I couldn’t resist writing a Christmas story for Moira and Kiernan. I luff them. Lots. I hope you guys enjoy as much as I do! For those of you who haven’t read This Time Next Year, you might want to before you get into this, just sayin’.
This Time This Christmas
What do you get a vampire for Christmas?
Moira scoured half a dozen stores before stepping into Macy’s, but she'd grown desperate and the Big Red Star gleamed in the mall like a beacon of hope. At the moment, she stared at a gray argyle sweater, which would look good on Kiernan—he'd still look amazing in a garbage bag —but it didn’t have the right amount of oomph.
“Here’s an idea, sugarplum,” Tandy said. Poor thing was probably bored out of her mind. “Why not get yourself something he will like. Get it?”
She got it. In a flash, they were out of the Kingdom of Celebrity Endorsements and standing in front of every woman-loving person’s heaven. If she failed to find something in Victoria’s Secret to raise his…ahem…Christmas spirit, then this entire venture was a lost cause.
Before meeting Kiernan Shaw two years ago, she never would've bought something from here. If she came to the mall, she passed by the push-up bras and frilly underwear with jealous disdain. She pretended that paying outrageous sums of money for something no one saw was the dumbest idea when all she wanted was a good reason to own something that nice. Reason accomplished. Now to find something that’d make their first Christmas extra special.
And to thank him. The last year proved one of the most difficult as she made her transition. At times, she suspected she behaved like a drug addict coming off a favorite vice, except with enhanced strength and speed, but he’d been by her side exactly as he’d promised, and she couldn’t have been more grateful. With his help, she managed to do things like go Christmas shopping with her best friend and not worry about accidentally turning an innocent into a snack.
Tandy’s loud snort pulled her back to the here-and-now. She held something that looked like it’d lost a fight with an angry tiger and fingered the missing crotch of the low-slung leopard print bottoms. “Here it is!”
Moira cupped her hand over her mouth to keep from laughing. “Oh yeah. He’d never be able to resist that.” If he could even figure out what it was….
They perused more racks, cracking jokes and silently judging the women who actually looked at these “creations” like they were legitimate wardrobe choices. Toward the back of the store, she found a possible contender. “What do you think of this?”
Tandy took the hanger and held it up against Moira’s torso, sucking in her bottom lip like she always did when she was thinking. “I think this one could work, sugarplum. But you’re going to need a couple of things to go with it.”
The last year had definitely changed everything, especially the way Moira could celebrate holidays. Gone were well-wishes accompanied by lots of wine and champagne, replaced by the synthetic blood she’d learned to create—and somehow she’d managed to flavor some of it to take out that…iron-y taste. Blegh.
She topped off two glasses of chocolate AB+ and sat them on the bedside table. All around, she’d placed battery-operated candles, real fire was way too risky, and replaced their bedding with something more luxurious—the softest Egyptian cotton sheets she'd ever touched and a gorgeous embroidered comforter set. They needed more of the finer things in life. No point in living forever without enjoying everything the world offered.
She checked her reflection in the full-length bathroom mirror, grateful that the whole “No reflection” part of vampire lore wasn’t true. The slip fit her like a glove, the ruby color highlighting her ivory skin and bright red hair. A pair of white stockings enveloped her legs and led down to a pair of knee-high black stiletto boots. She adjusted the straps on the garter. Damn, vampirism is good for the thighs.
After placing the Santa hat on her straightened hair, she sat on the bed and waited.
Kiernan clutched the velvet box in his pocket like it was his lifeline. For the unconventional love of his afterlife, he’d scoured Albany for the most unique piece of jewelry available. After all, what good was forever if she looked like everyone else?
Turning the doorknob to their apartment, he shook his head. She was like no one else he’d ever known.
“Moira?” he called into their uncharacteristically silent home. She almost always had music playing, saying it was a result of Tandy’s all-hours painting routine, and she’d introduced him to some interesting artists and songs. Then it struck him—she was still out with said best friend, shopping. Some of the tension in his shoulders eased, and he took a deep breath to relax. A hot shower would wash away the rest of his anxiety, and maybe he’d concoct a better speech than the one currently in his mind.
When he walked into the bedroom, though, he was taken aback by the array of tiny tea light candles all across the room. As his vision settled, he made out the figure lying on the bed, a shit-eating--one of his favorite “modern” words--grin on her perfect pink lips. Bedecked in something that couldn’t pass as actual clothing, she wore a Santa hat on her head and the sexiest black boots he’d ever seen. He swallowed against his suddenly dry throat.
She held up a sprig of mistletoe above her body. “Merry Christmas, babe.”
It most definitely was.
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