With Joe sometimes you have to push him to get him moving. But I have to push without pushing too much. ‘Cause, like, if he digs his heels in, the subject is done. So the other day I was bugging him again without being too obvious.
We’re up early…since I’d spent the night and Joe hates it when I sleep in. So I was standing in front of the big window drinking my coffee and staring out at the snow that fell during the night. I kinda turned around, looked over my shoulder at him. “A tree would look great right here.”
That thick country drawl hit me. “What do I need a tree for, Kabe?” He mumbled over his oatmeal. Glared at me across the room. “I ain’t got nothing to put under it.”
Holy shit, no fucking presents? I didn’t say that out loud, ‘cause then he’d have gotten pissed. “Doesn’t your family exchange gifts?”
“Naw, most cain’t hardly afford to.” He shrugged like it didn’t mean anything. “They got kids, they rightly spend the money on them.”
“You don’t do anything with your family?”
“Cards.” Joe pushed back from the table and crossed his arms over that big chest of his. “If my folks were ‘round, if I weren’t working, I’d go over there on Christmas Day.”
“Go to church with them, huh?”
He looked at me weird, “Not unless’n Christmas fell on a Sunday.” After he scraped the last bit out of his bowl, Joe added. “My momma usually get’s me a shirt or something.”
I wandered back to the kitchen. “That’s depressing.” As I passed the table I got his dishes too. “Really, depressing.” I mumbled while I washed his bowl and my mug. I figured at that point I ought to just drop the subject.
“It ain’t but what it is.” He shrugged as he got ready to head out to the station.
And that’s how it got left. Until yesterday that is. I’m at the ranch, in bed with half a dozen blankets on ‘cause it’s fucking cold up here. Woke up to someone pounding on my bedroom door. When I checked the clock it said four in the morning. I was about ready to yell something about if the house wasn’t on fire when T called out. “Kabe,” T cracked the door open and leaned in as I sat up, “Joe’s here. Says you got somewhere to be today.”
“Better dress warm.” Joe added from somewhere down the hall.
Anybody else, I’d have told them to go fuck themselves. Not Joe. I bitched, but I got up and dressed. Came out carrying my boots and caught one of those sights. Joe has no clue how goddamn hot he is. Big country boy in tight blue jeans, thermal undershirt and plaid shirt tucked in and belted. His buzz cut just gives him a stern air. I liked it. Almost wished we were at his place so I could show him how much I liked it.
So he hauls me out and hauls me up the mountain. When I’d asked him where we were going, I got, “If’n you’re gonna make me do a tree then I might as well do it right.”
Now, it snows up here. Like three, four feet deep in some places. And we’re slogging through the snow, our breath freezing in mist clouds around us. Joe’s carrying this big old ax across his shoulders and I’m hauling rope. Looked like Paul Bunyan, or something, in his old style field coat and broken in cowboy hat.
I’ve never cut down a Christmas tree before. To me, getting a tree means drive over to the lot, pick out nice one, strap it to the top of your car and drive home. No. We cut the damn thing down. With a fucking ax. Do you know how hard it is without a chain saw? But you can’t carry a decent sized one on a five mile hike. I worked up a sweat like you wouldn’t believe. Then we tied ropes around the base and drug it all the way back to his truck. He didn’t even get on me for swearing on the way back.
“Well, it does look right fine there.” He’d admitted when we got it all set up. Not a big tree, but nice. There wasn’t much but some lights we picked up at the local hardware store and a few ornaments Nadia brought over. She was in the kitchen popping some corn so we could make a garland. As long as no one made me spray paint pinecones, I could deal with that bit of country.
“So.” He wrapped his big hand around the back of my neck. “There gonna be something under it, come Christmas?”
“Sure.” I leaned into him. God it’s like snuggling with a cuddly brick wall. “What do you want Santa to bring you?” I mean, I’d gotten him something already…naughty bought on-line. Big old leather paddle that I figured he’d enjoy. Well, I’d got it for myself too. That’s what Christmas was about: sharing the fun.
Joe snorted then moved close and rubbed his dick up against my ass as he whispered. “If I gotta tell you, you’re dumb as a stump.”
I am certainly not dumb.