Mrs Claus sat on the window ledge waiting for Santa. Outside snow fell steadily, blanketing everything in sight with its icy hand, from the evergreen trees to the road leading to Santa's Workshops. She sighed. She had been married to Nicolas Claus--Santa--for more than a hundred years and no matter what, she always waited up for him while he worked the night away.
They had lived through all sorts of ups and downs in their relationship. Unfortunately, lately it had been more of a downhill ride than an uphill one. She sighed again, recalling how a few hours ago he had left without even kissing her goodbye. That had hurt.
She had watched him as he put on his Christmas disguise. It was the one the citizens of Earth loved: red suit trimmed in white, matching hat, and black boots. With a bit of magic he had changed his body. His lean muscular anatomy turned into fat and his belly grew large. Wrinkles appeared on his fine visage and his blond hair and beard became long and white as snow. To complete the masquerade, he'd added the tiny round glasses. Usually he'd kiss her then. Not this night. An elf had come hurrying in saying something or other about a misdirected package and Nicolas had run off with him without a backwards glance. She knew he was busiest at this time of year; all the same, his behavior over the past few months had slowly made her include him on her naughty list.
Santa might have his way of deciding who had been naughty or nice. He might check his list twice and not have it ready until the night before Christmas, but he wasn't the only one with power to decide who had broken the rules. Santa was some sort of magical god to the Earth children, however in the North Pole, Helena Claus ruled and decided who deserved Christmas gifts.
Helena stared up at the faintly illuminated sky. She had been slowly concocting a plan, her anger over her husband's actions only fuelling her decision to punish him. Nicolas Claus had been extraordinarily naughty this year and he would get what he deserved.
A grandfather clock announced it was six in the morning, Christmas day. Helena smiled to herself. That gave her more than an hour to prepare. Rising from her seat, she walked to the large four-poster bed that commanded the room and rang a golden bell near the headboard.
She regarded her bedroom. Everything in it reminded her of Nicolas: the handcrafted dresser he'd carved, his cologne and hair brush neatly placed next to hers, the pictures on the wall, the red silk bed sheets that they'd impulsively bought at a store a few weeks ago... Perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to punish her husband. After all, he had only been doing his job. She shook her head. No, she'd had enough. Although his job with the children of the Earth helped compensate for his lack of attention, this year he would not go unpunished.
A knock at the door to her chamber snapped her out of her reverie.
The door opened and one of the most handsome elves of the North Pole entered. His name was Derek and he supervised the many elves that watched over the children's behavior. She knew from the moment he'd set eyes on her, he deeply desired to bed her. She also knew he was a good man, with no family of his own yet, though he had been wooing the kitchen elf, Brianna, for some time. It was the way of her magic. She was mistress of her household and nothing that happened under her roof passed unnoticed.
Derek waited for her order to enter, his eyes downcast, and his body still.
"Close the door, Derek, and come closer."
The handsome elf did as asked and approached. He was taller than her by several inches and she had to tilt her head to look into his eyes. He said nothing as Helena stood before him dressed only in a simple scarlet robe, open so he could glimpse her almost see-through matching red negligee.
She looked him up and down, appreciating his good looks. Tall and well built, his eyes were grey and his long black hair hung below his shoulders, his pointy ears only sticking out slightly. His nose was straight and his lips were plump enough to cause many of the elven maidens to sigh dreamily. She stepped closer to him. Derek did not move but she sensed his discomfort. He was always uncomfortable around her and the reason was nothing more than plain lust. She could see the rapid rising of his chest, his fisted hands, his dry lips, and the growing bulge in his pants.
"Look at me, Derek, and tell me, do you want me?"
The Uncertain List
Tristan slammed the car door shut and paused to look at the small town around him. An assortment of shops and apartment buildings lined the street. Through almost every window he could see Christmas decorations. Trees adorned in all manner of styles, from the most simple with plastic stars to the most embellished with gold and silver balls, matching tinsel, and fake snow, graced halls, living rooms, and shop fronts.
He took in a deep breath. A mixture of pine trees, burning wood, and delicious coffee assaulted his senses. His stomach growled, reminding him he hadn't had anything to eat for quite a while. He glanced at the paper in his hand. At the bottom of a row of crossed-out words, a name scribbled in fancy red ink stood out. Amy Donaldson. She was the last mission on his list. Hopefully, he'd be done quickly and be able to get back home for Christmas dinner. A couple strode by him and the smell of warm muffins reached his nostrils. His stomach growled again. Folding the list with Amy's name, he placed it on the inside of his thick winter coat and made up his mind. After all, there was nothing worse than starting a job on an empty stomach.
A bell chimed over his head as he entered the coffee house named Sugar, Ginger, and Spice. A delicious waft of ginger cookies and sugary sweets reached him, corroborating the shop's apt name. The only thing missing, from his point of view, was the touch of spice.
However, the remedy to that appeared in the form of a stunning coffee-serving clerk. He took in her looks as he strolled over to the counter. Compared to him, she wasn't very tall; her head would barely reach over his chin. Her short brown hair was fashioned in a cute pixie haircut with long, side-swept bangs, which highlighted her high cheekbones and large brown eyes. She wasn't too thin, but more on the plump side, just like he liked his women. There was nothing like holding on to a woman's ample hips in the throes of passion.
"What can I get you, sir?"
He was pleased to discover she had a sweet voice, too. Most likely, she participated in a choir or had done so when she was a child. He raised his eyes from her pretty face to stare at the billboard above. The little place certainly had a large assortment of cakes, muffins, cookies, coffees, and hot chocolates.
"What do you recommend, ummm..." He lowered his gaze to read the square tag placed over her heart. "Amy."
He looked up at her face again and was shocked to see the sign hovering on her forehead. How could he have missed it before? The black question mark with a sparkling white snowflake acting as a dot danced over her forehead like a luminous beacon. He must have been too distracted with her appearance to notice she was the last person on his list.
"If I may advise?"
Amy's sweet voice broke his thoughts. He realized he must have been foolishly staring at her for a few seconds and his cheeks warmed in embarrassment. Perhaps sensing his discomfort, Amy plowed on.
"The coffee with white chocolate tastes particularly good if you pair it with the vanilla cupcake."
She smiled at him, a pearly white smile full of innocence. How could this little fairy be on the Uncertain List? She clearly belonged to the Nice List. There must have been some sort of mistake.
"I'll give that a try, then."
"Will you be at a table or is it a takeout order?" she asked automatically.
Tristan regarded the place. The coffee house was not too full: a couple sat at a table, a group of girls chatted at another, and an elderly man read in an armchair. On a whim, he decided he would stay awhile.
"I'll have the order here."
"That will be six fifty, please."
He handed her the money and walked away to sit down at one of the empty tables near the window. He regarded the store more calmly. In a corner, there were a few worn-out couches, inviting people to bring a book and relax while enjoying their drinks. The rest of the room was furnished with round wooden tables and chairs made out of the same material. Each table held a small Christmas ornament with the day's menu. Tinsel and banners wishing everyone happy holidays decorated the walls. The windows were sprayed with fake snow to form the words Merry Christmas. Soft Christmas jazz music played through some speakers. Tristan smiled cheerfully. He was comfortable and at ease in the little coffee shop. It was almost like being home.
"Here you go, sir."
Amy bent over the table and placed his order. Her breast brushed against his arm and like a magnet to metal, his eyes were drawn to her exposed cleavage. His mouth watered. How could he have missed noticing such fine attributes before? His eyes lifted as the girl straightened up. With a smile and a knowing wink, she pointed at his coffee. She turned around and walked back to the counter, her hips swaying in an indecent manner that caused his cock to swell. He finally tore his eyes off her when he could no longer see her generous bottom. His stomach roared, reminding him he was hungry, and he switched his attention to the steaming cup before him. That's when he caught sight of the napkin next to his coffee. She had scribbled her name and her phone number on the paper. He looked up at Amy again and she smiled devilishly. Perhaps his job wasn't going to be as easy as he had thought.
Alisse Clements removed her woolen cap as she entered the mall. Her red curls bounced freely back into their usual chaos. She shook off the snow that had gathered on her coat and grimaced at her surroundings. God, to imagine they had to endure this racket from the beginning of November. Every year it began earlier. She walked past a store, which had on display several kinds of Santa Claus dolls. All of them sang and their fat bellies jiggled to different versions of Jingle Bell Rock. She frowned as she hurried across the packed mall floor, trying to reach the escalators at the end of the hall. She would kill Charlotte when she saw her. Why had she suggested they meet here? There were too many people, too much noise, and too much fake Christmas spirit. Not that in the local coffee shop they would have been able to rid themselves of the Christmas carols thundering through the loud speakers. Still, it would have been better than all this raucous mayhem. Alisse hated Christmas. For her it was all one big lie. There were no such things as good intentions, love and merrymaking. Christmas meant forced family reunions, or people putting on smiling faces when they really wanted to stab the person nearest to them. Lost in her thoughts, she rushed through the crammed shopping center. She skidded to a stop when a child almost ran into her. She looked to where the child had run off to, wondering why he was in such a hurry. "Ah, that explains it." She shook her head. Santa was on the premises. Poor children, they would be so disappointed when they learned the truth. She watched for a moment before moving on. While the children animatedly waited to see the jolly old fellow, parents in the background bought expensive gifts. Alisse shook her head. It seemed that during Christmas everyone had the idea that with gifts wrongness could be pardoned. The stores, of course, took advantage of the situation. The result was hundreds of people fighting for the last doll, necklace or kitchen appliance that their loved one desired. "What a waste," she mumbled. Taking a step back she bumped into an elderly man dressed in a green and white suit, a large grin occupying his wrinkled face. "Aren't you making a wish, young lady?" "I beg your pardon?" Alisse asked, not sure if he had been speaking to her. "Aren't you going to see Santa?" the man asked again, his tiny blue eyes twinkling merrily. "I don't believe in those things. Excuse me," she replied as curtly as possible. She began to push her way out of the crowd. "Oh, but he believes in you," the man said. Chuckling, he touched her arm. "Merry Christmas child, may your holidays be as you've wished them." Alisse jumped at the old man's touch. Roughly, she pulled back her arm. Clearly, the man was senile or drunk. After all, Christmas was also about people getting drunk in hope that they would forget their troubles. "Whatever you say, Grandpa. Excuse me." The man moved out of the way, and Alisse tumbled out of the throng. Briskly, she made her way across the last stretch of mall. Suddenly, she lost her footing and fell, knee first onto the polished floor. Ouch! Her purse slipped from her hand and landed a few feet away, her belongings rolling in all directions. "Shit," she cursed. Crawling towards her purse, she began to gather her things. For a moment, she feared she'd been robbed, for she didn't remember leaving her bag open. However, as she collected her possessions she only found one thing missing. Alisse rummaged through her purse and confirmed her suspicions. Involuntarily she bit her lower lip. Her green eyes scanned the floor around her. The object itself was not that important. Yes, it had been expensive, but she could replace it. The problem was, she did not want to replace it and she did not want anyone to find it and link it back to her. If any of the people in this mall knew what it really was, she would die of shame. A sigh of relief escaped her pursed lips. There it was, almost hidden under the container that held an ornamental Christmas tree. Thank goodness. It looked like lipstick. She stretched her hand to retrieve her precious companion, when the wheels of a small suitcase, a pair of large black boots and masculine hands intercepted her vision. The owner of the suitcase bent to pick up her vibrator and her breath hitched in dismay. Her eyes followed the man's movements. Long, well defined legs hidden under tight dark blue jeans, a black sweater that strained against a muscled chest, a dimple on his chin, deep blue eyes, and messy blond hair. Lord, he was hot. She flushed as she realized that she had been gaping. "I think you've lost your lipstick?" Alisse blushed deeper. The way he had uttered the word lipstick clearly implied that he knew the object in his hand was no such thing. "Thank you," she mumbled, holding out her hand. Contrary to what she had expected, he took her hand into his and pulled her to her feet. An electric current swept through her arm and landed between her legs. Her body crashed against his as he lowered his head to whisper in her ear. "If you ever need something a little more carnal, I'll be glad to help." Alisse took in a shaky breath. His voice was deep and inviting. His warm breath on her ear caused her to shiver. She swallowed hard as what he had just said registered in her brain. Disentangling herself from him, she took a step back. "No, thank you," she managed to blurt. "Now, if you please," she said, opening her hand once more. He winked at her as he put it into her palm. "A shame," he said, turning away and heading for the escalators.
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