I walked into the house and stopped dead. All around me, the living room had been transformed into a winter wonderland. There were garlands hung around the doorways, twinkling lights draped everywhere, and bunches of mistletoe hung from the ceiling at regular intervals. It looked beautiful and perfect for Christmas.
The only thing was, it was the middle of July.
“What the hell?” I muttered, looking around wide eyed. I pulled my messenger bag off my shoulder and dropped it onto the couch. Turning in a slow circle, I took it all in again. And then filled my lungs, “Jamie!”
My roommate came running into the room, his smile wide but his eyes showed his nerves. When he’d answered the ad I’d placed in the newspaper a year ago, I would never have thought he was crazy. I needed help making the mortgage payments, he was desperate to get out of living with four roommates in a two bedroom apartment. We spent a couple of weeks hanging out and getting to know each other before we decided that the roommate situation would work out.
I flung my arms out and gestured to the room. I’m certain the disbelief was all over my face.
“What?” he asked, his tone mockingly innocent.
“Come on, Jamie! You want to tell me why you went Christmas Crazy in the middle of the summer?” I took a step toward him and his eyes lit up.
“Stop!” he shouted and I froze where I was, suddenly nervous that I was about to step on something lethal. But his grin just grew as he pointed up. I was right under a sprig of mistletoe. He stepped in closer until we were in touching distance.
“You have to kiss me now. It’s the mistletoe law,” he said softly, his voice dropping.
He nodded emphatically. “It is. I’m sure of it. If you’re under the mistletoe, you have to kiss whoever is under it with you.” He closed the distance between us with a very deliberate step.
And suddenly, everything made sense. The way he’d been acting the last couple of weeks, the things he had said. The way he sat a little closer to me on the couch when we were watching TV or how he suddenly sat next to me when we shared a meal instead of across the table. Every time I had caught him staring at me only to have him drop his gaze and blush. How had I not put the pieces together? Here I’d been thinking that I was alone in the way my feelings were growing and changing for him. And he’d been feeling the same exact things. Slowly, I reached out and cupped his face. I was suddenly grateful that I’d been running late this morning and didn’t have time to shave. I’d lost count of many times had he told me he thought I looked good with stubble.
I guided him in until we were touching from chest to knees. His breathing sped up. Every time he breathed in, our chests pressed together. He was just a few inches shorter than I was and I appreciated that even more now. The distance was enough that I had the leverage, but not so much that kissing would be difficult. With deliberate slowness, I lowered my head until our lips were just about to touch and froze there.
“Adam,” he whimpered when I didn’t take it further. He pushed up onto his toes, trying to press our lips together. I held his face still and backed up a scant inch so that he couldn’t reach his goal.
“Next time you want my attention, you ask for it. Okay?”
“Yes,” he agreed quickly. “I promise.”
I smiled. “It looks really good in here though,” I praised. Then I closed the distance between our mouths and kissed him.