It was Christmas Eve. Ben looked around the loft all decorated. A far cry from what he had experienced in years prior.
Ben was standing in the kitchen when Ciara walked out of the bedroom. She was wearing a long maroon sweater and emerald leggings. Ciara quietly walked up behind Ben and wrapped her arms around him, "Hey." Ben turned around and smiled, "Hey Rockstar."
Ciara smiled at her nickname. Ben knew about the most vulnerable moment of her life, and while most people saw her as a victim, Ben saw her and strong and badass.
Ben looked at Ciara's outfit, "You look amazing." Ciara blushed and gave Ben a light kiss.
Ben walked over to the freezer and pulled something out. Ciara looked at his hand and saw a frozen turkey dinner in his hand. "What do you think you're doing with that?" Ben looked at Ciara obviously, "Dinner." Ciara shook her head, "Oh, no you don't. No boyfriend of mine is gonna have THIS for dinner on Christmas Eve. Of course, you're coming with me to Jennifer's."
Ben looked at Ciara like she had 3 noses, "Really? You REALLY think I'm welcome there? Considering my history with her daughter?"
Ciara crossed her arms, "You're my boyfriend and you are welcome anywhere I am. And I will tell that to everyone there. And you coming and that's the end of it." Ciara ripped the dinner from Ben's hand and threw it back into the freezer, a little too forcefully than necessary, but for emphasis.
Ben laughed, "Damn baby." Ciara shook her head and smiled, "Let's go."
Ciara and Ben walked up to Jennifer's house and Jennifer opened the door, "Ciara, it's so good to see you." Jennifer's face dropped when she saw Ben, but didn't say a word to him. After a moment of staring at Ben and Ciara and Ben's hands together, Jennifer cleared her throat and stepped aside and Ciara and Ben walked in. Jennifer walked back to the kitchen without saying another word.
Ciara was about to walk into the living room where the firing squad also known as the Horton family was when Ben pulled Ciara's arm back. Ciara looked at Ben in confusion and Ben just said "Mistletoe" and pulled Ciara in for a kiss. Ciara laughed in the kiss and pulled back when they heard "Ew!".
Ciara turned around and saw Arianna standing there. Ciara and Ben chuckled as Arianna ran into the living room. Ciara laughed and put her head on Ben's shoulder. Ben said, "You know, that's probably the nicest response I'm gonna get today." Ciara picked her head up and lightly slapped Ben's shoulder, "Oh, stop it." Ciara wrapped her arms around Ben's neck, "I love you."
Ciara took Ben's hand and they walked into the living room and everyone stopped talking as soon as they saw Ben. Ben gave Ciara's hand a little squeeze and they sat down on the couch. After a few minutes, pretty much everyone went back to their conversations while still keeping their eyes on Ben. Ciara sighed, "I'm sorry. I'm sure this isn't how you wanted to spend your Christmas Eve." Ben shook his head, "As long as no one poisons my food, I'm good." Ciara shook her head, "I love you." Ben smiled and pulled Ciara close, "I love you too."
Ciara and Ben were just talking about nothing important in particular when Thomas ran up to Arianna. Ciara saw Ben's face fall. Ben knew and understood completely well that Thomas was not his son, that he was Chad's, but he couldn't help but think of what his life would be life if Thomas HAD been his son. Ciara saw this and put a hand on Ben's face, "Hey… one day." Ben cracked a smile, "How do you know what I'm thinking before I say it?" Ciara shrugged her shoulders, "I love you, so I know you." Ben's smile grew, "I love you, too."
Thomas walked up to Ciara and Ben and sat on Ciara's lap, "Hey Thomas. This is my boyfriend Ben. Can you say 'Hi Ben'?" Thomas gave Ben a little wave and handed him one of his trains. Ben took it and look at it in his hand, "You like trains, Thomas?" Thomas moved to the floor and Ben sat down on the floor as well. Thomas started racing his train around the coffee table and sat on Ben's lap.
Ben looked up at Ciara who smiled at the sight. Ciara couldn't help but imagine years down the line, Ben could be sitting on the floor playing with one of their kids. Would they have a boy or a girl?
Ciara was brought out of her daze by a scream "Get your hands off of my son!"
Ciara looked and saw Abigail seething. She pulled Thomas off of Ben's lap and bounced him to 'soothe him' as if Ben had scared him. Ben put his hands up, "Whoa, Abigai-" Abigail interrupted, "Don't! I don't want to hear a word out of your murderous mouth! What, were you planning on kidnapping my son?!" Abigail rested Thomas's head on her shoulder.
Ciara took a deep breath and stood up, "Abigail, where do I even begin? Thomas walked up to us, gave Ben one of his trains so he played with him. And BESIDES he's not that person anymore. He was sick." Abigail laughed bitterly, "Do you know how sick and tired I am of hearing that excuse?!" Ciara smirked, "What that he was sick?" Abigail nodded and Ciara continued, "Really, is that so? Because that's the reason you gave for KILLING Andre!" Abigail shook her head, "That's different, I was-" Ciara interrupted, "Sick?" Ciara dramatically put her finger to her chin for emphasis, "Huh, interesting. Why is that an excuse for what you did, but it's not okay for Ben?" Ciara shook her head, "You know what, I don't want to hear the answer. I am sick and tired of the poor pitiful Abigail act. You are nothing more than a sanctimonious bitch! Gabi had the right idea."
Abigail started take a step toward Ciara, like she was gonna slug her when Ben pulled Ciara back, resting his hands on her shoulders, "Babe, it's not worth it." Ciara sighed angrily.
Abigail put Thomas down who ran over to Arianna and Abigail stormed out of the room.
Ciara took a deep breath and wrapped her arms around Ben, resting her head under his chin. Jennifer came into the living room like a woman on a mission, "That's it, I have put up with you being in my house long enough! My daughter is crying in the kitchen because of you! Get out!"
Ciara sighed, "Jennifer, I'M the one who made Abigail cry. Not Ben, he didn't say a word." Jennifer shook her head, "It's because of YOU, it's ALWAYS because of YOU!" Ben sighed, "Ci… I'm gonna go."
Ben headed for the door and Ciara followed him, "Benji, if you're going, I'm going. We're a package deal. I don't want to be anywhere where you're not welcome." Ben sighed and put his hand on the side of Ciara's face, "I know, and it's one of the many things that I love about you. But it's Christmas Eve, you should spend it with your family." Ciara sighed, "Ben…" Ben kissed Ciara lips and then her cheek as he walked out the door, "I love you." Ciara closed her eyes, fighting the tears.
Ciara walked back into the living room, "Well, I hope you're all happy. He left." The cheers that erupted were deafening and the louder they got, the more pissed of Ciara was.
Ciara didn't even know why she went back to Jennifer's on Christmas Day. Why would she want to surround herself with people that aren't supportive of her and her relationship with the man she loves; who treats her like a princess, no a queen. Ciara was dazing out as everyone was opening presents.
Hope sat down next to Ciara, "Ciara… I'm glad you're here." Ciara chuckled, "Yeah, well thank Ben. He was the one who convinced me to come. I would have been more than happy to spend the day with him in the loft watching TV and eating Chinese Take-Out." Hope sighed, "Ciara, you would honestly rather spend Christmas with a serial killer than your family?" Ciara's face got hard, "I wouldn't word it like that, but yeah, I guess you could say that." Hope got up having nothing left to say to her daughter.
Ciara's phone buzzed and instantly lit up when she saw it was from Ben, "Come outside. I have your Christmas present."
Ciara smiled and walked out the door. Ciara heard Hope say, "Ciara?" but just kept walking and saw Ben wearing a leather jacket sitting on a motorcycle.
Ciara ran up to Ben, "Merry Christmas, Rockstar." Ciara looked at Ben in shock, "Wha… Is this my dad's bike? How did you- when did you…?"
Ben carefully got off the bike, "Yes, this is your dad's bike, but I also see it as the thing that brought us together." Ciara smiled and Ben continued, "A guy that I work with at the construction site mentioned that he fixes motorcycles in his spare time and when I told him about your dad's, he was more than happy to fix it up."
Tears filled Ciara's eyes as she wrapped Ben in a tight hug and Ben returned it, "This is the best present that you could have ever gotten me. I love you. I love you so much."
Ciara put her hands on each side of Ben's face and gave him an emotional kiss. Ben pulled back and smiled, "I love you too, baby."
Ben reached over, "There's one more thing." Ben pulled out a helmet and her leather jacket. "How about a ride, Rockstar?" Ciara took the jacket and helmet and put them on. "Let's do it!" Ben laughed and Ciara got on the motorcycle and Ben got on back. Ben wrapped his arms around Ciara's waist, maybe a little tighter than necessary and Ciara noticed this. As the sped off, Hope ran out and yelled "CIARA!" but Ciara didn't have a care in the world. She had the man that she loved more than anything and loved her and her dad's bike, she didn't need anything else.