EXCERPT FROM GLACIER GOLD
The cold is seriously creeping up on me by now. My teeth have started to chatter. I never knew they could do that.
Andi is watching me from out of the hood of the sleeping bag, his eyes like two snippets of sky in the darkness.
I start walking about in the tiny space between the beds and the table, rubbing at my arms.
“Okay, you’ve got to get in here with me, Bennet,” Andi suddenly says, his voice shockingly clear, startling me. My brain seems to have slowed down somehow. It takes a few seconds for the meaning of his words to sink in. But then…
“No! No, no.” I vigorously shake my head. “No. No, definitely not, I won’t…”
“You don’t want to be dead by morning, do you,” he cuts me short, in that same clear voice. “Justin.”
It’s the most disconcerting thing to hear him call me by my given name.
“I’m fine,” I say, floundering. “I won’t…”
“I won’t have a paying customer die on a trip.”
He’s cracking a joke. Or maybe it isn’t even a joke.
I utter a laugh that has an edge of hysteria to it and ends in another sneeze.
“Seriously, man. The thing is, I’m not really getting warm in here on my own.”
Shoot. I’m just so dumb. Everyone has heard of how people suffering from hypothermia can be warmed up by another person’s body heat.
He must think me such a dimwit, refusing to help like I did just now. This is about his health, nothing else.
Blanking out the awkwardness, I shimmy out of my hoodie and yank off my boots and snowboard pants without further ado. Then, my back towards the bunk bed, I lose my drenched underwear.
Andi has turned onto his side, facing away from me, to give me space, I guess, and to make room for me.
Setting my jaw, I start crawling into the bag with him.
He feels like an icicle. Shit, he was right, he needed me in here much sooner. I shiver just from the feel of the cold skin of his back against my legs as I ease them down the bag behind him.
With a jolt of fear, I realize I haven’t yet saved his life. I've got to warm him up as fast as possible. Quickly I wriggle myself deeper into the bag until I am fully inside, my front flush against Andi’s back.
This is spooning. I would lie on my back so he’d just have to deal with the side of my body, but I have to focus on making sure he survives. Trying to quash my worries about how this must stress him out, I press up against him, focusing on willing what body heat I have left in my system to seep into his.
If only I knew where to put my hands. Eventually, I cautiously rest one on his shoulder and the other on his icy thigh, hoping that my palms will work as heating pads.
He seems to have stopped breathing.
I try to do the same. As I lie there, feeling every inch of the body of the man I have lusted after for a whole week, all I want is to not freak him out. I keep as still as if he were a bomb that might blow up at the slightest jolt.
The whole situation is so stressful that my groin is like switched off. The temperature is helping with that too. Instead of me warming him up, the polar cold he seems to have stored in his body is invading mine.
Minutes tick by. Suddenly the torchlight on the table starts flickering. A few more seconds, then it gives out, leaving us in complete darkness.
Now that I am like blind, I can hear Andi’s breathing.
It seems to me that his body is a little bit warmer. From a medical point of view, it would probably be a good idea to rub his arms and legs or something. But I don’t dare move as much as a finger.
The back of Andi’s head is right in front of my face. As my eyes adjust to the darkness, I can make out a few strands of damp hair curling above his ear. It’s just a tiny detail of him, and it makes me ache with helpless, pointless tenderness. And with shame.
I have got a lot of time to think about the last week. A lot of time to feel bad about myself. I tried to get him to have a one-night-stand with me when he had told me it wasn't for him. Just to gratify my crazy craving for him.
At least this whole bag-sharing thing seems to be working. He is definitely warmer now.
His scent is coming back, crawling into my nose. It’s a little sharper than usual with all the dampness and sweat, and it travels straight to my groin.
Fuck, no. Focusing what mental powers I got left, I concentrate on making the stirring go away, trying to breathe through my mouth.
It doesn’t work.
Cursing in my head, I mumble an apology. Predictably, I get no answer.
Shit. No way can I go on prodding my throbbing dick into his butt cheeks like I do. This needs to stop, for his sake as much as my own. If we stay like this for even another minute, I’m going to implode and die from the strain of trying to keep my body in check.
Or worse, come all over his backside.
With another muddled apology, I start to shift and wriggle inside the bag until I’ve kicked him in all the possible places and said sorry like a million times. Shit, this is definitely the trickiest 180 I’ve ever performed. But at long last, I’ve done it. I’ve turned fully around, facing safely away from him.
It’s much less warm and cozy like this, and that’s a good thing too. This is the only way to do this. Hugging myself to stop the fresh breakout of goose bumps on my chest and stomach, I try to focus my mind on Bengal lights again. With less success than ever.
His ass cheeks feel way too good, muscled and silky and pressed flush against mine as they are. But the material point is, my dick is out of harm’s way. It’s still painfully hard, twitching against the lining of the bag like it’s searching for the ass it got to poke earlier and liked so much.
Andi’s body is giving off such heat now that I start worrying. Do people get a fever from a sprained ankle? Or from a broken bone? Or is this already something like pneumonia setting in?
If only I weren’t this total dumbass. If only I knew some shit!
He’s breathing too hard. That can’t be normal. His whole body is heaving with it.
I turn my head.
“You okay? Your foot hurting again?” I ask in a low voice, anxious not to startle him. His ear is just an inch from my mouth.
He doesn’t answer.
I start to get seriously worried now.
It’s a shock like nothing I’ve experienced in my life when suddenly he rears and turns around inside the bag in one violent motion, nearly pushing the both of us off the bed. Then his hands are all over me, on my stomach, my chest, my thighs, and he presses his body down on me as if he meant to crush my every bone. Digging his fingers into my skin, he pushes me facedown onto the mattress and is gasping into my hair. The next moment he pulls back, grabs me by a hip and a shoulder and forces me to turn over. At two hundred pounds, I’m not exactly easy to haul about, especially when I’m stuck inside a super tight sleeping bag. But he’s strong, and I’m too confused and overwhelmed
to resist him.
Finally we are face-to-face. I get a glimpse of his eyes glinting in the
darkness. I haven’t even begun to wrap my brain around what’s happening when
his lips come crashing down on mine, full of wild, greedy intent.
The kiss lasts for a second or ten. I can’t tell. However long, it has solved my problem with the cold conclusively, with no mental effort required at all. My blood is thrumming through my veins, hot like mulled wine. ...
EXCERPT FROM SANTA ON THE BEACH
I spot Santa halfway down the beach. He’s still in full fig. The poor guy, he must suffer like mad in the warmth.
“Hey,” I call out, jogging up to the man. He turns toward me, with a fluent smoothness that isn’t quite compatible with the concept of elderly ex-gardener. He’s really tall too when I finally stand before him. Nothing hunched or frail about him. And those clear blue eyes. No wrinkles, just laugh lines. Pam must have gotten this wrong. This guy isn’t a day over thirty.
He’s looking down at me, like he’s waiting for me to say something. It must look a little weird that I followed him like I did, I realize. I probably look like a kid expecting a present from him.
“Hi, I’m the father of the little boy from back in the park?” I begin. “Thank you so much, you have no idea how grateful I am. You saved my life there.”
His eyes crinkle up. I can’t see his smile under the massive beard, but it must be dazzling.
“Listen, please tell me what I owe you....”
I’m still talking when he suddenly starts undoing his belt. He opens the brass buckle, grabs one end of the broad black leather strap between three fingers, slips it from the loops on the red coat, and lets the belt drop to the ground with the lascivious flourish of a go-go boy.
I’ve stuttered into silence. His eyes fixed on me, he unbuttons the coat. This can’t be happening. But it is.
Santa is stripping for me.
And I’m watching, standing petrified.
He has opened his coat. But he isn’t shedding it, not yet. Instead, he pulls at his belly.
He’s pulling his belly from his trousers. That’s not his belly, that’s stuffing.
And that’s a six-pack. A toned, nicely tanned stomach. And that’s a tattoo. On his hip, disappearing down his pants. Something flowery. I know that tattoo.
“Hi, Mario,” Santa says, blue eyes twinkling mischievously from above the beard. And I know that husky voice too. ...
Winking at me, he tosses the padding away like a stripper would discard his thong. The chunks of plastic foam sluggishly topple about in the wind by his booted feet. ...
“Hey,” he says. He flips his suspenders so they smack against his bare sculpted chest, like he means to make me pay attention. I jump backward as if he were a charging barracuda. “Hey,” he repeats, his voice soothing and softer than ever.
I close my eyes. “Sorry. Sorry, I didn’t mean to come after you and impose on your free time, I—”
“Stop this, Mario.”
I do. It’s not the bossy words. It’s the way he says my name. As if it contained some old magic.
He holds my gaze as he slowly pulls the suspenders down over his shoulders.
The red plush pants only barely cling to his trim hips now. I can see more of the tattoo on his left hip than ever before, and I know I’m going to see all of it really soon.
I must have made some sound, because his stomach ripples with another chuckle. It makes me lift my gaze back to his face. The ridiculous beard moves with his laughter. He reaches behind his neck, undoing a ribbon, and the beard sails onto the pebbles.
He has a little more trouble with losing his pants. He has to get rid of his Santa boots for that first, and he ends up doing a lot of rather undignified- looking hopping about on one leg with the pants hanging around his knees in an attempt to kick of the boots.
I know it’s my turn to laugh, but I’m too strung up for that. And too turned on.
Finally, he stands before me in just his Santa hat and a green jockstrap with a reindeer design.
Nobody should be allowed to look so incredibly hot in such an outfit.
That must be more stuffing inside the jockstrap, I think dully. It has to be. Or maybe it’s not. What’s going to happen if he fucks you with that equipment? Sissy said he wanted to, and it sure looks like he does. How’s this cock even supposed to fit places?
“Mario?” he says, like he’s asking if I’m still there. ...