christmas eve

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t e n

I giggled up at Cade. He had sat up and was looking down at me with a grin. He raised the bottle to his mouth, taking another sip.

I watched as his throat bobbed when he swallowed.

“I want some too,” I grinned. I leaned my head back and opened my mouth.

Cade coughed. “You sure?”

I gave him a thumbs up. He shrugged and hiccuped before he turned the bottle over my head. The liquid ran into my mouth, and I immediately had to cough it up again. It ran out of the side of my mouth, splashing down my chin and neck. I held onto Cade’s knee as I rolled to the side, feeling like I was dying from all the coughs.

He let out a surprised chuckle, placing the bottle next to my head. His hand patted my hair. “Poor Holly,” he giggled.

My brows furrowed, and I pressed my head between his knee and the ground. I coughed one or two more times and then used his knee to help me sit up. Was the world moving around me, or was it just the alcohol?

I guess I would never know.

Once I was sat, Cade stretched out his legs, so I was sitting in between them. “That was so not nice,” I grumbled, slapping his thigh.

He giggled and grabbed my hand to stop me from hitting him again. It didn’t seem to have affected him at all. He pulled me forward.

I squeaked as I fell into his arms, and he laughed, letting himself fall on his back. I landed on him. My hands were planted on his chest as I looked down on him. I couldn’t hold in my giggle.

Cade was smiling, lifting his hand. He stroked my dark hair behind my ear. “You’re so beautiful,” Cade babbled. His hand curved around my cheek, and his thumb moved over my skin. “Have I ever told you that?”

I rolled my eyes, smiling lazily. I tilted my head to the side, trying to get closer to his hand. He was my warmth against the cold.

“I mean it, Holly,” he continued, gazing up at me. His cheeks were blushed, and I couldn’t tell if it was only the liquor speaking. “You might not remember the first time we saw each other, but I do. And you’ve been beautiful to me ever since then. Since day one.”

“That’s a great lulled speech,” I giggled.

I laid my right hand over his and leaned down to him, giving his forehead a kiss. I let out a short chuckle and moved down to his lips, giving him a kiss. Cade’s eyes widened.

I leaned back again, planting my left hand onto his chest to keep me steady. The world continued to move.

“But you’re drunk, Cade. We’re drunk.”

He shook his head, “Holly...”

I took his hand from my cheek into my hand and squeezed it. I smiled down at him and laid it down onto his chest, holding it with both of my hands now.

We were staring at each other. There was nothing, absolutely nothing I could have said. My heart was pounding several miles per hour, and I knew it wouldn’t stop.

Maybe I was experiencing my first heart attack. Or I was just drunk.

I giggled at the crease that formed between his brows. He looked so silly under me and oh so confused.

There was a splash of sadness, and then it washed away like water in the rain.

He groaned and sat up. My hand was still on his chest.

We looked into each other’s eyes for a moment and leaned closer.

But before anything could have happened, he’d already laid his hands around my upper arms. He started to stand up.

“I’ve got a stupid idea,” he laughed, tugging me up too. He could change from one second to the other... I wished I had that talent.

Cade rushed to the desk again. “Come here!”

I came after him, bumping into him once I was next to him. He chuckled and bobbed his hip against mine, causing me to stumble to the side. I growled- or better said, tried to.

I probably sounded like a dog that was run over by a car.

I giggled.

I watched as he started to fummel with the little black machine that stood on the left of the desk, pulling the microphone that stood next to it to him. He adjusted it and then pressed a button on it. A little lamp turned green.

He threw me a grin. “Lean forward,” he whispered, gesturing to the microphone. My brows furrowed, and I slowly did as he had said. My hands were propped up on the edges of the table.

“And now say something!”

Silents hung around the air for a couple seconds.

My lips curved into a questioning smile that I threw him. He didn’t say anything else. I shook my head and turned again. My lips were almost touching the microphone as I whispered, “I don’t know what to say.”

I jerked up when my voice echoed around us. My eyes widened.

I looked back at Cade.

“What the fuck was that?” I giggled.

My voice had just echoed around us. It felt so surreal...

“That was the school’s intercommunication system,” he explained, his voice a bit slurred.

He turned around and gestured up. His aim was a bit off, but I could tell that he meant the funny, grey objects on the wall. My brows furrowed. What were they called again... speakers?

I didn’t care. I turned around again. “Cade is an idiot who doesn’t wear sweaters!”

He snorted. But it was the truth... he still hadn’t put his sweater back on...

My voice was louder now. I couldn’t stop giggling. It echoed around us too, and I had to admit that I sounded silly. Now I sounded like a dying duck... and I was scared of them.

“Oh, no...” it crawled out almost like a whine. I was not whining- who did that anyway? Not me.

“What’s wrong?” Cade laughed. His voice echoed around us too.

I shook my head and let my head fall into my hands. Everything was spinning. “I sound like a dying duck!” The sentence sounded around us, rushing through the school halls. I could only sigh in agony.

Cade pulled me to him and hugged me. I squealed and wrapped my arms around his middle, chuckling as he started to move us from side to side. It felt like I had known him longer than two days. Maybe weeks, or even months, but not days.

The world was spinning, no I was.

“You’re not a duck,” he whispered into my ear. I snorted, grinning against his chest. He turned us so that we made a spin. We continued to move to music no one but us could hear.

My cheeks were hurting from smiling so hard.

“Can we have some music to that?”

We stopped, and Cade looked into my eyes. “If that’s what you want,” he smiled. He turned to the machine on the table, “Do you have your phone?”

I patted over the front and then the back of my jeans. There was nothing, and then- there it was!

I pulled it out from my back pocket and gave it to him. He put it on. And then, he threw me a look. “You don’t have a password?”

I giggled and shook my head. “I don’t think anyone would be interested in stealing that old thing.”

He hummed and turned around again. He opened the drawer that stood under the desk and searched through the wires. It took him a second, but then he had found the right one for my phone.

He stuck the wire to the machine. “Any song you want?”

I shook my head. “Naw. I don’t have much music on there anyway.”

He snorted. “Alright.”

A few seconds later, an old song my mother had downloaded on my phone started to play. The old thing was ringing through the speakers. I grinned. It was slow and didn’t seem to fit our dancing. It would suit better with slow dancing.

Cade laid my phone onto the desk, turning around to me. He reached out his arm. “Are you ready, my lady?”

I took his hand and smiled. “Always.”

He pulled me to him. My left hand found its place on his shoulder while the other stayed in his. We started to twirl around the room. I didn’t think that either of us knew how to do these old dances, but we made it work either way.

It felt like we were stuck in a dream.

And then we were interrupted by ringing. We stopped in our tracks.

My brows furrowed as I turned in his arms and looked back at my phone. My mom was calling. I rolled my eyes and walked to the table.

I didn’t want her to interrupt us. And I didn’t need to listen to her fighting again.

I shook my head and declined the call. I just wanted to be here with Cade and forget about everything.

“Who was that?” he asked, walking up to me. He looked down onto my phone, his brows furrowed.

I gripped onto the desk and turned my phone into flight mode again. I laid it back down. “Just my mom.”

“What’s so wrong with her calling?”

I shook my head again. “It’s just- whenever she calls, something happens... I just don’t want her to ruin-”

“You have this picture-perfect family, and you dare to complain?” his face scrunched up in anger.

My head tilted to the side. “What did you just say?”

He shook his head and walked a step forward. “You have a fucking family, Holly. You have a great mom and a great dad, and you keep on complaining? What the hell is wrong with you?”

I stared at him. There was a pit in my stomach. My voice grew louder. “My father is dead, Cade! I don’t think you’d call that picture perfect!"

He grew silent after that, first staring at my phone and then again up to me. Something was forming in his eyes, but I didn’t let him express it. I shook my head as tears filled my eyes. I took a step away from him.

“You’re such an idiot.” With that, I left the room, banging the door close behind me.

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