Where Are You Christmas?

Part 11 in Thurmount Holiday (see the category  “Thurmount Holiday” for the other entries).

The carolers have regrouped at The Watsons’ for the usual round of finger foods, cookies and beverages. The eggnog must have been one of Thirsty’s extremely spiked versions because there seems to be a little more “folly” than holly or jolly going on.

As one form of upping my game, I have managed to have Blake corral Luanne, which didn’t take much persuasion; odd considering that fifteen minutes ago he was telling me that he would never find anyone prettier or funnier than me. If there’s an ADD that’s strictly limited to men and loyalty, he’s got it.

Now I just need to find Will.

“I’m not doing this anymore.” That’s unmistakably his voice. “I don’t want her to get hurt.”

“She’s not going to get hurt. No one’s going to get hurt.” Megan. Huh.

I peer into the kitchen. Megan is in Will’s face and they are just a tad too close for my liking. She strokes his face and my mouth falls open. (There’s a lot of that going on tonight.)

“What’s going on?” I ask.

If guilt needed an illustration in the dictionary, their expressions would be it.

“Nothing,” Will says.

“Everything,” Megan says. “It’s time you knew.”

Both Will and I say: “What?” I glance at him and frown.

Megan smiles. “Will and I like each other.”

“No. This is it. You women are just plain crazy,” Will says. He extricates himself from her grasp. “I’m not playing games anymore.”

“What did I do?” I ask.

He snorts. “You kissed Blake. We all saw it. You seemed to have forgotten that a couple of days ago you were going off about what a jerk he was, but tonight you’re pawing him.”

“I was not. That was an accident.”

“Your lips accidentally fell unto his?”

“Er, no. I was trying to kiss him on the cheek.”

“You need a biology lesson.”

“Oh, ha. I don’t understand why you’re upset with me. You seem to have every eligible female in a hundred yards hanging all over you.”

“Jealous?” he asks.

My eyes narrow at him. What game is he playing? What is going on?

“That’s what I thought,” he says.

“What? What’s what you thought?”

He leans down, our noses are almost touching, and my inside bits get squirmy with want. “You don’t want me, but you don’t want anyone else to want me either. That’s not how this is going to go,” he says and turns on the heel of his boot and leaves.

My mouth is hanging open again. Now I turn on my younger sister. “What was that about? What was that ‘Will and I like each other’-thing?”

“It was to make you jealous,” Megan admits.

“And Luanne?”

“Same thing. Will didn’t want to do it. He didn’t want to stay away. He didn’t want to try to make you jealous. It was my idea. And it was working.”

I nod. It was working. Too well.

I leave the kitchen and look around the packed house. Jasper tells me that Will stalked out “not looking too happy.” I grab my coat and hurry outside, hoping to catch him. The icy wind pummels me. His truck is gone. I think about taking Megan’s car and going after him, but don’t know where he would have gone.

I’ll send him a text, because that has been working so well this week, but maybe without Megan’s interference he might answer it. That look he had in his eyes though, that sadness, that hurt, makes my insides ache.

Will is the one guy I’ve always been able to talk to, to understand, and now it feels like I’m climbing Mount Everest just to text him. Ya gotta love love. It takes a very good relationship and chops the holy living liver out of it.

 

end 12/15/2016

S. Darlington

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