AN: Back by popular demand the story of Chris and Molly continues. . .

CHAPTER THE FIRST

Sweet Reunion

Piper Halliwell swiped the thermometer slowly over her eldest son's forehead. When it beeped, she pulled it back to gaze at it in concern. The digital display read 100.9. She let out a slow breath and shook her head.

"Mom?" Wyatt groggily asked.

"You definitely have a fever. You're not going anywhere tonight."

The nineteen year old dropped his head back onto his pillow dramatically. "This sucks. I promised them months ago I'd babysit. Now, not only do I ruin my own New Year's Eve but Aunt Paige and Uncle Henry's too."

"They'll survive," his mother responded, holding out a glass of water. "You just take small sips of this until your stomach's better. Get lots of sleep, and I'll deal with your Aunt and Uncle."

Chris poked his head into the room, grimacing as he caught sight of his clammy looking older brother. "Hey, Wy. Not feeling any better, huh?"

In answer, Wyatt orbed out of the bed into the bathroom. Much coughing and hacking were soon heard followed by the sound of vomit splashing into the toilet.

The younger boy pulled a face and turned to his mom trying to block out the noises. "What do you think he's got?"

"Well, from what I can tell, I'd say the flu."

"That sucks. What about Paige and Henry? Wasn't he supposed to watch the cousins tonight?"

Piper suddenly smiled, tilting her head to the side. "You know, Chris, since you brought it up. . ."

"-No." The witchlighter emphatically shook his head. "I haven't seen my girlfriend in almost three weeks. She's finally home for break and free for a change. I'm not spending what time I have with her watching my baby cousins. No way. Not happening."

Wyatt slowly returned from the rest room, his skin a horrible cream of broccoli color. His blue eyes were glazed over as he looked at his sibling. "I feel like death. I hurt in places I didn't know existed."

"Sorry, Wy. I hope you feel better soon. Really, I do."

Piper let out a breath, "It's just shame that Paige and Henry are going to have to give up those concert tickets. I bet they were pretty hard to come by, and I'm pretty sure a refund is out of the question. If only there were somebody willing to help out his own Aunt, a woman who would die for him in a heartbeat." She let out a dramatic breath. "Guess that's just too much to ask, huh?"

Her youngest child glared at her. "Not working."

"Isn't she the one who was babysitting us when Chris had the chicken pox?" Wyatt added, catching on to his mother's plan. "She waited on him hand and foot, did everything in her power to help him feel better."

Chris folded his arms over his chest. "I hate you both."

Piper's grin widened, "You're a good nephew, Chris."

"Molly's gonna kill me for ruining our first New Year's Eve."

Wyatt waved off his concern, "Nah, she loves kids."

The younger brother shook his head, "And to think I only stopped in here to wish you better. You so owe me."

"I'll make it up to you, Chris. Dinner for you and Molly on me. Promise."

Chris let out a breath, "I'll go call her and let her know."

"Thank you, Peanut," his mother said, her doe brown eyes shining with pride in the young man she'd raised. He really was a good kid underneath all that teenaged angst.

Wyatt opened his mouth to thank his brother again when he felt bile rising. He turned around and went back into the bathroom, shutting the door hurriedly behind him.

"Well, it could be worse," Chris surmised, "I could be Wyatt. . ."

Later that evening, Chris pulled up in front of his girlfriend's home, parking his father's old truck by the side of the road and turning off the engine. He fingered the pendant he was wearing. It was a black clay circle with the triquetra hand painted on it. Molly had made it for him the first week they were together. He'd never gone anywhere without it. He smiled fondly at the sentimental trinket before grabbing the small package lying on the passenger's seat and crawling out of the cab. He hurriedly headed to the door, ringing the bell.

It took only a few seconds for the door to open, Molly appearing with a radiant smile on her face.

Chris' mouth fell open at the sight of her. Her hair was in soft ringlets, her eyelids glimmering in soft gold, lips looking moist in an alluring red. She was wearing sleek black pants and a lavender peasant top that came in at the waist, the outfit making her vivacious curves all the more appealing. She might not have a model's figure, but in Chris' opinion, her body was more than sufficient the way it was. She was a full-figured woman, and she looked down right sexy.

Molly, noticing the look in her boyfriend's eyes grinned and gave a little twirl. "Like the new look?"

For his part, Chris could only nod.

His sweetheart laughed softly, shaking her head. "Wow, Chris Halliwell, speechless. I must look pretty good, then, huh?"

In answer, the young man pulled her forward, one hand behind her neck pulling her to him. He gave her a passionate kiss, welcoming her back with all the pent up desire he'd built up over the weeks since they'd last seen each other. She returned the favor, her own need for contact intense.

As the two slowly and almost reluctantly let their lips part, Molly let out a long breath. "Wow, I'm definitely going to have to thank Shannon."

Chris frowned, "Who?"

"A girl in my chemistry class. She's the one who took me shopping for tonight. After a kiss like that, I figure I owe her."

Chris smiled at the mention of yet another new friend. Molly really had found herself since going to college. She was like a whole new person- confident, bold, and a bit of a spit-fire. Her boyfriend always knew those things were in her, but to see them blossom like they were was fantastic to witness. The transformation was even translating into their relationship. She wasn't as timid with him, and her own self-worth had made her sense of sensuality grow, making her even more irresistible in his eyes.

"Is that for me?" her voice broke into his thoughts.

The teen noticed her eyes focused on the small box in his hand. He nodded. "Yeah. It's your Christmas present, since we missed it, remember?"

Molly had spent Christmas with her mother and Grandparents all the way in Minnesota. It was a nice, quiet family gathering. The two had agreed to just celebrate Christmas and New Years all at the same time since both of them would be busy with family until then.

"Come in, come in," she excitedly ordered.

The nineteen year old gestured for the witchlighter to enter, shutting the door behind him. Then, with an excited bounce to her step, she disappeared around the corner of the entry into her mother's den, reappearing a moment later with a box of her own in hand. After Chris had kicked off his shoes, Molly took his hand and led him over to the sofa, gently pulling him down next to her.

Chris grinned at her giddy nature. She was completely adorable when she got like this.

Unable to wait a single moment more, he handed her the small, simply wrapped box, exchanging it with the brightly decorated one in her hands. Normally, he wasn't very big into getting presents, much preferring watching others open theirs, but she had him curious. It was a perfectly square box, quite light weight. He hadn't really asked for anything for Christmas, so whatever it was had been of his girlfriend's own choosing. That alone perked his curiosity.

"Can I open it?" Molly questioned anxiously looking at the tiny box in her delicate hands.

"Nope. You only get to look at it," her boyfriend teased.

She wrinkled her nose at him before lightly undoing the tape, trying to save the pretty green and red paper it was wrapped in. Unfolding one end, she slowly slipped out a white box. The young woman looked up at Chris, one eyebrow quirked in question. "You didn't..."

"Maybe. Maybe not," Chris smiled. He gestured for her to continue. "You'll have to open it to find out."

Biting her bottom lip in excitement, Molly quickly flipped open the lid, finding a tiny black box within the white one. The name Jarod's was on the cover. Her hazel eyes flicked up to her beau, tears starting to form already. "You did."

"Open it already," he urged, his pearly whites shining in the dim light of the Christmas tree in the corner. "I want to see it on you."

Her hands nervously opened the black box to reveal a necklace with three diamonds dangling in a row, connected by small strips of white gold. Smiling uncontrollably, she slipped the light weight box chain from the container, holding the pendant in her hand carefully, caressing the stones in awe. Her eyes shot up again, "Chris, it's perfect. It's just so gorgeous. It's too much though. I mean, how did you even afford something like this?"

"I have my ways," he answered mysteriously. When she gave him a look, he shrugged, "Okay, so I might owe my dad about a hundred lawn mowings and car washes, but mostly from my job at the restaurant. I've been taking on a lot more hours since you left for school. Besides, I saw you eyeing it that day at the mall over Thanksgiving break and couldn't resist getting it for you."

Molly leaned forward, landing a sweet kiss on his lips. She moved to pause by his ear, "Thank you. I love it."

He grinned, gesturing for her to turn around. "Here, let me."

She turned her back to him and lifted her hair as he took the necklace from her free hand and gently put it around her neck, clasping it. She lowered her hair and looked down at the stunning piece now resting on her chest. Then, her soft eyes looked up to him again, "How'd I get so lucky?"

"Magic," Chris immediately answered.

"Cute," she answered with a laugh.

After a moment of sweet silence, the young lady pointed to the box in Chris' hand. "Okay, your turn."

The witchlighter took a breath and then ripped off the paper, tossing it to the floor like an excited child. He frowned down at the small cardboard box, not sure what it could possibly possess within. Unable to stand the curiosity, he flipped off the top, only to be taken completely by surprise by what was inside. He gently lifted the CD into his hands, mouth agape as he stared at the signatures on the cover. His green eyes slid to Molly's smiling face. "How...I mean...is this..."

"Yup. I know they're your all time favorite band, so when I found out they were making a stop in Chicago, my roommate and I found out where they were doing a signing and waited in line for a few hours. I was the last autograph they did for the day."

Chris shook his head staring at the scrawling scripts on the cover, his head still reeling from the surprise. "I can't believe it. This is just too amazing."

"So you like it?"

The young man shot her a look, "Are you kidding me? This is the best gift I could have ever hoped for. And you tell me you're the lucky one?"

Closing the distance between them, Chris slipped his arms around her pulling her close, "You're amazing."

Then, the proximity being what it was, the young man moved his lips to hers. Picking up the intensity, he moved them both lower on the sofa, teasing her ear before going down her neck while slowly leaning the both of them backwards to a lying position. His free hand began to roam down her side. Slipping one hand up the back of her shirt, he started working on the hooks of her bra.

Molly took in a deep breath as the hooks of her bra came undone, and her boyfriend's hands started caressing her. She ran her hands through his silky brown hair, guiding his lips back up to hers. Her mouth pressed harder against his as pleasure ran through her.

Chris, one hand moving to support her head, let the other starting heading for the button of her pants. He had just started on it when his girlfriend let out a complaining groan.

"What?" Chris asked, stopping and looking into her soft hazel eyes.

His girlfriend pointed to the clock, "Your cousins. We're going to be late if we don't get going."

"They can wait like...twenty minutes?" he suggested, returning his minstrations to her neck, his hand returning to her pants, fingering the button again.

Molly gently pushed him back, moving his hand. "Chris..."

"Okay, okay. I know." He ran a hand through his hair. "Can't blame a guy for trying, right?"

The young woman blushed slightly. "It's just. . ."

"I know, Molly. I'll wait," he brushed the hair from her face. "You're worth the wait."

"I love you," she offered.

Chris grinned, "Don't worry. I know. I love you too. But, you're right. We should head out. Paige'll have my head if we aren't there on time."

"Right," she agreed. "Better get going."

The brunet raised himself off the sofa and extended a hand to his sweetheart, helping her to her feet. After slipping on his shoes, Chris reached over to the rack and got her coat, holding it out for her. She finished rehooking her bra then slipped into the proffered coat, her cheeks still on fire, though she hid it with her long black hair. As Chris held the door open for her, Molly smiled contentedly. Life was good, and the New Year promised to be even better.

tbc. . .