"It's listing to the right."
"You call that straight? I called it old man crooked." Jazz shot Krebs a look that said 'fix it or else!'
Her housemate blew out an exasperated breath as he stepped back a few paces and studied the tree. She was right. It was leaning a little too far to the right.
"I'll have to secure the damn thing to the wall," he muttered. "You had to have a ten-foot tree, didn't you?"
"The room cries out for a large tree." She held her arms out to encompass the huge living room that was bright with twinkle lights threaded through green garlands decorated with red velvet bows. Holiday music played in the background.
Krebs grunted as he struggled with the heavy tree. He shot a glare toward the man lounging on the couch. "You could help, you know. Vampire strength. Pick the tree up as if it was a toothpick and all that."
"This is your tradition, not mine." Nick grinned. "Besides, I'm enjoying the show you and Jazz are giving me as you argue about decorations and a tree taller than most giants." But he took pity on the human and went over to help steady the tree. "Perhaps someone will add her magick to the tree." He lifted an eyebrow at Jazz.
"What would you guys do without me?" She held her hands out. "Getting close to the date. Want the tree to be long. So stand up straight and stand up strong. Because I said so, damn it!" To go with the holiday spirit her magick left her fingertips in red and green sparkles, traveling to the tree and wrapping it in power. The tree immediately stopped listing to the right. "And no holes in the wall," she told Krebs.
"That works for me. Think you can do the lights too?"
"Putting lights up is guy work! I put up the ornaments and icicles." She held up a silvery strand of tinsel.
Krebs gritted his teeth as Jazz directed the placement of the strands of lights. "I thought this was guy work."
"It is, but you still need to know where they go." She handed him the star tree topper.
"What did you do before you had me to boss around?" Krebs asked.
"I had a three-foot tabletop tree, but this is so much better." Jazz sorted through the ornaments until she found the one she wanted and carefully placed it on a branch.
Fluff and Puff slid into the room, chattering away to themselves. They headed for the red basket filled with candy canes and grabbed one, growling and snapping at each other as they fought over the peppermint treat until it broke in half. Each retreated to an opposite corner to enjoy their booty while keeping an eye on the other to make sure it wasn't taken away from them.
"No, the angel has to go up there." Jazz pointed up and up and up.
Krebs sighed. "I'll get the ladder."
"I can take care of that." Nick levitated to the branch Jazz indicated and carefully hung the ornament.
Between Jazz's direction, Krebs and Nick doing her bidding the tree was decorated from top to bottom.
"Any reason why you couldn't do the witchy thing and just send the ornaments onto the tree?" Krebs asked.
"Sure, but it's not as much fun as making sure they're where they belong. I do great work." She beamed as she studied the tree.
Nick and Krebs exchanged a look. "Who does great work?" They asked in unison.
"Me. After all, I was the brains, you were the brawn." She waved off their words. "It's a beautiful tree." She stood back, smiling brightly.
With the drapes open, the tall tree was perfectly framed in the huge bay window that faced the street. With icicle lights decorating the house, twinkle lights blanketing the shrubs and lighted lollipops and candy canes along the cement walkway, the house was a holiday confection.
"Let's need to go outside and see the full effect!" Jazz grabbed the men by the hand and pulled them outside. They stood on the sidewalk to admire the final effect.
"Even prettier than last year," she pronounced.
"I have to admit you do good work, Jazz baby." Krebs hugged her.
"Jazz has always loved the holidays," Nick said.
"Especially presents." She looked from one to the other with an expectant expression.
"You know the rules. We wait until the morning of December 25 and not one minute sooner. It's cold out here. I'll make Irish coffee," he offered, heading for the front door. "You can drink that, right, Nick?"
"Thankfully, I can." He slipped an arm around Jazz's waist as they walked up the walkway.
Krebs opened the door and hurried stepped back as a wave of noxious stench flowed outside.
"Gross!" Krebs stared at Fluff, or maybe it was Puff who lay sprawled on the floor by the tree with half eaten candy canes surrounding them. "They ate peppermint and that came out of them?"
Jazz held her nose as she waved her hand through the toxic air that grew worse by the minute. "I should have remembered that peppermint doesn't agree with them."
"I guess we'll be drinking our Irish coffee in the kitchen. Or maybe the carriage house." Krebs led the way toward the back of the house. “Hey witchy roomie, just in case, can you conjure up some gas masks?”