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FIC: Little Fantasies Good Ideas

I wanted to write a fun, spanky story for Christmas. Alex and Julien jumped at the chance to tell me one.

Title: Little Fantasies: Good Ideas
Characters: Alex/Julien
Series: Little Fantasies

It was a good idea. I tend to have really good ideas. I guess I just didn’t think it all the way through. See, I hadn’t thought about how painful gift wrapping could be. No, I didn’t get a paper cut from the paper. No, I didn’t stab myself with the scissors, although, you could be forgiven for thinking I might have. And finally, no, I did not stab Alex. The scissors missed him by a mile.

Let me start at the beginning so you don’t think I tried to murder my husband. Last year, right after the Christmas break, I was working in a school and overheard a couple children talking. One child was going on and on about the gifts Santa had brought him. He’d gotten a new game machine as well as several games. The more gifts the child chattered about, the more I thought that his parents must have been loaded. After joyfully exclaiming about all the toys he'd gotten, the boy asked the other child what she had gotten for Christmas. The little girl looked down at her ratty tennis shoes and mumbled, “Santa must have forgotten my house.”

Her soft little voice pierced my heart. I really looked at her then. Her clothes were stained and too big for her. Her tennis shoes were too small and her big toe peeked out of a hole. Her hair was clean but tangled as if it hadn’t seen a brush that morning.

The ache of sorrow for this little girl went deep into my soul. That a child wouldn’t have a present to open on Christmas morning filled me with such sadness. I vowed then that I would try to do something so another child wouldn’t be so hurt. That night over dinner, I talked with Alex about the little girl and how I wanted to do something the next year. He was in full agreement that no child should wake up to no presents on Christmas morning.

I was ready to find a family to adopt as soon as the Christmas decorations started showing up in the stores....well, not as soon as. I refuse to start thinking about Christmas until after Halloween! Anyway, around November, I brought the subject up with Alex again. He thought it was a great idea. I’m an only child and his little sister doesn’t have children yet, so adopting a family with a couple of kids would be fun.

We researched some charities but couldn’t find one we agreed on. The little girl with the ratty shoes and hair kept popping up in my mind. I brought up that maybe I could talk to the school and see if we could adopt that family.

The next morning I ran over to the school and talked with the principal, Mrs. Krump. At first, she was a little hesitant, but after I explained what I’d overheard last year, she was a bit more receptive.

“Ah, yes,” Mrs. Krump said. “I know the family you are talking about. The mother was a drug addict. She’s been clean for just over a year. Last year, she’d left her boyfriend and had moved out on her own. If we’d known, we’d have done more for them.”

I nodded. The drug epidemic was everywhere. “You think she’d be ok with us adopting her family?”

Mrs. Krump looked at me over her glasses. “It will have to be done anonymously. I can’t give you her name. Or the kids’ names.”

She must have noticed my slumped shoulders because she smiled a little. “Give me the morning to see what I can do.”

By lunchtime, she had called me back. Mrs. Krump had talked with the mother telling her that her family had been chosen to be given a full Christmas. I could hear the tears the principal was holding back as she told me of the mother crying and thanking her. She’d been working hard to get her life back together, but could never seem to get far enough ahead of the bills to enjoy things like Christmases or birthdays.

After hearing that I had a lump in my throat and my own eyes were watering. I was sniffling so much that Mrs. Krump asked me if I was catching a cold. I lied and told her allergies were bad this year. I don’t think she believed me but she didn't push it. We worked out the details for the gifts. She’d get a list of things the kids and the mother needed as well as a list of what they wanted. Then the principal would email me the list. I would bring all the gifts to the school and she’d make sure it was delivered to the family in time for Christmas. By Friday afternoon, I had the list.

So this morning with the list in hand and Christmas spirit in our hearts, we set out shopping. Now, I’ve not been out Christmas shopping in....well, I guess forever. Alex and I both do most of our shopping online. I had the ridiculous vision of Carolers singing by store-fronts, shoppers smiling and saying Merry Christmas, and shelves stocked with endless supplies of toys and gifts.

Do I need to tell you how wrong I was? It was hell! Traffic was horrid! By the time we reached the mall, my voice was almost hoarse from yelling. And I wasn’t even the one driving! The bright side for Alex was he got plenty of time to practice all his dominant techniques. Raised eyebrow, jaw-clenching, the Look. He had mastered all of them by the time we’d found a parking space. In the next county! Ok, the parking spot wasn’t in the next county, but it sure wasn’t close to any of the entrances.

There were no Carolers but there were tons of shoppers. Not smiling at all. No, instead they were screaming. Screaming at children, at store clerks, at other shoppers. The Christmas music was blaring over the store speakers competing with the yelling of the shoppers. And the shelves were all but bare. A lot of what was left had broken or damaged boxes. Alex said the box didn’t matter, it was the gift inside. I begged to differ. In maybe not so polite words. Which let Alex practice The Look even more.

We had to go to six different stores to get everything on the list. That meant we had to fight the traffic, park miles from any entrance, and listen to tinny Christmas songs blared over outdated speaker systems.

We decided to stop for dinner at a restaurant on the way home. That didn’t happen. All the restaurants were so crowded that there was an hour wait time at even the local diners. So we ran through a drive up window at a fast food place.

When we were almost home, I had remembered we didn’t have any wrapping paper. Alex suggested stopping at a nearby drug store and just running in to pick some up. The drug store was almost as crowded as the stores and the price of wrapping paper was enough to think about taking out a loan.

Finally, we were back home. We scarfed down our cold burgers and fries and went into our office to wrap the gifts. We settled on the floor to give us more room. We had bags of gifts and wrapping stuff everywhere. Let me tell you, gift wrapping looks so much easier on TV.

Just getting the cellophane off the tubes was hard enough, but then the paper kept curling up when I tried to cut it. Trying to fold the paper just right at the corner of the boxes was beyond impossible. The last straw for me was when I was cutting the wrapping paper and for the third time I ended up cutting it to shreds when it had curled up.

“ARGH!” I half-screamed and threw the scissors down.

But the scissors didn’t stay down. They bounced up, did a half circle, and came down sharp point first, and stuck in a box.

I looked at the scissors and then across at Alex. He was staring at me in astonishment. His mouth was open enough for the Polar Express train to drive through. His eyes were wider than Christmas ornaments.

I think he would have given me one of the Looks he’d been practicing on all day, maybe scolded a bit, and that would have been the end of it. But I laughed. Not a ha-ha that’s funny laugh. It was one of those laughs that come out when you get scared or angry. I think that my laugh tipped him over the edge. Oh, yeah. And that we started this discipline thing a couple years back.

Anyway, his look changed from one of disbelief to one of determination. That’s when my tummy started tingling. Then Alex stood up and stalked, yes STALKED toward me. My stomach started doing flips as my butt cheeks started clenching.

He lifted me to my feet. Looked me straight in the eye. And said. “We don’t throw scissors.”

With that statement, he led me over to the desk, undid my pants and pulled them down to my knees. Then he pushed everything on top of the desk over to one side. My brain must have still been back at the stores because I could not wrap my mind around why he would do such a thing. Then he bent me over the desk. Suddenly my brain came home and I knew exactly why he pushed everything to the side. To give my chest a place to lay as he walloped my backside.

“Being in a bad mood does not give you license to throw all common sense to the wind,” Alex growled. His hand came down with more force than was expected from a computer geek. He proceeded to give me such statements of wisdom with each pop on the butt.

“Containing your frustrations is a sign of maturity.” And “Temper tantrums are beneath you.” But the one that had me pleading for forgiveness was when he said, “You could have seriously hurt me or yourself.”

He was right. I was too old for tantrums and I did know how to contain my frustrations. And I really could have killed him. “I’m so sorry! I could have killed you!”

With that cry, Alex stopped and pulled me up-right. He wrapped his arms around me. I melted into his embrace. I’m sure we looked a sight. Me with my pants around my ankles and Alex’s arms holding me tight.

“Come on. We’ll leave the wrapping until tomorrow. Let’s go watch a Christmas movie,” Alex said with a kiss on my head.

“I don’t want to watch a stupid Christmas movie. They all lie!” I winced when Alex’s hand came down again on my sore butt.

“Your butt is as red as Rudolph’s nose. Are you sure you want to argue with me?”

I shook my head vehemently. My butt was plenty sore, I didn’t need anymore.

Alex kissed me on the head again and said, “Besides, I think Die Hard is on. That’s one of the best Christmas movies.”

Snuggled up beside him, we watched a marathon of the Die Hard movies. Which was a much better idea than wrapping presents.


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