Christmas Eve, approximately 11:05PM
Dolly crossed her wrists behind Drummond’s neck and chinned herself up his body, making sure to rub all her soft parts against him. When she was standing on one fully-extended toe, the other knee hooked around his hip, the heel pressed into his butt, she got to within reach of his mouth and put her face up to be kissed.
It was a demand no sane male could possibly deny. Drummond wrapped his arms around her ribs and lifted her off her feet. He bent his head and captured her sweet lips with his. Dolly felt a shudder run through his body as their lips met. A wave of heat rolled over her in response.
They stayed in the clinch for long moments, coming up for air several times, but diving right back into the warm salty ocean of each other.
Finally, Dolly let herself slide back to stand on her own feet. She looked up at her lover with a sleepy-eyed expression. “Mmm,” she purred. “I think that one works.”
“Good,” Drummond said. “That’s all of them then.” He craned his neck and did a final visual check on the sprig of mistletoe hanging in the center of the doorway.
As Dolly’d put it, they’d been field testing the installations. Had to be sure they all worked properly. There would be guests in the house and it would simply not do to have inoperative or faulty mistletoe.
Or so they told themselves. If pressed, they would have vehemently denied any contention that they were just using the excuse for a little snogging.
“OK,” he said, smacking her on the butt, eliciting a mock pout from Dolly that morphed into a naughty grin. “You’ve stalled long enough. Time to get ready for mass.” He put his hands on her shoulders and turned her around, giving her a gentle shove toward the stairs to the second floor.
She was wearing a sexy little La Perla number consisting of a strapless bra, spaghetti-strapped camisole, and loose under shorts, all in champagne silk. It was obviously not suited for outdoor wear. If they were to make it to midnight mass at La Immaculata, she’d have to get dressed and quick.
Dolly stumbled a bit, her bare feet slapping against the hardwood floor of the passage as she reluctantly headed for the stairs. Drummond paused for a moment to watch her go, the little jigglings of her well-muscled body being so enticing. He sighed and followed her.
“I don’t understand why we have to go,” Dolly was objecting. “I mean, it’s not like we’re Christians.”
“No, we’re not. But if we’re going to celebrate their second most important festival, then you, young lady, should have some understanding of what it’s all about.”
“I hate it when you call me young lady.” She stopped halfway up the stairs and started to turn to face him.
“Would you prefer,” he asked as he stepped up behind her and gathered her diminutive form in his arms, “I called you little girl?” He lifted her off her feet and carried her giggling, wiggling, and kicking the rest of the way up the stairs.
“No. I prefer you ask me before just assuming I want to go to this heathen ritual.”
“Why? Did you ask me if I wanted a Christmas tree or a house full of guests on the 25th?” He set her down on the floor in the upstairs hall and brushed past her into their bedroom suite.
“No. But that’s different,” she said, following.
“How’s that?” he asked from the bathroom, where he inspected his hair and beard then moved on to the closet.
She got into her closet before he got to his and her voice was muffled by all of the clothing close around her. As she selected a pair of white jeans and a cashmere sweater, she explained. “I’m a woman. I’m allowed to do things that don’t make sense.”
“Cheap shot!” he protested. “No fair playing the sex card.”
“Why not? You play it on me all the time!”
“Like just now, when you carried me up the stairs.”
“That wasn’t about sex. It was about size. Besides, you were in the way.” Drummond was sure he’d scored a telling point on the little doll. He grinned to himself as he pulled a denim pullover on over his skivvy shirt and tucked it into the waistband of his jeans.
“Yeah, but,” Dolly would not give up. “The difference in our size has to do with the different sexes being bred for thousands of generations to be the size we are.”
“And your buddy Xe is….” six feet tall, But then again…
“Well, we don’t count, ’cause we’re all artificial people. But you aren’t. You’re a natural-born and you’re humongous.”
“Naw. Shaquile O’Neil. Now he’s humongous. I’m merely above average.” He padded barefoot around the doors and into her closet, a piece of fabric held behind his back in one hand.
“How’s it coming?” he asked, grateful that Dolly was one of those women who could dress quickly and looked like a million bucks no matter what her condition.
She smoothed the sweater down her body and inspected the effect in the full-length triple mirror mounted on an amoire in the middle of the closet. “Just finishing up,” she said, leaning in toward the mirror and picking at loose threads and bits of fluff–both real and imaginary.
“Not quite,” he said, bringing his hidden hand out from behind his back. “As a woman, it’s customary for you to keep your head covered in church.
“What?” Dolly leaned back and glared at his reflection in the mirror. Then he smiled and melted her heart. He did that kind of thing, she thought, never realizing that she did the same to him.
“Oh, let it go,” Drummond scolded gently. “It’s harmless and it’s a chance to wear a showy scarf.”
Dolly goggled at him. He wasn’t one to bow to convention like this. He must have some other motive. Then she felt a feather light touch on her hair and a confection of white lace appeared on top of her head.
“Most of the women there will be wearing wool scarves and suchlike. But you, my dear, are so angelic that I thought only a mantilla made of the finest white Irish lace would do.” He settled the lace on her golden-red hair, arranging it and pinning it in place with hairpins he must have filched from her dressing table. They had little diamond chips mounted on them and they glistened like starlight where they clung to her hair.
She had to agree that it not only looked angelic and fetching and all that, but it was cute. She would wear it. But he would not get away with this shameless manipulation of her. She’d have to figure out some retribution for his sins. Meantime, she smiled and road-tested the mantilla, making sure it would stay in place by wrapping her arms around his neck and climbing up him for another kiss.
Suddenly inspiration struck. Breaking away from Drummond, she hurried to her dressing table and picked up a spray bottle. She sent a cloud of its contents into the air and stood in it, until droplets of the mist collected on her hair and skin. Then she picked up a small glass vial and poured some of its contents into her hands. She stoppered the vial and threw her hand up into the air. Like a cloud of fairy dust, little specks of glitter drifted toward the floor. Dolly ducked in under them and caught the cloud on her face and hair. Where the glitter met the water it stuck to her.
She turned to face him, eyebrows lifted in question. His appraisal was positive; he stood there admiring her, slowly clapping his hands together. She looked like a fairy-angel from some children’s story. The very essence of the moment.
“Shoes,” he pointed out. “Then we have to go.” Dolly already had heavy white woolly socks and white leggings on. She pulled on a pair of white and silver slouch boots and grabbed her white rabbit-lined jacket from the coat tree. She pronounced herself ready to go.
Drummond stomped his foot the rest of the way into his boot and bent to smooth the leg of his jeans down to above his ankle. Then he straightened and lifted his leather bomber jacket down from the same coat tree and gestured for Dolly to proceed him out the door.
To be continued…