Silent Nights

an excerpt

Jeffrey and I met at a party. I don't "do" as many parties as I used to, but this one, given by a dear friend, was an exception.

It isn't that I can't be charming and socialize with the best of them, because I can. In fact, I even have a reputation for being/doing so. Parties, though, have never really been my "thing", and when I reached the point in my life and career when networking and schmoozing no longer became as important to me, people reading my books whether or not I went out and mingled extensively with them, I simply cut back, always having preferred my own company to that of others.

There are few people who will deny that Jeffrey, with his vibrantly sunny hair, tousled; his eyes, emerald-green and black-flecked; his dimples, deep, one in each cheek, and his cleft, deep, mid-chin, is pretty much the complete and perfect "package". Even I, who find him a tad too young, too vibrant, too friendly, too exuberant and bouncy, admit to there being few men better looking and with such exceptional bodies that look so damned good in and out of clothes. His unaffected manner comes across, to this day, as that of someone-straight from the farm?-who truly doesn't know or believe he actually possesses all of the physical perfection he so obviously does. Actually, I would prefer him inanimate, naked in Carrara marble, exquisitely sculpted by Praxiteles, and, then, placed prominently on display for my viewing pleasure, at leisure.

I never did officially invite him home, even when he gave every indication that he would like that to happen. In fact, I made it quite clear, not once, but three times, that my days of picking up people, even exceptionally attractive ones, were long gone. Relationships, I'd early on decided, even when I was far younger, even without ever having had anything but one-night stands, were really far more bother and effort than they were likely ever worth. That he didn't take no for an answer...that he followed me home...that he sat outside on my porch stoop until I, proposing a drink and not sex, finally let him in...that we had sex and he stayed on...leaves me pondering the "why" and "how" to this day. I think it has something to do with my never having previously experienced any kind of long-lived relationship, but always willing to give anything a go, just once-better late than never??-especially since the young man in question is such a prize. No doubt our hooking up had tongues wagging and some people gone green with envy at my obvious good fortune.

Jeffrey continued to be charming, considerate, doting, a versatile and enthusiastic lover who could lead when I wanted him to lead, who could follow when I wanted him to follow, who had no qualms, whatsoever, about any kind of sexual experimentation and game-play. He was tidy and always picked up after himself, even after me-even before my housekeeper could get to my discards. He spent quiet evenings, with me, at home, even when I suggested, and he denied, that he might prefer being out with friends on the town. He seldom moaned, groaned, or complained about anything. What's more, he turned out to be an exceptionally good cook.

He proposed he cook us Christmas dinner. He was from a large family-Montana-ranch, not Kansas-farm-who had a long history of celebrating holidays together. Since I usually prepared my own traditional holiday feast, I told him to skip any such dinner and go home to be with his relatives for the holidays. I'd never, ever, been "into" my own family get-togethers, and had no intentions of joining with him in his. He refused to go without me. To reward his goodness-graciousness, I acted on his passion for skiing by arranging for us to go to a friend's chalet in Aspen over the holiday. Actually, more inclined, like my friend, to be vacationing in Acapulco (I preferred the tropics to the Arctic), I was "into" thinking any relationship was a two-way street that probably shouldn't always be

He did most of the skiing. I spent most of my time in a chair, in front of a raging fire, with a blanket over my lap, a drink at hand, a book in hand. Frankly, I was always surprised when he returned each night at exactly the moment he'd said he would. I kept thinking he'd get distracted by all of the other things going on that I suspected, if I'd been him, would be far more fun for him than hanging around with me.

He prepared a turkey, complete with dressing. He made sweet and mashed potatoes, the latter with an overflow of rich, dark gravy. He steamed asparagus. He made fresh corn bread, and introduced me to the homemade cranberry-and-orange marmalade his mum always made for the Christmas holiday. Was I surprised that he'd found fresh fruits and vegetables, by way of ingredients? I might have been, if vacationing elsewhere, but we were, after all, in Aspen where pretty much anything can be (and is) had for a price, including the two bottles of Dom Perignon I contributed to the meal. He'd never tasted it before and loved it almost as much as I admittedly took a fancy to his homemade jam.

We had crepes and Ch√Ęteau d'Yquem for dessert.

After which, I gave him a Rolex. He gave me a custom-made Fred Carter dagger with a meteorite-iron blade and narwhal-tusk handle.

We did the dishes together. I've always found something soothing about the mundane task of simply rinsing off dishes and aligning them within the racks of a dishwasher.

We headed for the bedroom. Jeffrey detoured to the bathroom. I went directly to the bed, got naked, threw back the bed comforter, folded back the top silk sheet-despite all the ice and snow outside, the chalet had an exceptional heating system-and stretched out. All the while, I heard the sounds of Jeffrey's pissing, flushing the toilet, washing his hands, humming Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and ...

Bells!? Jeffrey wore a strap of them on each ankle, on each wrist, and dog-collar like around his neck. They were encircling the faux-fur trim around the bottom of his Santa Clause hat. There was a cluster within the plush pom-pom of the hat's tip that drooped coquettishly to one side of his face, concealing his left-cheek dimple. Besides that, he was stark naked and sporting an erection that would have put the fear of God into any of Santa's reindeer.

"Jingle bells; jiggle balls?" I referenced the cause of the tintinnabulation, as well as the silent dance of his large gonads within his blond-hair scrotum; the latter shifted as if it were a sack containing two battling alley cats.