A Christmas Carnalbyeidetic©
Miracles come in different kinds of packages
Author's note: This is an entry for the Winter Holidays 2016 contest. Like most of my stories, it starts off slowly, with background and character development. The sex comes later. This isn't a fap story. Or at least, I don't think it is. In the interests of full disclosure, it is a kind of potpourri, with Incest, Group Sex, Gay/Bi/Lesbian, First Time, Romance and maybe some others... Regardless of the contest, votes let me know how I'm doing, entertaining you, the reader. Enjoy...
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I hate Christmas.
It's got nothing to do with the insipid and insincere well-wishing and gift-giving.
It's got nothing to do with the Season of Peace and Joy -- we could all use more of that, year-round.
It's got nothing to do with the overabundant commercialization, twenty-four/seven.
It has everything to do with all the shit that's happened on that day.
My mother, my grandmother and my younger brother all died on that day. Not the same year. Several years apart, in fact, but on the same damned 25th of December.
My father walked out on me, my brother, my two sisters and my mother on that day. Just walked out and never came back. I was nine.
It took seven years before Mom could collect the life insurance. Seven years of hell. Seven years of moving to progressively cheaper apartments after we lost the house. Mom busted her ass to keep us safe and sane, and it took its toll.
We ended up moving in with my father's parents, on their farm. They took us in with open arms and tried to love us the best they knew how. They were apologetic for their son's actions and in some ways, tried to make up for them. They made sure that we kids finished High School and even sent two of us, my older sister Sharon and myself, to college. My younger brother David joined the Army and my younger sister Miriam joined some kind of Left-Coast LGBT Rights group and got trained as a paralegal. Then she joined a Public Relations firm.
David was the first to go, not in a war zone in some heroic action, but killed by a drunk driver while stationed in Germany. He got hit Christmas Eve and died Christmas Day. My grandmother went four years later, in her sleep. Grandpa was a tough old Kraut and kept the farm running, along with my Mom. When he died a few years later, Mom discovered that the farm was held by a family trust that he'd set up, and she and I, along with my sisters, were trustees. Mom tried to keep it running, but eventually had to curtail operations and lease the land out to other farmers.
Mom went, a couple of years ago, from a major stroke. After that, Sharon kept the farm going as before, preserving the homestead and leasing out the land. Miriam was out in San Francisco and I was in Denver, working in IT. Oh, yeah. My name is Joshua, or usually just Josh.
Anyway, to the point of this story, I was sitting around my apartment, massively depressed about the upcoming Christmas and deciding what to do with the holidays besides my usual, which was to take two weeks' vacation and crawl into a bottle until January 2nd. I made the radical decision to go "home" for the holidays. Go visit Sharon, outside of Devils Lake, North Dakota. A fairly cheap 3-hour flight including a 30-minute layover at Jamestown and a time zone change, then a 4-wheel rental to get to the farm. I probably should not have decided to surprise her.
Friday Night / Saturday Morning
I should have known better. I booked an 8pm flight on Friday night which got in at midnight. And of course, the rental place had closed at 5pm and wouldn't open until Saturday morning at 8am. Small town, go figure. So my choices were try to find a room, spend 8 hours in the all-night diner or call my sister. Calling my sister won.
"Oh, my God, Josh!" she exclaimed when I'd identified myself. Her landline didn't have Caller ID. "Where are you? What are you doing here? You just about gave me a heart attack! The phone doesn't ring in the middle of the night unless somebody's died!"
I explained about my screw up with the plane and the car and asked how horrible would it be for her to come get me. I could pick up the rental tomorrow.
"Well, the roads are clear, for now," she told me. "I need to get dressed and it'll take me a bit to warm up the truck and an hour or so to get there, so give me an hour and a half?"
I told her that was fine and I'd be in the only place open... the diner near the airport. We hung up and I went and ordered coffee, with dinner on the side. The waitress was a cute kid, probably high school, but sporting a baby bump about six months along. There was me and one other guy, a truck driver, and her. And the cook that I never saw. The kid chatted me up about my visit. I kept it light and pleasant, and superfluous, until the time passed and Sharon walked in the door.
"She yours?" the waitress asked, nodding towards the entrance.
I turned to look and came to a full stop. I know I hadn't seen her since Mom's funeral, but Jesus had she changed! She was, well... rounder. It didn't look bad on her. She just wasn't the lean and mean farm girl from before. The thing that didn't look good was the wrinkles. It looked like Life had been taking its toll on her.
"Hey, Sharon!" I waved and she smiled. That part hadn't changed. I had always loved her smile. She walked on over to us and I stood to help her out of her coat.
"Whatever she wants and put it on my bill," I told the waitress.
"Just coffee, thanks," Sharon told the waitress as she slid into the booth opposite me, and the girl went off to get it.
"God, Josh, you look good!" Sharon told me. "Guess the Big City is treating you right."
"Yes and no," I told her. "Work's fine, some of it is monotonous, some isn't. Pay's okay. Denver can be a party city for those that want it. Me, I'd rather read and write and surf the 'net. Keeps me out of trouble."
"No girlfriend, yet?" she asked, adding a raised eyebrow to the smile.
"Nope. Too many complications," I smiled back. "No boyfriend, yet?"
"Out here?" she laughed. "No, too few opportunities. Okay, so why are you suddenly showing up on my doorstep? It had better not be for money, because I haven't got any."
"Nope, not money," I confirmed. "I decided to fight my annual Christmas depression by spending it with someone I love."
There was a lot of stunned silence following that statement.
I wasn't about to break it. I wanted her to have all the room in the world to tell me to go to hell, or to tell me to turn around and go back to Denver, or whatever else she decided to do. I had pretty much ignored her after I left for Denver. Basically, I only saw her at funerals. We'd been really close growing up, so I was presuming she'd be pretty confused and hurt by my neglect, especially after Mom died.
Without saying a word, she slid out of the booth, standing next to it. Then she simply asked, "would you help me with my coat?" There was zero emotion in her voice. She was sitting on something and to me, that did not bode well.
Her coat was next to me, so I slid out, too, and stood up to hold it for her. That's when she attacked.
Well, maybe "attacked" isn't the right word. Threw herself at me. Launched herself, wrapping her arms around my neck and kissing me, hard and deep, on the lips.
I was frozen in astonishment. When I could react, I realized my hands were busy holding her coat. So I dropped the coat, took her in my arms and returned the kiss. This was absolutely not the reaction I was expecting but I sure as hell wasn't going to fight it. We kissed for a lot longer than a brother and sister should in public, and when we broke the kiss I could see the moistness in her eyes.
"You've taken fucking long enough to get around to it," she told me as we continued to hold each other.
I didn't say anything. I couldn't. For some reason, there was a lump in my throat getting in my way.
"Okay!" she told me, stepping back a bit, then noticing the waitress standing nearby with the coffee.
"Oh, sorry," she told the girl. "Give me the biggest to-go cup you've got. I've got to save my brother's ass and get him home safe and sound tonight."
The girl grinned. "Good luck with that!" she told Sharon. "It'll be up by the register, along with his bill." She turned to walk away but looked over her shoulder as she went and called back, "and congratulations!"
"You, too!" Sharon called back, nodding toward the girl's belly. The waitress blushed a little and nodded, and went to get Sharon's coffee ready.
"You only have that duffel and that backpack?" Sharon asked me as she picked her coat up off the floor and put it on.
"Yep. Clothes in one, office in the other," I confirmed.
"Then pay up and let's hit the road," she told me. "We still have to come back tomorrow if you want that car."
"I may cancel it," I decided. "You're here and can take me to the house. You can probably drop me at the airport when I have to leave. I don't really need it."
"Just as well," she nodded as we headed to the register. "We've got a blizzard coming in that's going to make travel hazardous for awhile. Better if you're not out driving in it."
I agreed, paid the bill, and Sharon and I headed out in her F-350. All the snow was on the ground, the roads were plowed and we had no problems getting to the farm. The truck was roasty-toasty warm even though it was sub-zero outside. The memory of her kiss was burning my mind but we didn't talk about it. Instead, I spent most of the trip talking about what had happened since college and how my life was going in the big, bad city while she concentrated on her driving.
It was almost 3am when we got to the house. There'd been some improvements made since I'd left, not the least of which were the attached garage and the satellite dish on top of it. Sharon drove us straight inside and remotely closed the door behind us.
"Heated, too," she grinned as she shut off the truck. "I've converted the garage barn for storing other things. C'mon, let's get you sorted." Without waiting, she got out of her truck and headed for the service door into the house. I grabbed my duffel and backpack, and followed her.
As I walked into the kitchen, I saw that more things had changed.
"Layout's pretty much the same," she told me as she peeled off her coat. "Coat rack is there," she added, indicating the line of hooks near the door. "Kitchen's been remodeled, living room and dining room are pretty much the same, basement's been upgraded and finished off, parlor's been remodeled. Powder room's still there, off the kitchen. Upstairs, I'm using the master bedroom and the one with the sun porch is my office, the one next to my office is storage, the other three are still guest bedrooms, although you might have to move stuff around."
"I'm still running a wood-burning furnace augmented with LP gas in the coldest part of the winter. I'm in the process of adding solar heating and windmill electricity but it isn't anywhere near done, yet. I've got satellite for TV and internet. And believe it or not, I lucked out. They just put a cell tower up down the road so I've actually got 4G wireless."
Her nickel tour was leaving me breathless.
"So settle in Josh," she smiled again. "Mi casa es su casa. You want help unpacking? Or maybe a nightcap? Damn, it's good to see you!"
"Wow, Sher... you've definitely brought this place into the 21st century," I marveled. "And you're living here alone? Seems a bloody waste..." Just a note, Sharon got truncated to Shar when we were kids, but Sher is how it's pronounced, so that's how I'm going to spell it.
"So, where do you want me sleeping?"
"I'd like you to be sleeping with me," she caught me off guard, "but you'll probably be most comfortable in your old room. You want a hand?"
I was a little confused by her inflection. When we were kids, a lot of times we were in cramped apartments and we kids ended up doubling up. A couple of times, we all ended up with Mom in the "communal bed" and we made do. I always did like sleeping with Sharon. She was warm and comforting, and being the older sister, there was a certain feeling of safety that went with her. I wasn't sure if she was thinking back to those times, or what. I decided to play it safe for now.
"Okay, I'll go unpack in my old room," I told her. "I don't have a lot to put away. I presume the upstairs bath still works. So how about you fix us a couple of nightcaps and I'll be back down in a minute?"
"What's your poison?" she smiled again. I was starting to be very happy I'd decided to invade her privacy for the holidays. "I've got a couple kinds of beer, red and white wines, whiskey, rum, vodka and a couple of liqueurs. Your basic bar."
"Vodka tonic, with lime if you've got it, or rum and something fruity," I told her. "And thanks. I'll be right back."
I lugged my stuff up the winding stair to the second floor and down to "my room" -- the one in the middle on the left. It looked out over the front yard, although right now all you could see was the blanket of snow by the light of the moon. It was like stepping back in time. The paint hadn't changed, and some of my old posters were still there. It still had the full-sized bed my Mom had gotten me when I was in 7th grade, although the mattress and linens were new. My desk looked exactly like I'd left it when I graduated high school.
The closet and dresser were empty, though, so I unpacked into them. I stuck my Dopp kit in the bath and headed back downstairs. Sharon had made up a fairly hefty vodka tonic for me, over ice.
"Let's go to the parlor," she suggested and I followed along. It had definitely been remodeled and not in the way I would have expected. It was all dark browns and leathers, very masculine, with a blazing fire in the brick fireplace. There were even a few of those old "Milk Dud" beanbag chairs from the 70's.
"This is my Sanctum Sanctorum," she told me as she pulled one of the beanbags in front of the fire. "It's subdued and cozy for my mental health. This is where I come when my depression gets the better of me." She gave me a knowing look and gestured towards another beanbag. I pulled it over to the fire.
She settled into her beanbag, took a hefty swig off of her drink and put it on the coffee table behind us. I followed suit. I noticed that despite the weather being way below freezing outside, it was cozy and warm in here. Very warm. That's when she sprang her next surprise.
She pulled off her boots and shimmied out of her jeans, following them with her socks. Then she peeled off her sweater and I started having very impure thoughts. My sister might be thirty-six years old, but aside from the careworn face and hands, she looked awesome. She was curvy with really big tits, a narrow waist and a well-rounded ass. When she pulled the pins from her hair and shook it down to her waist, she suddenly looked like a goddess to me. Or at least a model. A well-endowed lingerie model.
"You're going to have to put up with this, Josh," she told me, turning to look at me in the firelight. "The fewer clothes I have on, the better I feel. If it bothers you, you can head for bed and I'll wake you for breakfast in the morning. This is where and how I relax, especially coming up on Christmas."
"You surprised the hell out of me when you called, Josh, not to mention from the airport. But I'm damned glad you're here. Just you being here seems to help keep the demons at bay." Then she turned and stared into the fire, sipping her drink.
Okay, so I could understand that. When I was at home, I preferred going without clothes, too. Somehow a lot less restricting -- a sense of freedom, really. What surprised me was how beautiful she looked in the firelight and how hard I was getting. I was caught between wanting her to feel safe and comfortable around me and wanting to not embarrass myself with my lascivious response to her. I finally tried a compromise. I stripped off everything but my briefs.
She watched me, bemused I think, until I was sitting there comfortably warm in front of the fire, sipping my drink and feeling the liquor warm me from the inside. I drained my glass. "Another?" I asked, holding it out. "Or better yet, where's the booze? I can make it myself."
"I've got it, Josh," she told me, standing up. Jesus, she looked even better! She stood by me and bent over to take my glass, letting her breasts sway, barely contained in her bra. Kind of like the hypnotist, swinging the watch.
"You know, you look pretty damned good, Josh," she commented softly. "A lot more grown up now." Then she looked at my crotch. Where I was tenting my briefs. A lot.
"Oh!" she smiled broadly. "Is that for me?" Before I could answer, she just laughed and walked out of the room to refill my drink, making sure I got a really good look at her ass on the way out.
She was messing with me. I knew it, but I didn't know why. And honestly, I didn't particularly care. She looked good and I was reacting like any healthy 34-year-old intact male of the species. Let alone that it had been over six months since I'd had any kind of sex, other than with myself. I refused to be intimidated or embarrassed by Nature. When she came back, I had to keep reminding myself of that.
She returned carrying two tall tumblers, not the lowball glasses she'd left with.
"Hey, this way I don't have to keep running back to the kitchen for refills," she smiled as she handed me mine, bending over and making absolutely sure I couldn't miss her cleavage.
"Makes sense," I told her, holding up my glass in a mock toast. She did the same and we both took a sip. "So, what about your depression?" I asked as she sat down.
She took a few moments to arrange herself on the beanbag and take another drink. Then she set it down and took off her bra.
"Every year around Christmas, I get depressed," she told me, staring at the fire and not looking at me. That would be the same me that was gawking at her tits. "I'm sure you know most of the reasons why. There's a couple more you don't know about, but it sums up to feeling very, very alone. I feel very disconnected, from family, from people in general. All the important people in my life are gone. The farm keeps me focused, but it doesn't replace the people."
I nodded. I knew damn well what she was talking about.
"Did you know," she went on after a moment, "that on Christmas Eve, when I was fifteen, I lost my virginity?" I did not know that and it surprised me. "At the Midnight Service. In the choir loft. To Billy Sands. I spent most of Christmas crying, or wanting to. Two months later is when we moved in here with Grandpa and Grandma. I never saw Billy again."
I kept quiet. I figured she needed to talk. Besides, I was still admiring the view.
"Christmas Day was the day I lost Tracer," she went on after a bit, still looking at the fire and not me. "That was after you left for Denver. He was the best companion I ever had, even if he was a dog. Mom tried to console me, but I was heartbroken. They all seem like clichés, but they're true. The sense of loss coupled with the 'Merry Christmas' crap just makes me miserable. If I didn't have the farm to take care of, I'd just crawl in a bottle for two weeks and let it blow over."
"That's my solution," I told her. "Or, at least, it has been," I added to her questioning look. "Until this year. This year I decided to try and cut down the sense of loss by coming to see you. If you'd have me, that is. There wasn't any guarantee, given how I've treated you since leaving for Denver. I'm happy you still want me around. Shocked, but happy." I took a big pull on my drink and I swear, she must've doubled the vodka.