Status: Completed

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Chapter One

I smiled to myself as I left my office building, bidding the security guard a ‘merry Christmas’ before making my way to the parking lot. I hummed to myself as I rooted around in my bag, my fingers soon coming into contact with my car keys. I paused as I got to my car and looked at the time, happy in the knowledge that I was leaving work early and yet had still gotten all my work done.

I now had a week off for Christmas and, damn, was I looking forward to it.

I pushed the unlock button on my keys and pulled open the driver’s door, chucking my bag onto the passenger seat as I slid into my seat, yanking the door closed behind me. I turned my engine on and buckled myself in, grinning as Christmas songs instantly filled my car. I grabbed my phone out of my bag and plugged it into its port, turning on the hands free before pulling out of my space.

My hand reached forward as I heard Mariah Carey begin to start up and, though I was not usually a fan of hers, I turned the volume up. This song always got me in the mood for Christmas.

“I don’t want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need. I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree. I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know. Make my wish come true, all I want for Christmas is you.”

I turned out of the parking lot and began my drive home, knowing it would only take me twenty minutes to get home, which would still give me five hours before I had to be at Taylor’s for her Christmas party. This meant I had plenty of time to relax, maybe even have a bath, before getting ready for the party. Ryan should still be at work for another couple of hours, so I had some me time that I could enjoy.

“Maybe I’ll bake,” I mused quietly to myself.

“I don’t want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need. And I don’t care about the presents, underneath the Christmas tree. I don’t need to hang my stocking there upon the fireplace. Santa Claus won’t make me happy with a toy on Christmas Day. I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know. Make my wish come true, all I want for Christmas is you, you baby.”

My eyes darted away from the road for a moment, as Elton John’s Step Into Christmas momentarily interrupted Mariah Carey’s groove, and to my phone, a smile creeping across my lips as I saw a picture of my best friend and I flash up on the screen.

I pressed a button on the side of my steering wheel and turned Mariah Carey down.

“Merry Christmas!” I all but shouted as I answered my phone, giggling as I heard Zacky laugh at me.

“It’s not Christmas yet,” he pointed out.

“The festivities are beginning tonight, therefore it is basically Christmas,” I argued. “The actual day may still be a few days away but that doesn’t mean I can’t wish you good tidings.”

“I still say it’s not Christmas.”

I shrugged and sighed a little. “You would. You’re a Grinch.”

Zacky began to protest, giving me examples of how he is anything but a Grinch and I tried my best to contain my laughter but failed miserably as I began to giggle.

“Or how about the time I dressed as Santa and...hey, why are’re fucking laughing at me!”

“I’m sorry,” I giggled, pausing at a stop sign and clicking on my left indicator before turning.

“Mhm,” Zacky muttered. “So are you still at work?”

“Nope, I am on my way home,” I told him.

Zacky was quiet for a minute and I chewed my lip as I slowed to a stop, waving a group of festively dressed teenagers to cross the road. They smiled and a couple of them gave me thumbs up before they hurried across the road. I chuckled and carried on driving, my eyes flicking to the time for a moment.

“But it’s only like two.”

I nodded. “I know but I got all my work done so I figured I’d go home.”

“Does this mean you’ll be on time to Taylor’s?”

“Hopefully, yes.”

Zacky snorted out a quiet laugh. “I’ll believe that when I see it.”

“Hey,” I tried to defend myself. “I am not always late.”

“Sure you’re not.”

I pouted to myself and remained silent. If he was going to be mean about my time keeping skills then I had nothing to say to him.

“Oh all the lights are shining so brightly everywhere. And the sound of children’s laughter fills the air. And everyone is singing. I hear those sleigh bells ringing. Santa won’t you bring me the one I really need? Won’t you please bring my baby to me?” Mariah carried on singing, filling in the silence in my car.

“Sarah,” Zacky called through my car. “Sarah?”

I smirked to myself as I heard him huff.

“Okay, I’m sorry. You are always on time, if not early, for every event we have ever held or invited you to.”

The flat way he said that told me that he didn’t mean it, but I was going to take it anyway.

“Even though I know you don’t mean it, I accept your apology,” I explained with a smile. “It is, after all, Christmas. A time for good will and all that good stuff.”

I could practically hear Zacky rolling his eyes at what I said. It had to be said that I was the most Christmassy member of our group. I loved Christmas. I loved the lights, the colours, the songs. I loved the fact that everyone seemed to be in a good mood around Christmas. Yes, you got the few ‘bah humbugs’ but the percentage of grumps decreased from the amount there is the rest of the year.

“Is Ryan coming?”

“Yup,” I replied, still not sure how Zacky felt about Ryan.

I’d been with Ryan now for two years. We lived together and had even talked about the future, in terms of getting married, though nothing official had been done yet. Though I was hoping that, maybe, this Christmas would be the one he would finally drop down on one knee and propose at.

Here’s to wishing.

“Cool,” Zacky answered.

I stared at my phone for a moment, chewing the inside of my lip. “You bringing anyone?”

“Probably not,” he voiced and I couldn’t help but notice the slight sad tinge to his voice. “But maybe I’ll meet someone under the mistletoe at Taylor’s.”

I chuckled. “Maybe Matt’s cousin will be there.”

“Oh God,” Zacky commented, his voice shuddering. “Here’s hoping not. She creeps me out. Anyway, I’ve got to go but I’ll see you later.”

“Yes you shall. I will see you at eight on the dot,” I made a point of saying. “And not a minute later. Who knows, I may even be there early.”

“It would be a Christmas miracle,” he laughed, making me stick my tongue out at my phone like the grown up I was. “See you later Sarah.”

“See you ducky. Love you.”

“Love you too.”

I hit the end call button on the side of my steering wheel and reached forward, turning the volume up on Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody.

--- | ---

I pulled into my driveway and shut off my engine, mentally going through what I did need to do this afternoon before getting ready for Taylor’s. I grabbed all my stuff and climbed out of my car, nudging the door shut with my bum and hitting my lock button on my keys. I smiled as I looked around, trying to ignore the bright sunshine and just thinking about how pretty all the houses down my street looked once the sun went down.

That was when all the lights came on and Christmas twinkled its way through my neighbourhood.

I still couldn’t quite get to grips with the idea of a warm Christmas, even though I’d now lived in California for almost ten years. To me, Christmas was still meant to be cold, so cold that no matter how many coats, scarves, hats and gloves you wore, you were never warm enough. There was meant to be snow or at the very least ice, that made it rather treacherous to go anywhere by foot or by car.

I sighed, feeling a small pang of homesickness for England in my heart, but as soon as it was there it was gone. Huntingdon was now my home. It had been since I was sixteen and my parents and I moved here. Ten years later and I was still here, my family having moved back to London, and I had made a life here. I had my own clothing line. I had friends that would kill for me and I had a wonderful boyfriend.

My life was pretty much sweet right now.

What would make it better would be a beautiful, sparkling diamond on my left hand...

I shook my head away from thoughts of Ryan proposing to me. Though I knew it wasn’t completely out of our future, I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Just because we’d been talking about our future in recent months didn’t mean Ryan would immediately propose.

I made my way up to the house and let myself in, dropping my bag down by the door and kicking it shut. I hooked my keys up, shrugging out of my jacket and throwing it on the back of the couch, before I began to unbutton my blouse, ready to get into some sweats. I climbed the stairs and padded my way to our bedroom, pushing the door open and then freezing.

My eyes became wide as I noticed someone that was very much not Ryan on my bed. The blond squeaked and jumped off my bed, pulling the covers with her to hide her body away from me. Not that she’d been completely naked. There was a very tasteful ribbon and bow wrapped around her like she was some kind of present.

“I’m sorry,” I voiced, suddenly coming back to life. “I’ve obviously walked into the wrong house.”

“Okay,” I heard Ryan’s voice coming from our en suite and I immediately felt my blood begin to boil. “I’m ready to unwrap my present now...why are you standing in the corner baby?”

I stepped into the room more and slammed the door behind me, alerting Ryan to the fact that he and his ‘baby’ weren’t the only ones in the house anymore. He jumped and looked over at me, shock crossing straight over his face. I crossed my arms under my bust, not caring at all that my shirt was still open, I was more interested in what kind of an excuse my boyfriend of two years was going to give me right about now.

Zacky’s P.O.V

I frowned as I pushed my way through the people congregating in Taylor’s kitchen, my eyes flicking over to the oven where the bright numbers told me it was 21:30. I went through to her living room, a couple of beers in one hand and an orange juice in the other. I sucked my piercings into my lip as my thoughts went to Sarah, finding it quite amusing that even though she’d been adamant that she’d be on time tonight, she was an hour and a half late already.

“Have you heard from Sarah yet?” Taylor asked me as I passed her the orange juice, getting myself a small thankful smile from her.

I shrugged and passed Matt one of the beers. “No. But you know Sarah, she’s never on time. This is hardly a rare moment.”

“The man’s got a point,” Matt chuckled as he wrapped an arm around Taylor’s waist, his hand falling to her stomach. “Ignore Taylor. Ever since she got pregnant, she’s just felt very protective over everyone.”

Taylor rolled her eyes and shook her head, her hand going over his as she looked at me.

“I’m not very protective,” she protested with a smile. “Just call it intuition or something. But I think something’s wrong.”

“Something’s wrong?” Brian asked, his eyes wide as he appeared beside us. “What’s wrong?”

He dropped to his knees and placed his hands either side of Taylor’s bump before leaning forward and pressing his ear against her.

“Do I need to drive you to the hospital?”

“I don’t think you should be driving anyone anywhere,” Taylor laughed, lifting her hand and running her fingers through Brian’s hair. “There’s nothing wrong with the baby.”

“But you just said...”

“How much has this fool had to drink?” I questioned, peering down at my friend who was still on his knees.

“We were talking about Sarah,” Matt cut across me.

Brian squinted up at Matt before pushing himself to his feet. “Baby’s okay?”

Taylor nodded with a smile. “Baby is okay.”

“But Sarah’s not?”

“She’s fine,” I insisted. “She’s just late.”

“Sarah? Late? For a party?” Brian rattled off before laughing, a little hysterically. “Of course she is. That girl is never on time. She’d probably be fucking late”

He trailed off, his eyes moving to the other side of the room before he silently walked away. I frowned before nodding in understanding as I saw Lyndsey walk in. I brought my bottle up to my lips and watched as Brian walked straight to his girlfriend, her arms wrapping around his middle as soon as he was in reach.

“When are you going to talk to Sarah?” Taylor asked and I tore my eyes away from one happy couple before looking at another.

“About?” I answered with a frown.

Matt rolled his eyes and muttered something I didn’t quite hear but I was sure that it was something along the lines of ‘fucking pansy’. Taylor smirked but still hit her husband with the back of her hand before she looked back at me, a serious look in her eyes.

“About the two of you,” she commented. “You know the whole ‘being-madly-in-love-with-her’ thing you’ve got going on?”

I stared at her for a moment then shook my head, my bottle raised to my lips as I took a good healthy swig of my drink.

“She’s with Ryan,” I pointed out needlessly. “They’ve been together for two years and they are happy and...”

“No one likes him,” Matt told me, also a little needlessly.

“That’s not completely true,” Taylor stated. “None of the guys like him. Us girls think he’s nice and he makes her happy.”

“Exactly,” I remarked, pointing my finger at her with a smirk. “Then what’s the fucking point in me saying anything?”

Taylor sighed. “Because as happy as he seems to make her, I know that you’ll be able to make her happier.”

I shrugged. “Taylor, I’ve tried so many fucking times in the past but she doesn’t get it. So I know what I need to do now.”

“What are you going to do?”

“It’s the new year,” I smiled and Matt chuckled.

I had a feeling that he knew where I was going with this.

“My resolution for this new year is to get over her. That we are not going to happen and I am going to accept that. I am going to find myself a nice girl and I am going to get the fuck on with my life,” I ranted a little. “I’m finished waiting for Sarah to look at me the way I want her to. I am going to get on with my life. This time next year, I’ll be bringing a date to this party.”

Matt grinned and raised his bottle, clinking it with mine as Taylor rolled her eyes, shaking her head a little bit.

“Boys,” she muttered and looked down at her bump. “Baby girl, you’ve got to come soon so I can have some more girl time okay? These boys are driving me insane.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Title Credit: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams


CAN YOU ADAM AND EVE IT?? After all these years saying I'm going to do a Christmas story...I'VE ONLY GONE AND DONE IT!! It's just a short story, three chapters all told. And I really hope you like it :)

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