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“In the pale echo of light, vague outlines moved through Bertie’s field of vision, but their details were lost to the dark. Her bedroom walls took flight in a soaring arc before…”

You trail off, holding your place on the page.

He’s not awake anymore.

His breathing has slowed significantly, his arms limp and his heartbeat now a slow, steadily-beating drum.

What’s more is that he has stopped interrupting you to ask a question or make a snide comment every few lines of the story.

After sharing in that kiss, you had thrown away the wrapping paper—all except the stuff that covered Jack’s—and tidied the room up a little. Somewhere in there, Jack revealed that he was in fact the one who brought and decorated the gorgeous tree sitting in your living room. In helping you clean, Jack had taken interest in another book, one of your absolute favorites. Blushing slightly, he had asked you to read it aloud to him. You had poked fun at him, asking him why he couldn’t just sit and read it by himself. You knew he was perfectly capable of doing so.

“Because I like your voice,” he had replied, heavily embarrassed, holding the book tightly in both hands.

You couldn’t help but oblige.

So the two of you took to your couch. He sat down first, back against the armrest with one leg on the couch and the foot of the other dangling lazily off the side. He had opened his arms and smirked.

“Bring it here, m’dear.”

You had smiled and rolled your eyes sarcastically at how ridiculous that command had sounded.

You took your seat with him, your back against his chest, both legs resting on the small couch alongside his. He had wrapped his arms around your waist, holding you gently, enveloping you in his natural coldness. He rested his chin on your shoulder, the fluff of the Santa hat brushing against the side of your face.

And you had begun to read.

Not seeing the point in reading aloud to someone who is asleep, you shut the book, folding over the corner of the page as a makeshift bookmark.

You sit there for a few more seconds, rising and falling slightly along with his chest as he breathes.

Then, slowly and carefully, you get up from your place. He stirs slightly just as you’re about to stand, mumbling something incomprehensible, but quickly falls back asleep. You successfully stand, placing the book on the couch cushion beside his bare foot.

It’s time that you went to find him a Christmas present.

Quickly and quietly, you prepare yourself for your outing. You check on Jack just before you leave.

He’s still sound asleep, head to the side, his hat slightly askew, arms lying lightly across his stomach.

He must have spent ages preparing all of this for me. You walk up to him, gently smiling.

You kiss his cheek softly. The corner of his mouth twitches momentarily into a dream-inspired smile. “I’ll be back soon,” you whisper.

And you leave the house.

You’re smiling wide to yourself, though you can’t quite say why. You begin to walk through the neighborhood, not one hundred percent sure on where you’re going.

But therein lies the avenue for adventure.

The beautiful snowy scenery only makes you happier. You can hear children laughing as they open and play with new toys. Christmas decorations adorn every house, brightening up the streets with vibrant and joyous colors. The smell of delicious food permeates the winter air as people begin to prepare Christmas dinner.

You trek onward, lost in the Christmas spirit and thoughts of Jack.

You have no idea how far you’ve walked when it finally hits you, stopping you in your tracks.

All the stores are closed for Christmas.

You begin to panic. For one, where have you wandered off to? You turn in every direction. You don’t recognize anything around you. And then there’s the issue of finding a gift for Jack. You don’t want to give him a belated present. Besides, who knows when you’ll have an opportunity like this again?

Just ahead of you, you see a little store no larger than the size of a gas station shack. The lights are on. You see a little LED “Open” sign flashing in the corner of the window.

Heart elevated and curious, you make your way over to it.

A small bell jingles as you push open the old wooden door, staying in the doorway. You notice that elaborate carvings of trees and birds embroider it.

“Hello?” you call out into the store. There’s no reply. But something pulls you in.

You close the door behind you and step inside.

It has everything. From knickknacks and souvenirs to food essentials. There’s even a small selection of winter clothes. The store has a warm, home-y atmosphere, and you quickly take to it. It’s magical…

You begin to browse around, now faced with the question of what to get the spirit of winter.

What can I possibly get him that he can’t just conjure up? Or leave behind? Or get bored with? You notice a selection of magic tricks and practical joke props.

He IS a prankster…mischievous…maybe… You reach out to take one of the palm shockers. Something pulls your hand back. You shake your head. There’s something better out there.

You turn around and scan the store for something else. You touch your snowflake pendant.

Something that he doesn’t have already, or doesn’t have ready access to. Something he will use every day. Something that will always remind him of you…

Your eyes stop, resting on an item. You smile, eyes shining.

Perfect.
Book mentioned: "Eyes Like Stars" by Lisa Mantchev, from her "Théâtre Illuminata" trilogy. Page 14. All credit and copyright goes to her, not trying to infringe on any rights here!!!!
Finally, Chapter 23! Thank you so much for waiting patiently guys, it's greatly appreciated! I hope you enjoy it. :)
Chapter 1: [link]
Chapter 22: [link]
Chapter 24: [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconqueennevaofarendale:
QueenNevaofarendale Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2015  New member Hobbyist General Artist
i dont like my dad. he is mean.
Reply
:iconauralady:
AuraLady Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
gotta love those moments... no matter what time of year you just come across that something that you KNOW would mean something to someone who means something to you. I almost bawled the other day my Dad found me a Christmas present that he thought I would like. Not money as he normally would, but something he THOUGHT I WOULD LIKE.  A gift from the heart. My Dad is all about the heart but when it comes to gifts he just takes the easy route but this time.... he sounded awkward as if I'd prefer the money to something that obviously struck a chord with him and he knew I'd appreciate as well. Haven't got it yet but that doesn't matter. Even if I don't get it for whatever reason, the important thing is... he didn't have to ask me what I wanted he knew it suited me. That made it the best present ever!
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my, what a cute story!!! That's so awesome. Gotta love dads...and Christmas! Your story warmed my heart. 
Reply
:iconauralady:
AuraLady Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
I'm glad :) it warmed my heart too :) makes me peeved at the people who knew my step-mom before my Dad. She runs him down. I tell ya, it's heart breaking when you realize you're the only one in his corner. Gotta rally the troops somehow..
Reply
:iconjeffyarts:
jeffyarts Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014
*smiles big.* That just right. 
Reply
:iconiiskieemarie:
iiSkieeMarie Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014
I can't even explain how adorable this is.<3<3
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:3
Reply
:iconcartoonlovinggal:
cartoonlovinggal Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oooh, what am I getting? Jack may be cold, but his smile always makes me melt.
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Jack Frost. The coldest person to exist, is literally the hottest one... paradoxes. Gotta love 'em.
Reply
:iconcartoonlovinggal:
cartoonlovinggal Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yup! :D
Reply
:iconsoniclover626:
SonicLover626 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013
dream-inspired smile.....wonder what he's dreaming about?:squee:
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
hehehe, yoooou? x3
Reply
:iconsoniclover626:
SonicLover626 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
I would love to meet him one day
Reply
:iconink-wing-art:
ink-wing-art Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013   Digital Artist
wait a minute. trilogy? what's the third book?! i love that series, but my library only has the first two!
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You have "eyes like stars," then "perchance to dream," then " so silver bright is the third
Reply
:iconink-wing-art:
ink-wing-art Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2013   Digital Artist
ah, thanx. now to find the damn third book! series don't like me. i've read a few different ones where one of the installments is missing, especially the middle one. the first gets me hooked, and the third taunts me because the second is missing and i don't like spoilers.
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I know right?!? D:
Reply
:iconink-wing-art:
ink-wing-art Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013   Digital Artist
yes~ but, now i know!
i'm still stuck with a different series. my library carries the first, has two copies of the third, and the one copy of the second was lost. grrrr....
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Awwww :(
Reply
:iconink-wing-art:
ink-wing-art Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013   Digital Artist
i'll find someone who's got it and borrow it. no biggie :D
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i hope you find someone who has it :D
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconwarriorscatslover333:
WarriorsCatsLover333 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
FFFAANNNGGUUURRRLLLLLLLLLLLLL
And yes, Layla. As do I...
Back off Pitch!
Don't mess with Jackk
or
this gets
UGLEH
-Fangirls
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Pitch: O.o
Reply
:iconlaylaalvedo:
LaylaAlvedo Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013
I scence desaster lerking...
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
immensely.
Reply
:iconlaylaalvedo:
LaylaAlvedo Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013
It always does...
Reply
:iconhimawarinoichzoku:
HimawariNoIchzoku Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
*bangs fist on desk*
I say its the hoodie!!!
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
hahahahah
Reply
:icon5ninjacat:
5NinjaCat Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013
"..His arms limp and his heartbeat now a slow, steadily-beating drum."

*Automatically thinks of Disney's Pocahontas movie*
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
omigosh I hadn't even noticed that o.o
Reply
:icon5ninjacat:
5NinjaCat Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013
Haha xD It took me a few seconds to notice it... Disney's invaded my mind. O.o
Reply
:iconcertifiedchocoholic:
CertifiedChocoholic Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013
Ooh, I wonder what I got Jack? Haha, I don't know what I got him! :D :3

Ooh, ooh, I don't think you've ever read something like this before. ;)
"This story is fabulous!" :D

SINcerely,
CC
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
just wait and see~

nope. neeeeever heard anything like that before (she said sarcastically and then was shot)

But in all seriousness, I never get tired of hearing it though, just because I don't believe it myself. :blushes:
Reply
:iconlawlsz:
lawlsz Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This scene..I'd just remembered how my ex..used to make me read it for him..and the dialogues are just like him..I'd just cried a little..but this is the BEST STORY EVER!-smiles and wiped my tears-
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Awww...thank you though :)
Reply
:iconlawlsz:
lawlsz Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Welcome,darlin...but reminds me of him kinda heartache to me..nahh.nvm..-shakes my head-
Reply
:iconoriole-of-silver:
Oriole-of-Silver Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Student Photographer
"Bring it here, m'dear." I swear now my mom thinks I'm crazy! (I was just imitating that line in my best southern drawl, when she walked in turned around and left!) This is wonderfully amazingly writetastically brilliant! I'm so glad there's more!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
hahahahahaha, nice XD
Reply
:iconkyuubecky:
Kyuubecky Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Student
WHAT?!?! WHAT AM I BUYING!?! I NEED TO KNOW!!! GGAAHHH!!
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
bahahhaa
Reply
:iconbaka-chip-cookie:
Baka-chip-cookie Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
How did you know "Eyes Like Stars" was my favorite book?! :D
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
no way! that's awesome.
Reply
:iconbaka-chip-cookie:
Baka-chip-cookie Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I know right? Who knew?! Awesome story, by the way. One of the best Character x Reader fics I've read in a loong time.
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks you :)
Reply
:icongertrudefin:
GertrudeFin Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm... Interesting line. I might just have to read this Eyes Like Stars...

BUT I DOG-EARED THE PAGE?!?!?! NUUUUUU!!!!
Reply
:iconlegendoffullmetal:
LegendofFullmetal Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
you didnt have a bookmark handy x3
Reply
:icongertrudefin:
GertrudeFin Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
NUUUUU!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconnekodama:
nekodama Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
i know that feel. dogearing a page in a novel is blasphemy in my house. if a friend of mine borrows one of my books, if they fold or crease any of the pages when i've told them not to, they owe me a new book. 8D
Reply
:icongertrudefin:
GertrudeFin Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Right?! I just hate when I see dog-eared pages! I always find book in the library like that and go about fixing all the pages. But there's always an unattractive line left over. :x

Oh. OH! But I have this new book now called "Wreck this Journal" in which one of the pages actually TELLS you to dog-ear your favorite pages! It took a lot of effort, but I managed to do it and it was kinda fun! I would only ever do it to this book though.
Reply
:iconserori:
Serori Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
hehe
Reply
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