Joey was the most selfish person in the world. He realized this on Christmas Eve Eve, or as most people would call it, December 23. He realized it when he stood in front of a display in Pleasure's Treasures, a sickening twist in his gut reminding him that he still hadn't found anything to buy his boyfriend for Christmas.
With time now easily measured in hours, Joey was desperate, hence the trip to a sex toy shop. The cute guy in the Santa hat and matching micro shorts had been nothing but helpful, if a little touchy feely, and Joey still kept finding gifts for himself. That leather number for Aaron to wear? Strictly something that would make Joey's eyes bulge as he dropped to his knees. The plus size string of anal beads the clerk had shown him? Again, much more pleasure for Joey than Aaron. Flavored condoms? Thank God they didn't need those anymore.
He'd had his family done by Thanksgiving, had no trouble picking out stuff for the kids, much to Aaron's relief. But Aaron? How could Joey be so clueless about what would make his own boyfriend happy? Sheree, Dylan and Darryl had all pronounced Aaron easy to buy for. An action movie, an X-box game, even clothes. But Joey knew that wasn't the answer. He'd considered Aaron's first love, caffeine, but even one of those specialty one-cup pots was out of the question. Not because of price but because Aaron never drank just one cup of coffee. Joey moved down the list to the Ducati. He'd even gone so far as to call Mark—who was still a little pissed—to get a suggestion about what Joey could give Aaron for his bike.
After first sneering at the European name, the best Mark could come up with was a gift certificate to a garage that specialized in Ducs. A gift certificate. Joey might as well hand Aaron cash. There had to be something special, something that would make Aaron's eyes heat up, that smile break slow on his lips and his voice get deep as he said, "Thanks, Joey."
The clerk unhooked the paddle Joey had been running his fingers over. Joey slapped it against his palm. Big sting, nice heat. His ass tightened. But again, that would be a present for Joey, not for Aaron. The door chimed and the clerk turned away to greet a new customer. Joey tested the flexibility of the paddle, felt the light warmth from where it had smacked his skin. So maybe Santa could put this in Joey's stocking. He was a selfish bastard, and he still didn't have anything to give Aaron.
A voice purred in Joey's ear. "Mmmm. Nice. But I like my hand better."
Joey jumped and turned around. "Aaron. You're supposed to be at work."
"Saw your puke green car out front. Hennie's got the truck running, and I've got my radio." Aaron waved it.
Aaron's paramedic uniform was an ugly dark blue polyester, but it was the first thing Joey had ever seen him in and he had a soft spot for it. He flicked a finger against the name badge. Aaron snatched the paddle from his hand and swung it so that it swished in the air.
"You told me you were done. Last minute shopping? Someone on your list I should know about?"
Joey's gaze fixed on the leather in Aaron's hand. One side had metal studs set in it. Jesus. His cock filled at the thought of Aaron using that on bare skin.
Aaron tapped the paddle lightly against the seat of Joey's jeans. "Joey. Question. Answer."
Aaron holstered his radio and tapped the paddle against his finger tips. He gave Joey that slow smile, and his gut got as warm and tight as his cock.
What the hell. "Aaron, what do you want for Christmas?"
"Nothing. Anything. I don't care. I told you, it's not a big deal."
The frustration Joey felt must have shown on his face, because Aaron cupped the back of Joey's neck. "How about a blowjob?"
"C'mon. I want to get you something to make you happy."
Aaron's jaw tightened and his eyes looked bleak. The warmth in Joey's belly turned to a heavy doughy ball. What the hell was wrong with that?
He started to turn away, but Aaron held him with that hand on his neck. He bent down and kissed him. "For a smart guy, you can be a total moron."
"I am happy, don't you get that? Every fucking day. And you know why."
"Oh." Joey grinned as everything got warm inside again. "But I still have to get you something."
"Get me a book of Sudoku. I like to do'em in the can. And sometimes I read that guy. Um, David Sedaris. And," Aaron turned to wave the paddle at the clerk. "You have a place we can test this out?"
The clerk smiled and jerked his chin at a small curtained off space.
"Here? But Hennie's waiting—and that guy—"
"You fucking love the idea of an audience."
Okay, so Joey did. And he loved it even more when Aaron pushed him past the curtain with a swat just hard enough to burn.
Aaron put Joey's hands up on the back wall and ran a hand over the warm spot on Joey's ass. "You want to feel it on skin or should I have him ring it up now?"
"It's still more of a present for me than for you."
Aaron reached around and unbuttoned Joey's shorts. "I think we're both gonna like it."