I flopped down among the purple pillow forest that was my queen bed, and opened the increasingly scant classified section. Tapping a red pen to my lips, I immediately crossed out all the jobs offered through temp agencies. After several extremely unsuccessful experiences I was pretty sure they only stayed in business by collecting and distributing personal information.
I scanned the remaining jobs, curling a lock of honey colored hair over my ear. Several positions were open for registered nurses. I doubt being a lifeguard for a summer qualifies me, though at this point it's worth a shot, I mused sarcastically. I had lost my job at a small law firm when they went out of business several weeks ago. I had saved enough money to get by for at least six months, but with the economy the way it was, I couldn't afford to be without a job for long.
Experienced manager; live-in babysitter; administrative manager; civil engineer; dentist; model... It wasn't shaping up to be a lucrative day in the classifieds when I spotted an ad in small letters at the very bottom of the page:
Santa's elves wanted during holiday season. Prefer female. $7.25/hr. 8am-5pm. Apply in person.
For a moment I took offense at the "Prefer female" clause, but I figured at the very least it would improve my chances of getting the job. Seeing nothing else of merit, I decided to go for it.
I quickly got dressed in my "interview outfit" which consisted of a royal blue button up shirt, a black vest over it, slacks and heels. I swapped the slacks with a pair of pressed jeans, as this job didn't exactly seem to be searching for gems. They get what they pay for: $7.25 an hour is not a slacks-worthy wage. I polished the lenses on a pair of black rectangular glasses and hooked them over my ears. They weren't prescription, but I thought they made me look serious. I pulled my long sun-kissed hair up into a ponytail and was click-clicking out the door in 20 minutes.
The rental office was in an upstairs part of the mall I'd never seen before, and by the looks of the place, I almost regretted coming. Metal chairs lined a reception area and beyond the front counter, several rooms with big windows appeared to be similarly appointed. The wallpaper was peeling where it met the ceiling and the stained linoleum floor. A few ancient sounding vending machines groaned from some where down the hall. Behind the reception counter, a dark-haired man in his early thirties leered at me before handing me a clipboard with an application; the pen hooked under the clip had teeth marks in the plastic. The only exception to this nightmare was a gorgeous brunette in a black pencil skirt and a red satin top filling out the same application I had been given. I sat across from her in an uncomfortable metal chair. Being a bit of a germaphobe, (particularly on the occasion of handling objects that have clearly been in foreign orifices) I dug my own pen out of my purse and went to work. I couldn't help but steal glances at her as I answered the surprisingly long list of questions.
Name: Chloe Hunter. Her shiny brown curls stopped just above her considerable chest. Date of birth: 7/13/87. Her pencil skirt betrayed her long and unseasonably tan legs, which looked even longer in her red heels. E-mail: Pinkraspberries@hotmail.com. Telephone: 310-378 – I was interrupted when the girl across from me shifted around and was suddenly sitting next to me. She smelled like mangoes. I kept my eyes on the box asking for related experience, without attempting to fill it in.
"Excuse me, would you mind letting me borrow your other pen? This one's dead." She held up the pen in question. I looked up into green eyes, framed by long thick lashes. Her head was turned to the side, her heart shaped face so serious it almost made me giggle. Her full pink lips were glistening with gloss. I blushed.
"Uh, yeah," I replied eloquently and slipped the teeth-marked pen from under the clip. When she took it from me, one of her polished fingertips brushed lightly against my hand. My stomach flip- flopped and goose bumps started to rise on my right leg. I was glad they were covered by jeans. My face, which had just recovered from the preceding flash of heat, lit anew.
I scrawled down the rest of my information as quickly as I could and turned it in to the man behind the counter, who, upon closer examination, was fairly good-looking. He ran a hand through his messy dark hair before he looked up from my application to flash a polite smile,"Thanks, Chloe. Please have a seat, I'll call you when I'm ready for you." He was muscular, and probably tall too, but I didn't like the way he openly looked me up and down. His brown eyes had lingered a little too long at my modest cleavage. I had never liked being gawked at by men.
When I turned around to go back to my seat, I almost bumped into the pen girl. "Oops." We engaged in the ever awkward get-out-of-my-way dance. I blushed again.
"Oh, sorry!" she laughed and flashed a huge white-toothed grin at me before steadying me with her free (and ever so soft) hand, side-stepping wide to the right of me. She had an adorable giggle.
I reclaimed my seat, put my red face down and did not look up until it cooled off. When she returned, she sat right back down next to me. "I'm Riley, by the way."
"Pleased to meet you. I'm Chloe." I replied breathlessly, entranced by her sparkling green eyes. God, she's absolutely stunning. She gripped my hand harder than I would have expected and I gripped right back.
"I'm just wondering, have you had previous elf experience? I just want to get an idea of what my competition is." I mistook her frown for genuine concern, until I noticed it beginning to curl at the edges. She was frowning to keep from laughing at her own joke. I giggled.
"Well, I have been on the good list for seven years running. And last year, Santa and I officially got on a first-name basis. No big deal." I leaned back and laced my fingers behind my head. She threw her head back to laugh, and looked back at me with that too-big grin which oddly seemed to suit her face. We exchanged corny jokes, and it was, surprisingly, genuinely fun; until we heard the man from the counter approaching.
"Ladies, if you'll follow me I'd like to interview you together." Standing up, the scruffy man was several inches taller than Riley and I, who were roughly the same height, even in heels. Riley looked at me with a smile with her head tilted toward the man. Yeah, I guess he is attractive. For a guy and all. I shrugged at her and we followed him to the first interview room on the right.
He shuffled through a folder full of papers once we were all settled around the flimsy table. The same metal chairs inhabited this room. It's probably because these are the only chairs no one would bother to steal, I thought with a snicker.
After asking and answering a few basic situational questions the man, Scott, cleared his throat. "Now I was only looking to hire one of you, but..." An out of place, and seemingly private, smile touched the corners of his full lips, "I'd like to take both of you on.... The hours are like the ad, eight to five. You get Mondays off and I'll let you out early the rest of the week if business is slow. We start the week after Thanksgiving."
"We?" I asked.
He did not look up as he said it, merely scratched at his scruffy face and continued to flip through the folder, "Yeah, us three. I'm Santa."
I stole a sidelong glance at the grin on Riley's face. "Oh," was all I could manage.
"I'll be buying new costumes online this year, so I'll e-mail you for your sizes. We take a $30 deposit out of your first paycheck as insurance, but you'll get that back at the end of the season." He was scribbling on the papers he'd been hunting for, which he then offered to us for our signatures.
I briefly considered not signing them as I had some ideas where this threesome was headed, or rather, where the two of them were headed after I went back home to my apartment, alone. But when I looked up, Riley quickly scooped up the pen and wrote Riley Fredericks in neat cursive on the line. She then offered it to me with a smile on her gorgeous face, "I have a feeling Ms. Thing over here is going to rock the outfit."
Well, It might not be so bad, I thought, attempting to hide my smile and deny my growing crush on the goddess sitting next to me, and besides, I need the money. I stole one last glance at her slender waist before I signed the papers and pushed them back across the table to Scott.
"I guess we'll see you in three weeks, then," Riley said as she got up. We shook hands with our new boss before we went our separate ways.
We had been working together for roughly two weeks, and by now, thankfully, my constant blushing had become more manageable most likely due to the ridiculous outfits we donned everyday. We wore red and white striped stockings with uncomfortable control tops (useless, too, I might add; Riley certainly didn't need them and I had always been on the slim side), baggy green shorts and itchy green sweaters. To top it all off we had to bobby pin stocking caps over our hair and wear preposterous foam pieces over our shoes to make it look as if we were wearing the traditional elven shoes. Fortunately, I had invested in a knee length white wool coat several years ago which made walking to and from the parking lot bearable. Scott, on the other hand, hid his muscular body under a makeshift fat suit (he showed us at one point that it was basically a bag of man shaped stuffing sewn onto suspenders). He wore the typical Santa getup and spent the entire eight hours of the day sitting in a over-sized chair surrounded by plastic reindeer and blinking lights.
We had quickly learned to avoid the whiny brats and the chatty parents as much as possible by hiding out in the "toy workshop," which was really where the photos were developed. I had somehow talked Scott into believing that we did so because kids today thought elves were elusive and we were only trying to keep up with the traditions. As a trade off, we did most of the photo processing (which had previously been automatically taken care of with some extremely buggy software) and actually increased the sales by doing a bit of "photo enhancement," as we called it, before presenting the finished product on an HD monitor to the parents roughly ten at a time.
Riley seemed a little disappointed at first that she and Scott never got a chance to flirt with the little kids around. Still, as was like to happen, we became fast friends. Not only because we spent most of our days in close quarters with each other, but because since I admitted to myself that I was a lesbian, every girl I'd ever had a crush on ended up being my best friend. I could never work up the courage to tell them the truth about me, so I settled for basically spending every precious moment as close to them as possible. Those relationships usually ended when my "friend" got a boyfriend.
I had only ever been with one girl. One very drunk girl I met at a bar the night I turned 21. Her name was Amber. I never got her last name. I think she was straight; looking back, I'm pretty sure she only started making out with me as a means to get attention from some douchey guy and his three friends. She drank way too much before the night had even begun and didn't seem to know where her friends had gone to by the time she wanted to leave. I offered her a ride home but she was too drunk to give me coherent directions to her house. So I took her back to the small house I had recently moved into. I was kind of excited to have found someone I thought was another lesbian. Okay, I was absolutely ecstatic. I wanted to ask her how she found the courage to come out and where exactly the lesbian scene was in my hometown. I wanted to know her struggle. I wanted to know their struggles. I wanted a niche in the lesbian community.
I had to carry her up the concrete steps to the second floor, then do some serious juggling to get the door unlocked. My roommates, who had been a couple for nearly two years, were currently watching Heroes on the couch,. They were several years older than I was, and both worked at a software company in town. We still didn't know each other very well. I had only agreed to living with them because I didn't think any of my friends would be responsible enough to live with comfortably. The broke up their cuddle-fest as I struggled to help Amber through the door.
"Hey Chloe, how was your birthday?" Cameron asked absently, while Amy, looking up, simultaneously said, "Holy shit, is she okay?"
I steadied Amber and replied, "Yeah, she had too much at the bar. She's gonna crash in my room tonight." Amber's head lolled to the side.
"It's only one o'clock!" Amy said, "How is she already that trashed?"
"Let me help you." Cameron hoisted Amber up like a baby and carried her to my bed.
I went to the kitchen to grab some water, thinking it might ward off the hangover she had coming. On my way back to my room, Cameron and Amy informed me they were going to a friend's party and were probably going to stay there so they could both get drunk. I was suspicious that they were trying get out of celebrating the remainder of my big 21 (as if I would somehow be offended), but I didn't say anything about it.
I thought Amber was already asleep when I got back to my room, but she was actually starting to come around, "Thanks for helping me Kelsey."
"Um, no problem. But it's Chloe. How are you feeling?" I set the water down on my nightstand.
"So good," she slurred, "your bed is comfy." She patted it, beckoning me closer.
As soon as I sat down next to her she started kissing me. One thing led to another and soon my virginity was a thing of the past. At the time, I imagined our encounter was a beautiful conjoining of two female bodies. Later I realized that it was just sloppy drunk sex. In the morning, Amber was gone. I was confused and heartbroken for several weeks after. I had never told anyone I was a lesbian. I never even made my interests transparent to those around me. I couldn't. My hometown of Bethesda, California, an average sized city not far from Beverly Hills, was pretty conservative for what it was. Amber was the first person I mistakenly thought I could share my true self with. But that was nearly a year ago and after graduation I had moved up north.
Riley interrupted my train of thought when she bounced up and announced cheerfully that Scott had a doctor's appointment this afternoon and wouldn't be back until two o'clock. "And a long lunch for him means a long lunch for us!"
It was a slow day so we put up a sign with our time of return. Scott changed into fitted jeans and a pressed button up shirt in the toy workshop. When he emerged, Riley commented, "Look at you! I wish Santa looked like that. I'd be good all year." She mimicked brushing off his shoulders and giggled.
He put a hand on the small of her back and replied, "If elves looked like the two of you, I'd gladly be freezing my balls off in the Arctic about."
I blushed. Riley laughed at me. We joked around for a minute or two before Scott took off for his appointment. That gave Riley and I two hours to hang out and look around the mall a little for Christmas presents.
We made the most of our time. We quickly ordered from our favorite Chinese place and went outside to the small patio to gobble it down. It was still snowing, but it felt good to temporarily escape the noise of the mall. I threw our trash away and when I turned back around, a snowball hit me in the shoulder, followed by Riley's adorable giggles.
"You're in so much trouble, Rye!" I bent down to scoop up some snow, and another ball of ice hit my shoe.
"What are you talking about? I was a pitcher for eight years!" she called back, crouching behind a low concrete wall. "I know you're not going to kick that snowball at me so bring it, Ms. I-Was- Captain-of-the-Soccer-Team."
My first ball skimmed over her head but when she showed herself to laugh at my miss, I nailed her in the stomach. Our snowball fight went on until we were breathless and our noses were red.
After taking refuge in the mall for warmth, we decided to go to Macy's to try on the clearance stuff. It was busy, but we knew to take all of our picks to the dressing room behind the old ladies' coats. There was no one but a bored looking girl with braces assigned to it who informed us she was going to take her break but would be happy to send someone over to help us.
"Oh don't worry about it, girl. We'll put all these go-backs away when we're done. Go take an extra long break, you look like you could use it." The girl cast a shifty eye toward a plump redhead behind a customer service desk across the way. "...And in case you get in trouble," Riley continued, "we'll tell your manager how much you helped us out today. I'm assuming she's the redhead in the women's department?"
The girl flashed a big metal smile and nodded before she left us alone.
"What was that about?" I asked as we organized all of our clothes in the over-sized fitting room at the end of the hall.
"I used to work retail back home. Worst job ever." She thought it over a moment and added with a wink, "Well aside from the current one, of course."
I laughed and retorted, "Hey, at least you get to work with a friend!"
"Has someone been telling you we're friends? I'm just going to go ahead and let you know they were lying to you." She teased and gave my arm a squeeze. "Well, at least we have some man candy to drool over all day too!"
I hid my disappointment by turning away to rearrange clothes according to color. Yup, I can see it coming. Prince Scott Charming will sweep Riley off her feet any day now. Mrs. Riley Chase. Ugh.
A couple seconds of sorting passed before she touched my shoulder to turn me back to her, "How long have you lived around here?"
"I actually just moved up about a year ago" I answered. After I told her a little about the law office I worked at before it went under she asked when I was going back home for Christmas, what with work literally extending to Christmas Eve.
"I'm not. I didn't want to go home for Christmas. I'm an only child so my parents decided they would finally go out to some Christmas parties with their old friends. It's no big deal. I'm not exactly a devout Christian anyway" I explained as I my elven clothes off, happy to have the itchy sweater off my back. I slipped on a Roxy long sleeve and some jeans.
"Oh, that shirt looks good," she commented when she looked up from her own selection of clothes. "Yeah I'm not going home either. I'm from Rhode Island and plane tickets around this time are really expensive. Money's tight right now, ya know? It bums me out. I'm making my mom an electronic scrapbook, though, and she's doing the same so we can trade for the holidays. I should actually get a picture of you so she can finally put a face to your name!"
I briefly wondered what she had been saying to her mom about me when Riley started to strip down. She had her shorts and stockings off and was pulling her sweater up over her big tits. She had trouble getting her head and arms out and for a moment my eyes could wander over the parts I had constantly been denying them. Her perfect ass was peaking out of a pair of white lacy boy shorts, her long, toned legs looked even better out of the stockings. My eyes were making their way up her taught stomach when she freed her head from the sweater and laughed. I quickly busied myself with trying on a new t-shirt.
I could feel warmth spreading in my panties already. I had just removed the Roxy long sleeve when Riley commented, "Oh I love that bra, where'd you get it?"