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A Reindeer by Any Other Name

Strange ShiftersI hold the copyright to this story. Do not publish any part of this story without my consent, in writing.

A Reindeer By Any Other Name

by Delilah Night

 

Good deeds never go unpunished. First the Elf Girl shows up at my stall, all Please Blitzen, you’re my only hope. Then I fly her here to Boston so she can go off and verify whether some dude is Naughty or Nice, instead of carbing up on chips and hay. My payment should have been a few hours of browsing at a comic book store. But no, I got this lump of coal instead.

What self-respecting geek would comingle Star Trek and Star Wars merchandise like they were the same fandom?

The holiday shoppers seemed unperturbed by the atrocity in their midst as they browsed, with one exception. A tall Indian man seemed to be taking in the entire store with a baleful stare. His navy pea coat was open just enough to afford a glimpse of a shirt with the telltale MIT logo. His gaze met and held mine. I looked away first, relieved my dark human skin wouldn’t betray the blush burning my cheeks.

Focusing on the display instead of the eye candy, I began separating the miniature tricorders and light sabers.

“See anything you like?” I looked over to see Mr. Gorgeous smiling at me.

Reminding myself that he was probably straight, I gestured toward the shelf. “I see blasphemy.”

Brown eyes glittered with amusement. “And you’ll help them see the error of their ways? One man alone against the kind of ignorance that would allow a Tribble to molest Yoda like that?”

I freed Yoda from hirsute clutches. “Traumatized, you are.”

Snorting with laughter, he offered his hand. “I’m Nik.”

“Rob.” Blitzen didn’t tend to go over well in the human world. Glancing at the Star Trek stuff for sale, I raised an eyebrow in amusement. “Is that an Enterprise-shaped pizza cutter?” Trek wasn’t the love of my life, but it was the first thing I’d seen that I might consider taking home. Apart from the man whose handshake had made my hoof tingle.

“Yes, like the one at my apartment. Want to come see it? Unless you have a boyfriend? Or other plans?”

Not straight. Hot, nerdy, and not straight.

“No boyfriend at the moment. I’m waiting for a coworker, but I have no idea when her meeting will be over.”

Nik’s lips curved. “That makes it my lucky day, then. Want to go get coffee? Maybe I’ll get even luckier.”

“Yes.” Hoping I was going to want to remember tonight for a long time, I decided to buy the pizza cutter.

The Starbucks opposite the comic book store had a line out the door. Holiday music spewed into the street, reminding us that it was the “most wonderful time of the year.”

“Going home for Christmas?” I asked.

Nik shrugged. “My parents are Hindu, so we didn’t do the whole ‘Christmas’ thing.”

He just gave the most sacred word at the Pole air quotes. Is this love?

“I’m waiting for the twenty-sixth, y’know? Back to normal,” Nik continued. “You?”

“Yeah, I’m going to spend the holiday with my family. I’m over it, but they’re really into Christmas. I’m the weird one,” I replied. Really into Christmas was an understatement. The lives of Santa’s team revolved around Christmas. It dictated everything from whether we could fly to the strength of our magic. Every day on the calendar was all about how many days were left until Christmas.

“Good thing I’ve always found weird synonymous with sexy,” Nik said.

Intending to share a friendly kiss, my lips brushed his. He responded by taking possession of my mouth, and pulled me tight against him. I met his hunger with my own, until we reluctantly broke apart. Much more of that and we’d be naked in the middle of Newbury Street in minutes.

“I’ve got a bag of Dunkin’ Donuts original roast and a coffee pot at my place. Change of venue? I promise you a Christmas-music-free zone.” Nik offered, panting

“Yes!”

If she finishes before me, the elf can wait.

We practically ran the six blocks to his apartment. It took no small amount of effort to limit myself to human speed, especially given how badly I wanted to get to Nik’s place. We descended a flight of stairs to the sub-basement apartments.

“Broke grad student budget. It’s a bit small.” Nik apologized as he unlocked the door.

I brushed his ear with my lips. “Roommate?”

“No.”

“Then you’re doing better than me,” I replied, thinking of the Reindeer Complex.

Living with the team non-stop from October first until December twenty-sixth was a buzz-kill. Every time I had tried to sneak someone into my stall, there they were. Who’s that? So where’d you guys meet? Did ‘Zen ever tell you about the time he crash landed on a yeti?

The door opened into an efficiency apartment. Light trickled in from small windows near the ceiling. An unmade bed dominated the small room. Family pictures were displayed on the wall, next to an autographed Patrick Stewart poster.

“Is that real?” I glanced back at Nik, impressed.

“Yup. Got it at a con in Austin. Had to wait five hours, but he was still gracious.” Nik slipped his arms around me and unbuttoned my coat, sliding it from my body.

Leaning back against Nik, I asked “Is his voice that sexy in person?”

“Better. I blame him for my fetish for British accents.” He nuzzled my neck, teeth scraping the spot where it met my shoulder. “I don’t suppose you’re secretly British, are you?”

“Sorry, no. Can I still stay?” I turned, all thoughts of anyone or anything else gone.

Nik kissed me. My hands slid under his t-shirt, playing over the planes of his back. His fingers dug into my hips, as he pressed his body against mine. My pulse galloped in my throat as he pushed me down onto the bed.

I pulled off Nik’s shirt. Brown nipples poked through the fur on his chest temptingly. I teased one, laving it with my tongue, gently using my teeth to nip the point. Nik growled as his rod pressed against my thigh. He tugged at my shirt and I stopped long enough to help get rid of it. I returned to his chest, adoring the neglected nipple.

“Rob, that feels fucking amazing.”

We rolled until I was on top of Nik. Hair tickled my nose as I followed the love trail to the top of his jeans. As I licked the skin above the waistband, my hand stroked his hard length through the denim.

“Suck me.” Nik’s hands moved to his fly, and began to undo the button.

Gently, I moved his hands away. “The boy has no patience,” I murmured, fondling him through the fabric.

“Give me your mouth,” he ordered, pushing his jeans down.

His cock sprang forward from a pelt of black wiry hair, and I took a moment to admire my Christmas Eve eve gift. My tongue swirled over the head as my fingers danced down the shaft. I made a slow descent until I had all of him in my mouth.

“Rob. That feels… Your mouth…” he moaned, responding to my enthusiastic sucking.

His musk is so good. Must not sprout antlers. Big antlers aren’t sexy here. Stay human.

“Come here,” he murmured.

Moving back onto the bed I kissed a path up his arm back to those lush, full lips. Tongues cajoled and demanded. The fuzz of his chest tantalized my nipples, sending electric shocks through me. Nik’s hands slid over my body, touching everywhere except my groin. My jeans were becoming painful as I got even harder than before, if that was possible.

“Nik, please,” I begged, my pelvis shamelessly grinding against him.

“Nope. Now you get to know what it’s like to suffer,” he said. “Onto your stomach.”

The weight of his body pushed me firmly against the mattress as he straddled me. Nik’s teeth nipped my shoulder as his nails grazed my back. Kisses and love bites rained down on my skin. I spread my legs, inviting him to kneel between them. When he did so, I lifted my butt in invitation. Decisively, Nik reached around and made quick work of my button fly. Cool air flowed over my skin as his hands slid the fabric from me, causing me to shiver with anticipation.

“Tell me you want me.” One of his thumbs pressed against my hole.

“Fuck me, Nik.” I pressed back against him.

Hands spread my cheeks. Nik’s tongue gently probed my hole. As I luxuriated in the feel of him, his tongue paved the way for what was yet to come. Aching for more, deeper, harder, I rocked back against him.

“So it’s like that,” he chuckled.

I heard the rip of a foil wrapper, followed by the cool kiss of lube. The head of his penis teased, pushing against and then pulling away from my opening. I squirmed, lifting my ass to offer myself, silently begging him to take me. I groaned at the welcome pressure as he entered me.

“You feel amazing. So tight,” Nik purred.

My head fell forward as his balls brushed me. He paused, and I reveled in the sensation of having taken him fully inside me. Nik’s hips bucked as he started to screw me. Skin slapped skin as he set a grueling pace. The scent of our rutting was driving me mad.

Human, human, human, human.

Nik reached down to grasp my dick as his hips continued to thrust.

Snow. High altitudes. How much it hurts after flying all night.

The stroke of Nik’s hand echoed the thrust of his cock. Pulse thundering, I drowned in the twin sensations of being jerked off and fucked.

“I’m going to come,” I gasped.

Nik laughed, and leaned down to whisper in my ear. “Resistance is futile.”

His hand pumped faster until it was impossible to hold back and my orgasm sprayed my stomach.

Nik paused to let me catch my breath, but he wasn’t done with me. Now Nik fucked me in earnest. His fingers were iron clamps at my waist. His hips were a piston. His balls whipped my thighs until he growled my name as he came.

Dizzy from my own orgasm and the fight to keep my human form, I collapsed under him. We lay like discarded toy soldiers for a long moment, our heavy breathing the only sound.

“Did you seriously say ‘Resistance is futile’?” I turned my head to glance back at him.

“You started it. You think I’m not going to recognize a Yoda quote?” he chuckled lazily, as he nuzzled my shoulder. “Considering I was doing quite a bit more to you than that tribble was to Yoda back at the store, a Trek response seemed apt. Tribbles don’t talk, so I went Borg. Is it still blasphemy when it’s me mixing our fandoms?”

I burst out laughing, and rolled to face him. “Touché,” I replied.

I was so relaxed under Nik’s blankets, my legs tangled with his, that part of me never wanted to leave.

“So,” he said, arching an eyebrow. “We never got around to the whole get-to-know-you thing.”

“I’m here on business. Part of an annual project. No clue I’d end up having so much fun.” Best to let him down gently.

“Business trip from?”

“Canada.” The North Pole. Santa’s Workshop. Reindeer Complex.

“Damn. Straight, taken, or not local. Always my fate,” he said lightly, as he kissed me.

My eyes felt heavy, so I decided to close them for a moment. I couldn’t have forever, but there was enough time to enjoy a few more moments with Nik. I relaxed in his arms, enjoying the scent of our combined musk.

I never meant to fall asleep.

 

***

 

Oh shit! What time is it?

My eyes flew open. Groping on the floor, I found the phone that had fallen out of my pocket earlier. Recoiling from the bright light of the screen, I squinted at the numbers. Eleven-thirty? Elf Girl was going to be so pissed at me. I glanced at Nik regretfully. While a one night stand was manageable, there was no way I could have an actual relationship with a human. I spent at least three months of the year at the Pole, and what boyfriend would put up with that?

Glancing at the phone again, I realized that she hadn’t contacted me. I texted Elf Girl to get her status, but there was no reply. That was odd. I dialed her number and frowned when it went to voicemail. Hissing a message to call me back I searched for my clothes. When she hadn’t called or texted back within a few minutes, I tried her number again.

North Pole-issued cell phones don’t die like human phones do, so there was no logical reason for her not to answer. I continued to text her as I got dressed. I started calling her over and over again as I searched for a missing boot. I didn’t actually need it, but I didn’t want to leave anything behind.

We are so screwed. Fifteen minutes until Christmas Eve. Pick up pick up pick up.

‘Hel—?’

‘What have you been doing? It’s now the twenty-fourth, you Jar-Jar caliber idiot. Call it one way or the other, but we need to get back to the Pole. Santa will have my ass and yours too. Go to the roof, now. If you’re not there in five, I’m leaving without you,’ I spat out the words and hung up on her before she could even finish saying ‘hello.’

I set the phone on the floor with a bit more force than was necessary as I put on my boots. Picking up my bag from the comic book store, I stole one last look at Nik before I dashed out into the night. Running at Christmas Eve speed the only thing that the few humans on the street would register was the icy wind left in my wake.

I leapt to the top of the roof and waited for the knock that would tell me that the elf was ready to go. When it came, I pulled her through the door and ignored her apologies. I shoved my bag at her and morphed back to reindeer form. We were back at the Pole in no time, but the damage was already done. Rudy and the flight coach each yelled at me before I was allowed to go rest in my stall.

I lay down on the sweet smelling hay and nudged open the bag to see my new Enterprise-shaped pizza cutter. Every time I used it, I knew I’d think of Nik. Rubbing an antler against the wall, I decided to add Nik to the “Nice” list because why the hell not. He deserved a mystery present. It would be simple; hacking the Pole computers had taken me all of ten minutes as a young buck.

I reached into the bag for my phone. It wasn’t there. When had it gone missing? I had definitely had it at Nik’s place because I’d called and texted the elf from there. I put it down on the floor so I could tie my boot and then… What had I done with it? Did I lose it while flying? Was it at Nik’s? My blood turned to ice.

Holy Claus, is it still in North Pole mode?

The complex was too full of people. Someone would notice if I went back to Nik’s now. I was in enough trouble already. If I confessed to losing my phone, at best I’d be fired and never get to leave the Pole again. It would have to wait until the twenty-sixth.

Thoughts of the phone and what Nik might discover obsessed me throughout Christmas Eve. Flying over Boston was torture. The phone might be directly below me, but I couldn’t check.

Twenty-four hours of flying left the team exhausted. We were stumbling as our handlers helped us reach our stalls. Wearily I lapped water and nibbled on warm mash. Yawning, I touched the wall to bring up my email out of habit.

 

To:Blitzen (blitzen@np)

From:Nikhil Mittal (nmittal@gomail)

 

Rob? We need to talk. Call me (555) 555-8724.

 

Once Christmas was over, we went on vacation. None of us had the ability to fly until June when team practices resumed. After we parted ways at the Calgary airport, no one had to know where I was or what I was doing.

I’m Blitzen. Want to be my secret human boyfriend? Ludicrous.

I’d be best off bricking the phone. Or so I told myself even as I boarded a flight to Boston. In the cab, I thought I could say that I worked for a toy company and the names were an absurd corporate joke. Outside of Nik’s door, I decided to wing it and knocked.

“Hi,” I said weakly, when he opened the door.

It sucked that we were going to talk about my phone instead of a repeat of the last time. No matter what I said, this was going to end with Nik kicking me out of his apartment, regretting he’d slept with a crazy person.

I glanced at Nik, “So I guess you have questions.”

“You have a weird-ass phone. Obviously, I saw your email. Everyone calls you Blitzen, there’s email from Santa, and other bizarre shit. What’s up with that?”

I whuffed. “My name is Rob. Well, here it’s Rob.”

I stood, took a deep breath, and let go of my human form. Careful not to puncture the drywall with my antlers, I posed for a moment.

“At the North Pole, I’m Blitzen.”

I morphed back to human form.

Nik blinked several times. “I fucked a reindeer?”

“You fucked me. And yes, my real form is a reindeer.”

Nik shook his head and began laughing hysterically. “That’s just perfect. That’s fucking hilarious.”

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

Nik shucked his clothes. The air shimmered, and in his place was a tiger. The air shimmered again and Nik gave me a predatory smile.

“I’m not exactly human myself. Come here,” he purred. “Let’s celebrate not having to hide what we really are.”

Then there was no need for words at all.

***The End***

*****

If you’re curious about what Lucy the Elf was doing, read New On the Naughty List

******

If you liked “A Reindeer By Any Other Name,” please consider purchasing the anthology. All proceeds go to Bat World Sanctuary.

Coming Together: Strange Shifters

You can also check out my new novella, Capturing the Moment.

RJ and Meg were one deeply in love. But that was six years and a broken engagement ago.

Will one day in Siem Reap, Cambodia bring them back together, or will they go their separate ways?

 

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