"It's gorgeous, but $200 is just way too much." Tara kept looking at the screen, and the glass dildo on the site. There were cheaper ones, sure but this was art, sexy art. She closed her eyes and could just imagine holding it, the cool slick surface in her hands, then slipping inside of her. With a sigh and a shiver she closed the site and headed out to the club.
The money was good, and being a stripper was empowering in a way. Men paying her to dance and take off her clothes, two things she liked doing anyway. Plus the bouncers always took good care to make her feel safe, all the girls really. Not the greatest hours in the world, especially on Christmas Eve. As she drove, she thought back to being a little girl and waiting up all night to try to hear Santa on the roof. Here she was, up all night again and still secretly wishing Santa would come visit somehow. The red elf hat with white fur trim and matching bra and panties costume for tonight's set was the last little bit of that childish streak in her.
From the moment Clive ushered her in the back entrance to her first break that night, there was electricity in the air. Tara could feel it, just underneath the music, in the way people were responding. The tips were just that slight bit better, nothing grandiose or outrageous but a nice bump. That and the stream of people in Santa suits, reindeer horns, jingle bells all made for a rather festive atmosphere.
"All in all not a bad night" she thought to herself, waiting backstage and sipping her soda. A quick glance at the clock and she saw it was after 2:00. Not long until time to close up and go home. She was due up next, and was just touching up her make up and adjusting her costume one more time when she felt a shiver. Not from the cold but from a tingle, like something changed but no idea what it was. Looking around she assured herself it was nothing and got ready to take the stage.
Madonna's funk "Santa Baby" blared from the sound system and she entered with the sassy flare she knew grabbed everyone's attention. Sashaying quickly to the pole she scanned the crowd and as she spun around, she saw him, just a flicker in the back. That same tingle on her neck as the dark figure registered then disappeared from view. As she pulled the top off and flung it to the back of the stage, she saw him, closer now, near the stage. He was a tall man, dark hair with gray at the temples, similar salt and pepper in his moustache and goatee. The black leather jacket made him look more shadowy than real, but the backpack he had with him really was odd. The security guys never let a customer in with something like that. How in the hell did he get it in here?
Just as the song was finishing he held up three $100 bills, the corner displaying the denomination, and once she made eye contact, he tilted his head to the VIP rooms in the corner. Tara gathered up her things and hurried off as the next girl was preparing to come out, and she moved quickly to catch the man headed for the private rooms. Tom at the entrance to the hallway that lead to the rooms held up 3 fingers to tell her what room he was in, and she paused just enough to make him wait that little bit more before slowly sauntering in.
"Hey there, stranger. Merry Christmas." She trailed her finger along his shoulder as she moved past and to the smaller stage of the room. "Got any song in particular you like?"
He took a quick drink of the whisky he was holding and sighed "Yeah, gimme some "Santa Baby" but the old version, the real Marilyn Monroe style." He poured another shot and tipped the bottle to offer her some. With a slight shake of her head she declined, and the refusal helped shake her hair out more, letting her get into a softer mood to go with the song.
"So what's your name?" Tara purred the words as she rolled her shoulders with the rhythm.
"Travieso" He rolled his r and held the s a little, just enough for the accent to be indistinguishable.
"Wicked? Naughty? You're named naughty?" The surprise made her miss a step but she covered quickly and slid down into a split, letting her legs seem impossibly long.
"Yeah, and of all things, my brother is named "Saint", some great cosmic joke I guess." Another shot of the whisky as he watched her move and turn. The smile on his face told her she was doing well, but that energy, that tingle she felt earlier was growing. The only thing she could connect it to was that first moment of Christmas morning when she would bolt downstairs to find the presents. Tonight felt like that somehow.
"How about another song?" Holding up another $100 he stared deeply into her eyes. She stopped and took a longer look at him, pondering what to make before taking the bill and stepping back. "Name the tune, Travieso." She rolled the r and held the s, trying to get him to slip into a more relaxed speech.
"The Boss, Santa's Clause is coming...." A pause to make the pun " to town." And another shot went into him.
"So what brings you out on Christmas eve?" waiting for the song to start, wanting to keep him pulling out $100's and maybe even learn a little more about the mystery man. She reached out, to ask for a sip of the Jack, and as he started to fill the shot glass, she took the bottle and pulled right from the neck. With a smack of her lips she handed it back and grinned as she saw him nod appreciatively.
"Just finished my deliveries, figured I could unwind and spread some cheer around."
"What like Santa? You have to make deliveries on Christmas eve?" This was no truck driver, too well dressed. And couriers were done long long ago.
"Yep, just like old Nicky, 'cept to the clientele he ignores, the bastard." And he pulled on the bottle himself to emphasize the point.
Tara stopped dancing, and just stood there, staring at the man. The gears in her head were spinning and grappling with the implications distracted her from the music. Until finally the words came out "Your brother is Santa Claus?!"
Travieso chuckled, obviously used to this by now and took another big swig of whisky. "Yep, well brotherhood is a bit strong, we are kind of like mirror images, heads and tails of a coin so to speak. But yeah brothers is a good enough idea to make it work." He handed the bottle to her again, knowing she would need it now.
She just stared a bit, looking at him in disbelief then drew hard on the bottle before trying to talk again. "So when you say clientele he ignores you mean..."
"Yeah, I deliver gifts to the naughty girls and boys, strippers, hookers, street hustlers, con artists, etc. Just cause you are on the edge of polite society doesn't mean you should get shafted at Christmas, right?" There was a twinkle in his eye that really made the connection seem concrete, though the similarities were harder to fathom.
"Bullshit!" Tara just let it slip out. No malice or venom meant by it, just that the incomprehensible had presented itself and well "bullshit" seemed to be the right word.
"Ok, let me guess you want me to prove it to you, right? Let you see the list or such, that what you want?" Reaching into his jacket pocket he pulled out a pda and began tapping at the screen. "And yeah I updated. Never see ole Jolly meister with a Palm Pilot. The dork." He chuckled again as Tara just kept staring at him, topless and in her elf hat.
"Ok here we go, Tara Desiree McEaton. Geez if you were anymore Irish you'd have to change your name to Maureen or Moira or something." He tapped the screen again "Wishing for a red Transfer acrylic dildo, large head, double ended." The grin creased his cheeks and he whistled appreciatively. "I'll have to make sure to you get that one. You'd be amazing with that."
Tara blushed, pink heat in her cheeks and spreading over her skin rapidly. "Thank you , I think". Holy shit, this is just like Santa only...naughty. Naughty, travieso it all made sense now. He really was.... Naughty Santa! Suddenly the lights flickered, the signal that the club was closing.
"Well, looks like I'm headed home Tara. Merry Christmas." He kissed her softly on the cheek and slipped another $100 into the garter, then grabbed the backpack and left. She just stood there, rubbing her cheek and watching him move.
Dressed in street clothes and on the way home she kept turning the idea over and over, a naughty Santa... in a strip club, on Christmas Eve. Naw, it had to be a scam, he probably got her name from one of the other girls, and they brought him in to set her up. Bullshit, had to be bullshit. Naughty Santa, yeah right.
A long shower, and another few dismissive thoughts to figure out who had put "Travieso" up to it, and Tara was ready for bed. One last check of her email just to see if anyone owned up to it. There, in front of her keyboard was a black box with a silver bow. The card read simply "Believe.... T---".
And inside was the red acrylic dildo, the one she had just been looking at earlier that day. She turned it around, held it up and just laughed, the way she used to when she was little and got her new doll at Christmas time. In the back of her head she remembered the words to an old song "he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows if you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good..." and she smiled.
She tossed off her robe letting the cold air make her skin tingle. Yeah her nipples could cut glass, but she knew he liked it that way. Her feet wide apart on her desk, legs flexed, she looked out her window to the snow coming down and whispered "Enjoy the show Travieso" as she played with her new toy. And she played and she played and she played til she fell asleep, still clutching the toy and remembering the magic of those who believe.