WHO: Natalie & Conrad WHEN: Christmas Eve WHERE: Conrad's place WHAT: General cuteness.
Natalie had taken to sometimes wearing the engagement ring that Conrad had bought her. It may have been the product of a fake engagement to impress old school friends, but that was the only thing fake about it. Natalie loved that ring, even if she was a little bit terrified to ever ask how much it had cost.
The first time he'd seen her wearing it a few months ago, Natalie had been sure to tell him right away what it meant. It's not an engagement ring, she'd said, but it is something beautiful given to me by a man I love.
Natalie was not ready to be engaged, or married, or have kids. These were all things that Future Natalie would think about. Present Natalie was happy enough with the way things were. She had enough trouble trying not to sabotage this relationship without the added pressure of some sort of wedding.
(She liked to hope she'd gotten better - at her jealousy, at her attempts to push him away, at the way she could just generally be rather difficult. She tried, but sometimes she knew she was intolerable. So she was glad when Conrad tolerated her, when he made his attempts to calm her down and understand her insecurities.)
She was wearing the ring tonight when she arrived on Conrad's doorstep, coupled with a dress just as red and her coat already off and in hand. The outfit was completed by a Santa hat sitting lopsided on her head. Natalie gave his door a quick half dozen knocks and then began singing Jingle Bells, determined to continue until the door opened.