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A Different Kind of Christmas Carol

by Zustara Orur

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

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


"We gotta go clean up real quick and get our butts over there", I said. "My bro and sisters, they won't wait for us, they wouldn't wait for any reason", I managed in between two kisses. Jeff got the picture and took me in his arms and carried me off bodily to the main bathroom.

It wasn't an orgy in luxury - which I of course should have expected, but still wasn't prepared for. It was quite normal actually, quality yet without frills. No jacuzzi, just a big normal tub, a separate shower, sink of course, and one of those funny bidet thingies. A washing machine with a tumble-dryer stood stacked on top of each other right by the door. Everything was white. Equipment, floors (plastic), walls (enameled tiles), even ceiling actually. Jeff took me to the shower and we rinsed off quickly and washed our hair too. It was just a fast three-minute shower, no 'fun' stuff, except I washed Jeff's slightly red-tinged golden hair, and he washed my platinum-blonde hair. AND he touched my butt also quite a lot with his other hand! It still took just three minutes though, and then we got dry (doing it ourselves because that was quicker) and hurried back to his room.

"Your stuff's over in the armchair", Jeff said and pointed. "I put it there last night, you were asleep and there was no point in waking you." He was right. All my clothes, neatly folded and looking like they'd been ironed actually, they were THAT neat-looking. I got dressed quick, but made sure to wiggle my hips a bit for Jeff as I slipped into my jeans. Again showing off that butt that he seemed to love so much! I didn't have to put on the cufflinks again because my hands were small enough to slip through the sleeves with them still on, and I did my necktie myself too. Jeff got dressed a bit more casual than last night, and he didn't bother to slick back his hair. He let it just hang down kinda damp still in soft bangs that looked soo good on him! He got a kiss just because of that! Then he patted my bum and shooed me all the way downstairs; we ran down the corridor of his apartment, then through the rest of the top floor (which was much in the same style as downstairs, which means lots of heavy wooden antique stuff, paintings, tapestries, vases, thick carpets, stuff everywhere), and down via the main stairwell.

"William!", Jeffrey shouted eagerly several times on the way down. I have no idea how he expected the butler to be up and about so early, but when we came down to the ground floor, there he was. As well-dressed and meticulous as the day before actually.

"No need trying to wake the dead", the butler chided mildly. "I heard you just fine the first time." We grinned both, and then William gave us a quick warm smile, then re-assumed his neutral facial expression. "I woke up Mr. Miller, he's bringing the Bentley around, so if you just get dressed in your winter clothing, you can be off right away..." He showed us towards the front entrance and we followed. Jeff got into his jacket he used at school, then held up the coat he'd given to me the day before and I got into it. He hugged me quick and kissed my forehead before letting go, and I blushed a little because William saw us! He pretended not to notice.

"Oh yeah! The Bentley, great! Thanks William!"

"I knew you'd appreciate that", the butler said with what was probably the hint of a smile playing at the corners of his mouth. He accepted Jeff's quick hug too stoically. "Now be off you two, and take care."

"We will!", I said with a big smile, and Jeff patted me, happy that I was making friends with his friend. After our goodbye, we walked on out into the winter morning. It was still pitch black outside, only the glow from the lamp posts that lined the wide driveway all the way back to the street made it possible to see properly. Well, of course, the headlights of the large, shiny, midnight-black Bentley did enable us to see some stuff also!

It was a truly elegant car, I thought of our old Volvo 244 that rattled and vibrated and was all cranky in the mornings when it was cold, and it seemed like such an old rustbucket in comparison... I felt bad for a few seconds for thinking of it like that, it had served the family well for like my entire life after all, but it really couldn't compete with the elegance, quality and sheer luxury of that Bentley. The engine purred so softly we almost could not hear it at all, the leather seats looked so soft, everything was just plain amazing...

Mr. Miller came out of the car and walked around to open the right-hand side passenger door for us, he was dressed in a real driver's uniform, and he greeted Jeffrey with a familiar, "Cheers, mate, and merry Christmas!" His English was a more 'colorful' dialect, not as strict as Jeff's, and he seemed very friendly.

"Merry Christmas, Franklin", Jeff responded with a smile. Mr. Miller wasn't that old, around thirty I think. Not very tall either, and he had short-cropped black hair and a small, short-cropped black beard on his chin. His face had a rather wide jaw and cheekbones, a more masculine kind of handsome compared to Jeffrey's kinda cuter handsome. "Sorry about having William drag you out of bed like this."

"Naah, it's alright. Anything for you, Jeffrey." The two shared a friendly smile as Jeff made me get into the car first, he followed Frank around to the other side and took his place. Then, as our driver got into the driver seat, Jeff scooted over to my side instead, almost snuggling in actually. He made me put on the seatbelt, and then I had to make him put on his, just because I didn't ever want anything bad to happen to him! We gave each other a kiss just as Frank turned around and started talking to us!

"So, where are we g-", he said, then halted himself and began to blush! We laughed!

"Sorry man!", Jeff said, not sounding particularly apologetic! "Just drive alright, never mind us!" We giggled more as Frank touched the peak of his driver's cap at us and turned back facing forwards again.

"Someone's started early on his Christmas presents, eh?", he said, and we could hear the amusement in his voice as the car rolled off very smoothly. The engine was little more than a whisper. "Well Jeffrey, you've certainly waited long enough for this, I'm happy for you."

Of course, it was my turn to blush right then, and I did it just as badly as I usually do when I get going. Jeff thinks it's so cute I know it. He hasn't said, he doesn't have to! He merely kissed me again, a really LONG, deep kiss.

A polite cough from the front brought our attention back to our surroundings. "Sorry to disturb you guys, but I really have to know where we're going you know, or we'll never get there. I can't just drive around town at random hoping we'll end up at the right place."

We felt a little silly, but I gave him the address, and then Jeff took my breath away once more just as I finished talking. Actually, he kind of mangled the last word for me, but Frank still got it. He laughed and chatted to us all the way, telling us how he'd actually expected Jeff to take the ladies by storm, but admitted he didn't seem to be doing very bad right now either. Jeff had been hinting at a special someone in school for quite a while, and Frank had of course drawn his own conclusions...!

"I thought it was a bird he was so taken with!", the friendly driver admitted to me. "Though I suppose he didn't do too badly anyway."

"So you too think Timmy's pretty, then?", Jeff quipped! I felt like I wanted to sink down through the seat and just plain disappear out of sight! I felt SOO embarrassed!

Frank coughed again. "I wouldn't go as far as say pretty, but that's probably just because I happen to prefer the opposite sex myself, but he's definitely a very good-looking young lad. I mean, anyone can see that."

"Please... Hide me!", I begged Jeff, and I pulled at his jacket as if to crawl in inside it. Jeff merely laughed, leaned over to kiss me on a hot cheek and then slipped his strong arm over my shoulders, letting his hand touch the skin of my neck. Frank was a good driver, and the Bentley a very comfortable place to be in. Somehow, I kind of missed my parents' old Volvo though... It didn't have style, that's for sure, but it sure had personality. In droves actually! You had to sorta twist the handle on the passenger-side door a little to roll down the window, and if it got really cold in the winter the rear doors would always get stuck and had to be opened from the inside. Little things like that that annoyed you, yet endeared you to the vehicle. It WAS on its last legs now sadly, the clutch and transmission needed to be replaced (and undoubtedly other stuff too was starting to wear out as well) but it wasn't worth spending that amount of money on such an old clunker. It would be sad to see it go.

"Why do you prefer this car over the others?", I asked Jeff softly.

He smiled a little. "This one's turbocharged. It's more fun to ride in, but it's of no use in the city and in this weather. On the German Autobahn though, that's a different matter...!" He paused, getting a slightly dreamy expression, the gaze in his eyes kind of drifting away. "Oh, I can't wait until I get my license...", he mumbled. "If I'd been an American I'd have it already, but now I have to wait a whole more year!" You could hear the yearning in his voice.

"I'm in no particular hurry. I haven't even started yet actually."

Jeff patted my cheek tenderly. "It's all right. Not everybody likes to drive. Dad doesn't, and not mom either."

"Maybe because they got drivers to do it for them?", I replied, feeling a bit like a curious child. It sure was the thing you'd expect a child to say! I was a little worried Jeff would feel insulted, but he just laughed!

"Little Timmy, I'm getting rides all over the place too, yet I love to drive."

"Yeah, but you don't like being rich! Maybe that's the difference?"

He paused, getting a thoughtful expression instead. "Timmy. While I would say I don't particularly LIKE being rich, it would be a complete and utter lie to say I don't enjoy the comforts and benefits it brings me, because I do. Of course I prefer being rich as compared to being poor, I'd be a total hypocrite if I didn't admit that! I mean, there's hardly a person in the world who wouldn't say the same if he was made to speak the plain truth." He paused for a moment, still that thoughtful expression on his face. "Even if you don't intend to spend all your money on yourself, there's so much more you can do as a wealthy person. Make donations to various organizations, help out people in need, that sort of thing."

"I know what you mean, Jeffrey", I said quietly and patted his hand. "But you don't ENJOY it. You don't flaunt it by spending money just because you got lots of it, and I know you feel a bit embarrassed about it all, I can see it on your face all the time. So you really are different from other rich people. You wanted me to get to know you for the REAL you, and that was a genuine wish, not just something you said to impress me..." I paused for a moment, looking at him, into his eyes, so he'd know I was being sincere. "Actually, I figured Hannah's dad to be a lot wealthier than your parents... Her mom's dead you know. Breast cancer, that's why her dad spoils her rotten, he thinks money can compensate the loss and keep her from thinking about it. Or that's my guess anyway."

Jeff still seemed thoughtful. "Hmmm... I actually didn't know that", he said. "Maybe I should re-consider my view of her."

"No, don't bother!", I said with a giggle. "She's still a first-rate bitch, and she'd be one even had her mom been alive, I'm sure. She's NOT worth it."

He looked me in that way that simply meant, 'I'm not so sure about that', and I couldn't help smiling lots and lots! It simply was impossible for Jeff to hold a grudge against anyone! Always so willing to forgive and forget. It made me love him even more. I didn't deserve him, and I even said as much. "Nonsense", he whispered, then kissed my mouth. "You're the inspiration of my life, sweetie." He said it so quietly it was impossible for Frank to hear him, despite the well-insulated car. It was meant just for me.

Just as he was busy kissing all common sense out of me again, the Bentley rolled to a smooth stop. "Here we are!", said our chauffeur. "If you gave me the correct address, that is."

I kind of woke up almost, and with a start at that! I looked around quickly, really having no idea where we were. The still-dark surroundings didn't help, though I started to recognize things after a few seconds. I saw the incredibly tacky, horrible glowing reindeer Christmas ornaments on the roof of the Jansen's home, and then I knew we'd reached the right destination. I gave them both an extremely sheepish grin, and they almost laughed their butts off, they KNEW I'd been enjoying my kisses with Jeff so much I'd totally lost track of where I was, where we were going and what was supposed to happen once we arrived! In fact, I was having an awful case of is-that-a-banana-in-your-pocket-or-are-you-just-happy-to-see-me-itis... Jeff didn't exactly make things any easier by fastening his eyes on it!

"Alright, let's get going!" I said and closed up his winter coat (my winter coat, I should say) to hide my embarrassing state from his prying eyes. Part of me wanted to have him keep looking at it hungrily (and more, not just looking!), but we were in a bit of a hurry so that wasn't possible. Yes, I'd actually let Jeff have his ways with me even with Frank in the car, I really didn't care much about that at all! All I wanted was him... I was going to open the car door, but Jeff put a hand on my other one and I halted. Frank was quick to do his duty, he walked around the big vehicle and played his part perfectly, bowing and saluting us as we got out, holding the door open for us.

"If you need me-", the handsome man started.

"...We know who to call. Yes, thank you, Franklin", my handsome boy finished. Frank nodded and touched the peak of his cap again before getting back into the car. The midnight-black Bentley rolled off in a quiet and dignified manner as we proceeded up the small walkway to our house, our feet making prints in the freshly fallen snow that had come down during the night. My place felt so small and insignificant in comparison to his! I know I shouldn't think that way, but I couldn't help myself... We kids even had to share rooms, me and my brother in one, and the girls in the other. We didn't have our own bathrooms (not even my parents had a separate for themselves, we all shared), or any kind of luxury really, but Jeff comforted me immediately. "This place looks cozy!", he said and eyed the facade of the house with appreciation. We have French windows in the living room (which faces the street outside), and I guess he was experienced enough so he could appreciate such details or something.

It felt good he liked our house. He WAS being honest about it too. I knew he was. Jeff would rather be eaten by lions than lie to me, even if it just was the smallest white lie imaginable! Then the big moment came. The introduction of my new BOYfriend to parents and siblings... The revelation their son and brother was gay. I could not imagine faking we were just friends, it would be inconceivable. My friends had suspected I had the hots for Jeff in school, and when we were actually together it was impossible to conceal it. Now, I didn't expect any big scene or anything, my parents are liberals and they love us kids above all else, but it was still a slightly nervous moment for me as I put my hand on the door handle and pushed...

..Only to find the door was locked. Of course! It was still too early for anyone to be up and about! I smacked my head as I remembered another little detail.. I turned to Jeff, already blushing a little.

"Uh, sorry, but I don't have any keys...", I admitted. They were in my other pants in my room not that far away from where we were standing, yet they could just as well have been on the other side of the world! I had seen no reason to bring them over to Jeff's party, same as with my wallet actually, and now I'd put myself in a bit of a spot.

"No biggie", he said and before I had time to react he rang the doorbell. I almost jumped! "Relax, Timmy", he said to me. "I'm here... No need to be afraid."

I grinned at him, again somewhat sheepishly. "I'm not exactly afraid...", I returned. "Just a bit nervous, that's all."

Then I heard the floor on the other side creaking in that peculiar manner it does when someone walks up to the front door... The lock was unbolted, the door opened... My father was there! His face shone up in a big smile as he saw us both (Jeff behind me, with his hands protectively on my shoulders). "Oh look who's decided to grace us with his presence this morning!", he joked heartily, looking straight at me. Then his eyes shifted up a bit (Jeff's almost as tall as him!) "My son Timmy no less, and this here is Jeffrey the birthday-boy I suppose?" Jeff nodded, smiling back. He liked my father instantly I think! Yes, Jeff was the birthday-boy, and a few other kinds of -boy as well... But they'd be made aware of that all in due time... My dad's a pretty big guy, tall and with a bit of a belly too. Almost makes you wonder if mom had an affair when I was conceived, I look nothing like him physically, if it wasn't for the hair and eyes, which is definitely his. We both got the same kind of almost transparent-pale blonde hair and clear-blue eyes. Dad's big hands reached out to hug me quick, and then for Jeff to shake. "Jeffrey, it has to be!" Jeff nodded, confirming the not-quite-a-question. "It's so good to see you, son. We've heard so much about you you know, courtesy of little Timmy here." Then he got a quick hug too from my father.

"Aaww, daad! You're making me embarrassed!", I complained and dad just chuckled. Jeff's hands were back on my shoulders, one finger tickling the side of my neck, rubbing it just a tiny little so I'd know he was there, and that he loved me, yet discreetly enough for anyone else not to notice unless they really looked closely. Fortunately for me, dad's not the most hawk-eyed guy in the world so it was okay.

"Alanis!", dad shouted back into the house. "ALANIS!" Then he motioned for us to come in properly so he could close the door and not have all the warmth escape out into the dark early morning. We started taking off our snowy shoes, and dad took Jeff's jacket and my new coat (which he eyed curiously, knowing full well it was not anything THEY had ever bought for me, it was like ten times too expensive for their salaries).

"Yes hon, where's the fire?", my mom's voice returned from the direction of the bedroom, sounding rather amused I think.

"Get yer butt outta bed and come meet our distinguished guests!", dad hollered back to her. By then, my sisters were already tumbling out into the hallway from their bedroom (stirred into life by the commotion), eyes bright and Christmas-morning-eager despite the early hour, and then my bro followed also, the kids drawn towards the excitement like bees to honey. Russ, my brother, he's got mom's brown hair, as do my sisters too though they're a bit lighter in color; I'm the only blonde kid in my family. I think Russ will outgrow me pretty soon by the way. He's gonna be as big as dad it seems... Russ knew who Jeff was by sight, he came up to us and smiled too.

"Hi!", he said enthusiastically. "I'm Russell, nice to meetcha!" They shook hands, and Jeff replied warmly it was nice meeting him too, and then my sisters Jo and Kirsty approached also, and Marie, my mom. Russ is twelve, Jo's thirteen. Kirsty is only nine, and we all look out for her a little bit extra I think. She's so cute too by the way, but don't you ever tell her that to her face! She's a real tomboy, never dresses in a skirt (and even mom doesn't force her into one because she knows Kirsty gets all sullen and stuff if she has to wear one), and she always hangs out with Russ or dad whenever he's home from work, doing whatever they're doing, and at school she plays soccer or basketball with the guys, or even skates with them! When she was younger, she actually wanted me to teach her sports and stuff and became really mad at me when I couldn't tell her anything! Hey, what can I say? Drama's my life, not athletics stuff! Well, her upset only lasted for a little while, because she really likes me, and that's really great. She's always there no matter what to see me perform whenever we're staging a play. So, once she'd learned of my embarrassing lack of physical prowess, she hooked up with Russ instead, who's a more 'normal' boy who's into all kinds of sporty activities; much like Jeff actually. Then she dared to approach guys her own age, and now like I said, she's going at it like a real jock! She's going to become a world champion of something. None of us know of what sport yet, but world champion of something anyway, that's pretty much set in stone already.

Kirsty actually made Jeff pick her up and carry her deeper into the house (her with a big smile on her face, like my brother she seemed to take to him instantly), my parents took us all to the kitchen and started on breakfast. Voices of dissent came from my younger siblings whom wanted to rip into the pile of Christmas presents under the tree right away, but mom and dad said that would be impolite to our guest. Jeff assured them he would not be offended (because he could see how eager they all were), but they said the kids needed to learn to control themselves sometimes, and he should just sit down and relax and make it comfortable for himself. My brother and sisters grumbled, because breakfast before opening presents meant they might have to wait another WHOLE HOUR before they could get started on their gifts, but all the grumbling accomplished were amused chuckles coming from the older people in the room so they decided it was in their best interest to just stay quiet instead.

Kirsty was shooed away from Jeff's lap by me, I wanted to hold his hand under the table and he couldn't do that so she wouldn't notice with her sitting on top of him. She grinned at me, complied without a fuss and simply hopped up on a chair next to me instead, smiling and giggling and shooting us glances. Actually, they all were, Kirsty and Russ especially. I must admit I was as blind to what was going on right then as I'd been to my love of Jeffrey to begin with...

"So, you're finally a couple then, huh?", dad said all of a sudden. His words struck me like a bolt of lightning, I froze completely for several seconds, my mouth just gaping open. They all started laughing like crazy, all except Jeff whom merely smiled warmly at me and patted and stroked the hand he held under the table so I'd calm down. When I could move again I just started blushing redder than I ever had been before in my life I think, and that simply made them laugh even harder! It wasn't a mean laughter of course. It was a celebratory laughter, like the kind people make when something they've been waiting and wishing for finally happens, and everybody's just all pure happiness about it...

Jeff took my embarrassed face in his hands and kissed me oh so softly right on my lips, and that made all members of my family whoop loudly, I had to bow down to try and hide, so hence Jeff held his hand under my chin, pushing my head up again and kissed me once more. That time I actually managed to participate, to kiss him back, and then they went 'aaawww...!' instead...

"How... How did you all KNOW?", I asked, still totally incredulous about the whole thing!

Dad chuckled his patented Dad-Chuckle which he often did when he was satisfied with himself and perhaps a bit smug. "Timmy, we all know you better than you know yourself. There's hardly been a day we haven't heard detailed accounts about young Jeffrey here and the impressive feats he's accomplished during his school-hours. Now Jeff, I don't mean to patronize you or belittle your accomplishments, I'm sure you really ARE a fantastic sportsman and a great person and all of that, but by looking through Timmy's eyes here, you're only slightly less than Zeus himself. It wasn't that difficult to understand what was going on." When Jeff heard what I'd been talking about at home, it was his turn to blush a bit, though not nearly as badly as me. "And if any of us were still uncertain yesterday, his behavior before he finally got out of the house basically erased all doubt. He was so worried you wouldn't like him, though of course he didn't say it out loud."

"I... Uh, I don't know what to say...", Jeff mumbled, seemingly a bit overwhelmed. He swallowed, then his eyes started to tear up as he looked at me so tenderly. I knew he was taken aback that I had cared so much for him. Maybe he'd thought it was just a spur of the moment thing when he kissed me for the first time and I said I loved him, but it wasn't. I'd loved him for almost as long as he had loved me... And now he knew that for certain. Thus, it was a really big relief for him, and his eyes started dripping tears even as he smiled at me. Instantly he was surrounded by all my family, but none of them were closer than I was, sitting in his lap facing him as I was. He kissed me again and stroked my hair and neck, kissing me modestly in a way and deeply passionately in another as I touched his wet cheeks with my hands.

My parents had to return to the stove and other duties (if you think it's an easy task to prepare a real Christmas breakfast for seven people, think again!) while I worked on calming Jeff. Actually, he didn't have a big emotional breakdown or anything like I would, he didn't sob or even sniffle. He just cried calm, relaxed tears and was so terribly cute about it I couldn't help kissing him in return far more intimately than I really should have considering the present company I guess.

Breakfast followed. We all talked, and Jeff shared in the conversation. I could see he was glad to be there with us all, he admitted he seldom had the company of his own parents in the morning. My parents asked questions and Jeff told of himself, most of which I already knew of course since I'd known him now for nearly a year, and the questions were mostly about his academic stuff and sports and such, since they didn't want to probe too deeply into his personal life the very first time they met him. Dad was interested in hearing about Jeff's boxing, and he told it was because of his own father he'd started. It was sort of a family tradition, handed down since way back when it had been a white gentleman's sport for the most part.

He did let slip one unexpected thing though, and it affected me something awful I really must say... It was towards the end of the morning meal when my mom mentioned I'm in the drama group and asked Jeff if he'd ever seen them perform.

"Yeah sure, I've never missed a play so far", he blurted before he realized what he'd just told us. Me, actually.

"WHAT?!", I gasped. "You've...?"

Jeff sighed softly to himself, his eyes locked on mine. "Yeah. Every single one... I... Uh, I just wanted to see what you looked like on stage... And then I went back, again and again."

"Bu-but... Why didn't you SAY anything?"

He blushed a little again. "Well, I didn't want you to think I was stalking you or anything, you know? It wasn't exactly expected of a guy like me to go see a theatre play so I went in secret, sitting at the back. And you were so beautiful up there, and you're such a great actor, how could I stay away?"

"I didn't know...", I said, and then my chest heaved in a sniffle, and I was weeping at least as bad as he'd been. Worse maybe. I smiled at him too, feeling so terribly flattered and just totally awe-struck really. "I didn't know!" I tried not to start bawling and it was really difficult, I couldn't speak at all, and it wasn't made any easier by the fact my whole family was patting and stroking me all of a sudden, and mostly Jeff of course...

"Okay. You better take him out into the living room so he can cool off", dad told Jeff. He agreed, and proceeded to pick me up in his arms as I clung on to him, weeping into his sweater. "Hey you guys! Don't run off, help to clear away this mess!", he then told my siblings and was met by another round of complaints. Were they EVER going to be allowed to open their presents, they whined. Of course it didn't help them any, dad was quite adamant about it, probably to give me and Jeff some privacy alone I think. I could see my brother Russ look at me with worry and sympathy in his eyes, and perhaps a little bit of envy too as Jeff carried me away in his arms.

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