Christmas celebrations together became a tradition, even though I wouldn't consider any of us religious.
Actually, we just like being around each other and have fun with expensive champagne and food that takes too long to be ready.
This year, instead of Sharon and Chrissy coming to visit us, we visited them instead. Australia is cold during Christmas now, so the nostalgia of the holidays spent with ugly sweaters and snowball fights came back along with roasted duck and, of course, Christmas pudding.
"Enjoying yourself?" I snapped out of my daydreaming when I heard Etienne's voice accompanied by a poke to my shoulder. I smiled at him.
"I am." My hand crept up to lie on top of Etienne's, and his fingers curled around mine. "Been a while since I last had a white Christmas. I missed the old traditions."
Etienne chuckled, squeezing his hand around mine, and I could almost feel the excitement radiating off of him. He lived in a cold place during almost all of his life, he must miss this more than I do.
He moved his stance from being beside me to in front of me. "Then we'll make the most of it, right?"
Etienne was so giddy. I wondered where all this excitement was coming from. He must've sensed my confusion, and signaled with his head for me to look up.
Yes, of course.
Of course there had to be a mistletoe hanging from the ceiling. It's a winter Christmas, isn't it?
He extended both of his hands for me to take, and so I did. I looked back at Etienne's face, to see him red-faced and with a huge smile.
He looked so cute. I wish I could take a picture.
"Oh, won't you two just kiss already!" I heard a very loud, very Sharon-like yell directed towards us. If my cheeks could get any redder, that definitely got them like that.
I shot a stare at Sharon only to see she wasn't the only one watching us. Chrissy, Mattias and Delores were also there.
So much for a bit of privacy.
Etienne's laugh made me turn back to him, seeing his grey eyes stare at my own.
"Best we get to it." I said, trying to exhale confidence but instead, I just sounded like an awkward teenager.
"Right." Etienne laughed one more time.
He moved one of his hands to cup my cheek, and I leaned to his touch, before he leaned to close the distance between us in a full-fledged kiss, no longer than 5 seconds.
I heard clapping and roaring laughter and immediately knew that was Sharon's. "Atta boy!"
My smile grew bigger, and Etienne gave me another kiss, a smaller one, keeping his hand on my face.
"Merry Christmas, Etti." I said.
"To you too."