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Have a Very Merry Shakespeare

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God, she hated Padua. She hated the massive nativity cutout that sat at the entrance to town, she hated the “ice rink” that the town put up (like it would ever get cold enough to snow, let alone freeze water), she hated the stupid plastic snowmen that hung from the streetlights on Main St. – – “Holy fuck, when did you become Scrooge?”

“What?” Kat looked over in surprise.

“Do you even realize that worlds have been coming out of your mouth?” Patrick asked her, “Or is your internal monolog normally this loud?”

“Oh, bite me! It's not like you've got some deep, abiding affection for your time here.”

“Oh, for fuck's sake!” a Prius suddenly backed out of a parking space, causing Patrick to stomp on the breaks, “You know what...” he said, then gave the wheel a sharp turn to the right, slipping into the space the Prius had just left.

“What are you doing?” she asked, “We're already late as it is.”

Patrick ignored her and got out of the car.

She yelled after him, “You know what kind of shit storm Bianca will throw if her stupid spawn don't get their dinner on time.”

“This'll just take a minute!” he yelled back before gave her a wide smile (the one that still made her heart flutter, damn him) and running into a store.

One minute had turned into fifteen before Patrick got back.

“What the hell was that about?” she asked as he pulled out of the parking space and back onto the road toward her father's house.

“Just some last minute shopping,” he picked up the bag from his lap and handed it to her. “Merry Christmas!”

Kat took the bag, her head spinning in disbelief. A present? He had already gotten her a gift – the shipping had gotten screwed up so he had told her about it during their layover in Chicago – so what the hell was this?

“Just open it, Stratford.”

“All right, I will, Verona.”

She uncrumpled the top of the bag and discovered the logo of the music store. Inside was a slim box that made a muffled jangling sound as she pulled it out. Looking at the picture on the top of the box Kat burst out laughing.

“I told you'd I'd get you a tambourine one day.”