The snow starts to come down heavier, which is expected this time of year. I haul my freshly cut wood onto the porch and make my way inside. After removing my heavy coat and boots, I go to my bedroom and turn on my laptop.
Lying down in the middle of the bed, I hit play, and Noelle’s voice fills the room. I reach one hand down the front of my jeans, stroking my hard cock while she tells me all about the things I want to do to her.
Smacking the modem again, I know my efforts are fruitless. I’ve reset the stupid thing four times now and nothing has gotten it to work. My only other option was smacking it, and that doesn’t seem to be working either. Glancing out the window, I can see the snow starting to come down a little harder, but not enough to make me think it would cause internet issues.
“Damn it.” I smack the modem again, saying a silent prayer, and all the lights go out on it. Dead. Like my contract with ‘All for You.’ The thought makes my stomach turn sour. No more Alex. Maybe he won’t fire me, but maybe he will. He told me he wanted this today. I glance at the clock and see it’s already five p. m. on Christmas Eve. Everything is closed. There’s no way I can even pack up and go to a local coffee shop to use their Wi-Fi to send the file.
My options are running out. No, not running out. I have none. Zero. I’m screwed. Maybe I can call and explain and make him understand. I decide to give it a shot. I call Alex. It’s something I’ve never done before because he always calls me. The phone rings six times before going to voice mail, making me wonder what he’s doing. I roll my eyes, thinking it’s none of my business.
He’s probably sitting in front of a fire with his family or girlfriend, eating cookies and having an oh-so-perfect Christmas. I’m sure it’s like one of those sappy romance novels I’ve narrated before.
Plopping down on the couch, I begin mourning the loss of the best contract I’ve ever had. Screw that. It isn’t the job I’m sad about losing, it’s him. He seems to have this weird hold on me. How have I latched myself onto someone I barely know? Someone who never shares anything personal about themselves, even when I try to pull things from him. Sometimes I feel like it is there on the tip of his tongue, but it just never comes.
When my phone rings, it makes me jump off the couch and hurriedly pick it up without looking to see who it is.
“Alex?” I say into the phone, hating the way my voice comes out all breathy like I just ran a mile.
“Who’s Alex?” my mom chirps into the phone, making me drop back down onto the couch.
“No one, Mom.” The lie easily rolls off my tongue. I don’t want to get into it with her about an imaginary relationship with a man who is essentially my boss. She’d ask me what he looks like, how often we went out, on and on. All things I couldn’t answer, and that’s when she’d really start in on me about being more social and how I should maybe talk to a head shrinker to see what was wrong with me.
Nothing is wrong with me. I’m just a homebody. I haven’t found a person who wants to be a homebody with me yet. The future isn’t looking too great on me finding one either. Not when I’m daydreaming about a man I’ve never even met.
“Doesn’t sound like nobody,” she says, poking again, but I know she means well. I may not click with my mom and dad, but they love me.
“Just a client. I’m working on a last-minute project, and I need to talk to him, but can’t get a hold of him.” I give her a little honest information, hoping it will end the questions and we can change the topic. I reach for one of the cookies on the plate I’d set out on the coffee table and take a bite. The sweetness does nothing to make me feel better. I’m going to need cake for that.
“He’s probably with his family like you should be. Is this project the reason you decided not to join us? I bet you took on a job just so you couldn’t come this Christmas.” The huff in her voice is one I’m all too used to. It works better on my father than me.
“I wasn’t invited.” I don’t mention that I don’t even know where they are right now. Since I moved out, my mom stopped with the big parties and moved on to spending Christmas in random places in fancy hotels.
“You’re always invited.” The hurt in her voice makes me feel instantly guilty. I know I’m always invited, but it still burned I didn’t get a call or something. “Didn’t you get my card?”
“Ahh,” I muddle, dropping the cookie back onto the plate and heading towards the front door entryway. I keep a basket on the table there and always throw my mail in it. I’m looking at the pile as my mom tells me what they’re doing and how she wishes I was there.