On the eve of Christmas, here is a reprise of my holiday flash fiction story, Written for Christmas. Enjoy! ~ S.G. Rogers
Diva hesitated a moment before pulling the gift-wrap from Lorelei’s Larceny. As she gazed at the author photo on the dust jacket, the corners of her mouth turned up in a wistful smile. The lights on the Christmas tree in the corner winked at her and the window beyond revealed a light snow flurry falling outside. She turned the novel over in her hands, wondering if she should brave the elements to walk to the corner coffeehouse. While nursing a couple of peppermint mochas, she could make a pretty good dent in the book. Besides which, she didn’t want to spend Christmas Eve alone.
“I can’t believe you opened that now,” Captain Westerly scolded. “Didn’t you promise Brandon Forster you’d wait until Christmas?”
Diva’s eyes slid over to the miniature pirate as he emerged from the pages of her recently released romance novel, Captain Westerly’s Conquest. The book rested on the table in front of the sofa, next to a Yule candle. “Nobody asked you,” she said. “And besides, Brandon won’t know.”
The dashing captain tilted his head as he examined the dust jacket. “Hey, he resembles me…or perhaps I resemble him.”
A crease of annoyance marred Diva’s brow. “Do you have to leap off the page like that? It’s kind of disconcerting.”
“It’s the way you wrote me, my lady,” Westerly said, with a courtly bow. “Why didn’t you give Brandon a copy of my book? I mean, your book. He would have enjoyed Captain Westerly’s Conquest.”
“Are you kidding? He’s a man. Men don’t read romance,” Diva said.
“I don’t see why not? Brandon’s a handsome devil, even if I say so myself—secure in his masculinity.”
“And furthermore, we’re just friends. There’s simply no way a man like him would be interested in me,” she finished.
Westerly stroked his chin, covered with manly stubble. “I thought we were talking about books.”
“Behave, Captain, or your next story will involve a wife and kids.”
Her decision made, Diva launched herself off the sofa and disappeared into her bedroom. A few moments later, she emerged with her coat and scarf in hand. She stopped short, gaping, as Westerly helped a miniature cat burglar step out of the pages of Lorelei’s Larceny. Clad in a sexy black unitard, the woman bore an uncanny resemblance to Diva.
“You look like me!” Diva exclaimed, wide-eyed.
“It’s the way Brandon Forster wrote me,” Lorelei replied, tossing her glossy sable locks over one shoulder.
Captain Westerly kissed Lorelei’s hand. “Would you care for a tour of my ship, my lady?” he asked. “We’ll toast the season with a glass of rum punch.”
Lorelei raised an eyebrow as she gave the pirate an appraising glance. “Lead on.”
“Wait a minute, you can’t—” Diva began, but the two main characters disappeared into the pages of Captain Westerly’s Conquest without so much as a backward glance.
A knock on the apartment door caused Diva to blanch. She draped her coat and scarf over a chair and went to answer it. Brandon Forster stood there, clutching Captain Westerly’s Conquest. “I hope you don’t mind me s-stopping by,” he stammered. “I, um, had to tell you how much I loved your book.”
Diva’s mouth opened, but no sound would come out. Brandon flushed pink and ran his fingers through his closely cropped hair. “I’m sorry, that was lame. What I mean to say is…do you, er, want to get a cup of coffee?”
“I’d love some coffee,” she said with a slow smile.
Brandon let his breath out in a gust. He glanced at the sprig of mistletoe hung over the door and returned her smile with one of his own.
“How did that get there?” she exclaimed, startled.
A distant foghorn sounded from the vicinity of Captain Westerly’s Conquest, on the table behind her.
“I don’t know, but who am I to buck tradition?” Brandon asked. He leaned forward, his lips hovering over hers.
“Merry Christmas,” she said, before she sealed it with a kiss.
~ S.G. Rogers