Under the Mistletoe (Rayllum Month 2024) - axrc15 (2024)

Rayla was walking through the castle’s corridors, amused by all the people who were hanging what seemed to be a pretty large line of red flowers and little golden balls. They were all chatting and singing, which was disturbing, especially since she needed to cross that same corridor from her room to almost everything else in the castle.

“Rayla!” Ezran shouted excitedly running to her. He threw himself into her arms. She hugged him “We were looking for you!”

Rayla raised an eyebrow “Oh?”

“Come on”. Taking her hand he urged her to almost run to her room.

When they arrived Callum had a big smile on his face and behind him there were some beautiful gowns and clothes Rayla had never seen in her life.

“Ok, what is happening?” She asked, confused “Is there some big Katolian celebration I should know of?”

The boy's mouth hung open for a little while before they exchanged a confused look.

“Wait, do elves don’t celebrate Christmas?” Asked Callum.

Now she was even more confused than before “Christmas?”

“Yeah! Christmas, when everyone receives presents and has a family reunion and eats a lot of food, and at midnight everyone hugs each other” Rayla shook her head and lifted her shoulders, Ezran let out a sigh “We have so much to talk about, Rayla” he said crossing his arms.

And that was how she got involved in a two-hour speech about why Christmas was the best thing ever. She didn’t mind, because Ezran’s eyes lightened up in the same way they did every time he ate a jelly tart and even Callum seemed excited about it.

“Each year some people are invited to attend the royal family celebrations here at the castle, and after that, we have a little party just for friends and family, right Callum?”

He nodded “That’s the best part if you ask me, after hours of keeping composture you can finally relax and be with the people you love”. To emphasize his point, he kissed Rayla’s cheek.

Ezran rolled his eyes “You really can’t keep your hands off each other”.

Callum and Rayla laughed “Just wait till you’re in love, Ez” Now it was Rayla’s turn to kiss her boyfriend’s cheek.

The kid stuck out his tongue “Whatever. Due to the big Christmas party, we thought it would be a great idea if the three of us had matching outfits, I mean, Callum and I already have, you’re the only one who’s missing”

Rayla frowned “I don’t know…”

“Come on, Rayla, even Opeli said it was a good idea,” said Callum.

“She did?” She asked surprised.

“Yeah, she said it’ll be a good way to represent the royal family”

At this, her eyes widened.

“Everyone already knows about your relationship, as I said before you can’t keep your hands off each other and it was pretty obvious you were a thing since we came back from Xadia”

Rayla glared at Callum “Did you know this?”

He nodded “Are you mad about it being public?”

“No, of course not! I’m just… bewildered. Royal family sounds too formal”

“Well then just keep the family thing and forget about the royal part,” said Ezran.

Rayla smiled at him “Yeah, I think I’m gonna do that”

Then they proceeded to what had started all of it: try on new dresses and see which fit her the most.

Rayla tried at least ten different gowns and ended up choosing one without sleeves and a skirt that fell without a lot of volume, which was perfect for her need to always be in movement and not to feel trapped inside a dress. Still, having it on she couldn’t deny she liked the way it depicted her naked shoulders and neckline.

Callum and Ezran were radiating happiness when she finally decided she liked it.

“So,” she said, “Any other thing I must know before the party?”

They exchanged a look and nervously Ezran nodded “The party is the day after tomorrow”

“We’re sorry we didn’t tell you before, but we didn’t know elves don’t celebrate it till Opeli asked us if you were okay with the celebrations” added Callum.

Rayla sighed “I guess there’s not much problem now that I have the dress, right?”

The boys nodded eagerly.

When two days ago she said she was ready for the Christmas party, she wasn’t expecting a room full of humans in fancy dresses swinging from side to side at the beat of the music.

Her heart thumped too fast inside her chest and her hands were sweaty. Suddenly waiting for the boys to arrive became pure torture.

Rayla wondered how they managed to stand all that noise in almost every celebration they had.

she felt Callum sneaking up behind her. A warm feeling calmed her heart when he embraced her from behind and kissed her cheek.

“Not even a full minute passed before you two were touching and kissing each other,” said Soren.

Rayla spun around in Callum’s arms and kissed him before gazing at Soren “Sorry, what were you saying?” She asked innocently.

Soren rolled his eyes even though a smile was growing on his lips.

Even though Callum changed his position so he could see Soren, one of his hands lingered on her waist.

Once Ezran arrived Opeli announced them and Rayla’s breath caught on her throat when she heard her name accompanied by the “princess” title. Callum gave her a light squeeze on the side to remind her to walk slowly and steadily. Ezran was a few steps ahead, wearing a big smile and waving to everyone. Callum was doing it too, and behind them, Soren did the same, so she tried to put on a cute smile.

From the stairs to the table she didn’t let go of Callum’s hand on her, it was the only thing keeping her focused, otherwise, she was sure the pressure of hundreds of stares at her would’ve crashed her.

“Did I do it good?” She asked as soon as they were sitting.

Callum’s smile was even bigger now “Of course you did! The two essential parts of this are looking good and not tripping all over your clothes and you nailed it in both”

Rayla rested her head on his shoulder, finally catching a peaceful breath. She heard Ezran going crazy about how many pastries Barius had cooked and Soren talking with a bunch of girls and boys showing off his skills.

Under the table, Callum intertwined their fingers. She could survive this type of party if he was at her side.

Lowering her eyes she looked at the contrast of their hands. Five fingers against four, his skin touched by the sun against hers touched by the moon, it was impressive how small her hands were compared to Callum’s.

Without a previous note, Callum lifted her hand and kissed her knuckles. Rayla’s insides melted, and all the blood in her body rushed to her cheeks.

Oh, how much she loved him.

The party went on for hours. Rayla and Callum danced to some songs but most of the time they were just at their table exchanging jokes and caressing each other with little kisses.

Rayla was falling asleep when Ezran finally thanked everyone who had come and signaled them to exit the room along with Soren.

“So now it’s where the real party begins!” Celebrated the crown guard.

Rayla yawned “So what are we gonna do exactly?”

“Play!” Yelled Ezran “For this year I thought hide and seek would be a great option having a moonshadow elf makes it more exciting” The kid jumped in front of Rayla.

“Yeah, it will be interesting” she agreed.

“We can turn off all the lights in the area to make it more challenging” proposed Callum.

And just like that they started playing. Rayla was the first one who needed to find everyone, and as expected she found them in less than five minutes. Next, it was up to Soren. Ezran had pleaded for Rayla to help him find a good hiding spot and she did it so well it took an eternity for Soren to see the young king.

When it was Callum’s turn he tried to coax her out about where was Ezran after he found her “It’s your brother, you know him better than I do, where would he hide?” She answered “But, hey, if you don’t find him you still have the record of the one who found me more or less quickly”

To end the game Ezran tried to find them and did a good job with Callum and Soren, though it took a bit more to find Rayla.

Now Ezran was also yawning “We should get some rest”.

Callum used a spell to light up the room. Ezran and Soren gasped, the kid giggled as his eyes darted from the ceiling to where his brother and Rayla were standing.

“Oh, you gotta be kidding me” cried Soren “As if it wasn’t enough the fact that these two are always honeyed”

Callum and Rayla slowly looked up. Callum jumped at the sight of a mistletoe.

“What is the big deal? It’s just a pretty plant” said Rayla throwing her arms at her sides.

Ezran seemed like he wanted to burst into laughing “It’s a tradition that when two persons are standing under a mistletoe they need to kiss to have a successful relationship”

Soren scowled at Ezran, and the boy just shrugged, too invested in Callum and Rayla’s reaction.

“Well, I mean, we don’t have to do it, if we don’t want to…” Callum was saying.

“Do you want to?” Asked Rayla stepping closer to her boyfriend and taking his collar into her fist.

Callum’s eyes were traveling between Rayla’s lips and eyes “I do want to kiss you” he said breathlessly.

“Then shut up and do it”

In less than a second their lips were bound together. Callum’s hands grabbed Rayla’s middle gently, and she passed her arms behind his neck, urging him closer.

Soren put a hand over Ezran’s eyes, blocking his view “Hey!”

“You’re too young to see this” Soren said solemnly.

“I’ve seen them kiss since I was ten” he recalled “And I wasn’t planning on watching them, I was just gonna turn away either way” Ezran crossed his arms over his chest.

“Ezran may have forgotten to mention that it also means vitality and mainly fertility for the upcoming year” added Soren.

Immediately Callum and Rayla parted away “What-“ Rayla’s lilac eyes widened.

“But it’s just a myth!” He reassured “Nothing to worry about”

Soren finally uncovered Ezran’s eyes. The kid let out a laugh “Oh, you should see your faces!”

The couple exchanged a look, giggles escaping their mouths. Rayla yawned reminding everyone of how late it was.

“We should go to bed,” said Callum. Everyone agreed and started walking to their chambers.

Rayla and Callum cuddled in his bed, even though their rooms were joined together they’d grown used to sleeping on the same bed. Feeling the comforting presence of the other while falling asleep and waking up to see the other wrapped in their arms. After two years of being apart, those little moments were everything.

“I love you” whispered Callum interweaving their fingers under the bedsheets.

“I love you too” she answered “Though you humans have very odd traditions”

Callum snorted “I didn’t even know a mistletoe meant all that”

“Good is just a superstition” Rayla squeezed his hand.

“Yeah” He yawned “Goodnight, Rayla”

“Goodnight Callum” She closed her eyes. The night was cold but the presence of Callum was keeping her warm, she wondered how she survived two long years without these little, sweet moments at his side.

Under the Mistletoe (Rayllum Month 2024) - axrc15 (2024)
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