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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (Open)

 
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Claire Gallows
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Ancient Wyrm
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:55 pm    Post subject: It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (Open) Reply with quote

Unlike years past, Caelum Manor exuded neither warmth nor yuletide cheer. The towering tree that typically dominated the entryway was nowhere to be found and only the barest traces of Christmas dotted the home in the form of errant ribbon and wrapping paper. However further down the hill from the monolith of a manor was a spot of brightness in the dark of winter. The guest cottage had been lit with a strong of multicolored lights while strands of white wrapped the saplings nearest the little home. Within, a modest (in comparison) tree had been set up, decorated with help from little hands. Underneath, a number of wrapped gifts could be found for friends and family.





((Like years past, feel free to drop your Lux Aeterna-ish Christmas/Yule/Wintery gifts here.))
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Claire Gallows
Eternal Light
Ancient Wyrm
Ancient Wyrm


Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 1145
See this user's pet
Jobs: City Guard, Sword for Hire
Can Be Found: The Sassy Owl Saloon or Underwood Manor in New Haven
273582.50 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Serah her gift was twofold.

First, a bit of sentimentality;

A reforged Sagittarius bow


Second, a bit of fun in the form of a trip to the Twilight Isle Hot Springs Experience.
_________________
The legends all say different things
She's a cruel incarnation of death
A merciful angel of the afterlife
A deity without divine power
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Claire Gallows
Eternal Light
Ancient Wyrm
Ancient Wyrm


Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 1145
See this user's pet
Jobs: City Guard, Sword for Hire
Can Be Found: The Sassy Owl Saloon or Underwood Manor in New Haven
273582.50 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Cooper she almost couldn't keep it a secret until Christmas Day but somehow she managed. The long, rectangular box it shipped in was fairly obvious, but the difference was in the details. The tag read only "Because you're mine". Within, a 1951 Martin 0-15 acoustic guitar, previously owned and signed by Johnny Cash himself. Accompanying the instrument is a letter of authenticity.



_________________
The legends all say different things
She's a cruel incarnation of death
A merciful angel of the afterlife
A deity without divine power
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Claire Gallows
Eternal Light
Ancient Wyrm
Ancient Wyrm


Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 1145
See this user's pet
Jobs: City Guard, Sword for Hire
Can Be Found: The Sassy Owl Saloon or Underwood Manor in New Haven
273582.50 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the guest house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

That wasn't really true, but it's the thought that counts, right?

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that they'd soon be filled by an Irish coffee drinking Claire.

The twins were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

And Claire in her yoga pants and Cooper in his cap, had just settled down though not for a nap.

Out on the lawn, there wouldn't be a clatter, so no need to get up from the couch to see what was the matter.

It wasn't until she decided her mug needed a refill that she headed to the kitchen for some of the real deal.

Whiskey and coffee were poured in her mug and with a beer in her other hand, she gave it to Cooper with a hug.

With her hands free, she didn't yet sit, instead heading over to the front hall closet.

When what to her wandering hands did appear, but a long box wrapped with paper covered in reindeer.

With a grin and a bump to shut the door quick, she brought back the gift that couldn't have been from St. Nick.

Right back to the cowboy, the pinkette so came, and she grinned and pointed to the tag with his name.

"Look what I found in the closet. Dunno how it got there." She set it down on the wooden coffee table, trading it for her coffee once more. Next she curled up beside him, the mug in her hands and her legs underneath her, unrushed but still eager to see just what he thought of it all.

It was a rough time for Claire. With the looming approach of the new year and the twins' birthday, it was only bound to get worse. Worse for her, more confusing for Alex and Avy, and a little more discomforting for him. Cooper being Cooper, he took it all in placidly patient stride, slowed only a little by the heavy tug of winter on his own soul, but never diminishing his crooked smile. The holiday week came upon them as long and lazy, and at the cowboy's urging they had moved the small family festivities to the more secluded and intimate comfort of the old Caelum guest house. He thought maybe here the good memories would make trouble for the bad, keeping the peace and (hopefully) them some.

"What's this?" The flickering flames in the hearth had been reflected in his dark eyes for a moment before his attention was drawn to her return, one oversized hand taking control of the box, the other taking control of her to steer her just a little closer. He eyed it with a growing curiosity. "Guessin' I shouldn't be surprised, but you're gettin' some'a yo' own too, Slugger." The look she received sidelong was rueful before he settled into tearing through the thin wrapping paper.

His smile was immediate when large fingers curled around the neck of the old guitar and Cooper was instantly be able to that it wasn't brand new; it took him a few moments longer to register the messy scrawl of the name marking one side of it. His breath caught in his throat. "Y' gotta be kiddin' me..."

"I didn't want to wait until tomorrow. Figure this way, we just have to worry about wrangling the kids and their presents." She shrugged one shoulder and took a testing sip of the delectable concoction in her cup. It was perfect, the moment was perfect, quite. It was a pleasant break from the melancholy that had threatened to steal her love of the season and the holiday. He was always so patient, a fact that wasn't lost on the pink haired warrior. In turn she tried to thank him in subtle ways to acknowledge all that he did for her and the kids. The 1951 Martin acoustic didn't look like anything special. It wasn't new and it bore its share of wear and tear, the occasional scratch marring the deep brown grain of the body. Though she and her coffee leaned into him, she still gave him plenty of space to unwrap the box. Holding her breath as he looked it over, his reaction finally had her exhaling, a smile lifting at the corners of her mouth as she set her mug down. "Whatcha think?"

"I think..." he mumbled. "That I just got another reminder'a why I'm with the right woman fo' me..." Cooper didn't call her perfect. It would have caused one of those heatless arguments with a lot of needless self-deprecation and eventual grumbly teasing. He smiled her way and let the calloused pads of his fingers tickle the strings for a while, playing out some soft, random melody that sweetly haunted the moment, before finally setting the guitar reverently aside.

Those very same fingers dug into her flesh through her clothes moments later, laying a claim and hauling her into his lap with no effort at all. "Pretty sure you're the Queen'a Christmas this year. Thank you." The gratitude came with a fresh curl of fingers into the hair near the nape of her neck that helped pull her down into a long, deep kiss that threatened to take up the rest of their night.

"You like it? Good." A wash of relief swept the hard lines of her features, softening her smile. The guitar was out of tune from lack of use, something she was certain he could remedy once he had the moment to do so. The tickle of the notes broadened her smile further, lingering even as he set the instrument aside and tugged her over into his lap. It was an easy thing with him, a comfortable throne upon which she had no problem perching. After all, he had deemed her the Queen of Christmas. Wholly distracted by his mouth on hers, she dragged the moment out as long as possible before sinking back on his lap. "Because you're mine. You're welcome, it's no big deal. You deserved somethin' nice for Yule."

"...I walk the line," he finished the initial line for her with a crooked grin and a drag of scruffy beard along her delicate jaw. "Yeah, well, I got you a thing or two t' unwrap too. S' two small boxes in the top drawer'a muh dresser if'n y' wanna wiggle yo' sweet ass in there and grab 'em."

"Yeah?" She asked, her brows lifting. Loathe as she was to get out of his lap, she slid free and got to her feet. Claire scooped her mug up with a warming sip then set it aside, tugging at the risen hemline of her shirt to cover the pale expanse of her abdomen between it and the cuffed top of her pants. As she padded through the living room in favor of the short hall that led to the cottage's two bedrooms, she glanced back and bobbed her brows.

"You better add to the list of things for me to unwrap or lose the pants before I get back." With a grin, she disappeared. Her rummaging was quiet and it didn't take her long to find what she was looking for. A few moments later she returned, boxes in hand as she reclaimed her spot on the couch and/or cowboy. "Now, what do we have here?"

"All things in their time, darlin'." Cooper made a point of staring at her lewdly before she was gone, taking the moment to steal a sip not from his bottle, but from her mug. One thick arm curled possessively around her waist, tugging her hip-to-hip without letting her reclaim his lap. "Open the larger one'a the two."

Beneath an already wrinkled layer of red and black plaid wrapping paper was a flimsy cardboard gift box, the sort department stores offered for putting clothes purchases in around the holiday. Two thin pieces of scotch tape held it closed, easily dealt with and revealing something a little more obvious inside. It was a hard plastic case with a handle, matte black and secured at one end with two sliding latches that could be padlocked. Within was a sub-compact pistol. Springfield XMod 2 in .45 caliber with an extended grip, tritium night sights, and a picatinny rail beneath the barrel. It had the look of something with aftermarket modifications, likely the cowboy's own handywork.

The slide of her thumb easily popped the box open and with a wiggle, she freed the lid. Once it was free, her brows lifted at the case inside. Her fingers slid over it in reverent fashion en route to the latches, sliding those open to get a look at the true contents of the gift. A low whistle loosed itself from her lips as she freed the pistol from its fitting in the case. Turning it over in her hands, she admired it up close, her bottom lip pinned between her teeth.

"This... this is sexy... I might need to find time tomorrow to give it a try..." Her gaze lifted to meet his, a grin blazing as she leaned in to kiss him hard. "It's gorgeous, thanks babe."

"Girl's gotta have the best and I thought y' needed something better when y' gotta stay light." The hard kiss was greeted with a low rumble and a suggestive smoothing of one hand over her stomach. "One mo' t' open."

The second box was smaller, wrapped in the same plaid paper and revealing a thicker, double-walled cardboard box protecting the ultimate prize. Within, a small hand-carved puzzle shaped like a rose in bloom, its pieces near perfect and polished to a shine, interconnecting in odd ways. In resonated a subtle magic and, for the moment, seemed almost unopenable. "This gift might take a little longer than one night t' do the givin'. There's a promise in every piece y' managed t' move and a prize inside that I can only hope will mean as much t' you as it does me. As y' figure it out, maybe we'll both learn something. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do you. I love you, Slugger."

"Oh, right." She had almost spaced the second gift, so caught up by the practicality of the first as she was. Much like the first, the second was popped open easily but this time a different sort of awe struck her expression when she finally free the wooden rose from the confines of the box. That too was turned over, her callused fingers tracing the delicately perfect lines. It reminded her of her eidolith crystal, long since gone after bringing Serah back. It came as a surprise, the burning warmth along her lash line, but it wasn't sadness that wet her eyes.

"It's almost too pretty to take apart..." Claire murmured, bringing it up to her ear for a gentle shake to see if she could discern what might be within. It did her no good so she lowered it to look it over again. "I've never been much good at puzzles but this is something else... wow. I love it. And you, I love you."

"There's a prize in there mo' precious than any duelin' title or weapon." The words were half a tease and half in earnest, murmured against the delicate shell of her ear when he pushed errant pink locks behind it. "Take as long as y' need to t' open it but eventually you're gonna want what's in there. Merry Christmas, Claire."



[[Written with Cooper <3333]]
_________________
The legends all say different things
She's a cruel incarnation of death
A merciful angel of the afterlife
A deity without divine power
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