christmas eve

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e p i l o g u e

“Cade!” I exclaimed.

He looked at me with a raised brow. “What?”

“I swear to god,” I sighed, shaking my head. “If this sets the blankets on fire-”

“No, it won’t, Holly.”

My head snapped up to him, and my eyes narrowed. He had grabbed the package of marshmallows from the kitchen and brought it into the blanket fort. An hour or so had passed, and now everything was dark around us.

But luckily, we had the fairy lights.

He lightened the green lighter he was holding and moved his hand down. Between us were a few candles that he had brought with him. My eyes had widened as soon as I had seen them.

I still wasn’t sure if he wasn't trying to burn down the building. I could actually imagine it. He was so unpredictable sometimes.

“Everything will be alright,” he chuckled. He threw me a short glance before focusing on the candles again. He lit the first one, and immediately, I could see his eyes glow in the light.

“And even if this will start a fire, there’s snow around us. We could just jump into it and be saved.”

“Cade!” I exclaimed, leaning forward to hit his arm. He startled and then chuckled. A second later, he raised one of his brows at me.

He lifted the lighter in his hands. “You’re really hitting the one with the fire? And I thought you were afraid!”

I snorted and shook my head. “Stop talking about shit then. We would probably freeze if we jumped into the snow!”

There was a sly look on his face when he leaned down again. He lightened the other candles and then laid the lighter to the side, grabbing the package marshmallows.

“Did I tell you how the marshmallows got into the kitchen?”

My brows furrowed, and I shook my head.

A smirk appeared on his face. “I told you that this is the second time I’ve stayed here... well, I guess you didn’t know, but no one usually ever leaves food in the kitchen during the breaks.”

He tilted his head to the side. Taking out one of the marshmallows, he took a fork and speared it on it. He handed it to me and then started to make one of his own.

“Last year, I discovered that,” he smiled. “Luckily, I wasn’t trapped in here and could go to the stores to get some food. And I learned from my mistakes.”

I stared at him as he held the marshmallow over the lit candles.

“I was the one that stored the cans, crackers, marshmallows, and cacao powder in the cabinets... and the cheese. You didn’t touch it, did you?” He was grinning at me.

A small smile built on my lips, and I felt my cheeks heat up the slightest. I didn’t even know what I was embarrassed about at this point.

Maybe it was just him.

“I don’t like cheese,” I murmured, holding my fork closer to the candles. I felt a bit timid, almost shy.

Cade snorted and lifted his left hand to scratch the back of his neck. His eyes were glowing as he looked at me. “I figured.”

A second passed. I was staring into the flames of the candles, waiting as my marshmallow was slowly starting to get brown around the edges. I moved it to the side so that it didn’t burn.

Cade let out a chuckle and shook his head. “We are so fucking lucky I did that, Holly. Could you imagine if I hadn’t? We would have starved in here.”

I bit my lip and felt a shudder run through me.

He was right.

I didn’t even want to imagine what could’ve happened if it hadn’t been for Cade. “Thank you, I guess,” I chuckled, feeling strange about all of this. The what-ifs were killing me. Goosebumps appeared on my skin. I would have had to survive on things I found in my room.

And I had only discovered that package of M&M’s this morning... It wouldn’t have ended pretty.

It didn’t take us long to eat the marshmallows and other candy that he had brought. A few minutes, or even hours later- I didn’t know- we were laid out on the fuzzy blanket again.

We were staring at the fairy lights again.

A few minutes passed in comfortable silence.

“I even have something for you.”

My head moved to the side, where Cade was already watching me. He smiled and then turned to the other side before he faced me again. He handed me a small, grey object, and I couldn’t hold in my laughter.

“My phone?” I chuckled.

“Yeah,” he murmured. “You forgot it in the principal’s office. It would’ve been bad if you left it there.”

The breath got stuck in my throat. More laughter erupted from me.

“Oh god, imagine if she had found it after we drank away her alcohol.”

Cade laughed too. I looked over at him again.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered. “I don’t have anything for you...”

He shook his head and smiled at me. “You’re here, Holly. That’s all I need.”

I moved to the side and upwards.

A smile was prominent on my lips as I leaned over him, looking deep into his eyes. They were shining, golden spots like the galaxy and its stars within. He seemed a bit startled but didn’t do anything as I chuckled down at him.

“You’re such an idiot,” I murmured as I moved down. I kissed his cheek and then his forehead, watching as his eyes fell close. I shifted down, staring at his long, dark lashes, and smiled. His lips opened, and I felt his breath in my lungs.

My eyes flew down to his lips. “Can I kiss you?”

His eyes flew open and met mine. For a second, there were just his eyes. And then he smiled. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this.” His fingers cupped the back of my head, and he pulled me down.

The breath left my lungs as our lips met. This Christmas eve had been of nothing I could’ve imagined. But I could only hope for more.

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