Only Gift I Need Sample Sunday
“When you said important, I didn’t think it meant you needed me to help you fucking decorate.”
Quincy chuckled from across the room, glancing over his shoulder with a smirk.
He owned the studio he’d asked me to come to, where he worked as a photographer. He used the various rooms and backdrops for the most beautiful and creative photoshoots I’d ever seen.
Over the last year, especially when he slowed on the bookings, he started renting the space for events.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were the only two days of the year where his schedule remained completely clear.
Ever since he was a kid, my brother loved the holidays
Thanksgiving, New Year… he loved all of them but none more than Christmas.
In honor of his favorite holiday, each Christmas Eve, he hosted a party that had grown into quite a big deal in Sienna Falls. Each year, he donated all the proceeds he earned from the ticket sales to charity or used to buy gifts for families in need in our area.
Quincy might be a clown and a pain in my ass, but he had a heart of gold.
“Where are the lights for the gazebo?”
Both me and Quincy’s gaze swung to the entrance of the studio to our oldest brother, Nehemiah. Like always, he wore his black leather cut over his clothes. The angel wings on its left side represented the motorcycle club he’d joined a decade ago.
The Black Angels.
He’d worked his way up the ranks from a prospect until they voted in him as vice president last year. Nehemiah was more reserved than Quincy and me. But the quiet strength and calm demeanor he emanated brought balance to our trio.
We helped pull him out of his shell when necessary and he helped reel us in when we got out of control.
“In the bed of my truck,” Quincy responded, turning back to whatever the hell he was doing at a table near the front of the room. “Can you do two layers of lights? It wasn't enough last time.”
I bit my lip to keep from laughing at the look of exasperation Nehemiah flashed my way.
The whole holiday fanfare had never appealed to him but he always volunteered to help our brother out.
“Whatever you want, bro. I’m just the muscle.” He made another face my way before his heavy feet thudded on the floor as he strode out.
A hand on my waist had me jumping a second before I heard, “Excuse me, Lo.”
I glanced back at Q’s friend Kellan. He and my brother were assigned as roommates during their freshman year of college and, as the saying goes, the rest was history.
They’d immediately bonded and became fast friends, even pledging the same fraternity and crossing together.
My ex, Eddie, was also a member but was a few years older and had crossed at another university. I’d met him at one of my brother’s college parties years ago, back when he’d been a broke student like the rest of us and not the CEO of his own marketing firm.
I jumped again when Kell called my name, realizing I’d been staring.
I moved aside with a slightly embarrassed smile. This time, he hesitated, intentionally dragging his russet gaze over my frame and back up before passing me to exit out of the back door, where their trucks were weighed down with Christmas decorations.
Over the last thirteen years since Kellan and my brother’s friendship formed, I’d spotted or felt his gaze on me hundreds of times, but it held nothing besides passing curiosity. Though Kell and my brother were notorious hoes during their undergrad years, he’d made no move on me.
Likely out of respect for his best friend.
Besides, I’d learned my lesson from fucking with people associated with my brother. But I always wondered why he hadn’t shown any interest or flirted.
Hell, I’d seen the women he dated and he did not discriminate. Short, tall, skinny, thick, plus-sized, long-haired, bald, blond, light-skinned, dark-skinned… it didn’t matter. Being unambiguously black was the only prerequisite.
Going out with the two of them, I quickly learned that without even trying, Q and Kell were never short of female attention.
The squeak of Quincy’s wheelchair alerted me to his presence a second before he rolled next to me.
I glanced down, unable to resist a smile from the bright grin he sported. I loved the holidays as much as anyone but out of the three of us, my brother definitely got the bulk of the Christmas spirit.
Or any type of spirit.
We’d expected him to struggle after getting in a car accident his sophomore year of high school that left him paralyzed.
He’d been a track star and highly scouted in baseball and had a promising collegiate career ahead of him.
But one stupid decision from a drunk driver robbed him of it all.
But he hadn’t let it get him down.
When he awoke in the hospital the next day, he flirted with the nurses and cracked jokes like nothing had happened.
He had moments of depression and disappointment but each time, he gave himself that moment to feel before shaking it off and moving through life as freely and happily as he’d done before.
“Wait until you see the tree I got. It’s huge,” he gushed, practically vibrating with energy in his chair.
I hiked one brow at him. “And who’s going to decorate it?”
He pointed down at his dormant, jean-clad legs. “It damn sure ain’t gonna be me.”
I bit my lip to keep from smiling. “I’m dressed for work.”
This time, he lifted a brow. “So? Nobody’s here but me, you, Kell, and Ne… take your damn ball busters off and climb up that ladder.”
I huffed, knowing I’d agree. I always agreed.
How could I not? I loved the punk and knew if I needed something, if within his ability, he’d do whatever he could.
But that didn’t mean I wouldn’t give him a hard time.
“Fine, Q. Where’s the damn box?”