When I opened my eyes again, I stared back into Reed’s calming face. But I wasn’t outside, freezing my behind and trying to get warmth from his body.
No. I was back in my bedroom with the love of my life.
Reed stroked my face, almost like butterfly wings.
“Merry Christmas,” he said. Then he bent down and tenderly kissed my stomach. “Merry Christmas, baby.”
I smiled widely, placing my hand against my full belly.
“You feeling better?” he asked.
I nodded. “Yeah, but I had the weirdest dream.”
“Really?” he asked, scooting closer to me. He brushed my hair back. “What about?”
“I was living the life I would have lived if I was never adopted. Connor was still my ex—”
“My parents were Amelia and Dan instead of Mom and Dad. B was a stranger but Keener was performing at a party. And I was blonde.”
“You, blonde? Completely messed up.” Reed’s body shook with laughter. “What about me?”
I stared at him. “You were a douche.”
He looked shocked. “Me?”
“Yes,” I said with a straight face. “You were totally hitting on me at the Christmas party.” I rubbed my chin on his shoulders like a cat. “You wanted to get in my pants.”
“In real life and in your dreams.”
“It was awesome though, in a way. I got to spend Christmas with Amelia, Dan and the kids. And I saw Nina. It was so surreal.”
“I’m sure it was amazing to see her again.”
I nodded. “Yes. Yes, it was.”
“So what?” he asked. “You wish you were living your dream world instead?”
I thought about it seriously and answered truthfully. “It was like the perfect life that could have been. But, it’s not my life. I enjoy the craziness. In this world, I have two families. I’ve known you all my life. We’re creating a baby, which is so much bigger than you and I. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything.”
“And you’re not blonde.”
I laughed. “And I’m not blonde.” My name isn’t Jade Callaghan.“What’s my name?” I asked suddenly.
Reed smiled in question at the random question. “Jade Reamer.”
“What will be my name?”
“Jade Donahue, of course.”
I shook my head. “Jade Reamer-Donahue, please and–”
“Shh,” Reed interrupted, placing his finger against my lips. I looked straight into his eyes. “I don’t care what your name is, all I know is that I love you.”
“I love you too.”
He gave a wink and I swore I melted then and there.
“Before I forget.”
Reed pulled out a present wrapped in red wrapping paper.
“Merry Christmas, Jade.”
Grinning, I took the gift from his hand but before I could open it, a knock sounded. I jumped out of bed, rushing to the front door. I opened it to see our family grinning from ear to ear.
“Jade!” exclaimed B, rushing forward. He picked me up, spinning me around.
I slapped him on the back. “Put me down, B.”
“But it’s Christmas,” B said happily, but he obliged my request. “You have to be perky Jade today.”
I grinned then gave him a peck on the cheek. “Merry Christmas, Bryn.” Then I looked at everyone else. Mom, Dad, Reed’s parents, Amelia, Dan, and the girls. “Merry Christmas, guys.”
Reed came up from behind me, giving a squeeze and I knew all was right with the world.
“Hey, look! It’s snowing,” Marie exclaimed as she pointed at the living room window.
I looked out the window and sure enough, snow was falling from the sky, slowly blanketing the city. It was the perfect Christmas because I had everything I wanted. My family, my love, and a beautiful winter wonderland.
Merry Christmas indeed.
Four Letters Christmas, a short story from the Four Letters universe.
Books in the series: