It was nearly Christmas. You could smell the holiday in the air. Frost
and snow covered everything outside and inside the house was filled with
tantalizing aromas of ham slow roasting with a honey glaze. The fire was
bright and cackling and all the traditional decorations for Christmas were
artfully placed by three well meaning, if over excited bundles of joy. One
would expect to hear the children clamering down the hallway, glasses or
mugs clicking in toast, laugter and conversation. Yes, thats what one would
expect, but the opposite was true. The room was warm but silent, save for the
occasional ruffle of clothing or sniffle as someone held back tears.
Tomas sat with their youngest son Graham on his lap. He stared in wonder at
the curly brown head. How could they have just celebrated his arrival here
and then today be mourning the loss of his Godmother. As the last of the
guest walked out the front door, He raised his head to look at his wife of 10
years. Eloise was beautiful to him, even in her mourning, she radiated love
and warmth. Tomas knew she was missing her close friend, but she'd opened her
arms and their home to Angeline's family and other friends. She made herself
their center, their port of call during this harsh time, when one should have
been emersed in festivaties. Angeline and Elois had lived life like twins.
Adventures, love all of it had been intertwined. It had been devasting to
both women when Angie had learned too late she'd had breast cancer. Elois had
raged. How could someone so smart, so intellegent not have regular check ups.
But Angie had lived life for the next rush. Moving from one epic adventure to
the other, with out ever having so much as a common cold. When she'd began
to fill sick and not have any strength, she and Eloise argued nightly about
her need to go to the doctor. She'd been over to visit with the kids when she
passed out in the kitchen. Little Graham had run to his brothers, insisting
the twins help he with his angel. THe older boys thought he'd ment the angel
for the christmas tree. At six the twins thought they were grown and had
decided they could replace the ornament theirselves. When they went to the
kitchen to get a chair on which to stand, they found the fallen angel that
had graham in tears. They'd dialed 911 and then called Tomas home explaining
that Auntie Angel was sleeping on the floor in the kitchen and their cookies
were burning in the oven. Here they were on the eve of Christmas eve. Missing
one of the Key elements of the season. Of their lives. The cancer that had
resided in Angeline's breast had been slowly spreading through out her body.
Her sudden decline in health was the result of it taking over the last of
her organs. The doctors had been powerless to save her. Any treatment would
only add to her agonizing pain. The doctors had taken a moment to speak with
each female present at the hospital, ensuring them that if they but only test
regularly most their lives could be saved. Had Angeline gone to any of the
hundreds of appointments she'd scheduled then cancelled her life may have
been spared. But what ifs adn should haves were pointless.
Rising slowly he walked with Graham toward's Eloise and wrapped her into his
arms with their son. Standing for a moment he inhaled, just relishing this
time, burning it into his memory and willing Elois to do so as well.
"Hey Alice, lets put this little mouse to bed and have a rest, twiddle dee
and dum will be home tomorrow and it will be full steam ahead"
He guided his love down the hall, stopping briefly to put Graham to bed.
Removing his miniture suit he smiled as the child curled into his side.
Graham cuddled the teddy bear that Angeline had just given him for his
birthday and snuffled out a little sigh. Elois pulled the blankets up over
the baby and ran her finger through his curls. Love and sadness poured from
Arm and arm Tomas and Eloise made their way down the hall to their room. Once
inside Tomas sat Elois on the edge of the bed and slowly removed her clothes.
As he removed each shoe he massaged her stocking covered feet, before easing
the dark nylons offer her legs and wadding them up. He had Elois stand before
him and he lifted the simple black sheath dress over head and tossed it too
onto the floor. He made short work of her black bra then wrapped her his
flannel pajama top. Pushing slightly he guided her back on to the bed, then
gathered her discarded clothes and tossed them into the hamper. Tomas changed
into his own pajamas and tee shirt before starting the fire in their hearth
and climbing into bed..
As soon as he settled back against the head board Eloise climbed into his lap
and wiggled her way between his legs with her back to his front. Once she
was settled she leaned her dark head back against his shoulder and nuzzled
her nose into the side of his neck. They sat that way gazing into the flames.
Each reflecting on thier life and their blessings.
After a time Eloise began to open the button on the pajama top. She kept
her gaze forward so she didnt' see the questioning look one Tomas's face.
When she had every button undone, she placed her hands on Tomas's and slowly
brought them up her torso to rest inside the shirt on her breast. Once his
hands where in place, she raised her arms futher over her head and then
linked her fingers behind Tomas's neck. At this angle her breast were thrust
out futher into Tomas's hands. Understanding came slowly, but it came and
Tomas began to slowly move his fingers over her velvety coal skin. He touched
her with reverance and love, but he touched her slowly and firmly, relearning
the curves of her breast. The breast that had not only nursed and comforted
his sons, but himself. He commited the weight and shape to his mind, to the
very molecular make up of his fingers and palms. He spent what cold have been
hours with his eyes closed and his fingers molding and shaping the heavy
flesh. Finaly when, he felt Eloise release her linked hands and bring her
arms down. He stopped his ministrations and wrapped her in his arms. Turning
slowly, Tomas rolled them to one side and tucked her in close to his body.
FInally they slept