Wednesday, December 23, 2009

His Family

“Tell us the story, Daddy,” pleaded Emma.

Ella chimed in, “Tell us. Tell us.”

Stefan Dalakis glanced down at his four year old twin daughters. Each one had a strangle hold on a leg. He pretended to try and shake them loose.

“Daddy!” Little arms wrapped tighter around his legs as they giggled and shrieked.

“You don’t want to hear that old story. It’s Christmas Eve. A time for Christmas stories.”

“No! The other story.” Emma let go long enough to tug on his pant leg. “Please? Please?”

“With sugar on top?” Ella gave him her special look, the one calculated to break the most stubborn soul.

He feigned indecisiveness for a few seconds before relenting. “Okay, here’s the deal. I’ll tell you the story if you are in bed in the next five minutes.”

He trailed after the ensuing whirl of pink pajamas and chatter as they circled the eight-foot Christmas tree one more time. Waited while they brushed their teeth, their dolls’ teeth, their hair, and their dolls’ hair. When they were finished they all climbed onto Ella’s purple draped bed and he tucked one little sugar charged princess in on each side.

He remembered a time when the idea of family and children had turned his guts to water, given him unspeakable nightmares, and made him question everything he knew to be true.

Demon hunters didn’t have lives. They didn’t have families. They existed to annihilate evil. End of story.

He looked down as Emma’s pudgy finger traced over the brilliant colors of the dragon inked onto his forearm. He had found a way to be both family man and hunter.

He smiled and started the story. “So there she was, watching that old movie, the one that always makes her cry.”

“In the café,” added Ella as she scratched her cheek. “By herself.” She pressed her head against his shoulder and he got a whiff of her little girl shampoo.

He nodded then pressed a kiss on top of her blond curls. “All by herself.”

“Cuz she was sad.” Emma patted his cheek wanting her fair share of attention. He kissed her curls too.

“Yes, she was.” He paused, waited for them to look up. “So I tossed the ring box down on the table and I said-“

“And you said, ‘Hey, you forgot this.’” Ella finished for him.

Emma piped up, “And she said, ‘No, I didn’t.’” And she shook one chubby finger.

“Hey, who’s telling this story?” He tried for stern. They were suitably unimpressed judging by the giggles.

“You are, Daddy.”

He grinned as he continued, “Then she said, ‘Don’t, Stefan.’ And I said, ‘Don’t what? Ask you to marry me? Too late. I already did.’”

“And she said, ‘I don’t wanna marry you.’” Ella shook her head sending curls flying.

“Cuz, you’re trouble,” added Emma.

Which had him thinking they’d already heard this story from someone else today. “Something like that. Bottom line, she said no and then she got up and left me sitting there.”

“All by yourself,” said a sympathetic sounding Ella.

“With a broken heart,” offered Emma who looked appropriately somber.

“That’s right.” It had been the bleakest moment of his life.

“Back she came back!” they announced all smiles again.

“Yes, she did.”

He glanced up at the woman leaning against the doorframe of girls’ bedroom and his heart squeezed. And because he wasn’t stupid or neglectful, he offered up a prayer of thanks. Then he slipped in a very important detail of his own. “Because she couldn’t live without me.”

Anna Watson-Dalakis rolled her eyes as she tossed a tea towel at his head. “Really.” She crossed her arms and raised a brow. “That’s an interesting way of putting it.”

“Mommy! Mommy!” Emma and Ella bounced up and down on their knees while they waited for Anna to settle in at the end of the bed.

“I do remember a certain someone demanding I marry him.” She smoothed a hand over Emma’s cheek and tucked a stray strand of hair behind Ella’s ear. “Before he came to his senses and realized he needed to act like a gentleman and ask nicely.”

Those ocean blue eyes met his and he drowned for the millionth time. Her lips curved up into a smile and distracted him so she could get her fingers near the soles of his feet and then two tiny princesses launched themselves at him. Two minutes later those same princesses switched to chanting, “Kiss, Kiss.”

He was only too happy to oblige. His lips met hers and before he knew it Anna was batting him on the back of the head. He backed up, laughed and nodded in the direction of two little girls clapping their hands. “It’s their fault.”

“Uh huh.” Anna clapped her hands. “Bedtime.”

“Definitely bedtime.” He held up a hand to stop the protest. “Santa can’t come if you’re awake.”

Finally the light went out. The girls had chosen Ella’s bed tonight and were snuggled in and whispering.

“Good night, girls,” he warned as he shut the door and followed his wife down the stairs.

Anna turned on the bottom stair. “What do you think they’re planning?”

“I don’t care as long as it involves being asleep within the next ten minutes.”

“Good luck with that.”

“Because then I’m taking my gorgeous wife to bed and unwrapping my Christmas present early.”

“Is that before or after you put together the dollhouse?”

“Yes.”

*
The Chicks are running our first ever contest to celebrate our first ever anniversary. The contest runs from December 20 until January 2, 2010 and the winner will receive a fabulous gift basket from the Chicks. The more comments you leave the better chance you have of winning. Don’t forget to leave us your email address using ‘at’ and ‘dot’ to fool the evil trolls.

20 comments:

Janet said...

What a great story, Karyn. I love how this demon slayer comes across as tender, loving, passionate, and grateful. A perfect Christmas tale. Thanks for sharing.

And a Merry Christmas to you and your family :)

Lesley-Anne McLeod said...

What a delightful story, Karyn. Thank you so much--a perfect Christmas present.

Merry Christmas to you and yours~!

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Karyn, I agree with Janet about the juxtaposition between loving father and demon hunter. Although I have to admit, I kept waiting for him to go dashing off into the night once I learned what he was. Nice hook.

Thank you for this Christmas story. I really liked it.

Hayley E. Lavik said...

Like Anita, I gotta say I was wondering if something more was going to come slinking into this story. I liked the way you slipped that detail in so smoothly.

Karyn Good said...

Thanks, Janet. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was great fun to write.

Merry Christmas to you and yours :)

Karyn Good said...

Hi, Lesley-Anne. I'm glad you liked my present :)

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Karyn Good said...

Hey there, Anita. This demon hunter booked the holidays off :) I'm glad you liked the story and were hooked!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Karyn Good said...

Hey, Hayley. I was tempted but the word count was climbing :D

Merry Christmas to you and your hubby!

connie said...

Karyn
I loved your story. I could just see the girls and hear their giggles and screaches.
I would like to have known more about demon hunting. Such a tough guy falling apart at being rejected and being such a pushover for his kidlets was great.
connie

Karyn Good said...

Hi, Connie. Glad you liked the story and Stefan. He's definitely a pushover when it comes to his family :)

Merry Christmas to you and have a wonderful time with your family.

Kammie said...

What a beautiful "tug at your heart" story! Thanks for sharing

JoanneBrothwell said...

Ooh I love this guy! I can just imagine him - the perfect balance of take-charge demon hunter and cuddly husband and daddy. Mom seems spunky too and I can just about see those curly-haired little girls!

Merry Christmas.

Karyn Good said...

Hey, Kammie. Thanks for the compliment and so glad you enjoyed the story.

If you stop back make sure and leave your email address so you can be entered to win our gift basket :) (Remember to keep the internet trolls in mind and use at or dot in the address.)

Merry Christmas!

Jana Richards said...

Hi Karyn,
Great story! Thank you for a lovely Christmas story, demon-slayer and all.

Jana

Karyn Good said...

Hi Joanne. I had so much fun writing this story. I just may have to write Stefan and Anna's whole story one day!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Karyn Good said...

Hey Jana. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it because I had great fun writing it!

Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!

Helena said...

Neat story, Karyn. The little girls reminded me of Jude Law's daughters in "The Holiday." So sweet and smart, and very real characters.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday at your house.

Karyn Good said...

Hi Helena. Thanks so much, I love that movie!

Merry Christmas!

Silver James said...

Late, as usual, but oh-so-loving this story! Will you consider writing the whole thing? Tell us about the demon hunter with a heart full of love?

And for the contest. (Am I the only one actually doing the email thing? LOL) silverjames AT swbell DOT net.

Karyn Good said...

Hey, Silver. Glad you liked the story and who knows, I may write the whole thing someday. I fell in love with the idea of Stefan Dalakis. So many ideas...

LOL, glad you're leaving you're email address!