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Perry and Jesse

The Incredibly Romantic (and slightly kinky) Adventures of Two Boys In Love

Part V Truths and Lies

Chapter 36: Jessica's Party Pt. 1 (Oh, Ho, The Mistletoe)

Oh, ho, the mistletoe

hung where you can see;

Somebody waits for you;

Kiss him once for me.

(with apologies to Johnny Marks)  


"Everything okay?" Morgan asked.

I shrugged. "Jessica's brother's a pretty interesting guy," I remarked, trying to pull my own emotions back down to a more neutral stance.

"Always seemed a little creepy to me. Kinda stuck up and full of himself."

"Yeah, I see that part. But he was just telling me some stories about his time at H.T. "

"What kinda stories?" Morgan asked innocently.

"Just about him and his friends...They had bullies and stuff to deal with, just like us."

"You don't have to worry about any bullies at H.T. as long as I'm around," Morgan assured me confidently. "I feel like kicking Deanna's ass right now! I hope she doesn't have the gall to show up here after what she did to you."

"Everyone in the class was invited," I pointed out.

"Does Jessica know what happened behind the basketball court?"

"I think everyone knows," I said with an embarrassed shrug.

"She deserves a good ass kicking," Morgan persisted.

"It seems like she's more like a wannabe bully than a real one, ya know?" I said, hoping to keep Morgan from overheating at the party.

"Fat-headed lesbo loser," he declared unhesitantly.

I shrugged again, not feeling at all like getting into that discussion. "We'd better get this table in, or they won't have time to get it set up for the party."

Morgan nodded and held the door open with one long leg as we guided the table inside. Once I maneuvered my end into the morning room, we stood to catch our breath for a few seconds before proceeding into the maze of corridors that would lead us back to the great room.

"Perry?" Morgan asked, as we moved along with caution. There was always a fancily upholstered chair or richly lacquered table to manuever around.


"Are you okay?"

"What do you mean?"

"About us? Are you okay about us?"

I wasn't, but I didn't want Morgan to worry about that over the Christmas break. "I'm fine."

"Yeah?" he asked hopefully. "That's cool, cuz I'm feeling pretty good too."

"You mean, you don't have those feelings...about me anymore?" I asked hopefully.

"I do have those feelings. I think about you alot," he said, but there was no strain in his voice. "But it's okay now. I don't feel so guilty anymore, ya know what I mean?"

I didn't, but I nodded my head.

"You look really hot tonight," he noted in a quiet voice.

I laughed. "I'm not even dressed yet!"

"You look mahvellis," Morgan assured me, and then picked up his end of the table. Fortunately, it took a lot of concentration on both our parts to navigate the hallways of the Bainbridge estate without bumping into any walls, corners, or furniture, and the rest of our task was carried out in blissful silence.

By the time we were done, it was a quarter to six, and I raced upstairs and knocked on the door to Jessica's bedroom. It was opened quickly by Katy, who was now wearing an ankle length, velvety green dress that contrasted in an appropriately Christmas-y sort of way with her already fully primped reddish blond hair. It took my breath away to see her like that, and I saw her cheeks turn a slightly deeper rosy color.

"I just need to get the rest of my stuff for Is this a bad time?"

"It's never a bad time when I get to see you," Katy said. She let me in and closed the door. "It's Perry," she announced. The bathroom door was slightly ajar and I heard Jessica's muffled voice reply.

"His shirt is on the chair and his suit coat is hanging on the inside of the closet door!"

It was a relief to see sweet and pretty Katy Mulroney after hearing Noah's unsettling story and rubbing elbows with a Morgan that I hardly felt I knew anymore. I shuddered as I imagined Morgan and Jessica comparing notes about my private parts.

"I'll just be a second," I offered apologetically as I got my startched white shirt from off the back of Jessica's vanity chair. I quickly put it on and buttoned it, leaving the tails out for now. I rummaged in my overnight bag for my necktie. I found it and quickly slung it loosely around my shirt collar.

"Are you gonna wear these?" Katy asked, holding my black loafers in one hand.

"Yeah, I guess," I answered unenthusiastically.

"Boys don't like to get all dressed up, do they?" Katy asked.

"It seems like a lot of trouble for nothing," I offered. I sat on the edge of Jessica's neatly made bed and once again toed off my Etnies.

"Oh, those socks are so cute!" she exclaimed. "Here, let me," she offered, getting down on her knees in front of me. She set my loafers down next to my feet.

"What're you doing?" I asked, disconcertedly curling my toes.

"I'll put them on for you."

"That's gross!" I declared.

"I want to do it," she assured me.

"Please, Katy, this is embarrassing."

"Jessica says you have beautiful feet. That they're so soft," she noted enviously, lightly brushing the top of my socks.

"They're just dumb boyfeet. I don't do any of that stuff to 'em like girls do."

"I understand," she said with a quiet giggle. "It's just that....I wish I could see you barefoot some time."

I didn't know what to say. I really liked Katy and she looked prettier than ever with her hair all done up, tiny diamond angels dangling from her earlobes, and a lavish gown that, while it came up to her neck with a big, white lacey collar, still nicely showed off her figure, both chest and hips. She was definitely more curvy than Jessica. Even though her request was weird, I felt none of the repugnance I had with Jessica's brother, earlier. I wondered again what it would have been like if I had approached Katy last year, maybe gotten up the nerve to ask her to a movie, or to the school picnic in the spring. In the end, it probably wouldn't have mattered. Jesse still would've blown me away and I would've been forced to either break-up with this charming, unassuming Irish beauty, or deceive her in the same way I was now doing to Jessica.

"Maybe we'll have a swim party at my house one of these days," I offered. "That is, if they ever finish fixing the pool."

That didn't seem to be quite the answer she was looking for, but she nodded and smiled. "Let me do this," she asked again from down on her knees.

I shrugged, glancing nervously at the bathroom door. She grasped my ankle and guided my foot into the loafer, wiggling it to make sure it was on securely before moving to the other foot.

"You do a nice job of polishing them," she noted as she slipped the other shoe on.

"Oh, my mom did that," I pointed out.

"They look great on you," she said with satisfaction as I got to my feet. "You look like a movie star."

I went to the full size mirror on the other side of the bed. Katy seated herself where I had just gotten up, and turned her head to watch what I was doing. After checking my reflection just to make sure I really hadn't suddenly turned into a dashing young Kirk Vandriss, I turned my back toward her so I could stuff my shirt into my pants.

"Katy?" I asked, turning to recheck myself in the mirror. For some reason, I could only tie a tie while I was looking at my reflection.

"Yes, Perry?"

"You Morgan, don't you?"

"Of course," she answered simply. "It's just that, I guess I used to hope that you and I...." She let her words trail off suggestively.

I glanced at the partially open bathroom door. Jessica could probably hear everything we were saying, and I didn't even mean to talk about that. But now I felt like I had to respond.

"I thought about you too," I admitted. I glanced over my shoulder at her and she had a sincere look of regret on her face.

"I wish you'd said something," she sighed. Then she managed to put a smile back on. "I'm glad for you and Jessica," she added, and her compliment sounded sincere.


"Sounds like you two had fun today!" she giggled.

"Shit!  I mean...gees!" The exclamation just came flying out of my mouth. "This is really embarrassing." I felt like covering my groin even though I was fully clothed. If Jessica had told Katy all about my feet, what other parts of my body had she described in excruciating detail?

"Like Jessica said, you can tell Jesse, and then we'll be even," she reminded me quickly, sensing my discomfort. "Besides, I think it's wonderful. Jessica's so lucky. I just can't imagine what it would be like to see such an incredibly cute boy up close and all of him!" she tittered.

Even though I had just knotted it, my tie suddenly felt way too tight. "But you have Morgan," I reminded her. "I mean, he's like, a lot better looking than me...I mean, it's not even close."

"Morgan's got a hot bod, but he's not beautiful like you, Perry."

"I'm not, and if Jessica said that about me, then she was just...exaggerrating."

"You boys, you're all the same," Katy chided. "You think everything's about big musicles and big dicks! But that's not really what girls are looking for."

I was really shocked to hear her refer to the male sex organ in such an off handed way. It didn't seem to go with her sweet, lightly freckled face. "Then...what?" I asked with genuine curiosity.

"Look in the mirror," Katy said with a sincere smile.

Well, I had done that plenty of times, and I was doing that right now, and I still didn't see what would make me more attractive to girls--or to anybody--than Morgan or a dozen other guys that I knew. I glanced again at my reflection. Just those big dumb eyes staring back at me without a clue in the world--ugh. I decided to let it go, since it really didn't matter how I thought about myself. Even if everyone told me I was hideously ugly, what could I really do about it other than to comb my hair as best I could and keep my nose clean?

"But about Morgan....Do you know why he's been acting so...strange lately?" she asked. "He seems really like...uptight lately. Like since that day he lost it during that game with St. Luke's."

"Yeah, that's actually what I wanted to talk to you about." I revealed, genuinely curious about how Morgan had explained his obviously strange behavior to the girl he was closest to. "It was really scary," I concurred.

She nodded solemnly.

"So, he hasn't told you what's bothering him?" I asked cautiously.

"It seems like he doesn't really want to talk about it, whatever it is," she said with a helpless shrug. "I know he's been going to a therapist but...I just try to be supportive."

It was a relief to know that Katy didn't suspect anything about Morgan's internal struggles. Even though it was eating him up inside, he was still somehow able to conceal his deepest and darkest feelings, even from his family and his girlfriend. "I'm really glad that you're there for him. That's really cool of you," I told her. "I know Morgan appreciates it alot--appreciates you alot."

"Well, he should," she said with a little giggle, and then her expression became more thoughtful. "Whatever it is that's bothering him, he seems to be a little more relaxed the last few days."

"Well, he was for sure nervous about winning the last game of the season," I pointed out.

"Yes, of course. That's probably it. He's a lot more affectionate and less...introspecitve than he has been, and that's a relief," she admitted.

I couldn't help but wonder if the real reason Morgan was feeling more at ease with himself was because he had decided that he was bisexual? While it would be hard to argue against that conclusion after what happened at his house on Tuesday, it seemed to me that Morgan had given himself up to the idea way too easily.

I came back around the queen sized bed and opened the double doors to Jessica's walk-in closet. I was momentarily stunned by the racks and racks of shoes, shelf after shelf of folded sweaters, and rows and rows of hung clothes, meticulously arranged from casual to formal. My jacket was indeed hanging on the inside of the door, and I got it out and slipped it on.

"You look so handsome, Perry, really," Katy commented.

"Thanks, you look really, really nice too," I said, and I'm sure my eyes told her that I wasn't just saying that. "Um...anyway...I was wondering if everything was okay between you and Morgan," I persisted.

"It's so sweet of you to care," she noted with a smile. Then she grew more thoughtful. "Oh, I guess we're okay. We have our ups and downs," she said in an off handed way. "He does seem a lot more moody and distracted this year for some reason."

"Do you think it maybe has something to do with his family?" I asked, thinking of the story Morgan had told me about his Uncle Brian.

Katy shrugged. "It could be," she acknowledged thoughtfully. "I know he had a death in the family last summer, and his dad can be a pretty rough character sometimes. And they say Irish men have tempers!" she added with an ironic snort.

"Have you ever like...seen his dad get upset?" I asked, as I pulled the flat brush out of my back pocket and leaned over to look in the vanity mirror.

"Only what Morgan's told me. I can see the way he sort of...shrinks, when his dad is around."

I'd noticed that too. "Gees, that's too bad."

"Here, let me do that," Katy insisted, taking the brush from me.

She had me stand up straight and tilted my chin up slightly. "Mmmm...I can smell Jessica's soap and shampoo on you."

She was standing really close to my side, leaning slightly forward or backward as she got my hair situated properly.

"Do you like your hair this way better?"

"What d'ya mean?"

"Before, you were wearing it pretty long. Jessica and I both freaked a little when you first showed up with that haircut."

That had been the day I was so pissed at my dad for making Mom cry. I shuddered. "I thought maybe I should try it a little different."

"Well, it totally works either way," she said, holding me lightly by the chin and giving me a thorough look over before giving a nod of approval.

It was already 6:15 when Jessica finally emerged from the bathroom. She looked like a real princess, dressed in a glittering silver skirt and silky dark red top. A silver sash of embroidered flowers showed off her slender waist and caused the skirt to flare out beneath. Her shiny brown hair was pulled back with a curly nest of blonde highlights on top. Tiny, diamond studded emerald Christmas trees dangled from her lobes. On her feet were silver pumps. She spun around slowly so Katy and I could take it all in. One thing I'll say for girls--man, can they get dressed up! Granted, Jesse looked hot in a button down shirt and tie, but he looked just as handsome in his school clothes or stark naked. But to see Katy, and especially Jessica, dressed to the nines was nothing short of breathtaking.

"You like?" she asked coyly.

I could only nod.

"Katy fixed my hair. Didn't she do an amazing job?"

More nodding.

"Speechless, huh?" she teased.

I started to nod again, and then caught myself. "Jessica, you look...incredible. Just," I finished clumsily.

"Thank you! I wanted to look beautiful for you, Perry--just for you!" She trotted up and gave me a hug, and in her high heels, she was actually a little taller than me.

"Sorry, I can't kiss you right now, or I'll smudge my make-up," she apologized.

"That's okay," I assured her, giving her a gentle kiss on the forehead.

"You look so handsome!" she gushed, adjusting my tie. "Of course, you look a million times better without all those clothes," she giggled.

I blushed, knowing that Katy was standing right there. "Let me get a picture!" she declared, pulling a small camera out of her purse.

"Oh wait, I almost forgot!" I said, rummaging through my bag.

"This was my grandma's on my dad's side," I explained, opening the small velvet box and showing her the brooch that was made to look like a cluster of brilliant red poinsettias. "My mom said I could give it to you," I finished awkwardly.

"Oh, Perry! It's beautiful! So detailed, the colors...real vintage jewelry!" She showed it to Katy who made the appropriate noises of awe and approval. Then she handed it back to me and I carefully pinned it on the front of her silky red blouse, my hands trembling a little. "Don't...uh...want to stick you or anything," I mumbled.

"Really?" Jessica asked with mock horror. "I was hoping you would....Just not right now!" she winked, and I felt the heat rise on my face. "Quick take the picture--his cheeks perfectly match my brooch!" Jessica urged.

We posed in front of the closed door, arm in arm, and Katy took a couple of pictures.

"How about you two?" I suggested.

"Better yet!" Jessica declared, scampering off and grabbing the camera.

"Go on!" she urged, and suddenly very bashful, Katy reluctantly came and stood next to me. She folded her hands demurely in front of her as Jessica took the picture.

"Thanks, Perry. Thank you, Jessica. You're both the greatest. I really appreciate you letting me hang with you guys."

"You're my best friend ever!" Jessica declared, giving Katy a generous hug. "But as for Perry...well, you can look but you can't touch!" she chided, tilting her head toward me.

"There's always the mistletoe!" Katy reminded me with a playful wink.

Jessica explained that we would all go down together, and her mom would introduce us as the hosts and hostesses of the party. Katy called Morgan on his cell, and he quickly came up to join us.

"Whoa, you all look...just incredible!" he said, his mouth literally hanging open. While he was clearly referring to us as a trio, it made me more than a little nervous that his gaze rested on me for an inordinately long time, and I just hoped and prayed the girls wouldn't notice.

"Hey, let's get this show on the road!" I announced. As pretty as Jessica and Katy looked in their holiday finery, there was no one I wanted to see more right now than my beautiful blond angel.

Morgan offered Katy a bent arm, which she took, and they led the way. We went the opposite direction down the hall from where I had orginally come in, and this soon led us to the wide, outward-curving balcony overlooking the grandest room in the house. We had a spectacular view of the festive scene spread out below, dominated by the lavish crystal chandelier, of course. But the towering, fully lit Chirstimas tree was also an amazing sight, and there was now a fire blazing in the white marble fireplace. The tables Noah, Morgan and I had laboriously dragged in from the poolhouse were unrecognizable beneath fancily embroidered green and red table spreads, covered with punch bowls, trays of cookies and candies, floral arrangements full of holly, ivy and poinsettias, and colorful little sparkling decorations spread randomly along their lengths. The strains of "Joy To The World" filled the large room, and it looked like most of our class was there in formal attire, along with a handful of nicely dressed parents.

As we stood at the top of the double wide staircase, I scanned the milling crowd for that silky mantle of golden blond hair and those crystal blue eyes, but people were bunching up around the lower landing, so that it was hard to see beyond the first few rows. I did rather quickly spot my mom and Mr. Vandermach, both dressed for a very serious night out on the town, among the crowd grinning up at us. I wondered where they were going, since there really weren't that many fancy places to eat in Santa Corina.

"I'd like to welcome you all to our home!" Mrs. Bainbridge announced, now dressed in a stunning red and gold velvet dress surrounded by billowing yards of translucent gold taffeta, as she stood on the landing at the foot of the stairs.

Mr. Bainbridge, in a formal black tux with tails, stood by with a modest smile on his bearded face. "Thank you all so much for coming and sharing this most beautiful and meaningful of all holidays with us this year." There was light applause.

"Now I'd like to announce your hosts and hostesses for the evening," Mrs. Bainbridge continued. "First we have our precious Kathrine Aileen, daughter of our dearest friends, the Mulroneys, escorted by her date for the evening, captain of the championship Crusaders basketball team, Morgan Jefferson Kipner."

There was <some> more enthusiastic applause and a few whoops and whistles as Katy and Morgan slowly descended the stairs, arm in arm. I saw Kyle and Melissa, and Tom with Martha Delgado near the foot of the stairs. Artim was standing right behind them, but I couldn't see who he was with.

"And next, my first and only daughter, the brightest jewel of our lives, Jessica Anastasia, looking simply stunning in a festive, silver and red Christian Dior, escorted tonight by the ever-so-sweet and handsome Perry Jacob Thompson." The room erupted in boisterous applause and cheering, and I just stood there, wondering what I was doing standing at the top of this fancy staircase, my arm hooked around the arm of this incredibly beautiful, elegant young lady wearing a dress that probably cost more than Jesse's mom made in a month. Had it only been a few hours ago that this brown haired, slender necked beauty had been playing with my dick, experimenting with how it felt and moved? I almost laughed outloud when I remembered the startled look on her face as she sat up with strings of my cum dangling from her nose and chin. It all seemed as unreal now as this giddy moment at the top of the stairs.

"Perry!" she whispered, giving my arm a little tug.

I led us cautiously down the stairs, taking each step with great care, fearful that I would slip in my smooth-soled loafers and go careening down the long staircase, possibly with Jessica in tow, only to land on my ass right in front of my entire 8th grade class.

Everyone said hi and Merry Christmas and you look great all at the same time as we reached the landing. Then the crowd started to break up into smaller clusters. Starving teenagers began digging into the various goodies on display as we stopped first to greet my mom and Mr. Vandermach.

"You look like you just stepped out of the holiday issue of Vogue," my mom remarked.

"Thank you, Mrs. Thompson. You look absolutely stunning as well. I just had to get the best dress I could, otherwise how would anyone even notice me next to your incredibly handsome son?"

"Oh, is he here too?" she asked, squinting her eyes and looking confusedly around the room.

I rolled my eyes. "You came to bring the cookies and stuff?" I asked, feeling uncomfortable about this whole Christmas parade routine.

"Yes, I brought the cookies and stuff," my mom teased.

She led us over to one of the lavishly decorated tables and gestured to her handiwork--carefully crafted gingerbread men in four neat rows. The picture in Mrs. Scott's recipe book couldn't have been more perfect.

"Wow, those really came out nice!" I said, reaching for one.

Jessica lightly smacked the top of my hand. "First we have to welcome our guests," she reminded me.

"And we need to be going, or we'll miss our dinner reservation," my mom said, wrapping her white woven shawl tighter around her shoulders. "Allen's taking me to Old Town," she added.

"But first," Mr. Vandermach said, guiding my mom lightly by the shoulder.

Jessica and I watched as they worked their way through the crowded room to stand under the wide archway where I had made my unfortunate entrance earlier in the afternoon.  My eyes nearly popped out of my head as Mr. Vandermach gently centered my mom directly under the mistletoe and then leaned in to give her a kiss--on the lips! Someone in the room let out an approving whoop.

"My goodness, haven't you ever seen your mother kiss someone before?" Jessica asked, seeing my stunned expression.

"Actually,, not like a guy or anything." I stammered, still staring at the new couple.

Mr. Vandermach led my mom back to us, holding her hand, both of them grinning like giddy teenagers.

"Is something wrong, Perry?" my mom asked with a knowing smile, but she was definitely flushed.

"I hope I didn't upset you, Perry," Mr. Vandermach said apologetically. "But I just had to take the opportunity. Your mother looks so ravishing tonight and I saw the mistletoe hanging there and...a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do... right?" He winked and smiled a suave smile of bright, perfectly straight teeth.

"Um, yeah, sure," I said. "Where's Craig tonight?"

"He usually goes to his friend's place when I'm out. There's a boy in our building that also goes to Craig's school," he explained to us.

"Oh yeah, Craig told me a little about him. Well, be sure to say 'hi' to him from me."

"I sure will. He was really thrilled to meet you the other day, Perry," Mr. Vandermach added. "He thinks very highly of you and he's hoping the two of you will become good friends."

"Really? Well, it was nice to meet him too. He's very cool. We talked about a lot of...stuff." I realized I didn't want to bring up the unfortunate accident that had robbed Mr. Vandermach of his wife and Craig of his mom, and my gaze dropped to the floor.

"Craig is usually very shy with new people, but he liked you right away. He says you're very easy to talk to and were very understanding about his OCD."

"Well, everyone's got something going on," I said with a shrug.

"He's very self conscious about it, but you put him at ease. Not many people can do that, Perry. You really have a gift."

I shrugged and looked at my loafers.

"He really wants to have you over," Mr. Vandermach continued, "but I guess it'll have to wait until after the Christmas break, huh?"

"Yeah, I hafta go see my dad," I said sullenly, "in New York."

"Ah, the Big Apple!" Mr. Vandermach gushed. "So much history and innovation."

"He's going to be Best Man at his father's wedding," my mom announced proudly.

I felt a tightness in my chest when she said that. I knew it hurt her that my dad was getting remarried, but at least it looked like she had actually found someone to be with--a really great date if nothing else. Still, I wondered how far their relationship would go, and how it would affect me...and Jesse.

Even Mr. Vandermach looked a little uneasy after that and he glanced at his Rolex. "Alright then, those reservations," he reminded us.

"Have a good time, Perry," my mom said with unabashed cheerfulness. "We'll be by around eleven then. Did Jesse check with his mom about that?"

"Yeah, I think it's gonna work out for him too. I'm not sure about Melissa."

"I'll leave that to you to work out," she said with a gentle smile. She touched my cheek. "You look so handsome and debonair tonight," she said. "I'm so proud of you, my beautiful boy. So much like your...." Her voice trailed off and she stepped back to put her hand on Mr. Vandermach's broad arm, as if reaching for a security blanket. They started to head for the door, when Mr. Vandermach turned.

"Oh, and Perry, be sure to check out the Gugenheim... those incredible ramps and skylights. And the Seagrams Building; the first glass skyscraper. And naturally, the-"

"Reservations," my mom reminded him, giving him a playful tug as she led him toward the door, where they quickly said their goodbyes to Mr. and Mrs. Bainbridge.

"Your mother looks really happy," Jessica noted.

"Yeah, she sure does," I agreed, still not able to get my brain wrapped around that picture of my mom being kissed by another guy who wasn't my dad. To cover my discomfort, I let my eyes rove the lavish display of sweet treats in front of us.

"Aren't the candy canes incredible?" Jessica asked, seeing where I was looking. "They're special ordered from Italy. They're all made to look like birthstones," she explained excitedly. She went around the silver egg nog bowl and came back with an unappetizing looking one wrapped in a simple red bow.

"It's turquoise," she explained, handing the mottled, blue green cane to me.

"Can I eat it now?" I asked, somewhat sarcastically. It was almost 6:30 and I really was getting hungry, especially with all the cookies and candies on display everywhere I looked.

"Oh, it's so beautiful. Don't you want to hang on to it--as a keepsake?"

"Um...sure, okay," I said disappointedy, slipping it into my pants pocket.

"Careful!" she cautioned me. "Those are like twenty dollars a piece!"

"Okay, I'll take care of it," I assured her, feeling slightly annoyed. It was just a weird looking piece of candy, fer cryin' outloud!

"C'mon, let's say hello to everyone. Then we can go eat!" She tugged me by the arm, and we greeted all the couples, the girls in long gowns and skirts, and the guys in suit coats, or colorful Christmas themed vests, sweaters, and ties. It turned out Artim was with diminutive Regina Harpetian, who wore a rather extravagent, sequinned dress and had her course brown hair pulled back with a few curly locks dangling down the sides of her temples. Even though she still had her thick glasses on, she managed to look mature and elegant.

"Lookin' sharp, dude!" Artim said, waiting for some skin. I gave it to him as we quickly moved on.

Next up were Tom and Martha. They made a sweet looking couple because they were both about the same height. Martha's skin was slightly darker and she was a bit on the plump side. Tom looked so cute all done up in his Sunday best, with a light grey suit and matching slacks, a red Christmas vest and green tie underneath. Instead of spikes, tonight he had his hair slicked back in a way that made him look even younger than he usually did, with his ears sticking out from the sides of his head.

Martha blushed when I politely took her hand in greeting. Even though she was admittedly rather plain in appearance, even a bit chubby around the chin, she had a quiet and dignified way of carrying herself that always impressed me. While I knew that Tom had asked her only because he had to have a date and they both had a common Latino heritiage, I hoped he would treat her well tonight. I had picked her name in the Secret Santa gift exchange, and I really hoped she'd like what I got her--well, what Jessica said she'd like getting from me anyway.

"I love that dress," Jessica noted of Martha's colorfully embroidered outfit.

"It was my mom's," Martha explained quietly. "She made it heself."

"You guys look really good together," I said.

"We should double date some time," Jessica suggested.

"That would be cool," I agreed, but Tom just blushed and shuffled his feet as Martha tittered bashfully.

It was always a shock to see a skater punk like Manny Aguilar out of school dressed in anything but an oversized T-shirt and baggy jeans, but tonight, he had a nice Christmas-themed sweater on over a white oxford shirt and tie. He did have one small gold earring dangling from his left ear, but it blended right in with the festive theme of the evening.  His date was the only Korean girl in our small class, Soon-ji. Slender and petite, she and I had rarely spoken since she was so extremely bashful. It probably didn't boost her self-confidence much that she had one of the thickest accents in the class. But much to their credit, I had never heard anyone make fun of her for it. She was one of the smarter students in the 8th grade and always did great research papers.

I couldn't help but shiver a little as we came to gangly Harvey Kalvert and I discovered that his date for the evening was none other than Fred Goreski's cousin, Deanna Kennedy. I wondered how she and Harvey had worked this out. I had never seen the two of them talk or even exchange dirty looks. And of course, I had it in my head that Deanna was a lesbian!

"Lookin' sharp, Thompson," Deanna said, giving me a somewhat playful punch on the shoulder. It seemed like she was willing to set aside her angry feelings toward me, at least for one night, and I was grateful for that. Instead of a dress, she had opted for a blazer and slacks that made her look more like a realtor than a school girl. She had her hair slicked back and tied in a tight little queue. She was wearing a little make-up--eye shadow and blood red lipstick. She and Harvey made a strange looking couple, with him being as thin as a stick, and her being not quite as tall but much stockier. They both had red hair though, and that went well with all the Christmas decorations.

Next, we greeted Melissa and Kyle. As stunning as she looked in her long, clingy dark dress with the boldly plunging neckline, I couldn't meet her bright-eyed gaze for more than a second. Kyle gave me a strangely uncomfortable look when we shook hands and I knew he was thinking about our unexpected encounter in the supply room the other day.

"Uh, talk to you in a bit, huh?" he said in an uncharacteristically nervous way. I just nodded and hurried to keep up with Jessica, who kept gliding along officiously from couple to couple.

Eric Adams, the number two scorer on the basketball team who seemed to be vying with Morgan for the title of tallest kid in the 8th grade, looked like he was going to a wedding, dressed in a sleek blue tux and ruffled white shirt. He also had a golden earring dangling from one lobe, but it was much larger than Manny's.

"Mah man!" he said, and I got another forceful high five.

Since his girlfriend, Jamaica didn't go to our school, he had somewhat surprisingly hooked up with one of Jessica's faithful followers, Abby Martel, who looked vaguely middle eastern with her slightly olive tinged skin, tightly curled, course black hair, and long, straight nose. She was quite a bit shorter than Eric, but she had a wide smile on her face as she often did at school, and really seemed to be enjoying herself. She gave Jessica an affectionate hug and whispered in her ear. Jessica smiled and nodded, and Abby turned to me and without warning, leaned in to give me a vigorous hug. She stood on her tip toes so our noses bumped. I also got a serious blast of her rather pungent, sweet smelling perfume. She started giggling as if I had just told her an incredibly funny joke.

"Abby is such a sweetie!" Jessica declared, quickly pulling me away. We were headed for Jerimiah Oatner and Tory Karlein when a very familiar voice spoke quietly in my ear.

"Is that a candy cane in you pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

"Jesse!" I cried, far too loudly for the circumstances. Fortunately, everyone was involved in their own conversations and appropriately enough, the brassy strains of "Angels From The Realms Of Glory" filled the room.

Now I realized why I hadn't spotted his golden blond hair right away--he was wearing a bright red Santa hat complete with a white cotton puff on the pointed end. As our gazes locked and I peered into those bright crystal blue eyes, I felt my knees go weak. He was wearing a black turtle neck sweater that clung tightly to his slender torso and I felt like kissing him right there. When I saw him, I was reminded all over again that he was the only person I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. And here he was, grinning at me and I could hardly believe it. I carefully extended my hand. "Hi!  You look...uh...really good."

"And your name was...?" Jesse asked, extending his own hand in a very business-like fashion. I grabbed it and shook it firmly, enjoying even this small bit of physical contact.

"When did you get here?"

"In time to see Jessica Anastasia Bainbridge and her very nervous date for the evening, who looked like he was terrified of sliding down the stairs and landing on his ass!" he giggled.

"Oh, the language--really, Jesse!" Jessica scolded. "Merissa, you look simply scrumptious!" she gushed, embracing the shorter girl wholeheartedly. The 7th grader had really gone all out to hang with the big kids. Her dress was all bright red with a sash around the middle and a big bow in the back, which she showed off for Jessica's approval. Her enormous mass of bright blonde hair was done up in hundreds of tight curls that cascaded freely down both sides of her round, dimpled face. She had a big red bow in her hair to match the one on her dress.

We broke away to finish greeting the rest of the guests, and then Jessica announced that we should all head for the rec room for a buffet style dinner. Then there would be some Christmas caroling, dancing, and finally, the exchange of our Secret Santa gifts. I could see that it was going to be nearly impossible to grab any alone time with my beautiful angel with Jessica keeping me in constant tow. We did manage to get in line next to each other for the buffet while Jessica, Katy, Merissa, and Abby all chattered away, probably about boys since they would occasionally shoot a gleeful glance at me or one of the other guys in the crowded room. The polished silver catering dishes were all laid out on the cloth-covered pool table.

"I need to talk to you so bad," I said in a hushed tone, watching Kyle, who was ahead of us, cajoling the caterers into giving him two helpings of everything. Melissa apparently thought this was funny as she kept tittering and giggling. I noticed the only thing on her plate so far was some spinach salad and cranberry sauce.

"It's okay," Jesse responded nonchalantly. "I gotta hand it to Jessica," he said a little louder. "She really knows how to throw a party!" And it looked like he was just as hungry as I was as he stopped at every station, collecting slices of honey baked ham, roast turkey, and beef brisket, scalloped potatoes, stuffing with gravy, and green beans with bits of red pepper mixed in for that festive, holiday look. At the end of the food service line, he carefully balanced a dinner roll on top of his ham.

"Where should we sit?" I asked, looking over the large room dotted with small, round tables covered in red or green table clothes, each with a lavish centerpiece consisting of Poinsettias, Holly with bright red berries, and green and white ivy. Then Jessica caught my eye, waving and pointing to a table. 

"I guess that one," Jesse said.

We wound our way through the crowded room to where she was waiting. We set our plates down and started to sit.

"," Jessica said with strained smile, "we'd love to have you join us, but the table is only set for four, and of course, we already have Katy and Morgan sitting with us." Before I could protest, she held up a small card with the four names written in immpecable calligraphic lettering.

"Oh...sure...okay," Jesse said, and I could tell by the way he clipped the words that it really wasn't. I felt myself blush with embarrassment and anger.

"We could all squeeze in," I suggested.

"I don't think that's a very good idea," Jessica said, crinkling her nose. "Besides Jesse, you really should be attending Merissa at the buffet. And I'm pretty sure you're sitting at the table with Abby and Eric."

"Right," he mumbled, and gave me a sheepish look before picking up his fully loaded plate and heading back to the buffet.

"Gees, that wasn't very nice," I said, bristling with anger.

"What?" Jessica said as if she hadn't noticed the disapproving tone of my voice. "Katy and I worked out the seating arrangements well in advance, of course. Otherwise, with this crowd, it would be utter chaos. Besides," she added sharply, "you just saw Jesse this morning." She glanced over at Jesse and then to where Merissa stood by her table, chatting with Abby. "He really should be more attentive to Merissa. She was so thrilled that he invited her, and I really want her to have a great time. She's become such a dear friend this year."

I tightened my lips and turned the sides of my mouth down in what I hoped looked like only mild disappointment even though I was seething inside.

"Now come and help me with my plate," she said, going to the end of the buffet line.

"Why? You look strong enough to carry it by yourself," I muttered. Jessica pretended not to notice.

I couldn't help but observe the interaction between Morgan and Katy as we ate our dinner. Of course Morgan, being the healthy and unabashed young man that he was, spent the majority of his time wolfing down his food as quickly as possible. Still, he was noticeably affectionate, touching Katy's arm, getting her things, whispering in her ear, and occasionally giving her a loving peck on the cheek. Katy seemed to be enjoying the attention and I felt a certain sense of relief.

When most everyone was done eating, Jessica announced that we would be returning to the great room, where even more sumptuous desserts had been added to the cookies, candies, and other sweets already displayed there, along with hot cider and several varieties of egg nog. Personally, I was stuffed to my eyebrows, but was determined to at least eat one of my mom's Gingerbread Man cookies.

"I don't know if the punch was spiked or what, but it was good--I had three cups," Jesse said, coming up along side me as Jessica led the others back to the great room. "Time to pay the piper!"

"I'll come too," I said enthusiastically.

"Well okay, but two guys in the can at the same time...."

I shook my head and smiled.

"Go ahead," Jesse said.

"You go. I can wait," I assured him.

"Three cups, dude!" he laughed as he went in and locked the door.

"Gotta go pee pee?" a low and taunting voice asked from behind me. I whirled, and there was Deanna, blazer pushed back and her hands planted on the hips of her slacks.

"Oh...uh...hi, D-Deanna. Um, yeah, just waiting for J-Jesse."

"Can't go nowhere without your little blue eyed bodyguard, huh? You pathetic little dweeb!" she sneered.

I had hoped she was just passing by on her way to somewhere else, but she remained firmly planted in the middle of the hallway.

"Look, Deanna. I don't know why you're so angry at me. I never did anything to you."

"You and Goldilocks made a fool of Cousin Freddie. You think I can just stand by and ignore it when both of youse are in my friggin' class?"

I shrugged, wishing Jesse would hurry things along in there.

"I don't think you wanna be here when Jesse comes out," I warned.

"You're such a wimp."

"So what if I am?" I asked angrily. "What's it to you? Why do you care?"

"Cuz we look after each other in my family!" she declared. "The Goreskis stick together."

"You're not a-"

"My old lady's Freddie's dad's sister--got it?"

"Um...yeah." I heard the toilet flush and figured I'd be rescued in short order, so I risked getting a little cocky. "I can't help it that you've got bad blood in your family!"

She seemed momentarily taken aback by my brash retort. But then the sneer returned to her round, flat face. "You'd better take that back, you dopey eyed dimwit!"

"Or what?"

"I'll show you or what!" she said, lumbering up and forcing me against the wall just by her sheer bulk.

"Leave me alone!" I said, sounding braver than I felt, and just then, the bathroom door opened.

"Man, you've got balls!" Jesse said in an exasperated tone that still had a hint of admiration in it.

"If I did, you wouldn't be fit to lick 'em!" she sneered.

"You'd think you'da gotten the hint by now. Besides,who'd wanna lick your flabby, virgin cunt?" Jesse shot back.

I found myself cringing at Jesse's harsh language. I didn't like hearing him talk like that. It so belied his angelic countenance and the sensitive heart that beat inside his slender chest.

"You know what they say: the longer the hair, the shorter the dick!" Deanna responded. The two adversaries glared at each other.

"Jesse, let's go," I urged.

"Go ahead, Perry," he said, nodding toward the bathroom. "I think Deanna and I have some things to discuss."


Deanna suddenly lunged at Jesse, and I was pretty sure it wasn't tae bo as she reached for his neck with both hands. He quickly knocked her arms down and stepped back.

"Don't you fuckin' try that again, bitch!" Jesse warned her sharply, now clearly in one of his matial arts stances, ready to attack or defend in less than the blink of an eye. Deanna had also planted herself in a battle-ready pose.

"Good Heavens, what's going on here?"  It was Jessica, with Merissa following close behind.

There was a moment of awkward silence.

"Just waitin' for my turn in the john," Deanna declared breathlessly.

"And then what happened?" Jessica demanded, scrutinizing all of us, and surely noticing Jesse's reddened cheeks. I could still feel the heat on my own and only glanced at her guiltily.

"So I tried to grab a little kiss...It's a friggin' party. What's the big deal?" Deanna explained. "Didn't know Goldilocks was so touchy!"

"Oh, you wanted a kiss?" Jesse asked in mock astonishment. "I thought you were trying to suck my blood!"

Merissa giggled, but the rest of us looked on in stunned silence.

"Well then, come here, babe!" Jesse said, and suddenly grabbed Deanna and leaned her back in his arms, sweeping her off her feet. I couldn't believe a smallish guy like Jesse could support even half the weight of a major cow like Deanna. He tilted his head and Deanna started flailing her arms and letting out muffled screams, the puffy cotton ball at the top of Jesse's Santa hat brushing her cheek.

"Jesse! That will be quite enough!" Jessica reprimanded, instantly sounding like a mother who has lost her patience.

He abruptly let go of Deanna and she staggered back, nearly losing her balance. She sputtered and wiped her mouth, her eyes wide with shock. "What the...?!" she gasped.

"It's what us humans call a kiss," Jesse replied quickly. "Probably your first and last. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to wash my mouth out with antibacterial soap!" Jesse made a little bow and went back into the bathroom. He didn't close the door all the way though, and the next thing we heard was a loud gargling sound. "Puey!" He spat out whatever he had been gargling. When he returned, he made a show out of carelessly wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. Ignoring the girls, he looked soberly at me, and made a sweeping gesture towards the bathroom. I quickly went in and locked the door.

When I came out, only Jesse was left, leaning against a wall, looking pleased and relaxed with his arms casually crossed. "That was cool," he said calmly.

"What? kissing Deanna?"

"No, listening to you taking a piss." He smiled and came up to me.


"Not to me," he insisted.

"Jesse, I have to tell you what happened today, between me and-"

"We gots to get back, or Jessica'll be releasing the hounds," he said, gently tugging my arm. He let go as Eric passed us by.

"Wicked par-tay, huh?" Eric asked, getting some skin from Jesse and me.

"Off da hook!" Jesse agreed, giving Eric his high five.

As we reached the arched entryway into the great room, a girl squealed.

"There they are!" Katy cried, and trotted up to us in her long, velvet dress. "I'll take one blond and one brunette, please."

Jesse gave me a quizical look and I sighed and looked up at the mistletoe.

"," he groaned. "Is our work never done?" he sighed heavily.

Not only did we get kisses from every girl at the party (except Deanna), but Mrs. Mulroney was back for a second go, and we also got smooched by Mrs. Martel and even Jessica's mom. Some were content with an exchange of modest cheek pecks, but some, namely Katy, Melissa, and Merissa, insisted on full lip contact. I noticed Morgan and Kyle had uncomfortable expresions on their faces. I wasn't sure they were both for the same reasons though. When Melissa declared that it was time for seconds and started another line with herself at the head, Jesse groaned.

"I didn't get my dessert yet," Melissa pouted, running her fingers along the lapel of Jesse's suit coat.

"Sorry--kitchen's closed," he said, pointing up over his head.

We all looked up and the mistletoe was...gone!  I heard some hushed whispers of dismay and disappointment.

"You took it!" Melissa accused.

"Who? Me?" Jesse asked, fluttering his long eyelashes.

"Where is it?" Melissa asked, and began running her hands along Jesse's tight ribbed sweater. From the way she was smiling, it didn't seem like she was really that interested in finding the mistletoe and I felt a twinge of jealousy.

Jesse giggled and backed away. "You can keep looking if you want, but I don't have it--I swear!"

"Then where could it have gone?" She looked at both of us suspiciously.

"Don't look at me!" I replied quickly.

"Jesse, quit playing around!" Jessica scolded, coming up and taking charge of the situation.

"What can I say? You girls got too greedy, and used it all up!" he giggled.

"Honestly, Jesse. Where did you put it?"

"Why does everyone think I took it?" he asked, sounding ever-so offended.

Jessica and Melissa both scowled at him.

"Okay, look, I think I might know where it is," he said. He turned to me and with great ceremony, reached behind my ear. "Why Perry! What's this?"

The little group around us applauded at Jesse's smooth and flawless ledgerdemain.

"Very funny--now put it back!" Jessica demanded mirthlessly, gesturing to the dangling red and green ribbons.

"No way! I got bruised lips!" Jesse pouted, jutting out his lower one.

"Perry, would you talk some sense into your very silly friend?" Jessica asked impatiently.

"Here--catch!" Jesse said, tossing me the little clump of mistletoe. I barely managed to grab it.

"Fine, now please put it back where it belongs," Jessica said with relief.

That didn't sound like fun, and my lips were bruised as well. "He passes to number 16!" I cried, tossing the mistletoe to an astonished Eric. But he was quick, and snatched it out of the air like a pro.

"He shoots--he scores!" Eric declared as he clobbered an unsuspecting Kyle in the side of the head with the little sprig. A few white berries flew off before it fell on the floor. But the captain of the football team leaped into action and quickly scooped up the iconic, parasitic evergreen. "Go deep!" Kyle urged, and across the room, Artim pointed to himself stupidly, and then instinctively shuffled backward. Being the gifted quarterback that he was, Kyle hurled the mistletoe in the air, where it made a beautiful arc across the room, barely missing the lowest dangling crystals of the chandalier. Artim grabbed it.  Regina made a half hearted attempt to snatch it from him, giggling the whole time, but he quickly passed it to Manny, who passed it to Harvey, who looked at a perplexed Jeremiah, and then passed it back to Eric.

Jesse was moving along one of the dessert tables now and waved his arms, indicating he was open. Eric smiled and tossed it his way. "Got you, you little trouble maker!" he announced, holding it carefully in both hands.  Everyone waited expectantly to see what he would do with it.

"Oh no!" he moaned, opening his hands and showing everyone that they were empty.

"Oh, for heaven's sake!" Jessica sighed impatiently, coming up to Jesse. "Now what did you do with it?"

"'s right here," he said, pulling it out of Jessica's ear. He bowed respectfully to a hearty round of appreciative applause.

Jessica wan't amused. Redfaced, she tried to snatch it from him, but Jesse tossed it again. It sailed across the room to the opposite table. There was a loud splash as it landed with a resounding plunk in a fine crystal bowl of red punch.  Martha Delgado squealed with surprise, but then laughed.

"Merissa!" Jessica said, gesturing with her head for the younger girl to retrieve the precious yuletide talisman.

Merissa dutifully went to the punch bowl and looked inside. Then she took the ladle and swirled it around, moving the ice ring back and forth. "It's...not here..." she said with obvious puzzlement.

"Oooh," several of the boys moaned ominously. But Jessica was having none of it and she strode across the room, her heels clacking loudly on the marble floor. She grabbed the ladle impatiently from a perplexed Merissa and explored for herself. There was murmuring mixed with giggling amongst the partygoers.

I felt a tug on my arm. It was Jesse, and he was leading me back into the hallway. 

"How come they can't find the mistletoe?" I asked. "Everyone saw it land in the punch bowl."

But Jesse didn't respond, at least not right away. Instead, he continued to walk with brisk purpose. We went past the dreaded bathroom and turned into a series of corridors that eventually led to the tropically-themed morning room. The room itself wasn't lit, so the only illumination came in from the hallway and from the lights around the pool, which shone in through the french doors, casting the room in long dim shadows.

"How did you know about this place?" I asked.

"Nosy," he answered with a slight smile. He took me behind a large potted palm. "Ta-dah," he whispered, dangling the sprig of mistletoe in front of my face before holding it over my head.

"But it landed in the punch!"

"That was a piece of ice," Jesse explained. "The ol' misdirection gag."


"Uh-uh, Mistletoe," Jesse reminded me, leaning in to press his lips firmly against mine.

I was suddenly overwhelmed by that feeling that has been described by so many, so often, as melting. Still, there couldn't have been a more appropriate way to describe it because that was just the way I felt: like I was dissolving, like we were blending into each other, becoming tangled up and intertwined with each other, our hearts and minds and bodies getting mixed one with the other until there were no longer two seperate people, but one complete soul, glowing with a warmth and life energy that could come from no blanket, fire, or furnace.


"I feel like you're inside me," he said, echoing my own feelings.

I nodded, too overwhelmed for speech. He slipped the mistletoe into my suit pocket and then grasped both my hands in his.

"You are so beautiful," he stated.

"Stop, Jesse...please," I begged. My eyes were tearing up and I saw that Jesse's were as well. "I have to tell you about Jessica and me," I insisted.

"You already told me everything I needed to hear over the phone," he assured me.

"But I feel sorry, so mixed up...."

Suddenly, he grabbed my hand in his, and with a look of fierce determination, brought our clenched hands up between our faces.

"Perry, what we have," he said, squeezing my hand even tighter, "has nothing to do with Jessica...or Tom, or Gary, or anyone else." There were tears at the corners of his eyes, and my sight was getting bleary as well. Still his steely gaze transfixed me. "You have nothing to apologize to me for--ever. I know who you are and how you feel about me. There's nothing you can say or do that would stop me from loving you."

"But I need to tell you everything," I insisted in a choked whisper.

"The things that're important, you say directly to my heart," he assured me, taking both our hands and pressing them against his chest. "Please, Perry...just be you. That's all I ask."


He touched my lips with his finger and shook his head.

I looked at him guiltily, but there was such open sincerity written on his face, that I could only nod. I wiped away the tears that I realized were trickling down both my cheeks.

I looked up in time to see his expression change. An angry scowl formed on his angelic face and the sudden shift made me shiver.

"W-what's the matter?"

"I can't believe Morgan got to do all those things with you while I just had to stand there and watch," he said, his voice suddenly thick with envy. The regret was clear in the look on his face and the intensity of his tone, and I felt both flattered and frightened at the same time.

"But we helped him, didn't we? I mean, he seems a little more relaxed now--even Katy thinks so. Do you really think he's bi?"

"Right now, I don't give a fuck!" he whispered harshly. Suddenly the look on his face changed. "I was the first, right?" he asked, his steely blue eyes seeming to burrow right through me.

"The first?"

"The first person to touch your beautiful boyhood, to suck you off...not Jessica, not Morgan, not your cousin--I was the first, right?" There was real worry in those crystal blue eyes now.

The rapid changes in his temperment and the intensity of his question startled and confused me to the point where I couldn't even grasp what he was saying. And I was pretty sure he was holding his breath waiting for my response. Why would Jesse be so concerned that he was the first to touch my dick? Was that how he was able to reconcile all my other recent sexual encounters? By knowing in his heart that he had been the first person to have sex with me? Could something like that really be so vitally important to him?

Even with his face all tensed up and his lips pursed he looked so cute, so vibrant, so perfectly gorgeous, and of course, there was that ridiculous red felt hat....I couldn't help but smile a little, despite the gravity of his inquiry. "Well, technically, it was Jerrin, the boy from-"

He grabbed me and pulled me into him. At first I felt very tense, and he just held me tighter and tigher against himself until I was finding it hard to take a breath. But there was something about physical contact with Jesse that did something to me I'd never experienced before, or since. It was the feeling of something much more substantial than flesh and bone pressing against each other, the inexplicable but unmistakable melding into oneness. It was the touching of our souls. I looked at him with all my feelings of love, just to reassure him that he had nothing to be concerned about there.

As we clung to each other, it suddenly dawned on me that his love for me came from inside him, and was not triggered by me doing or saying anything. I realized that, even if I hadn't fallen in love with him, his love for me would have continued unrequited, but unabated. And unlike Tom, who was frustrated by not being able to pursue a physical relationship with me, Jesse sought nothing in return. He had no more control over the feelings deep in his soul than I did. It was that inner connection, the one that I had felt from the first time he had brushed my cheek, that triggered his feelings for me. It made my head spin to think that anyone beside my own mom could care so deeply about me despite my numerous flaws, weaknesses, and outright stupidity.

Finally, feeling drained of all energy, I leaned my head against Jesse's shoulder, and immediately felt my own troubles and worries dissipate into his boundless strength and beauty.

"You were the first...and the best. There'll never, ever, be anyone else...." I whispered.

We just stood there in the shadows, clinging to each other, taking what we needed from each other just by being close. Our hearts beat against each other and I breathed in the scent of Jesse's neck, while his warm breath caressed my cheek. The distant sounds of the party and the cheesy Christmas music seemed part of another world, a world outside, one that we were forced to endure but one we could escape from when we were together. This was our world, the world inside, and everything and everyone else paled in comparison.

I was sure we could've stayed like that for an hour without getting tired, but it couldn't have been more than a few minutes before we heard footsteps.

"Should we hide?" I asked with sudden, heart-pounding alarm.

Jesse calmly shook his head and led me across the room to the french doors. He smiled at me and my fear vanished. As the footsteps got closer, we both turned, the white cotton ball on the end of Jesse's Santa hat swinging around with delayed momentum.

"Hey, guys--Whatsup?" Kyle asked innocently.


Special thanks to my Editor-In-Chief: AJ!

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