The thought reminds me that it’s Christmas Eve. I haven’t heard anyone else, but I feel bad, not only for intruding but for possibly putting someone out of a bedroom. “Are we alone?” I’m prying for information, but I’m wondering if a girlfriend or someone like that is going to pop up.
“I’m always alone.” That makes me happy until the words really sink it.
He takes me upstairs, and we pass one door before we stop outside another. He turns the knob and pushes the door open. He half-turns to me, but the light is off, and I still can’t really make out his face. I can tell he has a strong jaw and nose, but seeing so little only makes me long to see more.
“Get some rest. I’m sure it was a long drive.” With that, he turns and heads down the stairs, his big body disappearing into the shadows of the cabin.
I go into the room he told me to take and flip on the nearby lamp. I ignore everything but the bed as I toss my bag onto it and let myself fall into its softness.
I’m always alone.
The words run through my mind over and over again. I couldn’t catch the tone he was saying them in. Was he alone before I got here, and he liked to be alone? Am I cramping his style? Or was he alone and didn’t like it?
I find being alone is bittersweet. It’s something I’d wanted for so long, to be able to get lost in myself without my mother clucking all around me. But now the silence is somewhat lonely. It’s funny, but that ache didn’t start to build until Alex came into my life. Now I’m starting to think he opened a door I’m never going to be able to close.
I’ve tossed and turned for the past couple of hours, unable to do much else.
She’s here. She’s really here.
I hate that I’m a coward and completely unable to talk to her. I froze up the second I laid eyes on her, feeling things I’d never felt. We talked for so long, I felt like I knew her, but I wasn’t prepared for seeing her. Nothing could have prepared me for the reality of her beauty.
It’s Christmas Eve, and I feel like a kid waiting on Santa Claus to show up. Only Santa Claus is in my guest room upstairs and I’m scared shitless to go up there. If only there was a way to know what she’s thinking. Is she disgusted by my scars? Is she disappointed in what she found when she showed up? God, how I pictured meeting her, seeing a thousand different scenarios in my mind, none of which included her showing up here in the middle of a snowstorm and seeing all my scars.
Sighing, I roll over onto my back and look at the wooden ceiling. I don’t know what to do. I need a sign or something. I look over at the fireplace in my bedroom. I watch the burning embers and wish for a Christmas miracle.
Suddenly, there’s a pop, and the night light in the bathroom goes out. I sit up, and it’s utterly silent. No refrigerator running, no hum of the heat kicking on upstairs. Shit. This is definitely not the Christmas miracle I was referring to.
I get out of bed, go to the bathroom, and flip the switch. Nothing.
There’s electric heat and air in the cabin, but in the winter, I often lose power. There’s a backup generator, but I never bothered to get kerosene for it. Shit. It’s always just been me, and I can make do with the fireplace in the living room and bedroom. Hell, there’s a cook stove in the kitchen for me to make hot meals on, and outside is basically a twenty-four-seven refrigerator this time of year. I’ve never thought twice about the power going out. Until now.
Looking up at the wooden ceiling in my room again, all I can think about is Noelle getting colder by the minute. I start to walk out of my bedroom and realize I need to put some clothes on. Normally, I sleep naked, but I don’t think she’d appreciate my showing up in her bedroom naked and asking her to come with me.
My cock twitches at the thought, and I reach down, pinching the tip a little to try to get it to go down. I can’t have a fucking hard-on right now.
Taking a few breaths, I look down and see my cock getting bigger instead of softening. “Fuck.” Now is not the time. I pull on some tight boxers and some sweats and a long T-shirt. Hopefully, all the layers will cover it up.
I make my way up the stairs and knock lightly guest room door. When there’s no answer, I knock a little louder. I pause, waiting, but when there’s no sound, I start to panic and wonder if something could have happened to her. Maybe she tried to leave, after all.
Opening the door, I look in and see her sleeping on the bed, still all bundled in her coat. I walk over silently and stand by the bed, looking down at her. The soft moonlight streaming in through the window makes her look like an angel. I never thought in all the times I looked at her picture that she could be more beautiful, but here she is, proving me wrong.