A Different Kind of Christmas Carol

by Zustara Orur

A story (C) 2002/2003 by ZUSTARA ORUR. Contact address: zustara@hotmail.com 1.2 May not be redistributed, commercial use prohibited!

Please see chapter 1 for standard disclaimer blurb and the dedication and acknowledgements section.


I'd never seen a place like that before in my life. Everything seemed to be made of dark, heavy wood, the paneling, the ceilings, the furniture, while crystal chandeliers lit up the place. Jeff took me through the hallway (after William had taken care of my jacket of course and magicked it away somewhere, in that way only a butler could manage), and up to the main stairwell. It climbed around the walls of the square room, round and round all the way up to the top floor, and there were tons of paintings all over the place and small tables with lamps and stuff, and even statues standing here and there. Several corridors branched out from that central place and he took me down one of them. Almost every room we came to had a large Christmas tree of its own it seemed, a tree with dense branches and huge amounts of ornaments hanging in it and real candles instead of electrical, I was just completely gobsmacked! Jeff took me through to the library, and the adjacent reading room, the huge banquet hall, and the music room with its shiny black grand piano and glittering, gilded harp, and so on and so on, but all I really could think of was how utterly handsome Jeff was. He was dressed just like a young lordling should be, in snugly fitting gray woolen pants, and a really nice shirt in muted colors, and a vest on top, shiny dress shoes (much fancier than mine) and even a watch on a golden chain in the front pocket! And his hair was all shiny too and slicked back over his head so it was a slightly darker golden blonde, and the red in it was slightly more pronounced as well than usual, he looked terrific! I kept looking at him ALL the time, and I think Jeff looked back sometimes, but only those few instances when I simply could not keep my eyes on him because I had to check where I was going! I saw so much, and he only showed me the ground floor! Then there was the passage to the annex with the kitchen and the rooms for the servant staff and all that as well, but Jeff said we'd better save that for some other day. We heard others arrive on occasion, voices speaking, feet walking, but Jeff didn't stop his tour, and all I could think of was those words of his...

Some OTHER DAY! I would get to COME BACK THERE! I felt like perhaps I should faint or something, I was THAT happy!

"Uh... I... Um, I really had no idea!", I must have stuttered. Jeff merely smiled softly at me.

"Why do you think I never said anything?", he asked in his soft, English manner of speaking, his hand on one of my shoulders again. "I wanted to make friends for real, you know? If you knew I lived in a place like this, how could that ever be possible? I wanted you to get to know me for who I am, not what my parents made me into..." There was a tinge of sadness in his voice as he said it. I still found myself smiling at him however, I put my hand on his and took it in mine. I wanted to bring it to my lips and kiss it, but I was not brave enough. Just holding it like that was quite enough, my dick was constantly threatening to spring into action!

Jeff smiled again, a little wider and winked at me. Almost as if he knew...! He put his arm around my waist in a friendly manner (actually holding his hand tightly ON my waist, which again made my dick want to start strutting its stuff, and made the hidden part of me that loved him wild with desire!), and lead me off again, only letting the arm drop when we came back to the reading room, the place where he intended to keep the initial reception. A few were there already, including Max and Tyra, two of my close friends. The tall windows were framed by heavy satin curtains, there was a roaring fire in the huge fireplace at the end of the room, and there were lots of comfy (and undoubtedly very antique and vastly expensive) sofas and armchairs placed around the room, all strategically near a table. Those who had arrived became excited to see Jeff was there at last to greet them, though none quite as excited as I was I'm sure. They greeted him and gave their gifts, and that made me jerk and remember my present too! It was in my jacket pocket, forgotten when Jeff had first hugged me upon arriving.

Jeff seemed to understand. He went out to the door to the hallway and called softly, and almost immediately William was there and took me (AND Jeff, still holding the unopened gifts of all the other kids) to the hallway wardrobe where all the jackets were hanging.

"You didn't have to", Jeff whispered so softly only I could possibly hear it, and standing really close to me. "The important thing was that you came. That's the only gift I wanted from you..." Then HE blushed, and I SO wanted to take his hand in mine!

I was desperately trying to control my voice and keep myself from going all tomato-red in my face. It sure wasn't easy, but I kind of cheated by only speaking in short, stunted sentences. "It's just something silly...", I said. "I didn't know what you'd like...", I said and handed over the present. It was wrapped in shiny golden paper, much fancier than the contents I thought. Jeff turned the small thing over in his hands, then shook it to listen if it would rattle (which it did not). "Uh... I tried to rhyme, but I couldn't come up with anything good...", I finally muttered. I'd almost torn off my hair in frustration the day before! I'd written several entire stage plays darn it, and I couldn't come up with one stupid, itty-bitty little rhyme? I almost didn't get any sleep at all that night because I had been beating myself up so bad sitting at my desk trying to think of something, anything!

"Oh, don't worry about it", Jeff was quick to say. "It's the thought that counts. And, I really mean it." He let his hand brush past my cheek and then he sort of looked as if he'd surprised himself doing that! He seemed a little embarrassed and I blushed madly and had to look away... He hid his embarrassment by concentrating on my gift, opening the thing slowly so he wouldn't rip the paper, pulling the tape off really carefully to avoid doing damage to the glossy surface. I was vastly amused by it all, because it was just wrapping paper after all. Still, it meant something to Jeff it seemed, and he would not let himself be hurried. William had to leave to take care of more guests, and then he came back a little while later with their jackets and put them on coat hangers. We were still there, working away on the small package.

Slowly, Jeff extracted a small plastic container from the innards of the present. His face lit up as he saw what it was. "RUGBY SOCKS!", he exclaimed. "Wow! Thank you!" He almost threw himself around my neck and hugged me REALLY tight, and I actually thought, 'I'll be damned if I'm not going to take advantage of this!', so I quickly returned the favor with as much enthusiasm as him. For once, it was not a subconscious thought, but a real one... And, I didn't have my winter jacket on either that second time, so I got even closer in to him... I put my hands flat on his back, trying to feel as much of him as I could through his shirt and vest, and we held each other for so long I thought we'd never manage to break apart again. But we did. "Thanks, little Timmy", he said, again in a whisper, and it felt like his lips brushed past my cheek as he slowly let go of me... I felt myself pining for something, it was him and his touch of course, something I should have understood but did not.

"Uh... I'm making you neglect your guests...", I said to him, and he smiled gently.

"It's alright. What a lovely gift! And green socks too, that's my favorite color, how did you know?" Suddenly William was there again, taking the golden wrapping paper and returning the presents Jeff had brought to the wardrobe but then forgotten all about. Jeff started taking me back to the reading room.

I shrugged as we continued walking through the big house back to the reception. "Uhhh... I didn't?"

Jeff jabbed me playfully in my ribs with an elbow. "Oh, but I think you did!", he said in his smooth voice, and his playfulness tinged it deeply, but then composed himself as we returned to our destination. There had to be twice as many people there as last time, and they all came over to give their presents, and now Jeff had to start opening them, he quickly ripped off the paper and tossed it on the floor and gave thanks and hugs to everybody.

He didn't thank anyone as sincerely as he'd done with me, nor hugged them anywhere near as long! I smiled and felt curiously happy about that, not comprehending why, nor really caring either. It simply felt good, that's all.

What he got? Fine Swiss chocolates, expensive after-shave, a box of (undoubtedly illegally imported) fat Cuban stogies for some bizarre reason, a chess board with pieces cut out of small blocks of black and white marble and so on and so on. All gifts worthy a young lordling, but somewhat lacking where it really counted... Like, it wasn't stuff he really needed, or had much use for. Or that's my opinion anyway! More guests kept arriving, and the staff started bringing in refreshments. Trays with canapés on them and other small hors d'oeuvres, and other trays with champagne glasses with what I supposed was champagne. I took a glass too, sniffed, then sipped. Yes, it was. Or, I THINK it was anyway, I couldn't really tell, just as I couldn't tell if it was a good label or not, but I kind of had to assume it was... Jeff was a good host, somehow managing to exchange a few words with everybody and make them feel welcome and important, opening more presents and giving thanks and hugs. He moved over into the library, taking care to place me in a huge leather-clad armchair near that room's fireplace and let people mingle out in the reading room. All the newly-arrived guests were shown to the library where Jeff greeted them. It was a rather large room, but soon there were enough people to make it almost crowded. Jeff would still not move very far away from the fire. He kept looking back at me, as if somehow asking if I was alright, if I was enjoying myself, if there was anything I needed... His looks were enough for me, so I smiled and signaled everything was okay, just the way it was supposed to be...

I sat in that comfy armchair, watching Jeff's nice tight butt outlined under those nice woolen pants that he wore, the shape of that butt made even more appetizing by the glow of the fire as he stood near with his back turned half towards me, talking to some of his numerous friends. I was admiring his good build and excellent posture as he leaned carelessly yet elegantly against the mantelpiece, I admired his handsome looks, his soft-spoken yet far-reaching smooth voice...

Part of me studied the room too. The walls were oak paneling I suppose with bookcases everywhere except the shorter wall with the fireplace; it had a tall, curtained window on either side of it. Opposite the fireplace was the exit to the hallway outside, and the longer wall to the left held the door to the reading room. The floor was some kind of jungle hardwood it seemed and laid down in an intricate pattern, even the ceiling with its thick, massive beams holding up the upper floor was dark oak. As I looked up, studying that ceiling, I suppose I saw something odd up there, almost right above me. Part of me did anyway, not necessarily the part of me that usually takes in and reacts to things, but some other part of me. The part that loved Jeff. It was something that didn't really belong there. Well, not under NORMAL circumstances perhaps, but maybe during Christmas, I don't know... It was a small, itty-bitty little something that I recognized of course but did not expect to find there, stapled to a beam as it was in a hurry. The part of me that had noticed the tiny oddity made me relax. Made me sink into the chair and sort of fall further back into a warm bath of happiness and warmth... Everything WAS alright. Everything was JUST the way it was supposed to be...

Only his closest acquaintances stayed close nearby, the rest sort of drifted out to the large reading room sooner or later as if by osmosis. Attracted to their own kind or something. William arrived again, carrying a small silver tray with a single champagne glass on it just for Jeff. The two old friends exchanged a few warm words, William made a low-voiced comment that caused Jeff to grin wide, then he thanked the old butler, whom merely bowed briefly and withdrew together with the tray, apparently reasoning there was no reason to give thanks when one merely did his duty. Jeff turned back to his guests, glass held elegantly in one hand.

One of his football teammates tapped him on a shoulder.

"You get your stuff from a better bottle than the rest of us, eh?", he said half-jokingly with a smile. I suppose he really did expect the rich-boy to get special treatment, particularly on Christmas eve, and especially since it was his birthday too.

Jeff chuckled. "Genuine Schweppes ginger ale", he said with a grin. "2002, an excellent vintage."

The teammate was so confused he simply walked away, not bothering to ask any follow-up questions.

In a lull in the torrent of presents and discarded wrapping paper (which one of the servants was kept rather busy clearing away), I waved him over (not really wanting to get out of my comfortable chair, maybe for some reason fearing it might get stolen by someone else, perhaps for some other reason, one only my sub-conscious was aware of...). Jeff very consciously stopped at my side, rather than in front. I didn't think much of it (except, one part of me was adding one and one together).

"Ginger ale?", I asked quietly. "Don't you like champagne?"

A cloud passed over his good mood for just a moment. "I can't drink champagne", he almost whispered. "I just... I just can't, okay?"

"What...?", I began, not understanding what he meant.

Jeff sensed my sudden bewilderment and gave me a quick look, an almost pleading look actually. "Timmy... I'll explain later alright? I promise." I quickly nodded back and smiled, just to bring him out of the slump I'd inadvertently put him in. It worked. He became happy again, and then I was happy once more. He didn't hide anything, didn't hold back. He truly became happy, and seemingly happier by seeing me smile and enjoy myself even though I did not leave my seat and also despite not speaking much to the other guests except those of my friends who came by to say hello. Why should I? I had Jeff to look at and to listen to...

Hannah was fashionably late of course (true to her fraudulent self), in part probably because she had been pouting since she had come to understand that Jeff's parents were considerably more well-to-do than even her own father. She had probably considered not showing up at all but forced herself to go anyway to not seem like a loser and the over-spoiled brat she so obviously was. Thus, she came, became as awed as everybody else of course (but was better at hiding it than most, just not to me or to Jeff), and was utterly, stunningly beautiful people seemed to think, painted as a whore in my humble opinion, and wore a delightful smile that was as fake as a three-dollar bill. She air-kissed Jeff loudly on both cheeks as she pretended to accept his welcoming hug and was quite simply completely obnoxious in a totally charming manner. Most everybody there fell in love with her instantly! She was dressed extravagantly in a revealing outfit and decorated with pearls and jewelry that immediately took the focus of attention off the birthday-boy. Not that he minded the breathing-room she'd inadvertently given him. He appreciated it quite a lot actually, much more so than the fancy silver cigarette case she'd presented him with, which was so weird since Jeff didn't smoke! It was just like she'd grabbed the first thing she laid her eyes on before leaving and had it wrapped up super-quick (she wouldn't do it herself of course)...

A black tornado funnel of jealousy followed closely above Hannah's head wherever she went, growing larger for each room she entered, seeing it filled with beautiful and expensive things, and with youths laughing and enjoying themselves. She knew there was no way in hell she'd manage to get that many people to turn up to her place, and she hated Jeff intensely for it. It wasn't anything she let just anyone notice, but I did.

Jeff had William do a head-count of those who had arrived, and the somewhat elderly butler seemed to have a memory worthy of an elephant since he was immediately able to tell exactly how many guests were present. Less than ten of all of those that had been invited hadn't showed up! The birthday-boy decided to call 'round and ask if everything was okay with them.

Two had fallen sick all of a sudden and were stranded in bed with a fever. Jeff talked to them and encouraged them to get better, and promised he'd of course invite them again next year. Three more had had their permission to go revoked all of a sudden, two as a result of being naughty and one more due to an 'internal family dispute' since the person answering the phone was drunken and slurred quite badly. I don't know how Jeff did it, but he actually managed to persuade all of the parents to let their kids come anyway, and he had one of the family's drivers to take a car and immediately go pick them up! The final two kids, a brother and sister, didn't answer, so he tried their cell phones. The sister answered, and she said their house had burned down earlier in the day! They too had gone on a Christmas walk, and a forgotten candle had set fire to the kitchen, and from there the fire had spread rapidly, consuming the rest of the building in short order. All that remained was a burnt-out, blackened husk; four walls barely standing up and no roof at all. Naturally, Jeff offered to take in the entire family for as long as required, or at LEAST for the evening. He was quite persistent actually, and spoke/pleaded to both parents until the phone battery signaled it was about to give up the ghost. As one would think, parents and children were of course shocked by the ordeal, but they promised to think it over and call back when they'd decided. Jeff said that was fair enough and gave them his number, but pointed out the sooner they came, the sooner they could start enjoying themselves again.

By that time, word of what had happened had spread throughout the crowd, so Jeff was surrounded by friends of the family, and they were shouting greetings and more encouragement, making Jeff and the person on the other side laugh. Again, he got a promise they'd think about it, and then the daughter's cellphone shut down. Not five minutes later the phone rang, kids said yes they'd love to come, and Jeff immediately sent out another car! Parents had to stay and deal with the fallout of the accident, but there was no reason their children had to suffer they reasoned. Least of all on this particular day of the year.

He came over to me again, once more standing at the side of the armchair and not in front. "Sorry Timmy. I have to go for a bit and play the good host, sip my ginger ale and say hello to people and stuff like that. I'll be back soon though, okay?"

I smiled and nodded, and it made him happy. I watched him depart, looking at his awesome butt, slim waist and broad shoulders... Jeff was no less than a god in my eyes I suppose, why then was it so hard to understand I loved him?

I sat there for a little while, not really feeling out-of-place, I knew Jeff was with me in spirit if not in person right then. I ate a few canapés I had snagged off a tray, and I tasted the champagne again. I'm no great fan of wine, but for the sake of Jeff, I wanted to try to appreciate that glass as much as I could before the drink went flat on me. Soon several of my friends made their way over to where I was sitting. Bernie and Tasha (whom I hadn't seen at all before then) smiled at me, and upon arriving told that Jeff had sent them to keep me company. I surprised myself - AND them by almost yelling out a warning not to stand in front of me! I blushed, and my friends looked at me a bit strangely, but they complied, surrounding me on all sides but the front, Bernie was hanging on the big chair's back, threatening me to tip it over backwards, but I think it was too heavy for him to actually do it (at least with me sitting in it as well, because he's no bigger or heavier than I am). Jeff wasn't gone long at all, ten minutes at most, and when he came up to me he carried a small plush toy, a dog with an ear that was slightly singed and that smelled of fire-smoke.

"Timmy, may I introduce you to my new friend?", he said with a grin. "Wolfie, this is Timmy. Timmy, meet Wolfie!"

"Wolfie?!", I replied, my eyes as big as saucers I think! That dog had to be the most sickeningly cute toy ever made! Well, at least its fur wasn't PINK!

Jeff laughed, he must have seen the incredulous look on my face. "It was the only thing that was salvaged from their house. Frances thought I should have it since their other present for me had burned up, what do you think?"

"Aaaww. He's soo sweet! I say you keep him." I reached out and patted the dog, and somehow my hand brushed over Jeff's... Not really sure that was accidental. Especially the second or third time it happened...

Jeff smiled warmly at me. "Somehow I knew you'd say that", he mumbled quietly. "Here, why don't you hold him for a while?"

I took Wolfie in my arms and held him close like he was something really dear and precious to me. I think a part of me pretended it was something else entirely I was holding, but the conscious part of me didn't understand. Jeff must have seen it though, and smiled again.

Right then, William arrived once more. He held a small gong and tapped it with a short metal rod tipped by a sphere. The sudden sound made all conversation in the room die down.

"Ladies and gentlemen", the distinguished butler announced in that strict voice of his. "Dinner will be served in five minutes. May I kindly ask you to take your places, minding the individual seating arrangement please." He didn't speak very loudly, yet his words carried easily to all corners of the room anyway.

People started to scramble out into the hallway after hearing that the arrival of food was imminent. The butler continued into the adjacent room to tell them as well, and then moved on throughout the building until everybody had been informed of what was about to happen.

Soon we were all alone in the room. The fire crackled away, I saw the flames reflecting in Jeff's blue-green eyes... He walked closer, looking at me the entire time. Walked right up to my side, so tall and handsome... Then, ever so slowly, he came around the big armchair to stand right at my feet. Something he'd avoided all afternoon, and my heart started beating faster. I felt short of breath. Turned on. I was getting an erection for no reason whatsoever, or at least no reason I could understand because it was hidden to me.

Jeff held out his hand for me, and I reached up with mine and let him take hold of my fingers in a strong, yet gentle grip. Oh, he was almost too much for me right then... My heart was beating so fast, and so hard! I felt all jittery, and I knew what was going on, what would happen next, except I didn't. Jeff pulled me up into a standing position, still holding my fingers in his hand.

"It's time to eat", he said quietly. "But, there's something we must do first."

"I-is it?", I stuttered, feeling rather light-headed all of a sudden. Our eyes were locked, both of us staring right into the other.

"Yes. Tradition demands it..." And then his hold on me shifted. He let go of my hand and put that arm around my waist, pulling me in closer. So close he actually touched me... He was warm and strong, and he smelled really nice. A soft and discreet, yet masculine fragrance, just like him. I was so stiff, I figured he must have felt it! The other hand went up my back to settle on my bare neck, and holding me like that he leaned in.

Kissing me, under that tiny twig of mistletoe stuck high above us.

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