A/N: This story is based upon just the title of the second prompt. I didn't particularly like the lyrics, and the idea I had fit only with the title. Also, this is a collection of drabbles – 31 drabbles, to be exact, one for each day of the month. If you are unfamiliar with the term drabble, a drabble is a short, 100 word story. While they don't take long to write, editing them and making sure that they are 100 words exactly is very time consuming, especially if you still want the stories to make sense. ;-) Anyway, just a warning, this one is not so bright and shiny, not so holly jolly. Perfect for today, right? Also, thanks to everyone who read and responded to Running Late. I'm glad it was well received, that the idea was appreciated and liked. Enjoy! ~Charlynn~
A Liason Holiday Collection of Drabbles
CFFC09 Prompt #2: December Makes Me Feel This Way
He had worked late. Again. Jason wasn't sure if it was because of the holiday rush or because he just didn't want to go home. However, neither reason was a good excuse.
Moving through the house, he realized nobody was there. It was quiet, but, even when his family was home - the kids running around, his wife taking care of all of them, the silence still seemed to permeate the space.
In the kitchen, he found the note. Dinner in the oven, went to the movies, be back late. Love you.
He went to bed with an empty stomach.
He had always been a morning person. He liked to wake early and get his day started before others had a chance to hit the snooze button. As he looked at his wife that morning, her skin bathed in the pink, eastern light, a bare leg tossed carelessly out of the covers, he remembered why.
Reaching for her, he pulled her against him, nuzzled her neck. She smelled like grapefruit. Before he could lick the pulse point behind her ear, though, tasting her, she pushed him away. "Too much to do," she mumbled, getting up.
He went to shave.
"Thanks for meeting me for coffee," his wife greeted him.
He smiled awkwardly. There was no amusement or humor in the gesture. "You make it sound so formal."
"Well, I know that you're busy." He wasn't that busy with work, but, for some reason, Jason kept that little piece of information to himself. "Anyway, I wanted to run an idea by you. I thought that we'd split the shopping duties this year. You'd take the kids, and I'd buy for our families. It'll save time."
He didn't like the idea, but he didn't protest it either.
He took the stairs two at a time. The kids were finally asleep, and Jason was looking forward to spending time with his wife. It seemed as though he never saw her anymore... even when they were in the same room. He missed her; he missed someone missing him.
"Oh, good, there you are." His wife was wrapping presents, and there was Christmas music on in the background. "I wanted to remind you to buy that doll for Zoe tomorrow. The toy store just got a shipment in, and they'll sell out quickly."
He nodded before turning around.
The toy store was a labyrinth, and he didn't have time to look down every single god-damned aisle. Why his wife insisted upon him...
"You look lost."
He couldn't help it. His lips twitched as he watched the pretty brunette before him bounce on a rubber ball practically half her size. It was blue, matched her eyes, and her hair still sparkled with melting snow flakes.
"Pull up a ride," she instructed, nodding towards the other balls lining the bottom shelf, "and I'll give you a tour."
An hour later, when he left, Jason's hands were empty.
He took a different route to work the next day. He told himself it was out of boredom, but the lie was cold comfort. Really, he was looking for her. As he drove, he kept an eye out for the woman from the toy store. It was almost as if he knew she'd be there somehow.
When he spotted her, he smiled and pulled over, insisting upon giving her a ride. She agreed on the contingency that she had free reign over the radio. Yesterday, he rode on a rubber ball for her. Obviously, today he could deny her nothing.
He was in the middle of a particularly appealing fantasy involving his desk, the woman from the toy store, and a pair of cashmere gloves when the object of his desire strode into his office, unannounced and uninvited, holding the doll he had forgotten to purchase two days prior.
"How did you know...?"
Shrugging, she answered, "shopper's intuition. Now, grab your coat. I'm kidnapping you. I told your secretary that you hired me as a personal shopper. You're not going to make a liar out of me, are you?"
Credit card debt had never looked so damn appealing.
Her hair was in lopsided pigtails, tied up with curled red and green ribbon, she had random pieces of wrapping paper stuck to her clothes, including a piece taped to her pert, round ass that his gaze kept straying towards, and her face was flushed with a warmth and enthusiasm that he found contagious.
He'd never before been so hard in his entire life.
Without thinking, he leaned across the gift he was attempting (and failing) to wrap, connected his mouth with hers, and kissed her. It was awkward, and sloppy, and surprised them both.
But only the first time.
He only had an hour for his lunch break; he'd already been sitting on her front step for an hour and thirteen minutes. Despite the fact that his car was parked on the curb, he waited outside, allowing the snow to seep through his pants.
When she got home, practically skipping down the sidewalk, she didn't look shocked at all to see him there. In fact, she looked downright pleased.
Sashaying by him, she unlocked the door while grinning crookedly in his direction. "So, are you coming in or what? We need to get you out of those pants."
"You've never done this before, have you?"
"No, and I find it humiliating," Jason complained.
She giggled. "Not one for trying new things, huh?"
"Let's just say that I'm not known for my creativity."
"Oh, it's nothing new. In fact, it's an ancient art. Books have been written on it. If you want to see some pictures..."
"That's alright," he interrupted her, grumbling. "I can figure it out on my own."
When they were finished, he was a mess – disheveled, sticky, and oddly sore. Who knew making paper chains was so complicated?
He was still trying to steady his breathing when she scrambled out of bed, running out of the room unabashedly naked. When she returned, she carried two paper towels and handed one to him.
"What's this," he asked without looking.
"Breakfast," she answered around the bite inside her mouth before climbing back into bed.
Unwrapping his napkin, Jason found a fudge brownie inside. "Chocolate... for breakfast?"
"Brain food," she answered, intent upon her snack. Before she could eat more, though, he tackled her to the mattress, tickling her.
Her laugh was the only sustenance he needed.
She had the cutest toes he'd ever seen. They were small but elegantly long and graceful, and Jason feared he might be mildly obsessed with them as he carefully washed her feet. Instead of working, he was sharing a bath with a woman he barely knew, with a woman he knew better than he knew himself.
Looking up, he broke the comfortable silence. "What's your name?"
In response, she simply shook her head no. When he went to complain, the foot he wasn't cleaning started to do decidedly dirty things to him beneath the water.
He forgot his question.
Jason was just about to step in and end the rather heated argument his two kids were having about nothing in particular when he spotted her out of the corner of his eye. She slipped out of the diner, though, before he could even smile in her direction.
When the waitress brought them their food, she handed him a note that simply read Sorry. There was absolutely no reason for her to apologize; their accidental meeting had been innocent.
But, for the rest of the night, he worried that, in her distraction, she'd forget to eat. She did that sometimes.
She met him at the door looking pale, tired, and grouchy.
"You can't come in tonight. I have cramps."
Jason nearly tripped over his astonishment. Despite nearly ten years of marriage, his wife still tiptoed around feminine issues, and here was this woman so bluntly talking about her period after only knowing him for less than two weeks. It was refreshing.
"We don't have to have sex," he told her. "I just want to spend time with you."
She smiled, a small, timid gesture compared to her wide, beaming grins. "How do you feel about Alias?"
"What is that?"
It was impossible for her not to hear the disgust in his voice. "It's the tree I picked out."
Jason chuckled. "It's the rattiest one here."
"Which only means it'll appreciate a nice home more than the others," she retorted, playfully sticking out her tongue.
When he returned home that night, carrying a similar tree to give to his wife, she met him with an odd look. After he explained the tree appreciation logic, she ordered him to throw it in the garbage where it belonged.
He took it to work the next morning.
It was almost dark, and they were on the docks, watching the ships in the harbor. The wind was crisp and the atmosphere too cold to snow, and Jason could tell that she was freezing. However, she wouldn't let him hold her, for they were in public. The distance between them was making his skin feel too small.
"We always do stuff I want to do," she complained, catching him off guard.
He thought that would have been a good thing. "Sooo...?"
"We should do things you like, too."
That's when he knew how much she cared.
She was sitting in her back yard when he got to her place, smoking. He had never seen her smoke, he had never tasted smoke on her breath, and he'd never smelled smoke on her body before. He felt unnerved.
He nodded towards her smoldering cigarette before sitting down beside her on the swing. "Why are you smoking?"
Softly, she whispered, "I guess I needed a reminder."
He should have asked her of what, but all he could think about in that moment was kissing her, so he did. She tasted like danger.
They were lounging in bed, their bodies still hopelessly entwined. He was naked, and she had on a short, crimson silk robe. It was untied.
Despite the fact that she had seen him with his kids, that he had never once taken off his wedding ring in her presence, not even when they had sex... like they had that afternoon, Jason still felt compelled to confess, "you know that I'm married, right?"
"Yeah, but I'm still glad you told me."
Despite her admission, his conscience still felt weighed down; he still felt guilty... but not towards his wife.
They were on their third round of pool and beer when she suddenly fell silent. Per her request, he had taken her out that evening. They were doing something he enjoyed but in the next town over.
It took her several long seconds to focus her gaze upon him, to blink owlishly. "Yeah, why?"
Jason immediately started to laugh. After all her rambling, all her giggling, all her teasing, he never would have pegged her for a quiet drunk. "Come on," he told her, slinging an arm around her shoulders. "Let's get you home."
Bending to place a kiss upon her forehead, Jason instructed, "rise and shine," before lowering a breakfast tray onto the bed beside her.
Groggily, she asked, "what's this?"
"Huevos rancheros, toast, a giant cup of coffee, and aspirin."
Sighing appreciatively, she sat up in bed. "Hmm... perfect. Why the special treatment?"
He granted himself another kiss, this time stealing it from her lips before standing up straight. "It's blackmail," he informed her. "You and I are going to have a chat soon."
He meant it to be a promise; it sounded like a threat.
He had only one foot in the door when she grabbed him by the collar, spun him around, slammed the door, and dropped to her knees. Jason was so taken aback that, by the time his brain was capable of forming words, she already had her talented mouth around his dick, her hand pumping him.
When he had arrived at her place that evening, he had every intention of talking to her – about them, about what they were doing, about her name. She obviously had other plans, though, and who was he to argue with a very persuasive woman?
For the first time, he let himself into her house. After searching all the rooms downstairs, he found her in the spare bedroom, the one place he'd never been in before. It didn't take him long to realize why.
She used it as her studio.
Although he didn't want to interrupt, he could no longer ignore the question that had been bothering him for days. "Why don't you ask me to leave her?"
Without looking up from her canvas, her back to him, she asked in return, "why don't you offer?"
He didn't say goodbye; he just left.
"Icicle lights are so passe."
"At least they're better than the tacky figurines." For the past two hours, she had been critiquing Christmas decorations. They were nearing his own house, though, so he started to slow down.
"Hey, grandpa, are you suddenly dyslexic? The speed limit's 40 not four."
In response, he said, "that's my place."
Immediately, the atmosphere in the car became tense. "Take me home."
For the rest of the night she wouldn't speak to him, and it was obvious to Jason that he had broken some unvoiced rule.
He wasn't sorry.
He couldn't believe she started talking while he was going down on her.
"I want you to do something for me tomorrow."
In response, he increased the tempo of his tongue and inserted a second finger.
Although she moaned appreciatively, she still managed to gasp, "I want you to find something new to love about your wife. Maybe she's changed, but so have you."
Angered that she was bringing her up now, he pinched her clit. Hard. She bucked, screamed, and twisted in sheer pleasure. "And don't come see me either."
He stood up, leaving her unfulfilled.
"I thought I told you not to come here today."
Despite her words, he knew she was glad to see him. Her aroused nipples were visible through the thin material of the t-shirt she wore. His t-shirt.
With his hands on her hips, he pushed her back into the living room, kicking the door shut behind him. "I couldn't stay away. I did what you said; I made love to my wife, but I couldn't get off until I closed my eyes and pictured you beneath me instead."
"That's a problem," she haltingly whispered.
They were flat on their backs, panting, on the kitchen floor. "Surely, that performance deserves you telling me your name."
Instead, though, she sat up and reached for her shirt. "I'm leaving," she told him without meeting his suddenly panicked gaze. "I'll be gone by the first."
Haltingly, he challenged, "so, what? This has meant nothing to you?"
She shrugged. "It is what it is." Surprising him, she added, "if you really want to call me something, call me December. After all, it's really all you'll ever know of me."
He hated her then.
He was having a meeting when he saw her walk past. She was completely unaware of his presence, and all he could think about was her cold detachment from the morning before.
"If you'll please excuse me," he politely offered his client, smoothly slipping out the front door.
Seconds later, he caught her by the elbow and swung her into the closest alley, hitching her skirt while he fumbled with his own belt. When he pushed roughly inside of her, he hit her womb.
He climaxed after only five awkward thrusts; she cried into his shoulder, finally breaking emotionally.
If it wasn't for the wedding band that symbolized his union to another woman and the packed boxes littering her bedroom, Jason would have thought that they were a happily married couple. As he quietly read the paper, she sat beside him, gloriously nude, painting her toenails. The polish was black, befitting the dark cloud hovering above them.
"Where will you go," he asked, never looking up from the sports page.
She shrugged, dipping her brush back into the ebony lacquer. "I'm not going to wait for you."
Meaning, he translated silently to himself, that it didn't matter.
They were packing up her art supplies when his phone rang.
Glancing at the caller I.D., Jason argued, "it's her." She didn't seem to care, though. Sighing, he obeyed her wishes. "Yeah," he greeted, unconcerned about how rude he sounded.
She was leaving in less than 48 hours. The last thing he wanted was for their time together to be interrupted.
Finally, after several minutes of just pretending to listen, he said goodbye, whispering, "I love you." His intense gaze never left hers.
They both knew he was no longer talking to his wife.
This time, he was the one crying.
She had almost been asleep when he rolled closer to her, wrapped his arms around her, and angled his hips to slide inside of her once more. His body ached with pleasure, with fatigue, with sorrow, but it hurt worse to be separated from her.
With his left hand cupping her right breast and his right hand buried in the downy curls at the apex of her thighs, Jason begged, "please, tell me your name."
Although he couldn't see her reaction, he could feel her smile. It only made him cry harder.
When he woke the next morning, she was already gone. The only sign that she had, in fact, been there with him was the twisted blankets wrapped around his legs. He stood from the pallet they had made the night before in her bedroom, taking his fury, pain, and rage out on the walls.
Thirty minutes later, he walked into his house. "You're back early from your business trip," his wife commented absently, offering him a genuine if not distracted smile.
When he pulled her to him and kissed her, he could still taste His December on his tongue.