An Unexpected Gift

shamelessly written by:

Author's note: It's entirely their fault. They know who they are. :)


Wrapping the knee-length robe about himself, Hank Stanley yawned as he stepped into the bedroom. He smiled appreciatively at his lovely wife, her long blond hair loose at her shoulders, seated in the middle of their bed, her long legs tucked under her. Elly was clad only in one of Hank's old shirts with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows, looking very sexy to the fire captain.

It was nearly midnight, Christmas Eve. Hank's shift had pulled holiday duty this year. It was a familiar-enough occurrence in their fourteen plus years of marriage that they had easily learned to adjust their private celebrations. Since the twins were now at that non-believing age, even embarrassed to think that Dad had been Santa Claus, the Stanley clan had decided to have their holiday dinner and gift-exchange on Christmas Eve. With Darcy and Tracy safely tucked into bed for the night, Hank was now ready to get some decent sleep himself.

Hank leaned over and gave his wife a long, slow kiss. He could feel her right hand playing with his dark hair at the nape of his neck. I know what that means! He thought as his body roused to her gentle ministrations. It means I'm not going to get that decent rest I'd planned. Ah, well!

Hank had just settled himself onto their bed, prepared to give Elly a Christmas Eve celebration she'd never forget, when she suddenly pulled back. She reached over to snag the modest, but festively wrapped, box that had rested unnoticed on his pillow. "Merry Christmas, lover."

"Wha--?" the firefighter mechanically took the package, definitely feeling the sting of rejection.

"Open it," she encouraged excitedly, seemingly oblivious to the letdown she'd just caused.

"Damn it, Elly, now?" he growled, not bothering to hide his irritation. He hated it when she teased him like this.

"Don't get all Battalion Chief on me, Henry Adams Stanley," she warned with mock severity. "Just open it!" Seeing he was debating whether or not to allow his stubborn streak to take over, she pouted slightly. "For me?"

And he gave in. Just as she knew he would.

"All right." Hank ripped off the festive paper, opened the thick paperback-sized package. Within the box was something white . . . with fire engines on it?  He blinked. Curiosity got the better of him and he removed the item. It was fabric and it felt smooth under his fingers, like silk. Free of the confines of the box, the silken material unfolded to become a pair of white boxer shorts. With dozens of little red fire engines decorating them.

Hank glanced at his wife, who just blinked coyly at him. "I certainly hope you don't expect me to wear these to work!"

"Of course not! I think silk boxers would be lost on your men."

"Damn right. They'd never let me live it down. And if McConnikee should ever find out-like the man doesn't already have enough on me!"

Ellen Stanley shifted so she could lean her head against her husband's shoulder. "I wouldn't worry about the chief. Joanne and I saw the pair she'd bought for him." She smiled. "Joanne got Roy the cutest yellow pair with smiley faces all over them."

"I really don't need to know what Joanne bought for Roy and I certainly don't want to know what Ruth McConnikee got her husband!" The fire captain's eyes suddenly widened; he dropped the hand holding his new shorts in shock. "Wait a minute, you were discussing my underwear preferences with the wives of my chief and one of my men? Elly!"

"Hank!" she shot back in the same unbelieving tone of voice. The tone changed to one of pretend accusation as she added, "Like you firemen don't discuss your wives and girlfriends while on duty, right? I can just imagine what you tell the guys about me."

She didn't give him a chance to retort as she leaned into him. "I'd love to see you in them, firestud," she purred in his ear, running her right hand up his back to, once again, play with his dark hair.

"I bet you would! I don't think I will. You've been a naughty girl and don't deserve what I have to offer," he answered. His increasingly husky voice belied his attempts at being stern.

Elly continued to tease him, kissing his jaw with feather-light kisses, a sure way to get her man fully aroused. She knew she was succeeding when she heard him growling softly in his throat. She slowly blazed a trail along the jawline before nibbling on an earlobe.

That did it. Hank moaned loudly, then suddenly pushed himself off the bed and hurried to the bathroom, not seeing Elly's little smile of triumph. A few moments later, he emerged, the robe gone, Hank wearing only the fire engine-printed boxers.

Elly fought to keep from giggling. She knew that would be the quickest thing to cooling off her husband next to dousing him with a firehose. "You look so cute in those!" she couldn't help exclaiming. "C'mon, fireman," she offered temptingly, patting the bed beside her, "I'm burning with desire. I thought
you guys made house calls?"

It was all the invitation he needed. Their uninhibited passion would make it one of the best Christmases they'd ever shared.





Much later, with his wife's head resting comfortably on his shoulder, Hank sighed contently. A thought, unheeded, crossed his mind.

"So, what did the chief get on his?"

Elly giggled. "I thought you didn't want to know." A moment's pause, as if in thought, then, "Four leaf clovers."

"Clovers?" Hank asked, incredulous.

"He is Irish, after all."

"But not as lucky as I am." He kissed her temple. "Merry Christmas, my Elly."

"Merry Christmas, Captain Firestud."





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