Forty Three.

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Justin and I made it back to the house really early. Apparently the grown ups didn't know about his hotel stunt and neither I nor Justin wanted to fuel their question game. So, like two teenagers, we snuck back into the house and quickly changed our clothes before everyone was up for breakfast and the presents.

When we walked down the stairs, breakfast was being made by Diane and Ms Jones was helping. Pattie was setting the table and Bruce and Richard were working on warming the area with the fireplace.

"What time did you two get back last night?" Pattie asked us with a grin on her lips.

Justin cleared his throat and scratched the back of his neck.

"Late." He said and looked at me for backing.

"Very late." I said.

"How was the fairytale experience?" Ms Jones asked me.

"It was good." I smiled. "We went ice skating."

"Just good?" Diane asked.

"W-Well... I don't want Justin to get a big head about his efforts."

"Your reaction last night gave me a big head." He said.

I hit him playfully then went to the kitchen to see if I could help with anything.

"Can we open presents now?" Justin asked.

"Not until after breakfast." Diane said.

"Can I have a cookie in the meantime?" He smiled at his grandmother.

She smiled and nodded in the direction of her cookie jar.

"Don't have too much." She said.

Justin went to help himself.

When breakfast was ready, we all sat at the table, said grace and started eating.

My mind was still stuck in last night with all the things Justin had said to me. I had a good mind to go upstairs and sneak a peek at whatever was in that envelope but I knew better than to break my promise to Justin.

I looked around the table as we ate and a small smile made its way onto my face. My first proper Christmas celebration and Ms Jones was part of it. Nothing could be better.

We had a breakfast big enough to fill us for the day and afterwards, just before we got to opening our gifts, we all helped Pattie package some of Ms Jones and Diane's Christmas cookies for some children at a local home.

With Christmas songs playing on Bruce's really old radio, we sat in the living room with our hot drinks and got to sharing our presents.

Ms Jones had knitted some Christmas sweaters for us and gotten us each a pair of socks too. Typical of her, but we all appreciated her gifts to us and soon we all had our sweaters on and were taking pictures of ourselves looking festive in them. Bruce and Diane got a really huge photo album slash scrapbook for Justin and I.

"Because we want to have something to talk about and hopefully celebrate the next time you come over", Diane said.

Justin and I gave a bottle of really ancient wine to his parents. I didn't even know wine that old existed but we found it in Paris and Justin said his parents would love it... I was uncertain since I knew nothing about wine and their old dates but, Richard's face lit up and Pattie hugged us tightly so that was a relief. From Pattie, I got a bottle of some really expensive perfume and pearl accessories and from Richard, Justin got one of those toy boats big boys like to build in their spare time. I got Ms Jones a thick recipe book with traditional French recipes and a pair of oven mitts and a matching apron for her, a handbag for Pattie and, with Justin, I got a couple of records for his grandparents.

"Is that all the presents?" Bruce asked.

He was so helpfully picking up all the wrapping paper we'd scattered around the room.

"No." Justin and I said in unison.

Justin looked at me and smiled.

"You can go first." He said.

I felt rather odd about the gift I'd gotten him. Once again I was faced with the situation of having to buy a gift for a rich man. The struggle.

I got a small box out from under the tree. It wasn't even visible with all the other bigger boxes hiding it and I would've probably forgotten about it if it wasn't worrying me so much.

I handed the small box to Justin and rested my hands on my lap.

"Merry Christmas." I whispered nervously and watched him carefully unwrap my gift to him.

I didn't know what people got each other for Christmas. In movies, everyone got all these festive gifts but, to my relief, anything went with the Biebers and Harrisons so I felt only a tad bit confident with what I'd gotten Justin.

He got the gold watch I'd gotten him out of its black leather case and looked at it.

A lump developed in my throat as I watched him.

He suddenly had an eye for the small details.

"I hope it's an okay gift..." I began to say.

"It's a perfect gift, sweetheart. I love it." He said.

I smiled small and let out a breath of relief.

Justin smiled at me and kissed my cheek.

"Thank you." He said.

"Welcome." I was suddenly shy.

I'd gotten a gold watch for a guy who could've gotten it himself. I should've just gotten him sand from the moon. At least I was sure he didn't have that. But I didn't have money for a ride to the moon...

"This is for you." Justin smiled and got a box out of his pocket.

It was nicely wrapped in shiny gold wrapping paper and, for some reason, I had a feeling Justin hadn't wrapped this one himself.

I carefully unwrapped it and found a red box inside. I opened it and smiled at what was in it. There was that beautiful key I remembered melting over in Paris. Attached to it was a thin silver chain. Justin had turned the key into a necklace.

I smiled and took it out of the box.

"Justin..." I looked at him.

"That's a beautiful necklace." I heard Ms Jones say.

"It's the spare key to our lock." Justin said. "In case you're ever so mad at me that you want to fly all the way to Paris to unlock it." He added with a smile.

"I could never be that mad at you." I smiled.

"Can I help you put it on?" He offered.

"Yes please." I held up my hair and Justin helped me put it on.

I took another look at the necklace and found that, along the key, in beautiful cursive font, was the word 'forever'.

I beamed at Justin.

"Merry Christmas." He gave me my favourite smile.

I wrapped my arms around his neck and attacked him with kisses all over his face.

"Well, this is our cue to head off to the home to give away those cookies." Pattie said.

I blushed and let go of Justin and I sat up straight.

Bruce threw all our wrapping paper away, we all went to put on our coats and other winter necessities and put our presents away and then we were all off to the children's home to spend some time with the children.

I was completely happy. I was actually certain that nothing could make me smile any broader because the day was going so well.

But even with my Paris memories, Ms Jones spending the holiday with us, Justin's horse and carriage ride to the ice rink and this necklace, I couldn't help but be curious about the white envelope.

I pushed that thought to the back of my mind and decided I'd cross that bridge when I got there. I focused my attention on what we were doing and on the rest of our day and I was all smiles throughout.

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