pulled her feet up on the couch and leaned closer against him.
"He looks like a Christmas angel," she whispered,
watching their son sleeping on the deep-piled carpet next to the
tree, surrounded by colorful shreds of wrapping paper.
grinned, subdued. "An angel with a trident
prevailed. "It was General Anderson's grandson Leroy who
brought up the idea about snow and snowmen he'd learned about on
that Baltic base."
it was Anderson's driver who parked the general's staff car on
our garden fence at the sight of a well-rounded, bright white
snowman in Phoenix at 70F," he returned dryly.
have to admit, he knows how to help himself," she giggled
"Yeah, who else
would wrap a barrel cactus in cotton to build a snowman on his
the rolled-up standard for a nose."
could I?" He raised a brow at her. "At least your
father had no problem with driving home one-flagged."
gave him a sparkling smile. "He's got experience with that
sort of boy," she said with a wink, and then grew earnest.
"Grandma showed me photos once of Dad at that age. He looked
at least as sweet."
was as devilish, too, I am sure."
course not," she giggled. "He was the nicest, sweetest,
best-behaved little boy in all of Russia!"
snorted. "Reliable source?"
reliable. Grandma works for the secret service."
The room was dimly
lit at night. And chilly. Someone patted his shoulder. He
gathered himself up and blinked dully. With a shake of his head,
Joseph realized that he must have fallen asleep.
put a mug of steaming coffee down in front of him. "You
should go home, Joe. This isn't the most comfortable place for
He threw a
lingering glance at the surveillance monitors embedded in the
console in front of him. One monitor showed a certain sleeping
cubicle, where a beam of moonlight shone through an unshuttered
skylight and the force field that covered it, adding a golden
glow to the shock of blond hair that stuck out from under the
rough military blanket. "I know it isn't, Max," he said
faintly. "But it's the best place left for dreaming."
thanks to Elizabeth 'fatima' Bales, who found in spite of
her own Christmas preparations the time to help me
polishing this year's Christmas story on short notice.