“I need to relax,” Xia said after the last guest had left. She hummed as she poured out the last of one of Lancelot Sample’s priceless bottles of well-aged nectar. “Come join me in some liquid relaxation, Sky.”
Sky sighed. “You know, I don’t mind if I do.”
While Sky and Xia were sipping and contemplating a a good party,
Abby was sure that her parents wouldn’t mind if she joined in the fun. She was, after all, almost an adult.
Sky gave her an amused look that said, “I see what you did there.” But she let Abby try it. Perhaps fine nectar would spoil Abby’s refined tastes against juice keggers at university.
“We are one hot middle-aged couple, if I do say so myself!” Xia announced. She sounded like maybe she’d had enough nectar for one evening. “Come over here and preserve our love for posterity.”
Sky giggled at the picture. “You know, we really are.”
“Told you,” Xia said smugly.
Abby realized that she could probably use the moment of distraction to refill her nectar,
but instead she decided to make her escape before her tipsy parents heated up any more.
Dylan had a Snowflake Day gift for Corrina. He’d asked her to meet him after everyone left the party so that they could exchange gifts in private.
While he was waiting in the foyer, Sawyer accosted him with some complaint about the party guests stomping on his research specimens in the back yard.
Dylan had no idea what Sawyer was talking about, but that was pretty normal.
“Why don’t you go do your science someplace else?” Dylan complained. He was so nervous about seeing Corrina he was almost sick. He didn’t have the time or energy for Sawyer’s eccentricity.
To Dylan’s surprise, Sawyer paused. “I think I will,” he said, with no hint of irony.
So he set about assembling a research center in his bedroom.
He was much happier. Scientific observations made so much more sense than people.
Dylan’s gut knotted when he saw Corrina on the doorstep.
“I came as fast as I could!” Corrina said breathlessly. “The Butterfield-Bookabets called and asked me to babysit. I told them I had plans with you for another half-hour. That ought to be enough time for gifts, right?”
Dylan gulped. “I guess we ought to be fast, then,” he said. He produced the package he’d spent an hour wrapping yesterday evening. Inside was a brightly-colored pendant he’d painted himself.
“Wow!” Corrina said. “This is amazing! You make such beautiful things, and you’re so smart! I’m so much happier when I’m around you.”
Dylan blushed. “Wow,” he said. “Thank you.”
“Oh dear,” Corrina continued. “I forgot your gift at home! Is it all right if I bring it to school tomorrow?”
He had to do it, and it had to be now. “Corrina,” he said, his voice cracking, “I just don’t think this is working out.”
“What?” Corrina said. “I don’t understand.” Then her eyes widened. “Wait! You don’t mean–! You can’t!”
“You’re a really nice person!” Dylan said lamely. “But think about it. We barely ever see each other. Sure, we’re both busy, but if we were happy in this relationship, we’d be making time. I just don’t think we’re right for each other.”
“I can make time!” Corrina said. “I’ll call the Butterfield-Bookabets and tell them to get another babysitter. It’s just that I need the money to get to university….”
Dylan felt like his heart would break. “Don’t give up your college savings for me!” he cried. “It’s just– it’s more than that Corrina. I know there are guys out there who are better for you than I am. I’m really sorry.”
Corrina’s eyes brimmed with tears. “So this is it,” she said. “You barely gave me a chance, and now you’re kicking me to the curb. I thought you were a nice guy.”
Dylan blinked back tears of his own, but he couldn’t think of anything to say. The last thing he wanted to do was break Corrina’s heart, but he knew now that she wasn’t the right girl, and the worst thing he could do would be to pretend he had feelings he didn’t.
Corrina let out a sob and dashed down the steps, past Abby and Sawyer’s melting snowmen. Dylan watched her go, his heart aching, wishing it could have been different.
“This has to be the dumbest idea you’ve ever had,” Sky giggled. “I’m freezing!”
“Nectar makes everything better!” Xia insisted.
“We are so drunk!”
“Xia,” Sky said. Her slight slur didn’t mask the earnestness of her voice. “I’ve been thinking about what you said. About love and commitment.”
Xia looked at her with a sudden intensity. “Yes?”
“I think I want to try an exclusive relationship.”
Xia sighed. “As you wish, my love.”
“Now stand up!” Sky insisted. “I can’t feel my knees!”
She staggered to her feet and pulled Xia up with her. “You’re the strong one! You should be doing this!”
“I’m also the drunker one!” Xia laughed.
“Would you not marry me for the rest of your life?”
Xia didn’t even blink. “Of course,” she said.
“Come on!” Xia said. “I’ve never tried this, and I’m just drunk enough that it looks fabulous!” She grabbed Sky by the arm and pulled her along.
“Are you kidding me? It’s freezing!”
“I’ll warm you up, baby.”
And she did.
This is literally the last screenshot in my folder. I am caught up!
Sheesh. The last few posts are just FILLED with indoor snow. I didn’t notice how bad it was until I went back and reviewed.
We made it to the heir poll! Now I just have to post it!