Chapter 37

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Chapter 37

Shannon's P.O.V:

My eyes snapped open. It was Christmas! I raised my head to look at the clock - it read 7:45am. I always woke up early on Christmas morning no matter how tired I was.  

I turned my head to look at Nick. Again he was curled up beside me, one arm lying across my hip. I frowned, we hadn't gone to sleep like that; some time in the night we'd rolled over to lie intertwined. I shrugged to myself - I couldn't make myself care.  

I reached out and shook him awake. He groaned slightly and I leaned in close to him. "Happy Christmas" I said softly.  

His eyes opened slowly. He looked at me and smiled sleepily, "Happy Christmas." 

"Come on, let's get up."  

He looked at the clock. "It's so early" he groaned.  

"It's Christmas" I retorted; "the only day of the year when it's okay to get up early."

Five minutes later we were walking quietly down the stairs. I'd thrown on a pair of woolly socks, and Nick had, bleary-eyed, put on trousers over his boxers - yes, he was bare-chested. Again, I couldn't seem to make myself care. The heating was on so we didn't need to pile on layers of clothing.  

When we entered the kitchen, my mother was busy brewing tea while my dad got cups out. They were rightfully anticipating a need for caffeine this early in the morning - not being a morning person was a trait that my brother's and I shared. "Happy Christmas" we all chorused at practically the same moment. 

"Shannon, go wake your brothers" my mother told me as she poured a cup of tea for Nick.

I nodded and skipped out the door. I was met with angry mutterings from both Ryan and Adrian when I woke them up but I just laughed and went back downstairs - ignoring the less-than-nice comments that followed me out of their rooms. Back in the kitchen, I joined Nick at the table and he poured me a giant cup of tea. I smiled at him in thanks as I added a good dose of milk.  

Ten minutes later, my brothers crowded us at the table as they made themselves tea. By then I was halfway through my second cup. It was only after they'd taken a couple of sips that the frown lines between their eyes smoothed out and the hard set of their mouths softened - basically they became human once the caffeine hit their bloodstream.

When everyone was ready, we all made our way into the living room. My mother took the rocking chair - she'd had it since she and my dad first got married - and Adrian and dad took the couch. Ryan sat beside the tree so he could pass out presents and Nick sat on the floor with his back against the arm of the couch. After a moment's deliberation, I sat myself between Nick's legs with my back snugly against his chest. Ryan looked at us and rolled his eyes, making me laugh.  

"I wouldn't be surprised if it snowed today" Dad said randomly as he peered out the window.  

"The forecast said there's a good chance, all right" Adrian agreed as he followed my father's gaze outside.  

"That would be so cool" I interjected, taking a sip of my tea.  

"Okay, enough about the damn weather; let's open some presents" Ryan demanded.  

It just goes to show that you're never too old for getting presents. He grabbed the package closest to him and read the label; "Adrian this is for you, from...the rents."

He handed the brightly wrapped present to me to pass to Adrian and grabbed the next one. The rest of us watched as Adrian opened the present. It was a book and his face brightened immediately. "Thanks mum, dad - I've wanted this for ages."  

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