Chapter 10:
Christmas Day. We went to midnight Mass with A.J.'s family last night, and this morning we're spending a little time with my family and then having dinner with his. This is also the first morning in two days that Javier hasn't been taking Ringo for a walk. Ringo's getting more exercise than ever before. Not that I blame Javier at all. If I were sixteen and had someone willing to suck my dick whenever I wanted I'd be there five or six times a day. I haven't decided if Javier is gay or bi or what, but at this point it doesn't really matter. He's living every teenage boy's dream and his big brother is keeping his dick happy and his balls drained. And now that he's manscaped and trimmed up, A.J. just devours everything in sight below his waist. I thought the first rim job was going to result in the walls coming down from the moaning. I sure hope our neighbors can't hear all of this.
Not that any of this has affected our sex life in the slightest. One of the great things about having a twenty-one year old lover is he has amazing endurance and is always ready for more. If anything he's more horny than usual. We've been having sex twice a day, even after he and Javier have their morning workout. We haven't had a 3-way yet, at least in the traditional sense, and I'm not sure I'm willing to cross that line yet with a sixteen year old boy. A.J. and I will fool around while Javier is being serviced but I've been really conscience of not touching Javier. Well other than stroking his skin or pinching a nipple here and there. I trust both of them implicitly and I know neither would ever say a word to anyone, but I'm still holding back for some reason. Maybe I just see this as their thing; something between brothers.
It's about one-thirty and we just got home from my parent's house. I close the front door, knocking the snow off my shoes and turn around. A.J. pulls himself into me, wrapping his arms around me and resting his head on my shoulder.
"Merry Christmas, sexy man. I love you."
I wrap him in my arms and kiss the top of his head. "Merry Christmas, baby. I love you too. Dinner is at three, right?"
He nods his head. "Yup. Though I think we're expected there earlier; like by two. So that only leaves us a half hour."
I smile. "A half hour for what, sexy boy?"
"I haven't decided yet. I actually really like what we're doing right now. I just want to hold you for a while."
"I'll hold you all day if you want, baby. I love holding you."
He sighs a little and kisses my neck, hugging me tighter. I hold him tightly against me and whisper in his ear.
"You feel really good in my arms. Is everything okay, Mijo?"
"Yeah, everything is great. I just want to be held by you."
We've been hugging for about five minutes when he pulls back from me and smiles.
"I gotta pee. Sorry. Don't move though; I want more of this."
I grin. "I'll be right here waiting for you."
I hear the toilet flush and he's walking back in, smiling at me and taking his coat off. He drops his coat on the couch and walks back into my arms. After hugging me for another minute he pulls back, kisses my nose and smiles.
"Take your coat off; I want more body contact."
I take my coat off and chuck it across the room, missing the couch and watching it slide down to the floor. He giggles and pulls me back into him. We've been hugging another five minutes when he whispers in my ear again.
"I just wanted to say thank you again for my present; I love it almost as much as I love you."
I squeeze him again. "You're very welcome. Your smile was my present, not that I don't love what you got me too. You're great at finding just the right gift."
I bought him a silver and onyx bracelet with both our names on it and he gave me a silver chain with a stainless cross pendant, just like the one he wears. Not that I'm Catholic or all that religious but I couldn't imagine a more personal gift from him.
"You really like it? I know you're not Catholic but I thought it'd look great on you. It does too."
"I love it, Alejandro. It's just like yours and that means the world to me. Thank you."
He snuggles closer and kisses my neck. "That's the first time you've ever called me Alejandro. It sounds good coming from your lips."
"I love you."
"I love you." He sighs again. "I guess we should get this stuff loaded in the car and get over there before I hear Alejandro Joaquim from Mama."
I chuckle and kiss his ear. "Want me to beat her up for ya?"
He laughs. "Neh, it's Christmas; that wouldn't be nice. Thanks for wanting to protect me though."
"I'd do anything for you."
He pulls away, smiles and kisses my nose again. "I would for you too." He kisses me and then slowly runs his fingers down the side of my face, smiling at me. I can't help but smile back at him.
Ten minutes later we're pulling into the driveway behind Alejandro Sr's. pickup. I look over at A.J. and grin. He rolls his eyes and smiles at me.
"You know he's gonna fall out when he see that thing, don't ya?"
"Yup. That's the goal, baby."
I gather up my duct taped mess while A.J. grabs the bags with the other presents in them and we walk up to the door. I manage to ring the bell. We normally just walk right in but he's hoping his dad answers the door. So much for hope. Regina opens the door and looks at both of us and then at the bundle I'm holding. She just starts laughing like I've never seen her laugh before. She pulls herself together and shakes her head, smiling at me.
"I'll give you credit for one thing, you have a wicked sense of humor."
I grin. "Thanks for finally noticing."
"I always give credit where credit is due. Please tell me that's for Ringo."
We both laugh. "Nope, it's for your other half. We got Ringo something smaller and more useful."
She laughs again. "I can only imagine. Come in, come in. Try and knock the snow off your feet first though; some of us are in socks only."
A.J. and I walk in and set our bundles down and then just take our shoes off. Running around in socks only sounds like a good idea anyway. The fireplace is going strong and it's nice and warm in here. Just as I'm standing back up to take my coat off, Alejandro walks in the room. He hasn't spotted the mess yet and just walks up to both of us, smiling. He hugs A.J. to within an inch of his life and then reaches over and pulls me into a bear hug.
"Welcome! Merry Christmas guys."
"Merry Christmas! Did Santa bring you anything good?"
He laughs. "He did actually. I got a new router from my beautiful wife and a new printer from my two youngest."
I turn to A.J. "See, some people like practical gifts like mixers."
He rolls his eyes and grins. "Fine, go buy the mixer. We'll be eating when you get back."
Alejandro smiles at me. "You were gonna get me a mixer? Like cement mixer?"
A.J. laughs. "I don't think it'd be a good idea to mix cement in the mixer he was looking at. No, he was gonna get one for Mama before I told him appliances weren't a good Christmas present."
Regina looks at me. "If you're talking about the one I think you are, then good. You can't spend that kind of money, Brody." She grins. "Besides, I already have one, thank you."
I smile. "Yeah? What color?"
"White. I'm a traditionalist. What color is yours?" She grins.
"Blue. I wanted some color in the kitchen."
A.J. looks at us, shaking his head and grinning. "Would you two ladies like to go bake something together now?"
Regina looks at him. "Be nice, or you don't get any, young man. Now give your mother a hug."
While they're hugging Alejandro turns and notices the giant mess next to the stairs. He looks at it, looks at me and just busts up laughing.
"Oh my God! I heard about the duct tape surprise but never expected this! It's awesome! That's like the worst looking wrap job in the history of presents. Thanks!"
I laugh and look at him. "Sure, no problem. Thanks for insulting my wrapping skills."
He laughs again. "Come on, you gotta admit, that looks like Ringo wrapped it."
I laugh harder. "Gee thanks, now I can't even wrap as well as a dog. Feel free to break into it and see what's hiding inside."
"Yeah, let me go get my chainsaw; be right back." We both laugh again.
He sits down on the stairs to tackle the present as Javier walks into the room. He smiles at me and A.J. and then looks at his dad. He laughs and shakes his head.
"We finally get to see what's inside of that mess."
He walks over to A.J. and gives him a big hug and then turns to me, smiling. He pulls me in his arms and holds me tightly, slightly rubbing his crotch against mine. I feel him chub up a little before he kisses my cheek and pulls back, grinning at me. I smile at him.
"Nice hug; thank you."
"You're welcome. Merry Christmas, Brody."
I almost smirk. "Merry Christmas, Javier."
We smile at each other and turn to watch Alejandro tackle the present. He's pulled his knife out and is now hacking at the seams of the tape. The rest of us laugh while watching him. He finally gets enough of the tape and paper off to see what's inside and starts howling with laughter. He finally gets the rest of the paper off and pulls out his giant inflatable hammer, showing it to everyone. The room erupts in laughter. He takes the hammer and bops Javier on the head with it and then stands up. He hands the hammer to Regina and pulls me into another bear hug.
"You're a crazy gringo, my friend. I love it! Thank you."
I wrap him in my arms. "You're very welcome, my friend. I hope you don't already have one like it. I wanted to be unique."
He laughs and lets me go. "You are; you're my crazy gringo friend. That is hilarious and I can't wait to take it to work with me."
Angelina walks in just then and stops to look at everyone, smiling and wondering what all the laughter is about. She spots the hammer her mother is holding and breaks up laughing. When she recovers she looks at Regina.
"Is that to keep A.J. and Javier in line?"
Regina laughs. "No, it's to keep you in line. It's your father's, from Brody."
Angelina looks at me and smiles. "That's funny, Brody. Did Papa give you his gift yet?"
I smile at her. "Not yet. We were too busy laughing about this one. I'm sure it'll be great though."
A.J. turns to his dad. "Read the handle, Papa; he personalized it for you."
Alejandro takes the hammer from Regina and reads the handle. He falls out, laughing again and shaking his head. He turns to me.
"That is priceless! Too funny, man."
I turn to A.J. and grin. "See, he got it."
A.J. laughs and shakes his head. "It has to be an old guy thing."
I smirk and start to say it. "I got your old..." He starts laughing.
"Go ahead and finish that."
I smirk and laugh. "I'll pass."
Alejandro caught it and laughs, turning to me. "Be nice, there's young ears in the room."
I blush a little. "Sorry. I'll be good."
Regina just rolls her eyes and shakes her head. She walks over to Alejandro and takes his hammer from him, turning and bopping me on the head with it. She just grins at me while everyone else laughs. She hands the hammer back to Alejandro and walks to the kitchen. When she returns she's carrying a tray of mugs and sets them on the dining table.
"We can have hot chocolate while we open the rest of the gifts." She turns to Javier and Angelina. "Leave the cup on the table while you're opening things; I don't want them spilled on the carpet."
After opening gifts and getting and giving lots of hugs and thank you's we're sitting in the living room, watching the fire and talking. Alejandro got me a plastic, little kids first day at school set. It consisted of plastic iPad, pen, pencil, ruler, compass, protractor and a plastic apple for the teacher. We all got another good laugh out of it. As I'm taking a sip of my cocoa, Regina turns to me.
"This is really beautiful, Brody. Thank you very much, but if you ever spend this kind of money on a Christmas gift for me again I'll take that hammer to your head. I love it though."
I smile at her. "You're very welcome, Regina. Since your son wouldn't let me buy the mixer that was my next idea. I'm glad you like it."
"I like it a lot; thank you."
As I'm smiling at her, I feel someone wrap me in a hug from behind. I turn to see Javier's smiling face next to mine.
"Thank you for my sweater too; I love it; it's perfect."
I reach up and hug his head to mine. "You're very welcome too, Javier. Thank you for my new tablet case; it's the perfect gift for my new job."
He smiles. "I thought it might be. I'm glad you like it."
Regina stands up and looks at all of us. "Alright, let's sit down to eat; I don't want dinner to be cold."
While the men are all sitting at the table, Regina and Angelina are bringing the food in and setting it down. I offer to help but I get shot down by Regina. I notice we're having kind of a hybrid Mexican and traditional dinner. I see foods like turkey and mashed potatoes but alongside it I see things like a bowl of green chili, another bowl of guacamole, some corn tortillas and then Regina sets down a really beautiful dish of carne asada, the smell making my mouth water. I'm glad to see there are filled water glasses in front of everyone and poor Angelina doesn't have to run back and forth more to bring drinks. Once Regina and Angelina are sitting, I look over at Regina.
"This all looks and smell really wonderful, Regina. Thank you so much for all of your hard work." I look at Angelina and smile. "That goes for you too. Thank you so much for this."
Regina smiles. "It was nothing. I like taking care of my family."
I return her smile. "I can tell. Uh, I know it's tradition for Alejandro to say grace, but I would be honored if you'd allow me to say it this time."
She smiles brightly. "That would be very nice, Brody. Please."
I hold my hands out to take Angelina and Alejandro's hand in mine, everyone else following my lead. I'm not sure they ever do that but it seemed liked the right thing to do today. I bow my head.
"Father, we thank you for the wonderful bounty we're about to receive. Through your grace we are together to celebrate the birth of your son, Jesus Christ. We ask in your name for our continued good health and happiness. Father, we also pray for those who can't be with family and loved ones today; please watch over them. On a personal note, I'd like to give my thanks to you, Father, for bringing this loving family into my life and allowing me to share their good graces. For thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever. Amen."
Regina looks at me, smiling with tears in her eyes. "That was beautiful, Brody."
I blush and smile at her. A.J. looks across the table at me and smiles and winks. I blush again but then turn to Angelina.
"So what would the prettiest girl in town like to start with?"
She blushes. "You're our guest; you get to go first."
I grin at her. "Not today. I feel like family and I think the prettiest girl should go first."
She smiles at me. "You are family, Brody. In that case, I'd like to try some of Mama's turkey; it smells great."
"Your wish is my command." I reach down and hold the turkey platter for her while she picks a couple of slices off and puts them on her plate. She smiles again.
"Thank you, Brody."
"You're welcome, Angelina. What next?"
After I get her plate loaded up I start to load mine up while everyone else is doing the same. I've had some really good Christmas dinners in my lifetime but this is incredible. The flavors and textures and tastes of everything are making my mouth very happy. And the carne asada is truly legendary. It just melts in your mouth and is so tender you could cut it with a spoon if you had to. I'm trying very hard not to make a pig of myself but it's impossible. I've had two helpings of everything on the table and I'm pretty sure I'm ready for more; I can't wait for dessert.
We've been sitting at the table for the better part of an hour when I finally push my plate away from me. I look over at Alejandro. He's working on his third helping of mashed potatoes and green chili. I grin at him.
"I'm glad I'm not the only one to eat like a starving man."
He chuckles. "Hey, it's good; eat up. Don't worry about looking like a pig; we all look like one."
"Yeah, I see the two vacuums over there not even taking a breath."
He laughs and A.J. and Javier look up from their food, grinning at me. A.J. shakes his head.
"You're just jealous that you can't eat this much and still move."
Javier smirks. "I think he's just jealous that we can eat this much and not gain any weight. You know what it's like after thirty; a minute on the lips; a lifetime on the hips."
I smirk and look at them. "Yeah, enjoy it while you can. Neither of you is getting any younger, ya know."
Regina looks at both of them, grinning. "And I take exception to that after thirty comment, cerdito (piggy). I weigh the same as I did at your age."
Javier tries to clean it up. "Oh, that doesn't include women, Mama; just guys. They lose the will to stay in shape after thirty."
I laugh. "Gee thanks. So now me and your father are just fat pigs, huh?"
Everyone laughs and Javier looks like a deer in the headlights. He tries again. "No, no, but a lot of guys just give up for some reason. You and Papa still look really good for your age."
Alejandro and I bust up laughing. Alejandro looks at Javier. "You're digging your own grave, boy; give up now before it's too late."
Javier blushes and smiles and then just looks down at his plate and shovels in another mouthful of food. A.J. looks over at him and smirks.
"You never know when to stop talking, do ya?"
Javier looks at him and grins with a mouth full of food. "Yes I do. Now."
"Ewwwww, swallow before you talk, cerdito."
Javier smirks. "Take your own advice."
I know what he's talking about and try not to smirk. I change the subject instead. I look at Regina.
"Not that I'm hungry or anything, but when's dessert?"
She laughs. "Whenever you'd like it. We have apple empanadas or cherry pie with ice cream."
"Mmmmmm, both sound delicious. I'll wait for everyone to finish though; I'm not that much of a pig."
She smiles. "Whenever you're ready."
It's been about an hour since dinner. We've had dessert and spent some time talking in the living room. Regina and Angelina are upstairs doing something, A.J., Alejandro and Javier are talking about a football game they went to last year and I'm standing at the patio doors, watching Ringo play in the snow. I'd come into the kitchen to get a glass a water and saw him having a blast rooting through the snow with his nose and decided to stay and watch for a minute. I feel a pair of arms come around me and hug me from behind, holding me tightly. I'm already learning Javier's scent from my hugs today and I reach behind me and hug his head against mine again. He sighs.
"I'm really glad you came to Christmas dinner, Brody. And I'm really, really sorry if I offended you with that crack about guys over thirty. I meant no disrespect."
"I know, Javier; you were only joking. Believe me, I didn't take any offense to it; I thought it was funny."
"Good. I would never do anything to hurt your feelings, Brody."
I hug his head a little tighter. "I know, Javier. Please don't worry about it. You have a great sense of humor and I know when you're joking."
He exhales on my ear, making it tingle. "Thanks. You have a great sense of humor too; you always make me laugh. I'm glad you're in our life now."
"Me too, Javier. I'm really happy to be a part of your life." I chuckle, watching Ringo. "He's having a great time in the snow. I wonder what he's trying to root out of there."
"Probably the tennis ball he always plays with. He loves that thing and goes nuts when he can't find it." He releases me from his hug and stands next to me, watching.
"I guess it'd be kind of mean to find it for him and then throw it back in the snow and watch him dive for it."
He laughs. "It probably is, but I do it to him all the time. It's hilarious to watch him nose dive into the snow."
I turn and grin at Javier. "Nice. You have the same evil sense of humor I have."
He grins. "It's not as much fun to be nice all the time. Sometimes you have to shake things up."
"I totally agree."
He leans over and kisses my cheek. "Let's go drag A.J. away from Papa. We can play cards or something."
"Sounds like a plan."
We've been sitting at the dining table playing cards for about an hour when Javier excuses himself to go take a piss. Once he's gone I look at A.J. and whisper across to him.
"Do you know what's going on with Javier?"
He shrugs. "Whadda ya mean?"
"I'm not sure. It just seems like he's being really cuddly with me today. He's hugged me like six or seven times and kissed my cheek three or four times. He finds ways to be alone with me."
A.J. smiles from ear to ear. "Oh that. Yeah, he's crushing on you. He's got it bad, too."
"What? You're joking."
"No I'm not."
"He's straight. I mean I know what's been happening, but that and getting a crush on a guy are two different things."
He grins. "I don't care. The boy's got it bad for ya. The problem is, he thinks you don't think he's hot `cause you haven't joined in. I told him to stop thinking that; that you were just nervous about doing things with him but he still thinks that's why."
"Oh man... So you two have talked about this? Why didn't you tell me?"
"I promised him I wouldn't. You brought it up and I can't lie to you, so that's the only reason I told ya. But yeah, he thinks you're about the greatest guy ever. I can't say that I disagree with him; you are." He smiles.
"Oh man... We have to get this worked out. I can't have him thinking I don't like him or don't wanna do stuff with him. I do, but I'm just afraid of the possible consequences. And not just to me, but to him. He does identify as straight, ya know."
A.J. grins again. "You really believe that now? I think he might be trying to hold on to that dream, but it's a long shot. He might be bi, but not straight anymore. He likes this too much."
"Even so, he's only sixteen; he doesn't have to decide yet. And I have to let him know he's wrong without really letting on that we talked. Any ideas?"
"Yeah, make love with him."
I roll my eyes. "Seriously, baby. I can't just sweep him off his feet and make love with him. That'd be wrong on countless levels."
He giggles. "Well I didn't mean that way; you're mine. I'm just saying the only way to convince him that you like him would be to join in with us, or even do something with just you two. I'll watch this time." He grins.
I sigh and groan. "I don't know if that's the right answer. It might just make his crush worse."
He giggles again. "A crush is a bad thing?"
"It can be when the circumstances aren't right. I have you and I'm not looking for anyone else. He's sixteen and your brother. How can this turn out good?"
"Okay, you might have a point with that. I still think the only way you're gonna convince him you don't think he's a troll is to do something with him."
I roll my eyes and smirk. "A troll? That's just wrong. I think he's every bit as sexy as you are, but the only sixteen thing throws up a ton of red flags."
"Then you need to talk to him, and tell him that."
I nod. "You're right. Invite him to come home with us tonight. Tell him you wanna play video games with him or something. I can't talk about this stuff here in this house."
He grins. "Okay, baby, I will. Now discard that jack so I can have it."
I smirk and laugh. "Ya big cheat. Looking over at my cards while I'm distracted."
"Hey you lowered `em while you were talking; it's not my fault." He blows me a kiss while I discard the jack for him.
I grin. "Brat."
He smiles. "Yup. You love me anyway."
I grin. "You think that now. What about when I run off with your brother and get married?"
He laughs. "I'd hunt you both down and bury you in the same grave. Take a new card so I can see if I need it."
I laugh. "I do love you, ya brat."
Javier sits down at his place and looks at us. "You guys have been cheating while I was gone, huh?"
I smile at him. "No, just him cheating by looking at my cards and telling me what he wants from my hand."
We spend another half hour playing cards before I have to excuse myself to piss. When I get back the card game is over and I have no idea how many points they took from me while I was gone. We're in the living room again, talking with Regina, Alejandro and Angelina when Regina looks at her watch and turns to Angelina.
"It's getting late. You should go up and get your night clothes on and brush your teeth. You can come back down and say goodbye to A.J. and Brody when you're done." She turns to Javier. "That goes for you too."
I sneak a look at my watch. 8:37 p.m. Wow. Oh well, it's not my rule and I can stay up as late as I want. Javier turns to his parents, smiling.
"Actually, I wanted to ask you both if I could go home with A.J. He has a new game for his Playstation that Brody got him and we'd like to break it in. Please?" He turns to Alejandro. "Please, Papa? I'll still go to bed at a decent time but I really wanna check out this new game. We don't have school tomorrow and it is Christmas after all."
Alejandro grins at him. "Don't try to guilt us into this. Did you ask Brody if he minded having you there all night? And where are you going to sleep?"
I turn to Alejandro, smiling. "It's more than alright with me; he can keep A.J. entertained on that game console. I haven't figured it out yet. And he can sleep in A.J.'s room or on the couch. If he's nice, I'll let him sleep in the bathtub."
Regina grins at me. "He'd better be nice and respectful. Give him a few gallons of water to sleep in for comfort." She turns to Alejandro. "What do you think?"
"It's alright with me if they don't mind having another mouth to feed tomorrow morning." He turns to me. "I hope you're stocked up on groceries."
Regina turns to Javier. "Alright, you can go. Take your backpack with you with some clean clothes and toiletries in it. And you better not stay up all night playing video games. Also take your winter coat and your boots; it's snowy outside. Mind your manners and show respect at all times."
"Yes, Mama. Thank you! I love you both!"
He jumps up and hugs them both and then runs up the stairs at full speed. You'd think he'd never had a sleep-over before. Maybe he's just feeling like he's been sprung from jail. I chuckle and turn to Regina.
"He'll be fine. He's always respectful and I like having him around. Maybe I'll make him work for breakfast by shoveling the driveway."
She looks at me. "Please do. He needs to know there are no free rides in life. You can send his brother out with him to shovel the front walk." She turns to A.J. and grins.
A.J. grins at her. "I already shoveled it. I even swept off the front porch and that fence looking thing on the front of it to knock the snow off."
"It's called a trellis, wise guy."
"Yeah, that thing."
About five minutes later Javier is standing there in his coat and boots and Angelina is there looking just as pretty as always in her nightgown and fuzzy kitty slippers. I walk over to Angelina.
"I love your kitty slippers; they look really warm and comfy. Thank you for today, Angelina, I had a great time. I'm glad I got to share my Christmas with you."
She smiles. "I'm glad too. I had fun today with you here. Merry Christmas, Brody."
I reach up and pull her into a hug. "Merry Christmas, Angelina. Sleep well and sweet dreams."
"You too."
We break the hug and smile at each other again. I turn to Alejandro and grin.
"Thank you for everything, my friend. Especially the getting started at work set; it's just perfect for my new job."
He laughs. "You're welcome. Just like my new hammer is perfect for three kids, er, my job. Drive safe goin' home. If you get fed up him with before morning just sit him out at the mailbox; someone will pick him up." We both laugh.
I wink at him. "Which one?"
He laughs really loudly and A.J. and Javier roll their eyes and boo us down. I grab Alejandro into a big bear hug for a moment and then turn to Regina.
"I swear I'm not kissing up this time. That was the most incredible dinner I've ever had. Thank you for making it. Thank you for sharing it and your family with me. Today's been one of the best Christmases ever thanks to you."
She smiles at me. "Thank you, Brody, that was a very kind thing to say. I'm glad someone appreciates all of my hard work and has good manners." She looks around at the others and settles back on me, grinning. "I'm pleased you were able to join us today. Merry Christmas, Brody."
"Merry Christmas, Regina."
I hold my arms out a little and cock my head to the side like a dog, looking at her. She smirks and shakes her head and gives me a hug. It's a quick hug but one I never dreamt I'd be getting. I smile at her and turn to my two young men.
"I figured one of you would be out scraping ice so I can see to drive home."
Javier grins at me. "Hand me the keys and I'll go warm it up and scrape the ice."
I chuckle and toss him the keys. He's out of the door in a flash. I turn to A.J.
"That boy wants breakfast." We all laugh.
I get down on one knee and call Ringo over to me. He trots over, tail wagging and shoves his nose in my neck, licking me. I hug him and scratch his head and ears.
"Merry Christmas, Ringo. Keep `em safe for us. Maybe by spring you'll find your tennis ball." I pet him a few times and stand up.
I walk over and get my coat, putting it on and then sit down on the bottom step and put my shoes on. I'm bundled up and ready to go when Regina walks over to me holding a few Ziplok bags full of food. I take them from her and smile.
"Do I have to share?"
She laughs. "Not if you don't want to."
"Good. Thank you."
"You're welcome. You might want to get out there before he's test driving your car. He's so anxious to start driving. Not until his grades are up though."
"Thanks for the warning. Goodnight." I turn to the other two. "Goodnight. Sleep well."
A.J. walks over and hugs his father and then turns to his mother and hugs her tight. "I love you, Mama. Thank you for everything."
"You're welcome, hijo. I love you too."
A.J. walks over to Angelina and pulls her into a tight hug. "Feliz Navidad, hermanita. Te amo."
"Te amo, A.J.. Feliz navidad."
We open the door and walk outside, finding Javier sitting in the driver's seat and all the windows scraped and clean. I walk over to the driver's door and motion for him to roll the window down. I grin at him.
"License, registration and proof of insurance, sir."
He laughs and then looks down and then back to me. "I don't have it yet. I'm a great driver though. Wanna find out how good?"
I smile at him. "Sure. When you have your license. Sorry."
He grins. "That's okay. Does the back seat have seat heaters? These feel great; my ass is nice and warm."
I grin. "As well it should be. But nope, sorry again. You can fight A.J. for the front seat. Now let me in; it's cold out here. And thank you for scraping ice."
He gets out and smiles at me and then opens the back door and gets back in. I jump in and set my goodies on the center console and strap myself in. I look up at the house but the door is closed and I don't even see anyone at the window. I turn to A.J.
"You ready?"
"Yup, let's go home."