Kristoff came home from his most recent contractor job, grinning when he saw the bright smile of his four year old daughter, Camille.
“Daddy, you’re home!” Hearing those words never failed to make him smile.
“Hey, cupcake.” He returned her smile, looking into her light green eyes. Aside from her eyes, she had resembled him so much. Her hair was blonde and thick, and she let it grow out to be quite long. Seeing her happy smile as he walked through the door made all the stress from work melt away.
She was everything to him.
The new nanny came out to greet him cordially, and he didn’t miss the way Camille tightened her arms around his neck just a bit. His protective instincts roared to life.
He had nanny cams set up just in case, and while Camille was at the age where she was able to talk to him and tell him if something was wrong, he wanted to be sure. And she might not be able to spot any red flags from such a young age.
Kristoff gave her a slight grin, still wanting to be professional in case there wasn’t something wrong. But he was ready, and his instincts were never really wrong.
“It was a good day today, Mr. Bjorgman.” She looked a bit nervous underneath his stare. He towered over her, cradling Camille with one arm as she still clung to his neck.
“Yeah? That’s good to hear.” Camille didn’t say anything, but that in itself told him all he needed to know.
“I hope you had a good day at work. We had a great day, didn’t we, Camille?” She smiled at the little girl in Kristoff’s arms, but she didn’t say anything.
She grabbed her purse, wished them both a good night and a bright wave to Camille, who tentatively waved back.
The click of the front door echoed behind him, and they were left with quiet. He turned towards Camille, looking into her eyes.
“Is everything alright? You can tell me anything you know. I won’t be mad.” He looked into her adorable face, scrunched up into a pout.
“Daddy, she scares me,” she said it so quietly, and it damn near broke his heart.
“Did she do anything to you?”
“No. But she yelled at me.”
His eyes hardened and he could feel himself tensing with righteous anger starting to boil within.
It looks like he was going to have to have a word with the nanny. A lot of words, and then he won’t ever let her near Camille again.
“Is she going to come back? I really tried to read but I don’t know a lot of it yet.”
He placed a gentle kiss onto her hair. “No, she’s not ever coming back, okay? Don’t worry.”
Camille grinned, a little baby tooth missing from her smile. Yet it still made her look absolutely adorable in his eyes.
“Come on, let’s go make some dinner.”
After checking the nanny cam for the day to see what had happened, he had called the nanny to let her know her services were not needed anymore. And he would be reporting her to the agency he had hired her from. The nanny indeed looked like she had yelled at Camille, arms waving in exasperation. The little girl stood there hugging her teddy bear, who hadn’t done anything wrong.
The nanny yelled and refuted him over the phone, calling Camille a brat that doesn’t follow directions, and he nearly growled and hung up on her in anger. He filed a long complaint with her nanny agency that night.
It was unfortunate that finding a new nanny that was a fit for his daughter was so difficult. His job had him gone for long hours of the day, and his ex-wife was out of the picture, leaving him with Camille after she was born. The most recent nanny (ex-nanny) came with all sorts of references and a hefty resume, but that wasn’t all that mattered from what he saw today.
He pinched the bridge of his nose and leaned back in his chair, the leather pressing into his back.
His phone rang on his desk. He contemplated letting it go to voicemail but looking at the name flashing across the screen made him pick up.
“Hey. How’d the new nanny go?”
“Terrible. She yelled at Camille and it looked like she almost hit her.”
“Oh god. Is she alright?” Her worry was evident and he was grateful to have friends that worried about his daughter so much.
“Yeah. Nothing happened aside from that so I fired her and filed a complaint.”
He sighed. “So what’s up?”
There was a pause on the other end, and he heard shuffling and a jingle of keys.
“I was wondering if you needed a nanny.”
“Are you offering?” Kristoff was confused, Elsa was a lawyer and worked long hours, even longer than him sometimes. While she tried to make time to see him and Camille often, it wasn’t always possible.
“No, no. I had a recommendation for someone if you were interested.”
“Seriously? That’d be amazing.” He nearly sighed in relief. He trusted Elsa, and if Elsa trusted whoever she was going to recommend, he would trust this mystery person too.
“Yeah, it’s my little sister. She got laid off from her job and she really needs some cash at the moment. She’s moved in with me for now, but she really wants to work.”
“Does she have any experience with kids?” Kristoff frowned.
“Yeah, she used to work at a daycare center a few years back, so she knows how to handle them.”
“I’ll do it. I’m desperate for someone sane to come look after my daughter. Give me her number and we can work things out.”
“Great! I’ll send it now. Her name is Anna.”
“Thanks. You have no idea how relieved I am, Elsa.”
“I bet. I know Camille will love her. Gotta go now though, I’ll talk to you later.”
Kristoff hung up, hoping to dear god that this would work out. The string of nannies that Camille has had was growing too long, and he wanted her to have some stability.
Anna looked up to see Elsa saying bye to someone and hanging up on her phone.
“Hey!” She waved from the couch. She was dressed in a baggy t-shirt and sweats compared to Elsa’s business suit, but she was comfy and that’s all that mattered.
“Hey to you, too.” She plopped onto the couch next to her and reached into the bag of chips that was open. “Anna, do you know my friend Kristoff?”
“Hmm, you mentioned him a few times, yeah,” she mumbled distractedly, stuffing a few more chips into her mouth.
“He needs a new nanny.”
She grinned and turned to face Elsa completely, her attention diverted. “Yeah?”
“I was going to give him your number. Only if you’re interested, though.”
“Of course!” Anna’s eyes widened with glee. This was perfect! After being laid off from her shitty corporate job, Anna didn’t really know what to do. This was an answer to her prayers.
“Great. He’ll probably give you a call soon, since his newest nanny didn’t do too well with his daughter.”
“Oh, I see,” Anna cringed. “Can I ask what happened?”
Elsa sighed, “Apparently she yelled at her and it looked like she was going to hit her.”
“Ouch! That really sucks.” Anna felt a bit of anger flare up on Kristoff’s behalf. No one should hit children.
“Yeah, she’s such a sweetheart too. Maybe a little stubborn but she doesn’t mean any harm.”
“Of course not, she’s a kid,” Anna agreed. “So is he gonna call me tonight or something?”
Elsa shrugged. “Maybe.”
Anna stared at her phone intently while Elsa laughed.
He didn’t call her until the next day, around noon. An unknown number prompted her to pick up quickly, thinking it would be Kristoff.
“Hello?” she said breathlessly, her heart fluttered with excitement.
“Hi, is this Anna? This is Kristoff. I-uh, heard you were looking for a job as a nanny.” His voice was deep and had a low rumble to it that made Anna breathless. It wasn’t unpleasant at all, and she blinked in surprise at her thoughts.
“Yes, this is Anna.” She gripped the edge of her t-shirt nervously. “And I am looking for a job.” She hoped she didn’t sound too desperate.
“Great, I need someone to look after my daughter, Camille.” There was some shuffling on the other end and Anna bit her lip. “I work as a contractor and I’m gone for most of the day, and I need someone to watch her and do some minor tidying around the house.”
“Alright, sounds fair.” Nannies did typically do housework and such, but it made her wonder about what standards he would hold her to. He had heard of nightmare parents who expected nannies to have the house crisp and clean while looking after three kids.
Kristoff listed an hourly wage that made her jaw drop. Just how much did he make?
“Anna?” Kristoff asked worriedly.
“Yes, I’m still here.” Her voice came out as a squeak and she cleared the throat while cringing. “When do you need me to start?”
Kristoff was quiet for a bit as he pondered the answer. “I have some paperwork to do this weekend that might take me a few hours at home, so I can be around while you and Camille meet. And I can give you a tour of the house and work out some things in a contract. How does that sound?”
“Sounds good! What time do you want me to drop by?”
“Saturday, around ten in the morning is good.” Anna then scribbled down his address as he said it.
“Alright, I’ll see you then.” Anna stared at the address in front of her.
“Bye.” The click of the phone echoed in her ear and she leaned back in her seat, slowly letting out a breath while staring at the address scribbled down on the paper.
It felt like a new start. And she was ready for it.
Kristoff waited a bit anxiously for Anna to come to the house on Saturday. He told Camille that he would need to spend a few hours doing paperwork after meeting the new nanny, and that she would have time to play with her.
A pout was all he got, and he grimaced. He knew weekends were precious as it was the most time he had to spend with her, but that paperwork had been sitting on his desk for a week and he needed to finish it. Otherwise he would have to stay after work to do it and miss out on dinner with Camille during the week.
Also there was the fact that Camille had not had a good nanny in a few months already. He hoped Anna would be the first to change that.
A light knock on the front door brought him back to reality and he went to get it, Camille hiding behind his leg and gripping his jeans.
He opened the door and his eyes widened. A gorgeous redhead stood before him and peered up at him with dazzling teal eyes.
“Uh, hi? Are you Kristoff? I’m Anna, the new nanny.” She brushed some soft hair behind her ear and he felt his heart beat a bit faster.
What was wrong with him?
“Yeah. Come on in.” He moved out of the way to let her in and he marveled at how petite she was. Her hair was long and loose, aside from a braid winding through as a half updo.
His eyes drifted lower appreciatively and he tore his eyes away. This is Camille’s new nanny, you pervert!
She looked around the living room, modestly decorated and fairly clean, as Kristoff tidied up the day before to make her think he wasn’t a slob. He usually wasn’t, but it had been a hard week and he had slogged through the chores the day before.
Camille was still gripping his leg and he leaned down to her height.
“Do you want to say hi to the new nanny?” he said quietly. He saw Anna lean down to her height as well with a soft smile and he grinned, encouraging Camille to come out from behind him.
“Hi Camille, I’m Anna.” She gave a soft wave and waited patiently for her to creep out from behind his legs. “I’m going to be your new nanny! I hope we’ll be good friends.”
Kristoff watched their interaction, approving of how Anna was acting so far. She didn’t seem to be aggressive or to yell at children, but that’s what he had thought of the last nanny. And here they were. He did not want a repeat of that.
Camille gave a light wave and dove behind his leg again, though this time she peeked her head out curiously.
“How about I give you a tour? She needs a bit of time to warm up to you.” Kristoff led them away towards the kitchen and Anna followed.
He talked about the different rooms as she followed him throughout the house, dainty sock-clad feet padding the floor. She had an awed look in her eyes, wonder shining through. He pointed out that there were nanny cams, and she didn’t look put off by it. They ended up back in the kitchen.
“I’m going to be in my office finishing up some paperwork. It should take me a few hours, but if you need anything, I’ll be in there.” He checked his watch and it was around 10:30am. If all goes well he should be done early in the afternoon.
“Sure. I’ll let you know if I need anything.” She set down her tote bag and purse on the kitchen island.
“Great.” He turned to Camille, who looked at him with wide green eyes. “I’ll see you later, cupcake.” He ruffled her hair as he left, and he hoped everything would go well.
Anna was left with the four year old and she let out a breath. First meetings were usually the hardest, as the child in question might be nervous or shy, and Anna thought that Camille definitely fell into that group.
She wasn’t expecting to see a hulking giant of a man answering the door, and she chastised herself for thinking that her new boss was handsome. Like, really handsome. Broad shoulders, long and strong legs, with a white t-shirt that hugged his strong arms. Not to mention his short, rugged beard and cut hair that was gelled back.
What made her heart melt was seeing how much Kristoff cared for his daughter. It was in every interaction she had seen so far, and she didn't even see them for a half hour yet.
Camille obviously adored her father as well.
Speaking of which, she turned to Camille, who looked at her. She leaned down a bit but kept her space, not wanting to scare her.
“So, Camille. What do you want to do?” She stayed silent and stared at her feet. “Hmm, do you want to play a game?”
That got her to perk up a bit. “A game?” she asked.
Anna grinned excitedly. “Yeah! I saw some toys in the living room. Do you want to go there to play for a bit?”
Camille was quiet for a moment and Anna held her breath. Finally, she nodded and bolted off to the living room, while Anna laughed and followed.
They ended up playing with some cards, and Anna questioned all the plush toys around the room. She saw that the little girl had a lot in her bedroom as well. Camille pulled a reindeer plushie off of the pile and hugged it tightly.
“Oh, is this one special?” Anna asked quietly.
“What’s its name?”
“Sven. Daddy got it for me last week.” Her voice was so quiet.
Anna smiled and gave it a nice pat on its head. “Well it’s nice to meet you, Sven.”
Camille looked at her with wide green eyes. “You don’t think it’s dumb?”
“What is?” Anna went back to shuffling the cards.
“That I have Sven.”
Anna frowned. “Absolutely not. I think it’s great. Why?” She tilted her head to the side in confusion.
Camille hesitated, petting Sven’s head. “The last nanny said I shouldn’t be playing with toys so much.”
Anna’s heart absolutely melted and also felt angry at that nanny. She was just a child, of course she was going to play with plushies and toys.
“Well, that’s just rude of her to say.” Anna petted Sven’s head again, not wanting to touch Camille just yet in case she would shy away.
“I think you’re great, Sven.”
Camille grinned a little, and pushed his head forward in a nod. “He says ‘thank you,’” the little girl said.
Anna giggled, “You’re welcome.”
It was a little past noon, and Anna thought about what to make for lunch. She went into the kitchen, and Camille sat on a stool with Sven in her lap. Anna peeked inside the refrigerator.
“Hmmm…” she mumbled in thought with her finger on her chin. “Would you like a sandwich?”
Camille nodded in excitement. “Yeah!”
“Want to help me make them?” Anna winked, “You can even make one for your dad.”
“Okay!” Camille dashed from her seat, but not before making sure Sven sat in her seat upright.
Anna let her pile on the ingredients while she used a butter knife to put on some sauce. She had to help her with making sure the lettuce didn’t fall out of the sandwich, giggling with Camille at making it all stay balanced.
“How about you wash your hands first, and then you can give it to your dad,” she suggested. Camille went to do just that, wiping her hands on her pink dress and grabbing the plate as carefully as she could. Anna handed her a napkin as well, and followed her with a drink.
She stood outside of the office as Camille knocked and went inside.
“Here, daddy.” She heard from outside.
“Aw, thanks honey. This looks delicious!”
“I made it!” Anna had to smile at that. She could see the beaming smile on her face already.
“It looks great. Good job.”
Camille trotted out of the room, and Anna handed her the drink to give to him. She went back into the room, balancing the glass with both hands carefully.
“Thank you, Camille. And tell Anna thank you for me, too.”
“Okay!” She trotted out of the room excitedly, and Anna held her hand to go back downstairs into the kitchen where she had made the rest of the sandwiches. They sat around the kitchen island, Sven having his own seat along with a baby carrot on a plate.
After they ate, Anna cleaned up the dishes and Camille went off to the living room. Anna marveled at the energy of the girl but it wasn’t surprising.
Camille hesitantly had a book in her hand and Anna sat down next to her on the plush rug.
“Do you want to read this?” It was a simple book, full of fun illustrations and short lines. “Do you want to try reading this?”
Camille vigorously shook her head, her hair flipping over her shoulders.
“Oh, it’s not too bad to read. And I’ll help you every step of the way.” Anna placed a hand on her shoulder.
Camille bit her lip and she looked into Anna’s eyes. “It’s too hard.”
“It’s not too bad.” Anna opened the book, seeing intricate illustrations about objects and what they were named. “Well, this looks fun.”
Camille stayed silent.
“All you have to do is try. It’s okay to get it wrong. That’s how we learn,” she said in a soft voice.
Camille looked up at her with doe like eyes, hugging Sven to her chest.
“You’re not going to yell at me?”
“Of course not! I will never yell at you.” Anna bit her lip, wanting to reassure her. “Besides, Sven is here to protect you.”
Camille grinned into Sven’s neck.
“Here, this word here is apple.” Anna made sure to draw out the letters.
“Apple,” Camille repeated.
“Yes, that’s right!” Anna clapped. Camille looked a bit more confident and ready to try. Anna turned to the next page, with a picture of a bee.
“Here, start from the beginning. This starts with the B sound, a buh. These double letters are esounds. Combine them together and you get this word.
“Buh-ee,” Camille started slowly, “B-ee.” she paused, with a wide grin she yelled it out.
“Great job! You got it right!” Anna turned the page again, and while Camille recognized some of the words because of the object in the picture, Anna felt that it was still good for her to recognize the letters and spelling.
They spent the next few minutes looking at the pictures, and sounding out the words. Anna was ever so patient and she found herself really enjoying her time and making Camille feel comfortable with trying to read. The happier Camille looked, the more Anna felt giddy and proud of her. Yeah, going back into childcare was the right move.
She didn’t notice Kristoff watching them from the doorway.
Kristoff rubbed his eyes and drank some of the juice Camille had given him (from Anna). The sandwich was pretty tasty and he made a note to thank her for thinking about him. Usually the nanny didn’t save him any food, but Anna was kind enough to make him something. And to get Camille to help make him something. It gave him the much needed energy to get through the rest of the paperwork and contracts.
He felt the need to stretch his legs a bit and made his way downstairs to put away the dish from his lunch. He didn’t find Anna and Camille in the kitchen and he heard voices coming from the living room, and what he found made him stop in his tracks.
Anna and Camille were cuddled up on the rug reading a book. That wasn’t what was surprising though. What was surprising was Camille reading. Reading. He had tried to get her to read by herself more but it was difficult with her past experiences scaring her away. He was fortunate enough to have a good nanny in the past that had taught her the alphabet, but she had moved to another state and he had scrambled to find a replacement that taught as well as she did.
Now seeing her with her tongue stuck out when she didn’t know how to pronounce a syllable, and seeing Anna handle it with the utmost patience made even him soft.
Anna was really something.
Camille looked up and promptly ran over to him, Anna yelping a bit in surprise at the quick movement.
“Daddy!” Camille ran over to hug his leg, and he smiled.
“Sorry to surprise you, just wanted to check on you guys.” He rubbed his neck bashfully.
Anna giggled and got up from the rug. “It’s alright. Are you finished with your paperwork?”
“Yeah. Thanks for looking after her today.”
Kristoff ruffled Camille's hair and she laughed in delight.
“Nah, we had fun. Right, Camille?”
Camille grinned at her.
“Looks like I’ll be going then.” Anna went to grab her purse and tote bag.
“I’ll see you out the door.” Anna smiled and he couldn’t help but grin back, tentatively hopeful that he had found a great nanny.
She was fishing around her purse for her keys, standing on the porch when she suddenly turned towards him.
“I don’t know if you have one, but I wanted to know if you have a mixer.”
“A mixer?” Kristoff thought about it. “I’m sure I do, I just need to find it.”
“Oh okay. I just couldn’t find one in the kitchen and I thought it would have been fun to bake some cookies with Camille.”
“Is that what’s in your bag there?” He tilted his head towards it. It looked hefty.
“Yup! I figured if there was enough time I could do something like that today, but you finished your work earlier than expected. I’ll do it next time.”
“Camille would love that. Thank you so much,”
Kristoff said gratefully.
Anna grinned, showing two rows of straight white teeth and soft lips and Kristoff couldn’t seem to find the ability to breathe.
“Well, I’ll see you on Monday, bright and early!” Anna waved and got into her car.
Kristoff was left standing in the doorway, watching her. He gave a single wave to her as she drove away, feeling a bit empty.
Monday came and Kristoff felt a pit of worry all day as he tried to concentrate on his work with Ryder. He knew Elsa wouldn’t have recommended Anna if she wasn’t going to be good, but there was just some worry anyway.
He finally parked his truck in the driveway, and rushed to open the front door. To his relief he heard giggling and laughter from the kitchen.
“Camille? Anna?” he called out.
To his surprise, Anna was using the mixer, and Camille was carefully pouring something like chocolate chips into it while standing on a step stool.
Anna looked up and smiled, while stopping the mixer. “Kristoff! Hey!”
“Daddy!” Camille ran over to him and did her trademark hug, tiny arms wrapping around his neck. It seemed like everything went well on their first day together, and he felt his heart calm.
“Sounds like you two were having fun.”
Camille nodded her head vigorously. “Yeah! We played all day, and I read some books and Anna was making cookies! I helped!”
“Did you now?” He raised an eyebrow playfully at Anna, who came to stand in front of him while wiping her hands on a towel.
“Yeah, that’s right.” Anna looked at Camille with hearts in her eyes, and Kristoff stood entranced. “She did a great job reading today.”
“Ah, that’s great,” he stumbled out. He felt his cheeks getting hot and he looked at Camille to get his attention away from the gorgeous redhead in front of him.
“I was in the middle of making cookies, I didn’t realize you would be back so early.”
“Yeah, I finished the job earlier than expected.” He looked over at the kitchen. “You’re welcome to stay and finish making them though.”
“Great!” Anna went back to the kitchen and Camille tapped him on the arm.
“Can I go help her?” she asked.
Kristoff grinned, “Sure thing, cupcake.”
Camille let out a giggle as she ran off, Anna leaning down and handing her the chocolate chips again. Kristoff stood and watched them, not really knowing how to describe the feelings of contentment rising within him. Watching Camille bond and connect with someone else aside from him made him so proud of her.
Camille had always been a bit reserved, and it wasn’t too different from him as a child. His adoptive family helped her be more comfortable with socializing, but they didn’t get to see them too often.
The way Anna interacted with children was so natural. And she made some damn good cookies.
Kristoff had made some hot chocolate to have alongside the tasty treats, with exactly seven marshmallows for Camille, and Anna took it from him with a dazzling smile.
Now Camille was playing with Sven and some other plushies, having an impromptu tea party with some of the cookies on the plate.
Kristoff and Anna watched from afar.
“So, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to, but where did you work before this?”
Anna sipped her hot chocolate before answering, “At a consulting firm as an analyst.”
Kristoff let out a low whistle. “What’d you study in college?”
“Finance,” Anna winced. “It wasn’t really my decision. I wanted to go into education, or something else. But my father didn’t really approve of it.” Her eyes were downcast and she was silent after that. Kristoff felt like an asshole, it seemed like it was a sore subject for her.
He coughed before saying with a slight hint of red on his cheeks, “Well, I’m glad it somehow led you here. Camille adores you even though it’s only been two days, and I’m really grateful to have you as her nanny.”
Anna smiled at him, and her eyes darted to the clock. “Thank you. I should get going now actually, Elsa might start to wonder where I am.”
“Sure thing. Thanks for today.” Kristoff saw her off, but not before Anna went to say goodbye to Camille with a promise to see her tomorrow.
Camille absolutely beamed at that, and Kristoff felt the same way even though it wasn’t said to him.
It was heading into early fall, and Anna thought it would be nice to be outside more before the cold weather inevitably came.
“Camille, would you like to go on a picnic?”
The little girl beamed with excitement and enthusiastically started to get ready. Anna watched her fondly as she packed a bag of food to enjoy, as well as some hot chocolate in a thermos. It wasn’t cold yet, but she wanted to have it just in case. Besides, who doesn’t like hot chocolate?
She couldn’t believe that time had flown so fast already, before she knew it, it had been two months of being Camille’s nanny. And honestly, it was great. She really enjoyed working with children again, and Kristoff had always treated her well and with respect. He always texted her to let her know if he was going to be late or coming home early, had always taken her advice about Camille’s likes and dislikes into account, and had made her hot chocolate more times than she could count. It was sort of their thing now. Anna flushed as she realized she had grown quite fond of the drink now, and stopped before she could think about why. Though she knew exactly why.
Not to mention that he was a total gentleman. She wondered why he hadn’t been snatched up by some other woman yet, and he was such a catch. She had definitely harbored some fantasies of grabbing him by the shoulders and kissing him, but squashed down any want of acting on them for obvious reasons.
Besides, she didn’t think she could bear to leave Camille after bonding with her so much. The little girl had crawled into her heart and stayed put there, and she looked forward to seeing her. Vaguely she wondered if it was a good thing to be so attached, as she didn’t know how long she would be her nanny…
But she would worry about that another time.
They had a picnic to go to, after all. And she was glad she did, as she watched Camille take in the red and orange leaves of the trees, and basked in the sunlight and fresh autumn air.
She had made Camille wear a light jacket since she didn’t want her to catch a cold, the little girl pouting and saying no, but Anna convinced her to.
They set up a picnic blanket underneath a tree, and Anna set out the containers of food—sandwiches, some pumpkin pie, the thermos of hot chocolate, and some chips.
Anna laughed along with Camille as they watched some ducks frolicking in the large fountain area. She was glad she took the time to explore the area, and this park was only a fifteen minute walk away from Kristoff’s house.
Her phone alerted her to a text message and she reached inside her bag to check it. It was Kristoff letting her know that he was getting off of work early.
Anna happily let him know they were at the park nearby, and put her phone away.
Just then, a little boy came up to them shyly.
“Do you want to play with us?” he shyly asked. Anna grinned and looked to Camille, who nodded but then at the last second, looked at Anna as if asking for permission.
“Go. It’s alright,” Anna said, ushering them off. She kept a watchful eye as they joined a group of children playing tag.
She leaned back against the tree trunk, and nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt someone sitting on the blanket next to her. She let out a sigh of relief when she saw who it was.
“Sorry,” Kristoff said bashfully. He rubbed the back of his neck in the telltale sign that he was embarrassed.
Anna giggled, “It’s alright! You just startled me. Camille's playing with the other kids right now. Oh, and feel free to eat whatever you want.”
“Thank you. This looks delicious,” he said as he picked up a slice of pie.
Kristoff leaned back against the tree trunk as well, Anna sighing a little as their shoulders brushed up against one another. They both watched the kids playing, and Anna wondered at how domestic this was.
And how much she wanted it to be real.
Kristoff turned towards her and said something, but it flew right over her head.
“Sorry, what?” she said in a daze. She was too busy staring at Kristoff’s lips and the really nice stubbly beard that she wanted to touch, to see how rough it was under her fingers.
“I asked how your day went.” He grinned, and she smiled back. His eyes were always so warm now, even if she did think he was a bit reserved since meeting him.
“Oh, it was good. We played some games in the morning, worked on her reading some more, and I got her a coloring book with a whole set of crayons. She was so happy to see it because of the princesses inside, you should have seen her.” She went on, not noticing the way Kristoff gazed at her talking about Camille. “She had to get every shade right, and really tried to color everything in the right way in the movies.” Anna giggled, “She’s such a perfectionist, though I told her they looked great no matter what.”
“I’m glad you had such a great time.”
“Me too. It’s nice to spend time with kids again.” Anna sighed wistfully.
“You said you worked at a daycare before?” Kristoff said.
“That’s right. I did it for a work study during college. It really helped me not go insane from classes.”
“It sounds really tough.” He frowned.
“Sometimes, especially if you have some unruly kids. But most of the time it means they need just a little bit more attention and to feel seen,” Anna said with a small smile.
“You’re really good with children.”
“You are too,” Anna grinned and nudged his shoulder with hers. A hint of pink appeared on his cheeks and she giggled some more. He was just so bashful. And she meant it. Anyone who said that he didn’t care for Camille was a fool.
Camille came rushing back when she saw Kristoff, and he got up to envelope her in a warm hug. It made Anna warm inside to see their ritual everyday.
“C’mon Camille. Let’s go home and make some dinner, yeah?”
She started to pack up a bit sadly, knowing the day was over and she would have to go back home. Though they did have next week, as it was the weekend.
“Yeah?” She looked up to see him smiling at her.
“I was just wondering if you’d like to stay for dinner.”
“Oh,” she was breathless from reluctant but giddy happiness. “Sure!” It took her by surprise but she relished the fact that he didn’t mind her staying with them longer. She wanted to have all the time she could with them.
“Great, let’s head back then.”
Camille walked in excitement and talked the whole way back, and Anna felt so utterly happy at the fact that Camille walked in between her and Kristoff, both of her hands in one of Kristoff and Anna’s.
If Kristoff noticed, he didn’t care or didn’t mind. And Anna was grateful for that. She didn’t know how she would react if Kristoff became angry.
Dinner was exquisite in Anna’s opinion. Kristoff made some chicken penne alfredo and she played with Camille some more, drawing doodles on a piece of paper and trying to guess what they drew.
She moaned as she tasted the dish, already knowing it would taste good from the smell as it was cooking.
“It’s good?” Kristoff asked with a grin.
“It’s delicious!” Anna shoveled more of the pasta in her mouth, the flavors dancing across her tongue. How is he so good at cooking?
“This is the best dish daddy makes,” Camille said in between small bites.
“Hey! That’s not true, I make other stuff pretty well,” he retorted in mock dismay. Anna had to laugh at his reaction, but she knew it was all in jest from the way his amber eyes glittered.
She was probably looking into every little gesture too much. But it didn’t stop her traitorous heart from beating faster every time he looked at her.
All too soon it was over. And she went back home a bit dejectedly.
It was over the weekend that she had developed a cough, with some slight sniffles. She tried to take it easy and sleep to overcome whatever sickness she had, but by the time Monday came she was full blown in sick mode.
“Anna, are you sure you can go to Kristoff’s today?” Elsa asked worriedly. She placed a cool hand against her forehead and she sighed at how chilly and nice it felt. She felt as if she were in a coal mine.
“I think I’ll be fine,” she said, although she was slightly swaying and out of it.
“No, you won’t be.” Elsa tapped her foot against the ground. “Alright, I’ll go babysit her in your place.”
“What? No, you can’t do that!” Anna said. “You’re on a vacation, it’d be unfair.”
“Nonsense. I haven’t seen Camille in a while anyway. Go give Kristoff a call, I’ll get ready to leave soon.”
The no nonsense tone Elsa had made Anna do as she was told. When she had that tone, nothing would change her mind anyway.
“Hey, Kristoff?” She winced at the nasally tone.
“Anna? Are you alright?” he asked.
“Yeah, I’m just pretty sick with a cold.” She sniffled. “I hope you don’t mind but I can’t come to nanny. Elsa said she would babysit in my place today though. I’m really sorry.”
“Anna, it’s fine.” He paused. “Do you need anything?” he asked quietly.
“I don’t think so. I think I’m just gonna take some medicine and rest. Anything else I need Elsa can probably get for me.”
“Alright. Take it easy.”
“I will, thanks.” Anna hung up and sighed in relief.
Elsa was about to leave when Anna remembered. “Wait!”
She caught up to the blonde at the door and pushed a gift bag into her arms. “Give this to Camille for me.”
Elsa peeked inside the bag, and smiled. “She’ll love it.”
“I hope so. Be safe on the road.” Anna stood by the doorway a bit sadly, she was looking forward to seeing Camille's reaction to the plush toy she got her.
But she winced at the slowly but surely growing headache that was forming. She locked the door and went to go look for some cold medicine.
Kristoff hung up after the call with Anna, worry beginning to grow. She really didn’t sound too great, and he hoped that she would take care of herself.
It was good that Elsa was able to come and babysit, but he would have taken off of work and let the rest of his team handle things if needed. He hadn’t had a day off that wasn’t a weekend in a while anyways.
“Was that Miss Anna?” Camille asked.
“Yeah, she’s not coming today.”
“Why not?” She gave an adorable pout and he felt bad at seeing her so sad.
“She’s sick with a cold.”
Camille gasped and whined, “Nooo!” Kristoff winced a little. “When will she be back?”
“I’m not sure, honey.” Camille looked like she was on the verge of tears. “But Aunt Elsa is coming today.”
“Okay…” she said.
Kristoff frowned and went to clean up the dishes from breakfast.
“Maybe she needs some nice hot soup and warm pasta!” Camille said and Kristoff chuckled.
“We should go and make it for her!” Camille excitedly said and Kristoff smiled. It was heartwarming to see her care so much about Anna. It honestly wasn’t a bad idea either.
“I’ll see after work, okay? In the meantime, aunt Elsa will be here soon.” There were some knocks on the front door just then. “Speak of the devil.”
Kristoff opened the door to see Elsa’s frosty stare, but it erupted into a warm smile at seeing him.
“Hey.” Kristoff let her in, “Thanks for coming to take care of her today.”
“It’s no big deal. I was actually planning on dropping by one of these days with Anna to spend a day with Camille anyway.”
“I see.” He shuffled his feet a bit and he just had to ask, “Is Anna alright?”
“Yeah, it’s just a nasty cold.” She frowned. “I told her to take some cold medicine and to sleep, so hopefully she’s doing that.”
“Hopefully.” He could picture her trying to run around and clean to try and help, not paying attention to her well being at all. It made the worry increase tenfold.
“She got something for Camille though.” She grinned. “Let me give it to her.”
Kristoff smiled as Elsa gave Camille a warm hug, and gifted her a nice snowman plushie from Anna. Camille squealed with excitement and rushed to get Sven, probably so they could be plush buddies.
“Alright, I gotta leave now. You’ll be okay here?” Kristoff grabbed his jacket and put it on.
“Yeah. We’ll be fine.” Elsa waved her hand at him.
He gave Camille a hug and left for work.
It was hard to stay focused though, and before he knew it the day flew by and the project for the day was done, earlier than expected.
He glanced at the time as he sat in his truck, finger tapping the steering wheel in thought. It was only a minute before he made up his mind and made a detour to a nice bistro nearby Elsa’s place.
A few minutes, holding a plastic bag filled with warm soup and a sandwich, he knocked on the door.
It was a minute or so before he heard shuffling and light steps, before the door cracked open to reveal a sleepy Anna.
“Kristoff?” she mumbled confused.
“Hey. I just wanted to give you this. It was Camille’s idea.” He also wanted to check on her but he didn’t want to make her uncomfortable by admitting that. And it technically was his daughter’s idea.
She smiled and opened the door fully. “That’s so sweet.”
There were dark bags under her eyes and her hair was adorably ruffled from sleep. She genuinely seemed out of it, but she was still gorgeous in his eyes.
“Is Camille with you? I thought Elsa was watching her.”
“Oh, they’re still at home. I got out of work early and I wanted to get you some food from a bistro I liked nearby.” He rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly and turned his gaze upwards, not wanting to see her reaction.
To his relief, she giggled. “Thank you so much, Kristoff.” She bit her lip. “Oh! Did Camille like her gift?”
Kristoff grinned. “Yeah, she was really excited to get it. Though she was really disappointed to hear you wouldn’t be coming today.”
“Oh, I was too.” She gazed at the floor and Kristoff rushed to try and make her feel better.
“I mean, she knows you’ll be back soon. It’s just that today she was looking forward to seeing you.”
“I know. I wanted to come too, but Elsa offered to go instead and I ended up feeling more sick than I realized, and I just feel so bad.”
“Hey.” Kristoff placed a hand over her much smaller one, and she looked up at him with such large blue eyes that took his breath away. “It’s okay. I understand. You need to take care of yourself first.”
She blinked in wonder, and her eyes were so big and such a beautiful blue. They were so easy to get lost in. And how did they get so close? Her lips parted and his gaze came to rest on the soft pink flesh.
He took a step back and removed his hand, cursing at himself.
“Well, I should go now.”
“Right. Thank you for the food, Kristoff.” She seemed to back away too.
“I’ll see you in a few days. Take all the time you need to feel better soon.” He stood and smiled at her.
“Thank you.” Her eyes glittered and she looked so adorable in her plaid pajamas. The want to crush her in a hug and never let her go was intense and he gripped his palm. “I’ll see you later.”
He left, but he didn’t want to.
Anna had finally come back the day after that, and Kristoff felt a huge sense of relief. Not only did Camille feel the lack of her presence intensely, even though she still adored Elsa, but he also missed her. Her bright smile and sprinkling of sunny freckles made starting his day so much better.
Camille had become so attached to her and she started to wonder about mothers in general, and the questions asking why she didn’t have one had resurfaced. It had nearly broken his damn heart to lie to her but he didn’t want her to know the harsh truth of his ex-girlfriend abandoning them when she was so young. Though he stumbled when she asked if Anna could be her mother. He was beginning to hope that she would. Fantasies of dating her and kissing her while running his hands through her soft ginger hair ran through his mind daily.
Never mind that they had settled in a sort of routine. Anna would stay for breakfast he had made for them in the morning, and sometimes stayed for dinner or a snack after he came home from work. He selfishly wanted more time with her.
Anna had helped Camille name the snowman plushie, and she came up with Olaf. Now Olaf and Sven were always together, even at the breakfast table.
Anna went to go to the door as he got ready to leave, and she wrung her hands together.
“Is something wrong?” he asked.
Anna shook her head. “No, but I wanted to ask if I could take her to the zoo tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow is Saturday.”
Anna smiled. “Yeah, but there’s a special petting zoo that she wants to see and it’s only open during the weekend.”
“I’ll get the tickets then, but on one condition.”
Anna tilted her head. “What condition?”
“I get to go with you guys.” He grinned and Anna laughed after a moment of surprise.
“Of course! Camille will be so happy. Oh, I can pay for my own ticket though.” She clapped her hands together.
“Don’t worry about it.” Kristoff didn’t let her have any room for debate. “I’ll see you later then.”
He stole glances at her as she closed the door, still grinning that he would have a day to spend with both Anna and Camille.
And what a day it was. It was sunny and the air was fresh and crisp. He was looking forward to the day and Anna had arrived early, which prompted Camille to rush down the stairs in excitement upon seeing her, engulfing her small arms around her neck in a classic Camille hug.
It definitely wasn’t just him that was attached to Anna now.
She even wanted her hair to match Anna’s, and the latter had spent quite some time to brush her hair carefully and braid it in a half updo.
“You look like princesses,” he said.
Camille beamed and Anna giggled lightly, petting her head affectionately. Kristoff drove them to the zoo, Anna sitting next to him in the front seat of the SUV he rented.
She initially resisted, saying that she could drive and meet them at the zoo especially since he was buying her a ticket, but Camille had begged to have the entire day with her. And that included having breakfast as usual at their house. Honestly, Kristoff didn’t mind renting a car for the day.
“I get to be with my favorite people today!” Camille had exclaimed and Anna’s eyes had gotten so soft. He knew exactly what that feeling was, he’s experienced it everyday at seeing Camille happy.
Anna had Disney songs playing from the stereo and they both sang along, laughing in delight. After a long hour later, they finally parked and Camille dashed out.
“Hey, wait!” Anna panicked a little bit and she quickly got out of the car to grab Camille's hand before she ran too far. “That was really dangerous, Camille. You have to watch out for other cars, alright?”
“But I’m just so excited!” Camille clutched Sven to her chest and pouted.
“I know, but you have to be safe.”
Kristoff came up behind her. “Anna’s right, Camille. You can’t run in a parking lot like that. You have to stay close to us.”
“Okay,” she relented and she kept a tight hold on Anna’s hand while Kristoff carried a backpack of water and food. Anna held Olaf in her other hand as Camille “didn’t want him to be left out.”
It was refreshingly cool and it wasn’t as crowded because of that. Zoos tended to be less crowded as it became colder, and Kristoff was thankful for that since he hated crowds. Even then, he would have still gone if Camille wanted to go.
Anna and Camille oohed and ahhed over a whole lot of animals in the exhibits, and Kristoff had even held her up on his shoulders to get a better view of the giraffes.
“Their necks are so long!” she exclaimed. “They’re so cute!”
“It’s so they can reach the leaves better,” Kristoff said.
“Hey, look! There’s a baby one!” Anna pointed to the far right, where most of the crowd was.
“Wow.” Camille blinked in awe.
“Do you think they’re a family?” Anna wondered out loud, her blue eyes as wide as Camille’s. There was a larger giraffe that joined the mother and baby and they munched on some leaves together.
“Seems like it,” Kristoff said.
“Aww, they’re so cute!” Camille leaned over to try and get a better look.
“Hey, careful there buddy.”
“Sorry,” she sheepishly mumbled. But her attention was rapidly drawn back to the giraffes.
After some time, he safely set her down and Anna grabbed her hand again to prevent her from running off. He shared a knowing look with her and he held her other hand, while keeping Sven safe in his bag. He did leave his head sticking out so he could look at the animals too, as per Camille’s request.
They reached the petting zoo and they were let in, the sheep running away and some of the goats being more brave and staying when Camille went up to them.
“They’re so soft!” She kept petting a white goat, Kristoff keeping a watchful eye on her and the animal. Her green eyes glittered and her smile never left her face.
Anna watched her as she stood next to him.
“Thank you,” he said softly to her.
“For getting the idea to take her here.”
Anna laughed. “It was nothing. We were watching a show about animals and she was really into it, so I told her about the zoo and how she could see them in person.”
“This is honestly great for her. This is the most fun she’s had in a long time.” He glanced over at her and her face was a mix of wide eyes and pink cheeks, but she smiled shyly before whispering a quiet thanks.
Camille had gone to try and pet each and every goat and sheep, but Anna had stopped her from going into the animal rest area as it was blocked from people entering.
They went to go explore the rest of the zoo, watching demonstrations as Camille sat in between them, and listening to Anna explain different animals to her as she read the infographics and plaques of each exhibit. She wanted to see the giraffes again so they looped back around.
Camille had really tired out by the end of the afternoon, so they went home, but not before promising that they would go again sometime.
She fell asleep within minutes into the drive home. Kristoff glanced at her through the rear view mirror and saw her leaning her head against the window, mouth open and softly snoring.
“Today was a lot of fun,” Anna said softly, as if to not wake Camille up.
“It was. I know Camille had a lot of fun.” He paused for a moment. “I did too.”
“I’m glad. I used to go to zoos a lot as a kid.” She giggled. “Camille reminds me of me as a child, I used to love looking at the animals. I liked the polar bears a lot.”
“Oh? Somehow I didn’t expect that.”
“Hey, they’re really fluffy and soft. I had a polar bear plushie my dad got from the zoo gift shop.”
Kristoff held his tongue about asking about her parents. He already knew from Elsa that they had met a tragic accident years ago.
“Do you still have it?”
“No, but I had it for a really long time.” Her eyes turned wistful. “I think I lost it when I went to college and moved a few times.”
Anna fidgeted in her seat while a deep curiosity burned within her. It was something that had been on her mind for a while. “Can I ask you something, Kristoff?”
“Hm.” She took that as a yes.
“I noticed that you don’t really have any pictures of her mother.” She paused as she tried to gauge his reaction. When he didn’t do anything or look angry, she continued. “Can I ask what happened to her?”
He sighed, and his voice was full of regret as he said, “She abandoned us soon after Camille was born. She ran off with some other guy, saying she wasn’t ready to be a mother.”
Dread filled Anna. “Oh, Kristoff I’m so sorry.” Though she felt that nothing she said could make it better.
“Don’t be. It’s not your fault.”
“I think that you’re a wonderful father to her though. She obviously adores you, and she waits for you to come home everyday.”
Kristoff chuckled. “Really? Every time I get home I see that she’s having way too much fun.”
“I’m telling the truth!” she giggled. “She always has to give you a hug when you first get home. I swear she knows exactly when it becomes time for you to get back, even when she doesn’t pay attention to the clock.”
Kristoff hummed with a smile and they lapsed into silence as they arrived back at his house. Camille was still fast asleep and they got out of the car as quietly as possible. They stood side by side and he admired the way the street lights made her eyes glitter. Her face was flushed and her pink lips were shiny and looked so luscious…
Anna leaned against the car and looked up into his eyes, and he felt powerless as he felt drawn in. He lifted a hand up to her face, planning to caress some stray hairs away from her cheek, but a light tapping drew his attention away.
Camille had woken up and slowly got out of the car, rubbing her sleepy eyes.
“Daddy? Are we home?”
“Yeah, come on. Let’s go inside.”
Anna stepped away and knelt down to Camille's height. “I had fun today,” she said.
“Me too.” She wrapped her arms around Anna, giving her a sweet hug.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, sweetheart.” It was her daily promise to Camille, and Kristoff knew the little girl took it to heart.
Anna smiled at her and said good night. She then faced Kristoff, slightly fidgety. Shit, did he fuck up their relationship?
“Good night, Kristoff.” She smiled at him.
“Good night. Thanks for coming.” It was all he could say. It was all his brain could form at the moment.
He watched as she got into her car and drove away, and he went inside. A traitorous thought of asking her to stay overnight kept nagging at him.
It was fully and completely winter and Anna let out a breath as she felt the crisp air bite at her cheeks as snowflakes fell into her hair. She hated the cold. She wanted to roll up in her three blankets and duvet and sip on something warm.
But she wanted to see Camille, and she also had a job to do so she trudged on.
It’s been a few weeks since that night where she thought that Kristoff was going to kiss her. She really wanted him to and the thought of it made her heart beat faster and faster. Not to mention when she caught him looking at her with a warm gaze that he surreptitiously looked away from when caught… Oh, was it warming up already?
She shook her head to get rid of those thoughts because she was going to see him in just a few moments.
It didn’t matter though because her heart started to beat faster when she saw him anyway.
“Morning, Anna.” Kristoff was frying some bacon, concentrating on flipping them.
“Good morning!” Camille said.
“Morning you two.” She grinned and rubbed her hands together.
“Are you cold?” Kristoff frowned, he noticed that she hadn't taken off her jacket just yet.
“Ah, a little bit. It turns out that it’s snowing today, and the wind chill makes it feel so much worse.”
Kristoff walked away from the stove and she watched him as he promptly pressed a few buttons on the wall.
“I’ve turned up the heat.”
Anna blushed. “Thank you. You really don’t have to though, I just seem to feel colder than everyone else during the winter. It’s just some weird trait I’ve had since I was a kid.” And she hated it. Elsa just seemed to be okay in whatever weather, and Anna gaped at her as she left the apartment in just a light trench coat. Meanwhile she had the thickest parka ever, a scarf and knit hat, and she was still cold.
“I don’t want you to get sick. Besides, if it was cold for you, it was probably going to feel cold for Camille.” His low rumble made her blush, and she felt herself blushing even more as he voiced his concern. She hoped that she could pass off her pink cheeks as being cold.
Kristoff went over to the window and peered outside in thought, brow furrowed. Anna went over to the kitchen counter after finally taking off her chunky jacket.
“What are you doing?” she asked Camille.
The girl grinned and lifted up her drawing, a picture of stick figures with a fence in the background, and what vaguely looked like a giraffe. At least it was a blob with dark orange spots and a long neck and legs so Anna was able to decipher the drawing.
“Aww, is this us at the zoo?” Anna gasped. “This is amazing!”
Camille beamed and said, “Yes! This one is Kristoff, then this is you, and this is me!”
“It looks just like us.” Anna said, and while they were stick figures, Camille had drawn them in the colors they were wearing that day. Kristoff in black, Anna in dark purple, and Camille in pink.
“Are you going to draw the rest of the giraffes too?”
“Yeah!” Camille turned back to the drawing, tongue sticking out in concentration as she grabbed an orange crayon.
Kristoff came back into the kitchen, frowning. “The snow looks pretty bad.”
“Are you still going to work?”
Kristoff brushed his hair back. “Yeah. We need to do another project today and it needs to be done. At least it’s inside.”
“Oh. Be safe then.” Anna couldn’t help but worry. It did look like the snow was falling heavily outside.
“I’ll be fine.” He turned towards her with a soft smile that she returned. It only lasted a moment though, and he turned to Camille. “I’ll see you later, cupcake.”
“Bye, daddy!” She gave him a hug and he left shortly after.
Anna ate some of the breakfast that Kristoff had left for her, and put the dishes in the dishwasher. Camille helped to put them away, and Anna thanked her for her help. She had been trying to get Camille into doing little chores. Nothing too crazy, but picking up after herself would be something good to teach her.
“So Camille,” she turned to her with a mischievous grin. The little girl looked at her in question as she paused to have a dramatic effect. “Do you want to build a snowman?”
Camille gasped and started to jump up and down. “Yes!”
“Come on, let’s go and get you bundled up before we go outside.”
The snow was unbearably cold, but Anna felt that it was worth it to see the smile on Camille’s face as they made a snowman out in the front yard. Two large sticks stuck out of the body of the snowman and she placed some rocks for eyes and a smile.
Anna looked at the snowman thoughtfully. “Hmm, something’s missing here. Oh, I got it!” She went back inside, Camille following her every step of the way as she went to the refrigerator and grabbed a carrot.
She stuck it on the snowman and laughed in delight as Camille gave it a hug.
“What should we call him?” Anna asked her.
“Hmm,” Camille mumbled. “Olaf?”
“Isn’t your plushie named that already?”
“Ew, no. I don’t like that name.” Anna scrunched her nose. Something about that name made her angry.
“Hmm. I don’t know.” Camille shrugged.
“Huh. Well how about we go back inside and think about it there. It’s getting cold, and we should eat some lunch too.”
They went to go back inside, but not before Anna remembered to take a picture of Camille and the snowman. She wondered if she should send it to Kristoff, but shrugged. She didn’t want to disturb him when he was at work. She could always show him later.
The rest of the afternoon flew by as it always did, and the time for Kristoff to usually get back arrived. But the wind was howling and the snow flurries seemed angry and relentless as they circled outside.
Minutes ticked by while Camille watched a kids show on the television, none the wiser. Anna kept glancing at the clock and eventually an hour passed before she heard the front door unlock.
She rushed out to see Kristoff and a wave of relief swept through her. She didn’t realize she was so tense until her shoulders relaxed.
“You’re back,” she said with a soft smile.
Kristoff grinned at her, wiping snow off of his hair and taking off his jacket. “Yeah, I got stuck in traffic. It’s brutal out there.”
“Oh no.” She glanced outside to see the skies dark and the snow piling up.
Camille saw that Kristoff was home and jumped into his arms. “You’re late today!”
Kristoff laughed, ruffling her hair. “Sorry, I was stuck in traffic because of the snow.”
Anna went over to the window to peer out onto the street. Yup, there was at least two feet of snow and no snow plow in sight. Kristoff walked over to peer out into the street with her.
“What are the chances my car can make it through this?” she wondered out loud.
Kristoff grimaced. “You’re crazy if you think I’m gonna let you drive home in these conditions.” Anna peered up at him, and he coughed a bit before saying, “You’re welcome to stay here for the night.”
Anna blushed immediately and was going to protest but Camille let out a loud “Yay! Please Miss Anna, stay!” She hugged her leg, and Anna giggled at her antics. “We can watch a movie!” She really didn’t know how to say no to that face sometimes.
“Alright, alright. Just let me let Elsa know I’m staying tonight.”
Kristoff stayed behind as Camille ran off to get Sven and Olaf. He rubbed the back of his neck as he said, “You’re okay with that, right?”
Anna let out a sigh of relief. “Yeah. Honestly, I really hate driving in the snow. And I don’t think I would handle going home right now too well. So thank you.” She smiled at him gratefully and he returned it, his amber eyes warm and full of relief.
A reindeer was pushed up into her vision and she looked surprisingly down at Camille who exclaimed that Sven and Olaf were looking forward to the time together with Miss Anna.
Camille took Anna’s hand and led her to the living room while Kristoff chuckled. The movie they watched was about a snow queen and her sister, and Anna surprisingly loved it. There was no doubt that Camille would be asking to watch it again during the week. Maybe she could get Elsa to watch it too.
Afterwards she had helped Kristoff get her ready for bed, and he went to go tuck her in for the night.
She waited downstairs on the couch, flipping through channels on the tv a bit nervously. Did she look okay? Her hair was usually a bit rumpled after the day was over but she had smoothed it out in the bathroom a few minutes ago. She smoothed her sweater as well to look more presentable. Or she hoped.
She heard the soft thumps of Kristoff coming down the stairs and she relaxed as he came into view.
“Do you want to take a shower?”
Anna blushed. “Sure, but,” she fidgeted a little, “I don’t have a change of clothes.”
Kristoff scratched at his neck. “I could give you some of my clothes to wear, if you’re okay with that.”
“Alright.” The thought of wearing his clothes was nearly enough to make her combust. He gave her a plaid shirt that he didn’t fit anymore and a pair of sweatpants. Even though it was small on him, she already knew it would be much bigger on her.
She showered using his body wash and felt like an absolute pervert for loving how it smelled. She wasn’t going to admit that the smell of his clothes was very pleasing too…
Anna came out of the bathroom much warmer than before, she loved hot showers in the winter. She found Kristoff in the kitchen, and she bit her lip as he noticed her.
“Thanks for letting me use your shower and stay overnight,” she said.
Kristoff pulled at the collar of his white t-shirt. “You’re welcome.” He pushed a mug of steaming hot chocolate towards her.
She took it gratefully and took a sip, the warm chocolatey flavor melting in her mouth.
“I’ve set some blankets out on the couch for you. If it’s not enough I’ll go and find some more.”
“Oh, I’m sure whatever you have will be fine.” She took another small sip. “Though, if you don’t mind, can we move over to the couch? I like to be underneath blankets at this time because it takes me a long time to get warm.”
Kristoff watched with amusement as Anna settled underneath all three of the thick blankets he had laid out for her, sighing contentedly like a cat.
The picture she made was so utterly adorable, with her hair tied up in a messy bun showing off the soft skin of her neck, and the shirt he gave her...oh god. It made all the heat rush south to his groin and he wanted to slowly slip it off of her while following with his mouth. It was so large on her slight frame that the first button was well below her delicate collarbone, hinting at what lay underneath.
He decided very quickly that he loved seeing her in his clothes.
Vaguely he remembered that night they had almost kissed after going to the zoo. While he wasn’t sure of her feelings towards him, he could safely say that he felt something towards her. Her bright smile, her vivacious energy, not to mention the absolute care and affection she held with Camille made him fall in love with her.
Love? He blinked. It was the first time he had thought of it during this time.
But the more he thought of it, the more he wanted Anna to be around him more, the more he wanted her to stay every night, he knew his feelings were true. And they had been for a long time.
Vaguely he registered her soft voice and he blinked out of his thoughts.
“What?” he mumbled.
She leaned further down into the blankets, Kristoff opting to sit next to her and not be under as many as she did. “I said that this feels really nice. I’m always cold in the winter, I don’t know how you guys can take it.”
He bit his tongue from suggesting that he knew a great way to warm her up…
She continued, oblivious to his sinful thoughts. “Seriously, Elsa left the place in a trench coat. A trench coat! She just shrugged when I asked if she needed a bigger jacket. She said she would start sweating if she wore mine.” Anna shivered a little. “Maybe it’s because she’s a winter baby.”
“And you? You’re a spring baby?” he asked curiously.
“Nope. Just smack dab in the middle of summer. Maybe that’s why I can’t take winter weather at all.”
He grinned as he teased, “Well, you’re also pretty tiny so the cold probably passes right through you.”
“Hey! I’m not that small!” He only raised an eyebrow at her, knowing his eyes showed that he was only teasing. She huffed and pouted. “Fine, but in my defense, you’re just way too tall.”
He only chuckled while she blushed, one of his favorite looks on her.
They decided to talk about a whole variety of things, Anna telling him stories of Elsa when she was younger. He mentally filed them away to tease her about it later. She showed him the picture of Camille with the snowman they created, and he showed her pictures from when she was younger.
Though as time went on the more Anna snuggled more underneath the blankets and slowly closer to him, and he heard her teeth chattering. The hot chocolate was long gone and the empty mugs sat on the coffee table in front of them.
“Are you okay?”
Anna smiled, he presumed to try to get him not to worry. “I’m fine. It seems like I’m just getting colder as the night goes on.”
He thought back to the thought of knowing exactly how to warm her up. Anna’s jaw dropped and her cheeks rapidly turned into a flattering shade of red.
Shit, did he say that out loud?
“Shit, Anna I’m sorry.” Oh god, he ruined everything. A ball of dread sat deep in his gut and he waited for the slap that inevitably would come for coming onto her like that.
She bit her lip and she surprisingly moved closer to him. Her small hands were placed on his chest, and he felt the need to gasp as he felt her soft and tentative touch.
“Do you really mean that?” she wondered out loud. Kristoff fought the urge to look down, especially since the sight down the large shirt was downright sinful.
“Anna…” he could only say.
Her damn lip was in between her teeth again, and his eyes were drawn to that sight. They came closer and closer, and fuck was this really happening? She placed the softest kiss against his lips, barely feeling it, like she was teasing him. But she pulled back to gauge his reaction. He knew he should backtrack, say he was sorry, and try to go back to the way things were. But he didn’t want that.
He couldn’t take it anymore and he crushed his lips to hers, marveling at their softness and tasting the sweet, sweet chocolate from earlier. She keened under his touch and grasped at his t-shirt while his arms wrapped around her slim waist.
This was really happening. This was like a dream come true, having her in his arms right now, so soft and willing and beautiful.
He reached up into her hair and undid her bun, the fiery tendrils cascading down her back and he ran his hands through it. She pulled away gasping for air, moaning as he followed down her neck, rubbing his beard against her as she scissored her hand through his hair, pressing him ever so closer. She used his shower gel, and a wave of appreciation tore through him as he smelled his scent on her.
She started to undo the buttons on the plaid shirt, and his eyes were stuck on the riveting sight of her skin being revealed inch by inch, until he saw the perfect mounds being presented to him in a pink bra.
She tugged on his shirt to get it off, and he was all too glad to have it off.
“Anna, wait.” He had to stop and think for a moment, even though his body and mind called out to keep going. To give her the pleasure he knew he could give her. “Are you sure?”
She only moaned before kissing him. “Yes,” she whispered against his lips. “Yes! I’ve been wishing for this for so long.”
He could only groan, leaving her lips kissing his way down to her cleavage. “That makes two of us then.”
He tongued the tiny pink bow in between her breasts, before pushing the plaid shirt off of her shoulders and unclasping the bra. Anna quickly lifted her arms to get rid of it and he stared in appreciation at the view in front of him. He lifted up a calloused hand to palm at her breast, Anna mewling at the first touch. She bit down on her finger to keep quiet, but it only made him more urgent in placing his mouth around her other breast, sucking and laving his tongue around the stiff peak, giving it little nips that he knew she loved, from the way she canted her hips against him with more force.
She was straddling his lap now, and she started to rock her hips against him, the heat reaching almost unbearable levels.
“Oh, Kristoff,” she moaned into his hair.
He didn’t stop, sucking on her breasts until she was rocking against him faster and faster, until she threw her head back in a soft moan.
“Did you just—” he asked in surprise.
“Yeah.” She blushed and couldn’t meet his gaze. “I’m just really sensitive.”
He grinned. He had so much in store for her tonight. “That’s a good thing, darling.”
“Kris…” she started out in question, but he gave her a fierce kiss, plundering her mouth and crushing her against his chest.
He started to push her sweatpants down, and stood up to get his own pair of jeans off of him. Anna reached for him and he couldn’t resist being away for too long. He climbed over her and settled between her soft legs, without resisting using a hand to grasp at the soft flesh of her ass.
“I need to get a condom,” he remembered, cursing at himself for just thinking of it.
Anna moaned, canting her thigh to grind against his hardness. “I’m on the pill. It’s okay, just keep going!”
Fuck, he thought, as he pushed into her tight, wet heat. The heat fluttered around him and she was so tight that he had to take a moment after he filled her to the hilt.
He kept an eye on Anna, especially since he was well aware of his size. He wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if he hurt her.
She was biting her lip again, and her eyes were shut tight. She gave a slow roll of her lips and such a soft, needy mewl left her lips that he groaned.
“Please, move.” Her hips tried to find purchase against him. Her wish was his command and he did not want to disappoint her.
She pushed a corner of the blanket into her mouth as the lewd noises of their bodies meeting echoed throughout the room. She gave an extra loud moan when he pushed especially hard against her, and he gave her a kiss before whispering, “Shh. We have to be quiet.”
Her eyes were helpless against him, the heat in her gaze enough to make him groan a low rumble as he continued to thrust.
His fingers crawled down to her sweet spot and touched the ball of nerves that he knew would make her come. Once, twice, and the heat around him grew excruciating and even tighter as she spasmed in his arms.
He stopped moving, allowing her to catch her breath and giving her sweet kisses on her mouth and neck.
“Did you finish?” Anna gasped out.
He moved against her a little and she gasped. He pulled her up to straddle him, hips thrusting upwards as her arms wrapped around his neck.
“Not yet. I’m not done with you yet, darling.” He grinned a devilish smirk at her. Stamina was something he had in spades, and he was going to use it to his advantage.
She could only moan helplessly.
Anna snuggled closer to the warmth around her. This was the first time in a long time that she woke up this warm in the winter. She stirred and when her warm pillow moved, she woke up completely. Kristoff was chuckling at her, his strong chest moving with the motion as her head laid on it.
“Morning,” he said quietly.
“Good morning,” she said. She bit her lip to stop herself from grinning like an idiot, but failed.
Kristoff’s arms were wrapped around her waist, the sun shining on his bare skin.
She rubbed her eyes, mumbling sleepily, “What time is it?”
“Just after seven.” He leaned back and Anna snuggled into his side again. “Camille should be getting up soon.”
“Mmm,” she agreed. “Five more minutes.”
Kristoff chuckled. “Alright, if you want Camille to find you here naked.” Anna groaned. He was right. So they reluctantly got up and she put Kristoff’s plaid shirt back on. He went over to her and placed a kiss on her hair, one hand caressing her waist. “I love seeing you in this shirt.”
“Oh yeah?” She grinned mischievously at him. “Maybe I’ll wear it more often.”
“You little minx.” He placed a sweet kiss on her lips and she swooned in his arms. She’d never tire of being there.
He left to wake Camille up and she freshened up in the bathroom. Her cheeks blazed as she saw the marks left on her upper chest. Fortunately, none were on her neck and she remembered how his stubble rubbed against it as he placed soft kisses there… she shook her head and splashed cold water on her face.
She met him and Camille downstairs in the kitchen, the latter so happy to see her this early in the morning that she could barely stay still in her seat.
Kristoff left for work, but this time he gave her a hot kiss full of promise as they stood in the doorway. Her heart nearly fluttered out of her chest as he smiled down at her flushed expression.
The day flew by as Camille wanted to make another snowman outside. She sent a picture of Camille standing in between the two snowmen to Kristoff, who responded with a smiley face. She played princesses with Camille, inspired by the movie watched yesterday, and colored and read some books with her.
By the time Kristoff had come back, she had changed back into her own clothes and left to go back to Elsa’s place. She gave the little girl a long hug, with her promise that she would be back tomorrow.
Elsa greeted her happily as she went back to her place, and Anna immediately took a warm shower. She joined her on the couch afterward, but not without bundling herself underneath a blanket.
“So, you stayed over last night?” Elsa asked mischievously.
Anna blushed but the memories made her smile. “Yeah.”
She felt Elsa’s scrutinizing stare on her and she tried her best to act normal. But nothing got past Elsa. “Anna, did you—”
“Yes! Okay, I know it’s wrong but I couldn’t help it and he was right next to me and I was getting cold like how I always do and he said and I quote,” she paused to take a breath to deepen her voice like Kristoff’s, “‘I know exactly how to warm you up,’ and then I kissed him and then one thing led to another. I swear he regretted what he said but then I kissed him first and then we didn’t stop.” Her rendition of the story made Elsa’s eyes go wide. Then she softly smiled, though there was some caution too.
“Well, I know you two probably have feelings for each other. And I know he’s a good guy. But Anna, he’s technically your boss.”
The cold reality had actually set in earlier in the day, but she ignored it until now. Now there was no running from the news and she sighed in sadness. “I know, Els. I wish I knew what to do. Does this mean I have to quit? Does he even want any kind of a relationship?”
Elsa put an arm around her shoulders, cuddling her close. “You should talk to him.”
“Yeah, I should.” Anna smiled at her, though it didn’t quell the sudden nervousness deep within her.
The next day, she went through the motions of the typical day of nannying. Camille was none the wiser to how Anna could have messed up her professional life. She anxiously waited for Kristoff to get home, and when he did the ball of anxiety within her nearly exploded.
But when he did he greeted her and Camille with a huge grin. He stepped closer to Anna then before, but Anna only smiled and placed her hands on his chest, stopping him from kissing her in front of Camille. Though she really did want a kiss.
“Can we talk?” she whispered to Kristoff.
He still looked happy, so she relaxed a little. “Yeah, of course.”
Camille went back to watching tv for a little while they went into his office. He leaned against his desk, the epitome of relaxed and way too sexy. Her mouth went dry looking at him.
“You wanted to talk?”
Anna bit her lip. “Well, yeah. About last night.” He straightened up a little. But he didn’t look angry and so she pushed on. “I was just wondering where this puts us.”
Kristoff rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah. I get it.”
Anna bit her lip, feeling the nervousness bubble up. “Because while I really enjoyed it,” Anna saw Kristoff grin and she fought the urge to roll her eyes, “I technically slept with my boss. And I don’t know what happens next.”
Kristoff motioned her to come closer, and she came within a step of him and he wrapped his arms around her waist. He leaned his forehead against hers, and she was lost in his warm gaze.
“Anna I really enjoyed last night too. And I’d be lying if I didn’t want it to happen for a long time already.”
“Really?” She placed her hands against his chest.
“Really.” He let out a breath before continuing, “And I’d love to start dating.”
“Dating?” Her heart started fluttering, he really wanted to have a relationship? He chuckled at her shock.
“You have no idea how cute you are.” He placed a tender kiss against her lips and she leaned into his touch.
“I’d love to date,” she said breathlessly. “But I honestly feel uncomfortable being paid by you if we’re going to start dating.”
Kristoff nodded. “I understand. I can try to find a new nanny. Or she could go into a daycare before kindergarten in the fall. She’s about that age already.”
Anna bit her lip. Would this be for the best? She had envisioned a future with Kristoff and Camille for so long, and this felt way too good to be true. “I would miss nannying Camille, but I do think that this is for the best.”
“It’s not like you won’t see her. You’ll be staying over more often now anyway.” His grasp on her waist slid lower and she gasped while he playfully nipped at her ear.
“I think I’ll have to find another job then,” Anna said thoughtfully.
Kristoff’s eyes glittered as he stared down at her. “Do what you think is best. I’ll void our contract. Have a fresh start.”
Anna giggled. He was really too good of a person. He really wanted her here, and the happiness erupted within her so quickly she felt teary-eyed and had hugged him as tight as she could. “I’ll help you find a new nanny or daycare. And,” she paused to think of the right words to say, “I’ll be there for her as much as I can. I’m not going to leave Camille.”
“I know you won’t.”
The weeks passed and Christmastime was approaching. She still took care of Camille from time to time, but not as a nanny anymore. It was as Kristoff's girlfriend.
While it was a struggle to find a daycare that would take her, they tried again and again. Anna felt so bad that she had put them in this situation, and didn’t want Camille to get hurt from switching caretakers so often. Kristoff had always relieved her of her fears, assuring her that Camille would be fine, and that she still saw her so often anyway.
Until Anna got a job at a daycare. Then Camille had enrolled in it, and Anna thought it was a huge win for everyone involved and she mentally relaxed. Even though Camille had a hard time adjusting initially, not used to having Anna’s attention split between a few other children.
But she eventually got used to playing with others, and Anna allowed her to look up to other people as figures of authority. The four year old also got used to socializing, which was good preparation for kindergarten. Honeymaren was her coworker, and Camille seemed to bond to her fairly quickly as well. Though she would insist that Anna was her absolute favorite.
Kristoff insisted on taking her out on dates, even though she knew how difficult it was to find a babysitter and she always had told him that she didn’t mind staying home with a glass of wine. He vehemently protested that and she found herself sitting at a semi-fancy restaurant more often than not, across from the most handsome and perfect man she could have hoped to meet. Of course they still had nights where they played and watched movies with Camille. But Kristoff said that he loved to treat her like the queen that she is.
They were over at Kristoff’s house one weekend putting up decorations, and she adored the glittery string lights and tree that they hung ornaments on. Kristoff had bought more decorations at Anna’s insistence, saying they would be fun to hang up with Camille. And she absolutely loved it. Her eyes glittered with joy at seeing all the colorful lights and baubles, and she ran around showing Sven and Olaf.
Anna had started to stay over more often than not, having taken over one side of Kristoff’s dresser already and having her makeup crowd the bathroom sink.
As such, she stayed over on Christmas Eve, before hiding her present to Kristoff and Camille underneath the tree. They planned to have a gathering of friends on Christmas, and they had prepped for that in the morning.
Anna snuggled up to Kristoff’s side, sighing in contentment as his warmth seeped into her. Her bare skin brushed against his. “You’re like my personal heater. I love it.”
“Anything for you, babe.” They both laughed. Kristoff was usually half out of the blankets while Anna was snuggled into his side, nearly completely underneath all of the blankets so that only the top of her head peeked out.
Anna leaned on her elbows to gaze into his eyes, before whispering, “Merry Christmas, Kristoff.”
“Merry Christmas, Anna.”
Kristoff glanced at the clock on the bedside table, Anna sighing as she knew it was time to get up and face the day. Although she did feel a certain excitement in the air. It was Christmas, after all.
They got dressed, Anna in a wine red long sleeved dress with her signature braided updo. She tied a red ribbon through her hair with a bow, the ribbon tails trailing down to touch the back of her neck. Kristoff dressed with black jeans and a white button up shirt.
Just then, a squeal resounded in the hallway and she knew it was Camille. She burst through the door, clutching Sven and Olaf to her chest.
“It’s Christmas! It’s Christmas!”
Anna leaned down to pick her up, cradling her to the side. “That it is. Merry Christmas.” She rubbed her nose against hers, giggling as Camille laughed and pulled away.
She didn’t notice Kristoff watching them with warm eyes.
Kristoff went to get started on breakfast, and Anna went to get Camille ready.
“I want to match with you!” she exclaimed excitedly.
“You want to wear something red?” Camille nodded. “Hmm, you don’t have a red dress.” She peered inside her closet.
“Aww.” Camille looked so dejected.
“But here! You can wear this red sweater, and this black skirt. And then I can put a red ribbon in your hair, like mine.” She pointed to the red bow placed on the bottom of her updo.
“Oooh. Okay!” Her voice was full of wonder.
It took a while to get her to sit still to get the ribbon woven into the braid and to pin it in place, but Camille was absolutely ecstatic to see it done in the mirror. Anna just hoped it would stay in place.
They went downstairs hand in hand, and Kristoff smiled as he set the plates down.
“You two look beautiful.”
“Thanks! Look, Anna did my hair! We have the same ribbon!” She turned around to show him, pointing to the red bow.
“It looks great on you.” He turned to Anna, “And you too.” He whispered the next part into her ear, “But you always look beautiful.” She bit her lip and blushed.
They decided to spend some time together before their friends arrived in the living room, and to open their gifts to each other.
Camille read all the tags on the presents and gave them to each person, Anna and Kristoff looking on proudly.
Camille opened up her gifts, a brand new doll house from Kristoff and a new dress from Anna. Now she was enamored with the doll house and all of her attention was diverted to it, leaving Anna and Kristoff to have a moment to themselves.
Kristoff held the slim box that was from Anna, and carefully untied it. He opened it to reveal a silk red tie and silver watch.
“I hope you like it, Kristoff. I thought the red would look really nice on you. And the watch is something I know you’ve had your eye on for a while, so I thought to get you it.”
“I love it.” He promptly put the tie on, Anna watching his hands work deftly to tie the knot.
Anna giggled, “Now we’re all wearing red.”
Kristoff’s gift was in a large box, and Anna slowly lifted it up to gauge its weight. It was fairly light.
“Hmm.” She shook it a little bit to try and hear it. But nothing really came from that. She instantly regretted it. “Oh god, it’s not alive is it? I’m so sorry!” she said to the box.
“It’s not alive, don’t worry,” Kristoff could only laugh at her horrified expression.
Anna sighed in relief and she opened the box. She pulled out a fluffy polar bear plushie and her resulting smile could light up the room.
“You remembered from the zoo!” Anna said.
“Yeah. I thought you’d like to have a new one. Considering they’re your favorite.”
Anna giggled. Just then she noticed something shiny tied around its neck with a ribbon. Looking closer she pulled it off, and her mouth parted in surprise as she saw what she was holding.
Kristoff sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck.
“Kristoff, is this…”
He nodded. “The key to the house.” Kristoff finished for her. “Now you can come in whenever you want. And this is your home. If you want it to be.”
Anna felt tears well up in her eyes. She clutched it tightly to her chest, at a loss for words.
“I love it. Thank you.”
“There’s something else on the bear. Look at its front arm.”
Anna lifted it up and saw a thin bracelet with a golden jewel on it. She might have missed it hanging from the polar bear's arm if he didn't point it out. She gasped seeing it and Kristoff delicately took it off and lifted her wrist to put it on.
“Oh, it’s gorgeous! Thank you, Kristoff.” She was still staring at it, appreciating how simple yet beautiful the bracelet was. It matched her tastes perfectly and she really was grateful to Kristoff for noticing that she liked her jewelry to be simple.
Kristoff wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her close. Nothing could make her happier than this moment. It was like she was floating.
“Also,” he glanced upwards, which Anna looked up too, and she laughed. A piece of mistletoe hung above them.
“You planned this, didn’t you?” Anna smirked up at him and his eyes glinted with amusement.
“Maybe.” His grin was contagious and he pulled her close and kissed her deeply. Time stopped for her in his arms, just like how it always did.
“Ew, gross!” The loud exclamation made them pull apart to see Camille’s scrunched nose and disgusted scowl. They both laughed and Camille wanted Anna to play with her at the dollhouse. Anna didn’t know how she could be so lucky finding these two.
But she knew she was now home.