Christmas With Family

Chirstmas With Family
Sequel to Flight To Paradise
By Sarah
Chapter 10

        Sarah watched AJ go, then looked back at Brian, who had a similar look of confusion on his face.
        "Was it just me or did AJ just act responsibly all day, then leave us alone when you glared at him?"  Sarah asked Brian.
        Brian nodded and wrapped his arm around the small of her back, bending his head and resting it on her shoulder.  "Yeah, he did.  That scared me."
        "Me too."
        Sarah looked down at Katie, who was gurgling and blabbering a mile a minute, reaching up and tugging on her necklace.  Sarah smiled and walked to the fridgerator, opening it and taking out Katie’s dinner.  She sat down at the counter and pried open the jar of baby food, placing it in front of her and taking the baby spoon out of the drawer behind her.  She proceeded to feed Katie, who smiled and giggled as she devoured the puree substance happily.
        "You’d think she enjoyed that stuff," Brian said, walking up behind Sarah and watching over her shoulder.
        "But she does," Sarah said, spooning more into Katie’s mouth.  "Just like you did when you were a baby."
        Brian shook his head and Sarah saw a disgusted look on his face out of the corner of her eye.  "No way, that stuff looks worse than I bet it tastes."
        Sarah glanced at him quickly, then set down the spoon and grabbed a napkin, wiping a little food off of Katie’s chin.  "You mean to tell me that you’ve never really tried this stuff?  I bet you have, you just don’t realize it."
        Brian looked at her strangely and Sarah tried to control her laughter as she picked up the spoon and dipped it in the small jar, then brought it to Katie’s mouth.  "Of course not, that is disgusting," Brian said.
        Sarah chuckled and Katie finished the jar.  She handed the baby to Brian and got up, carrying the jar and the spoon to the sink, washing them both.  She set them in the drain and turned to see Brian washing Katie’s hands and face carefully, humming quietly to her.  Sarah stood back and smiled, watching.  When Brian was finished cleaning the baby off, he rubbed her back gently, still humming, and walked slowly to the living room with her.        Sarah followed and watched as Brian sat in the recliner with Katie, still humming as she yawned and relaxed against him, no longer kicking her legs and giggling.  Sarah watched from the doorway as Katie fell asleep against Brian’s chest, clinging lightly to the chain of his gold cross.
        "You know, I think you have a special touch when it comes to babies," Sarah whispered as she came up behind him.
        Brian looked up at her and smiled.  "I don’t know, she just is so sweet and cooperative, I just somehow knew that she would do that, she just fell right asleep."
        Sarah nodded and sat on the arm of the chair, carefully reaching forward and smoothing the short, soft hair of Katie’s head down, trying unsuccessfully to straighten the curls she’d inherited from her father.  She leaned forward and kissed Katie lightly, then kissed Brian.
        "I’ll go put her upstairs, I’ll be right back," Brian finally whispered.
        Sarah nodded and got up, watching as Brian walked quietly out of the room.  She sat on the couch, thinking about the night before and what they’d done, along with what they’d done that morning.  ‘First, breakfast in bed, then he sang to me, and then he had to pull me into the shower with him, he just had to,’ Sarah thought, running her hands through her hair at the memory.  He definitely made her feel different, he’d made her feel complete and whole, and he made her realize that she was almost empty when he was away.  She didn’t want him to ever stop loving her the way he was, he showered her with endless affection, just like he did when they spent the week together a few years ago.
        "Sarah?  Are you ok, honey, you looked lost on another planet," Brian asked as he came back in the room, making Sarah jump slightly in surprise.
        "Uh, no, I mean, yes, I’m fine," Sarah replied quickly, looking up at him where he was standing behind her, on the other side of the couch.  She smiled up at him and saw him return the smile.  "Why do you ask?"  She inquired.
        Brian hopped over the top of the couch and plopped next to her, pulling her into his lap and tickling her waist quickly.  "No real reason, I just wanted to see you smile," he said, laughing.
        Sarah squirmed and tried to wriggle out of his grasp, but he wouldn’t let her.  She laughed hysterically as his hands tickled her sides and ribs, tingling sensations shooting though her body, both pleasure and humor.
        "Stop, stop, I can’t breath!"  Sarah exclaimed through fits of giggles.  He slowed his pace and finally stopped, helping her sit up as she breathed heavily.  She leaned her head on his shoulder and took a few deep breaths, practically sighing.
        "Baby?"  Brian asked.  Sarah looked up as his lips met hers.  "I love you," he whispered, kissing her again, deeper.  Sarah got involved in the kiss with him, the passion from the night before resurfacing as his hand ran down her waist and to the top of her thigh, lifting her legs and pulling her closer.  They were too preoccupied to notice as Jackie, Harold, Nick, and Maggie came in the room.
        "Ahem, Brian, Sarah."
        Sarah broke apart from Brian and looked behind them where everyone was standing in the doorway.
        "Oh, sorry," she mumbled, clambering off Brian’s lap and walking around the couch to everyone.  She felt herself blushing as she tried to get into the hallway past them, going to the kitchen and out the backdoor and into the chilly night.  She hugged herself as the cool December air hit her and sat in a lawn chair.  She was at least thankful that they couldn’t see where Brian’s hand was, they were hidden from view by the top of the couch.  She sighed as she looked up at the near-full moon, remembering from the calendar that hanged in the library above the desk where the fax machine was sitting that the full moon was on Christmas that year.
        It was Christmas Eve.
        Sarah shivered again and heard the sliding door open behind her and a blanket draped over her shoulders.
        "You shouldn’t be out here, you could get sick," Brian said, hugging her from behind.
        Sarah smiled contentedly, closed her eyes, and leaned her head on Brian’s arm.  "But its so beautiful out," she said quietly, opening her eyes and looking back up at the moon.
        "Still, baby, come inside," he said, standing up and walking in front of her, blocking her view of the moon.
Sarah sighed and started getting up when Brian grabbed her hands and pulled her to her feet.  Sarah lost her balance and fell forward into Brian’s arms.
        "How did I know you were going to do that?"  He asked her hypothetically, wrapping her in his arms.  Sarah relaxed against his touch and sighed again.
        "I don’t know, I think it’s just that you know me too well," she said teasingly, pulling away from him.  Brian smiled and kissed her forehead, then wrapped the blanket around her again.  He sat on the lounge chair she was just in and pulled her into his lap, wrapping his overcoat and the blanket around her, making her curl up on his lap.
        "Nah, I just knew," Brian said, smiling.
        Sarah smiled and rested her head in the crook of his neck, closing her eyes and relaxing in his embrace, listening as he breathed, smelling his cologne that drove her senses up a wall.
        "Brian?  Sarah?"
        Sarah opened her eyes and saw Nick standing in the doorway.
        "I’d hate to interrupt you two, but dinner’s ready, and Brian, you have a phone call," Nick said, almost tentatively.  He walked back inside, closing the sliding door behind him without another word.
        Brian and Sarah looked at each other, shrugged, then got up.  They walked inside together, Sarah leading the way.  She walked into the dining room and sat at the table while Brian walked into the kitchen and picked up the phone.
        "Sarah, where did you and Brian go last night?"  Jackie asked her as she placed dinner on the table.
        Sarah looked down at her lap, then around the room.  There was no one else in there, they were alone.  ‘Maybe I can tell her, we’ve been able to talk before, although I don’t believe our private sex lives have ever become a topic before.  Its not like I’m going to go into details, but still.’  She took a deep breath and looked back up at Jackie.
        "We went out for some time alone, we kinda needed it," Sarah said hesitantly.  She saw Jackie nod and nearly sighed with relief, she knew she wouldn’t press for more than anything she didn’t want to say, but it was a sensitive subject.
        "Sarah, honey, could you pick up the extension in the living room?"  Brian called from the kitchen.  Sarah stood up and walked down the hall and into the living room, sitting on the couch and picking up the phone, holding it to her ear.
        "What’s up, Brian?"  Sarah asked, curling her legs under her and getting comfortable.
        "Hey, Sarah, its Kevin."
        "Oh, hi, Kevin, what’s up?"
        "Umm, Sarah, could you do me a really big favor?"  Kevin asked haltingly.
        "Depends on what it is," Sarah said cautiously, listening for him to answer.
        "Well, I know how close you and Nick are and everything, do you two still talk a lot?"
        Sarah furrowed her eyebrows and nodded.  "Yeah, I was talking to him today, in fact."
        "How is he?  And Maggie and Sheryl?"  Kevin asked quietly.
        Sarah bit her lip, unsure if she should tell him.  Her honest side won over and she took a deep breath.          "Maggie’s ok, but Sheryl…" She couldn’t quite finish what she wanted to say, it was stuck in her throat, it was so difficult to tell someone something like that.
        "Sheryl left him, Kevin," Brian finally interjected after a few moments.  Sarah winced and braced herself for Kevin’s explosion.  It never came.
        "I know, are Nick and Maggie ok?"  Kevin asked.
        "You might say that," Sarah said slowly.  She could hear him breathing slightly heavy, angry.  She knew that   Kevin was still protective of everyone that was in the group, he was the oldest and he still felt that fatherly instinct inside.  He was always especially protective of Nick and, even though Nick practically pushed him away, he still felt very responsible over him and protective, unable to not care.
        "What happened, Sarah, he’s my little brother, this can’t be happening, not to Nick," Kevin said, anxiety seeping in his voice.
        Sarah took a deep breath of her own and explained slowly, making everything as clear as possible.  She heard Nick and Maggie coming down the stairs behind her as she finished explaining and suddenly felt panicked.
        "I’ll be right back," she said into the phone.  She put it on the cradle and stood up, walking over to Nick and Maggie, smiling.
        "Aunt Sarah!  Guess what?"  Maggie exclaimed, running into Sarah’s arms.
        "What, Maggie?"  Sarah asked, letting a more relaxed smile come over her face.  She carried the little girl into the dining room and sat her in the chair reserved for her with the booster seat so she could reach the table.
        "Daddy took me to the toy store and he got me a big tiger like in New York!"  Maggie exclaimed, grabbing the cup of water as it was set in front of her by Jackie.
        Sarah looked up at Nick and raised her eyebrows.  "Hey, what did you want me to do, she wanted it," Nick said in defense.
        Sarah shook her head and knelt down next to Maggie’s chair, looking at the little girl’s bright blue-green eyes and contrasting black hair.  She could see a younger version of Sheryl, except Sheryl’s eyes were violet instead of ocean blue.  Maggie’s eyes shone back at Sarah, looking just like Nick’s eyes when he wanted something and was about to get it, a mischievous look that made Sarah laugh.
        "And what else did Daddy get you?"  Sarah asked her.
        "A new doll, a basketball, a new video game, a new teddy bear, another board game," Maggie said, ticking things off on her fingers, looking up at the ceiling and thinking.
        Sarah cut her off and looked at Nick, who looked down at the ground, trying to avoid Sarah's glance.  Sarah shook her head and went into the kitchen where Brian was still talking to Kevin on the phone.
        "Yeah, ok, I’ll see you tomorrow, Kev.  Ok, give my best to Elaina.  Bye," Brian said a few moments later.      He hung up the phone and pulled Sarah into his arms, holding her head against his shoulder.
        "I just wish this could go away," Brian said in her ear, running his hands through her hair.
        Sarah smiled and threaded the curls on the back of his head through her fingers.  "Me too, but its almost over.  Tomorrow’s Christmas," she said, her smile growing wider with the thought.
        "Yeah, Christmas, I can’t wait, Katie’s first Christmas," Brian said, pulling away and looking in Sarah’s eyes.  He kissed her forehead and led her to the dining room where they sat down and prayed before starting dinner.

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