Episode 6 – Christmas Shopping

It’s morning. Light’s sneaking under the blankets. I hear footsteps, and Britney sticks her head in next to mine. “Arne, why are you hiding? We’re all having breakfast.”

“I’m still asleep,” I mumble, still freaked by my nightmare…or whatever the fuck it was.

She sits on the bed next to me and lifts the blanket. “What’s the matter? You look white as a sheet. I thought we had fun last night.”

“Yeah, we did…it was great.”

She pulls the blanket off. “I need to see that sweet face and Elfie ears.”

The snow and sunshine are blinding. I yank the covers back. “Brit, I don’t feel good. I’m staying here.”

“Are you sick?” She reaches in and presses her cool hand against my forehead. “You don’t feel hot.”

I don’t know what to say. Wonder if I should tell her about the dream…what it could mean. Decide not to. How do I know it’s true…but deep down…know it definitely is. Still, I want more proof…footprints or something, so I can get a better handle on what’s happening.

Britney grabs my arm and tries to drag me out. “Come on, Arne. Get up. Let’s go to the mall, and do Christmas shopping.”

I pull in the opposite direction. “Slip in here with me.”

“No, Arne, come on! You had your chance last night. It’s almost 10:00. Get a move on!”

“Oh shit, okay.” Semi-aroused, I pull on a robe, and we join Noel and Mrs. K in the kitchen.

He’s in reindeer pajamas. “Do I look appropriately festive?” he asks. “Britney and Patty gave me an early present.”

“You didn’t have to go out last night?” I ask.

“Yes. I did. The roads were a mess. I didn’t get home ’til 6:00…jumped in bed for three blissful hours. How’d you sleep, Arne?”

He gives me a warm smile. Loves having a son in the house…after losing his own. I’m the replacement, and it’s an incredible responsibility…worry I might disappoint them, especially since Britney and I have an intense thing going. They must know about it, right? Still, I constantly worry we’ll be caught fucking, and Noel and Mrs. K will view things very differently.

Decide to confess about my nightmare. They’re comforting…ask for all the details, but I’m afraid to tell them…figure they’ll realize it’s my fault the Ogre’s in town, but of course, they don’t.

“It’s amazing you had that dream,” Noel says. “Last night, there were six rogue bear sightings, but no serious encounters. Maybe we’ll get more information after everyone digs out.”

The news is really disturbing. I picture the ponderous creature plowing through drifts looking for unsuspecting prey…feel like I should be out tracking him before someone actually gets killed. It’s nobody’s responsibility but mine. “I’ll get into my heavy gear and have a look around,” I tell them. “Maybe I’ll find fresh tracks.”

“No way, Arne,” Britney says. “We’re going to the mall. Mom, you coming too?”

“Not today. I’ll relax here with your father. I can’t face the crowds and sloppy roads.”

It comes through loud and clear that they want privacy. My intuition tells me they haven’t sex in a week, and are planning a romantic morning in front of the fire….champagne, wild passion, the works!

To be continued….read next episode!