Saturday, December 13, 2008

Santa Please by Jade Falconer

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” muttered Ian, looking at the fuzzy red suit.

“Pardon?” the perky blonde manager said blankly.

“I said, I’m looking forward to this,” Ian spoke more loudly, forcing a smile as he accepted the costume from the woman. He reminded himself that this was a very brief, temporary job, and the money was good. That he would be sitting around at home during the holidays, feeling sorry for himself, if he wasn’t doing this. But a department store Santa...he sighed.

“Awesome! Why don’t you go on into the dressing room and try the suit on, and we can see if it needs any tailoring? You’re slimmer than the last Santa, he didn’t need any padding at all!” the manager enthused.

“Thanks,” Ian said, wondering if that was a compliment or not. He was only fifty, but his hair was a distinguished gray, leading most people to believe he was older. At least he wouldn’t need a wig. Just the beard. Which would hopefully keep anyone he knew from recognizing him. He would definitely need the padding, which was ironic because he went to the gym five times a week to stay in shape. He sighed again and headed for the changing room.

A few minutes later, a young man slipped through the door. “Oh. Sorry, they told me to change in here,” he stammered.

Ian already had the red pants on and was pulling on the jacket over his t-shirt. “Ah, you must be one of my elves,” he said warmly, eyeing the young man, who carried a colorful costume. He was beautiful, slender, and waiflike, with black hair hanging almost to his shoulders, face flushed from the cold outside. With his full lips and the subtle smudge of eyeliner around his pale eyes, Ian could bet that he’d been mistaken for a girl more than a few times. But to Ian, who preferred men, his sex was more than obvious. His oversized sweater barely met clinging, low-slung jeans, and he could have been a model or a rock star easily.

He smiled and extended his hand. “I’m James. Nice to meet you, Mr. Claus,” he said with a boyish grin.

Ian laughed. “Call me Ian. Please.” He shook James’ delicate hand, trying not to ogle him. This job had just gotten more pleasant.

“Ian. Yes. I’m one of your elves.” He dropped a messenger bag on a small desk and hung his costume on a hook. “Have you done this before?” he asked as he yanked the wooly sweater off over his head.

Ian snickered as he buttoned the red and white coat. “No,” he said, his mouth going dry as James began to strip. He turned his attention to the wide black belt they’d provided him. “Have you?”

“Nope. I just got fired from my job, so I was a little desperate,” he said as he kicked off his sneakers and unceremoniously peeled off his jeans. He held up the tights, brow furrowing a little.

Ian nodded. “Understandable. This does pay obscenely well.” He turned toward James, gaze flicking over his body. James was clad only in white Jockeys now. He was thin without being too skinny, and his ass...Ian had to turn away.

“I’m beginning to understand why,” James said as he struggled into the tights. With that accomplished he pulled on a pair of shorts the same color as the tights, and then a green tunic on top that reached mid-thigh. He examined himself in the mirror for a moment, then a goofy grin spread across his face. “God help me if my mom comes to see me.”

The corners of Ian’s mouth quirked up as he tried not to laugh. After all, he looked just as ridiculous. James, on the other hand, looked quite adorable to him. “Oh, but you’ve forgotten the hat,” he said solemnly.

James rolled his eyes. “Oh, please don’t punish me, Santa, for breaking the elven dress code,” he said, fluttering his eyelashes. He grabbed the little cap. It was green with a long red feather sticking out of it, and he put it on his head at a slightly jaunty angle. “Please tell me the shoes are not going to have bells on the toes.”

“They probably do,” Ian chuckled, picking up his own hat and settling it on his head. He would dearly love to punish James, but he decided that the boy surely didn’t know what ideas he was giving Ian. “But truly, you look adorable. I just look ridiculous.” He looked in the mirror at himself. He looked decidedly un-jolly.

James grinned. “Not at all. You look very Santa-like. Maybe smile a little. I think scowls frighten children,” he said, nudging him with an elbow. “What does Mrs. Claus think?”

Ian snorted. “There isn’t one.” He didn’t explain that there hadn’t been one since he’d finally admitted to himself, and her, that he preferred men over women. Surely James wasn’t asking his sexual preference; it was just small talk. “I shall smile when I must, and not sooner.”

James frowned a little and sighed. “Oh well, I’ll smile for both of us.” He reached over and patted the padding over Ian’s belly. “My head’s spinning thinking of all the people who could potentially show up to make fun of me.”

“Just don’t tell anyone,” Ian advised, trying not to stare at the beautiful boy. He couldn’t be over twenty-five. He felt like a pervert. “I know I haven’t.” He couldn’t help himself. “You mean you don’t want your girlfriend cooing over you in tights?”

James snorted a little. “My ex-boyfriend would laugh his obnoxious ass off for a week.” He walked over to the bag with the rest of his costume and bent over, getting out the booties and the belt.

Ian’s eyes widened. This job had gotten even more interesting.