Just In Time for the Holidays

We have a Christmas Cactus in the office, and it's being pretty fabulous at the moment:
(murder cactus??)

But I promised excerpts!

Here's some of what I wrote today: the lead characters Gwen and Jeremy are starting to grow closer...
“Is that a Galaxie?”
“Um, yeah,” she automatically turned back toward it, suddenly embarrassed by the coat of dirt dulling its deep blue finish.  “It was my grandmother’s, and when she died it came to me.”
“Did she die recently, then?” Jeremy sauntered towards the vehicle, hands in his jean pockets.  Gwen, trying to keep herself from staring at the worn patches on his butt, took a few quick steps to bring herself abreast with him.
“Uh, no.  She died when I was eight, so nine years ago this past July.”
“Sorry to hear that,” Jeremy murmured.  “Did that have anything to do with your move to Frostfell?”
Gwen looked at him sharply, surprised he’d remembered such a small detail.  She sat on the hood of her car, and he followed suit.  “No, actually," she said.  "Well, I mean, we moved to Frostfell at her suggestion, but not because of her.  She died right after we got there, tho’.”
“Ah.”  Jeremy didn’t ask anything else, but Gwen found she wanted him to know more.
“We moved because of my dad- because he left us.  Grandma Pearl thought we’d never be able to move on with our lives if we stayed in a place to saturated with memories of him, and I guess Mom agreed, so we left.”
“You didn’t agree?”
“I wasn’t consulted.”  Gwen leaned back until she was laying flat against the hood, staring up at the clear blue sky.  She let the thoughts and feelings of the little girl she’d been flow through her.  “Right after we moved I was so pissed.  So fucking pissed.  And scared, really, but anger is easier, you know?”
Jeremy laid a hand over hers, but for once her focus wasn’t on the electric shock his touch sent through her system.
“I was… I just knew that Dad would come back for us, come back for me, but we wouldn’t be where he'd left us.  And when he saw we were gone, he’d leave again, for good this time.  And I’d never see him again, because he wouldn’t know where to find me, because my mom was being a selfish bitch.”
Warm fingers tightened over her own, and she found herself squeezing back.
“I know that’s not true, of course.  In my head, I know it.  He didn’t just leave Mom, he left us.  But… I don’t know.  Some feelings take root in your heart like a fucking weed, and no matter how many times you try to pull it out, some little bit remains, corrupting everything else, you know?”
She turned to look at Jeremy and found he was staring at her, eye bright and dark at the same time.  And then he leaned over, slowly, carefully, and pressed his lips to her cheek.  There was nothing overtly sexual about the gesture, but still her body surged with heat.
“I know I find you fascinating and inspiring,” he whispered in her ear.  “Most seventeen-year-olds would never consider putting even half as much thought into what makes them tick.”
Gwen turned her head until their noses were almost brushing.
“Well," she said softly, "I have to do something during mass.” And then she closed the fractional gap between them.

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