Trevor Hale sat looking out at the Chicago skyline from his bedroom window. The snow fell softly around the city making all of the lights from the skyscrapers blur into a fuzzy glimmer turning the city of cement and stone to a fluffy winter Wonderland. The open bedroom window sent drifts of snow flying about, dropping the temperature to a chilly 17 degrees. Trevor wrapped himself up in another blanket and dragged the Christmas tree closer to the window. Grinning wickedly, Trevor watched the snowflakes cling to the tree as he hunkered down into his blankets.
Poking his head into the room, Champ Terrace, frowned at what he saw.
“Trevor, what the hell are you doing in here? Its so cold in the apartment there are icicles forming in the bathroom!” Champ yelled.
“Champ, my man, I am frosting the Christmas tree the way Persephone intended! It’s a better way of frosting the tree and is environmental friendly!” Trevor beamed as he watched the snow settle on to the pine tree.
“Trevor, you DO know that as soon as the tree is placed in the living room the snow is going to melt. Its not a permanent frosting.”
“I was thinking, to make this holiday season a little more festive, that we could turn off the heaters, water down the floors, let it freeze over and do a little ice skate funk. We can decorate the in-doors to match the outdoors and make a little merriment right here. Actually ‘Deck the Halls’ and everything.”
“As much as I like to deck halls we mortals require warmth, a dry environment, and to keep ice skating outside. Besides, I don’t want to catch pneumonia. I can already feel myself getting sick and with you doing this its going to make me sicker.”
“Champ, is ‘sicker’ a word? And besides, we only have a month until Christmas and I want to make this party palace perfect for partners!”
“It will be just fine if you close that window, bring the tree into the living room, and turn back on the damn heater, Trevor!”
“You know, if you wanted to get an acting job, did you ever consider being Jim Carrey’s understudy as the Grinch? You would be perfect for that!”
“Very funny, Trevor. Just do it!” Champ yelled as he closed the door and stomped down the hall back to his bedroom. Trevor cringed as he heard Champ’s bedroom door slam shut. Sighing, Trevor dragged the tree back out in to the living room where he propped it up against the wall haphazardly. Rubbing his hands together he went to the heater and turned it back on and then shut his bedroom window. Feeling the warmth returning to the apartment, Trevor took off the layers of blankets and jackets and dropped them on the floor.
“Trevor, if you want to see a winter wonderland and halls that are decked why don’t you go out side for a walk in the park. They always put on a Christmas light show.” Champ yelled from behind his closed bedroom door.
“Not a bad idea. Want anything while I am out?”
“Peace and quiet, Trevor.”
“What about goodwill to men?”
“That’s not what I was talking about. Bye, Trevor!” Champ shouted.
On the other side of town, Claire Allen was sitting down to Thanksgiving leftovers. The fire in the fireplace was crackling merrily. Candles, smelling of pine and vanilla, flickered on the mantel. Her lap top computer was open next to her plate of turkey, stuffing, and green bean casserole. Munching on a green bean, Dr. Claire Allen typed an email to the newspaper asking them to run a few old issues of her advice column. Stopping mid-type, Claire walked over to the window to look out at the snow falling and the lights of the city. Seeing the blanket of white on the ground, the twinkling city lights, and the children having a snowball fight in her neighbor’s yard brought a smile to her face. It was times like these that Claire wished most to be young again. To feel no responsibility, living only to have fun, and believing in Santa.
Work with her patients was not a ball of fun and kick-up-your-heels good times. One patient in particular wrangled her nerves to no end. This year the holidays would not be spoiled by the bane of her couples counseling and psychiatric practice, a one Trevor Hale. The delusional, self-proclaimed ‘God of Love’ himself, Cupid. She had to admit that at times Trevor wasn’t so bad but those times were few and far between and as of late he was only grating on her nerves.
Coming out of her thoughts, Claire turned her attention back to the children playing in the snow. One little girl stood off to the side of the snowball fight, wrapped up tightly in a lavender ski jacket, dark purple scarf covering half her face, and matching mittens. She was looking at the ground and slightly kicking at the powder-like snow, shifting it from side to side. She couldn’t have been more then three or four years old. Glancing up, her bright pink cheeks dimpling, she smiled at a little boy who was sitting on a snow bank, head tilted up, mouth wide open to catch the snowflakes falling from the sky. Waddling over to the little boy, she glanced at him and smiled. He glanced up at her and smiled back then returned to catching snowflakes on his tongue. Giggling, she sat next to him, tilted her head back to the sky, and stuck her tongue out, too.
Turning away from the window, laughing, Claire went back to her now cold leftovers and laptop to send the email to her editor. She had a little vacation time coming and what better time to take it then now. She hadn’t even started Christmas shopping yet! And only 29 shopping days left until Christmas.
Humming to herself, Claire went back to the window to watch the children play.
Trevor walked along the edge of the park not really caring where he was going. The snow was coming down heavily and no one was out walking so there was no danger of running into someone. Every where he looked there was a blanket of white. The trees and lights were buried under the snow as well as the houses and streets. Trevor looked up at the sky to watch the snowflakes falling as he walked. Not watching where he walked, he sidestepped into a garbage can and fell face first into a snow pile. Raising himself up by his hands, snow clinging to his cap and gloves, Trevor munched on a mouthful of snow. Looking through the white stuff falling he recognized a familiar street.
Shouting with glee, Trevor jumped to his feet, dusted off his gloves and jacket, and headed off down the street. He saw a yard full of children building snow forts, lobbing bowling ball size snow balls back and forth, decimating the structures. The air was alive with shrieks and hollers of little children playing. He noticed two young children sitting on a snow pile and from out of the direct path of the snow ball war, looking up into the sky, intently sticking their tongues out.
Talking to himself, “I wonder if Zeus would consider it a match?” as he eyed the girl and the boy catching snowflakes on their tongue. “Nah, probably not.” Shrugging, he walked up to the front porch of the house and peered in.
Claire sat in front of the fire reading a novel, feet tucked under her, wrapped in her flannel pajamas and fleece robe. The novel wasn’t her first choice but it was the only thing in her house worth reading save psychiatric profiles and old college textbooks. Turning the page she read out loud, “James slowly wrapped his arms around Julia, gently gliding his fingers against her naked, burning flesh. Letting out a moan of desire and want, Julia succumbed to the embrace holding James against her like there was no tomorrow.”
Claire jumped off the couch to a standing position, throwing the book behind the couch on to the floor. She wasn’t expecting company since Alex was in New York, her dad was off somewhere with his band, and her sister was in California pursuing her singing career. Checking to see that her robe hadn’t come undone, she walked up to the door and peered out her peephole. Not seeing anyone there she opened it looking down, expecting one of the children had lost a ball and needed to get into her back yard again.
BAM! A snowball broad sided her right on her temple, stinging her head and leaving a cold, wet trail of water dripping down on to her bare skin and drenching her pajamas. Wiping the wetness away from her eyes, she looked to see who the culprit was. Not seeing anyone she unleashed a tirade of curses at the children who she believed were the ones who threw the snow. All of a sudden, the flurry of snowball fighting stopped and silence surrounded her. The children, not knowing what happened, looked at Claire standing on her porch.
“I want to know who threw this at me? Its not very nice to be throwing snow balls at your elders. And if you tell me now, I won’t go to your parents about this.” Claire said, standing with her hand on her hips. She watched the children look around at each other and then back to her and then up towards the roof of her house. Claire backed off her porch and looked up on to the roof. Into her face came another fresh pile of loosely packed snow. Screeching, she wiped it away to see Trevor, hunkered down on the edge of her house smiling like a jack-o-lantern, getting ready to throw another ball at her.
“Trevor! What are you doing on my roof?” She yelled, shaking her head to get all of the snow out of her hair.
“I was in the neighborhood and I thought that I would drop in on you.”
“Next time you decide to drop in, can you just come to the door like normal people rather then climbing up on to the roof and pretending your one of Santa’s helpers! AND will you please refrain from pelting me with snowballs. I am drenched thanks to you.” Claire shouted up at him.
“Only because you asked me so nicely, Sparky.” Trevor grinned impishly as he jumped down from the roof to land next to Claire. “And since you are so wet I was wondering if you need any help drying off? I can give you the same treatment that I gave to a water nymph awhile back. It involves a lot of licking, a lot of furs, and a little bit of naughty but nice lovin’.”
As she listened to Trevor ramble on she inched ever so slowly closer to the rail of her stairs. Putting her hands behind her, she swiped some snow off the rail and tightened her hand into a fist, compacting the snow into a tight little ball. Taking a hint from the children, who had started up their snow war again, she walked slowly away from Trevor pondering where to take aim and loose her snowball.
“So how about it, Claire?” Trevor said.
“Oh Trevor, I don’t think so. It wouldn’t be professional nor ethical for me to get involved with one of,” she started to talk as she backed farther away from Trevor. “my patients.” She watched Trevor blink a few times, letting the turn down settle into his brain then she drew back her arm like a pro-pitcher and let sail the snowball. She giggled when it hit Trevor straight on the side of the head where she had aimed it.
Looking dazed, Trevor sputtered as he struggled to get chunks of snow out of his mouth. Sounding hurt, he looked at Claire with tears in his eyes and said,” I can’t believe you just did that! After all of that yelling at me about getting you wet and then you do it back to me. What kind of psychiatrist are you?” As he was talking he was moving closer to her, plotting a strategy for revenge with each step.
“Trevor, I am so sorry.” Claire bit her lower lip and looked away from him, still talking. “I was just playing with you. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Are you alright?” she asked, glancing up and noticing he was so close to her.
“Sure, I will be fine as soon as I can…” Trevor said as he grabbed her arms, putting her in a full nelson wrestling hold. “white wash you!!” he shouted at her as he held her face down into the fresh snow. Letting her go, he ran away to the far side of the yard and watched her.
“White wash? You call that a white wash? Come here, Trevor, and I will show you just what a white wash is!” Claire quipped as she shook the snow out of her hair again.
Smiling radiantly, he clapped his hands together. “Oh! I get it! You are using code words. Like ‘golden showers’ and ‘downtown’. I get it! Tell me, were you ever one of James Bond’s girls?” Trevor smirked at Claire.
“Trevor, I give up. I am completely soaked through and I feel frost bite sinking in. I am going inside now.” With that Claire turned around and walked into her house leaving Trevor standing in the middle of the snowball fight. Dodging the snow, he weaved in and out of the onslaught and ran into Claire’s house. Looking around he saw the candles lit, the fire dancing merrily in the fireplace, and the laptop open on the dining room table. Not wanting to make a mess of the floor he stamped his shoes out on the rug, and shrugged out of his damp jacket and shoes. He pulled off his socks and draped them over the mantel. Plunking himself down, Trevor stretched out in front of the fire savoring the warmth.
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!”
Upstairs Claire changed to her old college sweats and threw a baseball hat over her wet hair. She skipped down the stairs with a smile on her face but stopped cold in her tracks at what she saw. Trevor, stripped down to his white undershirt and boxer shorts sprawled out in front of the fire. He had draped all of his wet clothes to hang part way down the fireplace mantel and was basking in the glow of the heat. Sighing, Claire walked over to Trevor and looked down at him. His eyes were closed, a slight blush on his cheeks, hair slicked with wetness, and a smirk danced on his lips.
“Hiya’s Sparky! I kept a spot warm for you.” Trevor said, not even bothering to open his eyes, knowing she was there.
“Did I invite you in? No, I didn’t. You know, legally you are trespassing, breaking and entering, and I am sure, if caught, you would be found guilty of twenty or so other accounts of criminal misconduct.” Claire quipped as she sat on the floor next to him, warming herself up in front of the fire.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have heard that a million times before from Zeus but did that ever stop me from running wild all over Mount Olympus? I think not!”