As a little Christmas present, I wrote three flash fiction shorts for some of your favourite couples, as voted for by member’s of my Facebook Reader Group, Charlie’s Angels (although they didn’t know why they were voting at the time!). I hope you enjoy these little snippets.
Eli and Tristan
From Always Eli
I heard the crack of the NERF gun a fraction of a second before the pellet smacked into the side of my ass, making me yelp in surprise.
“What the fuck?” I glanced around, trying to spot where the shot had come from. I thought I’d hidden myself extra carefully, where nobody would be able to spot me, but clearly some fucker had. “Who’s there?”
There was a soft chuckle, and I spun around on my hands and knees, with my own NERF gun in hand, trying to figure out where they were. When I’d suggested a second annual family Christmas NERF war, I hadn’t expected everyone to take it so seriously. But I was still going to win, because I wanted that crown.
Another crack and another pellet struck my thigh, making me wince and curse. Who the fuck had developed SAS level sniping skills this year? Then it hit me. There was one person here who hadn’t been last year… someone sweet and innocent looking. Someone with a well of hidden depths. Someone who had no problem with teasing me.
“Tristan Rose! I know it’s you,” I said as I slowly stuck my head over the end of the sofa I was shielding behind, trying to work out where he’d come from. Mum and Mimble’s house was a warren of rooms, and I’d thought I’d been sneaky hiding in the living room because although it had two doors, one was blocked by their enormous Christmas tree. Which meant Tristan had to be in here with me. “Where are you?”
Another chuckle. It seemed to be coming from the armchair on the other side of the room. I would bet my favourite shoes that if Tristan leant out from behind one side, he’d be able to see my butt.
Sneaky bastard. I wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed or impressed.
A third pellet hit my chest, extraordinarily close to my nipple. I howled and jumped to my feet, even though I knew it would expose me.
Which was why I wasn’t surprised when a fourth hit me straight in the chest.
“Tristan Rose, you’re a bastard and I hate you.”
“No you don’t,” Tristan said, his head popping up from around the armchair. “You love me very much. You’re just cross because you’re losing.”
“I’m not!” I was but I wasn’t going to say that. Technically the only rules were no shots to the face or genitals, and you were out if you got hit 10 times or surrendered. I’d been hit five times so far, because Lewis had hit me in the arm before I’d dived for cover.
I wasn’t even sure where the rest of my family were, but they were not my current concern. I’d deal with Tristan first and whoever was left later.
“Yes, you are.” He gave me a soft smile that caught me off guard. Then he winked, pulled out the NERF sniper that I already regretted giving him, and shot me. Twice. “Yippee Ki-Yay motherfucker.”
I fell back on the floor laughing, not even mad about it.
. . .
Edward and Izzy
From Charisma Check
“Are you ready?” I asked as we reached the front door of my parents’ house.
“Yes, darling, I’m fine,” Edward said, looking more calm than I did. I hadn’t been home for Christmas for the past couple of years, but this year both my mum and my granny had put their foot down and told me I had to bring Edward for Christmas.
I’d been nervous to suggest it because I was worried about how Edward would cope with a big family Christmas, since most of his relatives were dickheads, but he’d just smiled and said that would be lovely. I wasn’t sure if I believed him, or if he was just saying it to appear polite.
Either way, it was too late now. We were here, and there was no backing out.
The front door swung open and my granny appeared, grinning up at me, her eyes glittering behind her glasses. She was at least a foot shorter than me, but that didn’t matter.
“You took your time then,” she said as she opened her arms.
“Traffic was a nightmare,” I said, giving her an enormous hug. “I did my best.”
“You just want to keep that lovely man of yours all to yourself,” granny said. She slipped past me and walked up to Edward. They’d met a couple of times, but it still made me happy seeing my two favourite people in one place. “Hello my love, you’re looking well. This is very pretty.” She patted Edward’s red and gold coat – his Christmas coat as he called it.
“Thank you. I rather love this one,” Edward said, bending down to brush a kiss against her cheek. “And you look beautiful as always.” Granny flushed.
“You’re a charmer, you are.” She took his arm and led him towards the house. “Isaac, be a good boy and get the bags in.”
“Isaac?” I stared at her as she and Edward walked past. “What did I do wrong?”
Shaking my head, I went and fetched our bags from the back of the car, staggering inside with them. My dad stuck his head out of the sitting room and gave me a nod.
“Your man’s in the kitchen with your mum, granny, auntie Sandra, and auntie Lou.”
There was some raucous laughter from the kitchen and I smiled. “Yeah, I figured they’d kidnap him.”
“Yeah.” Dad nodded. “You want to join me? I’ve got the football on.”
I glanced at the kitchen again, realising that I probably wouldn’t see Edward for another hour while my family lovingly questioned him about everything that had happened since they’d last seen him. “Yeah. Football sounds good.”
The second half had just started when Edward appeared, wearing a weary smile as he flopped down on the sofa next to me. I put my arm around him to pull him in close. “You okay?”
“I think so,” he said quietly. “Your mum and your auntie Lou just nipped to Tesco. I think your mum is afraid she hasn’t got enough nibbles for the party later.”
“Yes, apparently there’s a Christmas party later? I didn’t know, so I didn’t bring anything to wear.”
“Party’s news to me,” I said, watching as Christian King passed the ball smoothly across the pitch. He’d always been cute but as he was getting older, he’d progressed into handsome. Edward sometimes teased me about my crush, but had agreed that Christian had lovely legs.
“Yeah,” dad said from his armchair. “Mum’s throwing a party since you’re home, wants everyone to see you and meet Edward. She’s happy you’re back for a bit.” He glanced away from the TV and smiled at me. “I am too. It’s nice to have both of you.”
We turned back to the match, and Edward tilted his head up to whisper in my ear. “I know you were worried, but don’t be. Your family is lovely, and I’m so glad we came.”
I smiled and pulled him in closer, kissing the top of his head, as a warm, relaxed feeling spread through my chest.
. . .
Connor and Patrick
From Strawberry Kisses
The kitchen door swung open just as I closed the oven door after sliding an enormous tray of potatoes onto the middle shelf. Patrick and I had decided just to have a quiet Christmas with just the two of us, because he had to work, so I had volunteered to make a small roast dinner.
Only I wasn’t sure it was going to end up being that small. Mostly because the butcher had given us three ribs of beef instead of two. We were going to be swimming in cold beef for days.
“Hey babe,” I said, turning to face my beloved chef who was just locking the door behind him. “How was service? Did everyone like the gingerbread pub?”
“It was good,” Patrick said. He was smiling and didn’t look as tired as I thought he would. He walked over and pressed a kiss to my cheek. “Everyone loved the gingerbread pub – there wasn’t any left. And Ianto and Rhys came for lunch with their granddad.”
“Aww, Ben must have been happy.” Patrick had regaled me with bits and bobs of Ben’s love story, but I’d seen it for myself when I’d helped out at the pub for a few shifts at the start of the week. Watching Ben kiss his man in the middle of the restaurant had just melted my heart.
I couldn’t imagine a more perfect couple than Ben and Ianto, and I was so happy to see them together.
“He was,” Patrick said, scooping up the President who’d come to wrap his enormous, fluffy self around Patrick’s legs, purring like a steam train. “He was the happiest I’d ever seen him at Christmas.”
“And considering Ben’s approach to Christmas is…” – I tried to think of a polite way to phrase it – “gloomy at best, that’s saying something.”
Patrick chuckled and wrapped one arm around me, still cradling the President in the other. Our family might have been small, but it was perfect, and I couldn’t wait until next summer and our wedding.
“Just think,” I said, giving Patrick a kiss. “This time next year, you’ll be my husband.”
“Mmm, that sounds nice.” Patrick smiled softly and kissed me again. “I like the sound of that.”
“Good. I’d be a bit upset if you weren’t.” I grinned. “Now, the potatoes are in and I’m just going to peel some carrots. Why don’t you go and grab a quick shower and then you can come and talk to me while I finish dinner?”
“I could help.”
“Nope,” I said. “I’m cooking. You are to do nothing except sit and look pretty. And maybe keep my wine glass full.”
“I can do that.” Patrick kissed my cheek and then gently placed the cat on the floor, who looked very upset at the idea of having to use his paws again. “By the way, I have another present for you later.”
“What?” I stared at him. “But you already gave me loads!” Patrick had bought me new clothes, new shoes and new makeup already, he couldn’t have got me anything else.
Well, obviously he had. But he shouldn’t have.
Patrick shrugged. “You’re my fiance, it’s my job to spoil you rotten.”
“Have I ever told you how much I love you?” I asked. “Because I do love you alot.”
“I love you too.” Patrick smiled and kissed me again. “Merry Christmas Connor.”
“Merry Christmas babe.”