It Came Upon a Midnight Clear


Author: Ares


Written for Blood Roses 2007 Advent Calendar

Thank you, Jo for the beta.


Summary: A girl will go to any lengths to surprise her boyfriend.




“This is so much better.” She was quite snug beneath the beautifully embroidered quilt, and the smile on her face showed him how much she was enjoying herself.


“I thought you’d like Paris.” They had arrived in Paris, and she hadn’t wanted to stay.


Looking over at him, she said, “I did, but I like this better.”


She never ceased to amaze him. “Most women think Paris is romantic.”


“I’m not most women.”


“I get that.”


He thought about it for a while. “I think Paris is over rated, myself.”


“Then why did you take us there?”


“I thought you’d like it.”


“I think we’ve had this conversation before.”


He didn’t reply. It seemed as if he couldn’t say a thing right.


He felt a tugging at the covers. “You’re hogging the blankets.”


“I’m not.”


“Seems you’re up. Would you make me a hot chocolate, please?”


He blinked at her. “I wasn’t up.”


Suddenly he found himself on the floor of the bedroom. She had used her extraordinary strength to shove him from the bed.


With an impish grin, she said. “You are now.”


There was no use arguing with her. Getting to his feet he made his way to the small kitchenette.


“Marshmallows?” he called. She had bought a bag of the sweets down in the lobby.


“Uh-uh. I’ve had too much to eat today. I’m full,” he heard her say.


It wasn’t long before he was back with a mug of hot chocolate.


“Careful, it’s hot.”


Sitting up, she carefully accepted the cup.


“Oooh! Thank you. This’ll warm me up.”


“I could warm you up,” he said with a lascivious grin.


“You can, and you have.  I meant inside.”


He crawled back into the bed. “So did I.”  


“You’re insatiable, you know that?”


“Pot calling the kettle…”


“What does that mean, exactly? Pot and kettle?”


“Back in the day…”


“I was kidding. I know what it means. You can be so literal sometimes.”


Deciding sleep was preferable to an argument, he closed his eyes.


It wasn’t two minutes, before…


“I know you’re not asleep. You’re not breathing.”


“I don’t breathe.”


“See! You’re awake.”


“Literally awake?”


“You can be such a baby.”


“Me? A baby?”


“A big, brooding, vampire baby.”


He couldn’t help himself, he settled into a brooding silence.


Her hand brushed against his cheek. Her fingers were hot with the heat of her drink.


“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”


“It’s okay. I am being a baby.” He was being ridiculous. How old was he? 254?


To make amends, he said, “I must admit I have never been to Oslo before.”


“It’s pretty. I didn’t think the city would be so modern. And the Christmas decorations are spectacular. Who knew?”


“The Norwegians,” he answered, looking over at her with a smile.


“I think we should go to the city markets tomorrow. It’ll be fun. I see in the brochure they have a Christmas buffet. What do you think?”


Markets and food. Two things he never considered fun…unless it was food of a two-legged variety.


“Will it be open in the evening?”


She raised an eyebrow. “Why do you think I brought you here?”


“To try something new?”


The corners of her mouth turned down a little, and, suddenly, he felt as if he had let her down.


“We’re leaving for Hammerfest the day after tomorrow.”


“Hammerfest? I thought you didn’t like the cold?” She had organised the trip when Paris hadn’t suited her. It had been her surprise for him.  He was wondering if it had been a good idea.


“I don’t.”




“We can go skiing. I hear they have ski fields in Hammerfest.”


“They do here, too.”


“You do ski, don’t you?” she asked him, a sad little smile decorating her lips.


“I do.”


She sat there staring at him. It was if she was waiting for him to say something…important. What, he wondered? Going through the list in his head, he ticked off the Christmas gifts he had bought for her. They were in his bag. Had he forgotten something?


With a big sigh she said, “For a smart guy you can be so dense. Hammerfest. The most northern city in the world. Which means…?”


God, he was such an idiot!


“No sun,” he admitted sheepishly. “At all during the day.”


The smile he received rivalled the sun. Her face was beaming.


“It will be midnight twice in twenty four hours. We can spend the whole day outside. We can walk through the snow…like we did once all those years ago.”


His heart felt like it would start beating. She had managed all this for him so that they could spend entire days together.


Reaching for her, he pulled her into a kiss. When their lips parted he said, “I’m never going to top this, am I?”


Her laugh was wonderfully wicked.




Merry Christmas.


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