"You working tonight?"
"Hm?" Jonas Riddle looked up to find his best friend, Keith Holloway, standing beside his table. "Oh, hi. Um, yeah. We've got a guest palm reader coming in, so I'm running the counter while everybody else focuses on her."
"Not gonna get your palm read?" Keith asked as he sat down. He stole a French fry off Jonas' plate and sat back while he munched.
Jonas shrugged. "Nah. Not much point in it. Besides, it's Yule--gonna be busy enough up front to worry about my fortune."
"So what're you doing for Yule?"
Eyebrow lifting, Jonas stared at his friend. "Since when do you make plans for the holidays?"
It was Keith's turn to shrug and he snatched another fry. "Because if I don't, you'll sit at home and be bored."
"I will not be bored," Jonas countered. "I've got plenty to do. Decorating, making gingerbread, ritual--"
"Oh, gingerbread? As in the real thing?"
"Uh, yeah. I don't buy the store stuff, you know that." Jonas eyed him warily. "Why?"
Jonas just blinked. "You don't know how to cook!"
"So? I can fetch stuff, stir, that kind of thing."
Jonas sat back and folded his arms, giving up on his lunch since half his French fries had vanished anyway. "What happened? Couldn't find a date to take to your folks' place?"
Keith gave him a look that was half-annoyed, half-smirk. "No. I never have trouble finding dates, Mr. I'm-waiting-for-the-right-guy. I just thought you might like company seeing as how you refuse to go with me."
"Your parents think I'm the anti-Christ, Keith."
"Never stopped you from spending the night when we were kids, now, did it?"
Jonas sighed and dropped his hands to his lap, more to hide any evidence of his thoughts. He'd stopped spending the night at Keith's when he started seeing his best friend as more than ... well, a friend. He wasn't about to admit that to Keith, though, and risk killing their fifteen-year friendship. Truth was, he hated the winter holidays. His own folks moved back home to Germany two years ago, and flying scared the shit out of him. Since Keith's parents found a pentacle necklace in the guest bathroom and Keith told them it was Jonas', Jonas had basically been the evil twin to their perfect son.
"So? How about it?"
"Fine," Jonas grumbled. "But if you break any eggs on my kitchen floor, you're cleaning them up."
"Deal. Now finish eating so we can go."