An Inches of Trust story
Architect Brian Townsend and NYPF detective Tristan Blake are spending their first Christmas together as a married couple. Brian's sister and her boyfriend will celebrate the holiday with the newlyweds.
Brian wants to impress his sister and is in the midst of preparation and planning when behavior from Tristan's brother tangles up events. Add in temper tantrums from Tristan's mother, and no one knows if Christmas will happen according to plan.
"We really need some pine scented candles since this thing is plastic." Heather inserted the next branch into the slot on the artificial tree.
"Are you dissing my tree?" Brian asked with a laugh. "You contemplate lugging a real one up three flights of steps." He'd bought this one a few years ago, long before he'd met Tristan.
"I guess with the wedding and then the holidays, getting a new one or a bigger one was at the bottom of your to do list."
"Pretty much," Brian admitted.
"Tristan didn't already have one?" Heather asked. The one they were assembling was only four feet tall, a perfectly adequate size for an apartment, but kind of small in the high ceilinged den of the brownstone.
Brian made a face. "No. And before you break out the thumb screws, it's complicated and I don't want to get into it right now."
"Two red plastic boxes and one sort of clear one, right?" Zeke, Heather's boyfriend, came into the den lugging the stack of storage boxes. He set them a few feet from the partially assembled tree.
"Thanks. I got as far as getting them out of the closet and then got distracted." Brian handed Heather the next branch. "If you can help her finish building the tree, I'll find the lights."
"So, do you have any idea when Tristan's getting home?" Heather asked.
"He texted me about twenty minutes ago, saying he hoped to be out the door by ten."
"You did put the goose in the fridge and not the freezer, right?" Heather held out her hands and Zeke gave her the top section of the tree.
"Yes, it should be just fine for cooking tomorrow. I'm still wincing at the price though. Eighty-five dollars ... maybe I should have settled for a turkey." Brian walked over to the wall and plugged in a strand of lights to make sure they worked.