Bex and Rhys

Our First Christmas




Christmas Day was always chock full of excitement for the twins. Between Santa, the mound of brightly wrapped presents, the obscene amount of food, including mountains of sugar, Christmas was simply unbeatable. 


This year, Christmas was on steroids.


We moved into our new house a week before Christmas. I got back together with Rebecca and moved her in with us a few days before Christmas. Rebecca came with a dog which was uber exciting. And, to top it off, Rebecca gave the children a dog of their own.


Now, the first few days after Christmas? Those were usually a bit hairy. This year, after the amount of upheaval and excitement, the late nights and early mornings, those days were unbearable.


By the time Thursday rolled around, I was more than ready to drop the kids off at my parents’ place. At their request, we would continue our routine of having the children stay with them on Thursday and Friday nights. Now that I had Rebecca, I treasured that time even more.


When I dropped Amelie and Cole off Thursday afternoon, I didn’t even take the key out of the ignition, just watched them trudge up to the door and gave my mom a wave and a grin as she stood in the doorway, laughing.


Despite my plans, Thursday night found Rebecca and me too tired to do much of anything except hold hands in our bed.


Our bed. 


I never thought there would come a day when I’d share my bed and my home, never mind my children. I still couldn’t believe she was here. It would take a while to get used to it. That was understandable: we did have a near miss. 


When I woke up Friday morning, the house was quiet. I wrapped my arm around Rebecca’s waist and pulled her back against my chest. 


She nestled in. After a moment, she arched, pressing her ass into my groin. I brushed my lips across the nape of her neck. 


“Mm,” she hummed.


I grinned. I could wake up like this every day.


That happy thought lasted about two point nine seconds before the puppy began to yap. 




I groaned. 


Rebecca laughed and rolled out of bed. 


I caught her around her waist. “Snuggle in for a few more minutes. I’ll let them out and put the coffee on.” I kissed her cheek. “I’ll see you downstairs.”


Sitting at the table having our coffee, I gently tugged her hands towards me and lay them flat on the table between us. She no longer wore her husband’s rings on any fingers. I noticed that right away, the first night we were home.


She was ready to wear my ring.


I touched her bare ring finger and noted the widening of her eyes and the flush of her cheeks. She found it a wonder that I could read her. It wasn’t hard. She was so very expressive.


“Let’s go get something to cover this, hmm?”


Three hours later, cocooned once again in the cab of my truck, I blasted the heat for her.

She sat with her hand twitching in mine. I could feel the excitement bouncing off her. Every few minutes she pulled her hand away, held it up to look at her ring, then slid her hand back in between my palm and my thigh. 


I chuckled. When she went to tug it free again, I closed my fingers around hers and refused to release her. She laughed and I slanted a grin at her. She squeezed me back and relaxed her hand underneath mine.


I headed to The Works, the first restaurant we ever went to. Rebecca sniffed when I parked.  She liked to put up a sassy front, but she was sweetness personified. 


“Good choice?”


She swiped her fingers under her eyes and I caught the flash of the diamond. Seeing my ring on her finger went a long way to soothing that nagging fear of potential loss. It might take a while for me to settle into our new reality.


“Great choice,” she snuffled.


“Sit tight. I’m coming around to get you.”


Walking around the truck, I thought back to the days when she was wary of even the slightest touch. Thank God, those days were behind us.


After dinner, I was more than ready to take her home. I wanted, needed, her under me. I needed to be careful with her fibromyalgia, but after our marathon rest day yesterday, I was reasonably sure she was in a good place.


I calculated how much time it would take to get home.


Twenty minutes.


Then she was going to be in an even better place.


Inside the house, I kissed her ring finger and then the delicate skin on the inside of her wrist. I heard her long inhale as I brushed my lips across her pulse.


“I’ll look after the dogs. Go on upstairs.”


She looked confused and I gave her a pointed look. “Don’t sleep.”


She smiled happily and pointed at me. “That’s what I’m talking about! After last night, I thought I hitched my wagon to an old fogey.”


I quirked an eyebrow. “Hitched your wagon?”


“Yeah!” She defended. “It’s a thing people say.”


“What people? Old people? Old fogeys? Like you, maybe?”


She patted my cheek. “It’s okay, handsome. I still love you even though you’re old and worn out.” She laughed as she scooted out of my reach.


“You’re asking for it, sweetness,” I warned.


She nodded as she started up the stairs. Looking over her shoulder, she winked. “You’re right. I am!”


I made to run after her and she skipped up the stairs, laughing. She had the upper hand knowing I had to see to the dogs first. I looked after them, put them into their little beds, and barreled up the stairs with plans to make my pint-sized vixen submit.


I sauntered into the room and came to a full stop, my heart suddenly in my throat. 


Rebecca sat on her folded knees in the middle of our bed. She wore a white, frothy, slip of lace that made a man want to worship, not dominate. 


I stood unmoving, giving my eyes free rein to take her in.


“I thought white was appropriate for tonight.” She lifted the hem of her negligee and dropped it again. “You know, white for weddings. Because we’re having one. Soon, I hope. I’m not stuck on soon. We can wait if you want. Personally, I don’t see the point in waiting, and I think it’ll be fun for Cole and Amelie. It’ll be really good for your parents and your brother to see that we mean business, that I’m not going to flake out on you…”


“Rebecca,” I whispered, and she met my eyes, her barrage of words, for the moment, dammed. I smiled at her, my heart all kinds of tender. “Stop talking.”


She snorted out a laugh, and her shoulders relaxed.


She babbled when she was nervous. It was one of her earliest tells. Perhaps my favorite. 


I headed towards her, reaching back and pulling my sweater over my head as I walked.


Her eyes roamed over my chest and she rose up on her knees as I got closer. 


With one hand, I flicked open my jeans, then pushed them down my legs and stepped out of them.


Holding out my hands, I beckoned for hers and she placed her hands in mine. I held her arms wide and took her in.


“You are beautiful, Rebecca.” I placed her palms on my chest and ran my hands lightly down her arms to her shoulders. I was in awe of the second chance I’d been given.  I whispered, “You’re going to make the most beautiful bride.”


She smiled into my eyes.


I leaned down, gathered the bottom hem of her nightie, lifted it carefully over her head, then tossed it onto the bottom of our bed. I was momentarily speechless. “It’s the gift that keeps on giving,” I murmured appreciatively.


I thought she’d be naked underneath. She wasn’t.


“Wait until you see the shoes,” she teased.


I leaned to the side, took in her footwear, and tackled her to the bed as she cackled gleefully.


I took her again, worshiping her the way she deserved, in the morning. 


Afterward, we showered together and I helped her blow dry her hair to conserve her energy.


We ate a late breakfast, then headed out to my parent's place for the afternoon.


“I hope they’re calmer, now,” I growled.


She laughed. “They will be. They’ve been away from their new toys and their dogs for the past two days. They’ll be happy to come home and play with all their new things. Besides, we have a family movie night planned for tonight. By the time we get home from your mom’s, it’ll be almost time to cuddle up.”


She amazed me. “You’ve got it all planned out, haven’t you?”


“I’m not just a pretty face, you know!”


We pulled in the driveway and I caught sight of my brother grinning at me from the front yard, a twin on either side.


“Rebecca,” I instructed. “I’ll get as close to the house as I can. Open your door and run like hell for the front door.”


“What? Why?” She sounded shocked then scanned the yard. Laughing, she slowly opened the door. “It’s not me they want, it’s you.” She jumped down and started walking nonchalantly towards the front door. 


She waved to the kids who grinned and waved back. Amelie moved to run to her but Barrett halted her as he lifted a hand to acknowledge Rebecca.


At the door, Rebecca turned and waved at me. “Good luck, handsome!”


I stepped out of the truck.


As soon as I closed my door, Barrett and the twins ran forward about ten feet, stopping behind a mound of snow I had not noticed. They bent down quickly, and when they rose, they were loaded with snowballs that they let fly. 


“You stockpiled! This is an ambush!” I roared as I bent to scoop up a snowball.


For every snowball I managed to throw at them, they launched ten back at me. Finally, knowing I had no other recourse, I charged forward and scooped up Amelie.


“Hostage! I have taken your sniper as hostage!” 


Barrett grabbed Cole by his collar when he moved to chase me. “Regroup! Cole, we’ve got to regroup to save Amelie!”


By the time they saved Amelie, there was no fight left in them. They ate their vegetables, drank their water, and downed their chicken which went a long way to rebalance their blood sugar.


In all that time, Jeanie did not notice the ring on Rebecca’s finger.


It took Amelie, who could spot something shiny at forty paces, to point it out.


“Daddy, did you buy Rebecca another present?” She asked, pointing to Rebecca’s hand.


I wished I could take in all their faces at once, but I could not, so I focused on Amelie and my mom.


“Yup, I did.”


“Is that…” My mom was afraid to voice what she most certainly knew.


“Yup, it is.”


My mom slapped both her hands over her cheeks then turned to press her face into my dad’s chest. He chuckled as he wrapped his arms around her.


“Aw, you’ve got a new daughter, Jeanie. We’ve got a new daughter.”


Amelie pondered the new information, her tiny brow wrinkled in concentration. “Is that a marriage ring?”


“Yes, Amelie,” I answered.


Amelie tore her eyes away from the shiny bauble. “Is Rebecca going to marry us?”


I heard Rebecca sniff beside me and I took her hand in mine to steady her. 


My mom pulled in a shuddering breath. 


“Yes, Amelie. She is,” I answered again, carefully watching the myriad of emotions skittering across her little face. 


I snuck a glance at Cole. His eyes were also on his sister.


Her eyes skittered back and forth between her brother and her grandmother. She finally decided on her grandmother. She cocked her little blond head to the side, her pigtails swaying.


“Is she going to be our mom?”


My mom’s eyes flew to Rebecca and Amelie followed her cue. 


Turning to Rebecca, she asked again, “Are you going to be our mother?”


Rebecca swallowed audibly. “Well, that depends.” 


I felt, rather than saw, Barrett stiffen.


Rebecca continued. “When two people get married, it’s usually because one person asks and one person says yes. In the end, they both have to want it.” 


“How did my dad ask?”


Rebecca looked taken aback for a moment, then she laughed. “He, um, he gave me a ring.”


“He didn’t ask?”


Rebecca laughed again. “Not with words. He asked by giving me a ring that goes on my marriage finger.”


“Are you going to ask us?” Cole interrupted.


Rebecca shrugged. “I already did. I asked you when I told you I’d never leave you. I asked you again when I gave you the special compass necklace that will point you towards your family, always.”


Cole nodded slowly, then looked at Amelie. He gave her a tiny nod.


She looked back at Rebecca and revealed her gap-toothed grin. 


“We accept.”


Barrett blew out a breath beside me, and I laughed as he slapped me on the back. He turned to fistbump Cole, and murmured, “Don’t worry, buddy. The boys still outnumber the girls.