(Author's note: This story is an official entry into the 2009 Literotica Winter Holidays writing contest. I hope you enjoy this tale, and please read all the other entries. There's a lot of good talent on this site. Happy Holidays, and please don't forget to vote.)

* * * *

I find it funny that the same music which makes you cringe when you start hearing it in the department stores after Thanksgiving can conversely give you a warm, nostalgic smile in different circumstances. Christmas, since I became an adult and stopped thinking of the time of year as the ultimate in material wish fulfillment, was a time for reflection. Sure, New Year's Eve was traditionally about making resolutions in regards to the past indulgences of the year, but Christmas just seemed the perfect time for slowing down, taking your life in stock, and being grateful for what you have and who you are.

This Christmas, I had agreed to help out my great uncle Jerry at his little hometown bar called The Whiskey Shallow. I had some experience as a bartender, having filled in at the restaurant where I worked throughout college in that capacity. To be honest, it was a pretty easy gig. Most of the patrons wanted nothing more complex than a cold bottled beer or a Jack and Coke. For those few times when some college coed or career barfly ordered a Sex On The Beach or a Long Island Iced Tea, I had a dog-eared copy of The Bartender's Bible to help me along.

The onset of Christmas naturally meant a surge in business as men and women enjoyed an additional night off during the week, or otherwise sought refuge from irritating in-laws and relatives who had come to visit. Being a bartender, I quickly realized, meant being a good listener and junior psychologist. People seem to think that standing behind a bar and slinging drinks for eight hours meant you were somehow in tune with the collective subconscious or something. At the least, I can attest to learning a few things about the human condition by being one of the only sober individuals in a room full of drinkers.

Jerry gave me a piece of advice which he urged me to take to heart. "You have to wear a coat of 'I-know-what-the-fuck-I'm-doing' when you tend bar, kid," he told me in his gravelly voice. "Otherwise, they're gonna eat you alive and your tip jar's gonna have the bite marks to prove it."

So I did my best to be as arrogant as a young pitcher just brought up from the minors, and what I didn't know, I faked. Being a weekend alcoholic during my undergrad years helped. So when the cute blonde in the breast-hugging top bounced to the bar with that slightly inebriated, wicked gleam in her penny-colored eyes, I was ready to play her game.

"What you want this time?" I asked.

"I want a blowjob," she retorted with a swipe of a firm pink tongue across pearly teeth.

"Isn't that my line?" I quipped, immediately wondering how wonderful those lush pink lips would feel.

She bit her lip seductively. "Maybe later, stud," she answered, giving me a quick once-over. "If my plans fall through."

I rolled my eyes, but reached for the Bailey's behind me. "Nothing turns a guy on more than being second-best," I drawled, taking up a shot glass.

The girl giggled. "Well, technically, you'd be my first choice for a guy, but I'm after pussy tonight," she revealed wickedly, tossing a glance over her shoulder toward a brunette at a table behind her.

The sudden, intense image of those two coeds going at it resulted in immediate swelling beneath my jeans. I tried to focus on pouring the beige-colored liquid. "Nice," I managed to say.

"It will be," the girl responded, slapping down a five-spot and taking up the shot after I had topped with whipped cream. She gave me a playful wink. "Would it help if I told you I'll be thinking about you when I've got all this thick, sweat cream in mouth?" she asked rhetorically before prancing back to the brunette.

I couldn't come up with an answer. I could only shake my head and try to think of old naked nuns in order to cancel the surge in my libido.

A low chuckle drifted toward me from halfway down the bar. Close to midnight on Christmas Eve, the Whiskey Shallow had started to empty out, leaving just the die-hard drinkers and those with nowhere left to go. I wasn't sure to which category the hoary old man with his barely-trimmed grey beard belonged as he nursed his third Glenlivet on the rocks.

"What's so funny, Felix?" I asked him, scooting down the bar and taking up a towel to dry some glasses sitting on the drain rack.

"Blowjobs," he commented, his crinkled old face showing his age as he smiled. "You remember your first one?"

I laughed under my breath. "Yeah," I said. "High school."

Felix sputtered, thick red lips flapping through his facial hair. "I was a quiet kid in high school," he revealed, then licked his lips and smiled with a fond memory. "Even after, too. Girls didn't do things like that back then. Well, not like they do now. It was a good girl/bad girl thing, you know?"

I chuckled. "Good girls didn't, bad girls did?"

Felix grinned, showing stained teeth. "No. Good girls just didn't brag about it."

I smiled. "But they still did, huh?"

He sighed wistfully. "At least one did," he mused aloud. He stared at nothing in particular while his mind clipped the cartwheel backward in time. "She was a real catch, but I didn't know it at first. The all-around good girl, Miss America wrapped up in soft brown hair, rosy cheeks, and a pleated blue skirt."

"What was her name?" I asked, polishing glasses. The majority of the remaining patrons – including the gallivanting blonde and her imminent lesbian lover – seemed content to keep themselves entertained for the time being.

"Rose," Felix answered, a faint twinkle lighting up the corner of his eye. "Went to high school with her, but didn't really know her. She was quiet, like me. Anyway, I shipped out to Korea in '51. Spent two tours over there as a supply clerk with a MASH unit. Guess I came out lucky, not being on the front lines and all. Least I didn't have any nightmares or horror stories when I came home."

"Good thing," I said, for lack of anything more profound to say. I watched Felix tilt the glass back, as the lights in the bar refracted like golden sunshine through the facets of the tumbler and the ice within.

He set the empty glass on the bar top and pushed it slightly toward me. "Got back home just in time for the first snowfall in '53." He shook his head with a sad smile. "Christ. How long ago was that? More than a half a century, now."

I refilled the old man's glass and slid it back before him, waiting for him to go on. His little story had me intrigued.

"Anyway," he continued, cradling the glass in gnarled hands. "I saw her one day at the library. I was going to school, then, just like you, furthering my education. Wanted to be a businessman." He gave me a wink. "You know, do something respectable."

I smiled, waiting.

He inhaled through thick nostrils, regarding his drink with a distanced eye. "She was like an angel," he said. "Putting away the books in the Civics section. I offered to help with some of the higher shelves, and she just smiled, thanking me with those deep blue eyes. Now, I was never a ladies' man, but something about her just compelled me. We got to talking, and before I knew it, I was inviting her out to the soda stand after work for a milkshake."

Felix touched his lips to the scotch. "She said she had a beau she was waiting for, a soldier in Korea who was due home after Christmas. I respected that, I really did. I was a gentleman. Honestly, I never figured anything more than sharing a chocolate shake would happen between us."

"I'm guessing that's not the end of the story," I said, prodding him when he took another sip.

Felix chuckled knowingly. "Be pretty boring if it was, wouldn't it?"

I nodded.

He sauntered on with his tale. "Well, we agreed to catch a flick at the drive-in that weekend. I tell you, I had the most Christian motives in mind when I picked her up. I had this '48 Mercury I bought cheap. It wasn't much, but it was a set of wheels, and that was all that mattered. Rose was wearing a blue country skirt and a blouse, a shawl over her shoulders . . . not the kind of get-up you'd expect from a girl with anything other than pristine motives in mind."

"Appearances can be deceiving," I commented, stepping away to pop open a trio of beers for the cocktail waitress.

"You ain't kidding," Felix said when I returned, picking up as if only a second had passed between us. "I don't know what did it, but soon as I cut off the car and we started watching the movie, Rose was cuddled up against me, tucking herself under my arm like we were going steady. She said I was a 'nice guy,' that she could 'trust' me. Always figured that was a code, you know."

I laughed. "Yeah, I know. Nice guys always finish last."

"If they finish at all," Felix added with a dark glimmer. His face softened. "But it turned out I was wrong."

He sipped again from his drink, then took up the pack of cigarettes before him and lit up. Thick grey smoke billowed out from his lips, preceding the words that followed. "I just about jumped through the roof of the car when she put her hand in my lap. And it wasn't on my leg, either."

I chuckled. "Didn't think she'd be that forward, huh?"

"Christ, no!" he exclaimed, then sucked on the filter of the cigarette. "But I wasn't no dummy. Hey, a girl as sweet and cute and virginal as Mary wants to pet my johnson, I ain't gonna stop her."

"Hell, I wouldn't, either."

Felix grinned, sipped his scotch, smoked his cigarette. "Next thing I knew, she was getting my belt undone and popping the buttons. I couldn't do anything but let her go on with what she wanted. Didn't even look around at the other cars, to see if anybody could see what was going on. Part of me figured I might scare her off if I said or did anything, and the other part of me knew I didn't have any experience in such matters, so I'd best play it cool and see what would happen."

"I guess that worked out for you."

"In the best way," Felix muttered, almost to himself. "I don't mind saying I was harder than the Rocks of Gibraltar when she pulled it out. Damn did her warm little hand feel good. It could've been fifty below outside the car for all I cared. For the first time, my pecker got to know a hand other than mine." He chuckled and puffed on his cigarette, flicked it over the ashtray on the bar before him. "But I wasn't prepared for what she did next."

Felix sipped from his glass and licked his lips. "The way she was huddled against me, I could only see the top of her head, the way the part zig-zagged back and forth. But then she sort of moved, sliding down in the seat and lowering her head. I didn't even know what she was doing, that's how green I was. But, I tell you . . ." he sighed heavily, tilting his head back, aged cloudy eyes fluttering toward the ceiling. He lowered them and gave me a look. ". . . It was heaven."

I nodded. "Always is."

Felix let out a sharp laugh. "Bet you do," he remarked. "Good-looking kid like you, bet you've had your pecker sucked more than a few times. Casual as a handshake these days, ain't it?"

I shrugged. "Maybe."

"Well, it was a novelty then," he said bitingly, jabbing a twisted, dried finger onto the stained bar. "The kind of thing that rates highly on the scale of unexpected pleasures. And trust me, it was ten times that novel, that pleasurable, when Rose first took my rod in her mouth."

He fell quiet, considering his drink and smoking his cigarette. I felt a little chastened. The intimation of his words was that my generation didn't revere certain pleasures the way his did. And we didn't. Felix was right; a blowjob these days was as casual as a handshake. I had dated girls who had set the rules up front: "I'll suck you off, but no fucking, okay?"

Hot in one sense, but not so much in another. The mystery, the challenge, had been removed. There was no sense of wonder, hope, or possibility. The impression I'd always had was that a movie and a bucket of popcorn rated a standard cocksucking. Expensive dinner turned that into a topless blowjob. Maybe fingering, or cunnilingus in trade. For my generation, sexual favors were all about making a deal.

"Christ, what an incredible feeling," Felix said, remembering. "Warm, wet, sucking and pulling like a waterspout over a lake in tornado season. And she was making little noises, too, whimpering and moaning, like she was doing something she needed to do. I was in awe, let me tell you, completely in awe, watching her head bob up and down, that soft brown hair bouncing."

He paused, draining the rest of his scotch. He slapped the glass down and wiped his mouth, before a smile stretched his lips. "I remember thinking I wasn't sure if I should warn her when I was going to . . . you know."

I nodded. His story had elicited memories of my own, making me realize the comparisons.

"I shouldn't have worried," he continued, pushing from the bar and slipping his legs to the floor beneath the bar stool. "She took it all. Every damn drop, and kept going at it to make sure she got every damn last little bit. That was a special thing, kid."

I gave him an amused look. "Did you fall in love?"

He nodded, accompanying it with another wink. "Yeah, but it wasn't because of a blowjob." He stepped back. "I gotta drain the lizard. Tell you more when I get back."

* * * *

Jerry was going over the inventory in the back when I stepped through the door from the bar. He gave me a curious smile as I took up a bottle of water from the little cooler. "How's it going out there?"

I shrugged, speaking flippantly. "People having fun, girls flirting, old man telling me about the good old days. The usual."

My great-uncle's features darkened somewhat. "Old man?"

I nodded. "Felix. I got the feeling he comes in a lot."

Jerry pursed his lips. He was best described as a toad of a man, his back arched and limbs somewhat twisted by arthritis. Still, I had seen pictures of him as a man my age, and had to admit he had been more than a little good-looking in his youth.

"He's been here a while," he said sourly.

I could read the cloudy expression he wore. "Is he trouble?"

Jerry made an effort to smile, though it was obviously fake. "No. Not really. There's just some history, is all. But it's been a long time."

I drained the rest of the water, thinking there was more my grandfather's brother wanted to tell me. But I refrained from pushing the issue. I knew Jerry well enough to understand he would tell me something if he felt I needed to know it. The fact that he remained silent told me his association with Felix was casual at best.

But I wasn't sure I believed that.

* * * *

A short list of drinks awaited me when I returned to the bar. Two cosmopolitans, a line of Patron shots, and several bottles of beer. As I finished popping the tops of the latter, sending the cocktail waitress on her way, my attention returned to lonely old Felix.

"Saw her again the next night," he continued, picking up his tale where he had left off. "It was strange, watching that angelic, pretty young thing come to the door after what she had done for me. I met her father, shared a beer with him. He liked me, I could tell, mainly because I was a soldier and was going to college. Guess he figured I'd make good husband material."

He chuckled under his breath, looking lost for a moment as if he had forgotten where he was. But clarity returned quickly enough. "Told me to take good care of his little girl. 'Only one I got, son,' he said." Felix dipped his eyes. "He called me 'son.' Only my old man ever called me that."

I watched him from the corner of my eye while pouring a couple pints of Blue Moon. Felix' temporary look of self-admonishment vanished under a forced smile. "Anyways, I took Rose out to dinner. We talked a little bit about ourselves. She mentioned the guy she was waiting for again, but . . . didn't seem to me like she was waiting all that seriously. In fact, we never spoke about him again. Not that night, and not once over all those weeks leading up to Christmas."

By the way he paused, I could tell he was leading up to something. I watched the scant few others in the bar, most of them clustered around one of the two dart boards. They weren't paying either me or Felix any heed.

"Christmas Eve," the old man breathed, speaking the words with reverence that seemed uncommon coming from him. "It hadn't even been two months, but it figured me and Rose were as good as engaged. Her family liked me, mine liked her. All that was missing was the ring."

"I took her out to the Big Ben," he said, intoning the name of a venerable steakhouse on the edge of town which had seen better days. "We took a little walk out in the park after dinner. Rose liked the lake, you see, which was right on the edge of the park. Told me that water was her element. She wrapped herself around my arm like a ribbon, silky smooth and cool at first, but then warmer and warmer. There wasn't much snow falling and the wind was gone. Just pure Yuletide scenery. Kind'a magical, really, like God wanted to make everything right, just for us. Wasn't another soul around, either, which suited me just fine."

"Don't tell me you two got frisky in the park," I commented dryly.

Felix tossed out his rakish, "gotcha" grin. "Would'a been a hell of a scandal if anyone caught us. Good girl like Rose, soldier boy like me . . . but like I said, there wasn't another soul around. Just me and Rose and the snow and stars. And back then, the stars looked a lot brighter at night."

He took another sip and puffed on the cigarette, regarding it for a moment as if he expected to have been smoking something else. "Anyway, we got to this little picnic table, out past Old Man Tree. Boughs were so thick with snow some of them touched the ground. Cold as it was, though, it didn't feel like it. Maybe that's because of the way Rose and me were holding each other, kissing like bandits afraid of the posse coming down on us. Then, just for a second, she pushed me back, those round cherubic cheeks glowing like an elf about to offer up a present. Which, I suppose, she was.

"Now, I don't know how many perfect pairs of breasts you've seen in your life," he continued. "And I'm talking real ones, not that fake silicone crap. Real, honest-to-God perfect breasts. The kind that float on a girl's chest as if she was treading water. That kind. Round and firm, with just a few freckles right in the middle like dots if cinnamon sprinkled on a cappuccino. And creamy white, too, like fresh milk, with bright little cherries on top. Puts any birthday sundae to shame, let me tell you."

I smiled at Felix' descriptions. The man should have been a writer, I figured. Hell, maybe he was.

"I'd been raised to treat a woman with respect, you know," he went on after another puff of his smoke. "Not to dive in like a starving man who's never seen a feast. Not that I had; well, a feast like that, anyway. Still, I kept my military decorum and took my time, admiring the gifts before me. And boy, did I admire them. Eyes, hands, fingers, lips, tongue . . . I admired the hell outta them."

A snicker escaped my lips. I took the bottle of scotch from the shelf and gave Felix another shot on the house. He tipped his hand as if touching the brim of a hat.

"That really got the little firecracker going," he said with a fond sigh. "She had this dreamy look in her eye, and told me she had something to give me. I had something I wanted to give her, too, but I don't think we meant the same thing. Anyways, I let her give it up first." He winked knowingly, making me roll my eyes. But I was enthralled by his story.

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