Liza ran her fingers through the dark hair on Bruce’s chest. He continued his deep, rhythmic breathing. She wondered if he slept this heavily when he was outside, or only when he was somewhere safe. The thought of him sleeping anywhere near Scary With Hat Guy made her numb. Liza didn’t want him to go back there, but she wouldn’t try to make him stay if he didn’t want to.
She pushed the bad thoughts away and rested her head on his chest. Liza knew that she would remember this as one of the best Christmases of her life. It was because of Michael and Jake and Sam, but mostly Bruce. It was no fairy tale, but that was kind of what she loved most about it.
Liza amused herself for a while by thinking up alternative lyrics to popular Christmas songs. Just swap out the chestnuts and open fire with Bird Dog and cigarettes. Deck the halls with buttons and bottle caps. Good tidings to you and your homeless house guests. Jake and Sam under the mistletoe.
Liza smiled. She pulled the blanket up around herself and Bruce. His mouth hung open a little and his five o’clock shadow was practically a beard, making him look both handsome and cute. When she kissed him on the cheek, she lingered for a minute, breathing him in. She laid her head back on his chest and drifted off to sleep.