Crawling Into Bed With Adrien Soto
And a Good Book : The Counterfeit Claus

Important things first, are these sheets silk or cotton?

*Aye, Dios* Do I look like a rich man to you? Cotton, Lee, Cotton. Though, if Adrien is partial to silk, I will find a way.

What are you wearing?

*Mierda* Was I supposed to have clothing on? Ay-ay-ay. So sorry.

What are we snacking on in bed while we read tonight?
Ah, Lee, I have a treat for you. These are made from the recipe *mi madre* taught me. *Tostones* Ah, fried plaintains. They are very firm bananas. I think you like this, yes?

If I open this nightstand drawer, what will I find?

--gently pushing the drawer closed--Ah, that is where I keep Adrien's special toys, *si?* He is very shy, or I would let you see. Look on the other side if you like... that is where I keep the naughty books I read to him. We have many good books in there!

Do you roll up in the blankets like a burrito, or kick the covers off during the night?

You are very funny. I--neither. I curl around Adrien. He gets cold at night, and when he wakes, this wakes me. So I keep him warm, and we both sleep well.

Can I put my cold feet on your calves to warm them up?
*Si*, but you must help me to explain this to Adrien. He is so sensitive about these things. --shrugging--I do not understand why. My heart belongs to him. To warm your feet is ony the act of kindness, *si?*

What are we reading?
Ah, this is my favorite. This is the story of how Adrien and I met. It is called The Counterfeit Claus. Here, I will show you a picture... you can not see in this picture, because I block the view... Adrien has the most luscious bottom. Round and full, and Ay-ay-ay. *Aye Dios*
I think perhaps you must pardon me for a moment.

Adrien is the sweet klutz on the right... I am standing in front to make sure he does not fall off the platform he was placed on for the picture. --winking at Lee--

It's just an average day at the local mall's Christmas Village... there's an elf shortage, no manager in sight, and an unknown person hiding behind a big white beard. Still, everything is under control. Mostly. Sort of... until the klutziest elf of all slips onto the scene in slick bottomed, pointy-toed shoes... and slides right into the waiting arms of the Counterfeit Claus.

By the time Adrien figured out he didn’t have everything under control—and that he couldn’t even pull off a controlled crash without risking really hurting one of the smaller kids in the line he’d already overbalanced. He flung his arms out behind him, hoping to fall away from the kids. His feet sliding out in front of him answered his wish in seconds.

Adrien was going to end the day in one of the local hospitals, having traumatized countless kids in the process, because even if his brother Sam wasn’t here to catch the footage and post it to YouTube, dollars to donuts someone had their phone out and was already taping his latest bit of clumsiness. 

He had an awful vision of mean bully older kids with hard faces showing the clip to horrified five, six and seven year olds for years to come. A whole generation of kids would forever think of Christmas as “the season when clumsy elves die.” As he slid past Santa’s throne in an ungainly skid headed more toward the horizontal than the vertical, Michael launched himself off the platform yelling at the top of his fool lungs. “Noooooooo!”

Remembering the horde of pint-sized shoppers watching in horror, Adrien kept his composure enough to bite back the utterance fighting to get out of his throat, which was a hearty “OH SHIT!” He didn’t even cry out Michael’s name. He wanted to do anything necessary in a desperate attempt to get the big goof-ball to use some of those finely tuned military police skills he loved bragging about. They would come in uber-handy for saving Adrien’s ass right about now. 

Michael hit the floor with a sickening thud. Adrien winced, both in anticipation of his own eminent thud, and at Michael’s having hurt himself to no good effect. The big idiot belly flopping on the floor couldn’t possibly save Adrien. 

Except, somehow, it did.

Adrien had forgotten to take into account how the slick velvet of the Santa suit would keep Michael sliding forward. Just before Adrien hit the floor, Michael was there. He’d turned half on his side, and managed to catch Adrien’s head in the palm of one broad hand. 

Adrien realized several pertinent facts simultaneously. The man in the shiny red Santa suit, the same one who had saved him from what could easily have been a serious injury, was not Michael. His fluffy white beard was twisted half off his face, showing a stubble-covered jaw that looked positively edible. A tsunami of lust crashed down on Adrien, and the only coherent thought he could muster for a second had to do with wanting to spend a few weeks nibbling on the not-Michael Santa. Reason returned with the realization that Adrien had fallen in a weird pretzel twist that showed off his flexibility in the most humiliating way possible. 

His left ankle ended up somewhere around his right ear, his right leg bent and twisted so that leg was under his butt. His left arm was flung up above his head. He’d even managed to smack himself with his right hand. Sheesh. His only saving grace in the whole ridiculous mess was that the undignified heap he was in fell squarely between the counterfeit Santa and the kids.

The breadth of his shoulders, while not god-like, was enough to hide Santa’s dishabille for a critical few seconds. Thinking quickly, he decided to camp things up so the adult guests of Christmas Village could be left with a scrap of plausible deniability when their young charges started questioning Santa’s very un-Santa like behavior. 

“Oh, Santa, I didn’t see the ice! That must be why you’re always telling all the elves to walk carefully.” Adrien used every bit of his high school theater training to project his voice as he wiggled closer to the strange Santa facing him. As soon as the crowd behind them broke out in exclamations, he leaned forward. Whispering quickly, in barely audible tones, Adrien broke the bad news. “Santa, your beard is broken. Pretend you’ve got to take me to Mrs. Claus for a quick bit of mothering, and then carry me out of here so we can hide your face.”

Santa’s big brown eyes widened and then narrowed intently. His voice came out in an equally hushed baritone. “Mierda! I don’t care how cute you are… I am not picking you up, Papi.”

The man’s voice poured into Adrien’s ears hotly, an aural aphrodisiac. He closed his eyes for a split second. Between falling three times in less than two hours and the effect Counterfeit Claus was having on his libido, he really might need to be carried. Adrien sucked in a deep breath. “Crap-Doodly.” 

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Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955