The week before Christmas Michael's boyfriend takes off to Florida, taking with him all of Michael's money and his new boyfriend. Left with nothing but a lump of coal in his bank account, Michael is penniless and facing eviction when his ex, Logan, stops in for a visit with a proposition that Michael can't refuse. Logan will give Michael the money he needs, but, in return, Michael will be his for a week.
Note: Previously published as part of the "Dear Santa...an Erotic Collection of Holiday Stories" anthology
“So where’s your boyfriend? Gone to do some last minute shopping?”
I shuffled from one foot to another before I answered. “No, not exactly. We’re uh…we’re not together anymore.”
“Not together anymore?”
“Is there an echo in here?” I said, sarcasm dripping off the words. “Yes, Logan, you’ll be happy to know he left me for someone else. And he took all my money! That should keep you laughing all through the holidays!”
Okay I was being an ass, but I was still smarting from the knowledge my mother had been discussing me with my ex. Not to mention his hostile attitude—it had been nine long months since we broke up. Was he going to hate me forever?
He sat back on his heels and gazed at me speculatively. “That didn’t last long.” He smirked at me. “So you’ll be alone and friendless on Christmas Eve, huh? I have to say it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”
It was like he’d dumped a bucket of ice water over me. I opened my mouth but nothing came out except, to my horror, a choking sound like a sob. I turned my head quickly, but not quickly enough.
“Oh hell, Michael,” he said softly.
I shook my head, hurt and smarting from the truth of what he’d said. I was alone and friendless, damn it, or it sure felt like it in that moment. It wasn’t Christmas Eve, but close enough. Not to mention I was penniless, and about to be evicted in the damn snow. And I had cancer. I know I was just feeling sorry for myself, but I covered my face with my hands, and waited for the crying to start. Instead I started laughing.
I couldn’t help it—it was just so ridiculous. My shoulders started shaking, and I laughed so hard tears rolled down my face. Then right at there at the end, my laughter began to sound a little hysterical and turned into a choked little sobbing. I heard Logan make a sound of exasperation behind me.
“That’s it,” he said, irritation tingeing his voice. “Go over there and sit down before you fall again. I have a proposition for you.”
I guess I didn’t move fast enough for him, because I felt his hands on my arms, propelling me over to the closest chair. He pushed me down and took a seat on the sofa opposite me.
“A proposition? What do you mean?”
“Let’s not beat around the bush here, Michael. Your mother told me about what’s been going on with your health, and it looks to me like your situation is even worse than she knew. I came over for the decorations, sure, but I also came to see for myself.”
Funny how much that hurt. I knew Logan hated me—he’d made no bones about that fact the last horrible night when he’d kicked me out of our house. To be fair, he’d just discovered me in our bed with another man, so he was pretty much justified in everything he’d said and done that night. Still, I had no idea he still harbored such ill will toward me.
I sighed and looked up directly into his eyes. “Well, you must be so pleased to see me like this.”
It was his turn to shrug. “I must admit it’s a little gratifying, I’m not gonna lie. Not the cancer, of course. I would never have wished that on you—but the boyfriend skipping out? Taking all your money? Yeah, that’s all good.”
I felt my face flame with heat and gripped the blanket so hard my knuckles must have been white. “Thanks…”
“No sense in lying about it. There have been enough lies between us, don’t you think? And while we’re on the subject, I’ll admit I already knew about your mortgage issues too. We have mutual friends, remember?”
I bit my lip to keep from saying anything more and dropped my gaze. Okay, so maybe he deserved this little moment. I had treated him badly, and I knew it. The fact that I regretted it bitterly now made little difference.
“Which brings me to my proposition.”
I glanced up at him sharply. “What?”
He leaned back on the sofa, a wicked little smile playing around his lips. “I’m in need of your services, Michael, and I’ll pay handsomely to get them. I’ll give you the money to catch up your bills—you can pay them on-line today, using my money and make all this go away. In return, you’re mine for a week.”
My mouth dropped open. His? “What the hell are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about you. You’ll come to live at my house for a week. I’ve been working a lot lately, so it’s kind of a mess, and it’ll no doubt take you that long to get things straightened out and cleaned up anyway.”
My mouth fell open in shock. “You want me to clean your house for Christmas? You want me to be your little slave?”
He nodded, and there was no mistaking the smile now. “My little slave? God, I love the sound of that. Sure, why not? You can clean and cook and decorate. It’s what you’re best at, and I have a big Christmas party on Christmas Eve to get ready for, not to mention friends coming over for Christmas dinner.”
“You go to hell!” I said, jumping to my feet.
“Already been there, remember? You sent me last year.” He stood up too and pushed me back down in my chair. “Now sit down and shut up. I’m not finished with your duties yet.”