tagNon-EroticThis Christmas

This Christmas


Janice Evans looked at her thirteen year old daughter Maddie and sighed,

"Maddie I don't know if it's possible, your father may have other plans, I don't think I should even mention this to him."

"I asked Dad too and he said it was up to you, he said I had to ask you."

"Yeah he would, wouldn't he? Look Maddie, no matter how much you love us, we aren't going to get back together, he has Elaine now and they have Gemma to look after."

"But Mum, it would be fun to have a baby here, please, please please."

"Maddie! Look I will talk to your father, but I really don't think this will work."

"Talk to him Mum, I'm sure he'll want too."

"Right, now will you finish your breakfast and get ready for school."

Maddie nodded and began to eat her toast, a grin on her face. Finishing she jumped up and ran upstairs. Janice heard her in the bathroom, then her bedroom. Storming downstairs she jumped the last three steps. Thump! the sound of her hitting the flooring echoed through the house.

"Don't jump the stairs, it's not ladylike." Janice shouted from the kitchen.

"I'm no lady," shouted Maddie in reply.

She dashed into the kitchen grabbed her school bag, lunch pack, kissed Janice as she bent down and ran off to the front door. Janice sighed as she heard the front door slam into place, silence descended on the house. Janice sat on a kitchen chair and wept. The divorce had been loud and traumatic. She remembered that initially Rob had become distant and secretive, before finally he had admitted to her about the affair.

Janice had been devastated, insanely uncontrollably angry, shouting at Rob at every opportunity, belittling him in front of Maddie. She had made him sleep on the sofa in the lounge, until finally she came home to find his wardrobe empty and a curt note. Six weeks later solicitors papers arrived and the interminable and terminal roll towards a permanent split had ensued. After eighteen months the day of the Decree Absolute had arrived and she was no longer legally Mrs Evans. She had however not changed her name, just notified whoever needed to know and got on with working and bringing up Maddie.

Maddie had been distraught, bitter and very, very angry. She hated her Mum for pushing her Dad away and her Dad for leaving her with her Mother. After they had all three sat down and talked it through, eleven year old Maddie had grudgingly accepted that her parents would never again live under the same roof. The arrangement was Monday to Thursday with Janice, Friday to Sunday with Rob and his partner Elaine. It was awkward at first, but Elaine had gone out of her way to talk to Maddie and let her know she would not be a mother to her, that was Janice and always would be.

Elaine said that she should treat her as an older sister and gradually Maddie had accepted this. She confided in Elaine things she couldn't or wouldn't tell Janice or Rob. Sometimes she would pass things on, other times she respected Maddie's exhortations to not breath a word to anyone else. Janice and Rob both envied Elaine's relationship with Maddie, but neither stopped her from her self appointed role or asked her to change. It was to Elaine that Maddie confided her secret wish that they could all be together at Christmas. Elaine thought long and hard then finally told Maddie to float the idea with her parents.

Janice heard the doorbell and frowned, who could that be, it wasn't Maddie as she had her own key. She rose and walked to the door. Opening it she was surprised to see Elaine with Gemma her six month old baby. Elaine smiled and bounced Gemma on her hip.

"Hi, look can I come in, I need to talk to you and Gemma needs changing, please would that be okay?"

Janice raised an eyebrow but stepped back to allow them in. Elaine breezed past and placed Gemma on the table as she struggled to get the change bag off her shoulder.

She looked imploringly at Janice.

"I'm really sorry about this, is here okay. She's pretty messy?"

"Don't worry, the cloth needs washing and we used to do this with Maddie."

Janice smiled at the thought as Elaine went ahead and soon had Gemma cleaned up and smelling fresher. Elaine put the dirty nappy and wipes in a nappy bag and tied the top tightly. Gemma gurgled and waved her arms and legs haphazardly. Janice smiled and touched Gemma's cheek.

"Go ahead give her a cuddle, I'll lose this in your dustbin, I assume it's out the back?"

"Yes, I assume you know the way?"

"Actually, despite what you think, I've not been here before." Elaine brought her lips together in a thin lipped smile.

Turning she went out the back door. Janice heard the dustbin lid rattle and Elaine came back in. She washed her hands at the sink and dried them on a tea towel. Janice sat at the table with Gemma in her lap.

"Thank you, I was getting a bit desperate there. I'm sorry to have disturbed you."

"No, it's okay, look, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say that, it was stupid of me."

"I don't blame you I'm the enemy, I know that. I'd feel exactly the same if I was in your shoes."

"Would you?"

"God yes, I'd want to meet you on a dark night in a dark alley with a knife."

"Hmm don't put ideas in my head."

"After listening to Rob and Maddie, I don't think that's your style."

"Oh really, what would be my style?" Janice said archly.

"You'd come right round in daylight and punch me in the face,"

Janice grinned and rocked Gemma,

"Now that would be fun," she said and scowled.

"Don't do that, you're too pretty to make faces like that. Maddie is so your daughter, she's going to be a stunner like you when she mature's."

"You think?"

"I'm sure. "

"Would you like a cup of tea Elaine?"

"Yes please, milk and a little cyanide."

"Don't tempt me, seriously the kettle's over there, cups or mugs in the cupboard above. Fridge in the corner."

"Nice kitchen, is it new?"

"Ah, pre or post divorce you mean."

"No I mean is it new or have you had it a while, that's all."

"New, had it done earlier in the year. Sorry but I have a lot of anger still, you're here and an easy target."

"Good, go for it, might as well offload it on me, I probably deserve it."

"Sorry, but, can I ask you a personal question? How did Rob and you meet?"

"Corny story, I did temp work at his office, we clicked, he was upfront about you and he drifting apart, but I liked him and became his lover."

"Just like that?"

"Exactly like that, believe me I agonised over our relationship, but we were good together and well you know the rest."

"yeah, lived it, hated it, lost my T-shirt."

"I'm sorry, I suppose I was greedy, another woman's husband and all that. But I had a chance to change my life and to be honest I don't regret a lot of what I did. I am sorry about you and Maddie, that I do regret, but I wouldn't give up Rob for one second."

"I thought the same, or at least I thought I thought the same, perhaps in hindsight I would've done things differently, but we are where we are, you win I lose."

"No you don't lose, you have Maddie, she never stops talking about you, she loves you Janice, she really does."

"Huh! I'm the big bad wolf, I stop her enjoying herself, make her do her homework. Send her to bed when she's awake and wake her when she's asleep."

"Janice, she loves you like she loves Rob. Trust me, there are things she says that show how much she cares for you both."

"Like this crazy Christmas thing, did you know about this?"

"Yes, she talked to me about it first."

"What the hell did you tell her?"

Elaine finished making the tea and put the two mugs on the table, sitting down she faced Elaine, her eyes looking directly into hers.

"I told her to ask you and Rob. You're her parents it's your decision."

"But it's crazy! Both of us together on Christmas Day, at the same table. It would turn into World War Three within minutes."

"Would it? couldn't you and Rob set aside your differences for one day for Maddie?"

"Whah, err.. I.."

"Janice, Maddie wants to have Christmas dinner with her parents, the people she loves most in the world, is that too much to ask?"

"What about you, won't having me there or you coming here spoil your cozy Christmas dream."

"No it won't, I think it would be neat."

"Neat! Neat! what the hell does that mean?" Janice spat.

"It means it would be making Maddie's dreams come true, and it won't break the bank. It just means you and Rob have to have a truce, just rein in your antagonism for each other. You'd be doing it for Maddie, is that too difficult?"

"No! I... wait what about Rob?"

"I think I've persuaded him, so he agrees to this and is nice to you, or sex is a long way off for him." Elaine giggled and sipped her tea.

"You would do that? you would risk him slipping off and finding someone else? After all he's done it once, he could do it again."

"Hmm, yes I suppose he could, but I think it's a once only thing for him, sorry, but we are way too deep, I think he got the message anyway, he's agreed. The ball, as they say is in your court."

"Wow you manipulative, conniving little bitch, you really are a piece of work aren't you. You come round here..."

Elaine broke across her,

"Yes I am and I'm doing it because of Maddie, she's been through hell through no fault of her own and the only thing she really wants is a Christmas with her parents, Is that too much to ask?"

Elaine was now standing clutching the table.

"I'm fucking responsible for this, and I hate myself for it, If I hadn't met Rob none of this might have happened. Well it has and I want to make it better for Maddie, don't you?"

Elaine felt the tears stinging her cheeks, I'm so bloody weak, she thought.

Janice stopped rocking Gemma and stared at Elaine,

"Oh My God, you do actually care about her don't you?"

Yes I do. I love her like she was my own little sister, I can't help it, she's so lost and..."

"I'm so sorry, I apologise for everything I said, I'm just so angry."

"I know you are, but don't take it out on Maddie, please. Look I should go, I have to get to my Mum's she's not been well, I have to go and sort things out."

"Leave Gemma here, I work from home, if you need to do things for your Mum, Gemma might get in your way. I can look after her, no I want to look after her for you."

Elaine giggled, and wiped her tears away.

"You might have a problem at feeding time, I'm feeding her myself."

"Ahh now that would be a problem, okay you win. And thanks I'll think about Maddie's suggestion, you sure you're okay?"

"Fine, better now I've met you and spoken to you. I'm sorry about you and Rob, it was never meant maliciously, we just fell in together."

"Yeah I know, it was six and two threes with us. We're both to blame. Look, if you need to stop off on the way back, come in, I'll make the tea next time."

"Thanks Janice, Maddie was right, you are a lovely lady."

Impulsively Elanine pecked at Janice's cheek. Janice laughed and as she handed Gemma back she kissed her back.

"Take care, see you soon."

Then Janice was alone, she went to work, but at lunchtime she sat and ate her sandwich with the phone in her lap. Finally she picked it up and pressed Rob's speed dial number.

"Rob speaking, hi!"

"Hi Rob, it's Janice, can we talk."

"Uh! sure, you okay, you sound tired?"

"Ha! yeah, too tired, look I think we need to meet, I want to talk to you about Maddie and Christmas, do you have any time this week?"

"Sure, what say I look in this afternoon say about three, that okay?"

"Yeah great, Maddie's going to Sally's for tea after chess club, so she won't be needing me til about six or so, is that ok?"

"Perfect, see you later."



"Sorry I'm a bitch, but I hurt, still."

"Sure I know, can't be easy, I'm sorry too, I didn't handle it well. Look see you later, about three okay?"

Janice busied herself with work, until suddenly she heard the doorbell.

"Coming," she shouted up the hallway as she went to the door.

Rob stood on the step, tall and slightly stooping, mop of greying hair swept back from his face, hat in hand, as she swung the door open,

"Hi, I thought you'd use your key?"

"Not my house anymore, remember? part of the settlement. I gave my keys to Maddie." He smiled and stepped in. They awkwardly kissed each others cheek.

"Come through I'll make some tea,"

"Thanks, I could do with a cuppa."

He came in and took his coat and scarf off, sitting at the kitchen table.

"So how've you been, I mean you look tired, but are you well."

"Yeah I guess so, no aches and pains, pretty good I think."

"You look great, that top suits you."

"Thanks, you well."

"Yeah, apart from being tired, what with Gemma keeping us on our toes."

"Ahh, new dad syndrome. How's it going?"

"Pretty good, Elaine's got a routine established, we all know our part. Well except Gemma she changes the script daily."

"How old is she now?"

"Six months."

"Fun times. Here."

Janice slid a mug of tea in front of him, he sipped and smacked his lips.

"perfect, so Maddie and Christmas?"

"Yeah, I saw Elaine today, she had a nappy emergency and called in. We had a chat, a bit of a heart to heart."

"Oh! Oh! that sounds ominous, well the house is still standing and there's no blood on the walls."

"Rob, I was rude to her and she took it in good heart. I may be wrong about her. She obviously loves you, though God knows why and she adores Maddie."

"That she does, she's like a big..."

"Sister, exactly. Well we may not have hit it off at first, but the kid kind of grew on me. Also your daughter, the new one, is adorable."


"Welcome. Rob I have no idea if this will work, but for Maddie I'm willing to have a truce and have you and Elaine round at Christmas, or we'll come to you. Whatever works best for Maddie and Elaine."

"Maddie and Elaine?"

"Well Maddie wants her Mum and Dad round the dinner table and Elaine has to consider the whole circus that having a eight month old by then entails. So what do we do?"

"Well here there's more space, but our place has everything for Gemma."

"True, but you could bring everything for Gemma here, which as you say has more space."

"Would you do that?"

"Sure, we can set up a travel cot in the bedroom, I think we've still got one in the loft. If you want you and Elaine could stay in the second bedroom and Maddie and I will share."

"Really? that would work for you?"

"Yes it would, what about you three?"

"Well yes it would work for us. Thanks I was really worried about this, you know meeting here, we've said so much and hurt each other so deeply. I didn't know if I could do it.""

"Me neither, but it will be for Maddie, it's her dream."

"Yes it will be for Maddie."

"By the way, your wife is a scheming manipulative bitch, but I really like her."

"Thanks I think?"

"Oh don't worry, I've already told her, now go home to your baby daughter."

Janice stood and Rob followed. He put on his hat and scarf and they embraced and kissed again. This time there was a fluidity and ease with their coupling.

"Take care, speak soon."

"Yeah, speak soon, although I expect Elaine and I can sort out the detail."

"Yeah I always was more Blue Sky than nuts and bolts."

Janice smiled and rubbed his arm.

"Go on get home, Elaine and Gemma will be waiting."


Rob opened the door and smiled, waved a little wave and was gone. As she shut the door she heard a car start up then draw away. She went back to the kitchen and cleared the mugs away. Preparing a light meal she sat and read the local paper. She realised she was seeing the words but not absorbing the sense. She cleared it away and began work again.

Elaine popped in every weekday for the next three weeks, and Janice began to enjoy the visits. They talked and compared notes, played with Gemma, Elaine fed her and Janice would change her. they laid her in the stroller and lowered the back so she could sleep. They discussed Maddie and Rob and generally Janice began to feel a genuine warmth towards her. Elaine also helped Janice with some of the more mundane jobs for her business, typing responses to e-mails and taking post to the post box.

Janice realised one day that they would have been good friends if they had met any other way. She told Elaine and they had a good laugh, Elaine saying she came round because she thought of Janice as a friend too, she loved being with her and really enjoyed talking to her. She confided that she had few friends anyway and she found it difficult to start a friendship. Janice hugged her and said despite how they met, they were now good friends and she hoped it would stay that way.

On Thursday at four thirty the door bell rang and Maddie flew downstairs to open the door. The boom as she landed again echoing through the house.

"Maddie what have I told you about jumping?"

Maddie ignored her mother and opened the door, she did a double take.

"Elaine, what are you doing here?"

"Come to see your Mum to sort out Christmas."

"You mean Mum and Dad and you all together?"

"We're trying my darling, we are really trying, where's your Mum?"

"In here Elaine come through I'll put the kettle on. How was your afternoon? I finished the invoicing so I'm a free agent, come and sit down. We talking about Christmas? because Rob said he'd get you to sort it out the lazy... boy."

"Thought it best, so that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet."

"Good point, hello Gemma, hello."

Janice took Gemma so Elaine could get her coat off. She sat in the chair and undid her blouse.

"do you mind if..." she left the sentence hanging,

Janice blushed, although Elaine had regularly feed her before.

"No of course not go ahead, do you want some privacy?"

"No not unless it embarrasses you?"

"Not at all, I've seen you before and I fed Maddie for seven or eight months, so I know how it goes."

"Thanks , when I get myself sorted I'll get you to pass her to me."

"Fine, oh! are you sore?"

Elaine had removed the cup of her bra, letting it fold down. Her breast where it showed through was white with several vivid blue veins. Her nipple and aereolae were dark and puffy and the she had winced as she positioned her breast ready for Gemma, taking off the soft cotton cap she wore to stop the drips seeping through.

"A bit, they get so full, then they ache until Gemma either empties me or I can express it and get some relief."

"Poor thing, I remember it well, and having cracked nipples." Janice winced in recollection.

They realised Maddie was there, a look of awe on her face.

"Did you feed me then Mum?"

"I did baby and loved every minute of it." Janice watched Maddie come into the room so she could see better.

"Poor Elaine, she's not a sideshow, she's just going to feed Gemma."

"It's fine Janice, right where's the baby? There's the baby, come on time for your feed, monster."

Janice grinned and handed Gemma over, Elaine put her to her nipple and Gemma clamped on and began to suckle. Her tiny fists pushed against Elaine's breast and she closed her eyes. Soon she settled into the feed and Janice sat with Maddie watching the baby feeding.

"Do you want your tea yet Elaine?"

"No I'll wait til she finishes. Ouch, careful baby, try to leave some of the skin behind."

Gemma came up for air and Elaine opened the other cup and switched Gemma over. Gemma happily suckled her other breast and again fed with her eyes closed. Maddie watched fascinated. On her other breast a tiny trickle of milk erupted from the nipple. Janice reached over with a tissue and applied it gently.

"Thanks Janice, I seem to have very dribbly boobs at the moment. Oh look I think she's finished."

Gemma head came off the breast and lay back against Elaine's hand, suddenly a huge belch erupted followed by the sounds of a baby sleeping.

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byHunterShambles© 7 comments/ 10706 views/ 2 favorites

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