I still can’t believe Laura set me up, but how can you hate someone for making you do something you’d wanted to do for months?
Secret Santa had long been an office tradition, and every year one person was nominated to don a Santa costume and dish out the presents partway through the evenings. The problem for me was that this was my last day working for the company, my last day in the country, and my last chance to seduce Benjamin before disappearing to New York for at least a year.
That was three problems, but then there was a fourth: my best chance to seduce Benjamin was to dress in my sexiest slinkiest little black dress for the night of the party. And the problem with that was that this year I was the one who’d drawn the task of being Santa.
It was Laura’s idea, though: why does Santa have to be a rotund elderly gentleman with a beard? Type “sexy santa” into a search engine and you’ll see there’s a world of possibility.
The plan was formed, then: I would wear the sexy black dress for dinner, and when it came to Secret Santa time I would dash to the bathroom and transform into sexy Santa.
I didn’t have the good luck of getting Benjamin in the gift draw unfortunately, so I ended up buying a cosmetic subscription for Margaret in accounting who absolutely loved south-east Asian imported skin products. (Who knew?)
No matter how I tried I couldn’t get myself seated on Benjamin’s table for dinner either, so all the little black dress achieved was that Nathan from accounts kept staring at my chest and then snapped to a spot four inches above my head every time I caught him from across the table. Well, I guess he had a good time, and maybe when he gets home his wife will too.
My heart was beating hard by the time the meal ended, because I was beginning to think that what had seemed brave but irresistibly funny two weeks ago now struck me as an opportunity to leave the entire company wondering if I’d gone entirely crazy and this was some kind of cry for help.
It was because my costume wasn’t just a Sexy Secret Santa, it was a Seriously Sexy Secret Santa.
We all know Santa wears red trousers and a jacket, right? Not this Santa. Seriously Sexy Secret Santa needs neither of those things. Usually we’re left to guess what Santa has on underneath his jacket and trousers, but I assume that his underwear is also a red thong with white ties or, depending on what secrets that costume might usually hide, perhaps I hit the nail on the head with bright red bikini bottoms and a plush red brad.
Santa traditionally wears boots, of course, but that seemed a little heavy for these conditions. Who knows if Santa at a dinner party might like to don a pair of black high heels? Seriously Sexy Secret Santa certain did.
And what else might Santa wear beneath his costume? Nobody knows for sure that he isn’t in white stockings with red bows around the tops, but within the next five minutes everybody I’ve worked with for the past three years will know that that’s exactly what Seriously Sexy Secret Santa wears.
When I’d started to lose confidence in walking out in nothing more than stockings in underwear I’d added one more thing to the costume: a bright red cape that dropped down to the knees. It was only fastened by a single hook around the neck but at least it covered my shoulders whilst still making it abundantly clear how little I was wearing beneath.
I took a deep breath and stepped out of the ladies room. All eyes turned and I tried hard not to stare at Benjamin. But I failed. He was right on my path and he smiled at me as I neared him. I smiled in return, and then I stumbled and had to catch myself with one hand on the back of a chair. As I put my arm out I couldn’t have done a better job of opening the cape and showing the full length of my body and bare minimum of clothing to Benjamin. I was too embarrassed to see what his reaction was, though.
I made my way up to the small stage, where Laura was waiting beside a pile of wrapped presents, and stared out across the tables. There were maybe seventy pairs of eyes all staring at me in silence.
So I began. I began with some nervous intro about it being my last night at the company and so emotional to be leaving you all, some more than others, but at least I can try and give you some gifts before I go.
Laura handed me the first box. I read the name out, up came Gareth, and I handed him his gift.
We had one more trick up our sleeves, Laura and I, because the idea was that she would hold back Benjamin’s gift until last and I would take it over to him in person and grab the chair beside him and not move until he did.
I had a few “love your outfit” comments as I dispensed gifts. The comments were pleasant, amused, or lecherous, depending largely on gender but not only. Lenny asked if I could come back and do Secret Santa every year. I laughed and said “in your dreams” and he said “I think you will be” and I felt suddenly seedy.
As the pile of presents dwindled I was feeling less and less confident in this whole thing. I was feeling more and more seedy and really wasn’t sure if I’d have it in me to try to charm Benjamin whilst dressed like some ridiculous fantasy.
Then Laura handed me a glass of bubbly. I drank it gratefully, and my mood picked up. Especially when she handed me a second one. Maybe I’d get through this.
Finally it came: the last present. For Benjamin. Except it wasn’t a present, it was an envelope.
“Is this it?” I asked Laura. She nodded and looked over at Benjamin.
“There’s no spare table next to him,” she said, “Dare you to sit on his lap and give him the card.”
She dared me? And what did I have to lose anyway? I think my dignity was mostly gone already.
I took the card, announced Benjamin’s name, and waved at him to stay seated as I tried to stride confidently over to him.
Thankfully conversation restarted around the room and I was no longer the centre of attention. But as I approached Benjamin I was most certainly the centre of his attention.
He held out his hand to take the envelope and with all the grace of a baby elephant I dropped myself onto his lap. His eyes were wide but there was a smirk on his mouth as I crossed one stockinged leg over the other. I put one hand on his shoulder, feeling his body beneath the cotton shirt and revealing mine as the cape parted.
“What is it?” he asked as I held out the envelope.
“I don’t know,” I said.
He opened it and stared.
“Is it from you?” I shook my head.
“Why?” He began to read.
“‘Your gift is one Santa costume, to be claimed at any time.'” He paused. “It doesn’t say who from.”
Laura. It had to be Laura.
“Are you sure it isn’t from you?” he asked again.
“No,” I said, “But I think that maybe someone’s giving this away without asking me.” I looked down at my scant costume. Benjamin’s smirk widened.
“Do I get the contents as well or just the costume?”
I suddenly felt so horny. And I suddenly felt like I was getting somewhere with him, after all this time.
“That’s up to you,” I said, then whispered into his ear, “Maybe you should take the whole package home and see what parts you like.”
He licked his lips. I had him.
“And just because a stranger has given away your costume and maybe you with it, you’re saying they’re both mine now?” I nodded and put my other arm around his neck. I really wanted to kiss him right now. He paused.
“So?” I asked.
“So,” he continued, “Let’s see what parts I might like. I wonder if that cape might suit me?”
My heart raced and I unbuttoned the cape, swung it off of my shoulders and draped it around Benjamin’s, fastening it again around his neck. He looked kind regal, in a kitsch way, and I looked kind of semi-naked, in an entirely trashy kind of way.
He smiled and glanced down at my body. All that Pilates was paying off at last.
“I’m not sure if the shoes will fit me but I’d like to get a better look at them.”
“They definitely won’t fit,” I said.
“They’re mine, though, and I’d like to see them.”
In the sexiest way I could manage I reached down to my shoe and slid it off my foot and placed it on the table in front of him. I uncrossed my legs and re-crossed the other way and did the same again.
He put his hand on my thigh and I nearly jumped.
“And these too,” he said, plucking at the red bow at the top of my stockings.
I straightened my leg, wrapped my hands around my thighs and slid them down, sliding the stockings to my calf, then bent my leg and rolled it off my foot. I uncrossed and recrossed my legs once more and did the same with the other stocking.
This evening couldn’t have gone any better. I was sitting in nothing but red underwear on Benjamin’s lap and I had his full attention. Unfortunately, I also had close to the full attention of maybe forty other people by now.
I leant forwards and whispered in Benjamin’s ear: “When do you want the rest?”
He smiled and looked me in the eyes.
“Now,” he mouthed.
“Seriously?” He nodded.
I glanced up and caught Laura’s eye. She was grinning, but I needed help. I nodded for her to come over.
“You two seem to be getting on well,” she said, looking back and forth between us. But whereas I was looking at Laura with pleading eyes Benjamin’s gaze never left my body.
“We are,” he said, still without looking at Laura, “But I still haven’t been given all of my present.”
Laura glanced at the red cape around Benjamin’s shoulders, the pair of black heels neatly place on the table, and the rolled up stockings beside them.
“You don’t want to take them home?” Laura prompted. I looked into Benjamin’s eyes and nodded.
“I haven’t decided,” he said.” I stared at him. Was this not enough already?
“Well then,” Laura said, standing behind me and putting her hands on my shoulders, and just as I thought she was about to defend me, her hands slid down my back and I felt the release as she popped my bra catch open.
“Laura!” I half-shouted, clutching my arms across my chest to hold the red cups partially in place.
But she took advantage of that too and pulled at the white bows that held the red thong to my hips and the fabric fell away from me.
“Laura!” I said again, turning towards her.
“A promise is a promise,” she said, taking my hands and pulling them away from my body. The bra slid down my forearms and Laura finished the job by unlooping it from my hands.
Now there really were a full set of eyes on me. On my breasts. On my naked body.
I looked down at the small piece of black fabric that had already slipped halfway between my legs. It was the closest thing I had to an item of clothing.
Laura smiled at Benjamin.
“If you can lift a second.”
He slid his arms beneath my thighs, lifted me effortless, only an inch, and Laura pulled the black thong off of his lap. As he replaced me she piled what was left of my outfit on the table.
I was naked on Benjamin’s lap.
“Um,” I said.
“Um indeed,” he smirked.
“So…. Errr,” I hardly dare ask…,”Is it just the costume you want or the contents?”
“How about,” he said, “We just leave the costume here and I take the contents?”
He picked me up again but this time placed my feet on the floor and stood beside me.
I looked around the room. At the people I’d worked with for three years. At the people that now knew every inch of my body.
Benjamin took my hand in his and led me between the tables towards the exit. I had only one thought: to get out of there as quickly as possible. And when I did a second thought dawned on me that I voiced to Benjamin: “How am I going to get home like this?”
“Let’s make a cabbie a happy man, shall we?”
I put my arms around his neck and we kissed.