That First Christmas
Two weeks before Christmas, the house had a festive air. The tree was beautifully decorated, a soft red throw under it and the presents slowly stacking up under the branches, making a colorful display. Spencer wrapped JC's gifts when he was at work - JC waited till Spencer was asleep or in the shower before putting her gifts under the tree. The number of brightly wrapped packages was growing and spreading out away from the branches. Michael had dropped a few gifts off and the ones they had for him were also under the tree.
JC asked Spencer if she had reconsidered and wanted to put the star on the tree. She was unsure but he promised to stand on a chair with her and hold her while she did. They both admired the beautifully carved ornament and were glad they had bought it.
Christmas Eve, they attended the annual "Christmas in Washington" holiday caroling and afterward, JC took Spencer to the Wall so he could pay his respects to fallen friends. The memorial had been dedicated that year and was attracting crowds. She watched him touch names on the granite slabs in several places, pausing briefly each time. Whatever he was thinking, he didn't share and she didn't ask, not wanting to intrude on his thoughts. Finally, he asked if she wanted to walk along the Mall and Spencer agreed, thinking that JC needed to regain his composure before going home.
When they got home, Spencer put on a robe and JC changed into sweats. He poured some eggnog and sat on the floor in front of the tree, pulling Spencer onto his lap.
"One present tonight, all but one tomorrow morning and the last one tomorrow night," he told her. "Which one do you want to open tonight, piccola little one?"
"You pick," she said, suddenly quiet.
"You okay?" he asked softly.
"It's a lot of presents, JC. The Christmases I knew growing up were... hard candy Christmases... Never saw so many pretty boxes and packages and..."
"And you're a little overwhelmed they're for you," he smiled.
She nodded. "That's an understatement."
"You're supposed to be and so am I," he admitted. "I've never celebrated like this." He pulled her back for a deep kiss. "But I have every intention of doing this from now on."
"Here," he said, handing her a dress size box. "Open this one."
She held the gift box on her lap and untied the bright green bow. "It's not going to jump out at me, is it?"
"Uh-uh, but I might jump you when you wear it."
"Oh, JC, it's the red robe we saw at the little boutique in Middleburg." She held it up to admire it. "Shall I put it on now?"
"Don't think you should, bambina," he swept her hair off her neck, kissing her lightly. "If you do, I'll jump your bones and..."
"This is beautiful, JC. Thank you. Now, you open this one," she smiled, pointing to an extremely large box wrapped in red and white paper with a huge bow.
He let her move off his lap while he unwrapped the box. "Will this jump out at me, imp?"
"Maybe," she grinned. "It's a distinct possibility."
Carefully, he lifted the lid and then separated the tissue paper. "What the hell!" he gave a shout of laughter. "It's... me! How did you...?"
"What do you think?" she asked when he lifted the doll out of the box and stood, holding it to his chest.
It was a soft cloth doll - four and a half feet tall, with Popeye arms. She had dressed it in a navy turtleneck sweater, jeans and Rockport loafers - no socks. Spencer stood and unzipped the doll's jeans.
"See? No underwear, either and he's anatomically correct. I plan to sleep with him when you're out of town."
JC burst into laughter.
"He's your clone. Look," she exclaimed, pulling the doll's jeans down. His yummy stick's almost as big as..."
He grabbed her, hugging her and tickling her until she couldn't catch a breath. "You are *not* going to show this to anyone, understand?" he growled, kissing her before she could answer. "No one, Spencer! Not ever!"
"Can I sleep with him when you're out of town?" she winked. "I plan to call him my little JC. He is little, compared to you."
"Certain parts of him are definitely smaller than me," he grinned.
"I had a lot of fun making those parts," she said, running a finger down the doll's penis and cupping its balls.
"Woman!" he growled, picking her up, the doll tossed onto the couch. "You're only allowed to do that to me."
"It's just a doll, JC," she laughed. "You aren't jealous of a doll?"
"No, but seeing you touch it made me hard as a rock. We're going to bed, imp. I want you to touch me like that and I need to be inside you."
"Aye-aye, sailor man," she murmured, kissing him. "I can't wait to touch you like that and feel you inside me."
He watched her sleep. His hand cupped her cheek and his thumb skimmed back and forth over her face before he moved down her body, touching every inch of her. He thought that all the holiday festivities had been good for both of them - Spencer had gained a couple of pounds and it showed. He hadn't objected to all the obligatory receptions and dinners this year as long as she was at his side.
She murmured in her sleep when he dropped kisses on her breasts, his tongue licking the underside of each, one of her erogenous zones. She tried to turn away from him when he dipped his tongue into her navel for a quick taste but she remained asleep until he gently rubbed her sex. She opened her eyes to JC's smile.
"Feel good, gattina?"
"Mmmm," she smiled back and twisted her body so she could grab his yummy stick. "Feel good, sailor?" she whispered softly.
"Oomph," he grunted, not anticipating her move. He resettled himself between her thighs, his weight on his elbows, cupped her face and kissed her morning smile. "I love you, baby."
"When did you know you loved me?"
"The first time I held you in my arms, I knew I wanted to be with you again," he answered without having to think about it. "When I made love to you that first time, it was... I knew I was falling in love with you." Turning on his side, he cradled her close to him. "Our time together here at the house... I knew I loved you. I just didn't know how much. When did you know you loved me?"
"Not going to tell you."
"Don't want to inflate your overblown ego."
"It isn't quite as inflated as it was before I met you," he said wryly. "When did you know you loved me, imp?" he growled, turning her on her back and nipping the side of her breast, then kissing the pinch away. "Tell me or I'll..."
"Spank me?" she asked softly, both hands touching his face.
"Maybe," he pursed his lips and looked sternly at her, trying to give the impression that he was giving her words serious consideration.
"Are you going to spank me now?" she asked again.
"Maybe," he said while nibbling on her breast. "Say please."
Spencer remained silent.
JC nibbled a little more. "Say please, imp."
"You don't want me to spank you... make love to you?" He raised his head to look at her. The naughty imp smiled at him. "Say please."
"Make me," she whispered.
He sucked her lower lip into his mouth and bit it lightly.
"Say please," he said firmly.
Spencer licked his upper lip. "I think I'll make love to you, instead."
"Oh yeah? How you gonna' hold me down?"
"Don't have to, sailor man. You're going to lie there while I lick you," she said softly, her palms moving down his chest, teasing his belly. "I'm going to rub my breasts on your chest until you can feel my nipples get hard. Then, I'm going to tease your balls with my tongue and..."
He growled and rose up on his knees, his hands swiftly parting her thighs. She lifted her hips toward him just as he plunged his thick hard shaft into her. "You make me crazy," he groaned, his hands cupping her butt, delivering the occasional firm swat and pulling her up to meet his penetrating thrusts. "You make me wild for you. I can never get enough," he rasped between breaths, "and I love you beyond my wildest imagination."
Spencer held his head to her breasts while the sensations coursed through them. When they could speak, he told her again how much he loved her.
"Will you love me again, today?" she asked, stroking his head, dropping kisses on his brow, and rubbing his neck.
"Please, JC," she said softly, making him smile with pleasure that she wanted him.
"Let's go open presents," he murmured.
"After we shower and have breakfast," she told him.
"Let's shower and open one and eat afterwards."
"Shower, eat breakfast, and then open presents."
"I like my way better," he grumbled.
"Are you a boy again?" she laughed. "Can't wait to see what Santa brought you?"
"Don't remember ever getting so many," he chuckled. "Not ever and not in a lot of years."
"Then we'll just have to make sure this is the first of many happy Christmas mornings for you, my love," she said softly, embracing him.
"Did I mention I love you?" he asked, emotion coloring his words.
"Once or twice," she said, pulling him into the shower.
They sat on the floor with mugs of coffee spiced with chocolate cinnamon sticks. Spencer wanted to dig into her stocking but JC told her that was part of the afternoon's festivities. She had made him a stocking boot and knew he was as curious as she was. Giving in, she sat in the circle of his lap while he pulled a gift toward her.
The box was small and she carefully unwrapped it because the ribbon was a thick braid of red and green and gold and she wanted to put it in her thread collection. As soon as she saw the chocolates, she knew JC had given her jewelry. The earrings were sapphire drops that had been tucked beneath the chocolates and her eyes filled when she saw them.
"You like them," he smiled.
"I do," she said, looking seriously at the expensive gift and then at him. "You're too good to me," she whispered.
"Not good enough, mia amore. Open another."
The white silk pajamas had been custom made. The pajama top had a very deep V-neck and long sleeves with gold stripes on both cuffs. The bottoms were very short shorts and Spencer burst into laughter when she held them up. JC's initials were prominently sewn on the crotch.
"You're very naughty, sailor man," she laughed.
"Not naughty enough, bella," he grinned.
"You have to open some now," she said, handing him two brightly wrapped packages.
The first box held a handmade vest she had made out of wool. It was navy and hunter green and was very masculine. She had lined it in silk and insisted he try it on. He was touched by her thoughtfulness as well as her skill and hugged her, delighted with the gift. The other small box contained a cummerbund for his mess dress uniform. She had made it out of tiny gold squares sewn together with gold stitching. It wasn't regulation but would easily pass and JC knew the other officers would want one as soon as they saw it.
He had given her a multitude of gifts, among which were warm leather gloves and mittens, a Coach briefcase, and a navy blue spandex camisole with matching bikini panties. He also gave her several yards of batik fabrics and a small basket of silk twines, both highly coveted by quilt artists and very expensive. One large box was a 3000-piece jigsaw puzzle which Spencer couldn't wait to put together.
He was floored by his gifts. There were far more than he had ever received at one time. Spencer had given him several heavy cable knit sweaters in a variety of colors - dark green, navy blue, steel gray and black. They were all handmade and he wondered where she found them. He opened several packages of recorded music - the works of Chuck Mangione, Chick Corea, and Esther Saterfield. He immediately slipped one of the late June Christy recordings into the player and they listened to it while he unwrapped the rest of his gifts. There was more - Dinah Washington, Dakota Stanton and Oscar Brown, Jr. She had bought the new John Lehman book, On Seas of Glory about heroic men, great ships, and epic battles of the American Navy. And she had slipped four note cards into a small velvet box, all of which were promises to obey his orders for brief periods of time - his choice as to when to give those orders to her.
He pushed her onto her back when he read the notes. "Promises to obey orders, imp?" he grinned, tremendously pleased, knowing full well his orders would make them both happy.
"With all due respect, sailor man, you should be aware that the duration is limited to one hour each time - they are *not* consecutive hours and there is an expiration period."
"A year, bambina," he said with great satisfaction. "I've got a whole year to collect."
"You are a wicked man," she groaned in mock despair. Spencer had promised to obey JC's orders four times during the coming year, once every three months.
There were two large packages left under the tree to be opened that evening. JC pulled Spencer to her feet and they sat on the couch for a while, hugging and touching and murmuring, content to be together.
Spencer snuggled into his embrace and sighed.
"You tired, sweetheart?"
"No," she stroked his cheek and put her head back on his shoulder. "You've got this comfortable place on your shoulder that's perfect for snuggling into while I fall asleep. I claim it on behalf of..."
"Everything I have is yours, cara mia, everything," he said as his lips covered hers, kissing her thoroughly.
They opened their Christmas stockings. Spencer's was filled with specialty chocolates, several silk scarves, and vanilla perfume. JC's stocking boot included a small leather book of love sonnets, leather gloves, a wool scarf and a miniature bottle of his favorite scotch.
In the evening, she sat between his thighs at the dining room table where she had spread the jigsaw puzzle pieces. He helped her put the frame together and then teased her with his hands and lips while she tried to work on the puzzle.
"You're playing with me," she squirmed, trying to reach a jigsaw piece.
"I love playing with you," he sucked an earlobe, then blew softly in her ear, making her shiver. "I love chasing you and catching you... especially, the catching part. I love tickling you and kissing you," he nibbled on her neck. "I love playing Scrabble with you and Monopoly. I love the way you try to cheat... I love loving you."
"This is not an easy puzzle to begin with and you're making it very hard to concentrate, squidlet."
"That's good," he murmured, his hands cupping her breasts as his mouth nuzzled her neck. "Let's go to bed. I want you again."
"Not until you unwrap your last gift," she said, relinquishing his lap, and pulling on his hand until he followed her to the Christmas tree.
She sat on the couch and waited for him to open the very large box with his name on it. It was one of her unique wall hangings. The front had his initials in one corner, an embroidered "US Navy" in another. The center had immediately drawn his eye, an applique of the gold Seal Trident was prominently featured.
He turned to her, trying to find words to thank her. "Turn it over, squidlet," she said softly.
One corner displayed Spencer's signature. But he was speechless when his eyes followed the trail from the lower left-hand corner to the upper right-hand corner. All of JC’s different ranks and the year they were achieved were embroidered - from midshipman to his current rank. She promised to add future ranks as he achieved them.
He draped the quilt over the back of the couch and pulled her into his arms. "Did you peek into my personnel file?" he asked, holding her tightly, overcome with emotion.
"No, Michael told me what I wanted to know."
"Thank you, mia amore. You've made this Christmas one to remember and to cherish," he said softly. "Now, you open your gift."
The large box had been set against the wall so it could stand and when Spencer kneeled in front of it, she really thought it was a floor lamp for her sewing room. He slid onto the floor behind her, ready to hold her if she cried and she did.
It was the large wooden doll from Christmas Cove, the shop where they had found the wooden ornaments. The doll came up to Spencer's shoulders and could have been her when she was younger. The old sailor had carved a sweet face with slightly slanted eyes, a straight nose and full lips that curved up. Even though it was carved entirely from wood, the doll had shoulder length hair and the dress she wore had a full skirt that came just below the knees. The Mary Jane slippers and short socks were intricately carved, and Spencer thought it was a beautiful piece of art.
"She's beautiful, JC," she murmured as she admired the first doll anyone had ever given her, the first doll she had ever owned.
"Not as beautiful as you, bambina," he said softly, wrapping her in his arms. "Happy Christmas, my love."
Spencer leaned back into his arms and spied the old quilt she had treasured. JC had draped it across one arm of the couch. She was going to mend it and display it prominently in her sewing room so she could treasure it. Looking at their first Christmas tree, she was satisfied that it only held a few ornaments, the ones they had chosen together. And then she looked at the Christmas star atop the tree and turned to look at the man who had bought it for her, the man who had showered her with gifts, the man who loved her.
Indeed, it was a very happy Christmas, one to remember and to cherish.