Twas the Night Before... - (PG-13)

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Twas the Night Before... - (PG-13)

Postby Luxe de Luxe » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:41 am

Title: Twas the Night Before...

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: Merry Christmas, they're still not mine.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Twas the Night before…



“Oh hell,” said Beth. “Damn.”

She raced around the room, pulling out drawers and pushing them back in again, poking her head behind curtains and under cushions. The zip on her skirt was half undone as if she’d dressed in a hurry and her shirt was gaping open two buttons below the level polite society considered decent. She blew out an angry breath. “Where the Sam Henry is that blasted other shoe?”

“You know, all this activity is making me thirsty. You couldn’t spare a wrist, could you?” Josef said, looking hopeful as he lounged against her bedroom doorway with his usual negligent grace.

Her open palm stopped half an inch from his nose. “Step away from the human.”

“Sheesh, there’s just no Christmas spirit anywhere, anymore.”

She shook her head and went and had one more look in the cupboard. “You know if I can’t find it,” she said to him over her shoulder, “I just won’t be able to go.”

“In that case, I think I can see it there under the bed,” Josef said, pointing a finger helpfully in the direction of the only large, flat, rectangular object taking up space in her room.

Beth rolled her eyes and got down on her knees and poked her head under the bed, unaware of the mischievous and most un-big-brotherly glance Josef had focussed on her pert rear end.

“Oh, look, here it is,” Josef said, pulling the missing black court shoe from out of the recesses of his pocket.

He heard her snort in disgust from under the bed and then yelp as her head knocked against the underside of the bed frame. When she’d finally wriggled back out and flicked all the dust bunnies from her clothing, she snatched the shoe from his hand and jammed it onto her foot. She was already moving in the direction of her front door as she whipped the zipper closed on her skirt. She swept her handbag up in a graceful arc and, as if she’d suddenly had a better idea, pivoted on one foot to face him.

“Remind me again why he likes you so much - .”

“My soulful eyes,” he said, without skipping a beat. “They make him go all gooey right here.” The flat of his fist thumped against the place he swore a heart had once beaten.

“ - and just why am I agreeing to do this, exactly?”

Josef voice lowered in a dramatic sotto voce and he lowered his face to hers. “Because you want me the way a fat girl wants a whole roast chicken, Beth, the way a - .”

Beth crossed her arms and glowered up at him from under stormy brows.

“You’re no fun,” Josef sighed, straightening up. “If you weren’t prepared to go through with it, you shouldn’t have had that bet with Uncle Josef, Beth,” he said, and chucked her under the chin, “because I just know the woman Mick adores, the one who’d hate him to know about that – ."

“Okay, okay, I get it,” she said, sounding unimpressed. “I’m no welcher. Let’s just go and get this over with, okay?”

And like a whirlwind she was gone, the delicate fronds of the ferns in the hallway trembling as Cyclone Beth strode down the hallway and into the waiting limousine.

Josef smiled and wondered exactly how long he could get away with failing to point out her breach of blouse-button etiquette. She might, just might, he decided, buy the line that as Mick’s friend his eyes would never stray below her collarbone. Well, a man could only try.

With a grin of satisfaction, he closed the door behind him and followed her down the hallway.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Beth looked on in disgust as the beautiful and stunningly under-dressed blonde cosied up to Josef on the back seat of his limousine. The pair of them were canoodling as if she wasn’t there! The woman was all over him, for God’s sake. If she wasn’t stroking his thigh, she was rubbing his chest; the perfectly manicured fingertips now running through the back of his hair had only recently been tracing sickeningly, cutsie-pie little circles on the side of his cheek.

Hmmph, Beth thought, if any more of Blood Donor Barbie’s magnificent chest was on display, she’d actually start to worry that a band of pirates might try to board them when they stopped at the next red light. The girl leaned forward and began to blow in Josef’s ear. That did it. Who knew what she’d be blowing next?

“Does that thing ever just sit and talk?” Beth asked waspishly.

That thing,” said Josef, landing butterfly kisses on the girl’s lips and cheeks, “has a PhD in Micro-Economics.”

“My mistake,” Beth said. “What I meant to ask was, does Doctor Micro-Cocktail Frock ever just sit and talk?”

Josef sighed and pulled away from the girl with obvious regret. He gazed up at the limo’s leather ceiling. “Can it be that BuzzWire is missing my exclusive attention?” he mused.

A manicured index finger rested against her chin. “About as much as British Petroleum would another underwater explosion in the Gulf, I’d say,” she replied sweetly.

“That un-much, huh?” Josef grinned. “Lucky my ego is bigger than my bank balance, otherwise I might have been crushed.”

Beth snorted. “All it would take to shake you would be a comment in the social pages of the L.A. Times saying you’d been spotted wearing the same thing twice.”

Josef’s eyebrows rose. “Ouch,” he agreed.

The limo glided to a silent halt. The girl sitting opposite looked positively scandalized that someone had just spoken to Josef that way.

“You better be careful with this winter weather we’ve been having,” Beth said, eyeing a sliver of the girl’s black lace panties with dismay. “Frostbite can be a bitch.” The limousine door opened and Beth leaned toward her. “Let me tell you something. He may be the wealthiest vamp in L.A. - .”

“The U.S.”, Josef corrected.

“ – But he’s still just a man.”

“Don’t worry, Baby,” Josef cooed to the girl in a stage whisper. “Scary lady go ’way, now.”

Beth rolled her eyes and shimmied past Josef and the girl with as much dignity as she could muster.

“Oh, Beth -,” Josef said as she was halfway out the door. She had to duck and lean low to turn and face him. At this angle she may as well not have worn a shirt at all. The view was most attractive – a lacy scrap of bra that barely covered both creamy globules - and he could see right down to her navel. “ - I think a button’s undone.”

Beth looked down and flushed tomato red. She scurried away from the car.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The limo had pulled in through a massive gate and stopped in the entrance of a huge warehouse.

She stepped out into the space and looked around her in awe. The place was completely dark except for a brightly lit corner the other end that was surrounded by wires and pulleys and massive cameras on wheels and boom mikes that hung over the centre of the well-lit area, and dozens of people talking softly or moving purposely about the place with gaffer tape. It was a colossal film set. On one side was the interior of house that was chocolate-box pretty and vaguely European, with a huge Christmas tree with baubles and lights and comfortable sofas and wide, wooden staircase; on the other was a beautiful, wintry exterior with snow-covered trees and a tinsel covered sleigh.

Josef stepped up beside her. She turned to him in horror and pointed to the man in the director’s chair.

“Tell me that isn't Steven Spielberg.”

Beth began to back away and would have broken into a run had Josef’s firm hand on the small of her back not stopped her.

“ – and the moral of the story is...?”

“Never gamble with Josef Kostan,” she said with heartfelt sincerity.

He grinned then leaned in as if to kiss her cheek and whispered in her ear instead. “Let this be a lesson to you. Now off you go, I believe there’s a tiny scrap of fabric with your name on it in the wardrobe department.”

And with that, the hand on the small of her back gave her an encouraging little push forward.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Expensive wrapping paper lay torn and crumpled everywhere. Opened boxes, large and small, were piled one on top of the other in every corner of the room.

“And now that the rest of the gift giving is out of the way… Beth and I have one last surprise for you, Mick.”

A large, white screen rolled down from the ceiling. Mick’s eyebrow raised quizzically and her gave her a squeeze. She hoped the smile she gave him in return didn’t look too much like the grimace she felt like making. Josef caught her eyes and raised his own eyebrows in a furtive taunt. Beast. He knew exactly how she was feeling.

The room darkened. A jazzy, sensuous rendition of ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire’ began..

The screen lightened: it was dark; snow was falling around a double-storey, weatherboard house with a pitched roof and dormer windows. Frosting edged the rims of each window and as the camera zoomed in, the music faded and a cynical, whip-smart voice said..

Twas the night before Christmas..”

Mick sat up. “Is that Bruce Willis?” Josef shushed him.

…and all through the house…”

The camera panned over the attic, cut to empty hallways and began to track down the stairs where it scanned the living room slowly..

“…not a creature was stirring..”

.. to show four striped stockings pinned over the fireplace, dozens of boxes in brown paper wrapping with tartan ribbons, and baubles glinting enticingly from every branch of the sumptuously decorated Christmas tree, before coming to rest on a small mouse hole in the skirting board. The camera zoomed into the darkened mouse hole, and getting ever closer was a tiny bed, a pair of mouse ears poking out of the coverlet.

“…not even a mouse.”

As the words were spoken, the mouse rolled over in bed, throwing off the coverlet in the process. In the bed in the cutest little mouse outfit Mick had ever seen, was Beth; grey fur ears poking out from her golden ringlets as she yawned and stretched.

Mick roared with laughter. “How - ?,” he turned to Josef, barely able to contain his mirth. “How did you - ?”

Josef shrugged his shoulders. “She volunteered,” he said, poker faced.

Mick turned to Beth then pulled her into his arms, giving her another squeeze as her face flamed beet red. He turned back to the screen, a huge grin on his face, not wanting to miss any more of this.

The narrator was talking over a vision of a dark night sky with a flaming red sleigh that danced through the air then turned in a graceful arc and landed on the roof,

..When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer…”

The camera came in for a tightly focused shot of Santa’s back as he disembarked from the sleigh, and then there was Josef, all CGI enhanced twinkling eyes and rouge ruddied cheeks, sporting a dashing white moustache and goatee, straightening each cuff of his fire-engine red Armani business suit before tipping the pom-pom topped red Russian fur hat he was wearing to a jauntier angle on his head.

Mick guffawed, tears of laughter beginning to run from his eyes.

“…Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen…”

One by one, as each of Santa’s reindeer were named, the camera roamed over the creatures - Josef’s exclusives - tethered to the sleigh with shiny, leather harnesses. They were breathtakingly beautiful women and were wearing only fur-trimmed halter-tops and flared red leather miniskirts and boots with silver reindeer antlers on their heads. But unlike the line of the famous poem in which only eight reindeers appear, Mick had counted nine. As the realization struck him the camera zoomed in on the ninth and final reindeer, Rudolf, and there again was Beth, dressed in an oversized and ungainly brown reindeer suit, with taller silver antlers and a big red shiny button on her nose.

Beth groaned and hid her face between her palms. Mick could no longer speak.

“Funny, somehow I knew the horns would suit you, Beth,” Josef said innocently.

“Antlers,” came the muffled but insistent response. “Only devils have horns.”

“Like I said.”

Beth glared. Josef beamed back at her.

Finally, with the words -

“…Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

- the show was over, the credits rolling, the screen fading into blackness, lights winking on in the darkened room.

“Merry Christmas, Mick,” said Josef, extending his hand.

Mick ignored the hand and pulled Josef into an embrace. “Merry Christmas, Old Man.” He drew Beth to him and curled an arm around her waist. “One day you’ll have to tell me how you got Beth to do all that.”

Josef drew an imaginary zipper across his lips and threw the imaginary key away. He turned to Beth and splayed his arms open wide. “Merry Christmas, Beth.”

She tilted her head and raised a sceptical eyebrow, and for a moment it seemed as if she would disregard his invitation. Then she smiled and walked into the circle of his arms, where they hugged one another with genuine warmth.

Josef lowered his lips to her ear. “I already have your role in next year’s Kostan Enterprises Christmas production picked out,” he whispered.

“Pigs will fly, Josef,” she whispered back with a smile, “and there’ll be six feet of snow in all nine circles of hell.”

“Want to bet on that?” he smiled.

A playful look of horror crossed her face, but when she spoke all she said was, “Merry Christmas, Josef.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
.
Last edited by Luxe de Luxe on Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:20 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Twas the Night Before Christmas... - (PG-13)

Postby AussieJo » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:03 pm

Cute!
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Re: Twas the Night Before Christmas... - (PG-13)

Postby allegrita » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:28 pm

You and Josef do love to torture Beth, don't you?? :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: That poooor, long-suffering woman. But don't worry... she'll get him back. I have faith in her. :thumbs: And thank goodness, Mick loved the movie. :laugh:
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Re: Twas the Night Before Christmas... - (PG-13)

Postby francis » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:49 pm

:rolling: :rolling: :rolling:
I can so see that happen. I guess Mick would enjoy the show much more if he didn't know how many other people got to see his Beth like this.
And Beth will get Josef back, I'm sure of that.
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Re: Twas the Night Before... - (PG-13)

Postby GuardianAngel » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:18 pm

Oh man, I'd love to know what bet she lost to Josef. Got to give it to him - he's always got the upper hand. Poor Beth. But Mick DID enjoy it, so there is that.

I bet Josef looked AWESOME in his red, Armani Santa suite. LOL
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Re: Twas the Night Before... - (PG-13)

Postby jen » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:25 pm

Luxe

This was just fabulous!!!

Josef's sense of humor is, like his bank account and his ego, larger than life. It makes total sense that he had some outrageous holiday traditions. Christmas cards? Much too last century for Josef, and Mick has learned to enjoy it in the spirit it is given. Guess you almost have to understand Josef to truly appreciate it.

Thank you!

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Re: Twas the Night Before... - (PG-13)

Postby darkstarrising » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:27 pm

Wonderful Christmas story with a twist, Luxe!! :devil:

Of course Josef would want to make Beth squirm just a little, but not so much so that she'd be so humiliated that Mick would be upset. That Kostan guy knows just where that fine line is and knows how to walk it.

Wonder what the bet was and would you consider a sequel where the situation is reversed next Christmas! :whistle:
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Re: Twas the Night Before... - (PG-13)

Postby maggatha3 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:26 pm

beautiful, just beautiful, Josef could make all people do whatever he wants them too, one way or another. I have to re-read it next December.. :flowers: ...
-It never ends well...
-Never?

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Re: Twas the Night Before... - (PG-13)

Postby jen » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:55 pm

Doubt that I will have the restraint to wait until December.

Sometimes we need a little Christmas now!

Really agree that a sequel would be lovely. While Beth may have the will to get back at Josef, she is still less than thirty and Josef has had four centuries to hone his craft.

Nonetheless...

Thank you, Luxe!

Jenna

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Re: Twas the Night Before... - (PG-13)

Postby jen » Tue May 31, 2011 8:40 pm

Luxe:

There is something about approaching the triple digits in temperature that really makes one appreciate the Christmas fics.

Add to that, I really, really love this one. You have the charm and snark down perfectly! Absolutely adorable!

The battle of wills is on, but there is no genuine animosity there...I don't think. Could be wrong there...

But silver antlers? Seriously? Better only be silver tone antlers.

I don't think there is anything remotely mousey about Beth, though.

Thank you!

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Re: Twas the Night Before... - (PG-13)

Postby Marigold » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:46 am

:rolling: :rolling: :rolling: This was hilarious, Luxe!

What I wouldn't give to hear the details of that bet! Beth must have been pretty sure she was going to win if she agreed to this. I wonder if Josef used one of his "vampire abilities" to rig his win. :snicker:

I'm glad that Mick was a good sport while watching the video. At first, I expected that he would be upset. I suppose that Josef knows him well enought to judge what would be acceptable.

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Re: Twas the Night Before... - (PG-13)

Postby librarian_7 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:36 am

I had somehow missed this...and OMG, what a treat!

Still stuck on the vision of Josef in a red Armani suit, however....who needs sugar plums when you can have THAT dancing in your head?

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Re: Twas the Night Before... - (PG-13)

Postby jen » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:30 pm

This is just superb!. Doesn't matter that I've read it before, it is still wonderful!!

First, the characterizations are spot on. This sounds completely like something Josef would do, and the circle of those in Hollywood who have lost a bet to him extends far beyond those within and associated with the vampire community (hence, the inclusion of well known show business elite).

John Randolph Hearst probably occupies a very select club in being one who won a bet with Josef Kostan.

Beth is pitch perfect in her irritation, and Josef enjoys that even more.

Mick's been around the elder vampire for decades, but he still can be surprised and delighted.

Beth and Josef hugging at the end was a charming touch. There were really no hard feelings, but the dance will continue next year.

Fabulous!
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Re: Twas the Night Before... - (PG-13)

Postby fairytoes » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:12 pm

Oh this was wonderful Luxe! :clapping: It's the first time I've read this story and it's fabulous! Thank you so much. :flowers:
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