I’m going to be doing all the work by myself anyways.” Andrain scoffed.

“I’ll try to help!” Cat jumped with a little in excitement.

“I’ll probably burn it...” Karl muttered under his breath. “But you know, I’m going to try.”

“Karl no way in hell I’m going to let you ruin my hard work.” Andrain handed him a box full of lights. “Go hang these.”

“But... but...” Karl started to make puppy eyes, but since Cat has never known what that is, she just assumed he was constipated.

“Don’t you dare... Go hang these.”

“Ah fine!”

With one last whine, Karl snatched the box out of Andrian’s hand and left to decorate the living room.

Andrain seemed satisfied and gestured for Cat to follow him to the kitchen, he instructed her to remove the turkey from the fridge while he went to look for knives.

Under a tablecloth he noticed a note that peeled out of the sides, curious, he lifted the fabric and saw a white sticky note on the marble table.

To Andrain:

Get Cate to stand under here with you.

You can thank me later.

Best Of Luck!

Vera

Andrain crushed the paper in his hands with a grunt, of course, Vera would do such a thing, only her. Still, she probably knew about his affections for Cat, even if he didn’t even know it yet.

Cat groaned behind him and he turned to see her struggling with the turkey, her upper body strength was failing her for some reason, not to mention how weird the raw chicken looked, it was the first time she had seen such a thing, not only was it weird, Cat found it repulsing.

“Here hand it to me,” Andrain took the tray out of her hands. “You can help me take the knives.”

Cat nodded and try as she might, she had no idea what kind of knives Andrain needed, she was no chef, the only thing she knew was which utensils to use at a dining table. It was much to her relief that normal people only used spoons and forks, add on the occasional chopsticks.

“Andrain... which ones do you need?” She was still bent over, examining the holster.

He took a deep breath before approaching her, he leaned over her and pressed his chest against her back, he felt her stiffen.

She hasn’t noticed the mistletoe yet, maybe if she didn’t know, he wouldn’t need to push her into something she probably didn’t want to do. He should get her away from it before he could open his mouth, a familiar voice rang behind him.

“Oh there’s the mistletoe, I knew Karl was lying,” Damien returned, damn it all. “Well?” He looked at the duo expectingly. “Aren’t you going to kiss?” The prick’s lips curled into a smirk and Andrain felt the tips of his ears warm.

“It’s just a stupid tradition Catty,” Andrain took a step back and ran his hand through his hair, he didn’t want Cat to see how nervous he was. “We don’t have to-”

Before he could finish Cat turned around and pressed her lips against his, he didn’t know if it could be considered a real kiss, it was too quick, too rushed, still, it made the world freeze around him. He no longer cared about how he was going to prove his innocence, or even give two shits about the turkey, he no longer cared that Damien was probably watching and most likely saving and or taping this moment to tease him later.

“We’re back!” Of course, Vera and Issac had to return at Just that time, whippie fucking do. “We also got the cake!” Vera announced, holding up the plastic bag in the air while Issac managed to drag the tree through the door.

While Andrain has not even noticed their presence, Cat has turned her heel to assist Vera with the cake, he touched his bottom lip gingerly. Damien was snickering behind him and Andrain glowered at him, his friend just continued.

“You’re such a girl you know that?” Damien joked, his lips still twitching.

“Shut up.” That totally proved his point.

——

Oh my god, I just kissed Andrain.

Why did I just do that?

What was wrong with me?

What would Issac say?

Forget what Issac would say, he would probably wring Andrain’s neck if he ever found out that he kissed her. Even if it was Cat that made the move, she just wanted to get over with as she tried to tune out deafening the sound of her heart.

“Are you okay Cate?” Vera’s navy blue haze bore into Cat’s violet-blue ones, the redhead cleared her throat.

“I’m fine.”

“Did you find the mistletoe?”

Cat thought it was impossible to get even more embarrassed, apparently, she was wrong.

Vera smirked, pulling Cat to a side. “I’ll take that as a yes,” A mischievous glint in her eye. “Now you get to tell me all about your first kiss, I’ll talk with Andrian about his experience later.”

That was his first kiss?

In the heat of the moment, Cat completely forgot that he had taken her first kiss too, the one that she was saving for her future husband. She needed to remember to apologize to Andrain as well, since he was obviously not into the idea but, she went against his wishes and kissed him anyway.

“Well... it was...” What could Cat even say? She did it on a whim, her curiosity pushing her to do something that she would never do.

“What are you girls talking about?” Issac peeked in. “I didn’t mean to be rude... I can leave if you guys want. We just need to finish setting up the tree.”

“We’ll be right out darling.” Vera chirped.

Cat really admired that Vera could just say what she wanted and not regret anything, her intentions were clear-cut, she didn’t care how people would judge her. Issac didn’t seem to mind either, which have Cat hope that the two of them would make it after she took up so much of his time. She would have to remember to tease him about it later.

“That’s right *darling*,” Cat repeated with a smirk, Issac sighed, she was sure she heard Vera chuckle behind her.

“You’re becoming more daring as well, I still want all the deets about the kiss later. I swear I’m going to get it outta one of you!”

“Just be sure not to leak it to Issac alright? Or else Andrain might not live to see tomorrow...”

“It’s safe with me.” Vera placed her index finger on her lips and winked at the redhead, which aroused a giggle from the other girl.

——

All Andrain heard when he finally came back down to reality was Karl saying. “What kind of casket would Andrain like?”

This made him glower at his friend who smirked at him, with Damien, who was still laughing at his embarrassment.

“You should have seen your face. You’ve been smiling for like ten minutes now,” Damien took a break and pointed at him, a ghost or a smile on his lips. “It got creepy.”

Andrain scowled And realized that his face muscles were a little sore, he was outta it for that long? No doubt his friends are going to remember this and make his life a living hell for at least the next two months. Still, he has his own plan, a plan to get revenge on Vera, he had to do something to show his appreciation.

Andrain pulled a chair while the girls and Issac were busy hanging ornaments on the tree, occasionally a loud thud could be heard, probably Vera dropping the ornaments by accident. He removed the mistletoe that was blue-tacked to the ceiling and got back down, his two other friends looked at him questioningly.

“Help me call Vera and Issac over?” Andrain held up the mistletoe. “I’ve got a special something for them...”

“That smile is creepy too. Maybe you should stop doing that from now on.” Damien joked, Karl nudged him and started laughing too.

“I hate the lot of you.”

“You love us, after all, who else would have three wingmen?”

Andrian’s only response was a grunt, he left the kitchen and demanded that Karl and Damien finish cooking everything, since he didn’t want to be in the same room as them anymore, for the sake of his own sanity.

“Which star?” He had entered the living room, Issac was holding up two stars, one classic gold one in his left and another that looked more modern in his right hand.

“The left.” Cat pointed, Vera nodded in agreement.

Andrain must say that he didn’t really want to show himself in front of Issac, still, the guys were of no help. He hid the mistletoe in his pocket, to be used later.

“Andrain?” Vera grinned at him, he cringed.

“I’m sure the tree isn’t that gross,” Issac placed a hand on his hip. “Unless you’ve got something to say?”

*Did he know?

This is it.

I’m dead, oh goodbye cruel world.*

“No, I think it looks great.” How he managed to say that without fainting was a miracle. “Speaking of finishing touches, would you mind setting the table? George is coming by later to join us too.”

“Sure, come on love.” Issac grabbed Vera’s forearm and the disappeared into the kitchen.

If Andrain was a girl, he would have squealed, he was so happy that Vera was finally with someone, but, he mustn’t get too happy about it, he needed revenge.

“Aren’t they cute together?” Cat blurted, a grin on her face. “Oh. Hi Andrain...” She forgot he was in the room.

“Wanna see something?” He smirked and she tilted her head in confusion, he fished out the mistletoe in his pocket and she finally got it.

“Oh my god. Do it,”

“Care to be my partner in crime?”

“Anytime... But hey...”

“What is it Catty?”

“I’m sorry about the... k-kiss...”

“Why are you sorry?”

It was amazing

“It’s just... you were obviously against it... not to mention I’m not a good kisser...”

“That’s what you were worried about? No Catty, I thought you didn’t want to kiss me,”

“I did! I mean... it was...”

“It’s fine not to discuss this not Catty, especially if it makes you uncomfortable, let’s go execute the plan shall we?”

“Yeah! Let’s go!”

——

It was mind-blowing.

Was what Cat wished she had the courage to say, that was what the kids felt like to her, sure, it wasn’t fireworks, but, it was amazing in a way that she found hard to describe.

She never had anyone to spend Christmas with, Issac would often be spending it with his own family while she had her own duties to attend to. Seeing all of her new friends and even Issac and Vera having fun with her made Cat feel a little less alone.

Cat was giggling behind Andrain as he stood on a chair to hover the mistletoe over Vera and Issac, while her attendant looked as if he was ready to murder the Crowne heir, Vera grinned as she pressed her lips against Issac’s.

Andrain faked a gag while Cat let out a small squeal when the food finally came, it wasn’t as lavish as the ones she would have in Floeya, but, it was even more special. George and Dan even made it, the cat was gone for almost the whole evening until he returned with the other Kevin twin, which made Cat wonder if he had only come out when he smelled the turkey, like George, they only had food on their minds.

“I’ll get you some leftovers Dan.” Cat smoothed the fur on the feline’s back and he purred in response.

“Why isn’t he fat yet?” George rested his head on his arms. “I’ve seen you feed him too often.”

“He sometimes works for his food, that’s why I let him roam around when I’m not home. Just the other day he bought a dead bird for me, it was so sweet.”

Andrain scoffed, he glared at Dan and the feline seemed to glare back. “Sweet my ass. It was disgusting,”

Vera dramatically gasped. “How can you say that? I thought I raised you up better.” She bought the back of her hand up to her forehead, feigning fainting.

“Vera’s right. You should be more understanding Andrain.” Issac joined in, making Andrain even more depressed.

“He’ll rub off on you eventually.” Cat patted her roommate’s back. “That’s why I’m going to organize a roommate bonding day soon!”

Oh boy.


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