‹ Prequel: Smirt
Status: finished.



I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to feel guilty or not at asking Chris to accompany me to visit Caprice’s grave. I decided that it was nothing out of the ordinary, just two friends visiting another friend, but somehow I knew that wasn’t the end of it. So, here I was, unwrapping Christmas gifts on a tour bus with a bunch of guys who were acting like they were five. There was no Christmas tree, save for a miniature artificial one with ornaments that had been placed on the table. It was my first Christmas away from home and I made a mental note to call my parents later. I imagined the festivities they would partake in after they opened their gifts. I ignored the ache I felt at the prospect of my grandma’s gingerbread cookies and my mom playing the piano for a holiday singalong. My dad would then insist that she play Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, which she would.

“Open my gift first,” Gavin urged, prodding the rectangular box into my hands, “I hope you like it. Merry Christmas, hon.” I handed over my gift to him, wishing him the same.

“Ok, on three, we’ll rip off the wrapping paper,” I conceded, hoping that Gavin would follow my instructions this time. “Don’t even try to open it at two in a half.”

“Fine, fine,” he agreed begrudgingly.

One. . .two. . .three!” The wrapping paper made a loud ripping noise, and we both tore off the remnants that clung to the boxes. I started to giggle. Gavin had gotten me a Victoria’s Secret gift card, a dress, and high heels, emphasis on high. The heel had to be more than four inches which was typical of him. He knew that I didn’t like to be short in heels.

“Just in case you have a special occasion soon,” Gavin whispered as I held the dress up to my body. It was made of some type of form fitting material and was bright red, while the high heels were a more classic black. He hugged me, thanking me for my gift which was a Legalize Gay hoodie and a pair of blue Vans slip-ons. I kissed his cheek, laughing again as he pretended to wipe his face in disgust.

I glanced at the guys who had opened their gifts and were lounging around, satisfied. There were piles of crumpled wrapping and tissue paper, gift bags, bows, and boxes scattered around the bus and I groaned inwardly as I began to pick them up. The guys were definitely all mentally five year olds in grown bodies. Gavin helped me pick up the trash and he held a trash bag, dutifully trailing behind me as we cleaned the bus thoroughly. I almost forgot about Carter and the gift I’d given him until his arms wrapped around my waist, his lips planting a soft kiss on my neck. I nearly dropped the wadded up gift bag in my hand; how the hell had he snuck up on me?

“Merry Christmas, babe,” he murmured into my hair, “I love your gift. It was great. Thank you.” I faintly heard Gavin snicker but I ignored him. Yes, he’s still wary of Carter because he thinks I’m supposed to be with someone else whose name rhymes with Shristofer Shrew.

“Merry Christmas,” I echoed, wiping my palms on my jeans. I smiled as Carter produced a small gift bag, offering it to me. I took out the tissue paper, surprised when I found a small box inside. I opened the box and gasped. It was a ring. It was a gold ring with a small diamond and I knew it hadn’t been cheap. My gift suddenly felt so juvenile and lame.

“Holy shit,” Gavin said loudly, voicing my thoughts perfectly.

I was speechless. What the fuck do you say to your boyfriend whose Christmas gift to you is a motherfucking ring? A simple “thank you” couldn’t possibly suffice for such an extravagant gift. I put the ring on my finger, the diamond sparkling in the light. I was in over my head, that was certain. “Wow, thank you, I love it.”

“I hope you don’t think it’s too much. I just want to show you how much I care.” Carter had noticed my expression and bit his lip nervously. I silenced him with a kiss.

“Of course I know you care. Thank you again.” He seemed satisfied with my answer because he took me in his arms and spun me around.

“I think this is the best Christmas I’ve experienced. Ever,” Carter said, kissing me again with a laugh.

I nodded. “Definitely.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I pretended not to notice the guys, Chris and Gavin included, watching our exchange warily. I didn’t want to look at their individual expressions so I grabbed Carter’s hand, a mischievous grin forming on my lips. “Let’s go watch a cheesy Christmas movie together.” I had become so accustomed to lying to myself that I almost believed that I actually wanted to watch a movie with Carter. But at the back of my mind, I knew that I was with the wrong guy. But the wrong guy thought I was the right girl and for now, that was good enough for me.
♠ ♠ ♠
Last night, I listened to all of the NSN songs on my iPod
as I wrote this and it was really nice since the songs were shuffled.
It's amazing how Chris and the guys have progressed over the years.