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Excerpt for I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus: A Gay Christmas Short Story by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

This page may contain adult content. If you are under age 18, or you arrived by accident, please do not read further.

© 2018 Reanna Pryce

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law.

Cover by The Impress Service.





















I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus

Shuffle forward a step, stop, pause and take a breath to answer a dozen questions fired like bullets, a mile a moment. That was life for Jacob, it had been for two years. But it was also an appropriate description of his penance as he stood in line to experience the wonder of Christmas at the annual Shining Smiles charity Santa’s grotto in Central Park. His daughter bounced by his side, ramping her brother into a state of near-collapse with excitement and he swore, like he did every year, that next time they’d do the pizza, soda and all you can eat ice cream after the grotto. The last thing they needed was Santa and sugar.

Annabelle - Bella, as her mother called her - twirled herself dizzy, laughing uproariously as her dress flared at her hips and she called, bright and clear, “Look, daddy! I’m a princess!”

Seven years old and so like her mother in every detail from the wide green eyes to the soft, dark curls that tumbled over her shoulders. She was the apple of her father’s eye and had been since the day the doctor placed her into his arms. Her brother joined her, spinning unsteadily on chubby toddler legs, arms outstretched like he could take flight if he just wished for it hard enough. Theodore - Teddy Bear when he wasn’t biting anyone - was the image of Jacob, traced from his features with teeth just a little too big for his mouth and skin like warm honey. And although Jacob smiled as he watched them land, ass first, in the snow at the side of the walkway, his heart hurt a little that their mom wasn’t here to see those moments, to take them in like he could.

It had been close to three years. He wondered if maybe his friends were right and he should start to move on.

The line wound forward and they wound with it, sugar and caffeine and the childlike buzz of being lifting them higher and higher until they were close to turning feral as they took the final few steps towards the grotto. There stood a smiling teenager, resplendent in his elf costume, who took each kid by the hand and led them forward, ushering them onto Santa’s lap - a knee apiece - then urged Jacob back as the kids took their moment.

“Ho ho ho,” Santa was nothing if not predictable, but there was a genuine warmth to his voice, the beard glowing suspiciously white and acrylic against his rosy cheeks and Jacob could almost hear Bella’s verging-on-disbelief objection that the real Santa would have a real beard. “Merry Christmas! Tell me, have you been good little boys and girls?”

Teddy promptly burst into tears. Fat, wet, snotty tears. Santa’s eyes widened behind his glasses and he leaned close to Teddy’s ear, murmuring something Jacob couldn’t catch that calmed the sobs before he could take half a step forward to rescue his son. Bella regarded Santa with her mom’s curiosity and sparkle and Jacob snapped a discrete picture of two tiny faces tilted up in wonder.

He heard very little of their conversation, the three of them as thick as thieves as they whispered conspiracies punctuated with smiles and giggles. He caught the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question though to the ring of, “And what can Santa bring you for Christmas?”

“A robot!” Teddy squeaked. “A puppy! A — a dinosaur!” You’re shit outta luck, kid, Jacob thought with a wry grin, you’re getting a scooter.

Bella, for her part, just rolled her eyes, shot her daddy a speculative glance and, hand cupped in secrecy, leaned up to whisper into Santa’s ear. Santa glanced at Jacob, a look impossible interpret behind the magnificence of his fake beard and the thick glasses. He pressed a hand to the little girl’s curls and, with a wink and a hohoho, sent them scurrying back to Jacob with the usual cheap toy tucked under their arms.

“What did you ask for, Bella Boo?” He asked with heavy curiosity.

“I can’t tell you, silly,” she sang out like he was the biggest idiot (he was, but she could have been nicer about it.) “Or else I won’t know if Santa is real.”

As they fought in the back of the car, a chorus of “she kicked me,” and “tell him to put his foot back on his side, daddy,”  Jacob rubbed his jaw and blinked eyes that always felt heavy with exhaustion. He half-heartedly demanded peace amongst the warring factions and, flicking a glance at the dark circles under his eyes in the rear-view mirror, he wondered if anything would ever lift the aching sadness in his chest.

~*~

Three days later he leaned against the bar with Lee and Connor, beer bottle cradled in his hands as they laughed and joked together. An office party of sorts, if the three of them could count as an office with their little music store-cum-cafe tucked down a back street in Midtown. But they had fun and made enough to pay the bills so Jacob didn’t complain too much when they made suggestive comments about pretty customers or tried to set him up a Tinder profile. Everyone was starting to say the same thing, even his mom had murmured a soft “maybe you’ll meet someone nice…” as she herded the kids into the kitchen for milk and cookies when he had dropped them off earlier.

But Jacob just wasn’t sure he was ready to feel someone else warming the bed other than his kids. He wasn’t certain his heart was suitably healed to absorb another soul although he flirted with the what ifs. What if he met someone wonderful. What if they were great with his kids. What if Emma would have liked them.

What if.

So, as Lee and Connor settled into the world’s most fiercely competitive game of pool, Jacob leaned against the wall and watched with an amused smile. He watched and he didn’t notice someone sidling closer and closer to him until there was a pointed nudge of an elbow against his ribs and he jumped, startled, turning to meet eyes that glowed somewhere between blue and green, ringed with gold, eyes that took his breath away. He paused, confused, and blinked at the stranger, took in the fedora and thick, dark hair that swept across his brow. Jacob’s eyes traced lush pink lips - the lower caught between straight, white teeth - and delicate cheekbones stretched with porcelain pale skin. He took in the cardigan, the skinny jeans, the boots. He stared and he thought something he hadn’t thought in a very long time.

The stranger was gorgeous.

“I’ll play you for the next game?” The stranger suggested, nodding at the game that seemed on the verge of descending into violence. “Sorry, is that weird? My friend took off and… I guess I thought you looked lonely. Are - are they a couple?”

Those assholes?” Jacob shook his head with a laugh and tried to calm the messy beat of his heart. “Nah, best friends forever. I’m Jacob, by the way.”

“Nice to meet you, Jacob-by-the-way, I’m Theo,” it was a horrible joke, a dad joke, and Jacob still snorted on his beer.

Theo, it transpired, was fantastic company. Friendly without being overbearing, kind without being too soft, he had a pretty smile and breathtaking eyes and when he laughed – which was often – it sang through Jacob like a melody. He was terrible at pool but brilliant with the jukebox, feeding coins into it as he frowned through the selection with thoughtful care. He told Jacob he was twenty-nine and a doctor, a family physician at a clinic nearby and Jacob could almost hear his mom’s approving hum. Theo’s eyes widened in surprise when Jacob told him about Food of Love - his little store - and declared their vegan cupcakes to be his favorite accompaniment to a new record or two. Jacob wondered – out loud, embarrassingly enough – how he’d never seen him there before. Weekend customer, Theo explained and that made sense; Jacob left the weekends to Lee and Connor so he could spend time with his kids.

Theo, he’d already decided, was wonderful.

So, as the night drew to a close and the revellers tipped out of the bar to the raucous chorus of Fairytale of New York, Jacob didn’t object when Theo pushed him gently against the wall and slid their mouths together like puzzle pieces. No, instead he just wound his arms around Theo, brushed his fingers through the soft hair at the nape of his pale neck and battled with the sweet softness of an inquisitive tongue against his own.

He might have raised a middle finger over Theo’s shoulder at Lee’s whoop and Connor’s call of “don’t forget the condoms,” as they disappeared towards the subway.

They kissed like teenagers—all grasping hands and tilting hips. It should have felt foreign and unfamiliar; it had been two years since he last kissed someone, longer, much longer, since he’d kissed a man. But it felt right in every way under the glow of the Christmas lights, the scent of aftershave, beer and sweet maleness washing his senses and flooding them with lust.

“Would you like to come back to my place?” Theo murmured, the question caught in the mist of his breath that hung between them in the frigid air. Jacob blinked as Theo waited, blue eyes coloured with hope, for his answer.

“Yeah,” he replied, his breath mingling with Theo’s as he nipped a kiss to his lips. “I think I would.”

“It’s not far,” Theo assured him as he turned up the collar of his leather jacket and tucked his scarf more securely around his neck. “Maybe ten minutes across the park.”

It turned out more like thirty when they stopped to kiss every fifty or so paces, the lights of the park’s Christmas tree catching in Theo’s eyes and sparking them with innumerable twinkling points of light that glowed back at Jacob like a promise. They walked with their hands in one another’s back pockets which proved awkward and unsteady but meant Jacob could surreptitiously grope the warm curve of Theo’s frankly delightful ass. They behaved like kids, biting kisses to one another’s necks as they walked – Jacob ended up with a mouthful of cashmere on most attempts – laughing and joking their way through the glittering beauty of lights that marked the holiday.

The apartment block Theo took him to was expensive, glass and chrome stretching skyward and speaking of money and opportunities. Jacob supposed a doctor probably earned pretty well and tried not to think of his own cozy little two-bed out in the suburbs, rundown and in need of some love but filled with memories he couldn’t bear to leave behind. There was a short elevator ride, fingers laced and knuckles pressed together as Jacob fought stray thoughts of pushing Theo back to the mirrored wall and falling to his knees in front of him…

There followed a hushed ping and the doors swished open onto a plush hallway that smelled of new carpet and fresh paint. Theo led the way to his front door and, after a moment of fumbling with his key, pushed it open to reveal the dorkiest apartment Jacob had ever seen. There were framed posters everywhere; Bowie and Prince, Star Wars and Batman, there were action figures lined up on a bookcase amongst hardback copies of things like The Encyclopaedia of Sci-Fi and A Visual Guide to The Comic Book Universe. It was dorky and nerdy and utterly, hopelessly charming.

“So,” for the second time that night Jacob was pinned between a wall and Theo. He started to think it might be one of his favourite places to be. “Coffee? Or…”

“Or,” Jacob grinned into smiling eyes that glowed like sunset on riptide, thumb tracing the velvet plush sweep of Theo’s plump lower lip. “Definitely or…

Theo hummed his approval into Jacob’s mouth, the sweep of his tongue flavoured with malt and peppermint. His teeth sparked bright points of brilliant pressure as he nipped at Jacob’s lips, along his jaw and down to suck lightly at his neck. All Jacob could do was wind his fingers into dirty blonde hair and hold him close, to savour the pressure and warmth of another body. He didn’t realise how much he’d missed it until right in that moment in a strange apartment with a good-looking guy biting bruises into his neck.

They tripped to the couch, fumbled feet and fingers, snagged jackets and shirts until they tumbled down together in a tangle. Somehow, Theo lost his cardigan and shirt but kept his scarf. Some-wonderful-how, Jacob’s belt was unbuckled and his jeans unzipped as his back hit the cushions. His legs were spread, his mouth gasping for air and grasping for Theo as deft, clever fingers found the tight heat of a nipple under his shirt. There wasn’t enough oxygen in the room so he stole it from willing lungs via pretty lips. He knew the sharp scrub of faint stubble against his chin shouldn’t be enough to make his cock twitch, he knew he shouldn’t surrender all reason to a soft mouth against his throat, against places he’d forgotten were sensitive. He knew, as Theo began to grind their hips together in a slow roll, that he didn’t care about what he thought he knew.

“You haven’t done this for a while.” It wasn’t a question so Jacob didn’t answer, it didn’t sound judgemental so he didn’t complain. It was a fact, he wasn’t going to deny it. “Let me take care of you, okay?”

That sounded like heaven to Jacob as he leaned back against the couch, as Theo slid to his knees between thighs spread like an invitation and – slowly, with a tease of a grin – he ran a single fingertip under the waistband of Jacob’s ratty Superman boxers. Theo’s, from what Jacob could see, were designer and didn’t look like the elastic was about to give up and die. Theo didn’t appear to have two kids to raise so Jacob decided not to care too much as he tilted his hips, closed his eyes and surrendered to the drag of his jeans and underwear down and further to snag at his ankles. There was cool air on his cock that throbbed in time with his pulse, a shiver down his spine as Theo’s warm hand came to rest on his thigh.

“Wow, big boy, aren’t you?” he muttered and Jacob felt gratified. Theo’s gaze grew serious, that little smirk falling shy from his lips as he continued softly. “This is okay, yeah?”

He was a little shocked to discover it was, that climbing back on the horse wasn’t anywhere close to as traumatic as he thought it would be. Maybe it was because Theo was a guy, or maybe it was the gentle encouragement in his eyes but it felt natural to tangle his fingers into dark hair and draw him closer with a nod and a hungry moan. Theo paused, lips brushed to the tender, sticky tip of Jacob’s cock like he was getting a feel for him, working out what he might like from brief contact that jolted tingling sensation down Jacob’s spine.

When Theo asked what he wanted, Jacob wasn’t sure he knew, couldn’t possibly pin down the could be from the would be, the may have from the must. It was an impossible thought, wonderous complexities of never-ending need wrapped up in the knowledge that this – glorious this , whatever it may be – was happening at all. He wondered if he retained any control over the night, if there was something he could do to calm the pounding throb of his pulse in every single vein and then…

“Please,” he breathed, robbed of the right words. “Just… please.”

Then Theo was sucking him. Theo, greedy on his knees, cheeks hollowed and tongue doing clever things – so many of them, more than Jacob knew how to feel – around the gorged-thick head of Jacob’s cock. Jacob tasted his cries rather than heard them, felt the scrape-raw sting at the back of his throat like he felt the curved smooth line of Theo’s jaw under his fingers. Theo became all at once the hum of blood in his veins, the discordant pound of a pulse ringing in his ears that he couldn’t be sure was his or Theo’s – maybe they were the same – as he dropped his head back and whimpered his approval at the ceiling like it could hear him.

Legs spread with wanton need, hips tilted glutinous and grasping, he couldn’t-wouldn’t-mustn’t-wanted to thrust down the tight heat of Theo’s throat. Theo’s tongue, tipped with desire. found the twist-flare of veins standing sharp against the shaft of Jacob’s cock, found the sensitive underside of the head that made him twitch against slick, wet heat. There was a hand against the swell of his balls, stroking soft and slicking against spit at the root of his cock and Jacob wondered – absent and gasping – if he might possibly be dying.

He arched his back, closed his eyes and gave himself purely to sensation, trusting suction and friction and hands that seemed to be everywhere all at once. There were nails scoring patterns into his thighs, a quick and clever tongue against his cock and delighted, snuffling moans that hummed through him like a symphony. Then, a finger, gentle and inquisitive, nudged soft as sunlight between his cheeks, enough to snap his eyes wide and uncertain to Theo’s.

Theo gazed back with eyes lust-glazed and heavy, pupils blown black with desire and pale skin coloured a delicate rose as he arched his brows in silent question. Jacob nodded desperately as he raked in a greedy gasp, kicked his legs as far apart as he could and raised his hips and, with a hungry, greedy little groan, Theo swallowed him down. He took him completely until the tip of his nose bumped to the heated flush of Jacob’s groin, to dark curls and golden skin. Jacob could have sworn – in that moment – that he forgot how to breathe, that his lungs no longer recalled the familiar contract and expand rhythm of his respiration, that he was choking on not-enough-too-much.

“Bedroom?” Jacob’s dick was wet-red-slick, wrapped in Theo’s hand. He gaped, mouth round with shock as he stared down at Theo, at the smirk that curved his lips – just as wet-red-slick as Jacob’s prick – and stuttered a whine as Theo laved his tongue against the nerve-raw crown of his cock.

Jacob didn’t want to move, wanted to sprawl on the couch forever with that exquisite mouth wrapped around his prick, wanted Theo to suck him until he couldn’t think and yet…

And yet, there were certain practicalities to be found on a bed.

He nodded, kicked away the tangled knot of denim that bound him and stagger-stumbled his way to his feet, to Theo’s arms, to the taste of Theo’s lips glazed salt-and-bitter with the bite of pre-come and cock. He licked the taste of himself from each tender crevice he could find, meeting a mouth stoked with fire so hard and fast he was amazed no one lost a tooth. It didn’t matter, nothing mattered as Theo’s knees hit the mattress, as they gave and he tumbled dragging Jacob with him to land hard and breathless and wrapped together.

He grabbed Theo’s hips, let his nails bite crescents of rose into unmarred alabaster, raked lines that stood stark as sentries against his flesh as he dragged away his shorts, felt the interested bounce of a thick, heavy cock against his own. Theo’s mouth found his throat, found his ear, found the spot just behind that made him see stars as he rutted down with desperate heat. Theo licked and kissed and bit each tattoo of Jacob’s he could reach, teeth grazing fire across Jacob’s skin as they rocked their hips like waves, the spit-tack skin of his cock rubbing an ache against the satin-smooth length of Theo’s until he was panting... gasping… suffocating…

He kissed Theo’s skin like he could absorb him, open-mouthed and tasting, tongue and teeth and a hand that grasped at the needy throb of his own cock. He found the bud of Theo’s nipple and sucked, nipped biting kisses that made him buck and gasp, that threaded his hands into Jacob’s hair and urged him lower. Jacob licked the hollow of Theo’s navel, found the coarse trail of hair that led… that led…

“Oh fuck, Jacob,” Theo arched his back and raised his hips as Jacob sucked him down, all pink, pretty and delicious. He sucked and tasted, curled his tongue in questioning exploration, listened to sighs and gasps and groans that rung with melody between them. Unfamiliar but shatteringly recognised, he stroked at hips like cream and gathered up each whisper of his name, stored and catalogued and kept as his.

He wanted to feel Theo come undone, to feel him shudder beneath him, inside him, to taste the bitter flood of his orgasm bright and sharp against his tongue. He wanted it all as he bobbed his head faster, as he sucked harder, as he stroked and pulled at the tight tuck of Theo’s testicles, thumb rubbing a hidden beat against the bump of his perineum. Theo growled and snarled, head thrashing against the pillow with urgent intent, spine tense and toes curled, he groaned a plea, “Not yet, come on Jacob, please…”

Jacob stopped though he didn’t want to. He paused and nuzzled kisses to the sharpness of Theo’s hipbone, sucked a bruise there traced from his lips and slithered his way up the bed and into Theo’s grasp. Legs caught together and lips tasting, they rutted and writhed, tangled like vines as hands grasped with greed into hips, sinking fingers into soft flesh.

“I can suck you til you come,” Theo offered, a twinkle bright in his eyes and a hand soft against Jacob’s cheek. “Or…”

“Oh, or,” Jacob groaned as clever fingers found the sensitive rim of his hole, stroking delicate circles that turned him half-mad. He tried to twist down, tried to force them inside, deeper and further to where he wouldn’t think but Theo pulled back, teased and stroked as Jacob begged. “Fuck Theo, please or…”

Flipped to his back beneath the solid press of Theo’s well-muscled body, Jacob gasped his approval into the willing press of Theo’s tongue. He burned, flames licking heat through him from the inside, scorching his lungs as he writhed, thighs hooked over Theo’s hips and body on display. He glowed with the approving sighs, with the whispers of praise and the flushed-hot pillar of Theo’s prick, thick and beautiful, a testament that he wanted this too, and fuck it felt good to be wanted. He’d nearly forgotten how that felt.

He wanted more, wanted everything Theo could give him and something else. He nodded, dumb with madness, when Theo whispered questions that didn’t make sense – what else could he possibly desire but that man, that body, that fucking gorgeous cock buried inside of him until the world glowed bright and dreamlike? There was the slick of lube to fingers – long, elegant digits, musician’s hands – fingers that probed the tender twitch of his ass. One fingertip, delicate and sweet, breached the impossibly tight pucker, pushing and probing with finesse so exquisite his eyes watered with bliss. Head thrown back and hands fisted into the crisp, expensive-feeling cotton of Theo’s sheets he cried out, words lost to ecstasy as that finger slipped inside and found that spot, that delicious and powerful depth that made his legs twitch and his back arch. He strangled his howl in the bite of a lip, the sting of salted copper bright on his tongue until Theo kissed it away, eyes a sparkle of mischief as he whispered into the satin shell of Jacob’s ear, “Be as loud as you want, fuck, you sound incredible…”

Knowing fingers worked a miracle inside of him, the first joined by a second that stroked him insane. Theo frowned his concentration in a creased brow and tight lips, grin bursting sun-bright and gleaming when Jacob cried out again as he touched that livewire inside of him, sparked explosions of heat and pleasure so poignant he almost confused it for pain as it crawled like flames over his skin. He bucked and thrashed and begged for more, begged for it all and then – oh please, God – something more, something he couldn’t articulate but knew he needed more than he needed the next draw of hot breath into his lungs.

More lube, more fingers, suddenly three, crossed and knotted and worked into the most impossibly perfect curve, stroking against him with blissful carnality, blindingly brilliant in all of the most earth-shattering ways. He groaned and writhed, straining up on those legs wrapped around milk-pale hips, he begged with all that he had, with grasping hands and gasping lungs, with greedy thighs and hungry hips. He gazed up and hoped his eyes could articulate what his foolish lips had no hope of doing; he wanted it all, wanted the heated-hard press of Theo inside of him like shining perfection.

Theo knew. It was there in the curve of his smirk, in the glitter-glow of riptide eyes under dark lashes, in the ravening sink of nails into Jacob’s thighs and the glutinous grasp of his fingers deep inside. Jacob moaned his name as he begged without articulation, as Theo soothed him soft with a hand that stroked and cupped the stubbled line of his jaw, tilted his chin so he could capture his lips like stolen riches.

“More,” he whispered against soft lips, hole twitching around the push of Theo’s fingers. “Please.”

Theo nodded, and fumbled for something, the distant rip of foiled plastic and slick of lubed latex heralding him rolling to his knees, securing a condom with care. Another slide of his slippery palm against his cock and then he was back between Jacob’s spread thighs – caught high on his waist – kissing desperate desire into the golden hollow of his throat where sweat beaded and rolled sharp with salt that glazed his lips as they sunk into another frantic kiss.

Then came the blunted push of Theo’s cock against his hole, the tingling way it pressed him open, just a fraction, just testing pressure that hinted at more, at blissful fullness that would empty his mind of anything but throbbing nerves and base urges. He nodded frantic approval into Theo’s neck, into the tendrils of hair that caught like twisted vines against the damp heat of his skin, hissed his fevered pleas into the scent of cologne and sweat but Theo paused. He slipped an arm under Jacob’s back with tender care, cradled him close and brought the salt-misted press of their foreheads to rest together. Eyes and lips separated by millimetres, tender fondness written soft and easy across his features as he smiled lazily.

“Put your arm around me,” he whispered. Jacob obeyed, mirroring his action and sliding his arm under Theo’s, hooked around his back with a hand anchored firm to his shoulder. “Good. Take my hand,” Jacob did, free hand groping for Theo’s, fingers laced as Theo pressed them back into the pillow by his head, a wondrous parody of a waltz, “Okay. We stop if you need to, alright? Just… Let me make you feel good.”

Jacob nodded, breathless, as he pressed forward. Just the thick flare of the crown of his cock breaching muscle intent on expelling him. Just the burn of the tip – always hurt the most – he just needed to breath deep and slow, to kiss the pain to pleasure into plush, plump lips in the most delicious petal-soft pout. He scraped into the tender stretch of Theo’s shoulder, until he was sure there must be curls of white caught under his nails and tracks of ruby scored into Theo’s skin. But he nodded again at Theo’s whisper-hushed question, breathed his answer into his mouth around the plunder of his tongue.

More.

Hips drawn up and back arched in a plea, he welcomed each burning inch as Theo sunk into him. It felt good to be filled to bursting, that hard swell of engorged flesh sliding slick against him. It lasted forever, that first slow thrust, a lifetime, eternity and more, like Theo had been sliding inside of him since time began, since the universe exploded to life from nothing but a spray of atoms and heat.

Theo stilled, the line of his groin flush to the curve of Jacob’s ass, carved of the same, perfect and pure, a masterpiece of sweat and blood and blissful need. Theo waited, still and sure, thumb scoring gentle circles against Jacob’s hand for that moment, that split second when everything gave and softened, for the beat of time when Jacob surrendered to him. Their mouths met, sweet and tasting, tongues a flicker against one another and then, with careful deliberation, Theo began to move. He started slowly, a gentle roll of his hips, enough to make Jacob cry out into his mouth as neglected nerve endings fired into glorious, shuddering life.

It was unfamiliar at first, that strange press and stretch of pressure and fullness filling him with fire, enough to keep his fingers squeezed hard around Theo’s. Enough to make him keen and whine and thrash as Theo rolled and rocked and worked his hips like waves. His cock was caught between them, tender tip slick with precum and rubbed to hypersensitivity against the bristle of hair on Theo’s stomach, each push and rub a revelation of exploding technicolour.

Jacob groaned words that didn’t make sense, nonsense laced with Theo’s name as the solid heat of Theo’s thick, gorgeous cock found that bundled epicentre of pleasure that hummed inside of him. White hot searing sensation crackled like static and tore him apart. He needed to touch his cock, the throb of it insistent between them, needed Theo to touch him and shoved their laced hands down, wrapped them around his shaft together and tugged and stroked, guided Theo’s palm to just the right rhythm and pressure. Theo moaned, something barely intelligible, some fleeting declaration lost on honeyed lips that scraped raw and needing against the exposed column of Jacob’s throat.

He grasped up with a greedy mouth, found the velvet tag of Theo’s earlobe and bit down softly, pulled back to whisper filth of the next times, of the times before that hadn’t happened but should have, of the moments that would come. He murmured it without thinking, driven entirely by the sensation of being utterly filled, contained and surrounded by the scent, the push-pull, the essence of Theo. He urged Theo to stroke him raw, to trace the pad of his thumb against the delicate crown of his cock, leaking a steady stream of need that salted their skin.

Theo seemed to give, something inside of him snapping with his hips, eyes flooding dark and desperate as he fucked into Jacob with wanting little grunts. He jerked the dark length of Jacob’s prick, stroked him insensible with stuttering need that stammered over his lips as sticky syllables that seemed to catch thick in his throat. They moved together, perfectly synced and wanting, feeding the heated glow of need that stoked fire in their bellies because Jacob was sure – undeniably and blissfully sure – that Theo could feel it just as he could, deep and resonate and humming on blood cells from a single, syncopated heartbeat that they shared. He swore their lungs rose and fell to the same stuttered breaths gasped from desperate mouths, to share recycled oxygen, hot and  stale but perfect between them.

He felt all of this and more as the tight coil of heat low in his groin spread and rolled and powered through him in choppy waves. He felt each shuddering twitch of individual muscles as his cock throbbed in their joined hands, as the first powerful pulse began and come ribboned – hot, pearl-shine and gossamer spun – from the head of his cock. There was the rip and tear of his seams, the tilt and twirl of the very earth beneath them as it juddered on its axis for it must have done – it must – there was no other explanation. He bit his ecstasy – each shuddering shake and pulsing throb of his heart that beat down into his cock and, he was certain, through Theo’s palm to thrum through him mirrored and perfect – into the softness of Theo’s chest. He tasted salt and skin and something unidentifiably perfect as his very being shivered like shock. He felt everything and nothing, tasted, smelled, knew, and he swore he saw other worlds crashing to ruins at the blissful apex of his undoing.

Everything came back in stages. The rush of hard breathing and trickle of sweat against his skin. The hand still caught with his, slicked with come and the bitter bleach smell of it, the musk of skin and sex as thick in the air as if they were submerged in it. The tremble of Theo against him suggested he’d fallen apart with Jacob. He was sorry he’d missed it, missed the chance to watch him come undone but took the moment to press a kiss, almost comically chaste, to the fuck-flush of his lips. Theo sighed – exaggerated, cheeks blown and eyes wide – whispered something delirious about showers then collapsed to the mattress at Jacob’s side with a giggle.

They kissed, oh how they kissed, testing the press of lips and tongues, the twine of hands into hair and palms skimming soft against sweat-glow skin. A hand slipped deft between his legs, found the limp, sticky curve of his cock and began to stroke, quick and clever.

Jacob groaned appreciation into that soft mouth. There were hours before the reality of daylight would steal the holiday magic from their night. He could fill them with sweat and need and Theo, of that much he was sure.

~*~

Jacob woke stupefied and sticky-tongued, balanced with perilous precision on the edge of an unfamiliar bed in an unfamiliar room with an arm that seemed remarkably at home thrown over his waist. He blinked away grit and last night’s beer, waited for the taste of regret to spring sharp at the back of his throat. There was a tiny Christmas tree in Theo’s living room, four bulb-tipped branches peeking shyly around the edge of the bedroom door. The regret didn’t arrive.

Theo stirred, murmured a groan and drew him infinitesimally closer. His sheets smelled of cotton and fabric softener and warm, sweet skin, the kind of smell Jacob could sink into. He pressed back into the lines of Theo, the unfamiliar familiarity of a someone else in bed with him, the hard curve of morning wood that reflected his own nudged easily wanting into the small of his back.

“Mmm, morning,” Theo whispered, his cock pressed thick with promise to the crease of Jacob’s ass. “Sleep well?”

Jacob was sure the awkwardness would split him apart at any moment, that the warm trickle of relaxed-happy-content would be fractured by the icy sense of disloyalty creeping its way along his spine. It was hard to feel anything but blissful. He nodded as Theo urged him onto his back to begin a leisurely exploration of his mouth, as his hand snaked to the hard throb of Jacob’s cock, twitching interest between his legs. He lost himself in nothing but sensation, in damp heat and smooth warmth and filth whispered into his ear from lips drenched in need.

He stretched up, touched his fingertips to the headboard as Theo groaned approval into his throat, he arched his narrow hips and begged with words he thought he’d forgotten for things he imagined he’d never have. Lips brushed with feathered touch against his collarbone, tongue scoring the ink there with more heat than seemed entirely feasible, trailing lower and down as he bucked and groaned but –

“I have kids!” Jacob gasped as Theo wrapped his lips around the tight bud of his nipple. Theo paused, eyebrows raised, mouth still lush against skin in a flush of a pout.  “I - I have kids.”

Theo sighed through his smile as he raised his head slowly, as he shook his head and traced a fingertip lightly over the tattoo that threaded its way between Jacob’s collarbones. He paused to press a soft kiss to Jacob’s jaw, to trail his lips over his earlobe, catching it in a teasing bite as he whispered, “I like kids.”

“I’m a single dad,” Jacob continued, hating himself for not just enjoying the moment, for failing to simply savour the soft mouth of a pretty guy. “It’s just me. And them. No mom.”

“I like you,” Theo murmured. “Listen, we can totally be a one-night thing if that’s what you want. But… I like you, and I mean it, I really do like kids. So, when do you have to pick them up?”

“I told my mom around one,” Jacob smiled, nervously needy.

“It’s ten,” Theo observed with a devilish gleam in his eyes. “I can take you out for brunch… Or I can suck your dick and see where that takes us.”

“Or,” Jacob grinned as Theo slipped down the bed, all mischief and teasing touches. “Definitely, or…”

And later, when Theo dropped him off at his mom’s - you’re not taking the subway, seriously Jacob – there was a flurry of exchanged numbers, a kiss that lingered hot and bright against his lips as his mom’s living room curtains twitched. He barely made it up the porch steps before his phone vibrated in his pocket, nice ass x, so he gave his hips a shake and laughed golden at the raucous symphony playing from the car horn as the neat little BMW rolled away.

The kids buried him alive in kisses, piled on him in a mass of limbs and lips and – Teddy at least – sticky hands. His mom just smiled that knowing mom smile and he knew, with a flush of teenage embarrassment, that she saw him in the car. He took them home to prepare for Christmas and wondered, with an absent hope glowing like the embers in the fireplace, if he’d see Theo again.

Christmas was the same bittersweet affair it had become. There were gifts and twinkling lights and dinner at his mom’s. There were tears stolen in the bathroom when no one was looking that put a sting in his throat and an ache in his chest. There was a text or two from a handsome dork who saved a silly selfie with his number. There was a flutter in Jacob’s stomach when he thought about warm hands stroking him desperate, a soft mouth kissing him on fire. There was something that felt suspiciously close to missing lake-mirror eyes and plush, smiling lips.

What’re you doing for New Year’s? xx

Jacob blinked at his phone in the void that fell between Christmas and New Year. The abyss of cardboard boxes and leftovers and needles falling from the tree to lodge in the soft soles of his feet. If Jacob were honest, he’d tell Theo it’s the same as he’d done for the past two years. He’d tell it involved telling the kids they could stay up until midnight and watching them fall asleep by nine, stuffed full of Chinese take-out (MSG has anaesthetic properties - who knew?). He’d tell him he was planning on downing at least a couple of bottles of hopefully moderately good wine and passing out amongst the jumble of unboxed toys and the slightly sad-looking tree.

Instead, he found himself agreeing to go out with Theo.

Instead of going out, they tumbled into bed the moment Jacob crossed the threshold.

Midnight found him on his knees in Theo’s bathtub, the champagne glasses abandoned in favour of his tongue eased, soft and teasing, into the tight pucker of Theo’s hole as he stood, body flush to the tiles and thick, pretty cock all caught up against his stomach. As the fireworks began above Manhattan, the candlelight lost to raging clashes of jewel-bright colour, Theo lowered himself down onto Jacob’s lap, onto his cock, sheathing him in tight heat with a wicked groan. They worked their hips – slow and lazy thanks to the water – eyes fixed on one another as they fucked their way closer and closer. Jacob came with a force as intense as the explosions outside, his vision turned to starbursts as pleasure crawled through his nervous system. In that moment he swore he knew how it felt to be struck by lightning. Theo, hand around his cock and braced back, drove himself hard and fast onto the sensitive twitch of Jacob’s shaft until he came with a moan like music, striping Jacob’s chest with ribbons of white that glowed red and blue and green in the light.

So, much later, sore and sated and wrapped in the pale silk of Theo’s arms, cheek pressed to a chest scattered with dark hair, the whispered invitation of ‘are we a thing’ didn’t terrify him. He nodded with a sigh of ‘I think we are’. He kissed soft, fuck-flushed lips and groaned as a warm hand found its way between his legs, coaxing life into a dick he was sure was spent. It should have felt too soon but it didn’t.

He glowed gold.

~*~

The first time Jacob said ‘I love you’ was the first time he saw Theo blush. He was pretty in pink against the white of his sheets. He giggled silliness as he repeated it back, as he pushed Jacob down to the mattress and kissed him breathless. Penny - Theo’s tiny and adorable Pomeranian - yipped her agreement from the bedroom floor, turning on her tail and completing a victory lap of the apartment, knocking over the Valentines card from its spot on the coffee table. Jacob though he might explode from the sheer perfection of the curve of Theo’s jaw as he peppered it with delicate kisses.

Jacob sparkled like the streaming February sunshine, blown away by the realisation that he could feel that way again.

~*~

The first time Theo met the kids wasn’t what Jacob imagined. He’d thought maybe a picnic, a trip to a museum, or the Easter egg hunt in the park at the weekend, something wholesome and fun. He didn’t think it would be in a midnight panic over a fever Teddy couldn’t seem to break. Jacob knew he should calm down but illness was a trigger since Emma and he paced the floor, hair a mess and eyes bagged and heavy, phone in one hand and Ted on his hip. There was a tired murmur on the line, the smile in his cadence and sleep on his lips as he slurred a greeting. There was fear in Jacob’s voice as he begged, “He’s burning up, please, I don’t know what to do.”

And there was ringing calm in Theo’s as he replied, “Strip him down, I’ll be there right away.”

So, the kids met Theo with his work bag, his stethoscope and his tired smile. They met him stooped over Teddy’s bed as he checked his temperature, checked his pulse, checked his mouth and his throat and his ears-like-his-daddy’s. They met him as the man who made everything calm, as the one who ran a hand over Teddy’s cheek and declared him to be absolutely fine. They met him as the man who petted Bella’s hair and told her she was such a good girl for helping her daddy.

They met him again the next morning, tiptoeing past him where he snored on the couch out of mutually-agreed upon propriety.

~*~

Fourth of July brought fireworks and barbeque and cold beer in the backyard of his parents’ house. It brought Theo, charming with a bottle of wine and a crate of IPA, and chaste kisses in front of Jacob’s mom as the kids chased one another around the yard.

It brought Emma’s mom and dad, as it did every year, to spend time with the kids and exchange stories and memories. They got drunk and danced to Bowie, Theo’s arms around his waist and head against his shoulder as they swayed to the music under a sky lit with diamond bright stars and the brilliant riot of fireworks.

It brought the sting of tears to his eyes when his ex-but-not-really mother in law pulled him to one side and whispered, her own eyes sparked bright with tears, “I like him, Jacob. Emma would’ve liked him.”

He held her, pulled her to his chest and they cried together, mourning the woman he’d never stop loving. Out in the yard, Theo cradled a soundly sleeping Teddy on his lap, Bella curled into his side and Jacob swore he felt the cracks starting to pull together a little. Like a broken vase, they’d always be visible, he’d always be rough and imperfect, but maybe he could work again.

~*~

By Halloween, Jacob noticed something. He noticed it as they changed into their costumes - Jacob a dapper sort of affair in his Jack Skellington suit and complicated make up, Theo as Luke Skywalker to match Penny’s R2-D2 jacket. He noticed the tailored shirts hung in the closet next to his t-shirts, the shoes lined up next to his by the door, the socks and underwear that crammed in the dresser next to his own.

He noticed that Theo had moved in.

He noticed and his heart swelled a little with it, in a way that meant he couldn’t stop touching as they walked the neighbourhood with a pirate and an astronaut, brushing his hand to a smooth cheek, the tender underside of a pale wrist, fingers laced around a leash as they held the hand of a kid each. He noticed as they fell into bed together and Theo plugged his phone into the charger that was always there, as he sipped from his water glass and slipped his glasses onto the nightstand that held his iPad and wallet and the little bowl where he kept his watch and his car keys.

“I just noticed,” he whispered, as lips closed over his. “You moved in.”

“Observant,” Theo replied, all twinkling eyes and a hard press in the front of his shorts. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

~*~

Christmas rolled around again and a tree was bought and trimmed. Gifts were ordered and hidden away in the closet that now contained cornflower blue scrubs next to his band tees. As New York flooded with cheesy Christmas songs, Jacob took a moment to reflect. He couldn’t say his life was perfect, he still missed Emma with an ache that throbbed down into his bones but it was bearable. He never thought he’d find the space in his heart to let someone in and yet Theo found a way, wormed his way inside and watched as it expanded around him. Jacob found he did have more love to give, he just needed the right person to show him how, exactly, to go about it.

It was the week before Christmas and the day of their annual trip to the Shining Smiles grotto and Jacob was determined to schedule it appropriately, to round the trip off with pizza and ice cream instead of starting it that way to avoid sugar-frosted meltdowns. As he zipped the kids into their coats, fastened scarves and slipped gloves onto small hands he called up the stairs with impatience caught in his voice, “Theo? You ready, hon?”

“Oh, babe, I’m so sorry,” Theo appeared at the top of the stairs, dressed in the kind of shirt and pants he wore for work, his clinic ID clipped to his belt loop as he clattered down the steps. “I completely forgot about the seasonal flu vaccination clinic, I’m so sorry, kids. I can’t make it.”

Okay, yes, Jacob was disappointed. They had somehow become one of those irritating couples that did everything together, every free minute of time devoted to one another and the kids. Then there was the part of him that feared returning to solitude, the part that never wanted to let go of Theo in case he walked in front of a truck or fell off something high, the part that twitched irrationally at the thought of going to the park alone. But Theo’s job was important, not the kind of thing he could just call in sick so he put on his bravest smile and nodded with understanding he didn’t really feel.

“I’ll make dinner to make up for it,” Theo offered, gathering his keys and phone and heading out the door with them but into his BMW and not Jacob’s battered SUV. There were kisses and slightly disappointed faces all around but the kids soon perked up at the thought of Santa. At least, until Teddy called out shrilly from the backseat, “Daddy! I forgot Alfie!”

Alfie. The battered, spit-scented stuffed animal that Jacob was absolutely not allowed to wash, no matter how many ketchup stains he acquired or how much time Teddy spent sucking on his ears. Theo assured him bacteria exposure was good for the immune system so Jacob tried not to worry too much. But what he did know was that refusing to go back would result in the kind of tantrum he didn’t want to deal with in the middle of Central Park and so, with a sigh, he turned the car back towards home.

He was shocked to find the BMW back on the driveway. Shocked and overwhelmingly, stomach-churningly terrified that something had happened to someone, Theo had taken the call and had to rush home, Jacob was going to check his phone to a dozen missed calls and God knows what else. No. He forced himself to breathe.

“Why’s Theo back?” Bella asked, always paying attention. “Is he coming with us?”

“I don’t know, sweetie,” Jacob admitted, a curl of anger creeping in at his edges. Did that asshole lie just to spend the day lounging around in his pajamas, eating chips and watching crappy TV? “Just wait here, the both of you, I’m gonna go and grab Alfie, okay?”

He stole into the house of soft soles, determined to catch Theo in the act as he dragged the door closed behind him so quietly that it barely made a sound. The TV was switched off but there came the squeak of floorboards upstairs that had him creeping silently up the staircase, avoiding each creaking board as he did so. He could hear panting and soft cursing from their bedroom and for an awful, gut-clenching second, he imagined that Theo was cheating on him. He shook his head, reminded himself that it was far more likely he’d catch Theo jerking off and, with a deep breath, shoved open the bedroom door. “What the fuck, Theo?!”

“It’s not what it looks like!” Theo yelped, collapsing to the mattress with a grunt. “Just… get out!”

Jacob paused. Jacob leaned against the door jamb in utter confusion as he took in the scene before him. Theo - at least, he thought it was Theo - with a pillow secured to his front with a couple of belts, red pants caught around his knees and cheeks painted crimson with embarrassment and… actual face paint by the looks of things.

“Theo?” He decided he didn’t need to elaborate, he let the single word pose all of the more obvious questions.

“I - I can explain,” Theo stammered, trying to roll back to his feet but struggling thanks to the pillow. He looked a little like a rosy-cheeked turtle, tipped onto its back. Jacob thought about helping him. He decided against it.

“You’re cheating?” Jacob began slowly, taking in the red jacket trimmed with fur as white as freshly driven snow hung from the closet door, the gleaming beard hooked over the hanger, the shiny black boots on Theo’s feet. “On my kids. With another grotto?”

“No!” Theo objected, trying to untangle himself from the pillows and pants and succeeding in escaping neither. “I… Let me explain.”

“Please, do,” Jacob prompted, finally taking pity and hauling Theo upright, reaching for the waistband of his pants and dragging them up over his hips.

Theo muttered his thanks and secured the pants with a shiny-buckled belt. Flushed and awkward, he returned to his perch at the edge of the bed and patted the space next to him. Jacob sat down in thin-lipped silence, folding his arms as Theo tried to take his hand. He was pissed, inner Papa Bear fully awoken and raging as he waited for Theo to offer something close to an explanation.

“Look, I’m sorry, okay?” Theo began quietly. “I should have explained it to you but then it started to seem awkward and weird and I just thought… Well, I figured by next year, Bella probably wouldn’t believe and it wouldn’t matter which day I did at the grotto but I wanted to – ”

“You’re not explaining the beginning of this story to me,” Jacob pointed out, lower lip set in what he knew was a spectacular and childish pout. “Start there.”

“Okay, yeah,” Theo nodded and took a deep breath. “So, you know I volunteer, right? Through work?”

Jacob made a noise of agreement at the back of his throat. Theo did volunteer a couple of evenings a month at some youth centre or another in the city. He knew that.

“Well, one of the things I do is… I play Santa,” he pointed to the pillow still strapped to him as though it offered all of the explanation Jacob needed, a beaming grin painted on his face that dropped when Jacob didn’t join in. “Right, so, I… I’m Santa at the grotto in Central Park? Shining Smiles?”

“The one…” Jacob trailed off as his brow creased into a frown.

“The one you’re taking the kids to right now, exactly!” Theo finished for him. It still didn’t make sense. “Look, I figure if this is Bella’s last year of Santa, I wanted to add some realism, I wanted her to see the same Santa as last time so I’d know what she asked for and –

“Wait,” Jacob interrupted as something began to make sense. “Last year… That was you?”

Yes!” Theo’s grin stretched wide as realisation stole across Jacob’s features.

“So, when you saw me in the bar, you recognised me?” He suddenly felt very foolish as a nasty little voice whispered poison in his ear. “Was I, like, a pity fuck or something?”

Seriously, Jacob?” Theo reached for his hand gently, squeezing soft and tender as confusion painted his face pale. “I… no. How could I go looking for you in a city this size? I didn’t even know your name. Believe me, I’d have asked you out in the grotto but it’s not really appropriate for Santa to hit on the cute dads…”

He was so sincere, so charming with his toothy grin and sparkling sea-blue eyes that Jacob couldn’t help but see the ridiculousness in what he suggested, taking the offered hand and gentle kiss with a smile. But then a thought occurred to him, his hand squeezing Theo’s as he leaned forward eagerly.

“Last year?” He began, Theo nodded in response. “Bella wouldn’t… She said what she asked for was a secret, but you must know, right? Man, I never know if I get anything right but she loved her gift last year so… What did she ask for?”

“I don’t know, Jake,” Theo shook his head dubiously. “Santa has to consider data protection of his customers in all instances.”

“Quit dicking around,” Jacob warned. “You’ve already pissed me off.”

He waited as Theo assessed him carefully, as his lips curved into a slow smile. He leaned in as Theo pressed close for a kiss, faltered as he paused an inch away and breathed the words into the pocket of warm air between their mouths.

“She only asked for one thing,” he began softly, stroking a hand through Jacob’s hair. There was a pause, a beat or two of endless time as Jacob considered all that he had in front of him; the man he loved and the kids outside and the year they’d shared filled with laughter and tears. He thought of stolen morning kisses, exhaustion heavy in his bones, he recalled date nights and family days, each hushed I love you and the way fingers laced with his at all of the right moments. He thought of the Jacob that drove the kids to the grotto last year, and imagined he could stand in front of him, rest a hand on his shoulder and murmur it’s gonna be okay dude, trust yourself to fall and I swear he’ll catch you. He saw eyes like sapphire starlight and lips as soft as first kisses as Theo – wonderful, patient, awkward, dorky, perfectly imperfect Theo – continued with a voice that shone with love. “She asked Santa to make her daddy happy again.”





















About Reanna

***

When I’m not reading or writing steamy romantic fiction, you can find me bouncing between swimming, boy scouts and book club. I’m living my very own happily ever after in the north-east of England with my husband, two (mostly) adorable boys and a collection of pets I did not ask for.

I’ve been a writer of romantic fiction for fifteen years, and my goal is to write strong, compelling characters who stay with you long after you turn the last page. From the glamour of the music industry to at-home single dads, no plot goes unexplored once my muse takes hold ;)























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