Read It's a Wonderful Tangled Christmas Carol Page 1

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  For those who cherish memories with family and still believe in the magic of the holidays.

  chapter 1

  Deck the halls with boughs of holly,

  Fa la la la la, la la la la.

  'Tis the season to be jolly,

  Fa la la la la, la la la la.

  Urban legends. We've all heard of them--eating pop rocks and soda will make your stomach explode; the tourist who gets his kidney stolen in a faraway land; alligators living in the sewers. By the time you reach adulthood, you realize they're all crocks of shit. Stories that get passed on from generation to generation to scare the hell out of us and keep us on the straight and narrow.

  Well . . . except for the alligator one--I've lived in New York City my whole life and that's completely possible.

  But the others, yeah, all lies.

  In the latter part of the last century, new urban legends sprung up that society's all too willing to fall for: action stars who die on movie sets doing stunts; rain-forest plants that cure obesity; and Justin Bieber actually having a set of balls.

  Sometime in the late 1970s, after the city's crime rate began to drop and New York became more tourist friendly, another urban legend was started--one that annually throws a fucking wrench into the otherwise smoothly operating machine that is my life.

  That would be the myth that New York City is a prime place to go Christmas shopping.

  I don't know what moron started the rumor, but I will gladly stick my foot up his ass if I ever find out. Because now, scores of people from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, and upstate clog our bridges, tunnels, and streets from Black Friday to Christmas Eve, scurrying to make their holiday purchases like rats going after a gourmet piece of cheese. To get little Timmy a train set from FAO Schwarz and grandma a brooch from Tiffany.

  Sure, they've heard of the Internet. Of course they know it'd be easier--and less expensive--to order online and have packages delivered right to their front door.

  But for them, it's not about what's easier. Christmas shopping in the city is now--say it with me--tradition.

  They want to see the big tree, the lights. They want to stand in an endless line to skate in Rockefeller Center and take a picture with Santa at Macy's in Herald Square. They want to watch the fucking Rockettes and eat a family dinner at a restaurant whose menu has been price-gouged to the gills.

  You can forget about getting a cab--they're all taken. And even walking down the sidewalk is an exercise in frustration, because every few feet a stroller-pushing, shopping-bag-carrying tourist will come to a complete frigging stop right in front of you to take a picture of the red-and-green-lit Empire State Building.

  You think I sound pissed off? How very perceptive of you. The Christmas spirit and me? We're not friends. Ebenezer Scrooge had the right idea: bah fucking humbug.

  The reason for my current antiholiday rant is because I'm in line--the same line I've been in for forty-five minutes--trying to buy a last-minute gift for my perfect wife.

  Please, take my money and just let me fucking leave.

  When it comes to gifts, I'm usually way ahead; eleventh-hour purchases aren't my style. But walking past Saks Fifth Avenue, I saw a pair of Valentino crystal and silk heels that would look amazing on Kate. She'll enjoy wearing them, and I will definitely enjoy watching her wear them--especially naked--so it's a win-win.

  Except for the line.

  I'm not used to waiting in lines. I'm used to personal shoppers and commission-seeking salespeople vying for my attention with phrases like, "Can I hold that for you, Mr. Evans?" "We have that in four other colors, Mr. Evans." "Would you like that wrapped, Mr. Evans?"

  But this is Christmas Eve. Which means stores don't give a crap about the quality of the shopping experience. It's all about quantity--getting as many shoppers through their doors as possible before closing time. Which brings me to my next point:

  Most people in the world today are fucking idiots.

  Don't laugh--you may be one of the walking stupid and just not know it. But it's true. Say what you want about income inequality or the inferior public school system--the harsh truth is, the majority of the population is simply not intelligent. And even more suck at their job. They don't give a rat's ass about doing it well or longevity; they're only interested in performing the minimum required to get a check.

  And there's no better example of that than the temporary holiday employee.

  Companies don't hire them because of their skill or what they may contribute to the work force. They're hired because they have a pulse. Spare bodies, decked out in holiday ensembles, whose main purpose is to corral consumers the same way a fence encages cattle. And they're equally as helpful.

  The twentysomething blonde behind the register is one such employee. You can tell by the slow, cautious way she pecks at the keys and her confused expression if someone--God forbid--asks her where an item can be found. She's the reason for the sick amount of time I've wasted waiting to buy these shoes.

  The good news is, I'm about to cross the finish line. I step up, with only one more customer left in front of me--a tall, regal-looking older lady in a pricey red coat and genuine pearl earrings. I take out my wallet so I can pay as quickly as possible and get the hell out of here.

  See the blazing yule before us,

  Fa la la la la la, la la la la.

  Strike the harp and join the chorus,

  Fa la la la la, la la la la

  But my hope of an imminent escape is crushed when the blond temp rings up the purple Burberry of London tie and tells the old lady, "That will be one hundred and ninety-five dollars and thirty cents."

  Pearl Earrings looks offended. "That can't be correct. This tie is on sale for one hundred and fifty dollars--not one eighty."

  A panicked expression swamps the blonde's face. She taps a few buttons on the register and swipes the tie's bar code with the red laser beam. "It's ringing up at one hundred and eighty. Plus tax."

  I push a hand through my dark hair and listen for the predictable old woman response.

  "That's false advertising! I refuse to pay a penny over one fifty."

  The hopeless temp looks around for assistance, but there's none to be found. So, like the knight in shining armor I am, I come to her rescue.

  "Why don't you do a manual override?"

  Her eyes gaze at me without a clue. "A what?"

  I gesture to the register. "It's a computer--it has to do what you tell it to. Override the price and put it in as one fifty."

  She gulps. "I . . . I don't know how to do that."

  Of course she doesn't.

  "I'm going to have to find my manager."

  No. No way I'm gonna stand here twiddling my thumbs for another twenty frigging minutes. And I refuse to walk out, either--too much of my precious time is already invested in these shoes.

  Despite the frustration churning in my gut, I shift my attention to the pearl-wearing red coat and turn on the charm that--even with a ring on my finger--women of all ages are still helpless to resist. "Last-minute Christmas shopping?"

  She nods. "That's right, for my husband."

  "You have excellent taste. I'm a connoisseur of ties myself, and that one is superb."

  It's working--she smiles. "Thank you, young man."

  "Tell you what, how about we save some
time and I'll front the extra thirty dollars so you can purchase this tie for your lucky husband, at not a penny over one hundred and fifty dollars?"

  Her brow wrinkles. It was already wrinkled with age--but now it wrinkles more.

  "It's not about the cost, it's the principle of the matter. They should stand by the price advertised."

  "I couldn't agree more. Principles are important--which is exactly why I'm making my offer. Here it is, Christmas Eve, and I've been too busy to show any goodwill toward my fellow man--or woman. This gesture will make me really feel the Christmas spirit. You'd be doing me a favor, miss."

  The "miss" was just the right touch. Because her eyes sparkle, and she grins warmly. "Well, when you put it that way, how can I say no?"

  I wink. "I guess you can't."

  I smack thirty dollars on the counter and the old lady hands over her black card. While the very relieved temp places the boxed tie in a shopping bag with a ridiculous amount of useless tissue paper, Pearl Earrings glances at my left hand. Then she pulls a business card out of her purse, slides it toward me, and whispers low, "My husband and I host parties every month. Parties for . . . adventurous . . . couples."

  Oh boy.

  "You'd certainly be doing me a favor if you attend." She winks. "I would thoroughly enjoy having you. Think about it."

  I wait until she walks away before I chuckle. Just goes to show you--don't judge a freak by their cover. The wild ones come in all shapes, sizes . . . and ages.

  The holiday-hire hands me my prized shoes, and I'm finally able to head home to my wife and our terribly wonderful son.

  Follow me in merry measure,

  Fa la la, la la la, la la la.

  While I tell of Yuletide treasure,

  Fa la la la la, la la la la

  I shut the door to our apartment and toss the mail down on the front hall table--mostly last-minute Christmas cards. Nothing says "you were an afterthought" like getting a Christmas card on Christmas Eve. I hang up my black wool coat and slide the shopping bag with Kate's new shoes under the table, to be wrapped later.

  Unlike me, Kate is good about waiting. She likes to be surprised, so I don't have to put in the extra effort of hiding her gifts to keep her from sneaking a peek.

  I walk into the living room--and stop dead in my tracks. I was planning on going home only for a few minutes, to let Kate know I'd be at the office the rest of the evening. But those plans get tossed out the window.

  Because reclining in the chaise longue is a gift that beats the hell out of anything I've ever seen sitting under a tree.

  My wife, Kate Brooks-Evans.

  Kate Brooks-Evans in lingerie.

  Kate Brooks-Evans in see-through, Christmas-themed lingerie.

  Her smooth legs are crossed at the ankle, bare except for the spiky heeled, shiny black boots that end below her knees. A sheer red nightie, trimmed in fluffy white fur, covers tiny red panties--held together by two silk bows tied at her hips. A shiny black belt cinches her flat stomach, and more white fur embellishes the strapless neckline, bringing my attention to her perfect breasts and pink nipples pressing against the gauzy fabric. Kate's luscious dark hair falls over her shoulders, curled at the ends, and a fleecy red-and-white Santa hat sits on top of her head.

  She smiles mischievously. "Welcome home, Santa."

  "Mrs. Claus," I smirk, "you've changed."

  "It was time for a makeover."

  I start unbuttoning my shirt. "Want to sit on my lap . . . or my face . . . and tell me if you've been a nice girl this year?"

  Kate chuckles. Then she tucks her legs under her, rises onto all fours, and crawls down the chaise toward me.

  It's so damn sexy my cock stiffens so hard that you could hang an ornament from it.

  "Well, I've tried to be nice, but every time I look at you, the naughty just takes over."

  Kate bites her lip--'cause she knows it drives me crazy--and watches my every move as I toss my shirt on the floor. Her eyes caress my arms, chest, and abs, then focus on my fingers as I slowly unbutton my jeans and lower the zipper.

  I shrug. "I've always thought 'nice' was way fucking overrated."

  With my typical lack of shyness, I push my pants down and step out of them. My dick juts out proudly, eye level with Kate, straining for her attention. But before she touches me, I remember James--our five-year-old.

  "Where's the evil elf, by the way?"

  "I dropped him off at your sister's. He's decorating gingerbread cookies with Mackenzie and Thomas."

  "And biting their heads off?"

  "Of course."

  Here's an interesting fact: how you eat a gingerbread man says a lot about your personality. Head-first eaters are ambitious, independent, and magnetic. Feet-first are the more artistic, creative types, and those who start with the hands are kind and nurturing. Same rules apply for chocolate Easter bunnies.

  Maybe you're wondering how I came to know this information?

  I looked it up. Because James is a head-first eater.

  And Kate and I were . . . unsettled . . . by all the headless chocolate bunnies lying around last Easter.

  But--good news--he's not a serial killer in the making, he just has the same driven, bound-to-be-a-success temperament as his parents.

  During my research, I also discovered that sociopaths and CEOs share a lot of character traits--but we'll talk about that another time.

  There are other, more crucial matters at hand.

  "So, we have the whole apartment to ourselves?" I ask.

  Kate licks her lips happily. "Yep."

  My dick gets even harder, thinking of the possibilities. "That means we can fuck in the living room? The hallway? The kitchen?"

  A center island is the perfect height to comfortably eat a woman out while she's perched on the counter.


  I think not.

  Kind of makes you rethink the meaning of "eat-in kitchen," doesn't it?

  Kate replies, "Yes. Yes. And definitely yes. I've missed kitchen sex."

  I've missed bending her over the arm of the sofa and pounding her from behind.

  Oh--and sleeping naked. I haven't slept naked for a year and a half. Not since my son crawled into our bed in the middle of the night and asked why I wasn't wearing pajamas. Telling him the truth--that it's liberating and makes it more convenient to screw his mother--was out of the question. So I just said I forgot.

  He thought that was funny. And I've slept in boxers almost every night since.

  When people tell you having kids changes things--they're not screwing around.

  But all thoughts of our child fly out of my head as Kate envelops my dick in her warm, wet mouth. My head lolls back, relishing the sensation of her stroking tongue. But after a few seconds, I have to look and take in the sensual sight of Kate's head bobbing up and down, doing what she does so very well.

  My hand skims her spine. I lift the sheer red fabric, exposing her firm ass, scarcely covered by the red silk panties. My stomach contracts in hot pleasure as she sucks me harder. I pull on the red ribbons tied at her hips and the panties fall away. Then I knead the soft flesh of her ass before sliding my fingers between her open legs--into her warm pussy. She's already slick for me; her muscles tighten around my fingers as I pump them slowly.

  I pull my hips back and I slide out of Kate's awesome mouth. I cradle her face with my hands and bring her up to meet my lips. We kiss playfully, my teeth scraping along her jaw to her neck, licking and sucking--both of us moaning. I wrap an arm around her waist and lift her to her feet, dragging us to the couch.

  Without a word, Kate assumes my favorite position--bent at the waist, her stomach draped over the arm, feet apart, her delectable ass high and waiting. Her hands brace against the cushions and my hand rests on her shoulder. My other hand grasps my dick and makes two teasing passes across the opening of her sweet cunt. She wriggles back against me, reaches out her hand, and pushes behind my thigh--trying to maneuver me where she needs me
to be.

  Always so eager.

  Although our sex life is fantastically frequent, we can't be as . . . vocal . . . as we once were. Not with a kid in the house. So I plan on taking advantage of this opportunity to hear Kate's voice in all its hedonistically desperate beauty.

  I cover her--my chest flush with her back--nudge her silken hair with my nose, and bring my lips to her ear. "Do you want me to fuck you, baby?"

  "Mmm," she groans. "Yessss."

  I nip her earlobe. "Tell me."

  "Fuck me," she whispers.

  Yeah. She's gonna have to do better than that.

  I straighten up, smiling, and tease her again with the head of my dick. "I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that."

  Her hips squirm with frustration, and she yells, "I want you to fuck me, Drew!"


  "God, now . . . do it . . . please. Fuck . . ."


  I push inside her with a moan and her back arches. I rest my hand on her hip, holding her in place as I rear back. Then thrust in long and slow and deep.

  "Yes," she keens loudly. "Just like that."

  I look down where I move in and out of her--disappearing into her gorgeous, welcoming body. It's a view that never gets old.

  "Christ, you feel good, Kate. Always so goddamn good."

  It's true. And it's got nothing to do with the fact that Kate's is the only pussy I've ever been inside without a rubber.

  It's her. The life we've made together--the way she matches me in every way--her desire, her humor, her mind.

  Her soul.

  I used to think that stuff about soul mates was bullshit. The idea that out of the billions of people on Earth, there was only one that you're supposed to be with. That you belong to. Sounded like a fairy tale, a stupid chick flick, or a terrible romance novel that my sister would read.

  But now . . .

  Now I believe there's something to it. Maybe not for everyone--but definitely for us. Because I just can't fathom having this profound, intense love that borders on obsession--the good kind--with anyone except her.

  It's crazy. Like . . . a miracle.

  The rhythm of my hips speeds up, 'cause it feels too fucking amazing not to. And Kate drives back against me, meeting me thrust for thrust and moan for moan.

  But then I find the strength to grasp her waist with both hands.

  And still our movements.