Sexual Christmas Dreams
Suzanne reached into the cardboard box at her feet and pulled out the first of the keepsakes she brought with her. They were trinkets really, but each one reminded her of her love for William and of his love for her. The cabin was quite small so there wasn’t enough room for an actual tree. The pine branches she gathered earlier and arranged into a ring on the table made the whole place smell like Christmas.
She held the small pink bottle, its cut-glass facets catching the firelight and flashing prisms on the walls. The perfume was almost gone, but the scent that lingered was the one she always wore, the one she had been wearing when she first met him and now she wore nothing else. She carefully set the perfume bottle in the crook of a branch and took out the next item.
A brightly colored tin bus, small enough to fit in the palm of her hand, reminded her of the very first time their eyes had met. She had been waiting for the bus, looked up when she heard the door open and saw his face. It was definitely a coup de foudre, what the French call love at first sight. Suzanne put the little toy down right next to a small pine cone which clung to one of the branches.
She tucked the tiny television set, taken from a collection of doll house furniture, into the makeshift wreath. No matter how bad her day had been, the time they spent together each evening always made her feel better. She could tell by his smile that he felt the same way.
The tinkling notes of their song filled the air as she wound the tin key on the bottom of the music box and set it amidst the evergreen branches. Every time she heard the simple melody, it reminded her of him.
“William Loves Suzanne” was engraved on the back of the heart-shaped locket she wore. A tiny picture of him, carefully trimmed, was tucked inside. Lockets were old-fashioned and sentimental, she knew, but he seemed so pleased when she wore it. She loved the feel of the necklace between her breasts. She rarely took it off, but tonight she unclasped the chain from her neck and draped it over the branches. It shimmered like silvery tinsel.
She scattered her small collection of ticket stubs — mostly to movies but with a few souvenirs from concerts thrown in, too — in the evergreen boughs. William usually picked which shows they’d go to see, but she didn’t mind. Whatever they did, she always enjoyed spending time with him. He made her so happy.
She unwound the spool of wide satin ribbon and looped it around the deep green boughs. No one could tell — no one except Suzanne — but her William had a rather naughty side. Suzanne had plans for those lengths of silky crimson. Very special plans, she thought.
She found the last item in the box, pulled it out and added it to the display. A creamy white beeswax candle rose from the center of the ring. She struck a match and lit the wick. The aroma of vanilla and spices rising from the flame complimented the piney fragrance of the wreath.
Adjusting a branch here and there, Suzanne nodded to herself and smiled. It was perfect. William would be so pleased.
Suzanne looked out the cabin window at the gently falling snow. Already the tracks of her car heading around to the back of the cabin were disappearing in the soft powder. It was supposed to stop soon. William would have no trouble getting to the secluded cabin.
She walked around the tiny cabin, opening doors, pulling out drawers and peeking into cabinets. She ran her fingers over the shelves, reading the titles of his books, touching the things he’d touched. Simply being here made her almost giddy.
The flicker of the fire was hypnotic as she gazed into the flames. She yawned and looked at her watch. Maybe there was time for a short nap. She looked at the bed she’d made earlier with fresh linen she’d found in one of the cabinets. No. When she slept in that bed, she wanted William beside her. The overstuffed chair looked comfortable enough for the short time she’d have before he got there.
She smoothed the deep blue-green velvet of her dress over her knees as she curled up in the armchair to wait for him. He never said anything, but she’d noticed how his eyes lit up the first time she’d worn the color. She tried to wear something in this particular tone each time she saw him. She could tell he liked that.
Her eyelids grew heavy and she closed her eyes and fell asleep, the crackle of the fire the only sound in the room as twilight fell. Suzanne slept as the cabin filled with shadows.
Crash! Suzanne was startled awake by the sound of the door flinging open and banging against the wall. The glare of the overhead light made her blink. She turned to see William standing in the doorway.
“Oh, darling! You’re finally here. It seems like I’ve been waiting for weeks!” Suzanne smiled as she rose from the chair.
“What the fuck!” William said as he dropped the duffel bag he carried. “What are you doing here?”
Suzanne was speechless. Why was the love of her life, William, talking to her like this? “I wanted to surprise you.”
“Lady, I don’t even know you,” he began but then stopped. “No, wait. You’re that wacko who’s been stalking me. The security guards at the station told me about you.”
“No, William, that’s not —” she said, her words cut short by the sight of William pulling out his cell phone and tapping the screen.
“I’m calling the police. They’ll haul your crazy ass off to jail.”
“Oh, I can’t let you do that, William,” Suzanne said as she pulled the small piece from the pocket of her dress and fired at his chest.
The sound of the weapon echoed in the small room as he fell. After all the noises quieted and it was once again silent except for the crackle of the fire, Suzanne whispered.
“But I love you, William.”
She awoke, hours later, judging from the glowing embers which had replaced most of the flames in the fireplace. She hadn’t been able to fall back asleep after William had finally arrived at the cabin.
“It was just a bad dream,” he consoled her when she told him about it later that night. He took her hand and led her over to the bed, his eyes never leaving her. “Let me help you forget all about it.” And he did. He made love to her all night long, sweetly at first, then so passionately the nightmare faded away into nothingness.
She could tell how happy he was with her Christmas surprise as she made love to him. He never took his eyes from her the entire time. She felt so loved. William pretended to struggle at first but then he sighed and was still.
Of course, she thought as she rose from the bed early the next morning, being very careful not to disturb the still form beside her, the red satin ribbons binding his wrists and ankles to the frame of the bed helped a great deal.
Suzanne slid the zipper of her coat up to her neck. She winced as she reached down to pick up her purse. Her back muscles felt tight and achy. The night had been much more of a strain than she’d planned. Oh, well, she thought. It had all been worth it. She had hoped he would tell her he loved her that night, but it really didn’t matter. She knew.
One last kiss, she wondered. But no. He looked so peaceful there. Let him be. She glanced over at the white candle, tall no longer, its tiny flame almost reaching the paper ticket stubs and resinous pine branches.
She blew him a kiss and let herself out of the cabin, making sure the door latched behind her. One last look at the flickering flames reflected in the window and Suzanne walked around to where she’d left her car yesterday. She drove down the driveway and pulled out into the narrow country lane which led out to the main highway.
Suzanne sang along with the Christmas carols playing on the car’s stereo, the sound of the empty gas can rattling around in the trunk unheard over the music.