“So, I found a leftover candy cane,” Vicky said, holding it up as if her husband needed the visual confirmation.
“I’m surprised it survived through Christmas,” Derek replied. “With those savages mowing through the candy and cookies.”
Grinning, Vicky said, “I’m not so sure it was leftover, or it was more … hidden.”
One of Derek’s eyebrows raised. “Oh? And why would you do a naughty thing like that?”
She plunged one end of the candy cane into the mug of hot cocoa, stirred it while holding onto the hooked end, and then she slowly slid the straight end into her mouth. Her eyes danced, looking at his reaction to seeing the striped candy disappear behind her puckered lips. Just as slowly, she pulled the candy cane back out.
“Because,” Vicky said, “then I could do a naughty thing like that. How ’bout we head upstairs?”
Derek found his voice: “What about the kids?”
“Just started a movie. They’ve got hot cocoa and popcorn. They’re not going to bother us for a while.”
He knew that to be quite true. Their three kids were enraptured by movies and were held by their grip until the closing credits were all finished. Added in this time was the fact that the three of them had just come in from a long playtime out in the snow — throwing snowballs, then building a snowman, snow-woman, and snow-dog — and they were wiped out and ready for a long rest. The kitchen was littered with their attire from being bundled up in winter’s chill. Jackets, gloves, hats, and scarves were all hung up on a drying rack.
Derek grinned at his wife, then kissed her. “You’re ingenious and mischievous. I love it.”
“I knew there was a reason you married me.”
“More than those reasons, though. C’mon, let’s get upstairs. And bring the cocoa and candy cane. But to warn you, I’m also hungry. And not just for chocolate and peppermint.”
“I knew there was a reason I married you.”
Which made Derek laugh and playfully swat his wife on the butt, and then they grabbed the cocoa and headed upstairs to the bedroom.
The photo above is used under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to photographer’s Flickr page.