Christmas With Family
Chirstmas With Family
Sequel to Flight To Paradise
Brian smiled at Sarah as they started cleaning up together. She smiled
back and looked back down at the plates she was rinsing before putting
them in the dishwasher. He bit his lip and handed her the last plate,
then waited until she finished rinsing it off. He watched as she
turned off the water and dry off her hands before wrapping his arms around
her waist from behind. He kissed her neck lightly, trailing down
her neck until he reached her collarbone. He smiled as her head rolled
to the side and a small moan came from her throat. He sucked on her
skin softly and ran his hands down her waist and to her hips, pushing her
body back against him. He felt her hands run down his arms and to
his hands as she tried to pull away from him.
"Brian, we have guests," she managed to say.
Brian smiled and moved his kisses to her face, keeping his lips centimeters
from hers. "They arenít in this room at the moment, now are they?"
He asked hypothetically. He kissed her, slowly turning her body towards
his and hugging her. He ran his fingers through her hair and deepened
"Whoa, nevermind!" AJ said, coming in the kitchen, then hurrying
Brian and Sarah broke apart and he looked at her before both of them started
"Oops, I think we might want to go join everyone else," Brian said.
"Yeah, we might want to," Sarah said, moving away from him, her smile not
disappearing. Brian took her hand and led her out into the living room,
pulling her onto his lap in what heíd declared as Ďtheirí chair.
"Ok, now that we have everyone here," Brianís mother started, looking at
Sarah and Brian, who both blushed.
"Mommy! Now can we?" Little Brian asked, running up to the
two and jumping onto Sarahís lap.
"Now can you what?" Brian asked, looking at his sonís excited face,
then at his wifeís smiling face as she held her finger to her lips.
"Nothing, Brian. Baby, why donít you let everyone digest their food,
then we will, ok?" Sarah said, fingering Brianís baby curls gently,
threading them through her fingers. Brian nearly laughed as his son
nodded eagerly, grinning widely, and jumped off his wifeís lap and running
back across the room to his grandmother.
"As I was saying," the woman said, smiling as Brian climbed in her lap
again. "Now that we have everyone here, I suggest we catch up.
Such as, where on earth have you been for the last year, Howie? Iíve
heard nothing from you or anyone else for the longest time!"
Howie laughed. "Well, Iíve been in Europe with Sonya and little James,
producing a Latin hits album and Sonya has been taking pictures of all
the designs on the runways in Paris, Milan, and London. Weíve been
having fun, but we decided to both take a break while James grows up, maybe
just staying in Orlando for a few years," he explained, smiling at his
wife, and then down at the baby sleeping in his arms. Brian couldnít
help but smile at his friend, there was a happiness surrounding Howie and
his family that was missing before, a happiness that showed just what had
been missing to him for the years before he met Sonya.
"James? Did you by chance name him after our very own Alexander James
McLean?" Kevin asked, bouncing Courtney on his knee.
"Indeed we did. I couldnít let the world go without another AJ, even
if it is only the middle name, my best friend is somewhere in there," Howie
said, looking at AJ.
AJ threw his hands up in the air. "Well, ya know, youíre gonna make
me cry!" He said jokingly, pretending to wipe his eyes.
Brian smiled. "Look out, the water works are starting!" He
AJ tossed a pillow at him and Sarah caught it. "Children, behave
or youíre going to your rooms," she said, feigning seriousness, though
Brian could see the smile threatening to show itself.
"Yes, Mom," Brian and AJ chorused unhappily. That was all it took
for Sarahís smile to show, along with everyoneís laughter.
"Ok, ok, now that Mommy Sarah has the room under control," Howie said,
grinning in Sarahís direction. "What about you, Bone, whatís been
going on with you and Andrea and why is she not here?" He asked.
"Well, Andrea and I are fine, we have two kids and a third on the way.
The twins are Andrew and DJ, weíre hoping the next baby will be a girl.
Andrea didnít want to come on this trip, sheís in her sixth month and sheís
convinced that she is as large as the Goodyear blimp," AJ explained calmly.
"I know how that feels," Sarah, Sonya, and Elaina all said at the same
time. The three laughed.
"I really do, not too long ago I was feeling that way," Sonya said, gently
rubbing Jamesí head.
"Me too," Sarah said, looking over at Katie who was being held by Brianís
"I am feeling that way!" Elaina exclaimed, rubbing her stomach.
Everyone laughed. "How far along are you, Elaina?" AJ asked.
"Iím in my eight month, I wasnít suppose to fly, but we had no choice.
I was not sitting in a car for a day and a half with those five, no way.
No offense, guys, I just canít be in a car for that long," Elaina said,
gesturing to Brian, Sarah, Kevin, Brian, and Katie.
"Totally understandable," Sarah said. "Imagine Brian, his son, and
me, pregnant to nearly nine months, in a car ride all day all over Florida.
Never again am I going to spend more than an hour in a car with them two,"
Everyone laughed, then Brian stopped. "Hey, wait a sec, youíre talking
about me!" He said, looking down at Sarah.
"Yeah, and?" Sarah asked innocently.
Brian tickled her waist. "Quiet, Miss Innocent, youíre sitting on
my lap," he warned her, gathering her in his arms and picking her up.
"Ahh, Brian, put me down!" Sarah exclaimed, wrapping her arms around
Brian chuckled and set her down, pulling
her close. "I love you," he whispered in her ear.
"Ok, now that the peanut gallery is done with their show," AJ said, raising
his eyebrows to Brian. Brian looked around the room, feigning ignorance.
"What about the peanut gallery, though? I havenít heard anything
about any of you, whatís been going on with you two?" Howie asked,
Brian looked at him. "Well, Brian turned five in July and Katie will
turn one in February. My company is doing great, we recently signed
another group, and Sarah has been busy with the work for the duet sheís
doing with AJís friend. Thatís pretty much been our lives for the
last year," Brian said, suddenly realizing what little lives he and Sarah
really have because of their jobs and their children. It wasnít that
he regretted it, but heíd rather he and Sarah had more time together.
"Wow, and what about you, Kevy-Kev, whatís been up with you and Laney,
here?" Howie asked, looking next to him at the two.
"Well, Courtney here is seven, and the little boy Iím going to have is
going to be born in about a month," Elaina said, rubbing her stomach.
"You found out it was a boy?" Sarah asked.
"Correction, she thinks itís a boy, she wants it to be a boy, but we donít
know if it will be a boy," Kevin said.
"It will, I know it, and heís going to look just like you," Elaina insisted,
shaking her finger at Kevin. Brian chuckled at his cousinís expression,
he always gave in to Elaina, she had a way with making him give in.
"And what about you, Nicky boy, how come youíre so quiet? What have
you been up to? And whereís Sheryl?" Howie asked cheerfully,
not catching the looks from everyone in the room. Brian felt Sarahís
muscles tense and looked at Nick, watching his already pained face turn
into one of torture.
"UmmÖI think I better put Maggie to bed," Nick said quickly, standing up
and picking Maggie up off the floor. He hurried out of the room with
her, holding back tears.
"Iíll be right back," Sarah said, pushing herself up from Brianís lap and
running after Nick. Brian sighed and shook his head, rubbing his
eyes with the heels of his hands.
"Whoa, ok, what did I say?" Howie asked after a few minutes, looking
"There isnít any easy way to say this, so we should just say it," Brianís
"Sheryl left Nick and Maggie, Howie, sheís gone," Brian said.
Howieís mouth dropped open. "Wha-I mean, whenÖoh my, is Nick ok?"
He asked, starting to hand James to Sonya and stand up.
"Howie, wait," AJ said, holding out his hand. Howie sat back down
and AJ took a deep breath. "Nick is taking this hard, very hard,
and right now, the only thing that he needs is time and for us to support
him. Just be there for him, donít force him to talk, just let him
Howie nodded solemnly and Brian sighed.
Looking towards the doorway as Sarah came back in the room, wiping her
eyes. Brian could tell sheíd been crying, though she was doing a
fairly good job at covering it up, heíd always been able to tell when she
"Mommy?" Little Brian asked from the floor.
"Hey, baby," Sarah said, forcing a smile on her face and picking him up.
Brian smiled at his wife and son, watching as Sarah hugged him tightly,
rocking back and forth.
"Mommy, can we now?" He asked.
Sarah nodded. "Sure, baby, tell Daddy what weíre going to do," she
said, setting him down on the ground.
"Daddy, me and Mommy are going to sing a pretty Christmas song," Brian
Sarah laughed as she walked to the piano
sitting in the corner of the living room. "Tell him what its called,
Brian," she said.
"Candid Like Carob," Brian said proudly as he walked over to his mother.
Brian tried his hardest not to laugh and was rewarded by Sarahís amused
smile. "Brian, baby, I think you mean Candlelight Carol," she said
"Thatís what I said, Candid Like Carob," Brian insisted, climbing on the
piano bench. Brian let out a small chuckle and glanced at his mother,
whose shoulders were shaking with laughter as she looked next to her at
her husband. Brianís father was doing much the same, trying hard
to hold in laughter.
"Ok, are you ready?" Little Brian asked, finally comfortable on the
piano bench. "Ok, Mommy, theyíre ready, letís start," he said hurriedly
before anyone could answer him.
Sarah smiled and kissed Brian on the top of his head before carefully lifting
the cover off the top of the keys. "And now, as my son says, Candid
Like Carob," Sarah said. Brian smiled as his wife started playing,
then Brian started singing.
How do you capture the wind on the water?
How do you count all the stars in the
How can you measure the love of a mother?
And how can you write down a babyís
Brian felt like cheering as his son stopped, and then Sarah joined in with
Fire light and star glow.
Shine on his cradle till breaking of
In Excelsis Deo.
Angels are singing, the Christ child
Brian felt his already wide smile grow even wider and started clapping
as Sarah finished the chords and looked down at her son. Brian only
knew that theyíd sung together beautifully, and that Sarah
was right, Brian could sing. And he had a wonderful voice, at that.
"Brian, honey, that was so good!" Brianís mother exclaimed, crossing
the room to her grandchild.
"Thank you, Gramma," Brian said graciously, giving his grandmother a hug.
Brian stood and walked over to Sarah, taking her hands in his as she closed
the piano cover.
"I think the accompanist deserves some recognition as well," he said quietly.
Sarah smiled and looked in his eyes. "I get recognition from you
everytime I look in your eyes and see the same person I fell in love with
eight years ago," she said quietly.
Brianís smile softened and he leaned forward, kissing her gently, then
leaning his forehead on hers. He sighed as he heard the phone ringing.
"Who on earth could that be?" His mother said, standing up.
Brian heard her walking to the kitchen, then heard the doorbell ring.
"Argg, Iíll get it," Sarah said, letting go of Brianís hands and standing
up. He sat back against the piano as the two women both let out excited
"Jane!" They both said. Brianís mother hurried past the living
room as he stood and to the front door, holding the portable phone.
Brian walked to the front door and saw his wife engaging in a hug with
Jane, Nickís mother.
"Oh, itís so good to see you!" Sarah said, moving to Bob, Janeís
husband and Nickís father. Brian smiled as Sarah led the two inside,
letting in a tall blond guy.
"Aaron, my goodness!" Sarah said, closing the door behind him.
Aaron grinned, making Brian think instantly of his brother. "Hey,
Brian chuckled as Aaron bent down slightly to hug Sarah. He was just
about as tall as his brother, probably falling right below Nickís six-foot,
two-inch frame. He looked back towards the living room as everyone
joined them in the foyer.
"Jane, Bob, Aaron, what brings you three here?" Kevin asked, greeting
"Honestly, Kevin, its Christmas, thereís no way we could miss out on Christmas
with everyone," Jane said, shrugging off her coat. Brian took it
from her, hanging it in the hall closet. He followed everyone to
the living room, pulling Sarah on his lap in their chair as they listened
to Jane and Bobís stories.