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Christmas At The Beach

© 2003 by Girl Friday

This story was written for the FD Writings 2003 Christmas Story Fest. This story isn't as erotic as some of the others I have written. Somehow it just didn't feel right to be that explicit in this case. I'm sure you'll understand why after reading the story. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

I love the beach. More importantly, I love this beach. No kids allowed. Peace and quiet. Glory Hallelujah.

I know what you're thinking ... how can you go to the beach and not have kids screaming and running around making life miserable? Turns out ... it's actually quite easy. You book your annual vacation on a remote tropical island and stay in a resort that specifically prohibits children. Sure it costs more, but it is so worth it.

No, I don't have anything against kids. I love kids. Kids are great. But when your work centers on children, they are the last thing you want to see on vacation. This was my vacation, the one time each year when I could relax.


Oh yes, it's wonderful to lie on a towel in the warm, white sand with the ocean gently lapping at my toes. Some people, most people in fact, might prefer to spend Christmas morning sitting around a tree opening gifts, but not me. I prefer the nice quiet beach with the sun shining down and a cold margarita in my hand.

I come here every year. I spend Christmas Eve traveling with the promise of waking up and spending Christmas morning on this wonderful private beach. While the resort is exclusive, I'm never alone. There's always one other regular who is here year after year. Like me, he prefers a towel on the sand to a chaise by the pool. He's here every Christmas morning when I arrange my towel and order my drink.

This year was no different. I rolled out of bed on Christmas Day, put on my favorite red bikini, and headed to the beach. Sure enough, there he was -- sprawled out on a towel, snoring softly, just like every other Christmas morning for the past 4 years. He was an ordinary looking man, pleasant but not stunning. Sandy blonde hair, regular build, nice tight buns; I allowed my gaze to linger there just for a minute before settling down on my own towel. Giving my usual order to a passing waiter, I settled in for a long relaxing day in the sun.

"Excuse me ... Miss?"

I blinked in confusion. My sandy-haired neighbor was kneeling next to me, gently shaking my shoulder.


"You might want to turn over. You're getting a little pink."

I rolled onto my back and sat up. Shading my eyes against the sun, I looked into his eyes for the first time. They were a soft gray, touched at the moment with concern.

"Thanks for the warning." I held out my hand, "I'm Tina."

"Tina, pleased to meet you. I'm Shawn."

Shawn grinned mischievously as he took my hand in his own. I was surprised when he didn't shake it, instead raising it to his lips and brushing a soft kiss across my knuckles. My tummy did a little flip-flop as his lips touched my skin. How long had it been since I'd felt that flutter? Long enough that it scared me a little. Long enough that it excited me a whole lot more.

We spent the rest of the day together. It was a little scary how quickly we clicked. I haven't talked to a stranger for more than ten minutes in years, and here we were -- talking incessantly for hours. Shawn was intelligent, educated, charming, and he made me laugh. I was completely smitten. I hadn't felt this way in such a long time.

The only bump we hit was when he asked me about my job.

"So what do you do for a living, Tina?"

Shit. How do I answer this? Damn, damn, damn. I really didn't want to talk about this yet.

"Shawn, I'm sorry, but this is my vacation. The first day of the only vacation I get all year, and the last thing I want to talk about right now is work. Do you mind?"

He smiled that easy, sexy smile that caused my stomach to flutter. "Not a problem at all. How about a dip in the ocean to cool off a bit?"

I laughingly agreed, racing him down to the warm, clear water.

He asked me to have dinner with him that evening. Saying no never even crossed my mind. I took my time getting ready. Hair, check. Make-up, done. Dress ... killer. Why was I so nervous?

Shawn was right on time, knocking on my door at 7:30 sharp. I took a deep breath and opened the door. The look on his face made my primping worth the effort. He didn't say anything; he didn't have to. His face said it all.

Dinner was wonderful -- soft music, candlelight, delicious food. He took every opportunity to touch me, holding my hand under the table, brushing the hair back from my face. Each time he did, my skin tingled and my heart sped up. I couldn't believe how quickly I was forming an attachment to this man.

We went dancing after dinner. It was a small nightclub on the resort grounds and not many people were there. It suited us just fine. The band played a lively mix of popular music, slow and fast numbers. Shawn loved to dance and he was quite good. It was a joy to dance with a man who knew how and enjoyed what he was doing.

I came to dread the fast songs. I couldn't wait for the next slow song. Shawn would pull me close and settle my body against his, then start that slow rhythmic movement that moved us around the floor. He smelled so incredible, and his body felt so good rubbing up against mine. Every slow song we danced made me more aware of Shawn and how much I was attracted to him.

The bar announced last call and the band moved into the last number. Shawn folded me into his arms as the first notes to one of my favorite songs, "When You Say Nothing At All", began to play. The delicate melody washed over us as the smooth, smoky voice of the singer brought the words to life. As we moved around the dance floor, I felt Shawn's lips brush my temple and I lifted my face to his.

Oh, this man could kiss! Everything I had been feeling all day surged to the surface and I returned his ardent caress without reservation. My world narrowed until all that existed was the man kissing me and the song weaving its magic around us.

It's amazing
How you can speak
Right to my heart
Without saying a word,
You can light up the dark
Try as I may
I could never explain
What I hear when
You don't say a thing

The smile on your face
Lets me know
That you need me
There's a truth
In your eyes
Saying you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says
You'll catch me
Whenever I fall
You say it best
When you say
Nothing at all

As the song ended, Shawn gently ended our kiss and drew away slightly, looking into my eyes. He studied me for a moment before that incredible smile of his began to form. I felt it tug at my heart and I couldn't help but wonder if I had finally found the one man I could share my life with.

The rest of the week was damn near idyllic. We spent almost every minute together -- walking on the beach, windsurfing, snorkeling, sitting quietly and watching the sunset. We'd have dinner together each night and afterwards we'd explore the resort and the small town nearby. We always made sure to stop at the nightclub for at least one dance. The band knew us on sight and by unspoken agreement they always played "our" song. Every time Shawn took me in his arms I fell deeper in love.

At the end of the song, he would kiss me and look deeply into my eyes. We never said anything. We didn't have to. Joining our hands together, we would walk the short distance to Shawn's room and make love. When we touched each other it was magic. The world ceased to exist and all that mattered was Shawn. It didn't matter if we were laughing and teasing, rutting like bunnies, or making slow, tender love - I always felt my soul connect with his. In that moment it ceased to matter that I was 160 years old.

I knew I had to tell him soon. The week was almost over and I had to get back to work. I knew Shawn loved me, I could feel it. That doesn't mean I wasn't scared out of my mind at the thought of telling him my secret. We had only been together a week. Would he be able to accept me for who I was? Was love enough to convince him I was telling the truth? I didn't know but time was running out. I would have to tell him tonight.

We spent the day quietly, lying on the beach holding hands. Both of us knew today was our last day together. Shawn was flying home in the morning and so was I. Every moment that day was bittersweet. I had finally found the love of my life. I could only hope for the best. After dinner, we went to the club and danced to our song. When it was over, Shawn and I went to the band and thanked them for making our stay at the resort special.

Making love that night was special. Shawn kissed and caressed every inch of my body, expressing with every touch his love for me. I did the same in return, telling him how much I loved him with soft touches and passionate kisses. When he slipped inside of me I felt truly complete. Time and again, Shawn brought me to the brink of release and then gently pushed me over. When I thought I couldn't take any more, he buried himself in me, moaning my name as he collapsed against me.

Snuggled into his embrace, I knew my time was up. I had given a lot of thought to how I would start this conversation. Screwing up my courage, I snuggled closer and took a deep breath.

"Shawn, why do you spend Christmas at the beach?"

He pulled back a little and looked at me in surprise. "We haven't talked about this yet?"


"Oh. Well, two reasons really. First, I design toys for a large, privately held company. I spend most of the year working long hours and the time between Christmas and New Years is our only downtime. Everyone who works there is on vacation right now. Second, I don't have any family. I lost my parents a few years ago. They loved Christmas and always made it special for me. Now I find sitting at home alone on Christmas pretty depressing. A few years ago I started coming here. By lying on the beach, I can forget that it's Christmas and enjoy my vacation."

"I'm so sorry about your parents, Shawn. I didn't mean to bring up bad memories for you."

He stroked my arm and dropped a reassuring kiss on my temple. "You didn't love. It's kind of nice to talk about them with someone. They are never far from my thoughts this time of year. They truly loved Christmas."

This was the opening I had been hoping for. "Were they the 'There is no Santa' types or were they 'Santa is real' types?"

He laughed as he answered, "Santa is real, definitely. We always put out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Mom and Dad always made me go to bed early on Christmas Eve so that Santa would come. Of course I could never sleep, but they made me go to bed anyway. What about you?"

I ignored his question and asked another one of my own. "And did you believe in Santa?" I held my breath, my whole life hanging on his answer.

"Yes, I did. I remember when I was a kid, eight years old, my dad lost his job. My parents told me they were sorry, but they couldn't do much for Christmas that year. I wrote letters to Santa every week for two months, begging for a basketball. When I woke up that Christmas, I raced downstairs and sure enough -- there was a basketball for me under the small tree we had. My mom and dad both swore they had nothing to do with it and that Santa must have brought it. I know as an adult they must have scraped up the money from somewhere, but a little part of me still believes it was Santa."

Shawn sat up in bed and looked at me intently, "Why all the questions about Christmas and Santa?"

It was time for me to lay it all on the line. "Do you remember our first day here? Christmas Day? You asked me about my job and I brushed it off."

Shawn nodded then grinned mischievously. "Let me guess, you're an elf who lives at the North Pole and vacations on the beach each year at Christmas."

"No, I am not an elf. I'm Santa Claus."

Shawn laughed, obviously taking my answer for a light-hearted joke. "Very funny, Tina. No, seriously, what do you do?"

I got out of the bed and wrapped the sheet around me. For some reason, being naked while trying to explain your existence to someone is a little too distracting.

"Shawn, I am being serious. My name is Christina Kringle and I am Santa Claus."

He looked at me in utter disbelief. "You? You're not Santa. Everyone knows that Santa is a man."

"Traditionally, yes, Santa is a man. My father was Santa for almost 1,200 years before I took over. His father didn't go quite that long. He was Santa for 734 years. But Dad kept hoping for a boy, so he hung on as long as he could. I am the first female Santa ever." Shawn's eyes were getting a little big. "It's a hereditary position. When Santa retires, a new Santa -- a direct blood relation -- takes over. Mom and Dad tried for years and years to have another child, a boy, after I was born. They were unsuccessful. So, when Dad wanted to retire, I was the only blood relative eligible for the position."

Shawn's eyes had taken on a glazed, somewhat condescending look. "I see. Why a direct blood relative? Couldn't some other guy take over?"

"No. Part of being Santa involves magic, very specific, very powerful magic. This magic is only found in my family line. My dad had every male relative, out to 4th cousins - twice removed, tested for the magic. None of them had enough of it to take over the job."

"So you're Santa?"


"For how long now?"

"I've been Santa for 61 years now."

There was a vein throbbing in Shawn's forehead. His expression was hard and angry. "And just how old are you, Santa?"

"I'm 160 years old."

"Bullshit. You don't look a day over 27. This little fantasy of yours has gone on long enough, Tina. I don't know what kind of game you're playing, but it isn't funny. I was going to tell you I loved you and ask you to consider moving in with me. If this is the type of thing you do for kicks, then I'm not so sure that's a great idea."

"I couldn't move in with you anyway, Shawn. I have to stay at the North Pole and oversee the day-to-day operations. Being Santa doesn't just involve riding around in a sleigh one night of the year. It's a full time job."

"Stop it, Tina. You are not Santa!"

I'd had enough of this. I strode over to my handbag and fished out my cell phone. Quickly dialing home, I waited impatiently for my call to be answered.

"Hello. This is Tina. Can you connect me to central filing immediately? Central? I need you to pull a file for me: Shawn Adams, date of birth 8/15/70. I need the hard copy, ready for transport, now. Thanks."

I closed my phone and turned to face the man I loved. He was looking at me like I was out of my mind. "If you don't want to believe me Shawn, that's your choice. The fact of the matter is, I *am* Santa Claus and I can prove it."

Concentrating hard, I drew on the magic of Christmas that was part of my very soul and transported Shawn's file into my hand. I flicked a glance at Shawn to see his mouth hanging wide open. Ignoring his stuttering, I sorted through the file until I found what I was looking for. Pulling the letters out, I handed them to Shawn.

"Those are the letters you wrote when you were eight, begging for a basketball. I read every single one of them. I left you a basketball, two books, and new sweater. You believed in Santa, Shawn. You had to for your letters to reach me. Only letters from people who truly believe can make it to the North Pole. Like it or not, you believed in Santa. You believed in me."

Shawn kept looking from me to the letters in his hand. Clearly stunned and unable to decide what to believe, he looked at me helplessly.

"I love you, Shawn. If you ever decide to believe me, you know how to reach me." I nodded towards the letters in his hand then drew on my magic once more to take me home -- home to the North Pole.

Three months later I was straightening out a major design problem in the toy shop when one of my assistants asked me to come to the office. Why was everything this year a struggle? Since I left Shawn that day on the beach, every day that followed was miserable. Wondering what was wrong now, I trudged to my office.

Sitting in the center of my desk was a letter. That was unusual. Normally there were hundreds of letters sitting there. Curious, I sat down and opened the envelope.

Dear Santa,

I'm sorry it has taken so long for me to write. I've spent the last three months getting caught up at work and getting my apartment packed. I'm hoping you can help me. You see, I met this woman. She's smart and beautiful and she made every day we were together special. But I messed it up. She trusted me and I didn't believe her.

Please Santa, I just want one thing for Christmas. Would you please tell Tina that I'm sorry, that I believe in her ... and that I love her very much?

Shawn Adams

P.S. Do you have any job openings for toy designers at the North Pole? I can start immediately.

Wiping the tears from my eyes, I quickly called the stable. I would need the sleigh to go pick up my new toy designer. I was about to make two Christmas wishes come true, Shawn's and mine.

But it isn't Christmas yet, you say? Hey, being the boss does have some privileges.


© 2003, all rights reserved.

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