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Comet 2.0

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 Do not publish any part of this story without my consent, in writing.

Comet 2.0

by Delilah Night

 

Like every young reindeer at the Pole, I dreamt of flying, guiding Santa’s sleigh. When I was chosen as a potential, it was my wish on the North Star every night. However, none of my fantasies took place on December first. That would be absurd.

I was studying when a loud knock reverberated through my home. When I answered the door, Rudolph was at my door. Rudolph!

“Claudia, you’re being activated. Comet’s been put on bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy, effective immediately. You’re the new Comet,”

I stared stupidly at him, uncomprehending.

Rudolph whuffed impatiently. “Report in an hour. We’ll get you up to speed.” He turned, jumped into the air, and flew away.

Each thought melted like a snowflake on the tongue, disappearing too fast, replaced by the next. I’m going to join the team! Oh fuck there’s only just over three weeks until Christmas. What if I let Santa down?

I approached Reindeer Complex, ice crystals forming in my stomach. I’d seen it every day. I’d waited eagerly as a calf to get the team’s autographs. My classes had toured it, usually during the break between January and June when there were no team practices.

“State your business.” The blue-skinned snowman at the gate stopped me.

“I’m Claudia. I mean, I’m filling in for Comet,” I said, swallowing hard.

“I.D., please,” he said.

I placed my hoof on the scanner.

Instead of calling me a phony and ordering me away, he nodded and said, “Welcome to Reindeer Complex.”

The door opened for me when I approached. In front of me was chaos. There must have been some order beneath the madness, but all I saw was a swirling tide of elves.

“Comet?” An elf rushed up to me. “Good to meet you. Go see Blitzen. Third stall on the right.”

Unlike the other stalls, Blitzen’s door was devoid of elves. Was he even in there? I knocked, hesitantly.

“I told you I didn’t want to be interrupted until after I—” he stopped. “Oh, it’s you. Okay Comet, you need an upgraded I.D., phone, email account, and a Naughty-or-Nice login.”

“My name’s Claudia,” I said.

“Your name should be Hermione with your test scores, Comet. Ironic, since the only one of us who had higher marks at your age was Comet,” he paused. “This is going to get confusing. You can be Kid Comet.”

“Um, I’d prefer Clau—” I began.

“While I’m getting your tech sorted,” he interrupted, “you should call Comet. Long story short, we switched regions this year, and instead of North Asia and the Subcontinent, you only have to worry about the Eastern half of the U.S. and Canada. You’re welcome. Comet’s region has two billion people! Trying to find the top percentile of the Nice list there is a nightmare.”

“Actually,” Comet—the real Comet— said as she stepped into the stall, “you have a higher number of the Nicest. That’s why you have a smaller landmass. Be glad Santa only has to personally deliver a fraction of the gifts. Our parent’s generation had to pull the sleigh with every present on the list. My back hurts just thinking about it. We’re lucky he uses the beam thingy you invented for most of them.”

“It’s a transporter, not a ‘beam thingy.’ Wait, shouldn’t you be in the hospital wing, Comet?” Blitzen’s eyes widened, and his tone slipped from sarcasm to concern.

Comet laughed. “Be careful, ‘Zen, or I might think you care. I’m here to help Comet before going home. My husband and Wei Liang are going to hover over me when I get home. I’m enjoying the last few moments before I have to rest.”

“Isn’t Wei Liang supposed to be helping me?” Blitzen protested.

“He said he wanted a break from you because, and I quote, ‘How do you stand his constant bitching about Christmas?’” she replied. “He’ll meet up with you in Mumbai next week.”

I gasped. “You hate Christmas?”

“I don’t hate Christmas, you all love it too much!” he snapped.

Someone snorted with laughter behind us. I turned to see a chic woman, leaning against a pole. “If you think that’s scandalous, you should ask ‘Zen about his boyfriend. He doesn’t even believe.”

Blitzen muttered, “He believes now, Dancer.”

“Comet, you should rest. Comet will be fine,” Dancer said.

“Kid Comet,” Blitzen corrected her. “You know, like how Wally West is Kid Flash?”

“Kid Comet?” Dancer looked me over. “Indeed.”

Comet and I slowly made our way to her stall. Everyone wanted to talk to her, to inquire about her pregnancy. She’d only just found out that she was pregnant with twins this morning, she told them. Her doctor had told her that the Christmas Eve twenty-four-hour marathon flight was out of the question. She was on bed rest until calving season in April.

“Don’t worry, dear, they’re all nice, but the personalities get a bit intense this time of year. It’s for the best, really, that you’ll get some time away before dealing with them,” she said.

“What do you mean away?”

She sighed. “I’ve met with all the regional managers and city managers in ‘Zen’s territory, with one exception. I was saving New York. I wanted to have the Christmas season in New York experience. I even have Hamilton tickets,” she sighed.

“The original cast left, you know.” Blitzen poked his head over the door.

“Shut up, ‘Zen,” Comet spat.

“Down, girl, not my fault you’re knocked up and off duty,” he said to the real Comet. “Okay, Kid Comet, here’s everything you need. I’ve emailed you the location of the New York office, tutorials on how to configure your phone, access the N-O-N system, my records for New York City. You’re welcome, I translated them out of Klingon for you. Once you’re comfortable shifting, you should leave. Only twenty-three days until Christmas Eve.”

“Wait, what?” I protested. I had no idea how to be Comet, and they were sending me on an assignment?

“You’re going to New York.” They said it in unison.

“Wally became The Flash, so you’ll be fine,” Blitzen said. He started to leave, but turned back to add “Don’t leave your phone in Pole mode around the humans.”

“Is he always like that?” I asked when he was gone.

Comet smiled. “That’s our ‘Zen. You’ll be able to reach me via phone, but Jillian is a pro.”

“When do I get my Christmas magic?”

She laughed. “You’ve had it since you accepted the job. There’s no ceremony. I’m sorry, sweetheart, but I have to go. Wei Liang and Christopher will be worried if I don’t get home soon. Oh, and if you don’t use my tickets, I’ll be disappointed in you.”

Once alone, I worked my way through all the tutorials and information Blitzen had sent me. Thanks to Christmas magic I could study at least ten times faster than I ever had before.

“Ready to work on transforming, Kid Comet?” Dancer was waiting at my door, still in human form.

I was dying to say don’t call me that, but I had no right to mouth off to a real team member. “I think so. How?”

“Same as when you did it in simulation with short term access to the magic. You think human.” She gave an elegant shrug. Let the magic do the work for you.”

I closed my eyes, and felt a wave of nausea as my form rippled. When I opened my eyes, I was in my human form—pale skin, black hair, with a willowy build that hid the strong muscles beneath. I was wearing a mirror image of her outfit—red tunic with a large neckline so it slipped stylishly off one shoulder over leggings that were such a dark green they were a hair’s breadth away from black.

“Excellent. Now I see why you were at the top of the class. Let’s run through the change a few more times. Give me variations on the outfit.” Dancer nodded her approval as I morphed between my two forms. “You’re ready. Time to head off to New York. Be back on the eighth for a team practice.”

I shifted back to my reindeer form, and for the first time outside of a training session, I leapt into the sky. The air was a road that could take me any direction I wished. Exhilarated, I took off at a gallop. Once I burst through the Pole’s barrier, the wind sang in my ears. I flew South past Winnipeg to Chicago, then East until I saw New York’s iconic skyline.

I pranced down through the sky to land on the roof of a building on the Upper East Side.  Blitzen had designed what he insisted we call a holodeck where potentials went through simulations of different countries, cities, and weather conditions. This wasn’t the same. Not by a long shot.

There were two doors leading into the building from the rooftop. One was the building’s door. The other was shielded with magic. I transformed, then knocked.

An elf answered. “Comet? I’ll take you to see Jillian.”

I nodded, too overwhelmed to answer. If the Pole had felt like a surreal dream happening to someone else, this was far too real.

I followed the elf into Jillian’s office. The head of New York operations was sitting on a red couch in her office. Shaggy, wavy blonde hair obscured her face from view as she worked on a laptop.

“Sorry, just a second,” Jillian said, fingers flying over the keys. I waited quietly beside the elf. She looked up at me, her eyes widened, and her lips parted. Hadn’t someone told her? “Thank you, Mia. You can let everyone know that Comet’s arrived.”

When Mia had left, Jillian gestured to the couch. “Have a seat. Can I get you anything to eat or drink?”

I shook my head. “No, thank you.”

She smiled and a dimple winked in her cheek. “So how does it feel to join the team so late in the year? It must be a lot to take in.”

I was horrified when my vision blurred, and tears ran down my cheeks.

“Oh, honey!” She wrapped her arms around me, and rubbed my back.

“I’m sorry,” I wept. “You’re the only person who’s stopped to think about that.”

Jillian rubbed my back. “I’m betting no one gave you a chance to get used to being called Comet, either. Too late in the year to worry about things like feelings.”

I sat up, and saw the warmth in her blue eyes. I shook my head. “No, I went from Claudia to Comet with no warning. I was just a potential yesterday.”

“Do you want me to call you Claudia? I have to call you Comet in front of everyone else, but—” she began.

“Yes!” I interrupted her. “Please.”

Jillian nodded. “I think you could use a break before we dive into team business. Would you like to get out of here for a little while?”

I nodded.

“We’ll give you outside gear. We don’t need it to tolerate the cold, but we need to pass as human,” she said.

Jillian added a heavy-looking long black coat over the t-shirt and blazer she’d paired with jeans. She slid her feet into black Doc Martens. She passed me a pair of similar boots, and a red coat that stopped at my waist, along with a pair of mittens.

She led me to Fifth Avenue and we walked toward midtown. Once we hit the retail stores, I gawked at the window displays. Most of the passersby were fellow tourists doing the same thing. The real New Yorkers were the ones speeding down the sidewalk, dodging and weaving through the crowds.

The first time we saw a model of Santa’s sleigh, complete with nine reindeer, Jillian bumped my hand. I turned to look at her. She winked at me, and her lips curved into a wide smile. The dimple in her cheek appeared. I felt a blush spread over my cheeks, and I nodded. Yes, there I was—well, not me me, but Comet.

“What happens if a Nice person is traveling or moves at the last second?” I murmured.

“We’ll feed you the information. We never let Blitzen down and we won’t let you down, either.”

I envied the confidence in her voice.

Jillian grabbed my hand at one point, leading me across the avenue to Rockefeller Center. I felt a strange tickle of electricity run up my arm. Confused, I turned my attention to the scene in front of me. Skaters circled the ice, some falling, others spinning and leaping beneath a golden statue, and above that a massive tree.

“I thought you’d enjoy seeing this in person.” Jillian’s breath was warm on my ear. “It’s the biggest in the city.”

“It’s beautiful,” I replied, staring up at the tree.

Jillian clear her throat. “I don’t know if Comet told you, but she had me reserve two tickets to Hamilton tomorrow night. Do you want to use them?”

“Can you please tell me what a Hamilton is?” I finally felt brave enough to ask.

She had a coughing fit, although my sensitive ears picked up the laughter underneath. When she’d calmed, she explained that it was the most popular musical at the moment. “There’s a new subdivision of elves devoted to making related merchandise.”

“Can you take me?” I asked.

“I’d love to.” I heard a second tone in her voice, something warm and inviting.

I stared helplessly at her lush lips. The nipples on my breasts contracted. What was going on with my body? Was this a human thing? I realized that I had no idea what Jillian had been saying.

“—go back to the office, now, though. We’ll start to walk you through logistics over pizza,” she finished.

If Jillian had put me at ease earlier in the day with her assurances, watching her run the meeting that night—her sheer competence—made me think, for the first time, that maybe I could do this. They used 3-D imaging to run me through the tristate area, presenting different flight paths.

I took copious notes, but I couldn’t control my eyes. They kept flicking to Jillian, lingering on her eyes, her lips, the curve of her breasts under her blazer. More than once, I caught her watching me.

Jillian wrapped up the meeting several hours later by saying, “Tomorrow we’ll start to get into building specifics.”

“Thank you,” I addressed the whole table, but my eyes never left Jillian’s sapphire ones.

“I’ll show you your room. Do you prefer the human form rooms or the stall?” she asked when everyone else had left.

“The stall, please,” I requested. I needed the comfort of my true form.

Jillian nodded. When we reached the door, she touched my arm. “Good night, Claudia.”

“Good night,” I whispered. My pulse was suddenly jittery.

I definitely screwed up something in this transformation.

“If you need me, my room is at the end of the hall. I’ll be staying here for the duration of your visit. Let me know if you need anything.”

My voice caught in my throat and I nodded. I pushed the door open, and let it swing closed behind me. I shifted and sank down on the hay. The odd sensations of the day came into sharp relief in my reindeer body. I wanted Jillian.

Too scared of that line of thought, I turned my focus to work. I nudged the screen on the wall, reading the emails that had poured in throughout the day. The most recent was from the real Comet, asking me to video call her.

“Yes? Oh, Comet. How did your first day go?”

“Fine!”

Comet didn’t fall for my false cheerfulness. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing!”

She didn’t say anything. The silence stretched out, becoming unbearable. Before long, I started to babble.

“—And then she said she was getting all the heads in at the end of the week, which I think is really nice, because I haven’t met any of them, and that way I can be ready for the practice when I get back, and—”

Comet cut into my soliloquy, “She acting as your Personal Assistant. I’m relieved. Normally you’d have someone who complied and distilled all the reports from city/regional heads. ‘Zen doesn’t have one. No one is willing to learn his nerd stuff enough to read his notes. They also get cranky over his low key approach to Christmas.  I would’ve asked my P.A., Wei Liang, to go to New York with you but North Asia and India really is a complicated route. You’ll learn that next year.”

“Next year?”

“Didn’t anyone tell you? I was always slated to be on maternity leave next year. The babies will be too little for me to be Comet. You were going to be activated in January and have the whole year to prepare to do my job. I had a plan.” She shook her head before focusing on me again. “Now tell me what’s really bothering you.”

The knowledge that I’d have at least another year on the team flustered me even further. “I’m fine!” I protested.

“You’re attracted to one of the elves in New York?”

My eyes flew open. “How did you—?”

She chuckled. “We’ve all sown some wild oats, dear. Humans, elves, snowpeople, and other reindeer are the usual suspects. Being a team member is so demanding that your body craves release.”

“So what I’m feeling for Ji—for that person aren’t real? I just want sex and they’re nearest person in that moment?”

“No. They’re someone you’d be attracted to regardless. Sometimes it’s a one-night stand, or it can be more like ‘Zen’s relationship with his boyfriend.”

“What should I do?”

She shrugged. “What you want, what you both want. What you feel comfortable doing.”

I tossed and turned on the hay for hours as Comet’s words ran on a loop through my mind. Finally I shifted and tried the human bed in my adjoining room. I fell asleep between the crisp, cool sheets, but rather than visions of sugarplums, my dreams were full of Jillian and desire.

The next morning, I selected a pink cashmere sweater and black pants from the fully stocked closet. Barefoot, I padded out of the room toward the enticing scent of peppermint coffee.

Jillian was leaning against a counter. When I stepped into the kitchen, she smiled at me. “Morning. Want some coffee?”

I nodded. When our fingers brushed as she passed me the cup heat flooded my cheeks. I stared at the floor, waiting for the blush to fade. I snuck a peek at her to see her studying me. Today her blazer had light stripes, and her t-shirt was green. Now that I had a name for it, I felt a wave a longing twisted with anxiety pass through me.

“Sleep well?”

“Yes. I tried the bed—it’s comfortable.”

Jillian arced an eyebrow. She opened her mouth to speak, but a knock interrupted whatever she was going to tell me.

Mia poked her head in. “Morning. We’re ready to start when you are.”

I took notes on a tablet as Jillian’s staff ran me through the buildings we were scheduled to visit throughout the region and where I should land the sleigh. I fiddled with my stylus, sneaking glances at Jillian, who sat opposite me. I hoped no one noticed my nipples pointing directly at the object of my desire.

The afternoon was spent on regional geography. Meteorologists walked me through typical weather patterns and the biggest outliers. My notes grew frantic, my handwriting deteriorating.

I can’t do this.

Memorize every building in Blitzen’s territory, every flight pattern through it, the name of every elf in it? Plan a path through the region? Pull the sled? Put up with being called Kid Comet? That I could do.

Make decisions in the air where the entire team and Santa would defer to me? The room was going in and out of focus. My pulse thundered in my ears.

“Sorry all,” Jillian interrupted the meeting. Her voice sounded far away. “I’ve got an urgent incoming call for Comet. Clear the room!” A second later, paper pushed against my lips.  “Claudia, breathe into this! You’re going to be okay. Breathe in. Hold it. Now out.”

She breathed in and out with me until I was no longer gasping for air.

“Tell me what happened.”

I shook my head. “All I’ve ever wanted was to join the team, but I can’t do this. Not with less than a month to prepare. I can’t!”

“Yes, you can,” she took my face between her hands. Her eyes glowed with intensity.

“What if I make the wrong call?” I whispered.

“Then you’ll figure it out. The team will help you. You’ll be yoked next to Blitzen in part because this is his home territory. He’s abrasive, he can be a jerk, but he won’t let you fail. No one else will, either. The nine of you are a team, Claudia. They’ll trust you, they’ll let you take charge, but they won’t let you send them into the ocean or approach a snowstorm the wrong way. I promise.”

Jillian stood, and returned with cold water. I gulped it gladly.

“I’m canceling the rest of the day. Rest, then we’ll go to the show.”

I nodded. I retreated to my bedroom, where I buried my face in my hands in shame.

What kind of reindeer has panic attacks?

“She won’t let me fail,” I whispered to the room over and over.

I was feeling better, far less fragile when Jillian knocked at the door. I was relieved to be leaving the office. On the walk to Hamilton, every time our hands bumped, I wished she’d take my hand or that I was brave enough to take hers.

We reached the theater, and Jillian produced the tickets from her purse. The lights dimmed and music poured out of speakers. I was immediately engrossed to the exclusion of everything and everyone else. When the show was over, Jillian and I both jumped to our feet—along with the rest of the audience—to cheer and scream our approval.

“I need to get Comet something,” I said.

Jillian handed me a credit card. She winked, and said, “I thought you might like the name.”

Claudia Comet.

I burst out laughing. “What do you think she’d like?”

“Maybe a poster?” Jillian glanced at her phone. “I’ll be right back, sorry.”

I bought two posters, one for myself. I glanced at Jillian, and impulsively added a t-shirt for her. I paid, careful to sign Claudia Comet, and accepted the bag from the salesperson.

A moment later, Jillian returned.

“Is everything okay?” I asked.

She smiled broadly, the dimples flashing, and said, “It is now.”

We talked and laughed as we walked back toward the apartment. This time when our hands bumped, we held hands, although I wasn’t sure who’d taken whose hand.

“Thank you,” I said to Jillian.

“For what?”

“For ensuring I didn’t bury myself in studying. For getting everyone out of the conference room before I had the panic attack. For letting me cry on you. Showing me the city. Everything.”

She lifted our hands to her lips and pressed a kiss to my mitten. “My pleasure.”

The apartment was empty, and silent.

Jillian walked with me to my bedroom door.

“Good-night, Claudia,” she said.

“Wait!” I fished the t-shirt out of the bag. “I got this for you. To remember tonight.” I swallowed, took a shaky breath before adding, “And me.”

“I don’t think I could ever forget you, Claudia.”

Her soft, full lips brushed mine gently, then more insistently. I dropped the bag and grabbed the lapels of her blazer, keeping her close. I kissed her back as we moved into the bedroom. I traced Jillian’s full lips with the tip of my tongue. She parted them, welcoming my exploration of her mouth. We stumbled and fell on the bed.

“Are you sure?” Jillian’s breath was hot against my ear.

“Yes,” I gasped. “But, I don’t know what to do.”

“I do.”

She tugged my sweater upwards, and I let her pull it off. When our mouths met again, I undid the blazer’s buttons and shoved it to the ground. Her top followed. Jillian urged me back onto the bed. As she kissed a burning path from my lips to my ear, down my neck, and over my cleavage, I knew I wanted my name permanently scribed on whichever list — Nice or Naughty—this was.

My hands tangled in her hair, and she gave a soft moan.

“Gently, yes, do that,” she whispered.

Experimenting, I pulled lightly, drawing her mouth back to mine. Our kisses grew urgent, and I let go of her hair to fill my hands with her breasts. She reached behind her back and sent the bra sailing across the room. This time, there was no fabric between my hands and her skin. Her nipples contracted as I stroked them.

“I thought you said you didn’t know what to do,” she gasped.

“Is this okay?”

“Yes! Sit up, I’ll show you.” She undid my bra and removed it. She mimicked my movements and it was my turn to moan. She chuckled, and rolled on top of me.

Her tongue laved a nipple and I cried out. She sucked it into her mouth and my hips rocked beneath her. She stroked my other breast with one of her hands.

“That feels so good,” I sobbed. Reindeer sex was nothing like this.

“I haven’t even gotten started,” she told me, moving her hand from my breast to part my legs.

She moved her thigh between mine, then returned to my breasts. This time when I writhed, I moved against her, and the pulsing between my legs blew through my body with all the fury of the Northern Wind.

“More!” I begged.

She pulled away, and removed her jeans. I lifted my hips and pushed my pants down. Jillian tossed them behind her and climbed back on the bed and lay down next to me.

Jillian’s fingers skimmed the top of my panties. When she slid a finger under the elastic and traced over my skin, my breathing grew ragged. She traced the seam down my hip, and then the elastic toward the juncture of my thighs, already open to welcome her.

When she pulled the fabric to the side, I moaned, “Yes, please!

Jillian’s finger dipped into my core and stroked upward to my clit. She filled me with two, then three fingers. She swirled her thumb over my clit. She knelt between my legs and bent to nibble on my neck, thrusting her fingers deeper inside.

I buried my face in her neck, lipping her neck and ear.

She pressed a spot deep inside me and I gasped. Chuckling, her fingers massaged me there. Her thumb continued to work my clit. I couldn’t find my breath as pressure built until I was a tightly wound spring.

“Come for me,” Jillian whispered in my ear.

It was if her words obliterated the outside world like a legendary blizzard. It roared through me.  I was lost in it, screaming Jillian’s name over and over. I would’ve gladly given up every good grade I’d ever gotten to crystallize the moment and live in it forever.

After, I felt like I was floating in the air above us. Jillian held me, tethering me to my body. I blinked and her face swam into focus.

“There you are,” she said, and kissed me softly.

“That was— I had no idea that— How did you— Can I—?” Me, the top scorer in my class, incapable of a coherent sentence? Another unprecedented experience in a series of them.

“That was just the start, if you want more,” she said.

“I want more!”

The week seemed to fly faster than I could.

The days were full of meetings. Every time I looked at Jillian, her absolute, unwavering confidence in me soothed away the rough edges of my anxiety. Her organizational skills ensured that I was as well prepared as I could be. I even started to get used to being called Comet.

Jillian was the North Star of my nights. I was as eager a student in the bedroom as I was outside of it. Oral sex? Yes. I felt powerful when I licked her pussy. This strong, capable woman quivering with need because of me? Erotic. When she went down on me, I twisted my fingers into her hair to keep her there. Toys? I’d never wanted a penis in me, but when it was a non-threatening pink, and attached to Jillian, I craved it. Spanking Jillian? At first I was hesitant, but that quickly shifted to demanding. Scratches? Maybe it was a reindeer thing? I’d always liked rubbing my sides against trees. As a human, I craved Jillian’s nails to the point where I was certain I’d end up with my own version of candy cane stripes permanently marking me as hers.

The room was still dark when Jillian shook my shoulder. “Claudia.”

“Sleepy,” I complained.

“I need you,” her voice was urgent. “You leave today.”

Today?

I counted the days in my head and a chill spiraled through my body.

I possessed her mouth with a kiss full of all of my feelings, all of the fear that I’d never have this again, all of the love.

“Let me take you,” I crooned.

Jillian went pliant beneath my hands.

Like a student determined to ace the most important exam of my life, I embarked on a quest to get the ultimate A. Or rather, give the ultimate O. I’d never forget Jillian and I wanted to ensure that she didn’t forget me, either.

Every sensitive spot I’d learned over the last week was laved, sucked, stroked, or nipped. Her earlobes. Her neck. The insides of her elbows. Her wrists. Her inner thighs. Behind her knees.

I lingered at her breasts, caressing them, gently squeezing them. I teased her nipples with my thumb, then pinched them softly at first, but then with increasing intensity until she was gasping. I suckled each breast, swirling my tongue around the tight points before gently nipping them.

“Put your hands over your head. Keep them there,” I told her.

Her breathing grew more ragged. She’d wanted me to take charge, and that was exactly what I was going to do.

“Spread your legs.”

I trailed the tip of tongue over her labia toward, but not touching her clit. Over and over, alternating sides.

“Claudia, please!” She was panting, twisting her hips.

I looked up and saw her arms trembling with the effort to keep them above her head. I smiled, and bent my head again. I sucked her clit into my mouth and drew a “C” over her clit. I dragged my tongue over the sensitized bud, and her cries intensified. Alternating between soft and slow and fast and aggressive licking and sucking made her buck beneath me.

As her moans crescendoed, I locked my arms around her thighs, ensuring she couldn’t go anywhere.

“Clau!  Cl!  Claudia! Yes!”

I didn’t let up until she’d had a flurry of orgasms. I lifted my head to see her sprawled, her eyes half closed, her breath coming in short puffs. I curled up next to her, cuddled against her side, happier than I could ever remember feeling.

Her beautiful blue eyes were still unfocused, but she wrapped her arms around me, keeping me close. We exchanged soft kisses as she basked in post-orgasm glow.

She yawned. “That was lovely. I’m going to return the favor as soon as I can move.”

“Jillian, I,” I started to say I love you.

My alarm blared, destroying the moment. I rolled over to switch it off. When I turned back to Jillian, she looked haunted.

“I have to— I should— I have to go,” she stuttered, pulling away from me.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. “Jillian, please don’t, not like this.”

“I’ll see you off, later.” She practically ran out of the room.

The silence in my room was deafening.

I don’t understand.

Sluggishly, I collected the little trinkets I’d picked up over the last week. The Hamilton souvenirs. A coaster from the piano bar where Jillian and I had had drinks. A small Statue of Liberty. A strip of photos we’d posed for in a booth, the last of which showed us kissing. I put them in a pack I’d found in the reindeer stall.

All the elves had gathered to say good-bye.

“Thank you for all of you help,” I told them.

Jillian was waiting on the roof. When I passed her the bag, she averted her eyes, but not before I noticed that they were red-rimmed.

She doesn’t want me. Why would she be upset?

“Well…” her voice trailed off.

“I guess I should transform,” my hurt feelings making my tone sharper than I intended. I turned my back and thought reindeer.

Nothing happened.

“Why isn’t it working?” I whispered.

“Reindeer,” I said out loud.

Nothing.

“Nonononono!” Was I going to have to call Blitzen and beg him to come and help? I’d never live down the shame.

“What’s wrong?” Jillian asked.

“I can’t change!” Every doubt I thought I’d slayed in the last week resurfaced.

Her chilly exterior vanished. She ran to my side and touched my shoulder. “It’s going to be okay. We’ll figure it out.”

“We?” I turned my head.

She nodded, blinking furiously.

“Jillian,” I said softly, “Maybe I can’t change because I don’t want to leave?”

Tears spilled onto her cheeks. She dropped the pack and pulled me close for a kiss. “I don’t want you to leave, either, but you have to go back. At least until after Christmas.”

“After Christmas?” I echoed, gently brushing away the tears.

She nodded. “I’ll can come to the Pole, or you can come here, or we can meet somewhere else entirely.”

“I want that,” I told her.

We exchanged a kiss, this time full of promises.

I stepped back and the transition from human to reindeer was effortless. Jillian hung the bag on me and secured it. “You’ll kick ass this year, Comet.”

I whuffed affectionately.

On Christmas Eve I flew beside Blitzen, who proceeded to hold forth on any topic he deemed relevant, until I forgot to be scared. When it was my turn to take the lead and call the path we’d fly, I was calm and confident.

The best part of the night, though, was when we landed back at the Pole.

“I knew you were the right choice,” Rudolph told me.

“Way to go, Kid Comet,” Blitzen said.

“Don’t call me that, ‘Zen,” I said. “I’m Comet.”

***The End***

If you liked Comet 2.0, you might like the other stories in the series

New on The Naughty List (North Pole Chronicles #1)

Lucy the Elf has her first fieldwork assignment. Is Matthew a Naughty sexual deviant or a Nice guy on the wrong list?

A Reindeer by Any Other Name (North Pole Chronicles #2)

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

If you’d like to buy “Under the Mistletoe,” all proceeds go to Project Linus

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