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The Christmas Gifts

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Sully had been working on Michaela's Christmas gift for a few months now. Given the fact that he could only work on it a little each day, it was taking longer than expected, but he knew the finished gift would be worth it. They had gone to Denver a few months ago, and he had bought her a beautiful gold, oval shaped necklace with a garnet and diamond star in the center. Knowing that he had used quite a bit of money for the pendant, he decided to make her a jewelry box to keep it in, instead of buying one. He had worked very diligently to make it into a fine jewelry box and there was even a surprise. In the bottom of the box, once removing the bottom drawer, there was a spring loaded drawer that popped up once you pushed back on it. It had taken great skill to make this and he had polished the entire box until it had a fine smooth finish. Now as he carefully installed the locking mechanism, he admired the jewelry box in its final form. He knew she would love it. It had polished brass accents and a beautiful maple wood finish. After testing the lock, he carefully placed the pendant in the hidden compartment on the bottom, and pressed it back into place. The inside of the box was lined with blue velvet and it had a few small glass jars for her to keep her powders and such in. He was eagerly looking around for where he had laid the brown wrapping paper, when he heard her calling for him from the homestead. He threw a blanket over it, and quickly made his way to the front of the barn. Reaching the barn door as she was opening it, he panicked a little and hastily did the first thing he could think to do. Moving quickly, he caught her with his arms and leaned in for a kiss. She was startled but quickly gave in to his sudden pleasures. Pulling back, she breathed out a little, "Well hello," she smiled her crooked smile and leaned in and kissed him this time. When they were ready to pull apart again, Michaela spoke first, "Sully, what have you been doing? He tried to think fast, "Uh, I had to fix a buckle on my saddle. It took a little longer than I expected. " She smiled, "Well I wish you would come in, I'm cold and I'd like some company." She smiled at him and gave him her oh so effective pleading look. He chuckled, "Okay, I'll be right there, I just need to clean up in here real quick, and wash my hands. She was a little disappointed, but she leaned in and said, "Don't be too long," then she kissed him and turned towards the homestead. That was too close, thank goodness Christmas Day was tomorrow, he always feared that she would find his surprise, just like she had found their bed before they were married. He watched her walk away and then he quickly made his way back into the barn. It took him a minute, but he finally found the paper, and he tied the gift with a red ribbon he had bought at Mr.Bray's. He just knew she was going to love it, and he had to get it in the house now at just the right time. He would bring it in later when he went to close up the house for the night.

Walking quickly he rushed up the steps and into the homestead. He walked to the sink and washed his hands. She was walking into the living room area, there was a fire going in the fireplace and Sully picked up a few pieces of wood and stoked the fire, placing the logs in a good spot to amplify the warmth. She spread a blanket out on the floor and sat down watching him return the wood he didn't use. Then he turned to her and walked towards her. She reached out to him and he sat down on the floor with her, drawing her in between his legs and wrapping his arms around her. She was cold, Sully could feel the cold on her arms, and he rubbed over them quickly to warm her up and then held her close. "Hmmmm, thank you," she leaned into him, against his chest. He felt so nice and amongst their busy lives, it always felt so right just being home, in each other's arms. She stroked his arm with the hand that rest upon his. The soft hair on his arms covered the firm muscles that felt so wonderful to her. Sully leaned in and kissed her neck and she smiled and let him. Knowing they could easily disappear to their room he drew back, "You know the kids will be expecting 'A Christmas Carol' soon. She sighed, "Yes, I remembered, and I'm looking forward to it. They love it so much, and so do I." He held her a little tighter, and whispered, "I do too." He leaned back a little and kissed across the back of her neck stopping when he reached the other side, whispering, "and I love you." She smiled and turned her head looking up at him and she found his lips. "Oh Sully, I love you too, so much." Leaning in he kissed her again, and knowing they couldn't continue this right now, he simply breathed in smelling her soft skin and slowly breathed out. Wrapping his arms around her again, he found her hand and interlocked their fingers. He held her tight and they were both very warm. Brian and Colleen started down the stairs, and realizing that their parents were sharing a moment, they smiled and looked at each other, and softly stepped back up the steps. After about 15 minutes they came back down and Michaela looked up and said, "Brian, will you hand me the book?" He walked over to the table and took the book to her. Sully had helped her stand up, and he got a blanket and placed it over her lap as she sat and started reading. When the last line was read the kids were happy and they looked at the Christmas tree. They both stood up and gently kissed their parents and went to bed. Michaela stood up and she went to the tree. It had been decorated with love and she loved their little family. Next year would be different with a baby in the house but it would still be their little family. She was so excited to have a child with Sully after all the tragedy he had endured and she loved him so much, it was only natural to preserve that love by letting it live on after them. Sully made his way to her and circled her body with his hands rubbing over the place where the child they would have grew. Her hand made its way to the top of his as they both caressed over the area. He kissed her neck and then gently massaged her shoulders and rubbed her back. It all felt so wonderful. "Why don't you go on up, I've got to go check on the barn but I'll be right up." She parted him but held on to his hand until it reached the end of their hold, "Don't take too long, I'll be waiting" and she released his hand.

He smiled and turned to go outside, he quickly did a check on all the barn doors and excitedly went to her present. He put the box under his coat to protect it from the snow that had begun to fall, and went back into the house. Removing his boots because of the ice and mud, he made his way across the living room. Climbing the stairs he put the wrapped gift under his arm and walked into the room. Michaela was sitting in front of the mirror with the brush in her hand. She looked up at him and smiled. Then she noticed the package under his arm but he quickly walked across the room and set it down on her vanity, right in front of her. He looked at her and smiled, "Don't open it yet." How could she resist it, it was right in front of her? He quickly distracted her by taking the brush out of her hand and he began to brush through her long coppery hair. It felt so pleasant and he was always careful not to pull on any tangles that might have lingered. He brushed it until it was smooth and the brush freely stroked her hair without the slightest resistance. Her hair was beautiful, tones of copper reflecting in the firelight, and he leaned past her and placed the brush on her vanity. Touching her hair softly, he let it pass between his fingers a few times and then he pulled from the outside to gently expose her neck. Watching her long hair move about her back, he was enchanted by her, but not wanting to lose focus he continued building the pleasing moment when he could reveal his gifts for her. He pulled at the collar of her nightgown and let a kiss linger on her shoulder, and then her neck. She watched him with passion filled eyes in the mirror. He whispered, "you're so beautiful, there's no jewelry in the world that could make you any more beautiful than you are right now." He slowly pulled her hair away again and kissed her again. She didn't care about the present anymore, the things he said to her, the way he made her feel was all she would ever need from him. She slowly turned her head to find his lips, and he kissed her passionately and put his hand on her face. When they pulled apart, he leaned in again and put his arms around her as he caressed her midsection thinking and hoping for a beautiful little girl that looked just like her. Michaela was also thinking, thinking and hoping for a little boy that looked just like him. Her heart was full, and he moved against her ear and lightly whispered, "Open it." She smiled and leaned forward, he had mentioned jewelry but this box was much too big for something like that. Although, as she pulled the pretty red bow and paper away, it revealed a beautiful jewelry box. The most beautiful jewelry box she had ever seen. It was carved with delicate flowers and had beautiful brass inlay and appointments. She sighed from holding her breath, "Sully, it's so beautiful, did you get this in Denver?" He smiled and whispered, " No, I made it, for you my love." Michaela was surprised, she knew he was skilled but this was beyond beautiful, beyond anything she had seen, and it was made with her in mind. He continued to kiss her neck and he mumbled, "There's something else, but like I said, it won't do you justice." She was in shock, how he spoiled her on these occasions. She opened the top, and there were beautiful glass jars and blue velvet lining the inside. It was truly a beautiful gift but she didn't see any jewelry. Closing the top she pulled on the drawer below it. It was also lined in the beautiful blue velvet, but still there was nothing. Holding the drawer at its edge, she turned her head to look at him puzzled. He smiled and kissed her lips as he reached forward and pulled the drawer out of its home, setting it to the side. Then he slid a finger to the hidden compartment and gently pressed down and back. Michaela heard the click and saw the compartment pop up. He removed it and set it in her lap where she held it with both hands. She smiled so big, and Sully knew that she was pleased.

Lifting the top of the hidden box, Michaela found a beautiful oval shaped gold necklace with a large garnet and a star in the center, made of diamonds. She gasped, "Sully, this is so beautiful." She slowly reached for it and held it up. It turned and swayed as she lifted it and the light from the fire illuminated it's beauty. She stopped her gaze and stared into the mirror, searching his eyes. Emotions pleaded for him to come to her. He leaned in and kissed her cheek and pulled away. "Let's see how this looks." He took the necklace from her hand and stood up. Separating the chain he held it up above her and lowered it down in front of her pulling it to her neck line and finding the clasp that held it. He bent and kissed across her neck, across the chain. Her hand moved up between her breasts and she put her hand over it. It didn't take long for the cold metal to turn warm upon her beating chest. She reached back to her lap and both hands moved to lightly caress the fine finish of the wood. Looking down at the beautiful finish on the hidden compartment drawer, her eyes moved up to the jewelry box, then back to the mirror looking at him watching her. She leaned forward and placed the box back into its hiding spot and put the drawer back in place. She caressed the finish once more and stood. Pulling the tie at the top of her gown she released it,and removed her arms as the gown floated to the floor. She stood there, completely nude, with the necklace around her neck. Staring into his eyes through the mirror, the firelight flickered and cast a warm glow upon her. She slowly turned and moved to him, reaching for his buckskins and releasing them. He pulled them off and dropped them on the floor. His shirt hung over him and she led him to the bed, stopping and pulling him past her, Sully let her do as she wished. She reached around him and pressed herself against his shirt, letting her hand caress over his back a few times she moved lower as she continued to caress her way to the bottom of his shirt. Pulling up, she started stepping back as he bent and let the shirt pull over him and eventually come off into her hands. She stopped moving away, looked up and down his body, and released the shirt. Slowly stepping to him she moved in close and put her hand to his chest as she pushed him back. He moved back until the bed touched his legs and eased himself down as he watched her, and moved back onto the bed. Still standing, she leaned over him and ran her hand up his leg, using her index finger to caress the top of his thigh and the inside part of his leg. She crawled up beside him and then slid her leg across his body and straddled him. Leaning forward, the necklace hung down as she slowly rubbed his body and chest. As she leaned completely forward, her hair fell around him and the necklace lay gently against him as she slowly and deliberately pecked little kisses at the corners of his mouth and all over his face. Eventually she lingered at his mouth and started slow as she fully explored his lips and caressed his tongue with her own as she reached for him and stroked him a few times. Then placing her hand against him she pushed up and leaned back. The necklace fell back against her and it tapped her chest gently. She reached down and guided him to her. Closing her eyes as she felt him enter her, she bit her bottom lip. Then she opened her eyes and gently started moving her hips forward and back. She wanted him to see the gift he had given her and so she remained in this position, stroking over him until she needed more. Leaning forward, the chain was just long enough for it to contact his chest with a repeated gentle tap. He hadn't expected that and as it hit him again and again he felt even more excited that he had done so much to please her. Finally, she leaned back again feeling the pendant return to her, as it continued to tap against her now. She intensified her rocking, pulled her hair up above her head and held it tightly as she returned one hand to his chest, moaned softly and repeatedly shuddered with pleasure against him as she silenced her passionate longing to cry out. Her body gripped him tightly and it was enough combined with the sight before him as she held herself, to make him blissfully shudder with his own pleasures. She leaned forward completely and rest upon him as he rubbed his hand over her back and hips. She was silent for a few minutes as she composed herself and calmed her breathing. As he continued caressing her, he whispered, "I sure am glad you like your gifts." She smiled and laughed a little but then she looked into his eyes, "Nothing makes me happier than you do Sully. I'm glad you like seeing them put to good use." He pulled her to him and kissed her. Then he winked at her. "So, what did you get for me?" She smiled, "I think you might be a little disappointed," as she laughed a little. He smiled, "Never." She touched his face and smiled, then she scrunched her face a little and said. "I'm sorry, I've been so worried and busy, I bought you a new shirt and some socks." He looked into her eyes and they both began to giggle and laugh. "Well," he said, "it's my turn now, we'll put those to good use later as well." They both laughed and kissed. After a moment, she said his name as she played with the hair on his chest, "Sully?" He smiled and said, "Yes Michaela?" She looked at him and said, "It's the most beautiful gift I've ever received." He was puzzled, "Which one, the necklace or the jewelry box?" She contemplated her words, "I love this necklace because it's beautiful, I love my jewelry box because you made it for me, with so much love in every detail and I have never seen anything more exquisite, but the most beautiful gift I ever received was through your love, the child that grows within me now." A tear streamed from her eye, she was so filled with love and joy. She had been so afraid that she would not be able to give him this precious gift. He smiled and rolled with her and kissed her again and then he put his hand to her midsection and caressed over it. He sighed deeply, "I hope she looks like you Michaela, I hope she has your beautiful hair, your beautiful eyes, and your beautiful smile, but most of all, I hope she has your beautiful, loving heart." She put her head against his chest, then she spoke. "What makes you so sure it's a girl?" He smiled, "I just know….that's why I made a second box as well, it's smaller with little animals carved on the top, and purple velvet. It's downstairs under the tree." It was past midnight now, he caressed over her midsection again, "I'd like to name her Katherine if that's ok, after my mother, and Elizabeth as her middle name after your mother." The love of this man astounded her, she looked into his eyes, "I think that's a beautiful name, Katherine Elizabeth Sully." It was the first time little Katie's name was uttered into existence. He smiled, then he said, "We should probably get some night clothes on and get some rest, I'm sure the children will be waking us early to open their presents." She smiled, "I suppose you're right." She got up and retrieved her gown and grabbed a pair of cotton drawers for Sully. While he was putting on his drawers, she removed her necklace and placed it inside her jewelry box. Then she returned to the bed and snuggled up to him, wrapping her arms around him and placing her head in the hollow of his neck. She softly whispered, "Merry Christmas Sully," and he whispered back as his hands rubbed her back, " Merry Christmas Michaela."

As suspected they were awakened the next morning by Brian and Colleen, as they were anxious to open their gifts. They had cider and laughed and played games and Sully opened his present, revealing a new shirt and some new socks. He walked over to the tree and picked up the small present that had a tag on it, handing it to his wife. It simply read, "Katie." Michaela smiled and she unwrapped the box. It was just as he said, a beautiful, more simplified jewelry box with purple velvet and beautiful little woodland animals carved into its finish. It had the same fine finish as hers, and a little brass latch. She loved him so much, she loved his love for them. He had made Brian a knife with a little help from Robert E. and he had bought Colleen a dress at Mr. Bray's store. Even though Matthew was living elsewhere, he had a new saddle waiting for him in the barn. Michaela was truly happy and she realized that she would always be grateful for the decision that she had made to take a risk and come to Colorado Springs, it had truly changed all their lives.