I winced when Julie squealed, "Oh, its Santa!" She grabbed my arm, latched her other hand onto our friend, William, and steered us in the direction of a wooden cabin. It was fenced in, decorated with wooden reindeer and coated like a gingerbread house in fake snow. Nobody was in line.
I glanced at Will as we obediently followed Julie up to the entrance. I smirked and he rolled his eyes, which lighted on another display, "Dude! Look at that car!" I followed his line of sight and Julie stopped abruptly when he tore away and walked briskly around the fence to where a silver something-or-other sat in glistening brilliance. It was some kind of car, just so you know, and it looked expensive.
Julie snickered, "Come on, I never get to do this when the place is full of little munckins!"
Okay. That's Julie for you. She says she's sixteen, but that might come as a suprise when you get to know her.
I followed her up and stopped in the door as she plopped herself onto a surprised Santa's lap. He folded the newspaper he'd been pursuing, looked at Julie in her all her 16 year old brilliance, and gave a weak chuckle, "Ho, ho, ho." He coughed.
"You're a little old for this, aren't you young lady?" he began skeptically.
Julie smiled sweetly and began to wave her legs back and forth. "Santa, I've been a very good girl this year. I got A's in all my subjects and everyone loves me." She turned about, flipping her ponytail in the Santa's face and pointed at me. I hovered half concealed in the doorway, and smiled my usual, "Just stop looking at me, I'm not here" smile. "That's one of my bestest friends. He's been good to. Now, this is what I want for Christmas" and she leaned in. Santa leaned away, but Julie reached over and plucked off his hat. Santa hey'd!, but Julie merely stuck her mouth next to his ear and whispered something.
I decided now was a good time for a Kodak moment, or however that goes, with the poor fake Santa trying to get his hat back along with his personal space. His hair was thin, brown and silver and he had a pasty bald spot. I don't think he was really listening, but Julie gave a cheerful, "Okay?" and bounced off his lap when she was done. She nabbed me by the sleeve before I could melt into the wood outside the door, but she's too good to fall for my brilliant camouflage tactics anyway.
"You're turn!" she shouted gleefully, and shoved me toward Santa. I stood awkwardly and watched him re-adjust his hat. He focused his silver eyes on me. I felt a little shiver down my spine and decide I was way too old for this and this was really too silly and I really need to get out of here and maybe get some ice cream-
"Oh, where do you think you're going, young man?" A gruff voice said and I discovered I had somehow turned around and attempted to escape, but Julie was blocking my way with an amused smile, and Santa had a handful of my simple black coat and was pulling me backward. I fell with a slight stumble and many an incoherent phrase into his warm lap. I looked up at him and stuttered, "You know, I'm- I'm really too old for this, don't-"
"Ho, ho, ho!" he roared in my face, and I leaned back a bit, slightly stunned. Well, I guess Julie got him back into the scheme of things. Dang. I shifted, feeling as though I was piercing Santa's well cushioned thighs with my bony- er, little bum. Really I'm pretty skinny.
He looked at me quizzically and I thought for a moment that he was a good Santa, after Julie knocked him back into his job. "So," he huffed in a low voice, "Have you been a good boy this year?"
I peeked over at Julie for help, a shrug tentativly lifing my shoulders.
She nodded and started making kissy faces in Will's general direction, "Tell the man how good you've been, especially to Wi-"
"I've been so good this year, you wouldn't believe it!" I somewhat shouted, hoping I hadn't startled Santa. Julie didn't need to be blabbering about my untimely attraction to Will. If anyone was going to blab about that, it was me. And I wasn't blabbing, believe you me.
He roared back at me with even more gusto, "And what do you want for Christmas this year?!"
I glanced around meekly, looking for inspiration. Really I couldn't think of anything I wanted. At least, not that Santa could give me. All I really wanted for Christmas was a certain someone with pretty, darkish brown hair, and kind light blue eyes with a gorgeous smile…
Julie tried to subtly point to the right, and scrunched up her face, "Over there," she was saying (I'm good with body language), "That's what you want."
"Um." I peeped, and looked forward, out one of the little cabin's windows. William was still ogling at the silver somethin-or-other, which was real fancy, even I could tell that. Oh. My stomach fluttered and my hands did some nervous fidgeting. Maybe, maybe just this once, I could tell.
I looked at Santa. "Um. I want, um-"
He gestured toward his hear and lifted his hat up a bit to expose it more. I took the hint, but I didn't go all out like Julie did- geez, she was practically nibbling his earlobes!
"I- I want…William." I murmured, feeling completely exposed, but somehow relieved. Only Julie really knew, and to tell someone else was terrifying, but still a relief-- it's so hard to hold in feelings like love! Will of course, had no idea. And it would sooo stay that way.
I pulled away and stumbled off Santa's lap, my face hot as a roasted chestnut (Christmas, you know) and tried to once again escape out the door. I collided solidly with a very warm body instead. Its arms grabbed me before I could lose my balance and fall and Will was saying, "Hey, Brian! Have you been a good boy this year?"
He laughed and walked around me. Julie was smirking at me; I gave her a nervous smile and slipped my hands into my pockets. I hoped Santa wouldn't be too angry with me, (for all I knew he was a homophobe), but when I looked up to see Will settle himself on Santa's lap in a graceful sort of way, he winked. He winked at me. Maybe Santa doesn't mind queers after all. My hands stopped fidgeting, but my legs were a little shaky.
"So," Santa grunted, "What's your name, young man?"
Oh God. Heat rose in my face, which I know was smoldering. I ducked behind my hands and pretened to scratch my cheek.
Will smiled politely, his hands folded neatly in his lap. He opened his mouth to say-
"William. But his nickname is Will." I blurted, staring at Santa. I was feeling a little jumpy, I couldn't help it! Will turned to give me a strange look, but smiled all the same.
Santa raised his eyebrows in a knowing sort of way. I took that as a good sign. "But he's been really bad," I said jokingly to cover the awkward moment, "He wants a lump of coal for Christmas."
Will waved a hand at me in a dismissing way, "Don't listen to him, Santa, he's always stirring trouble."
"Oho, is he?" Santa ho'ed, interested. He chuckled, "Ho, ho. So what do you want for Christmas, William?"
"Hmm." Will cast his eyes about the cabin and raised a hand to stroke his chin in a thoughtful way. I watched the light play off the skin from the movement of his hand, and imagined touching its smoothness.
A sudden inspiration came over Will, and I know this because his whole face lit up and he sat up straighter. "Santa," he began in a thoughtful sort of manner, "I would like a kiss for Christmas."
Santa huffed good-naturedly, "Why, from me?"
"Well, no," Will laughed kindly. I thought I could detect a faint blush on his cheeks. "And, then I want a least a couple hickeys."
My mouth fell open, and I laughed nervously. Santa gave Will a look that said, "Are you sure that's what you what? Is that really what you want?" Only, when I looked at her, Julie didn't seem surprised at all. In fact, I think she looked a little smug. Like she knew something I didn't. That really irked me. I crossed my arms and frowned, hoping no one would notice how much they were trembling; this whole situation was starting to make me really nervous. I was so nervous, I didn't even think about how nice it would be to give Will his hickeys, which come to think of it, would be so amazing.
"Well, cause you know-" Will raised his hand to his neck, tilted his head back and said, "See, everyone at work thinks this is a hickey, but it's not-" he leveled his head out after displaying a mark that he'd made from scratching himself to death, due to his eczema (that's where you scratch the hell out yourself because the itch never really goes away).
that it'd be nice for once to have a real one." He turned then,
and looked at me, before his eyes flicked at Julie. Now, like I said,
I can read body language. And boy did I see something. They both
smiled at each other, sharing like, like a secret sort of smile! It
was meant, I could really tell, only for each other. Then it was over
Will was facing Santa again, but Julie was really grinning in a wicked sort of way. Believe me, you don't want to be around when she gets that face, because then, she's up to something. Suddenly I had an idea. A horrible idea. I scowled at the floor. Will likes Julie! And she likes him back! That's what all this was about! That's why she dragged us off here, to bloody Santa's little hut with his stupid wooden reindeer- I imagined setting them all on fire, and then I though how awful it was that Julie knew I had it bad for Will, but it would never work out now!
"Brian, Briaaaan!" Oh? I snapped back into reality and saw Santa had stood up and was hovering over me. He looked really tall and suspicious. Will was standing nearby, leaning back against the wall. "You kind of went off somewhere for a little bit. What were you thinking?" he asked.
My eyes flicked at the ground and out the window to look at that fancy car. I wanted to tell him how much I'd love to be the one to suck his beautiful neck and give him some delicious hickeys, but what I'd really been thinking was how jealous I was of the obvious spark between him and Julie. Well, that's the hard life of a fag, I thought cynically.
"Oh, look." I looked up at him. Will was pointing. Up at the ceiling. What, what was so important about- oh. Oh. Oh God. What could that mean- why was he pointing that out to me- that's what Santa was standing up for! And why he's sort of leaning suspiciously by me! He totally put that evil mistletoe up there when I wasn't paying attention!
"Umm-"I mumbled and my eyes flicked to Santa. He gave me a thumbs up. Whoa, there goes my stomach, it did one of those flip flops, you know? Julie snickered behind a hand. And Will was staring at me. Wait a second.
"So, so, you- you don't like…Julie?" I asked, totally mixed up now. Julie burst out laughing, and Will looked quite- er, excited? Santa merely sat back and fetched his newspaper, but he peeked at us over the rim.
I was starting to feel really stupid, but then Will was walking toward me, and then I was starting to get butterflies in my stomach, and then Julie was really quiet, and the newspaper was hardly rustling. William stood right in front of me, and I could feel him even though we weren't touching, and he was warm and I was a little scared.
He brought his hands up and I kept mine crossed, and then he touched my cheek. My breath sort of hitched, and my eyes darted up from where they'd been focusing on his dark, wooly shirt. He smiled at me. I tried to smile back, but it more of a nervous grimace.
I was so caught up in the moment, and so skittish about anything happening in public, right in front of Santa who might change his mind at any moment about queers- it's a habit of homophobes, I've found, that I didn't hear Will right away. His hand was so warm.
"-present early." he said.
"Uh, er wha?" My cheeks were burning- I'm sure he could feel it.
He grinned, "I said, Santa says that since I've been so good, I get to have my present early. And I want it from you." All I could do was stare at him, frozen from shock. I bet everyone could see my whole body shaking, as when I get even the slightest bit nervous, everything has to wiggle. It really does and its quite irritating!
Then he was slipping his other hand up around my neck, and he was leaning in- I closed my eyes-
His lips barely brushed mine. I brought my hands up and settled them on his hips, lightly. He came closer, and then we were really kissing. They were soft and full, and so warm. I wrapped my arms around him, boldly pulling him closer, and our lips smoothed over each other in wonderful unity.
Unity of course, I thought I'd never have. He pulled back and rested his forehead against mine, and looked at me. We were both panting. "You're shaking."
"I know. I was nervous." He rubbed my cheek. You don't need to be nervous, it was saying, not around me.
There was a loud cheer, and then the rustle of a newspaper being put away, and then Santa was whistling, and Julie clapping and my gut felt full of warmth- a heavy tangible warmth.
William just smiled, like he'd actually been given that fancy car. Or maybe it was because he had something better, now. I know I did.
It was only later, after Julie had dragged us off to look at the puppies, that she told us what she had wanted for Christmas. She grinned in her Cheshire cat way, and I knew she definitely had a hand in this, "I told him I wanted my two bestest friends to have each other for Christmas!" She giggled.
I looked over at Will, not at all surprised that Julie had started it all, but I was overcome with curiosity. "Why did you tell him you wanted a kiss?"
He grinned. "Guess I just got tired of waiting. I knew you'd never have the guts to give me one, unless I initiated it. Then I saw he had some mistletoe on the table beside his chair, and I had an idea. I would have told you I liked you earlier, but I wanted it to be special."
"It would have been special anyway," I told him shyly. Julie jumped on us then, placing a hand on a shoulder of ours, "Guess what Brian wanted!"
"How do you know I wanted what you think I did?"
Julie rolled her eyes, "Because you're so obvious! I could totally tell by the way you blushed and stuttered and acted all meek." Jeez. I'm really that see-through?
"Well, what? What did you ask for?" Will asked, looking at me with a warm smile on his face. It was only for me, I felt. I took his hand and stuttered to the floor, "Well, I er, asked for um. For you." Julie was grinning like mad, I knew.
Will just spooned me from behind and whispered in my ear, "Guess we all got what we wanted." His warm breath caressed my ear, and I knew Id' be the one to give him those hickeys.