Grant, here. I’ve been asked about how I spend the holidays. Well, I suppose I don’t spend it like most folks. When you are a wanted man the world over by both the good and bad guys, there is no going home for the holidays. Such is the life of a criminal.
Growing up in the shadow of Houston, Texas, where people owned horses and wooded lots, I had the ideal Christmases. It was the same every year—racing and shoving my brother to the living room, counting presents under my Mom’s artificial flocked tree decorated with homemade ornaments and colorful bells; breakfasts of egg taquitos, biscuits smothered in apricot jam, hash browns with bell peppers, bacon, lots if bacon, and orange cinnamon rolls; Dad adding yet another shot of alcohol to his coffee; and the cat throwing up tinsel...again. After gifts, we’d gas up the ATVs and ride through the winding trails behind our house or shoot skeet for hours until the turkey feast. When I got old enough to chase tail, I’d spend Christmas Eve making out with some ripe young thing in the cab of my pick-up while the bonfire outside blazed.
Those were good times long past. Good for memories. That’s all they’ll ever be now.
It's all good. Nothing compares to spending the holidays with Reilly. Every Christmas is spent in a new place. Out of necessity, mostly. Maybe it’s the spirit of the holiday or maybe it’s being on the run, but there’s something different, enchanting, or some shit, in every little detail about Reilly at Christmastime. The glistening snow in her auburn hair as we stroll the Paris streets, her musical laughter as we recite scenes from A Christmas Story over duck in a Tokyo restaurant, the feel of her waist as we dance under the colorful lights strung across a sailboat’s yardarms off the coast of St. Croix, damn that woman brings about the nostalgia and romance. Huh...me, romantic...
Then there were those two years without her, those two years we were apart, it was a dark place. I won’t admit it again if asked, and I’ll deny it, but I was...fuck, lost and lonely. It was worse than my tours of duty in Afghanistan.
This year, now that I have her back, I’m going to do something special. Like me, she can never go home. It pains me. It's my fault. Maybe one day we’ll be able to stop running, but for now, we’re in Morocco, casing our next heist. I’ve rented a secluded chalet near the coast. Though I can’t give her a traditional Christmas, I’m going to surprise her with a tree on the beach and a box of ornaments. We’ll trim the tree, drink champagne, and toast to the stars. And then I will unwrap Reilly like an eager boy ripping open a new set of Hot Wheels. Hell, yeah! I’m gonna secure my place on the naughty list.
Tell me about your holiday traditions. Or just give me a shout-out. Harlowe will be giving away to one lucky person who comments a digital copy of KITTY KITTY, BANG BANG featuring me and a $10 iTunes gift card. And if you visit some of her friends during this Holiday Hunk blog hop and leave a comment, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $50 grand prize. Check more out about it at Nice Girls Writing Naughty.
Update: Martha Hawkins was randomly drawn by the Winner-O-Matic. Congrats Martha!