Chapter 25: The Night Before Christmas

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"Shut up, Darian," I heard Nathan hiss in the hallway.

I sat in my room listening to music and editing my manuscript that I had written for my Creative Writing class last semester, in hopes to get it published someday. Despite trying to remain focused on my work, I found it extremely difficult because every five minutes I would hear a thud and then Nathan and Darian would start biting each other's heads off. What they were doing? The Lord only knows and I'm too scared to figure it out.

My cell phone rang, breaking me from my thoughts. Looking down at my phone, I saw Alex's name pop up on the screen.

Letting out a sigh, I picked up the phone. "Hey, Alex."

"Wow, don't sound so disappointed, sis!" Alex's voice rang through the phone.

I rolled my eyes and pushed my laptop off my lap, and went to sit at the edge of my bed. "I'm not disappointed, you just never call and you really pissed me off with that Hayden thing you pulled."

My sister sighed. "I know. I'm sorry, I just wanted you to get back out there and find someone who makes you happy."

"You still had no right to do what you did," I snapped. "Hayden is Nathan's best friend, do you understand what position you put me in?"

"I know, I know," Alex whined. "I'm really sorry Audrey."

I ran my hand through my hair and sighed, staring at my floor. "Just don't pull that kind of stuff with me again. I have enough to deal with."

There was a pause and I could only hear Alex breathing. After a moment she said, "Do you miss them too?"

"They say holidays are the worst," I nodded, even though I knew she couldn't see me. "It feels weird not being with them right now."

"Well, at least you have your roommates," I heard a smile in her voice as she said, "I bet you went crazy with decorations, like every year."

I laughed and laid down on my bed, feeling tired of sitting. "Actually, I didn't decorate. Wasn't in the Christmas spirit, I guess."

"Awe," Alex began. "At least have a gingerbread cookie or something to get in the spirit."

I cocked an eyebrow. "Did you have a gingerbread cookie to get in the spirit?"

"Nah, I went with adult eggnog."

"Nice," I said slowly. After a few seconds of silence, I said, "Well, tomorrow I will be in the spirit. Samara and the guys are planning to have a little celebration before Darian and Nathan go to their parents for dinner."

"That sounds nice!" My sister said enthusiastically. I could practically picture her eyes light up and a smile appear on her face.

I smiled slightly and began to play with my hair. "Yeah, I think it might be fun."

"I bet it wil-" Alex began but was cut off by another thud and I heard Nathan say, "Shit! Wait - yes!"

"Bro, keep it down. She'll hear you!" Darian whisper yelled to his brother.

Curiosity won me over as I heard Darian scold his brother for being loud. Saving my work and closing my laptop, I rised from my bed and started for the door.

"Hey, Alex?" I said.

"What's up?" My sister asked, sounding mildly concerned at my tone.

I ran my hand through my hair and sighed. "I think Darian and Nathan may be trying to kill one another so I'm gonna have to let you go."

Alex let out a little chuckle. "Alright. Well Merry Christmas little sister."

"Merry Christmas," I said with a smile. "I love you."

"I love you too," my sister said sweetly.

Right when I was about to hang up, I heard Alex say my name.

I brought my phone up to my ear. "Yeah?"

"Try to have a good Christmas, okay? Mom and Dad would hate to see you loathe your favourite time of year."

I blinked back a few tears and nodded my head out of habit. "I promise."

The line went dead and I took a couple of deep breaths. After I collected myself, I threw my phone lightly onto my bed.

I opened my door slowly. "What is going on out here?"

"Don't come out yet!" Darian yelled as loud as he could.

Not risking his wrath, I stood against my door frame and waited for Darian's approval.

A few minutes later, Darian made his way down the hallway with a huge grin on his face. "Close your eyes, we have a surprise for you."

Closing my eyes, I sighed. "It's not Noah again, is it?"

"Oh hell no," my roommate answered. He grabbed my arm and led me to the living room. "Something even better."

Darian positioned me and let me go. "Alright, open your eyes."

When I did, I couldn't help but to gasp.

The living room was completely decked out with Christmas decorations. White twinkling lights hung from the ceiling, along with paper snowflakes. On the coffee table, a wreath was placed with candles sitting in the middle. But nothing could beat the Christmas tree that was in the corner, decorated in silver and blue ornaments, tinsel, and lights. And a large glittering star sat on the top.

Nathan stood beside the tree, a Santa hat resting on the top of his head. He gave me a lopsided smirk. "Merry Christmas, princess."

Tears started to form as I turned to Darian to give him a hug. "Thank you guys."

I made my way to Nathan to give him a hug as well. He wrapped his arms around me and I felt his breath on my neck as I stayed there. I looked up at him as tears poured and said, "This is my first Christmas without my parents."

I heard Darian gasp in the background, I guess he hadn't known when they passed.

Nathan, however, wiped the tears streaming down my face and his hazel eyes stared at me with warmth. "Then I guess we have to make this the best Christmas ever, don't we princess?"

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