“I’m having a great time. Your family’s really sweet… It’s nice to spend the holidays with people instead of pretending it’s just another day.”

“They love you, you know? I mean, my Mum was smitten even before she met you just from me talking about you and Nana jumped on that band wagon once you got here. Pops loves you because he loves everyone that’s a good person.”

“And your sister?”

He laughed quietly to himself and shook his head looking off in the distance. “Liv is… Liv. She hasn’t said anything to me about you because for that we’d have to have a real conversation, but I’m going to take a wild guess and say she likes you.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because she’s probing you like you came to her business in desperate need of love. She’s been trying to match you to someone since she met you. She sees single people as opportunities to hone her ‘skill’ and improve her business. Everything with Liv is about work.”

“Has she ever tried to set you up with someone?”

He looked at me for a few moments before a knowing smile crossed his face. “Not yet. She knows better. If she does set me up the girl better be amazing.” His smile widened and I looked away from his too-sparkly eyes. The longer we walked together the colder I grew which was odd because the weather was growing warmer, mist fading. I wondered if I would feel better if he was holding my hand, but I made no move to touch him.

“I love this place,” I told him, staring up at the pale grey clouds that I found much more soothing than the LA sun.

“Me too,” he spoke, grasping my ice cold hand in his just like I wanted him to. “Wow, you’re freezing! Why didn’t you tell me? We should head back.”

“It’s really not that bad.”

We turned around and he let go of my hand to wrap an arm around my shoulder. I leaned into his side, feeling warm in all the places we touched. “I can’t let you get sick.”

By the time we got back to the house my eyelids felt heavy from all the food, walking, and body temperature fluctuation. James and I nestled into our same spots on the couch under a warm flannel blanket and I felt myself doze off.

When I started coming to I heard a familiar voice in the distance followed by another familiar voice up close.

“It’s great to be here. It’s been a privilege,” said the faint voice.

From up close came a reply, “Asshole.”

A deep unfamiliar voice spoke, “Is there a special Christmas wish you’d like to tell everyone, Jonathon?”

My eyes flipped open, the realization of hearing Jon’s voice in James’ home snapping me awake. I looked to see that I was cuddled up to James and William was the only other person in the room. His focus was on the television in front of him as he watched Jon on a stage telling a reporter that there was one thing he wanted for Christmas.

“Danielle, can you come out here please?” Jon asked, smiling shyly at the camera.

She waltzed out and strolled up to him, looking slightly confused. I watched in complete shock as he went down on one knee in front of her, a huge audience, and the camera and uttered several phrases about how in love with her he was. Then he said those four words that I’d only ever heard him speak to me, “Will you marry me?”

She said yes and they embraced. How he’d proposed to me recently came to mind. It seemed so fickle, so ridiculous, so totally Jonathon Roberts to propose to her only two months later that I found myself laughing and shaking my head. As hurt as I would have thought I’d be, I just wasn’t. It’d always been her… she’d always been the one for him and I was a side distraction that he cared about too but this was inevitable.

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