Not Your Average Christmas Elf by Jaime Samms
gay erotic romance short story, holiday themed
length: short novella (approx 17K)
Release Date: 08/16/2012
Cover Art by Pink Petal Books
On a snowy winter day, Corey runs into a very handsome young man who happens to have a note Corey had written long ago. With a little help from a holiday elf, Corey is about to discover that special wishes do come true, and that the road to love isn't as smooth as it seems.
Cody aimed a savage kick at the glittering drift of white across his path. Clammy wind picked up the disturbed flakes and smattered them into his face. The rest settled into the stillness of the deserted Christmas Eve dusk.
"Not even a real good snow," he muttered as he rounded the corner and walked smack into a mouthful of down-filled nylon.
"Sorry!" Strong fingers gripped Cody's arm. Their owner craned to look past him down the empty street. A small frown marred the man’s face, and he slumped. He apologized a few more times, brushing non-existent dirt from Cody's coat. "Sorry." His hand settled on Cody's chest and his eyes widened.
Cody's heart thumped louder in his ears at the way the man's soft blue gaze fixed on his. The delicate face brightened inside the frame of blonde hair that flowed from under a scarlet toque and blew in a gentle drift across high cheek bones. Cody fought the urge to brush it aside.
The puffy jacket the man had on didn't disguise his height or willow-slender frame. Just Cody's type, and he couldn't look away from those eyes.
"You—" Cody swallowed. "You're from away."
The man smiled, dropped his hand from Cody's heart, sliding lightly down his front, and Cody's breath caught. "A little further north than here, yes." His grin stretched wide, revealing small, straight teeth and perfect dimples.
"Oh." Cody pulled in a deep breath. Or tried to. "N-North? There's something north of here?" He couldn't imagine why it was getting so hard to breathe, or why the man's eyes were so fascinating. They seemed to hold all the sparkle of the northern lights and sun drenched snow in one glance.
The grin disappeared. "Um, well." The man shrank in on himself. "There's... Right. I'm from away."
Cody's heart just about stopped at the sight of the pink infusing the stranger's cheeks, and the smouldering intensity replacing the glow in his gaze. He swallowed hard and dropped his gaze which kick-started Cody's heart again, tripping it up to where it thudded loud enough to distract him from what the man was saying.
"Sorry. I'm a little lost. I–" he flushed deeper and Cody gulped. "I heard bells," he pointed past Cody, "and I thought..." Cody saw a question under the sparkling blue of his eyes and suddenly wanted, very much, to be the answer.
"Thought?" Cody prompted, searching for his equilibrium, thinking he might only find it if he reached out and held this stranger here, kept him from following anything which lead away from this spot on the frozen sidewalk. Now that was a frightening but fascinating thought.
"Never mind." The concession drifted like falling flakes on the air between them and the man stuffed his hands into his pockets, turned, and started walking back the way he'd come.
"Wait!" Cody hurried after him. "Wait. I didn't get your name?" A little bit of him–a very little bit–knew he didn't need the guy's name, that he was just a lost stranger who'd run into him on the street. Then there were those eyes…
The man shivered and lifted the shoulders of his jacket, inadequate for keeping the freezing wind off his delectable long neck. Cody shook himself and focused on the hair that hid the man's face.
"As in Kriss Kringle?"
"Kriss Danforth, actually." He rolled his eyes, and it was Cody's turn to blush at the silly remark.
Kriss set off again. His long legs carried him quickly, forcing Cody to jog to catch up. They reached the next corner, Kriss stopped, glanced around, then set off toward the lonely high school and hockey arena.
"Where are you going?"
Kriss slowed, stopped. "I—."
"Where are you staying?"
Wind blasted against their backs, blew Kriss off balance. He shivered and tried to dig deeper into his coat. His cheeks reddened as he offered Cody a worn scrap of paper.
"Doesn't say where I should go." Cody looked at the yellowed note in Kriss' hand. Green sharpie words scrawled across it.
The bottom dropped out of Cody's stomach and his hands shook as he took the old note. "Where did you get that?"
"I've had it forever. Been trying for years to find the boy who wrote it."
Cody took the paper. "He isn't a boy anymore." He didn't have to read the words. He'd written them, years ago, one Christmas Eve long after he'd stopped believing in Santa.
"I know that. I'm not an idiot." Kriss moved closer, surrounding Cody with comforting heat. Damp wind cut around them, picked up a few dry leaves and scurried them away down the sidewalk where they caught and held in the low banks of damp snow.
"This..." he frowned, brows drawing into a tight line that would leave him with a headache if he wasn't careful. "This can't be the same note. I mean...it can't be. It's coincidence, right?"
"Same note as what?" Kriss asked, kindness filling his voice, patience in every line of his expression.
"I—a kid wrote this. Years ago." He turned the note over in his hands. "I never even mailed it. I left it under my pillow. I thought Jack, my brother, probably took it. He never said, but..." Cody looked up. "How did you get it? How did you get a note a lost kid wrote ten years ago? You never knew him."
"You know him."
"I—did once. I guess." Cody gazed at the paper, trained his focus over Kriss's shoulder. He couldn't begin to know how this stranger had come to be in possession of his childish note to a fictional elf in a ridiculous red suit. It was like, for that moment, he was back in the skin of the kid who'd written it.
"You still do," Kriss' voice touched him, soft, gentle. "You still want what he wanted."
Cody nodded. "Someone who understands."
"Well?" A smile infused Kriss's voice, speeding Cody's already pounding heart.
"I kinda meant, you know, for my father to understand. Or my brother."
"And do they?"
"So that isn't really what you asked for."
"Maybe not." Cody found more than just understanding shining from Kriss's eyes, and the 'more' heated him from the inside out. "North, you say," he whispered, watching Kriss's face, gaze drawing over his flushed cheeks and parted lips.
Cody lifted a hand and pressed it to Kriss's chest. He felt the man's heart beating beneath the puffy down and nylon. "You're real, right? I'm not hallucinating? Dreaming?"