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The Twelve Days of Christmas

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Sterling woke with a start as her peaceful slumber was abruptly brought to an end by Blair launching herself onto the bed. “Wake up already! It’s Christmas!”

Glancing to the clock on her nightstand, Sterling let out a frustrated groan. “It’s 7.03 Blair, why are you waking me up? Mom and dad don’t let us near the presents until 8am. A rule they brought in because of the 2007 incident.”

“Sterling...” The brunette’s voice took on a whiney tone. “It’s not my fault I woke up at 4am and thought it was morning. It was light already.”

“It was your nightlight.” Sterling grumbled back at her sister trying to pull the covers over her head.

Blair tugged them back. “Just because we aren’t allowed to open anything from under the tree doesn’t mean there aren’t presents.”

Sterling sighed at her sister and sat up in her bed, rubbing the sleep from her eyes before she focused on the other girl. She noticed how Blair’s leg was bouncing her hands fidgeting in her lap. “How many?”

“I don’t know what you are talking about?” Blair shifted her gaze away to look at anything else in the room.

“Yes, you do.” Sterling shot back.

“Oh shoot, I think I hear my phone in the other room.” Blair made a move to slide off the bed to retreat to her own room but was stopped by Sterling grabbing her arm.

“Nope. You woke me up. How many have you eaten?” Sterling held her grip firmly on the brunette’s arm to stop her escaping.

“Not many.” Seeing the unimpressed look her sister was shooting at her, Blair eventually relented. “Fine, eight.”

Sterling’s eyes widened. “Eight? You have eaten eight candy canes already? What time did you wake up?”

“About an hour ago and you were still asleep, mom and dad were asleep, even Chloe refused to wake up. It’s not like I can spend my Christmas morning messaging my boyfriend since I am doomed to spend eternity as a spinster who has to rely on processed sugar to provide me with short periods of happiness from the overstimulation of dopamine production.” Blair flopped back on the bed with her arms outstretched.

Sterling took in her sister’s prone form and shook her head. “I see Santa brought you that flair for the dramatic you asked for this year.” Blair turned her head to glare at the blonde. “Wow, OK. It’s not like you’re the only one who is single this Christmas.”

“Yeah, but you’ve had options. You are just being far too picky.”

“What options?” Sterling asked incredulously.

“Uh how about Darcy? She was cute, gay and totally into you and you turned her down without a second thought.” Blair held up her finger like she was about to start listing all the dating possibilities the blonde had turned down.

“Are you serious right now?” Sterling raised her eyebrows at her twin trying to express her disbelief at the suggestion. “She was a con-woman who catfished women online and then cleaned out their bank accounts. She was only flirting with me to try to let her escape.”

“You don’t know that...and you haven’t disagreed that she was cute.” Blair smirked back at her sister.

“Blair, she flirted with Bowser on the ride to the station. Bowser...a man more than twice her age...and a man. I think that is all the proof I need.”

Blair waved her hand dismissively at her sister. “See...picky.” Sterling started sputtering at her sister’s antics. “Anyway...we can open our stockings now you’re awake.” Blair rolled herself off the bed and was out of the room before Sterling could reply. Sighing quietly, she glanced to her clock and resigned herself to the fact that she was going to have to endure her sugared up sister alone for another 48 minutes. Before she could dwell on that fact, the brunette reappeared and landed on the bed once more as she handed the blonde’s stocking over.

Sterling watched as Blair tipped her stocking out onto the bed in front of herself, spotting another candy cane, the blonde reached out and grabbed it to prevent any further sugar consumption as she was certain her sister was one festive treat away from developing diabetes on the spot. “Hey!”

“Nope...You can have it later but right now you are too hyped up. You’re making my bed vibrate!”

Blair twitched her eyebrow at her sister. “Am not. That’s probably just your stocking filler.”

Sterling’s jaw dropped and she cast a nervous glance towards the stocking lying before her. “Did you buy me another vibrator?”

“After the revelation of last year I could help but notice when I was searching through your room recently that the last one I bought you is nowhere to be found. And seriously I don’t know how you really find anything in here. It took me hours.” She gestured around the generally messy room.

“Why were you searching through my room?”

“I could explain what I do and why but the more important issue is that since you haven’t found anyone new to help you discover the joys of sex that you need a little self-help. You have been rather cranky lately and spending more time alone.”

“I was studying. We had exams.”

“Potayto, potahto.” Blair gestured to the still vibrating stocking on the bed. “You really should open that. You don’t want the batteries going flat. Or worse nearly going flat and then just as you are about to…” Blair’s words were muffled as Sterling pressed her hands over her mouth.

“For the love of the Lord, please stop talking about sex this early on Christmas morning!” The twins locked eyes as each weighed up their options. “Eww…did you just lick my hand?” Sterling pulled her hand away wiping it on the covers next to her.

Blair shrugged at her. Before there could be any further discussion on the issue there was a knock on Sterling’s door. “Come in.”

The door opened to reveal their mom. “Happy Christmas girls.”

“Happy Christmas mom.” They both replied.

“Since the pair of you still haven’t mastered getting up quietly…” Her words trailed off. “Who is calling you at this time on Christmas morning?”

“Nobody is calling us.” Sterling replied, her eyebrows drawn together in confusion. Shooting Blair a look when the other girl started snickering.

“If nobody is calling then what is that buzzing sound?” Debbie stepped further into the room to investigate.

“Yeah Sterl, what is that buzzing?” Blair pinned her sister with a knowing stare, barely suppressing the smirk that threatened to form on her lips.

Locking her focus on her sister, Sterling initiated their twin connection.

“Blair! She’s coming over and it’s still vibrating on the bed. What if she finds it?”

“If you had just opened my great gift when we were alone, you wouldn’t be in this predicament right now.” Blair raised her eyebrows and shook her head.

“Not helping! We can discuss this later but if mom finds it, then she’ll know you bought it and do you really want to have that discussion?”

Blair broke the connection and turned to her mom. “I bought Sterl a neck massager because she has been so tense with school lately, I thought it might help her relax. It must have got switched on when I brought the stockings in.” She smiled at her mom sweetly, giving a slight shrug at the end of her statement.

Debbie stopped her approach. “That’s very thoughtful. Your daddy is already downstairs. I swear he is just as excited as you two.” She shook her head with a small smile of affection playing on her lips. “Finish up with your stockings then come on down to join us.”

“Yes ma’am.” They both replied in unison. They watched as their mom left the room and once the door closed, Sterling grabbed the stocking to finally shut off the vibrator.

“You’re welcome.”

“If it wasn’t Christmas…”

“But it is so hurry up and stash the gift that will keep on giving so we can see what’s downstairs.” Blair waited impatiently for Sterling to unwrap her present, switch it off and hide it before they headed downstairs. She watched as her sister looked around her room for a suitable hiding place before settling on hiding it inside the wooden duck, beneath her Twilight books. Hoping that nobody would think to look inside.

********************

The twins sat on the couch surrounded by a pile of torn wrapping paper when Anderson came back into the room. “Hey Sterl, this was dropped through the mail slot for you.” He handed her a red envelope.
Sterling accepted the envelope and looked at the front. The writing wasn’t one she recognised but it had been written in block capitals.

“Who’s it from?” Blair peered over the pile of gifts between them to try to see what Sterling had.

“Still haven’t got x-ray vision so until I open it, no idea.”

“Well...open it then.”

Sterling rolled her eyes at her sister but proceeded to do exactly that. Flipping the envelope over she tore it open and slipped out the card inside.

Sterling,
I must admit that thinking what to say here has taken more than a few attempts.
When it came to thinking about what I wanted for Christmas this year, there was one desire above all others...A chance.
A chance to show you that there is someone who appreciates you and has feelings for you.
A chance to make you feel special as you do for others.
So I am taking a chance...Today is the first day of Christmas. Your gift is on your front porch.

Sterling read the message a second time before standing from the couch.

“Who’s it from? Sterl? Sterling? What did it say? Where are you going?” Blair called after her sister but garnered no response.

Sterling opened the front door and there sitting on the mat was a wrapped gift. She stepped outside and looked around to see if there was anyone in sight but there was nobody. She wrapped her arms around her waist as the wind blew, making her shiver while she observed the item. It certainly looked just like any other gift, except most presents weren’t left anonymously on a doorstep.

“Why are you just standing outside with the door open? Hey, what’s this? Is it for us?” Blair appeared in the doorway, frowning at her sister’s odd behaviour. She leant down to touch the present to see if there was a tag.

“It’s for me.”

“How do you know? There’s no tag on it.” Blair looked up from her examination of the box. Sterling waved the card in her sister’s direction.

“It says so in here.” Blair snatched the card from Sterling’s hand. “Blair! Give it back!”

Blair held an arm out to block Sterling from reaching her as she read the card. She looked back at the blonde. “We promised no more secrets. You twin swore the 24-hour rule would remain unbroken for any future life altering events.”

“I haven’t kept a secret from you.”

“Uh this card says otherwise. You clearly have a secret relationship. Who is it?”

Sterling rolled her eyes at her sister. “I do not.”

“Sterl, you can stop holding out on me. Who is it? Is it Chase? It better not be Luke again, after that whole post-trauma safety net you slipped into after the Dana situation. Is it Ellen? Did the scootering really do it for you? Oh my god...Is it Darcy? Have you been secretly hooking up with an ex-skip, current convict?”

“BLAIR! Stop. I’m not in a secret relationship with anyone but certainly none of your suggestions. I don’t know who it is from.”

“Open it then. Let’s find out.” Blair bent down to pick up the parcel from the floor.

“What if it’s not safe?”

Blair quirked her eyebrow at her sister. “Sterl, I hardly think you have garnered the attention of the next Unabomber.” Blair picked up the box and gave it a shake. “See, no pink mist.”

Sterling curled her lip in disgust at the term. “That’s a terrible phrase.”

“Whatever. Come on, I want to see what you’ve got. It’s quite heavy.” Blair turned and walked into the house, Sterling following behind her. They settled back on the couch and Blair handed the box to her twin. “Open it.”

Sterling cautiously unpeeled the tape from one end. She started to open the paper before stopping and looking at the brunette. “What if it’s like that scene from Seven and this is the severed head of someone I love? I can’t unsee that Blair!”

Blair sighed in exasperation. “Ok, no more watching films about serial killers for you. Everyone you love is right here in this house...complete with heads. Generally secret admirers don’t hate you and want to traumatise you.”

Sterling maintained her gaze with her sister for a moment, waiting to see if she would relent but was met with an unimpressed look instead. Turning her attention back to the parcel, she finally opened it fully. Inside the wrapping was a cardboard box. Opening the box, she revealed a metal lockbox with a combination padlock on the front keeping it closed. There was another envelope taped to the top. She peeled the envelope off the top and set the box down on her lap.

“Who gives someone a locked box?” Blair commented upon seeing what had been revealed.

I’m glad you have accepted my gift. I know this might seem strange to give you a locked box but today is only the first day of Christmas. There will be a gift for you on each of the twelve days of Christmas. Each of the gifts will reveal clues to allow you to open this box and reveal who I am.
Happy Christmas Sterling.

“The suspense is killing me. What does it say?”

“I’m going to get a gift each day with a clue to open the box to reveal who it is.”

“Ok, maybe I was wrong. They do hate you. Who makes you work for a present? That’s just rude.” Blair poked at the lock on the box. “I bet one of dad’s tools would let us break that baby off and get in without the need for solving clues.”

Sterling slid the box further from Blair with a disapproving look. “That’s not the point of this. Solving the clues is part of the experience.”

Blair huffed at her sister. “Yeah, sure Sterl. If someone wants to give me a gift experience, then I’d hope they would pick something cool like skydiving.”

Sterling shook her head at her sister, who settled back to playing on her phone, her interest having faded. She ran her fingers over the edge of the box and padlock as her mind tried to come up with a list of possible culprits.