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Ben Pierce
Merry Christmas, Tess!
Sun Apr 8, 2018 18:26
173.67.179.52

The Quarantine was moderately irritating. He'd been planning to go skiing over midterm, as he usually did, and Bel had given him a non-committal grunt when he'd asked if she'd take him to Kir's New Year's Party, which wasn't the absolute NO! he'd been expecting, so he thought maybe he'd be able to whittle her down to a non-committal maybe by the time he left for the skiing trip, and get the 'Ben, would you just go away before I turn you into a newt!' on New's Year's Eve that meant 'Not this year' but which also maybe he might have a shot at going next year.

But now there was no chance of going this year, and no chance to bug Bel until she thought it would serve Ben's parents right for having such an irritating kid if she did take him to a party like that. (Though you had to be careful about bugging Bel because if you went too far, you'd find yourself turned into a newt. Gramelia was the same way with frogs.)

On the other hand, if one could forgive the absence of skiing with Reggie's family, and the inability to wear down Bel's resistance, the Quarantine did have one good thing going for it.

It meant he'd get to spend Christmas Day with Tess.

Of course, he'd planned to go shopping for her present in Boston, when he got home, but there were mail order catalogs, and a week's warning about the change in plans, so he'd covered that base already. And it was kind of cool, to come together as Pecari House and decorate a tree together in the common room. It made the whole of Pecari feel that much more like they really were his family.

So now it was Christmas and he was down by the Christmas Tree, watching the girls' staircase, waiting for his favorite girl to come down them. He grinned when he saw her and approached, holding out his gift for her. "Merry Christmas, Tess," he said, handing it to her, and giving her a quick peck of a kiss.

Inside, she would find a very nice pewter picture frame framing an 8x10 landscape photograph of her family and his, all waving at the camera, from a picnic they had all gone to at the park last summer. Every few seconds, the dads would throw the two youngest children, Tess' sister and Ben's cousin, up into the air amidst silent laughter from the toddlers who where clearly loving every second of it, then catch them and give them a quick snuggle before doing it again, not quite in unison. In the middle, Ben and Tess themselves where holding hands, and smiling broadly. "I know you want to be with your family today," he said when she opened it, "So I did what I could to bring them to you."

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