"What are you doing out here?" He turned toward her shrill voice, slipping in the thin layer of new-fallen snow and staggering a few steps before he could catch his balance. He'd put up with Pop's drunken mumbling and Pavi's giggling for as long as he could before he jerked his trenchcoat on and thrust himself out into the night, swearing at the asinine family tradition of Christmas Eve dinner and then all the more fervently when he'd gotten to street level and realized it was fucking well snowing, Southern California and snowing anyway, and he was wearing his goddamned dress shoes, which had absolutely no fucking traction. He'd spent ten seconds considering going back inside, then decided he'd rather brave the streets than deal with his family again. Two-thirds of his family, anyway, because Amber'd snuck out even sooner than he had, and here she was, bundled up in her wool coat with the fox-fur collar and snowflakes standing out on her black hair.
"Where the fuck have you been?" he demanded, pissed because she left first, without him.
"I had... shit to do." She wouldn't look at him, which meant she was probably off getting fucking Zydrate.
"On Christmas Eve?"
She shrugged. "What fucking business is it of yours, anyway?"
"You're supposed to be with your family on Christmas, and all that shit."
"I fucking am, you're right here."
She laughed at that, tossing her snow-covered hair and coming closer. She smelled good, like campfire and damp wool and the vintage perfume she always wore. Her cheeks were pink from the cold. "Got tired of Dad?"
"It's Christmas Eve. He's fucking drunk and moaning about Marni."
"Jesus, already? It's not even midnight yet."
"Yeah. Thought I'd go for a walk."
"In those shoes? You're going to kill yourself." She was wearing flat boots with patterned tights under her knee-length skirt; he hadn't even realized she owned shoes that didn't have ridiculous heels.
"I didn't know it was fucking snowing; what the shit is that, anyway?"
She shrugged and looked up. "Something about niños or some shit, I don't know. Who can fucking predict the weather around here, anyway?"
He vaguely remembered a time when local meteorology was at least more accurate than scrying with entrails, but it was before she was even born. "Fuck that shit. So what were you doing, anyway?"
She shrugged again, looking almost embarrassed. "Just... talking to people. No big."
"By 'people' you probably mean 'Graverobber.' Are you high?"
"No!" She drew her eyebrows together and bit her lip. "It's Christmas, leave me alone."
"Fuck that." He reached out and pulled her to him. She resisted sulkily and then gave in, pressing herself against his side. He bent to kiss her, and she caught it, turning it into something sweet and demanding.
"It's cold, let's go in." She slid her small cold hand into his and pulled him toward the building. He followed, deciding that, as drunk as Pop was, he wouldn't notice them fucking. Seemed like as good a way as any to celebrate Christmas.