Chapter. 2.17 Stella’s Winter Wonderland

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Days passed, then weeks, then months.  And before long Winter Break had arrived.  Stella had a few weeks off until the next semester, but she wasn’t on a complete break.  The first semesters of school had been in a classroom, this next semester would find Stella learning hands-on in the hospital.

To help the students prepare, the professors gave each of the students a Teaching Dummy to practice on and learn from.  It would move like a person, rattle off different symptoms and Stella had to diagnose it.  The dummy would have everything from a splinter, to a severed limb, and everything in between.  Stella loved her new toy so much that she named him Harvey, but Brandon was not a fan.

“I think it is creepy.” he exclaimed after Stella showed him how it worked.

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Stella got a break from school, but Brandon didn’t get a break from the military.  He still left for the base every morning and returned late every night.  Stella was alone in the house with no one to talk to but her new toy, whose only response was a robotic, “I have pains in my stomach”.  It was on those days that she found herself missing Brandon more and more.  She was happy that he had agreed to stay with her. She convinced him that he could save money faster if he just took the extra bedroom instead of moving out. Brandon had bought himself a small bed and a small dresser.  Stella was happy that he would be with her at least a little while longer. Happy yet confused at the same time.

She wanted Brandon in her life, but only as a friend.  Or so she thought.  She had convinced herself that he was no more than just a good friend. Then again, why was she trying so hard to convince herself in the first place?

“He betrayed my trust,” Stella thought to herself, “I can’t forget that.“

Yet every time Brandon smiled at her a small part of her wanted to throw her arms around him and kiss him passionately.

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Lucky for Stella she soon had a distraction.  Her parents were flying in from Appaloosa Plains to spend Snowflake Day with her!  She was so excited.  It would be her first holiday season with them in her new house so everything had to be perfect.  Stella spent her days decorating the house, which meant less time to think about Brandon’s soft lips.  Or how she noticed that he had gained more muscle since joining the military.

“I have to hang more lights,” Stella though as she tried to focus on something else other than Brandon’s muscles.  Or his newly found confidence.  Or how the sparkle in his blue eyes had returned.  She didn’t know how to handle her conflicting emotions. Instead of dealing with her growing love for Brandon she buried her feelings and put up another Snowflake Day decoration.

Before long the entire house was covered in decorations!

“Look how happy she is,” Brandon thought as he looked around the living room.  “she has gone crazy overboard with decorations because she wants everything to be perfect for her parents.”

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Brandon was excited yet nervous about meeting Mr. and Mrs. Charming.  He was happy that Stella was happy, and excited that Stella was excited.  On the other hand, how would Cindy and Ryan treat the son of the witch who put their daughter under an evil curse?  Did they know about Brandon’s involvement in Anastasis & Maleficent’s  plan to harm Stella?

He was at work when Stella picked them up from the airport, and he knew they would be waiting for him at home.  He showered at the base and changed into a fresh uniform that didn’t wreak from the mess hall.

“It is a pleasure to meet you Mr. and Mrs. Charming,” Brandon politely spoke as Stella introduced her parents.  He noted how it stung that she referred to him as her friend, but Brandon didn’t let it show.

“Please call us Cindy and Ryan,” Cindy responded with a warm hug, while Ryan offered a strong handshake.  Brandon didn’t worry about them after that.

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It was decided that Stella, Brandon, Cindy and Ryan would spend Snowflake Eve with the Seasons, while Snowflake Day would be a quiet celebration at Stella’s home.

“Where are the guys?” Stella asked June when she noticed that Eugene, Matt, and Doug were absent.

“We thought that it would be too crowded.” June replied as she took everyone’s jackets when she greeted them at the door.  “Plus, we wanted a nice quiet night with your parents.”

The Season’s House was modestly decorated. There was a humbly small tree in the corner of the living room. There were also a few poinsettias scattered here and there, and a beautiful, but not over the top, centerpiece on the dinning room table. It was no where nearly as decorated as Stella’s house. Then again, there is not a single home in all of SimNation that is as decorated as Stella’s house.

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May, Cindy, and Brandon out did themselves with the dinner. They prepared a stuffed turkey with all of the fixings. They had slaved over the stove tops for hours, but it was all worth it. The meal was amazingly delicious.

Brandon had been nervous about the meal, because he knew that Cindy and May could cook circles around him. This was the first time that he had cooked for anyone other than Stella. So when the rest of the family complimented the meal, Brandon took extra pride to be included. Plus, his heart fluttered when Stella raved about the mashed potatoes, which is the side dish that Brandon made himself.

After dinner came the presents. Stella and Brandon decided to pool their money together in order to get nicer gifts for everyone. They got April a comic figure and a few comics to add to her collection. May received a new recipe book a unique seed that they found on one of their walks. June was given Twinbrook Gnomes pajamas. She loved them so much that she ran to put them on immediately.

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From the Seasons Cindy was gifted a necklace and matching earrings. Ryan was given some nice sweaters. They gave Brandon some cookbooks and a new pair of boots. To Stella they gave some new clothes, a mug that read, “Dr. Awesome”, and a brand new camera.

Stella’s present to her parents was a special one. She gave them a scrapbook that she made of their time here in Twinbrook, and she included some pictures from her previous trip to Appaloosa Plains.

“Your present is too big to bring,” Stella leaned in a whispered to Brandon. “So it is still back at the house.”

The whole evening was wonderful; full of memories and laughs. The presents hadn’t all been handed out yet, but Stella had already taken over 100 pictures with her new camera. And before the evening came to an end, everyone got together for one last family photo.

“I will take the picture of everyone,” Brandon offered.

“don’t be silly,” Cindy insisted.

“Yeah,” June added. “you know that you are a part of the family too.”

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Don’t go into your room just yet.” Stella told Brandon when they got home. “Your present is in there.”

Stella grabbed Brandon by the hand to stop him from going any further. They stood in the overly decorated living room right outside the door to Brandon’s room.

“I have said this before, but I feel like I can never say it enough.” Stella was still holding Brandon’s hand as she looked into his blue eyes. “I have to say thank you. You literally saved my life. I wouldn’t be here to spend Snowflake Eve with my family if it wasn’t for you. So, again, thank you and Merry Snowflake Eve. But before you go into your room you have to close your eyes.”

Brandon did as he was told. Stella put her hands over his eyes as she led him into his room.

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“Okay open your eyes!” Stella announced once they were inside Brandon’s room.

Brandon looked around the room in awe. He knew that it was his room, but he didn’t recognize the place. Everything in the room was completely different.

The old bed, with the lumpy mattress, was replaced with a brand new bed, and blankets in his favorite color, red. He had a bookcase to hold his cookbooks, a large full length mirror, and a giant rug (also in red). But what really caught his eyes (besides Stella showing off her bright smile in the middle of his room), were the brand new treadmill and weight machines.

“This isn’t just from me,” Stella beamed with excitement. She loved seeing the surprised look on Brandon’s face. “My parents helped with this too.”

“This is all way too much.” Brandon was still in awe. “I don’t know what to say. I feel like thank you isn’t enough”.

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“Now it is my turn to give you your present.” Brandon was still blown away by Stella’s generosity, but he needed to focus on the task at hand.

“Growing up I had a very different Snowflake Day,” Brandon began, “Mother used her dark magic to get anything that Ivy or I wanted. But more than anything I wanted to have a loving family. I wanted Mother to be like those loving and supportive moms that you see on TV. I wanted Ivy to be a loving sister; someone to play games and hang out with.”

Stella silently listened to Brandon as he continued his story, “But I never got that. I never got my family Snowflake Day. Not until today. And that means more to me than I could ever express.”

Brandon handed Stella a plain white envelope. “I know that this isn’t much, but I hope you like it.”

Stella opened the envelope to find plane tickets to China; three of them.

“Why three?” Stella questioned. She silently hoped that Brandon wanted to on a trip together, so what was the extra ticket for?

“The tickets are for you and your parents,” Brandon explained. “You all can go visit China together this summer.”

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Stella realized how truly selfless Brandon is. He is always thinking about her; putting her first. Even risking his life for her.

For a split second she almost went in for a kiss. For a split second she almost told him that she loves him. But only for a split second. Stella’s trust issues filled her mind with doubts. Then the moment was gone.

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19 thoughts on “Chapter. 2.17 Stella’s Winter Wonderland

  1. I have no idea why this never appeared in my reader although it’s been posted three days ago! 😦
    What a perfect Snowflake day! I loved how you described everything, their gifts sounded perfect too! 🙂
    Poor Brandon is waiting for a sign, anything to tell him that Stella has feelings for him, but she’s holding back… maybe he should try to overcome his jealous trait again and just kiss her already! 😁
    And Stella, I say ditch your parents and go to China with Brandon lol! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brandon was trying to be selfless, but I’m sure that he would rather have Stella go on a trip with him instead as well.
      And I’m not sure why this never showed up in your reader. But this happened before to someone else. I will double check my settings. Thank for letting me know.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I had this happen once as well and it might be because it took me a couple of days to write the chapter. I didn’t change the time of the post and I left it as it was (I think the draft said 1 day ago) so then it would show up lower than when it should be, with the older posts. I hope this makes sense! 😁
    Oh, and I can’t wait to see what will happen with Brandon and Stella, it’s high time someone made a move. But can’t they see they belong together? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately not… 😦 Did you change the date of the chapter? I think you have to copy the content of the chapter and re-post it like it was new, and then delete this one… I had that same thing happen with the date chapter and unfortunately that was the only thing that worked!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. IKR!!!!!
        I did a very minor edit, then changed the date. But that obviously didn’t help. Arg!!
        I will try to post the next chapter after I come back from my mini-vacation. I might make a little update to the last chapter from there.
        Thanks for all of your help. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. And now I’m here. Late, but still.
    What a lovely Christmas special! ❤ It was so good to see Cindy and Ryan again.
    Stella is struggling too much. Instead of going with how she feels, she neglects it. It's not like she can lie to herself forever, can she? And I feel like living with Brandon remains a self-torture for her. Why not tell him how she feels? Stella knows well that he does have feelings for her and now she is playing with him and with HERSELF. What does she want and, being a serious medical student, why can't she understand that it is not reasonable? This will not lead her anywhere. She forgave her aunties the fact that they didn't tell her the truth about her parents, she should give Brandon a chance as well. No one chooses their family and Brandon now has to deny what he was raised on, I bet it's not easy for him, too. He knows that's not right, but being the son of Maleficent, it must not be that easy-peasy. I know Brandon is selfless, but why is she selfish? Think it over, Stella. Just peacefully decide what's best for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t worry, you’re not late. The chapters weren’t showing up in the readers for some reason.
      You are right about Stella. She is being very selfish. She keeps Brandon around, because she needs him. This gives him a false sense of hope. She needs to either tell him how she feels, or let him move on.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Stella!!!!! Hah – I feel like Rocky calling Stella! But girl! Get a grip. You are in love with him. He saved you, you said it yourself! How long are you going to punish him for being afraid of his evil mother? 😦 I had such high hopes…and then…nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. gah! So close. Okay, we’ll try again Stella. Say those three little words to him before he moves on! Not that i think he will, but still. Don’t put my heart through more pain waiting okay? 😛
    All such sweet, thoughtful presents! And damn, but that is a very decorated house bahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stella is so close, yet still so far! Even after that amazing gift exchange!!
      I myself love to over decorate for Christmas. other holidays not so much, but Christmas I go all out.
      Thanks for leaving such a sweet comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Poor Stella – it really has been hard on her to go through that ordeal, but Brandon does seem to have proven himself at this point. I do like that he’s not easily forgiven, a lot. They did like each other as teens, but he also spent a large amount of time being stand off-ish.
    Btw, just thought I’d tell you that the link to this chapter in the chapter listing doesn’t seem to be working.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brandon betrayed Stella’s trust and sold her out to his mother. Although he has made up for it, Stella has a hard time forgiving all that.
      And thank you for letting me know about the broken link. I will have to fix that right away.

      Liked by 1 person

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