Twas the Night before ChristmasbyStrangeLife©
"Auntie asks if you like the scarf," she yelled.
Ken glanced at the home knitted monstrosity on the floor.
"Tell her I love it!" he lied.
As usual Ken was banned from the kitchen since he, according to Linda, was a horrible cook who couldn't even be trusted with the task of making ice cubes without screwing up the recipe. Instead he entertained the kids and did his best to keep them out of the way of their busy mom.
At noon things got even wilder as Linda's sister and her family joined the fray. It was nice spending time with Laura and Gregg, and Linda had outdone herself with the meal. It was a merry feast and the mood was high all around the table. Nobody noticed that the hostess had padded her chair with an extra pillow.
After the main course Ken announced that he needed a smoke.
"We got the house full of kids Honey," Linda stated firmly. "If you want to smoke, take it outside."
"Sure, no problem hon. I'll take a walk over to the park. See y'all in half an hour or so. Save me some desert or I'm taking all my gifts back..."
Ken brushed the snow off a bench overlooking the small playground near the entrance to the park and sat down to light his pipe. The snowy scenery was pristine apart from a few lines of bird tracks. Despite the cold weather it was a gorgeous day.
He was so absorbed in appreciating his wintery surroundings that he almost failed to notice the man until he sat down on the bench beside him. Ken turned his head to greet the newcomer.
"Good day Mr. Weber," Julian responded with a slight accent and pulled back the hood of his Canada Goose parka.
He was a young man, probably around twenty-five. That made him around a decade younger than Ken, and though the two men were of similar height and build the younger man was clearly an athlete or a fitness buff. Even through the heavy winter coat it was evident that Julian was a man who cared about his appearance and took good care of himself.
Ken pulled out an envelope and handed it over.
"The other half of your fee as agreed upon, plus a bonus."
Julian peeked inside the envelope and smiled.
"You are most generous Mr. Weber. So I take it that my services were satisfactory?"
"Oh yes. And the sleigh was a nice touch too. How on earth did you pull that of?"
"It was strapped onto a flatbed trailer," Julian explained with a sly grin. "Borrowed it from a Christmas display at my brothers store. I figured the trailer itself would be hidden by your gate so it would look as if the sleigh was floating by from within the house."
"It sure did. Very Christmassy indeed."
"By the way Mr. Weber, next time you wish to retain my services I am willing to negotiate a reduced fee..."
Ken stopped him by raising his hand.
"Thanks, but no thanks Julian. You will not be needed again."
Julian looked taken aback.
"But I thought you were satisfied. You just gave me a bonus."
Ken took a puff on his pipe.
"I couldn't be more satisfied Julian. However you and Linda both enjoyed yourselves a little more than I had expected and I do not believe it would be in the best interest of my family and my marriage to repeat that performance. Besides, you forgot the condom. That wasn't very professional of you."
"I see. Yes I guess I did get a bit carried away. Please understand that I rarely get a client as attractive and desirable as Mrs. Weber. Mostly I am escorting fat old rich women to boring events. Your wife reminded me of how great sex can be with the right person and my enthusiasm got the better of me. My apologies for the lapse in professionalism."
Julian got up to take his leave, but then stopped and looked curiously at Ken.
"Can I ask you a personal question Mr. Weber?"
Ken raised an eyebrow and nodded.
"You don't seem to be the kind of person who gets off on the humiliation of watching your wife with another man..."
"True that," Ken confirmed. "I was never the jealous type, but still I much prefer to be the one enjoying the action rather than watching it."
"Yet you hired me to seduce your wife yesterday. Why?"
Ken puffed his pipe and stared thoughtfully out into the horizon for a few seconds. Then he spoke.
"You know how children stop believing in Santa Claus and the magic of Christmas around the age of seven or eight? Don't you find that sad?"
"I suppose. In a nostalgic kinda way I guess," Julian responded with a puzzled expression. "But it's all a natural part of maturing and growing up, isn't it?"
"True, but what if you could restore that lost magic? My wife is a strong and pragmatic woman of thirty-eight who hasn't believed in Santa for at least three decades. But how do you think she feels about the subject after last night?"
Julian stared at Ken in total disbelief.
"You hired me to fuck your wife TO RESTORE HER FAITH IN SANTA CLAUS?"
"To bring the magic of her childhood back to life, yes. What greater gift could you possibly give the love of your life for Christmas?"
Julian's shocked expression changed to a smile. Then he broke into laughter.
"With all due respect Mr. Weber," he stammered between snorts. "You're either extremely clever or completely insane."
"Probably a bit of both," Ken replied with a grin. "Merry Christmas Julian."
"Merry Christmas to you too Mr. Weber."