Just in case you didn't know, this story is about an older man having a relationship with a teenage boy much younger than him. If something like this bothers you, please, don't read the story.
Thanks to Rubedo Jr. for the review!
"David! Time to get ready for dinner!"
"NO! I don't wanna!"
A small, fair haired boy, no older than four years old, dashed down the long hallway, disappearing into one of the many doors that lined the expansive hallway. Not far behind was his nanny, a slightly older woman, with faintly graying hair, who only smiled at her youthful charge.
"No!" The nanny followed the small voice into the room the boy had run in to earlier. Rapidly, David hid in the closet, burrowing past jackets.
As the nanny entered the room, she quickly noticed the open closet door. Clucking her tongue, she went over the closet and started pushing jackets. She wasn't really going to go after him in the closet, she was just humoring the boy little. As she reached deeper into the closet, she heard a squeal and felt the boy move even farther into the closet. Sighing dramatically, the nanny withdrew.
"Are you really not coming David?"
Tentatively, the boy stuck his head out past the jackets. "Yes."
Sighing again, the nanny turned around, placing one of her hands on her cheek. "Poor Valentin. Coming all the way out here to see you..."
"Valentin?!" The boy ran out the closet and grabbed on to her skirt, now worried about being left behind. "Valentin is coming?"
"Yes. He's coming just for you. But you don't want to get ready for dinner. I'd hate to tell him that you refused to see him tonight, but-"
"No! I wanna see Valentin!"
The nanny smiled and grabbed David's small hand. "Good. Let's get you ready to meet Valentin."
At this, David stopped walking again, his face downcast.
"David?" The nanny knelt down next to the small boy, worry creasing her face. "David, what's the matter? Don't you want to see Valentin?"
The boy nodded, still looking dismayed.
"Then what's wrong?"
David mumbled quietly, "I don't like my outfit. It's too frilly and girly..." This statement caused the nanny laugh.
"Is that all?" The boy nodded again. The nanny pulled David close, lifting his chin to look at her.
"I'll make you a deal. If you wear that frilly outfit until after dinner, and you help me make dessert, than you can change into something more comfortable." The boy immediately perked up.
The nanny smiled at the little boy's excitement. "Yes really. Now let's go get ready for Valentin."
David looked out the window, forlorn despite being surrounded by opened Christmas gifts. This worried his parents, although the father could understand why the child was upset; Valentin had yet to arrive.
"David," called his father, "why don't play with some of your new toys?"
"But I wanna see Valentin..." David whined in response. He did he move away from the window.
"And you will. I promise. But you should have fun until he comes."
"He'll come, right daddy?"
"Yes, yes. Now go. Go play!"
Taking one last look out the window, the boy left the window.
4 hours later
"David, it's time to go bed sweetheart," David's mother called, gently rubbing the boy's back. He was once again looking out the window, although now he was laying down, exhaustion slowly forcing his eyes closed. Snow was falling heavily outside.
"No! Valentin isn't here yet." The boy sat up, rubbing his eyes
"It's eleven o'clock, way past your bedtime. You need to get some rest."
"No! I wanna see Valentin!"
"You can see Valentin in the morning."
"But," tears began to fall down David's face, "Valentin." He began sobbing. "Why isn't Valentin here?! Daddy promised he would come!"
"Oh, honey," the mother pulled her crying child into her arms. "Don't cry. He will be here in the morning."
"I want to be awake when he gets here..."
"You don't want to make him worry, do you?" David sniffed before shaking his head. "Then let's go to bed. Okay?"
A little after putting the child to bed, the mother heard someone knocking at the door. She hurried to open the door, ushering the familiar man inside.
"Oh, Valentin. I'm glad you're here. You had all of us worried!" She wrapped the man in a hug as she said this, brushing snow from his hair.
"I know. I am terribly sorry. My flight was delayed because of the snow, and then the snow was falling so hard that it made it nearly impossible to drive. I'm guessing I missed the Christmas Eve party?"
"Well, Ethan is still in the kitchen, but I will be turning in soon."
"He stayed up waiting for you and I just now put him to bed. He was really upset that you didn't come."
"Is that so?" Valentin asked, feeling guilty about David.
"Don't worry about him, Valentin. He will be excited to see you tomorrow morning."
"Yes. You're right," he shed his coat as he said this, gently brushing past the women, and setting his bags down. "I think I'm going to talk to Ethan for a bit. Goodnight Sarah."
After kissing Sarah on the cheek, Valentin headed into the kitchen where he found Ethan next to an open bottle of wine. He looked lost in thought, not noticing his friend's presence.
"Hello, Ethan. Am I interrupting?"
Ethan laughed, and stood up to greet his friend. "Of course not. Come on in and sit down." And Valentin did. The men shared stories and caught up, time passed by. Suddenly Ethan looked at his watch and cursed silently.
"Shoot. It's almost midnight."
"What happens at midnight?"
"I have a surprise for David."
"What?" But his friend refused to tell him anymore. He disappeared up the stairs, leaving Valentin downstairs in confusion. Valentin sighed and exited the kitchen. He wandered around the the living room, admiring the Christmas decorations, especially the stockings mounted over the fireplace. He smiled sadly as he noticed a stocking with his name on it, hung right next to David's.
"Valente! Come here!" Valentin was surprised when his friend suddenly called him in the kitchen. He walked back into the kitchen, even more surprised by the sight before him: Ethan was dressed as Santa, his face almost completely covered by the white beard. Lying next to him was a slightly open sack filled to the brim with shiny packages.
"Ethan, what are you planning?"
He laughed before replying, "I'll tell you later. Now come help me!"
Ethan had Valentin put new presents under the tree, and small trinkets and candy into the stockings. They split the cookies that were left out and turned on the lights that adorned the tree. With all the preparations complete, Ethan again disappeared upstairs. And he still had yet to explain what was going on, even though Valentin had an idea.
Ethan slowly opened the door to his son's room, smiling at the little form curled up in the bed. Quietly he stepped into the room, and over to the bed. David was sleeping soundly in his bed, tear stains still evident on his face. Ethan sat down on the small bed, the inhabitant shifting at his presence. Cautiously the father brushed the blond hair that covered the little boy's face, calling his name gently.
"David, I have a surprise for you..."
The boy's eyes slowly fluttered open. He rubbed his eyes and stared at the man on his bed, his vision slightly unfocused.
"Yes David, I am Santa Claus. Ho ho ho!" Ethan made his voice deeper, and easily fooled the naive little child. David's eyes lit up and he was no longer drowsy.
"It is you Santa Claus!" The boy leaped into "Santa Claus's" arms joyfully.
"Of course it's me! It is Christmas Eve! And I have a special gift for you."
David's eyes widened. "A special gift? Where is it? What is it?"
"Ho ho ho! Be patient, little one," he stood up, carrying David in arms. "It's downstairs. Are you ready to receive it?" The boy nodded enthusiastically. "Good! Then let's go!" Ethan carried his ecstatic son out of the room and down the stairs.
Part way down, David couldn't contain his excitement, and asked "Can you tell me it is?"
"Ho ho ho. I'll give you hint. As I was delivering presents, I found the poor man stranded in the airport. He looked very distressed, so I asked if I could help him in anyway. And he told me that there was a young boy waiting for him, but, because of the snow, there was no way for him to go see the boy. I felt sorry for him and the young boy that was waiting for him, so I offered him a ride in by sleigh." By this time they had reached the bottom of the steps and were right outside the living room. As soon as David was set down, he dashed into the room. There stood the man he had waited all day for.
"Valentin!" David ran into the man's open arms, hugging him as hard he could. "You made it! I've been waiting forever to see you! I missed you so much!"
"David! Oh, David I'm so sorry that I'm late..." Valentin held the boy close, gently placing a kiss on his blond head.
"It's okay! Santa told me what happened!" The little boy pulled back and turned around. "Thank you Santa!" But Santa Clause had disappeared. He pouted a little before turning his attention back to Valentin, pulled the boy into another hug.
"David, I am incredibly happy to see you again. I was worried I wouldn't be able to see you tonight."
"But then Santa brought you here! Tell me everything that happened!"
Valentin laughed as moved them to a chair, David sitting on his lap. "Alright. What do you want to know?"
David asked Valentin all about his adventures with Santa Clause. "What was it like to ride in the sleigh? Did you help Santa deliver presents? Did you get to see any elves?" And Valentin answered all his questions with elaborate tales.
Eventually, David could no longer fight off sleep, and fell asleep in Valentin's arms. The man took the little boy back upstairs, and tucked him in. He placed a kiss on David's head, and moved to leave the room. Before he left the room he heard the boy mumble something that stabbed Valentin with guilt.
"I love you, Valentin."
6 years later
David was ten years old now. He was not as naive as he was when was four, but he still had that childlike innocence. It was this innocence that made Valentin so guilt-ridden that he could barely face the young boy. David was oblivious to his father's promise, the promise that gave him to Valentin. He was unaware that his future was already decided. Valentin couldn't take the boy for his bride, he couldn't let Ethan possibly ruin his son's life. He had to end this.
Valentin knocked on Ethan's office door before entering. His friend was staring intently at some papers on his desk, his glasses perched on the edge of his nose. He looked up, surprised but happy to see his friend. Ethan stood up to greet Valentin, removing his glasses as he did so. "Valente! This is unexpected. Please, sit down!"
Valentin sat down stiffly, unsure about how to approach the subject. Ethan immediately noticed his friend's discomfort, and his brows creased in concern.
"Valentin? Is something wrong?"
"Unfortunately, yes. There is something wrong. It's... It's David."
"David?" Ethan stood up again, panic rising in his voice. "What's wrong with David?"
"Nothing. David is fine. It is just that-"
"Nothing?" Ethan laughed and shook his head as he sat down. "Valente, do not scare me like that! If nothing is wrong then wh-"
"I refuse to marry David."
"I can't do it, Ethan."
"Are you asking me to go back on my promise?"
"I only agreed that night because you were drunk! I cannot take the boy as a bride!"
"After all this time, you still miss understand my intentions!"
"I do not care what your intentions are! You are grooming your own child!"
Ethan stood up and pounded his desk. "Don't you dare compare me with some pedophile, Valentin!"
Valentin also stood up, glaring at Ethan. "Tell me how what you are doing with your son is any different than a pedophile."
Ethan opened his mouth to respond, but, unable to argue the point, he sat down, defeated.
"Valetin, I mean no harm. Please let me explain."
"No. Ethan, I cannot agree to this," Valentin turned his back on his friend and moved towards the door. "And if you will not respect my decision, then I will sever all of our ties."
As Valentin opened the door to leave, Ethan called out to him.
"I'm sorry Ethan." With that, Valentin closed the door behind him."
Valentin had left after he had gotten into a fight with David's dad. Even though he couldn't tell exactly what they were fighting about, David knew it was about him. He had never heard his father and Valentin to fight like that. All because of David; it was all his fault.
After Valentin had left, David asked his dad where Valentin went, but he was just sent away. He then went to his mom, but all she said was that he would be back soon. Valentin did not come back.
Valentin did keep in contact with Sarah. David had been so excited to hear that Valentin had called and he begged to speak to him. But when Sarah told Valentin this, he refused to speak with the boy and he had hung up. This happened a few more times before David gave up. A few years later, he had all but forgotten Valentin.
David had just turned fifteen when his father told him something strange.
"David, Valentin called. He would like to talk to you."