Parent was observed osculating a red-coated unshaven teamster
Archive: tayryn’s site
Disclaimer: seaQuest and her crew belong to Amblin. Any original characters are ours. Santa Claus… belongs to the whole world!
Summary: a holiday seaQuel to "Baby, it’s cold outside"
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“Santa Claus is coming… to town!” Three voices finished the popular Christmas carol in unison, each adding its own flourish.
“Mama! You was off tey!” Four-year-old Noelle told the redheaded woman behind the wheel of the sports vehicle they were riding in.
“Yeah, mama… off tey!” Almost three-year old Nicholas chimed in.
Kristin pulled the Blazer into the carport and killed the engine then turned to stare at the two blue-eyed children belted into the seat behind her.
“And if we keep insulting mummy’s singing, Father Christmas will most certainly NOT be coming to town, much less to the Bridger household.”
Although Kristin’s tone was firm, Noelle noticed the twinkle in her mother’s eye immediately. “Mama’s jus’ teasing, Nicky.” She told her brother in a mock whisper.
“Try me and see,” Kristin threatened with a smile as she climbed out of the truck and opened the back door.
Noelle scrambled to the ground, squeezing past her mother as Kristin tried to help Nick undo his seatbelt.
“I do it, mama!” Nick pushed her hands away.
“You are as stubborn as your father, young man!”
“I don’t know about that…” Kristin felt strong arms wrap around her waist and a hard chest press against her back. “I think his mama is pretty dam… darned stubborn too.”
“Daddy! Daddy!” Nick broke free of the restraint and stood in the seat, trying to climb over his mother to reach his father.
“Bloody he…! You’d think your children hadn’t seen you in weeks instead of hours.” Kristin grumbled as she broke free of Nathan’s embrace and slid away before Nick could plant a tiny foot in her belly.
Nathan just grinned at his wife; his daughter hanging on his back while his son clung tightly to his neck. “Let go, kids. I need to help mama bring the groceries inside.”
“I wanna help!”
“I wanna hep!”
Nathan carefully picked out a light non-breakable bag for each child to carry then sent them toward the steps before turning back to Kristin and gathering her into his arms, his mouth descending to ravish hers. “Mmm… I’ve missed you.”
“Me too… What are you doing home? I thought you were going to be late tonight.”
“It’s Christmas Eve. I don’t have anything going that won’t keep until after the New Year. Tonight is a special night and I didn’t want to miss a minute of it. Nick was really a little young last year and…”
“Noelle has had another year to become even more mischievous and Nick is now old enough to help her. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I can use all of the help I can get. Your daughter informed me while we were at the market that we had to make three different kinds of cookies for Santa because he would appreciate the variety.”
“That’s my girl!”
“She definitely absorbed some of the energy of that hurricane she was conceived in the middle of. Nathan…” Kristin cautioned as her husband’s hand drifted below her waist.
“Daddy! We’s ready to timb the stairs!” Noelle’s voice echoed from the bottom of the steps.
“Nicholas!” Kristin warned, knowing that the boy would try to follow his sister up the steep stairs.
Nathan was running before Kristin finished saying her son’s name.
“Come to the table, chicks. We need to finish dinner if we are going to bake cookies for Santa.”
“Yeah! I’s hungy!” Nick came running across the floor toward the table.
“So what’s on?” Nathan came in from the den, Noelle once again hanging around his neck.
“Pizza, pepperoni and sausage with extra cheese and mushrooms,” Kristin told him as she lifted Nick into his booster chair.
“Pizza for Christmas Eve dinner?” Nathan wrinkled his nose as he lowered Noelle into her chair.
“Pizza,” Kristin stated emphatically. “You don’t know how many places I had to call to find one open tonight.”
“I’ve got a fifteen pound ham in the icebox waiting to go into the oven. Janet has an equally large turkey and gallons of stuffing already baking. We have brussel sprouts; scalloped potatoes, peas and carrots, mince pies, Christmas pudding with brandy butter all waiting to be prepared for dinner tomorrow. Shut up and eat your bloody pizza!” Kristin glared at her husband.
Nathan sat down without another word.
“Mama! You gave daddy a piece with more musrooms than mine!” Noelle protested as Kristin passed out slices of pizza.
Kristin rolled her eyes at Nathan. “I can barely get her to eat a vegetable of any kind but serve pizza and your daughter turns into the mushroom nazi!”
“Mama, mama… nakin!” Nick held out fingers covered in pizza sauce for his mother to wipe.
“So tell me what you munchkins did today while daddy was at work?”
“We went to de grocey tore and to Skeers… dey has lots a siny toows. De man took me for a wide on a big twactor…” Nick took advantage of Noelle’s full mouth to answer before she could.
“Nicky!” Noelle protested as soon as she managed to swallow her pizza. “Hush! You’s not s’possed to tell!”
A horrified look filled the little boy’s eyes as he slapped his hands over his mouth.
“It’s all right, darling. You didn’t tell anything important.” Kristin quickly reassured her son.
Tears flooded Nick’s eyes, threatening to spill over until his dad chucked him beneath the chin and winked. “It’s okay, son. I already know what mama is giving daddy for Christmas.” He leered at Kristin over the children’s head.
“Possibly… but remember… I might get a better offer from Santa…”
“Daddy! Mama took us to the Tissmas store and me and Nicky got to pick out a ‘pecial ornmen’ for the tree. And she bought me some ‘tickers and tootoos…”
“Tootoos? Is that some kind of candy?” Nathan asked, perplexed.
“Tootoos, daddy… like whats you got on you bum.”
Nathan’s eyes grew wide. “Mama got you a tattoo?”
“They are only temporary transfers, the kind that you put on with water. The store had Christmas transfers and Noelle begged… she gets that from you…”
“And you just couldn’t say no…”
“When do I ever?” Kristin muttered under her breath.
“What are you going to do with the tootoos, sweetie?” Nathan turned his attention back to his daughter.
“I gets to pass them out at the party. If you is nice you gets a present or a tandy tane. If you is naughty you gets toal.”
“Are nice,” Kristin corrected automatically then turned to Nathan and explained. “One sheet has brightly colored presents and candy canes and the other sheet has lumps of coal and bags of switches along with the words ‘bah’ and ‘humbug’.”
“Candy canes… Daddy will have to be extra special good this year then ‘cause he absolutely adores candy canes…” Nathan’s eyes sought Kristin and a special look passed between them.
“Daddy…” Nick interrupted, his little voice serious. “How do wainder fwy? Do’s dey have endines?”
“Engines? Uh… Well, son…” his eyes flew to meet his wife’s, begging for direction.
Kristin simply shrugged, a smile touching her lips. “Nicky asked me earlier but I told him that he should ask you. You are the family engineer, after all.”
“El said dat Santa dives dem pecial beans and den dey poot and dat makes dem fwy.”
“Oh she did, did she?” Nathan struggled to contain his urge to laugh. “Well, your sister is partially correct. Santa has very special magic feed that he only gives the reindeer on Christmas Eve. The food gives them the ability to fly very fast for that one night. That is how he is able to reach every child’s home before they wake up on Christmas morning.”
“Late on Christmas morning.” Kristin threw in. “After a long night’s sleep.”
“Deep uninterrupted sleep.” Nathan added.
“OOOOOH! Daddy wantsa tiss mama!” Nicholas exclaimed.
“Daddy would very much like to tiss mama, son, and just as soon as we finish eating he is gonna… HEY! Those are my mushrooms!” Nathan turned just in time to see Noelle pull the last glob of cheesy fungus from his pizza slice.
“Those ‘were’ your mushrooms.” His wife observed, the glint of laughter obvious in her eyes.
“There we go,” Kristin lifted the last of the cookies from the aluminum sheet and placed them on the wire rack to cool, “Christmas cookies for Santa.”
Noelle clapped her hands. “Which one do you think Santa will like best, mama?” She asked as she looked at the three different kinds of cookies her mother had baked at her request.
“I think he will like all of them, angel-girl.” Kristin answered her daughter as she placed the pan in the sink.
“Yeah… but which one best?”
“The chocolate chip,” Nathan said as he walked into the kitchen and snatched one of the cookies off the plate.
“Daddy! Those is for Santa!” Noelle exclaimed as she placed her hands on her hips, and fixed him with a glare reminiscent of her mother’s.
“I’m sorry, angel-girl.” Nathan said. “I’m sure Santa Claus won’t mind.”
Noelle continued to glare at her father. “No more tookies, daddy,” she said sternly, wagging her finger for emphasis.
“I promise,” Nathan smiled at her. “Now, do me a favour, and go help your brother dig your stockings out so that we can hang them up for Santa.”
Noelle nodded, and with a grin, she hopped off the chair she was standing on then ran out of the kitchen calling her brother’s name.
Nathan chuckled and walked up behind his wife his hands coming to rest on her bottom. “The cookies are delicious, by the way.”
“Thank you,” Kristin replied then moaned when his hands closed over her breasts. “Nathan… you shouldn’t… the kids…”
“Are in the living room…” Nathan murmured as he dipped his head to nibble her neck.
“But they… oooh… they could come back in any… god I love it when you do that…”
Nathan grinned against her skin as he teased her nipples through her blouse and bra.
“Daddy! We’s ready!”
Kristin sagged back against Nathan at the sound of nearby voice.
“Your daughter has impeccable timing,” Nathan murmured against her ear as he dropped his hands, one falling to her waist the other to the counter.
“Your son beckons,” Kristin tilted her head back to give him a quick kiss on the cheek. “Go. I’ll just clean up in here then join you.”
“Okie dokie…” Nathan replied and gave her bottom an affectionate pat, much to the amusement of his daughter who giggled. “And just what is so funny, missy?”
Noelle covered her mouth with her hand as she giggled again and pointed at Kristin.
“What…?” Kristin twisted to try and look at her backside as Noelle continued to point and giggle.
“Nothing… it’s nothing, dear.” Nathan said as he moved over to his children. “Come on, kids. Let’s go hang up your stockings.”
“Daddy got you bum, mama…” Noelle said with a laugh resisting Nathan’s attempts to shoo her out of the kitchen. She instead slipped around him and walked over to the counter where she dragged her hand over surface. “He done this,” Noelle said then proceeded to pat her now flour covered hands on her mother’s bottom, leaving two tiny handprints beside the large one made by her father. “He got you bum.”
“I wan do too,” Nicholas cried out and ran over beside his sister and reached up to the counter.
“Be car…” Nathan began to utter the warning just as Nicholas, in his attempt to reach the top of the counter, knocked over the container of flour, “…ful…”
The flour billowed out in a white fluffy cloud, covering both kids and Kristin’s legs, as well as a good deal of the floor.
“I sowwy, mama.” The little boy hung his head as his lower lip began to quiver.
“It’s all right, sailor-man.” Kristin told her son. “It was an accident.”
“But… but Santa Caws…”
“Is still going to come and leave you presents,” Nathan finished.
Nicholas looked up at his parents, his bright blue eyes, large and filled with hope. “Weally?”
“Yes. Really.” Nathan nodded.
“Yeah… it was an assident, Nicky. Santa don’t tount those,” Noelle told her little brother.
Nathan and Kristin shared a smile as their son’s face brightened.
“How about I take the kids upstairs, put them in the tub, and get them into their pyjamas?” Nathan suggested.
“Good idea,” Kristin nodded. “I’ll clean up here and join you when I’m done.”
“Come on, rugrats…” Nathan grabbed the kids and hoisted them up under his arms, much to their delight. “Let’s go get cleaned off.”
Kristin watched them leave, a cloud of flour following after them, with an amused smile on her face then turned back to the mess on the floor and sighed.
“I love my family…” she said out loud to herself as she moved towards broom closet.
“Dive! Dive! Dive! Aaauuuggaaaa!”
Noelle and Nicholas laughed and clapped their hands as Nathan made the toy seaQuest in his hand dive down below the water and circle both kids.
“I’m gonna be tap’n of seaQuest when I gets bigger, daddy.” Noelle told her father with a proud grin. “Just like you was.”
Nathan smiled at her. “I thought you wanted to be a doctor like your mama?”
“I do’s… but I wanna be tap’n too.”
“I wanna be cap’n too,” Nicholas piped up as he reached for the toy sub.
“You tan’t, Nicky…” Noelle told her brother.
“But I wants to…” Nicholas splashed his sister who immediately splashed him back.
“Hey!” Nathan stopped them before they could splash water everywhere. “You can both be captain of the seaQuest one day. Just not at the same time. Okay?”
“Otay, daddy.” The kids chimed together then went back to playing in the water.
Nathan sat back with a sigh.
“Good save, Bridger.”
Nathan turned to see Kristin standing in the doorway with a smile on her face. “I thought so,” he said as she walked over and joined him on the floor in front of the tub. He smiled at her and slipped his hand into hers as they watched their children. “Everything all cleaned up?”
“Yes,” Kristin nodded. “Including the flour trail you three left on your way up here.”
Nathan chuckled then looked down at her still flour-covered jeans. “I can only imagine the trail there now.”
Kristin gave him a mock-glare then shuffled up onto her knees. “Come on,” she called to her children, “time to get out.”
“Aw, but, mama… we not done playing,” Noelle told her.
“You are if you want to hang up your stockings for Santa Claus,” Kristin said.
“Santa Caws!” Nicholas yelled out happily and dropped the toy dolphin he was holding then raised his arms to his father to be lifted out of the tub.
“You too, miss.” Kristin told her daughter as Nathan hoisted Nicholas out, and began toweling him off.
“All right, mama.” Noelle said and climbed carefully to her feet in the tub then with her mother’s help stepped over the edge onto the bathmat.
“Why don’t you hop in the shower, sweetheart.” Nathan told Kristin. “I’ll take care of the children.”
“Are you sure?”
“Thank you,” Kristin smiled at him then climbed to her feet.
“Thank me later,” Nathan flashed a grin at her then returned his attention to his children. “Okay, sailor-man…” he wrapped the towel around his son, “wait there while I dry your sister.”
Nathan heard the shower start and glanced back in time to watch Kristin step into the stall and close the door behind her; the mottled glass distorting his view of her body. He turned back to his kids and finished drying his daughter. He quickly climbed to his feet.
“Okay, you two… go get your pyjamas on and wait in Noelle’s room until your mama and I come get you. Understand?”
“Yes, daddy.” Both children nodded.
“Go on then,” Nathan urged them as he glanced back at the shower. “Mama and I won’t be long.”
The kids bustled out of the room as Nathan made quick work of removing his clothes. He moved to the shower and slowly pulled the door open.
“Want a candy cane, little girl?”
“Nathan!” Kristin exclaimed then moaned when he stepped up behind her and pulled her back flush against him, his hands sliding up her wet stomach to cup her breasts. “We… mmm… we can’t… the kids…” she told him as his fingers played with her nipples.
“I know…” Nathan murmured as he flicked his tongue out against her wet shoulder then let his hands fall from her breasts to rest on her stomach and laid his forehead against the back of her head.
“So, why don’t you make yourself useful and wash my back?”
“Of course, my lady. Your wish is my command,” Nathan said and reached for the body wash. “But it would be infinitely more fun if you turned around.”
Kristin laughed. “If I did that… we’d never get out…”
“And the problem with that would be?” Nathan asked as he gently turned her body.
“We would miss putting out the kids’ large gifts, and they would miss Santa, and… oooh… you don’t play fair,” Kristin moaned as he cupped her breasts once again and placed her hands on his waist.
“Daddy! Why is you hands on mama’s boobs?”
“Boobs!” They heard Nicholas echo.
“I swear they must have built in sonar…” Nathan grumbled as Kristin laughed.
“Well… their father is a submariner. Go on… I need to finish up in here anyway,” Kristin said.
Nathan nodded and brushed a kiss over her lips. “All right, daddy’s coming out,” he called out to his kids then opened the door enough to grab a towel and throw it around his waist. He looked back at Kristin. “Don’t be too long.”
“I won’t,” Kristin smiled as she turned her back to him. She looked back over her shoulder. “And don’t forget your Christmas PJs, daddy.”
Nathan rolled his eyes.
“Oh come on… the kids will love it, and you know it.”
“Just don’t you forget yours… mama.”
Nathan shut the shower door then called over to his kids. “Come on, squirts! Let’s leave mama to finish her shower.”
Kristin’s muffled chuckles followed him into the bedroom, as he stammered over an answer to his daughter’s sudden question.
“Daddy… how tome you was holdin mama’s boobs?”
“There we go! All the stockings are up.” Nathan told his excited children as he gave the small nail one final tap. “We have one for Mama and one for Daddy… one for Noelle and one for Nick… one for Lucas and…”
“One fo Dawin!” Nicholas finished.
Nathan eyed the sea blue stocking critically, noting the watermark left from the previous year when Nick attempted to give the entire stocking. “Your mom did a good job salvaging this thing. This year let’s take Darwin’s gifts out of his stocking before we give them to him.”
“Yes, sur…” Nicholas hung his head.
Nathan chucked his son under his chin. “No sad faces allowed here, not with Santa Claus on the way. Why don’t we turn on the radio and find out where he is?”
Both children jumped up and down, shouting their glee as Nathan flipped on the stereo and tuned in a station that he knew was playing Christmas music and giving frequent updates on Santa’s chosen flight path for the evening. As he did so he heard a familiar creak on the stairs.
“Mama just went into the kitchen so I’m going to go help her finish cleaning up. You two sit right here and listen for an update on Santa Claus. If you try hard to remember what the radio says we will find it on the map, okay?”
Both children loved sitting with their father and pouring over old maps and drawings so they both quickly agreed and sat down on the soft rug in front of the black fireplace.
Nathan stopped at the archway leading into the corridor and stared back at the kids for a moment, a thoughtful look on his face. He then continued on to the kitchen, pausing at the thermostat in the hallway and bumping the temperature down ten degrees.
The sight of his wife padding around the kitchen in full-length red footie pajamas brought a smile to his face. Kristin hummed an off-key tune that Nathan vaguely recognized as a Christmas Carol as she placed the last of the now cooled cookies on the platter and stuck the last dirty dishes into the dishwasher. She was bending to add soap and close the dispenser when she felt familiar hands caress her bottom through the buttoned flap.
“Mmm… I love your naughty side,” she murmured as she straightened, rolling her body back against his as she came upright. “But I thought you wanted to earn a candy cane or two.”
“I can think of sweeter things to… taste…” Nathan’s hands slid slowly up Kristin’s sides to cup her breasts as his head bent to nuzzle her neck through the thick curtain of auburn. “You used the cinnamon spice body wash…” He kicked the door of the dishwasher closed then turned Kristin in his arms and backed her up against it. Her fingers found the start button and pushed it just as Nathan slid his fingers beneath the flap of her pjs to caress her bare cheeks.
“Damn! I’ve never known a woman who could make these one-piece pajamas look as sexy as you do.” Kristin giggled as Nathan’s fingers moved to the zipper running down the front of the pajama top. She allowed him to pull it down only two inches before she moved to stop him.
“The children are in the next room.” She reminded him.
“The children are listening intently to find out where Santa Claus is.” Nathan brushed his lips across Kristin’s neck.
“And once they hear we need to get them into bed so that their ‘special visitor’ can come.” Kristin chuckled at the disappointed look on Nathan’s face. “Later, lover…” She kissed him gently.
“I adore our children but they are definitely putting a damper on our love life lately.” Nathan observed as Kristin secured her robe.
“Oh you poor baby. One would think that you haven’t had it in forever.”
“It’s been almost twenty-four hours. It feels like forever.” Nathan replied.
Kristin laughed. “You are a horn-dog, my love.”
“Only for you, baby.” Nathan made another grab for Kristin as she pulled her zipper up but she laughingly darted away from his hands.
“We need to go check on the children. It is much too quiet in there.”
“But they are trying to find out where Santa is,” Nathan protested as he moved closer to Kristin.
She stepped away from him, moving toward the door. “And when have you ever known your daughter go this long without talking?”
Nathan glanced at his watch then looked up, stunned. “She’s either run away or she’s building a massive Santa trap.”
“Both are very possible with Miss Noelle Elizabeth Bridger. Come on, Pops.”
Kristin came to a dead stop in the arched entrance to the den, her hands flying up to cover her mouth. Nathan barely caught himself before he ran into his wife. He followed her gaze as he wrapped his arms around her waist then buried his face in her neck, his shoulders shaking with silent laughter.
Two tiny butts, a green one covered with candy canes and a red one accented with polar bears in Santa hats, were stuck up in the air under the edge of the Christmas tree, pajama covered feet beneath them. Somehow one of the buttons of Nick’s bottom flap had managed to come undone and a small triangle of his bare butt stood out starkly against the green. Presents were stacked precariously around them.
“I guess I forgot to lay out Nick’s underwear.” Nathan finally managed to whisper.
Kristin’s arched eyebrow was his only answer.
Noelle’s hand appeared briefly, shoving a small box out from under the tree. “Dat ones too small to be ourses… it must be for mama. Daddy likes to give her little presents.”
“That little sneak!” Nathan hissed. “She promised…” When he would have moved away Kristin grabbed his arms and held them around her.
“She isn’t hurting anything. Besides, aren’t they cute?”
“Cute…” Nathan agreed facetiously. “Little con artist…”
Kristin suddenly shivered in Nathan’s arms. “Does it seem cold in here to you? I’m freezing.”
“Oh… I turned the air down. I thought that we might flip on the fire after the kids go to bed…” Nathan inclined his head toward the soft rug laid out in front of the mantel, the same one from their hotel room in Scotland five years ago.
“Speaking of con artists…” Kristin muttered as she cuddled even closer to Nathan’s warm chest. They stood in silence for several minutes, watching their children root around beneath the Christmas tree in search of presents labeled with names beginning with N.
“I can’t believe that our baby will be three years old in just two days.” Kristin murmured, the music from the radio masking her voice from the children who continued to plunder beneath the tree.
“More like one day and a few hours. He only missed being a true Christmas present by ten minutes.” Nathan smiled at the memory of Kristin absolutely refusing to push, determined that their second child not have to share his birthday with a major holiday. “I thought that Joshua was going to have a stroke when you crossed your legs and told him to bugger off until after midnight.”
“I wasn’t about to give birth on Christmas after fighting against the labor pains all day long. Nicholas deserved his own birthday. At least we weren’t in England. Had we been there I’d have had to hold him in until Boxing Day was over as well.”
“He still ties as one of the three best Christmas presents I ever got.”
“I would guess that Noelle is another one of those three.”
“She is, indeed. That Christmas Eve when you told me you were pregnant was the best night of my life. Not only did I find out about our daughter but her mama agreed to marry me as well. You are the very best gift that I ever received, Kristin… for Christmas or any other holiday.”
“Santa was at his nicest to me when he brought me you…” Kristin turned halfway in Nathan’s arms and met his descending lips.
“Eeeew! Mama daddy tissin’!”
Without breaking the kiss Nathan popped one eye open to glare at the dark-headed little boy who had wiggled around to stare at his parents from beneath the brightly lit tree. Nicky wrinkled his nose in distaste.
The red bottom next to Nicholas went into motion with his words and Noelle’s head popped out from beneath the tree just as Nathan and Kristin broke the kiss. “They’s ‘posed to tiss, Nicky. They’s under the moosletoe!”
Kristin glanced up to see a large clump of mistletoe hanging from the arch above her head. “I wonder how that got there?” She murmured to her smiling husband. “As if you ever needed an excuse…”
“Tiss mama agin, daddy!” Noelle demanded. “I wanna see!”
Nathan obliged his daughter with a happy grin but his lips had barely touched Kristin’s when Noelle’s attention changed. “Mama! Where’s de tookies?”
Nathan’s hands drifted from Kristin’s waist to gently squeeze her bottom.
“I think that your daughter means Santa’s cookies. I’ll go back to the kitchen and prepare them.” She tugged his hands away.
“I’ll help you.” Nathan volunteered.
“I’m a big girl. I can handle it. You stay here and see if you can repair the mess your children have made.” With a tiny flutter of her fingers Kristin headed back to the kitchen.
“Don’t forget the ovver stuff!” Noelle yelled after her mother.
“What other stuff?” Nathan asked suspiciously.
“It’s a suprise.” Noelle announced. “They says on the radio that Santa was spotted over Winder, Oteerios. Where’s that, Daddy?”
Nathan moved to his desk and pulled out the appropriate map then lifted both children up to stand on the chair beside him as he went into a detailed explanation of Santa’s last known location in relation to Florida. He continued at length until he noticed Nicholas shiver.
“I guess it is getting a little chilly in here, isn’t it? And having your bum open to the elements doesn’t help.” Nathan expertly fastened Nick’s back flap then lowered the children to the floor, one by one. “Why don’t we turn on the fire?”
“But, Daddy!” Nick’s bottom lip quivered and tears filled his eyes as Noelle protested vehemently. “You taint do that! You burn Santa’s bum!”
“Oh…” Nathan could see his romantic plans for later in the evening disappearing. “I’ll leave the front door unlocked. Santa knows that if he comes to a house and the fireplace is going he can come through the door. It’s all part of the Christmas code.”
Nick’s lip stopped trembling but Noelle crossed her arms over her chest and eyed her dad suspiciously. “You sure, Daddy?”
“Of course I’m sure, angel-girl.” Nathan flipped the switch that sparked the gas logs in the fireplace. Within seconds a merry blaze was burning. “Daddy wouldn’t joke around over anything as serious as Santa Claus. Nick, stay away from the fire.” He grabbed the boy by his bottom flap and pulled him back.
“I ‘till cold, Daddy.” Nick wrapped his arms around Nathan’s legs.
Nathan scooped Nicholas up and tossed him into the cushions of a large wing chair then pulled the chair a little closer to the fire. He grabbed a soft afghan from the back of the sofa and was just about to tuck it around the boy when he felt a pull at the leg of his pajamas. He looked down to see Noelle holding out a large book with a shiny cover.
“Will you wead to us, daddy?”
Nathan smiled. “Sure, honey. Scoot over, Nick.”
Kristin maneuvered the tray through the kitchen door and headed toward the den, her steps slowing as her husband’s voice drifted down the hallway.
“When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles, his courses they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name…”
She paused in the door, memorizing the sight of Nathan sitting in the big chair with a small child tucked on either side, his reading glasses sliding down his nose. His long arms circled their shoulders; his hands holding the colorful book so they all could see the illustrations. A red and white afghan covered their laps and the fire crackled in the background.
“Help me now,” Nathan paused from his dramatic reading to tell the children. “Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!” The kids’ voices blended with his on each reindeer name. “On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!”
“And Rudolf!” Noelle added for good measure.
“Who you favite weindeer, Daddy?” Nick asked.
“Well…” Nathan caught a flash of red out of the corner of his eye and turned his head slightly to smile at Kristin. “…Daddy has always been a little partial to Vixen.”
“I wike Wudolf!”
“Mama,” Nick heard Kristin’s slight chuckle. “We’s weading! You wanna tum wead wif us?”
Kristin sat the cloth-covered tray down on the coffee table. “I don’t think there is enough room for me.”
“We’ll make room.” Nathan winked at Kristin as he shifted both children up. He lowered Noelle onto his lap and rocked Nick forward so that Kristin could slide in beneath. Nathan grinned lasciviously at Kristin as she wiggled her bottom into the chair beside him and took Nick on her knees.
“Nothing like a little togetherness.” She laughed.
“More, Daddy!” Noelle demanded.
“He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!””
Nathan closed the book. “And now I think the time has come for little boys and girls in the Bridger house to head to bed and start dreaming of sugar plums. Santa is working his way closer.”
Nick regarded his father with sleepy eyes; his mouth working furiously on the thumb that still tended to find its way there when it was time for him to sleep.
“But we gots to put out the tookies for Santa and the apples for the reindeer!” Noelle protested.
“Apples… how many apples?” Nathan asked.
“How many reindeer is there, daddy? They tan’t share.”
“Hop up and let me put Nicky in Daddy’s lap.” Kristin told Noelle who quickly complied.
Nick snuggled deep into Nathan’s lap as Kristin stood and followed Noelle to the tray. Nathan watched with interest as his wife and daughter removed the cover and surveyed the contents.
“You only brung four tookies, mama. Don’t you think Santa will be hungry?”
“Santa will get cookies at every house he goes to tonight. I think that four will be plenty to get him through until his next stop.”
Noelle accepted this explanation as she picked up the plate and carefully carried it to the small stool that her mother had placed on the hearth near the fireplace earlier. Kristin followed with the glass of milk.
“You sure Santa don’t want toffee? He might be told.”
“You have a point, angel-girl…” Nathan began only to be silenced by a look from Kristin.
“Santa loves milk, sweetheart, and he has that nice red suit to keep him warm. Now get the apples set out and then you and Nicky need to go to bed.”
“You and Daddy too. Eveybody has to be asleep afor Santa tomes.”
“Daddy and I will go to bed just as soon as you and Nicky get settled.”
“You gots to go to sleep. No laughing or tissing.”
“Noelle Bridger, I think that you are forgetting that mama and I make the rul…” Nathan’s voice trailed off as he watched Noelle pull one apple after another from the bowl Kristin was holding. He counted them off silently as Noelle positioned them carefully in a straight line across the hearth, his voice gradually becoming louder as the number grew higher. “…seven… eight…nine… NINE?”
“One for each reindeer and one for Rudof, too…”
“And that would be… nine…” Nathan answered, resignation in his voice.
“All right, children. It’s time to go to bed or Santa might pass us by.” Kristin demanded in her best mommy voice.
“I think that Nick is already there.” Nathan gestured to the tiny boy curled up in his lap, fast asleep.
“Go to sleep, sweetheart.” Kristin smoothed Noelle’s curls away from her forehead one last time then bent over and placed a kiss on the soft skin there. “And angels guard you while you rest,” she whispered as she did so, a nightly ritual from the first night that Noelle came home from the hospital.
“Angels guarding you and Daddy too,” Noelle whispered back as she kissed her mother’s cheek then held her arms up to Nathan.
“No roaming around the house tonight… straight to sleep or Santa might decide to bypass us.” He cautioned one last time.
“Straight to sleep.” Noelle promised then she and Nathan rubbed noses.
Both Nathan and Kristin turned back at the door for one last smile then Nathan flipped the lights off and closed the door.
“And no tissing!” Noelle’s voice echoed from the darkened room.
Kristin entered the bedroom after one final check on Nick to find Nathan lying under the blanket, his full-length green-footed pyjamas lying on the bench at the foot of the bed. “What are you doing? You’re supposed to be getting dressed up.”
“I know that,” Nathan told her. “But if I know my little con-artist… she’s not going to go right to sleep…”
“And will most likely try and sneak downstairs a couple times…” Kristin finished for him.
“Yep. So take off those jammies, and climb in here and cuddle with me for a little bit,” Nathan said with a waggle of his eyebrows.
Kristin laughed and paused with her hand on the pull of the zipper. “If I do that, we’re liable to forget to slip downstairs.”
“Oh no… I’ve got plans for us after Santa comes…” Nathan told her.
“Your daughter is getting to be quite a handful,” Kristin laughingly told Nathan as she sat on the edge of the bed.
“My daughter? Somehow I think I’m getting a pretty good idea of what little Krissy Westphalen was like when she was a little tyke.” Nathan responded with a chuckle. “What are you doing?”
“I’m getting into bed.”
“Not until you lose the jammies.” Nathan grabbed the covers and held on.
“If I get in that bed wearing nothing we’ll never make it downstairs in time…”
“I just want to hold you, baby. We both know that the best interrupter since Lucas will be coming through that door any minute.”
“It’s a shame that Lucas couldn’t be with us tonight but I understand that he felt he had to spend some time with his parents.” A pensive smiled graced her lips as she slipped out of her pyjamas and beneath the covers.
Nathan’s arms locked around her waist and drew her tightly to him. “At least he will be here with us tomorrow. But yeah… I miss the kid too.”
Kristin stretched out her arm and flipped the light switch next to the headboard, plunging the bedroom into darkness. “So… we still have about three minutes, hmm?”
“Three or four… mmm…” Nathan’s words faded to a pleased mumble as Kristin pressed her body tightly to his and kissed him passionately.
“What are you trying to do to me, woman?” He gasped breathlessly as she released his lips to nuzzle his neck, her nipping teeth exciting him all the more. His already turgid member nudged her mound insistently.
“Just a little taste to whet your appetite for later.”
“Oh, baby… I’m already starving.” This time it was Nathan who initiated the ardent kiss, pressing Kristin back into the mattress as he settled on top of her.
“DADDY! NO TISSING!” A tiny voice pierced the quiet room.
Nathan raised his head, his grimace clear in the pale light creeping into the room from the nightlight in the hallway. “How long before they are old enough for us to lock the door?” He whispered then rolled to his back and sat up.
“Noelle Elizabeth Bridger, if your butt isn’t back in bed and fast asleep by the time I count to ten I am going to…”
Noelle yelped and scurried away, recognizing the tone of her father’s voice. Nathan seldom spoke harshly to either of his children but they both knew when they had pushed too far.
“Where are you going?” Nathan felt the mattress dip beneath him as Kristin swung her legs out and stood.
“I’m just going to make sure Noelle went back to bed. She’ll be upset. She really is very tenderhearted, you know.”
Nathan’s head dropped, guilt washing over him. “I didn’t mean to…”
“It’s all right, Nathan. Noelle needs to learn to knock. I think that you are safe to change now. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” Kristin tied the sash of her robe tightly as she headed toward the door.
Nathan sighed deeply and flipped the lights back on then closed the door and pulled a black sealed garment bag from the closet.
“Mmm… sexy…” Nathan whirled to see Kristin leaning against the closed door surveying him with a gleam in her eye.
“I didn’t know you had a Santa fetish.” His own eyes twinkled merrily as he finished placing the pillow in his waistband and pulled the fur-trimmed red coat down over it.
“One certain Santa…” Kristin advanced until she was within arms-length of Nathan then reached out to stroke her fingers through his long white beard.
Nathan laughed quietly at the lascivious gleam in Kristin’s eye. “How’s my girl?”
“My other girl?”
“Sleeping peacefully. She was very upset at the thought that you might be mad at her but I explained that she just caught you off guard. You wanted her to get back to bed so that Santa wouldn’t skip our house.”
“And the kiss? How did you explain that?”
“I simply told her that daddy always kisses mama goodnight, even on the nights when we don’t giggle a lot. You were simply giving me my night night kiss just like you gave her one.”
“I knew she would be in here… I shouldn’t have…”
“We were only kissing, Nathan. If our children aren’t used to seeing us do that then they need to get used to it,” Kristin moved in closer. “Noelle laughed when I explained that mama and daddy have a nightly ritual together just like we do with her and Nicky.”
“So she’s really okay.”
“She’s fine. I sat with her until she fell asleep… or at least until she pretended to fall asleep. One of her last questions was how long did I think it would be before Santa appeared here.”
Nathan grinned beneath his full beard and mustache. “This is gonna be fun.”
“You’re safe to sneak down, I think. Noelle won’t make a move until our light goes out and she doesn’t hear any noise. I left the front door unlocked, the camera is running and the gifts are packed in the bag in the storage room.”
“So Operation Ho Ho Ho is a go.”
“Phase One is imminent. Be careful, lover.” Kristin carefully pulled the drooping moustache aside and pushed her lips through to brush Nathan’s.
“See you in a bit.” Nathan carefully opened the French doors and slipped outside.
Kristin watched him go then moved to the bed and pulled out a box from beneath it. After pausing to plunge the room into darkness once more she moved silently to the bathroom and secured the door and blocked the bottom opening with a towel before turning on the lights there.
Tiny feet padded softly across the carpet to the bathroom door and slipped through, the path lit by a glowing Rudolph nightlight. Past one vanity, through the tub and shower room and then into the opposite toilet the feet tapped until the reached the connecting bedroom.
Noelle stopped by Nick’s bed and whispered, “Nicky, you awake?”
Her little brother hugged his stuffed dolphin tighter.
“Nicky!” Noelle hissed, shaking him by the shoulder. “You’s gonna miss Santa if you don’t wake up!”
One lid popped open revealing a sleepy blue eye. “Santa tum?”
“Not yet but mama and daddy’s aseep. Tum on! We’s gonna miss him!”
Nicky reluctantly opened his other eye and climbed out of his bed, one hand locked around his dolphin’s snout as tightly as his mouth was locked around his thumb on his other hand.
Nathan slipped through the kitchen door and moved across the kitchen to the storage room door. He carefully pulled it open, grabbed the large, green velvet bag and hoisted it up on his shoulder then left the kitchen out the back door once again.
He quickly made his way around to the front of the house. He paused at the front door, took a deep breath then opened the door and walked quietly into the house. With careful footsteps, Nathan moved through the foyer and into the living room, where the tree they’d decorated at the beginning of the month twinkled brightly in the semi-dark room.
A smile lit his face as he remembered how excited Noelle and Nicholas were that night as they hung the various bulbs and decorations. He shifted the heavy bag on his shoulder and made his way across the room.
The telltale creaking of a single loose board in the hallway told the waiting mother that her children were on the move. Kristin gave them a few more moments then noiselessly cracked the bedroom door and peered into the hallway just in time to see the tail of Nick’s dolphin disappear around the corner leading toward the stairs.
She waited a few more moments then shut the door and followed Nathan’s previous path out onto the balcony running along the upper story of the house. She moved several feet down the railing and grabbed the thin rope Nathan had placed there earlier, giving it a few swift yanks. On the floor below, just outside the family room window, a string of authentic sleigh bells jingled merrily.
Nathan pushed the wrapped gift under the tree then stood up, his head cocking to one side at the tinkling of the bells and light scratching coming from above. “Patience boys,” he said in a deep but quiet voice as he reached into his sack to pull out another present.
He paused when he heard a soft gasp come from the direction of the stairs.
“Shh!” Noelle cautioned as Nick’s dolphin thumped down the stairs behind him. The half-asleep little boy simply stared blankly at his sister. With a slight grimace Noelle motioned for him to follow her. “Two more teps.” She mouthed and pointed.
When Noelle reached the step that she had picked out earlier she gripped the banister and lowered herself to the stairs then helped Nicky do the same. Once they had settled down they both turned their eyes out to the den and gasped in surprise.
Nathan fought the chuckle rising in his throat as he slowly placed the box in his hand under the tree. He could feel his children’s eyes on him as he continued for several moments to transfer gifts from the sack to beneath the tree then stood and reached for the plate of cookies.
“He’s takin one!” Noelle whispered excitedly to her brother.
Kristin stared through the cracked door into the hall for long minutes, wondering what was happening on the staircase and below. She knew that she and Nathan would soon be watching the tape from the camera he had rigged up earlier but she wanted to see her children’s reactions now. Deciding to take a chance, she slipped into the hall and moved stealthily toward the steps, taking care to avoid the squeaky floorboard.
Only the back of the children’s heads were visible to Kristin when she chanced a peek around the corner. Their faces were pushed between the banister railings, their bodies motionless. Noelle’s arm was wrapped around Nicky’s back, holding him steady as they both stared into the room below. At one point the little girl whispered excitedly to her brother although Kristin couldn’t make out the actual words.
As badly as Kristin wanted to see Nathan’s performance she knew that if she moved out any further she was sure to be spotted so, with one last glance, she crept back down the corridor and into the bedroom.
Nathan quickly ate the cookie then reached out for the glass of milk to wash it down and grimaced slightly as he swallowed the now warm liquid. He placed the empty glass back on the table as he went to reach into the bag once more then stopped, and after a dramatic pause, he slowly turned towards the stairs.
Noelle’s eyes widened.
Nicholas’ thumb fell out of his mouth.
Nathan let a small smile touch his lips at his children’s reactions as they both stared at him like deer caught in headlights. He winked at them then as a large smile formed on his face; he raised his hand and waved his fingers in a gesture for them to go back to their rooms.
Noelle nodded, quickly got to her feet and pulled her brother up the stairs behind her.
Nathan chuckled as he watched his children scramble away and turned back to putting gifts under the tree, his ear listening for the sounds of the kids.
“Did you see that Nicky?” Noelle asked her younger brother in an excited whisper. “Santa looked right at us.”
Nicholas mumbled sleepily around his thumb, which had found its way back into his mouth and let his sister pull him back into his room. He climbed up into his bed and curled up on his pillow, his dolphin locked in the curve of his arm.
“Sleep tight, Nicky,” Noelle told Nicholas’ blanket up over him then leaned forward much like she’d seen her parents do, and pressed a quick kiss to his forehead, “An’ the angels guard you while you rest.” She then quickly made her way back into her own room.
In her bedroom, through a tiny crack in the door, Kristin watched Noelle drag a sleepy Nicholas down the hall and into the little boy’s bedroom. She chuckled softly to herself as she closed the door then padded across the room to the bathroom and disappeared inside.
“Sleep well, my precious baby boy,” Kristin whispered to her sleeping son, as she made sure he was tucked beneath his blankets. She smoothed his hair down and brushed a quick kiss over his forehead then straightened up and headed for Noelle’s room.
She paused in the open door of the connecting bathroom and smiled at the sight of the little red behind sticking up into the air.
Kristin laughed silently and shook her head as she moved across the room. She gently patted the tiny cotton covered bottom until her daughter was lying flat on the bed then pulled the blanket up and over.
“Sleep well, angel-girl,” Kristin whispered to her sleeping daughter then slipped out of the room.
“Excellent performance, Santa.”
Nathan looked up from the stocking he was filling to find Kristin leaning against the doorframe wearing a skimpy black robe hanging to mid-thigh and high-heeled slippers with black feathers on the toes.
“You ain’t seen nothing yet, sweetheart.” He winked. “Everything all settled upstairs?”
“The children are nestled, all snug in their beds… I’m not sure that Nicky was ever fully awake. I watched Noelle drag him back down the hallway and I’m sure that if she had let go he would have curled up and slept on the floor.”
Nathan chuckled. “I wish you could have seen their faces when I stopped and looked at them. Nick even dropped his thumb. And Miss Noelle… that one is going to be a handful. I’m thinking that we should go ahead and have a global positioning chip installed on her now. Otherwise, by the time she is a teenager we are going to have to lock her up on the island.”
“Now Santa…” Kristin cautioned playfully.
“Do you think that the kids are really asleep?” Nathan asked hopefully as he lifted the heavy stocking at his feet.
“Soundly. I checked on both of them before I came down the outside stairs.” Kristin took a few steps into the room. “How much longer is Santa gonna be?”
Nathan swallowed hard at the sexy way Kristin’s hips moved. “Let me hang the stockings back up and I’m done.”
“You think so?” Kristin stopped by the sofa, leaning her hip seductively against the padded arm.
“I’m done with the children’s presents,” Nathan quickly amended. “Then I’ve got something special for mommy.”
He quickly hung the brightly colored stockings from their respective hangers, saving Kristin’s for last. He slipped the loop onto the hook of the stocking hanger and let go only to grab the stocking with one hand as the hanger tilted. Luckily he managed to stop the hanger from falling with his free hand.
“Santa!” Kristin bit out quietly but sharply, knowing that the next words out of Nathan’s lips shouldn’t be uttered by Santa Claus.
Nathan bit back the curse and paused a moment, willing his ire to subside. Once it had he turned and beckoned to Kristin. “Could you hand me the hammer in the desk drawer, please?”
While Kristin went to get the tool Nathan settled the metal hanger back in place and located the anchoring tack that had pulled loose. He took the hammer that Kristin offered and with a single worried glance at the ceiling, he hit the nail sharply, driving it into the wooden mantel.
“You are very good with your hammer, Santa,” Kristin told him as he hung the stocking on the now secure hook. “You hit that nail dead center.”
“Yes, well… stockings aren’t the only thing that I am planning on nailing in front of this fireplace tonight.”
With a waggle of his eyebrows Nathan headed back to the desk to put the hammer away. As he slid the drawer closed he noticed out of the corner of his eye that Kristin had moved to the fireplace and was slipping something into the stocking with his name on it. He smiled and moved to the dimmer switch, twirling it around so that the room lights went black. The only illumination left in the room came from the brightly lit Christmas tree and the crackling fireplace.
Nathan moved back toward the fireplace and shoved the ottoman to his easy chair into the middle of the room then sat back, waiting for Kristin to turn around.
Kristin sensed Nathan’s eyes on her. Her eyes fluttered closed and a thrill ran through her.
“Well, Doctor Bridger, Santa would like to know if you’ve been a good girl this year?” Nathan’s voice, husky with desire, wrapped itself around her.
Kristin turned slowly, a pouty smile on her lips. “According to my husband, I’ve been very good.”
“That’s good to know,” Nathan answered. “I have to check these things you know… find out who’s been naughty and who’s been nice…”
Kristin took a step toward him. “Sometimes I’m at my nicest when I’m being naughty…”
‘Like right now,’ Nathan thought as he watched Kristin’s long legs move toward him, the slippers encasing her feet continuing to draw his gaze.
“Since you’ve been such a good little girl this year why don’t you come sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what you would like for Christmas?”
“I thought you’d never ask.” Nathan’s gaze followed Kristin’s foot from the floor to the cushion beside his hip before her fingers took hold of his chin and lifted his face up to meet her gaze. He watched with fascination as her tongue darted out and swirled around her lips. Then she was on his lap, straddling him, her legs wrapped around his butt.
“And what would Kristin like for Christmas this year?”
Kristin ground her hips against Nathan’s in response to his question.
“Oh, Doctor Bridger, you keep that up and I can guarantee that we both will have a very happy Christmas.”
“I never doubted it, Santa.”
Nathan’s lips were wet and ready for Kristin’s when she dived through the mask of synthetic facial hair to taste him. One hand slid beneath the length of white wig to clasp the back of Nathan’s neck while the other worked the concealed fasteners of his coat.
“Mmm… definitely naughty…” Nathan murmured between kisses. His hands slid over the silky surface of Kristin’s skimpy robe, gentle tugs here and there succeeding in loosening the restraining belt. With a bit more coaxing the lapels separated.
Nathan reluctantly tugged Kristin’s arms away from his body so that he could push the robe away from her shoulders. It fell in a shimmering black puddle to his lap and then slowly slid down his legs to the floor.
“Oh, Kris…” he exhaled as he took in the almost sheer black nightgown that clung to every sensual curve of her body. “My favorite…” His fingers moved to trace the pattern of tiny candy canes that ran along the low neckline. “I wondered…”
“I know how much Santa likes his Christmas candy,” Kristin responded, one hand creeping up Nathan’s chest beneath the beard, her fingers tickling his bare chest lightly.
“How much did you have to pay the guy at Sears to watch the kids while you ran to the lingerie store next door?”
“He was glad to do it. The children amused him. I couldn’t very well take them with me, now could I? God only knows what tales they would tell.” She tempted him with another kiss, her hands pulling at his coat to bare his chest to her touch.
Suddenly Nathan pulled back, his brows furrowed as he stared out into the hallway.
“Are you sure that Noelle and Nicholas are asleep?”
“I’m positive. I even flipped on the monitor and put the receiver by the door, just in case…”
Nathan relaxed. “Just checking. We wouldn’t want them to accidentally walk in and find mama being naughty, now would we?”
“Ooh… does that mean that I have permission from Santa Claus to be bad?”
Nathan’s body surged at the lust he could see in Kristin’s eyes. He nodded, knowing that his own gaze mirrored hers. “Santa is ready for you to be just as naughty as you want…” His gloved hands slid up her bare arms. He looped a thumb through each tiny strap and eased them over Kristin’s shoulders.
As the straps reached Kristin’s elbows, the nightgown still held up by the thrust of her chest, Nathan paused to stare. The fire burned merrily on one side of them, the light glinting in Kristin’s hair.
“I am so glad that you said yes to me five years ago tonight.”
“I am so glad that you asked.” Kristin slipped one arm free and lifted her hand to brush Nathan’s fur-trimmed hat away. The movement drew his eyes back to her chest as the nightgown pooled at her waist.
“Oh, mama, you are going to be in so much trouble. I am sure that Noelle will notice that her tootoos are gone but I love it.” His eyes were glued to Kristin’s breasts, more specifically to the crossed candy cane designs placed strategically over the puckered nipples.
“Actually, these particular tootoos don’t belong to Noelle, although I do give her credit for the idea. I found them at the lingerie store when I picked up the new nightie. I couldn’t resist, especially since they went with our own special Christmas theme. I suspect that you might find them very tasty as well.”
“Flavoured? Oh, sweetheart, you know how I love peppermint. Mixed with the taste of you it will be an unbeatable combination. And I have two different spots to work on.”
“It was a set of twelve so who knows where you might find the others…” Kristin grinned playfully.
Nathan’s hands gripped Kristin’s waist, his fingers splaying across her lower back to support her as he leaned forward and pulled a candy cane tip into his mouth. Kristin’s head fell back and her back arched, pushing both her chest and her hips even more intimately against Nathan.
Peppermint flavour exploded over Nathan’s tongue, mingling with Kristin’s own special essence. He moaned in delight as he continued to suckle.
“Nathan!” Kristin pleaded, her hands tugging at the pillow shoved in the waistband of his pants. “Help me! I need to touch you.”
Without warning Nathan grasped Kristin’s bottom tightly and stood. He took a few careful steps toward the white rug in front of the fireplace and knelt. Kristin growled her protest when he loosened her legs and pulled her hips away from his then lowered her back to the floor.
“Please!” Kristin tightened her grip on him but Nathan still managed to pull back.
“You are impatient, aren’t you? I was going to love you slowly.” Nathan quickly discarded his red coat and tugged the pillow from his waistband then tossed it above Kristin’s head.
“You’ve been loving me slowly with your eyes and your hands all night long. Now I need all of you. What happened to your shirt?” Kristin suddenly realized that Nathan wore nothing beneath the red coat.
“Too hot.” He yanked the belt loose and tossed it away then pulled the wide suspenders down. The large pants fell to his knees and he wriggled out of them, toeing off his boots as Kristin took him in hand.
“And your underwear?” She stroked the nail of her index finger along the helmet ridge.
“You got me too hot… Kris… oh, God!” Nathan fell forward, catching his torso on outstretched hands as Kristin grabbed his thighs and levered her body lower so that she could reach his erection with her mouth.
She teased him for a few moments, holding him firmly in both hands while her tongue darted back and forth over the pulsing tip. His hips thrust forward involuntarily and he moaned loudly when Kristin finally slipped her lips over the round head and up his arousal.
“Sh…!” Nathan felt the prolonged vibrations travel up his rod and spread throughout his body. He mustered all his resistance and yanked back, separating his body from Kristin’s. She immediately went after him again.
Nathan straightened and hooked his arms beneath Kristin’s shoulders, pulling her up the fur rug until her head was even with the pillow. He laid her back and kissed her soundly while his fingers probed between her thighs. The seeping moisture he found there reassured him that Kristin was more than ready for him. Finding her nightgown tangled around her hips, Nathan broke the kiss and stripped the garment off of his wife, flinging it carelessly away.
Kristin moaned with pleasure at the feel of Nathan’s hands on her naked thighs, moving them as he directed, opening herself to his gaze.
“Three,” Nathan whispered triumphantly, his mouth falling to the flavorful emblem resting on Kristin’s lower abdomen just above her nest of auburn curls.
“Later,” Kristin gasped, her fingers clutching Nathan’s head as she urged him upward.
Nathan complied willingly, settling between Kristin’s hips and joining their lower bodies at the same moment that their lips met.
“What the...?” Nathan pulled back confused.
“I’m sorry. It tickles.” Kristin fingered the full white beard trapped between their torsos.
“I’ll take it off,” Nathan moved, unintentionally driving his erection deeper into Kristin’s warmth.
“Later… it’s a nice tickle…” Kristin clenched around him.
Then she knew nothing but pleasure. Nathan’s hands seemed to be everywhere at once, stroking and teasing, his touch driving her arousal to a fevered pitch. He rocked gently within her as he caressed and before many minutes had passed Kristin was arching against Nathan, struggling to remain silent as her body found release.
Nathan’s mouth sought and found hers, swallowing the moans that Kristin could no longer contain. His lips clung to hers in a gentle kiss as she slowly relaxed.
“Oh, Santa…” Kristin’s eyelids fluttered open to reveal whisky eyes swirling with both satisfaction and lust. “I love the way that you jingle my bells.”
Nathan smirked but the look quickly fell from his face as Kristin lifted her feet from the rug and wrapped her legs around his hips.
“But now…” Kristin continued as she tugged the white wig and beard from his face and tossed them behind her head. “I want to make love with my husband. What do you say, sailor?”
“Well…” Nathan hesitated, “it is Christmas… I guess that perhaps I could… Damn! You don’t play fair, Mrs. Bridger.”
“We’ve been playing all day, Mr. Bridger. You’ve been teasing me with those gorgeous blue eyes and titillating me with those marvelous hands. I don’t want to play anymore.” Kristin’s thighs tightened around Nathan’s hips as she nipped his ear.
In response to Kristin’s demands Nathan levered up on his elbows and curled his toes into the fluffy white rug then began to press his hips up and down slowly. By alternating his speed and angle he used his already straining erection to raise Kristin’s passion quickly. Soon she was meeting his thrusts, fingernails digging into the firm muscles of his back as she begged for more.
“Lover… I can’t…” Nathan battled to maintain his control but the war was quickly drawing to a close.
“It’s okay, love…” Kristin strained against him, encouraging him with her body to take his pleasure.
“No… want…” Nathan’s head fell forward, his eyes closed in intense concentration. “Want… you…” One lid opened to find Kristin’s breast just inches away. Nathan swiftly shifted and grabbed the taut rosy nipple, working it furiously with his tongue before sucking the tender flesh into his warm cavern.
Kristin’s nails dug deeper and she swore softly as every nerve in her body fired at once. Nathan pressed his face hard against Kristin’s chest to muffle his shout as he emptied his essence within her.
His heat warming her womb provided the final push that Kristin needed and she shoved her hand into her mouth, biting down to silence her voice as her body went rigid with release.
Nathan had no clue how much time had passed when he became aware that his full body weight was resting on top of Kristin. He tried to lift himself off of his wife but she murmured her protest and wrapped her arms and legs tighter around him.
“I’m too heavy for you.” Nathan whispered in her ear as he shifted again.
“No… you’re just right. Don’t leave me yet.” Kristin’s voice was husky, her breath warm across the skin of his neck.
Nathan smiled as he brushed his lips across Kristin’s temple. “Hang on. Let me shift us.” He rolled to his left side, taking care to keep their bodies joined. Kristin snuggled into his chest.
“Cold?” Nathan asked at Kristin’s tiny shiver. “I never turned the AC back up. Let me…”
“Don’t you dare move a centimeter!” Kristin hooked her left leg even higher over Nathan’s hip. “I’ve got a lovely fire and a sexy sailor to keep me warm.”
“I love seeing you like this.” Nathan pulled his torso back slightly and stroked his palm along her side. “Watching your body glow in the firelight… seeing it glint in your hair…”
“That’s the reason that you had the fireplace added when we remodeled the house.” Kristin purred. “And that’s the reason that you arranged to purchase this rug from the castle in Scotland where we honeymooned.”
“It was on this rug five years ago that you told me that our daughter was on the way. It was on this rug that you accepted my proposal. I had to buy it. It is a part of our history… a part of our future. Besides, we had some damn good times on this rug.”
“I seem to recall a few over the last five years…” Kristin nipped at Nathan’s ear playfully.
“Not so many lately, though, which makes tonight even more special.”
“I miss this too, darling, but the chicks…”
“Are mobile now and they could always walk in on us… How long before they start spending the weekends with their friends?”
Kristin giggled as Nathan pulled a face. “Several years at least. The kids are used to mummy and daddy being… affectionate… but I’d prefer that they didn’t get a first hand sighting of the birds and the bees just yet.”
“You are right, of course. It’s just that they are so inquisitive…” Nathan’s fingers stroked Kristin’s hip idly.
“Mmm… and what was your answer to Noelle’s earlier query when she caught us in the shower?” Kristin twisted her torso slightly causing her puckered nipples to rub against Nathan’s chest, the hard points catching in the curling gray hair there.
“Oh… I just said…” Nathan’s eyes fell to Kristin’s chest as his hand slipped around to cup her bottom. “…I just said that mama’s boobs were hurting her and she wanted daddy to rub them and make them feel all better.”
“Very clever,” Kristin responded.
A gleam entered her eye as her lower lip slid out in a classic Noelle pout, a single tear gathering at the corner of one eye. “Ouch…”
Nathan caught on quickly. “Oh, my poor baby. Do you have an ouchy? Do you want me to kiss it and make it all better?”
“I thought you’d never ask.” Kristin sighed as Nathan rolled her to her back and slid his lips down the line of her collarbone towards the valley of her breasts.
“Tell me where it hurts.” Nathan told Kristin as he slowly kissed his way up the swell of one generous mound.
“Ooh… you’re getting closer… almost… Nathan!” Kristin’s hands clawed at Nathan’s hair, trying to push his mouth back toward the peak when it strayed off to the side.
“Patience, lov… now what have we here?” Nathan lifted his head and grinned in delight at the emblem he’d found on the outer curve of Kristin’s breast. “Number three!” He attacked her skin with relish. The candy cane soon disappeared beneath the rasp of his tongue.
“Dammit, Nathan!” At Kristin’s plea Nathan sucked the last bit of peppermint flavour up then returned his attention to the ripe berry atop her breast.
Kristin sighed heavily with relief; her head falling back as her husband finally pulled her aching nipple into his mouth. But before she could fully enjoy the sensations, cool air rushed across her skin as Nathan released her to speak.
“How many of those tootoos did you say there were?”
He couldn’t help but chuckle as Kristin scowled and pulled his head back to her chest.
Nathan shivered in his sleep, turning instinctively toward the fire and reaching for his wife’s warmth but all his hand encountered was soft rug. He opened one eye in search of Kristin, squinting at the still flickering fire.
“Kris?” He called as he sat up; the large red fur-trimmed coat that he’d dragged over them earlier falling away from his belly. “Honey?”
Kristin appeared in the archway, her thin silk robe wrapped tightly around her. “I’m here.”
Nathan held out his hand to her and Kristin quickly moved across the floor to grab it. “I missed you. I woke up and you were gone.”
“I made a quick trip to the loo and then I dashed upstairs to check on the kids. They are still sleeping peacefully.”
“They’d better be…” Nathan tugged at Kristin’s hand, and with a gentle laugh she sank to her knees beside him.
“One never knows with your daughter. She was born making mischief.”
“How come when Noelle is mischievous she is always my daughter?” Nathan laughed as he rose to his knees and pulled Kristin’s body flush with his.
“Because Bill and Janet have regaled me with some very interesting tales about the exploits of young ensign Bridger…”
Nathan tugged at the shoulders of Kristin’s robe. “True… but the last time that we were in England your cousin Reginald told me some equally interesting stories about the antics of young Krissy Westphalen.”
“Reginald is a pathological liar. You can’t believe a word he says.” Kristin shrugged her shoulders to help Nathan as he stripped the robe away, leaving her as naked as he was.
“Not even the story about the time that you used your father’s prized cricket bat as an oar for your little boat?” Nathan’s hands began to thoroughly explore Kristin’s body.
“Utter… poppycock…” Kristin’s head fell back, eyes closed; her hands gripping Nathan’s shoulders for support as his palms curved around her bottom, fingers slipping between her thighs to probe through the damp curls.
Kristin’s reaction was exactly what Nathan had intended; her chest thrust up proudly toward his hungry mouth. He rocked back into a sitting position, his grip on Kristin’s bottom pulling her firmly into his lap as he did so. With a lascivious grin and a lick of his lips he leaned forward to devour a berried tip. Kristin moaned and slipped a hand to the back of his neck, her fingers fisting in his graying hair as she urged him closer still.
Nathan swung from side to side, worshiping first one breast and then the other with his tongue. Before long the air was filled with the sound of Kristin’s moans and gasps. Nathan felt her warmth surround him as she locked her legs around his waist and caught his erection between her damp folds.
“Impatient little minx, aren’t you?” Nathan drew back to stare at her.
“I’m impatient?” Kristin rubbed against him again.
Nathan laughed as he rolled back, twisting so that Kristin ended up lying on top of the soft fur with Nathan stretched out above her. She opened to him in welcome.
“Mmm…” Nathan lightly stroked the sensitive flesh of her inner thighs and watched her reaction. “Not this time…”
Kristin pulled her upper body onto her elbows. “Not this time?” She inquired.
“I have more tandy tanes to find. Earlier I let you distract me but this time I intend to succeed in my quest.”
“Wait a minute… I distracted you?”
“Of course you did. You knew exactly what you were doing when you put a tootoo right here…” Nathan ran the pad of his thumb over the delicate skin just above the line of Kristin’s curls. “But this time I intend to find all of the sweets.”
Before Kristin could respond Nathan grasped her legs and pulled her around so that the firelight illuminated her body. When she reached for him he caught both of her wrists in one hand and rocked forward. “I want you to stay just like this,” Nathan told her as he stretched her arms straight above her head.
“Nathan…” Kristin began to protest but Nathan cut her off with a kiss.
“For me?” The flickering flame illuminated his eyes, mesmerizing Kristin. “You won’t regret it… I promise.”
Kristin nodded, unable to refuse her husband anything when he looked at her that way.
Nathan moved back down her body to her chest but instead of returning to the center he began a slow steady caress around the perimeter. He’d only made half a circuit when he tasted peppermint again.
“Four!” He announced triumphantly as he pulled back to see the candy cane emblem on the underside of Kristin’s heavy breast. “And five too!” for she had placed a matching tattoo under the opposite mound as well.
Nathan had to admire Kristin’s fortitude for although her body twisted and bowed beneath his expert touch she kept her hands anchored firmly over her head. Ten minutes or more ticked off the clock before Nathan finally moved lower, leaving her breasts damp but clean of all peppermint.
As Nathan nuzzled her lower abdomen Kristin opened her legs wider in anticipation. The dampness of her curls wet Nathan’s chest even as her unique scent rose to fill his nostrils.
“Stop that!” He ordered; his nose buried in the top of the auburn triangle as he inhaled deeply.
“Stop what?” Although Kristin was trying to sound innocent the sudden upward pulse of her hips gave her intentions away.
“Stop trying to distract me!” Nathan plunged his tongue between the open pink folds and tasted Kristin quickly then pulled back, ignoring her yelp of protest.
“Over!” He commanded with a soft pat to her thigh.
She raised her head, her eyes questioning.
“Turn over.” He shifted from between her thighs and pushed gently. Kristin complied with a short laugh.
“Less temptation and more candy canes on this side!” Nathan announced triumphantly as he spotted the mark of Christmas on her shoulder blade. As with her breasts, Kristin had kept the designs symmetrical so Nathan languidly laved first one side and then the other. While doing this he also managed to shift his legs back between her thighs.
By the time that Nathan was trailing his tongue over the knot of each vertebra along Kristin’s spine her fingers were wrapped in the long fur of the rug. By the time that he finally reached the candy cane applied to the base of her spine she was moaning into the thick carpeting.
Nathan knew that he was slowly driving his wife insane but he was in no hurry to give her what she obviously needed… what they both needed. The iron hard organ bouncing against his stomach was evidence of that.
Kristin twisted her lower cheeks against Nathan’s tongue, her body doing the begging that her mouth refused to voice. She cursed loudly as his lips slid down the backs of her thighs to remove the emblems on the back of her knees.
“Damn it, Nathan! Stop torturing me or I’ll…”
“You’ll what?” Nathan sat back and pulled her foot up to his mouth to suck at the candied ankle.
“I’ll pay you back. The lingerie store just received a new shipment of handcuffs and ankle restraints.”
Nathan paused, Kristin’s big toe wiggling in his mouth as he allowed the image that Kristin’s statement caused to whirl around in his head for a moment.
“Promise?” he whispered, just as his eyes caught sight of two of the few remaining tattoos, each one carefully placed on the tender flesh at the very top of Kristin’s inner thighs.
“Yes!” Kristin squealed when Nathan grabbed her hips and pulled her to her knees before burying his face between them.
Kristin’s scent overwhelmed him as he pulled all of the peppermint flavour from her skin. Once he was done he turned his attention to the pink folds just inches away. Kristin lunged back at his touch, her body clenching as all of the sensations Nathan was evoking culminated in one rushing crescendo, her juices rushing into his mouth.
Nathan’s forehead fell forward to rest on the curve of Kristin’s bottom; his eyes clenched shut as he fought to hold back his own release.
Kristin pushed back against his forehead, overwhelming Nathan with her unique aroma once again. He rubbed his nose gently against her.
“Sit up!” She barked at him.
Nathan immediately pulled his body up on his knees, his hands holding tightly to Kristin’s waist as she rocked back against him. He understood immediately.
“Baby?” He questioned.
“Now… I need to feel you.” Kristin rose to her elbows and arched her back.
Nathan slipped his knees forward between Kristin’s to widen her stance then thrust forward easily into her warm sheath. He moaned as he felt his heavy sacs bounce against Kristin’s curls and stopped.
Kristin smiled as she felt the warmth of Nathan’s body close over her own, his hands sliding around her body to caress her breasts as he began to slowly pulse within her. She rocked gently back and forth, matching his easy pace.
Several minutes passed before Nathan stopped fighting and increased his rhythm. Soon he was surging back and forth, his tight grip on Kristin’s chest pulling her torso up and down.
“More!” Kristin demanded as her arms stiffened, holding her upper body upright.
The trembling in her voice was Nathan’s undoing and his pace increased tenfold. Knowing that he was going to explode any second and wanting Kristin to be a part of that, he slid one hand down the plane of her stomach and tangled his fingers in her curls, the tips unerringly finding the hard button where her desire was centered. He drew his fingers through the moisture leaking around his arousal and bathed her pearl in it then matched the strength and movements of his fingers to those of his hips.
The sounds of heavy breathing filled the room as Kristin began to writhe beneath Nathan’s touch. He felt the forceful clenching of her muscles as they contracted around him, milking his erection, pleading for his warmth. He increased the pressure of his fingers without realizing that Kristin was doing the same within her sheath.
Nathan came without warning; his essence rising up and bursting forth at the same time that Kristin’s name escaped his lips. She answered within seconds, the warmth of her husband filling her the final push she needed to join him once again.
Their movements continued through the throes of their first climax and at least two more.
“Oh god…” Nathan groaned as he fell forward against Kristin, his weight pushing her down onto the rug. He shifted a little to the side so that he wasn’t squishing her and laid his head on Kristin’s shoulder; a smile coming to his lips at the look of utter satisfaction on his wife’s face.
Kristin slowly opened her eyes to see Nathan watching her. “Hi,” she whispered huskily.
“Hi,” Nathan replied in a soft voice. “You okay? Want me to move?”
“I am just fine… and don’t you dare,” Kristin answered. “I like you just where you are.”
“Are you sure?” Nathan asked. “I’m not too heavy for you?”
“You’re not too heavy when I’m on my back and I ask you to stay…” Kristin told him with a smile as she bent her arm beneath her head and rested her cheek against it. “And you’re not too heavy now.”
Nathan smiled and dropped a kiss to her bare shoulder then propped his head on his arm to gaze at her.
“You know how I love the feeling of you all around me, and inside me.” Kristin said then brought her free arm up to stroke Nathan’s hair. “Besides… you make a marvelous blanket.”
Nathan chuckled as they began to talk in hushed tones. Several moments passed when a low grumble was heard.
“My stomach. Yep,” Nathan nodded much to Kristin’s amusement.
“How can you be hungry with all that pizza you ate?”
“Must be all the exercise I’ve gotten the last couple of hours…” Nathan replied with a gentle thrust of his hips.
“Mmm…” Kristin moaned at the feeling. “Must be…”
“Hold on,” Nathan told her and slid an arm beneath her then rolled onto his side, taking care to keep them joined. He stroked his hand along her hip and nuzzled her ear. “Ready?”
Kristin shook her head and reached back to grab his rear. “No… stay…”
“Kris…” Nathan’s stomach rumbled again. “Trust me… I don’t want to leave the warmth of your body but…” another low growl sounded, “My stomach is telling me that it needs to eat…”
A different grumbling was heard.
“And from the sounds of it… yours is too,” Nathan chuckled.
“Must be all the exercise I’ve gotten the last couple of hours,” Kristin said with a smile then sighed and gave a gentle nod. “Just don’t be gone long…”
“Not if I can help it,” Nathan told her and withdrew his now flaccid member from Kristin’s body then pulled her tight back against his chest. He held her close for several minutes until she rolled over in his embrace. He smiled and lowered his lips to hers. “What would you like to eat?”
“Nothing heavy…” she glanced around then smiled. “How about we munch on a few of the apples…”
Nathan made a face.
“Just think sailor… an apple a day…”
“Won’t keep this doctor away…”
Kristin’s smile grew. “Most definitely not.”
“Okay…” Nathan gave in. “I’ll have an apple.”
Kristin chuckled and rolled out of his arms. Nathan watched the firelight dance over her naked body as she crawled across the white fur rug towards the row of apples.
‘Three kids… and she still has a killer body,’ Nathan thought to himself, the sight of her triggering another, more base hunger. He grinned at the surge of lust. ‘Lord, the woman makes me randy!’ He chuckled and rolled onto his back, folding his arms behind his head and closing his eyes as he waited for Kristin to return with the fruit.
Nathan smiled as her voice floated down to him. “Mmhmm… but I’d be even comfier if you’d get your gorgeous ass back over here.”
“Aye, my Captain.” Kristin quipped, her voice laced with amusement as she slowly made her way back across the rug. ‘Not bad, my husband… not bad at all.’ Kristin thought to herself as she paused to admire his naked body and the way the fire kissed his tan skin. Kristin licked her lips as the sight sent a wave of desire through her body to pool between her legs.
Nathan’s smile grew when he felt Kristin slide her hand up his leg, her fingers dancing through the nest of curls surrounding his hardening member on their way up over his abdomen to rest on his chest. He groaned and his eyes flew open in time to see Kristin swing her leg over him so that she was straddling his hips.
“Have an apple, sailor.” Kristin smiled down at him and held out the green fruit.
“At least you bought Granny Smith apples,” Nathan groused as he took the fruit from her and bit into it.
“Well… I know they’re your favourite,” Kristin replied as she took a bite of her apple.
Nathan smiled his thanks as he hurriedly ate his Granny Smith then tossed the core aside and gazed up at his wife; his eyes focused on her every move as she slowly ate the sour fruit. He watched her chew then swallow each bite, his eyes following the line down her throat to her breasts. He licked his lips as her nipples tightened under his heated gaze.
“Are you almost finished?” Nathan asked her in a low voice.
“Mmhmm,” Kristin murmured as she felt him harden further beneath her. “Why? Did you have something in mind?”
Nathan growled at the coy smile on her face as he grasped her hips and thrust up against her. “You could say that.”
Kristin laughed, took another bite from the apple then tossed it toward the bowl. She placed her hands on his chest and slowly lowered herself down until her breasts were just brushing against the soft graying curls. “Why don’t we continue this upstairs?”
Nathan shook his head as he slipped a hand between their bodies and grasped his rigid member. “I can’t wait that long…” and as if to emphasize his point, Nathan brought the head of his shaft to her entrance, and feeling that she was wet, thrust up and buried his length within her hot walls.
“Oohmmm…” Kristin buried her face in his neck. “You don’t play fair…”
“We really should go upstairs,” Kristin told him as she straightened up, and moaned as the movement allowed him to push deeper inside her.
“Later,” Nathan replied as he pulled his legs up and thrust his hips against her.
“Much later,” Kristin nodded in agreement as she met his thrust with one of her own.
Feeling a little chilly, Kristin snuggled closer to the warm body lying next to her. “Mmm…” she sighed happily when she felt her husband’s arms tighten around her and draw her even deeper into his warmth.
Still hovering on the edge of sleep, Nathan smiled and unconsciously nuzzled his wife’s temple as his hands began to stroke up and down her bare back.
Several more minutes passed before Nathan felt the brush of Kristin’s lips against his chest, followed by a gentle nip to his collarbone.
“Good morning,” Nathan said in a soft voice, husky with sleep as he slowly opened his eyes to see his wife gazing down at him with half-opened eyes.
“Morning,” Kristin replied in a throaty voice.
Nathan slid his hand up her back into her hair and pulled her head down so that he could capture her lips with his. A soft moan sounded between them as the kiss deepened, and their bodies pressed closer together.
“Mmm…” Nathan murmured breathlessly as the kiss ended. “I love starting the day off with the taste of you on my lips.”
Kristin chuckled as she laid her head on his shoulder and cuddled into his embrace. “One of my favourites as well.”
Kristin laughed softly. “Yes. One.”
“And what would the others be?” Nathan asked then grinned when he felt Kristin’s blush against his chest. He shifted and rolled Kristin onto her back then propped himself up on his elbow. “Well?”
Kristin’s blush deepened and she shook her head. “You know damn well what they are.”
“Is that so?” Nathan asked, the grin still on his face.
“So… this…” he reached out and circled his fingers once around her breasts then drew a line down her torso to comb through the auburn curls at her center, “and this would be two more of them?”
“…ooh yes…” Kristin gasped as Nathan slipped his middle finger between her folds to stroke her clit, the tender bud swelling beneath his expert touch. Her eyes closed when he moved his finger down and pressed it inside her to catch some of her juices then returned the damp digit to her pearl. “This would be… one of the top four…”
Nathan laughed softly as he continued to stroke her; smiling as Kristin began to move in time with his fingers. There was nothing he loved more than watching Kristin lose herself in his touch.
“…no…” Kristin gasped when Nathan suddenly stopped, his fingers still pressed against her clit, leaving her body humming with desire. She opened her eyes to find him staring across the living room at the window. “Nathan? What is it?”
“I just realized…” Nathan turned to look at her once again. “It’s Christmas morning.”
Kristin’s eyes grew wide. “Oh… what time…”
“It’s,” Nathan glanced up above the fireplace at the small grandfather clock, “a little after six. We should still have a little time…” he flexed his fingers against her, smiling at her low moan. “I don’t think the kids…”
His voice trailed off and they both looked up towards the ceiling at the sudden sound they heard.
“Oh shit!” Nathan and Kristin swore together.
With an apologetic look, Nathan pulled his hand out from between Kristin’s thighs, the fingers of his other hand caressing her cheek at her soft whimper; then the two quickly scrambled to their feet as more movement was heard.
“Think we can make it?” Nathan asked in a loud whisper with a glance at the stairs as he jumped into the Santa pants and hiked the suspenders up onto his bare shoulders.
“Not without being seen,” Kristin answered in kind as she pulled on and tied her robe. She glanced around in front of the fireplace. “Where did you toss my nightgown?”
“I…” Nathan looked around. “I dunno… where’d you throw the belt to this thing?”
Kristin shrugged then lunged at the chair. “Here it is,” she held up the belt as she moved over to where her shoes were lying beneath the ottoman. “I still can’t find my nightgown.”
“We’ll have to find it later,” Nathan told her as he threw his boots, and the pillow he’d used for padding into the green sack.
“Don’t forget the apples!” Kristin gestured to the remaining seven fruits. “You wouldn’t want your children thinking that Santa forgot to give them to the reindeer.”
Nathan grabbed the bowl and dumped it and the apples into the sack. He quickly glanced around. “I think that’s everything.”
“Except my nightgown,” Kristin told him as she picked his Santa hat up off the floor, and casually placed it on her head.
Nathan shrugged. “Sorry, sweetheart. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was throwing it when I took it off of you… I had more important things on my mind at the time,” he said as he hoisted the bag up and over his shoulder. “Can you grab my jacket,” Nathan gestured with his chin to the red coat slung over the back of the chair.
Kristin nodded and reached for the garment. She draped it over her arm just as Nathan grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the living room, and into the kitchen. They made their way quickly through the kitchen, out the back door and around to the stairs that would take them to their balcony.
“Ladies first…” Nathan indicated for Kristin to go up ahead of him.
“You just want to look up my robe,” Kristin said with a laugh as she hurried up the steps, one hand holding the Santa hat on her head, the other carrying his belt and her shoes, with his jacket hanging over her arm.
“But of course,” Nathan answered, doing just that. “You have a great ass, sweetheart.” He told her then groaned.
“I thought you said there were only twelve.”
“No…I said they came in a set of twelve. I just didn’t say how many sets I bought.” Kristin laughed softly. “I promise… you can… lick it off later.”
Nathan growled his acceptance as they slipped into their bedroom. He threw the bag so that it slid under the bed then gave it a kick to make sure it wasn’t visible. “Throw that stuff under here too, baby…” he said as he quickly stripped off the Santa pants and shoved them underneath the bed as well then dove into the bed.
Kristin threw the items she held under the bed, pulled off her robe and tossed it into the nearby chair then climbed under the blankets as well.
“You forgot something,” Nathan chuckled and plucked the Santa hat off of her head then shoved it under her pillow. “Come here…” he pulled Kristin into his arms and they snuggled back against the pillows. They’d just managed to get their breathing under control when their bedroom door burst open.
“It’s Tismas!!” Noelle cried out happily as she ran to her parents’ bed and climbed up.
“Tismas! Tismas!” Nicholas echoed his sister and followed her up onto the bed.
“Wake up, mama, daddy!” Noelle said in a loud, cheerful voice as she bounced on the bed. “It’s Tismas!”
“Noelle! Noelle! Stop bouncing!” Kristin told her daughter as she clutched the blanket to her chest.
“It’s Tismas, mama! Santa’s tome…”
“Several times,” Nathan whispered in his wife’s ear as he gave her rear a gentle squeeze.
“Mon, daddy. Mon, mama…” Nicholas said as he slipped off the bed and gestured for them to follow.
“Tell you what,” Nathan said. “You two go downstairs while mommy and daddy get dressed. We’ll be right down.”
“Otay, daddy!” Noelle and Nicholas chorused together.
Noelle slid off the bed and hurried towards the door, her brother trailing.
“Nicholas… you go down the stairs on your bum.”
“Noelle you watch him carefully.”
“And don’t touch anything!”
“Tay, mama!” The two called back.
Kristin shook her head in amusement as she turned back to Nathan to see a smile on his face. She reached out and patted his chest. “Come on, daddy… let’s go open some presents.”
“First thing’s first,” Nathan said and pulled her closer then brushed his lips over hers.
“Mmm…” Kristin moaned as he deepened the kiss; his tongue slipping past her lips to dance with her tongue.
“Now…” Nathan pulled back and licked his lips. “Now I’m ready to go open some gifts.”
“Mama! Daddy! Mon! Hurry up!”
“Your daughter beckons,” Kristin said then slipped out of the bed with a chuckle and reached for her pyjamas.
“What time is everyone else arriving?” Nathan asked as he climbed out of bed and began to pull on his pyjamas as well.
“I told Janet to come on over anytime after one,” Kristin answered. “Why?”
“Because when the kids go down for their nap,” Nathan walked over to her, swatted her hands out of the way and pulled up the zipper on her pyjamas, “I think that mommy and daddy are going to lay down as well.”
Kristin smiled at him. “That sounds like a plan to me.”
“Good,” Nathan smiled back then slipped his arm about her shoulders. “Come on, mama… our children await.”
“Lead on, my captain…” Kristin replied as she wrapped her arm around his waist.
“Loot, mama! Santa brung me a baby doll!” Noelle exclaimed holding up the item in question she’d just unwrapped.
“An I got a Tonka Twuck!” Nicholas crowed as he zoomed the big yellow truck around him in a circle. “It’s a dump twuck!”
“I see that,” Kristin grinned. “What else did Santa bring you?”
The kids squealed with joy and moved on to the next wrapped package in the piles in front of them. Their parents watched with amusement as paper flew everywhere, and both Noelle and Nicholas cried out in delight at each gift as it was revealed.
“A body board!” Noelle jumped to her feet, holding out the board. “Just like daddy’s!”
“Hey! Very cool, angel-girl!” Nathan smiled at his daughter.
“Now we tan body surf togeder, daddy!”
“You bet, honey.”
“What else did you get, sailor-man?” Kristin asked her son as he finished unwrapping the large gift in front of him.
With wide eyes, Nicholas pointed to the now uncovered box and the kid-size backhoe sitting inside.
“Just think of the sandcastles you’ll get to make now,” Kristin smiled at her son.
“Daddy, wook!” Nicholas pointed at the toy.
“I see that, kiddo! Wish I’d had one when I was your age.”
“What ‘bout you, mama?” Noelle suddenly asked. “What you get?”
“I don’t know yet,” Kristin held up one of the small wrapped boxes with her name on it. “Mummy and daddy were too busy watching you and your brother to open our own presents.”
“Open’em now, mama!” Noelle urged her mother.
“Yes, open them now, mama.” Nathan echoed his daughter with a twinkle in his eyes.
Kristin smiled at her husband and began to tear off the wrapping on the small box she still held in her hand. Several moments later, a small velvet jeweler’s box lay in her palm.
“Open it, mama!” Noelle whispered excitedly as she inched closer to her mother.
With a quick glance at Nathan, Kristin slowly eased the box open and gasped. “Oh, Nathan!”
“Do you like them?” Nathan asked, his voice sounding slightly anxious.
“They’re beautiful…” Kristin replied softly as she ran her finger over the diamond-ruby earrings and matching necklace. “I love them.”
“I wanna see,” Noelle said as she scramble closer and tugged on her mother’s hands.
“Careful, baby…” Kristin told her daughter as she lowered the box so Noelle could look.
“Daddy! You got mama tandy tanes!”
Nathan smiled. “Yes I did. Do you like them?”
“They vewy pwetty, daddy.” Noelle said.
“Daddy… why you and mama wike canny canes?” Nicholas asked from his spot on the floor where he was once again playing with his Tonka truck.
“You like Candy Canes, don’t you?” Nathan asked his son instead of answering.
Nicholas turned to his father with a large smile on his face and nodded.
“And why do you like them?”
“Cuz they yummy!” Nicholas replied.
“And that is why mommy and I like them too,” Nathan told his son then shared a loving look with his wife.
“Your turn, daddy.” Kristin told her husband. “Let’s see what Santa brought you.”
“Okay,” Nathan nodded and reached for one the medium sized packages at his feet. He turned it over and over then shook it gently. “I wonder what it is.”
“Open it, daddy!” The kids exclaimed in chorus, obviously knowing what the box contained.
Nathan smiled down at his children as he ripped the paper off of the package then tossed it playfully at them.
“You lite it, daddy?” Noelle asked her father eagerly.
“Yes I do. Very much,” Nathan answered as he gazed down at the set of precision screwdrivers he’d just opened. “This is just what daddy wanted for Christmas.”
“I heped da man at Skears pick dem out, daddy!” Nicholas told his father with pride.
“And you did a very good job,” Nathan said. “These are wonderful. Thank you,” he turned to look at Kristin and smiled as he repeated, “thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Kristin replied softly.
Nathan grinned then reached for a specifically box at Kristin’s feet. “Here…” he handed her the box, “open this one.”
Kristin gave him a look as she took the box from him and laid it in her lap. She split the tape sealing it, lifted the lid then pulled the tissue paper out of the way. “Nathan!”
“What is it, mama?” Noelle asked.
“It’s a nightgown,” Kristin answered her daughter absently as she ran her fingers over the garment.
“Tan I see?”
“No… I don’t think so.”
“It’s not a nightgown for a little girl,” Nathan answered.
“Oh,” Noelle said as her face scrunched up. “But mama… you wears nightgowns small ‘nough for me all de time.”
Nathan choked as he fought not to laugh as Kristin blushed deeply.
“How tome you buy mama such small nightgowns, daddy?”
“Because I like how your mommy looks in them, angel-girl.”
Nathan merely flashed Kristin a smile then turned back to his daughter. “You’ll understand when you get older. Until that time however, just know that daddy likes to buy mommy nightgowns.”
“Otay, daddy.” Noelle nodded then turned her attention back to her baby-doll while her parents finished opening their gifts.
“Where did it all come from?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t think we’d bought that much.”
“I know I didn’t. You and Santa are the ones who like to spoil our children.”
“But you’re the one who did most of the shopping.”
Kristin turned to Nathan, her mouth open to reply but instead gave him a small smile then turned back to the ocean of torn wrapping paper, scattered bows and empty boxes covering their living room floor.
“We should get a camera,” Kristin pointed to their kids.
Noelle lay curled up on top of her body board, fast asleep, with her new baby-doll clutched tightly in her arms and her little red bottom high in the air while Nicholas had somehow managed to open the box on his backhoe, climb in and fall asleep sitting in his new toy.
“I think the kids have the right idea,” Nathan told Kristin as he yawned. “I could handle a nap right about now.”
Kristin laughed softly. “I know what you mean.”
“You should… you are the one who kept me up most of the night.”
“I kept you…”
“Yes, you kept me,” Nathan grinned at her then let his eyes quickly roam over her. “You and that incredibly sexy body of yours.”
Kristin laughed and shook her head. “You’re crazy.”
“Actually… I’m horny.” Nathan told her. “I seem to recall that we were interrupted this morning,” he said as he squeezed her thigh. “We could… quickly clean up here, bring the kids upstairs… then crawl into our bed… slip beneath the covers, and…”
“Get interrupted again by our guests showing up.”
“Don’t worry, my captain.” Kristin smiled at her husband. “We have some very important celebrating to do later… and I can promise you then that there will not be any interruptions.”
Nathan grinned. “I’m looking forward to it.”
“Me too,” Kristin said then slipped down off the couch to her knees. “Now… how about we get to work on cleaning up this mess.”
“I’ll go grab a garbage bag,” Nathan said as he got to his feet then made his way to the kitchen. He returned moments later to find Kristin on her hands and knees, sifting through the torn paper and boxes. Amusement tugged his lips into a smile at the sight of a fuzzy red rear end sticking up high in the air, a corner of the flap folded over, much like Nicholas’ was the night before, to reveal a hint of the smooth tan skin beneath.
Amusement quickly gave way to another, even stronger feeling.
“Nathan!” Kristin exclaimed when she felt his body envelope hers. “What are you doing?”
“What does it feel like?” Nathan asked as he crouched on his hands and knees over her and nuzzled her neck. “I’m kissing your neck.”
“…Nath… an…” his name came out on a moan and Kristin found herself involuntarily arching back against him. “You know we can’t do this.”
“You said we couldn’t go upstairs,” Nathan murmured as he nibbled her ear. “You didn’t say anything about making out in the living room.”
Kristin laughed softly then suddenly found herself on her back with Nathan still kneeling over her. Her breath hitched at the look in his eyes, and her tongue darted out to lick her lips as he slowly lowered his mouth to hers.
“Well… I guess a little making out wouldn’t hurt anyone…” Kristin told him breathlessly as the kiss ended and reached up to wrap her arms around his neck.
Nathan chuckled. “I love you, Kristin Bridger.”
“And I love you, Nathan Bridger.” Kristin returned the sentiment as she pulled him down to her; a soft, happy sigh leaving her as his body settled against hers.
Supported on his elbows, Nathan cupped Kristin’s face in his hands and threaded his fingers in her thick hair. “You are so beautiful…” he said in a soft voice as he stroked her cheeks with his thumbs. “So beautiful…” Nathan murmured again as he lowered his mouth to hers.
Tears formed in Kristin’s eyes at the gentle touch of his lips against hers. “I love it when you kiss me like that,” she told him.
“Like that… so soft… your lips caressing mine… your breath washing over and mingling with mine…”
Nathan smiled and lowered his mouth back to hers, repeating the barely-there kiss then outlined her lips with his tongue, silently requesting entrance which was immediately given. Nathan moaned as Kristin coaxed his tongue into the hot cavern of her mouth, her own tongue teasing and dancing with his.
“Mmm…” Kristin moaned as the kiss slowly ended. “And then there is that kiss…” she said breathlessly and licked her lips; her sable eyes dark with passion. Kristin laid her hand on his cheek, her thumb caressing his lips. “I love when you kiss me like that too… with an almost primal hunger…”
A low growl sounded in Nathan’s throat as he gazed down at her, his blue eyes hazy with desire. “I do hunger for you, Kris… always…” he told her. “The taste of you… the smell of you… but more than anything… I hunger for the merging of our bodies… when in that one moment our souls become one.”
“Oh, Nathan…” Kristin whispered and pulled his mouth back to hers.
They kissed passionately, losing themselves in each other as hands slowly began to wander and explore.
Kristin was so lost in Nathan’s kiss that she didn’t realize he’d pulled down the zipper of her pyjamas until she felt the heat of his hand surround her bare breast. “Nathan…” she gasped out of the kiss then moaned softly as he gently kneaded the full mound. “Nathan, we can’t… oohmmm…”
Nathan ignored his wife and dipped his head to pull the tight, dusky nipple into his mouth. He swirled his tongue around the sensitive tip, smiling to himself as Kristin arched against him, trying to push more of her breast into his mouth.
“Mmm… oh I love how you… mmm…” Kristin arched into Nathan again as gently nipped her nipple. Her hands clenched around a wad of wrapping paper, the sound seeming to pull Kristin’s attention back to their surroundings. She reached down to thread her fingers in Nathan’s hair and tugged gently. “Nathan… Nathan… stop…”
Nathan lifted his head, her nipple slipping from between his lips, to look at her. “Kris?”
“We can’t… the kids…” Kristin told him in a husky voice. “What if they wake up?”
“I’ll just tell them I’m kissing mama’s ouchy all better,” Nathan told her as he ducked his head and once again pulled her nipple into the hot cavern of his mouth.
Kristin laughed and tugged on Nathan’s hair again. “I’m serious, Nathan…”
With an audible sigh, and a final hard pull, Nathan released Kristin’s breast then kissed his way up her chest, over her throat to her lips. “I know,” he said softly against her lips. “I just can’t help it… I love your breasts…”
“I know you do,” Kristin smiled at her husband.
“I want to make you come… just by loving your breasts…” Nathan told her suddenly, smiling at the desire he could see darkening Kristin’s eyes. “It’s been too long since I’ve done that…”
“Most definitely tonight.”
“Tonight you can kiss, suck, lick…”
Kristin nodded. “Nibble… whatever you want…”
Nathan’s eyes lit up and a huge grin spread out across his face. “Ooh, goodie! I love nibbling on every inch of your body.”
Kristin laughed as Nathan suddenly rolled onto his side, pulling her with him so that they were lying face to face, her head resting on his arm and their legs entangled below. Her hand once again came up to cup his cheek. “Later…”
“Later…” Nathan turned his lips into her touch and pressed a kiss to her palm. “So,” he turned to face her again. “When is everyone supposed to be arriving?”
“Well, Janet said…” Kristin began to tell him of the plans for the day, their earlier passion and hunger tempering into a gentle exchange of light kisses and soft touches while they conversed.
Little by little though, both Nathan and Kristin fell into a light doze, snuggled together amidst the wrapping paper and boxes.
Kristin snuggled into the warmth surrounding her, and sighed contentedly as her husband’s scent drifted over her. Her eyes fluttered open and Kristin smiled as she gazed at her dozing husband.
‘Such strong features,’ Kristin thought to herself, her eyes drifting over his face then gave into the urge to touch him, and lifted her hand to trace the line of his nose with her fingers.
“How long’ve you been awake?”
Kristin smiled at the gruffly mumbled question. “Just a few moments.”
“And what have you been doing these few moments?”
“Watching you sleep,” Kristin answered then released a happy sigh as Nathan’s arms tightened around her and pulled her closer.
“Why would you want to do that?”
“Because I think you look cute.”
“I’m not cute,” Nathan’s eyes opened and he smiled at his wife.
“No… you’re not cute,” Kristin agreed then shifted closer, her lips mere inches from his. “You’re sexy as hell…”
Nathan chuckled. “So are you, Mrs. Bridger. So are you.”
Kristin smiled and closed the distance between their mouths. She moaned softly as the loving kiss deepened and Nathan’s tongue slipped past her lips to mate with hers. Kristin wrapped her arm around his neck as Nathan rolled them so that she was on her back with his body covering hers.
“Oh man!! Don’t you two ever stop!?”
They pulled apart with a start just in time to be blinded by a sudden flash.
“Merry Christmas to you too, Lucas.” Nathan called out as he blinked furiously to clear the spots before his eyes. “And for your information, nothing was happening.”
“Uh huh… sure,” Lucas grinned. “That’s why your hand is down the doc’s top, right, Cap?”
It was at that moment that Kristin became aware of the warmth of Nathan’s hand around her breast. She flushed and buried her face in Nathan’s neck. “It’s not funny,” Kristin mumbled against her husband’s shaking chest.
“Yes, it is…” Nathan laughed as he slowly extricated his hand from Kristin’s pyjama top. “I didn’t even realize I’d done that.”
Lucas raised an eyebrow at the comment and was about to make a smartass remark when his attention was diverted to a sleepy mumble of his name. He turned to see Noelle sitting up, a fist rubbing at her eyes. He left Nathan and Kristin to pull themselves together and walked over to the half-awake four year old.
“Merry Christmas, Little Butt!” Lucas told the little girl as he sat down next to her and pulled her into his lap.
“Merry Christmas, Lucas.” Noelle murmured as she cuddled into his embrace, her baby-doll still clutched tightly in her arms; surprising both the young man holding her and her parents at her clear pronunciation of the words.
Nathan and Kristin looked at each other and smiled. Nathan nodded at the unspoken request in his wife’s eyes and quickly reached for the camera they kept in the end table next to the couch. He snapped a couple pictures of his daughter curled up in Lucas’ lap.
Lucas looked up at the flash and smiled then looked back down at the little girl in his arms who’d started tugging on his shirt to get his attention. “What can I do for you, Little Butt?”
“Loot what Santa brung me for Tismas,” Noelle said and showed him her baby-doll.
“She’s very pretty. What’s her name?”
“Holly,” Noelle answered.
Lucas looked up at the call of his name. “Yeah, Doc?”
“Would you watch the kids for us while we run up and take a quick shower and get dressed?”
“Sure thing,” Lucas nodded then grinned. “As long as it’s a ‘quick’ shower.”
“It will be. Trust me.”
“Yeah,” Nathan said with a dramatic sigh. “It will be.”
Lucas laughed as Kristin grabbed Nathan’s hand and pulled him behind her. “Come on, Sailor… you can scrub my back.”
“Don’t forget to rub mama’s sore boobs, Daddy an make’em all bedder.” Noelle called after her parents just as they disappeared into the hall at the top of the stairs.
‘I don’t want to know,’ Lucas thought to himself then turned his attention back to the little girl in his arms.
“She didn’t!?” Janet managed in between giggles.
“She did,” Kristin answered her friend, a slight blush colouring her cheeks. “I can only imagine what Lucas thought.”
“Well, knowing you two, he probably just shrugged it off,” Janet said then backed away from the hand that came flying playfully her way. “What? It is a well known fact that you and Nathan have a very healthy sex life.”
Kristin’s blush grew even as she smiled and nodded. “True.”
“And young Miss Bridger is going to grow up with a very positive outlook on sex, and on marriage,” Janet told her. “Now… what do you say we start bringing the food out?”
“I say, lead on Macduff.”
Nathan wiped his mouth with his napkin then sat back in his chair with a satisfied smile on his face. “That was delicious, ladies.”
“I agree!” Bill seconded Nathan’s comments, as he too sat back in his chair and patted his stomach. “That was indeed a splendid feast. You two have outdone yourselves again.”
Kristin and Janet beamed under the praise of their husbands as the other guests around the table seconded the sentiment.
“Another triumph!” Kristin told Janet in a mock whisper.
“Wait until they try dessert!”
A collective groan went up from the group, each one protesting that they couldn’t eat another bite.
Janet and Kristin rolled their eyes at each other, knowing that most of the guests would be digging into the cakes and pies within an hour.
“I thought that everyone could retire to the den while I clean up the table then I’ll place the deserts here and everyone can peruse them at their leisure.” Kristin informed her guests as she pushed back from the table.
“We can help clean…” A heavily pregnant Katie Kreig offered but Kristin waved her away.
“Nonsense. Everyone go into the other room and visit. I insist. Besides, you need to stay off of your feet. We don’t want Nick having to share his birthday if your little one decides to show up early.” Kristin winked at Katie and Ben. “It won’t take but a few minutes for me to clear the dishes away then I will join you.”
“Come on, honey. Hoist yourself out of the chair.” Janet patted Bill’s shoulder for encouragement.
Bill did so with a loud grunt. “You shouldn’t be such a damn good cook,” he told his wife with a grin. “I guess you will just have to help me work all that food off.” The grin turned lecherous as he made to kiss Janet.
“Down boy. I’ve got to help with the clean-up.”
“Help your husband to the den, Janet,” Nathan told her with a laugh. “I will help Kristin with the dishes… host’s privilege.”
“If you wouldn’t mind keeping an eye on the kids?” Kristin questioned as she moved toward the kitchen door, plates stacked in her hands.
“Come on, Unka Bill! I show you my body board!” Noelle hopped up from the large table and grabbed one of Bill’s hands.
“Wanna sow my dump twuck!” Nick added as he tugged on Bill’s other hand. Their godfather laughed as he let them lead him into the hallway.
“So,” Janet turned back to the couple, “I take it that Operation Ho Ho Ho was a success?”
Nathan grinned. “Santa had two little observers, yes…”
“I can’t wait to see the footage. I’ll be glad to help clean…” She offered once again.
“No, you go act as hostess in the den for me. We’ll be in soon.”
Janet saw a brief flicker cross Nathan’s face. “No sneaking upstairs!” She waved a finger at the now blushing couple then exited the room, a knowing grin on her face.
“How the hell did she know what I was thinking?” Nathan complained for the sixth time as he entered the kitchen with the last of the dishes in his hands.
“Janet is a very perceptive woman. She guessed about you and me before anyone else five years ago, remember? Besides, she’s known you for over thirty years. Nathan… what are you doing?”
Nathan’s hands slipped around Kristin to palm her breasts, his hips grinding into her bottom as she leaned over loading the dishwasher. She could feel the evidence of his desire hardening even more against her cheeks.
“Janet only said we couldn’t go upstairs. She didn’t mention the kitchen…”
“Where anyone could walk in on us…” Kristin sucked her breath in as Nathan pinched the peaked tips of her breasts through the velvet of her red dress.
“Our children are keeping them busy.” Nathan turned Kristin in his arms as he backed her up, trapping her against the countertop. “It’s our wedding anniversary. They expect us to celebrate.”
“After the children have gone to sleep and our guests have gone home,” but even as Kristin protested her fingers were tugging at the buttons of Nathan’s shirt.
“I just want to kiss my wife…” he told her in his best little boy voice, his brilliant smile distracting her from his fingers tugging on the zipper at her back.
“Nathan… Nathan… my lips are up here…”
“Who said anything about limiting myself to your lips?” His tongue lapped across her collarbone as he tugged the dress down.
“You won’t be the one with all of their… assets… hanging out when the boy genius slash interrupter comes barreling through the door.” Kristin arched into his touch as his lips brushed over the swell of her breast.
Nathan pulled on the dress again, exposing more bare skin. “The boy genius is twenty-one years old now and although we haven’t discussed it I am reasonably certain that he would now completely understand and applaud my efforts. Have I told you lately how much I adore this bra?”
Kristin giggled as Nathan nuzzled the scrap of candy-cane embroidered silk that barely covered her breast. “I’m just amazed I can still fit into it. I have had two more children since this particular garment ended up as Bill’s headwear five years ago.”
Nathan chuckled at the image Kristin’s words evoked, the vibrations pulsing through the nipple his lips were locked around and traveling straight to the heart of Kristin’s desire. She whimpered, one hand pushing him away while the other locked around his neck. “You have to stop or I can’t be responsible…” Her hand slid between them, fingers locking over the bulge between his legs.
“And a Merry Christmas was had by all!”
Nathan jerked his head up and whirled to find Janet standing in the doorway, a knowing smile on her face.
“I could close the dining room doors and you two could use the table,” she offered.
“Bloody hell… we’re sorry…” Nathan turned to find Kristin struggling to pull her dress back in place. He quickly reached behind her and righted the material then pulled the zipper up.
“We are not sorry. It’s our anniversary… our fifth one. That’s the one where you get to make out where ever and whenever you want. Check the reference books.”
Janet lost her composure completely at that. “You are a nut, Nathan Bridger,” she told him through her laughter.
“About my wife, most certainly,” he agreed pleasantly. “Now why did you barge in and interrupt us?”
“Lucas mentioned that he was dying for some fudge so I thought that I would…”
“I knew that somehow Lucas would figure into this!” Kristin muttered knowingly.
“Go back to the den, Janet. Kristin and I will have dessert on the table in five minutes.” Nathan promised.
“Try it before you put the sweets out. It’s less messy that way.” Janet snickered with a wave of her fingers as she left the kitchen.
“My God, woman! You’ve got more desserts here than you had food if that is possible!” Nathan stared at the heavily laden table as Kristin placed a final plate of mince pies on the last inch of surface space available.
“We have a lot of people to feed… the Noyce family, the old command crew from the seaQuest, and Cynthia should be arriving in a few hours.” Kristin reminded her husband. “And Lucas will eat an entire plate of fudge all by himself.”
“And spend the rest of the night bouncing off the walls.” Nathan smiled ruefully.
“There… I think that looks lovely.” Kristin carefully straightened a gingerbread man on a plate then stood back to survey the bounty.
“Then let’s head over to the den before Janet sends a search party for us.” Nathan held out his hand to Kristin. She took it with a smile and found herself being propelled forward into her husband’s arms. He kissed her thoroughly then lifted his head and grinned.
“In case I haven’t mentioned it today, I love you, Mrs. Bridger.”
“And I adore you, Mr. Bridger.”
With a laugh they each wrapped an arm around the other’s waist and moved into the hallway. As they approached the arched entrance to the den they could hear their daughter’s voice.
“And then we all sat in the big tair and daddy read the Trismas Tory. Nick fell asleep but I helped mama put out the tookies and milk for Santa and some apples for the reindeer. Santa ate all the tookies but he left the milk. Daddy said that’s cause Santa likes Coke better.”
Kristin turned to eye Nathan. “So much for Christmas tradition,” she whispered.
“What can I say?” Nathan shrugged. “I happen to know that Santa can’t stand warm milk. Haven’t you ever seen those old commercials?”
Kristin’s brow furrowed. “What advertisements?”
“You know… the old Coke television spots and print ads showing Santa drinking an ice cold Coca-Cola.” Nathan explained.
Kristin shook her head slightly. “I don’t recall ever seeing those. I think you are making that up, Nathan Bridger.”
“I’m not, I swear! Maybe they just didn’t show those spots in England.”
“You are just trying to make points for your argument to leave Santa a cola next year instead of milk…”
“Unlike the bloody Brits who drink everything too warm, I don’t enjoy hot milk!” Nathan’s hushed voice rose sharply.
“Shh!” Kristin cautioned. “Listen…”
“…and then I tume back down the stairs and Santa was still here! He was talking to mama and fixin’ the stockings on the fireplace. He tole mama he was gonna nail something else there but then he told mama to tume sit on his lap and tell him what she wanted for Trismas. But mama didn’t sit like me and Nick did. She wrapped her legs ‘round Santa’s waist. I touldn’t hear what she wanted but Santa must have told her she’d get it tause then she gave him a great big kiss!”
“Oh shit! That was Noelle I heard!”
The stunned look on Kristin’s face quickly turned to one of disbelief. “You knew she was there… watching us?”
“No! I just… I heard the stairs creak and I thought for a moment… but then I didn’t hear anything else. I swear that she wasn’t there when I stopped to listen. How was I to know that she saw us?”
“Or that she’d tell our guests…” They both turned back toward the den where Noelle was still talking.
“…and Santa really liked mama’s pwetty black nightie tause he was rubbing his fingers over it and tellin’ mama how much he liked tandy tanes.”
By this time both Nathan and Kristin stood in the entrance, their mouths gaping.
“What happened then, sweetie?” Janet asked quickly, seeing that both mother and father were about to speak. She then lifted her head slightly and smiled evilly at Nathan and Kristin.
“I ‘membered how Santa had seen me before and I got scared that he might see me again and take my pesents back so I snuck back to bed.”
All those in the room who could see Nathan and Kristin had to stifle their laughs at the looks of relief that crossed the couple’s faces.
“So you finally got to see Santa, little butt? I knew you would.” Lucas told Noelle.
“I did… I think… but after mama kissed Santa she put her hands under his beard and tickled him and he made that noise like daddy makes sometimes… after me and Nick has gone to bed… I was thinking that maybe Santa Taus might be daddy too… cause if he wasn’t I’s gonna tell on mama!”
The gurgling noise that rose from Kristin’s throat alarmed Nathan and he pulled her back into the hallway to pound on her back.
“I don’t think that daddy would mind mama giving Santa Claus a friendly little kiss, angel, do you?” Janet asked.
Noelle wrinkled her nose thoughtfully for a moment. “Daddy don’t like mama tissin’ anybody but him and me and Nick but… I guess Santa is different… and they was sorta under the moosletoe. You wanna tume see my new baby doll, Aunt Janet?”
“I’d love to, angel.”
“Mama made me put her in my room tause tompany was tumin’ over,” Noelle told her godmother as she tugged on her hand. Janet stood and followed.
Noelle was almost to the doorway before she realized her parents were standing there. “Mama! Daddy! I’m donna show Aunt Janet my new dolly, otay?”
“Of course, angel-girl. Don’t be gone too long though. Uncle Bill will get lonely without Aunt Janet.” Nathan couldn’t help but tease the woman who was staring at both of them with a knowing look, the smart-ass grin covering her face causing Kristin’s to flame.
“Mama,” Noelle said, her voice full of concern. “You face is red. You got a fever?”
“No… I’m fine, Noelle.”
“If you hurt daddy tould rub it and make it all better like he did you boob.”
“Take Aunt Janet upstairs now, Noelle!” Nathan commanded as Kristin turned and fled the room.
“Umm… excuse me just a minute.” Nathan barked out to the group in the den. “Dessert is in the dining room.” He took off after Kristin, never hearing the roar of laughter behind him.
Nathan found Kristin sitting in the large wicker hanging chair at the far end of the porch, her body pulled as far back into the egg shaped swing as it would go. Ignoring her angry glare, he climbed in after her and pulled her into his lap.
“I don’t want you here.” She spat at him. “This is what gets us in trouble in the first place.”
“Kris…” Nathan soothed. “Noelle didn’t see very much… only your nightgown and she’s seen you in that thousands of times before.”
“But she could have… you are never touching me again!”
Nathan chuckled, knowing that Kristin would calm down soon. His hands began to move up and down her arms soothingly.
“I know what you are trying to do, Bridger, so you can just stop that right now!”
“I’m not trying to do anything but make you feel better, baby. I’m not thrilled that Noelle saw us but I’m more upset about damaging her image of Santa Claus. We enjoy touching each other, kissing each other and loving each other. Our children know that. I don’t want them to think that mommy and daddy are uptight about sex. That might color their attitudes about a very natural thing.”
“But they are so young…”
“Young enough that had Noelle witnessed more she would have thought as little about it as she did about the kiss. I’d worry more if she were older. Knowing our daughter she’ll be very keen to find out what exactly daddy does to mommy to make her moan that way.”
Kristin took Nathan’s face between her palms. “You are absolutely incorrigible, Nathan Bridger.”
“And you love me for it.” He quickly leaned forward and planted a loving kiss on Kristin’s lips.
“Now why don’t we go back inside like good hosts?”
Kristin nodded and climbed out of the swing then helped Nathan out.
“Have I told you how beautiful you look in your Christmas dress, Mrs. Claus?” He fingered the white fur trim of her sleeve while his other hand stroked the clingy red velvet along her back. “Almost as beautiful as you look out of it.”
“Sweet talker.” Kristin responded but her smile told Nathan that his compliment was appreciated.
They entered the house arm in arm, laughing quietly about Noelle’s story as Kristin slowly came to appreciate the humor in the situation.
“We are really going to be in for a time when our daughter becomes a teenager. I wonder how she will relay this story to her own children one day…”
“There is always the visual method.”
Nathan and Kristin looked up to see Janet standing halfway up the stairs, her eyes glued to the tiny screen on the video camera she had removed from its hiding place. “Damn… It looks like Santa did get lucky last night…”
“Janet… give me that camera!” Kristin demanded.
Janet just laughed.
“Come on, Janet. If you want a thrill get Bill and borrow the guest room…” Nathan held out his hand but Janet shook her head as she snapped the screen shut then tucked the tiny device in the pocket of her jacket.
“I actually didn’t get much further than Noelle in my viewing but what I saw was very interesting. Exactly how ‘naughty’ did Dr. Bridger get?”
“You are enjoying yourself too bloody much, Janet Noyce. The camera if you please?” Kristin asked once more.
“I’ll… think about it.” Janet smiled once more then turned and moved into the den.
Nathan and Kristin followed her but stopped in the doorway as applause and hooting filled the air. Kristin’s face colored again but Nathan’s arm wrapped firmly around her waist held her in place. He cleared his throat to gain her attention then darted his eyes upward. Kristin’s gaze followed his, a smile touching her lips when she saw the ball of mistletoe waving above them. She responded with fervor when Nathan captured her lips in an ardent kiss.
They were startled out of the kiss several moments later by Nicholas attacking their legs.
“Hey, sailor-man!” Nathan laughed.
“Wan to tiss mama too!” Nicholas told them then puckered his lips up into a fish face.
Nathan grinned and lifted his son into his arms, and held him so that Nicholas could lean over and kiss Kristin on the cheek.
“So, tell us… what’s the bomb this year?”
Nathan and Kristin turned their attention towards Bill just in time to see his wife strike out at his leg with her foot. Both were surprised to see a grin come to his face, as he didn’t even flinch.
Bill grinned at them then hiked up one of his pant legs. “Santa finally brought me the much needed shin guards,” he told them.
Everyone in the room laughed.
“So… I repeat… what news bomb are you two dropping on us this year?”
“We have no idea what you’re talking about, Bill,” Nathan said as he lowered Nicholas to the floor then gave him a gentle pat on the bottom to send him on his way. Nathan slipped his arm around Kristin’s waist and led her over to the empty armchair where he sat down then pulled Kristin into his lap.
“Oh please… first it was the announcement that not only were the two of you involved, but that you were pregnant and getting married.”
“I believe I announced that we were getting married before we told you that we were pregnant,” Nathan said.
“Semantics,” Bill replied with a wave of his hand. “The Christmas after that, you told me you’d decided to retire… and it was all I could do to convince you not to… to accept the promotion to Admiral, and head up the ‘Research, Design and Development’ department.”
Bill paused to take a sip of his drink. “The following Christmas,” he directed his gaze to Kristin, “we spent watching you keep your knees locked together so that young Master Nicholas wouldn’t be born on the twenty-fifth…”
Nicholas’ head popped up at the mention of his name, and he smiled at his uncle then returned his attention back to where he was pushing his dump truck around the floor, the back of the toy filled with bows.
“The next Christmas it was your daughter announcing that she was getting married then eloping on New Year’s.” Bill turned to look at Cynthia and her husband. “Something your mothers still haven’t quite forgiven you for, you know.”
“I know, Dad.” William Noyce Junior nodded then smiled as he looked at his wife. “But can you blame me for not wanting to wait to marry this beautiful woman.” He leaned close and brushed his lips across Cynthia’s.
“No. I can’t,” Bill said with a grin. “Quick weddings seem to be the norm around here.”
Katie and Ben just grinned and blushed as they laid their hands on her gravid belly.
“Last year it was the emergency appendectomy,” Bill continued, his attention back on Nathan and Kristin. “So what is it this year? Matching tattoos? You’ve decided to join Keller on his next mission to Mars? Or is it something simple like you’ve knocked her up again?”
“Bill!” Janet hissed as her foot shot out to connect with his shin yet again.
Bill merely smiled and patted the hard plastic protecting his leg from his wife’s foot. “Please… the kids see their parents making out all the time,” he told her then looked back at Nathan and Kristin. “Well?”
“We have no idea what you’re talking about, Bill.” Nathan said nonchalantly.
“Unh huh… sure.” Bill replied sarcastically.
Kristin and Nathan chuckled. “Sorry to disappoint you, Bill.” Kristin told him. “No Earth-shattering announcement this year.”
Bill crossed his arms over his chest and merely looked amused, refusing to believe them as both Nathan and Kristin turned and engaged the others in conversation.
“Thank you for all your help,” Kristin told Janet as the two women embraced.
“Happy to do it, honey… you know that,” Janet replied and pulled back to smile at Kristin then moved over to hug Nathan.
“Now you’re certain you and Nathan don’t have any news you need or want to share with us?” Bill asked as he enfolded Kristin in his arms.
“Quite certain,” Kristin chuckled as she returned his hug. “Sorry to disappoint you, Bill.”
Bill grinned at her as he released her then slipped his hand into Janet’s as she stepped back from hugging Nathan. “Nathan…” Bill extended his hand to his friend. “This is your last chance…”
Nathan shook his head and smiled. “We’ll see you tomorrow, Bill.”
“Really… you can tell us now… everyone has gone home…”
“Come on, Bill,” Janet tugged on her husband’s arm. “Good night you two.”
“We won’t say a word…”
“Ignore him,” Janet said.
“I’ve been trying for almost forty years…”
“Ha ha ha!” Bill retorted good-naturedly.
Janet shook her head. “Happy anniversary you two. Have fun celebrating!”
“We plan on it!” Nathan grinned as he wrapped his arm around Kristin’s waist and pulled her close.
“Thank you, Janet.” Kristin smiled at her friend. “Drive safely.”
Janet nodded as she and Bill began to descend the stairs toward their car. Halfway there Bill suddenly stopped, turned, then ran back up. “I almost forgot. I found this shoved in beside the cushion of the chair I was sitting in. Somehow I have an idea it might belong to you.” His hand lifted slowly out of his pants pocket, a stream of black silk, dotted with Candy Canes dangling from his fingers.
Kristin snatched her nightgown away, her face coloring yet again as Bill headed down the stairs, his loud chuckles filling the air.
Moments later, Nathan and Kristin waved as their friends drove away. “Now that everyone’s gone…” Nathan nuzzled his wife’s temple. “What say we go inside and start celebrating our anniversary?”
“I say you’re on, sailor.” Kristin pulled back to give him a brilliant smile then pressed a soft kiss to his lips. “I just need to check on the children then slip into something more comfortable. This bra is killing me.”
Nathan chuckled and lifted his hands to cup her breasts. “My poor baby… guess I’ll just have to rub them and make them feel better.”
Kristin pressed her chest into his palms with a soft moan and nodded. “If it wouldn’t be any trouble.”
“None at all,” Nathan quipped.
Kristin giggled then reached up to grasp his wrists and pulled his hands away from her breasts. “Hold that thought, my love,” she told him then turned and entered the house, Nathan right behind her. “Why don’t you get the champagne, start a fire, and I’ll be right back down.”
“Okay,” Nathan agreed and watched her move up the stairs, more than certain that she’d added an extra sway to her hips for his benefit. Once she’d disappeared around the corner, he dashed into the kitchen to grab the champagne and two glasses then returned to the living room to turn on the fireplace.
He stripped off his shirt, tossed it on the couch and sat down in the large overstuffed chair just as Kristin began to make her way down the stairs. Nathan smiled at the sight of his wife wearing the new silk and sheer pyjamas he’d given her.
“You look gorgeous,” he said in a soft voice once she was standing before him.
“Thank you,” Kristin smiled and slowly turned, giving him a complete view. “Does it meet your expectations?”
“And then some,” Nathan nodded as his eyes slowly drifted down the soft pink baby-doll encasing her luscious body, over her long bare legs to her feet which were incased in delicate pink feathered high-heeled slippers. He licked his lips as he dragged his eyes back up the delectable sight. “You always manage to take my breath away.”
Kristin blushed under her husband’s compliment then moved to stand in front of the fireplace.
“Were the kids still sleeping?” Nathan asked as he poured the champagne into the flutes.
“Yes,” Kristin replied. “Both out to the world.”
“Good,” Nathan smiled as he returned the bottle to the bucket then sat back in the chair.
Feeling his eyes on her once again, Kristin turned to see Nathan gazing at her, his eyes dark with desire and moving slowly up and down her body.
“Kris…” he called to her in a husky voice. “Come here…”
Kristin nodded, grabbing his stocking from off the mantle before she made her way over to him. She lowered herself down onto his lap and accepted the glass of champagne he held up for her as she laid the stocking in her lap.
“What’s with the stocking?” Nathan asked.
“Well… you forgot to empty it this morning,” Kristin answered.
“No I didn’t… I filled them, and I know I didn’t put anything in mine. Just yours and the kids,” Nathan told her.
“That’s true,” Kristin nodded. “But I slipped something into yours.”
“That’s right… I saw you do that last night.”
Kristin pouted dramatically. “And here I thought I was being so sneaky.”
Nathan chuckled. “You were sneaky with the tattoos… God I loved those. Please tell me you have more of those.”
“I have more,” Kristin smiled then licked her lips and leaned in closer. “And there is still the one I’m wearing that you haven’t yet removed.”
“Oh yes… I’ve not forgotten that one,” Nathan slid his hand between them to give her bottom a caress.
“Nathan…” Kristin murmured as he continued to rub and squeeze her rear.
“Can I unwrap you first and the stocking later?” Nathan asked with a grin.
“No…” Kristin shook her head and held up the stocking. “I have a very special present in here for you.”
“Do you really?”
“Now you’ve got me curious,” Nathan said as he put his glass of champagne down and reached for the stocking.
Kristin bit her lip as Nathan took the stocking from her hands, reached in and pulled out the contents. She held her breath and watched Nathan’s face carefully for his reaction.
Nathan slowly lifted his eyes from the small package he’d just unwrapped. “Kris…?”
Kristin smiled at him.
“You mean… we…”
Kristin’s smile grew.
Kristin reached up to cup his cheek, her eyes bright with unshed tears.
“Is… everything’s all right, right? You’re okay?”
Kristin nodded again.
“I can’t believe this… that we… that… Kris…”
No more words were necessary as Nathan swooped down and covered Kristin’s mouth in a celebratory kiss. Things were beginning to really heat up when Nathan suddenly broke off the kiss and pulled back, a large grin on his face.
“You realize… Bill is never going to let us live this down!”
Merry Christmas, 2004 & Happy New Year!!
oh yes… the title of the story, if you’ve not figured it out, translates as “I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus”.
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