A Christmas Tradition

Characters: Hadi, Judas
Origin: The Keeper
Advent Day: Day 20 (December 16th)
Rating: NC-17
Word count: 3,197


Hadi hummed a carol to himself as he worked in the kitchen. Though Judas usually took the lead with cooking—his lover had such a natural touch with recipes and ingredients—he had insisted that this dessert be made by his own two hands. They had been abroad for many Christmas seasons in the past, enjoying bits and pieces of the world while he was still young, but as time wore on, Hadi found himself faced with the realities of old age. He was getting older, whether he liked it or not, and part of him was finally ready to settle down. That meant spending Christmas at their home in Algeria for the first time in a handful of years.

He took a deep breath, inhaling the scents of his baking and the distant fragrance of the perfume oil Judas had set up in the main room. There was a wonderful chill outside from the dusting of snow that had fallen just hours ago, but inside, Judas had endeavored to make their home warm and inviting. When Judas appeared in the doorway of the kitchen, he laughed. "You're not supposed to see until I've finished!"

Judas smiled. "Forgive me for worrying. You've been in here quite some time." He peeked over at the mess of pans and bowls and measuring cups Hadi had used, and just the scrutiny brought a blush to Hadi's cheeks. "Do you... need any help?"

Hadi sighed, though he couldn't help but smile through his embarrassment. "You don't suppose it's a lost cause, do you?" He worried at the sponge cake still rolled up in a tea towel and cooling a bit in its pan.

Judas stepped closer and dipped a finger into one of the bowls, tasting the chocolate buttercream frosting he had just prepared. The hum that rumbled from Judas gave him a little hope. "I wouldn't say that. This isn't bad at all."

Hadi chuckled. "I'm glad to hear it. That was my third try."

"Only three this time?" Judas gave him a nudge with his hip. "Maybe next year you'll get it the first time."

"Watch it." Hadi bumped Judas' hip in return. "If you aren't nice to me, I won't let you have a piece of my Yule log." As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Hadi's cheeks flushed. "I mean—"

Judas leaned over and kissed him softly, slowly, and tasted of butter and chocolate. "I wouldn't dream of missing out on a piece of your log," he purred with a smirk.

"Now, why does that sound vaguely phallic?" Hadi chuckled against Judas' lips.

"I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Right. Of course not." Hadi rolled his eyes and grinned, pecking Judas' lips one more time before turning back to the cake and frosting. "So much for my surprise. My mother was thrilled when I asked for the recipe, but I never expected to have so much difficulty with baking."

"The last ten years weren't an indication?" Judas teased, wrapping his arms around Hadi's middle from behind.

"Hush. The cake should be just right. Will you hand me the chestnut puree? I have to mix it into the rest of the plain buttercream for the filling." He pointed to what he needed, and Judas made himself useful, not directing him, but helping in the small ways he could. He knew better than to take over when Hadi was trying so hard to do things himself, though Hadi had to admit that having an extra hand—not a pair, since Judas kept one arm firmly around his waist—was a welcome blessing.

Judas nuzzled the scar on his throat, and Hadi moaned softly, his hands stilling in his mixing. There was nothing quite like that feeling, knowing he was the utter source of completion and peace for another human being. It worried him as much as it thrilled him. He was human, while Judas... Judas would live until kingdom come. There would be a time—far too soon for Hadi's comfort—when Judas would be alone again. It made him all the more intent on enjoying every moment they had together, filling Judas' memory with a lifetime of love, laughter, and pleasure.

"Mind telling me," Judas murmured hotly against his ear, "why you decided we needed a Yule log cake?"

Hadi shivered. "It's a tradition. I thought, in my old age, it was time to set down traditions for us."

Judas laughed, hugging him a little tighter. "Old age? Hadi, you only just turned thirty-five."

Hadi bit back the words that sprang to mind in response. Words that would remind Judas of how little time they might have, that he could go any day, that thirty-five was ten years closer to that eventual end. He couldn't do that to Judas, though. He just couldn't let that grief and reality touch his lover at this festive time of year when they celebrated Yehoshua's message and the love they had for one another. He blushed as his hesitance caused Judas to nose him. "All right, maybe it's a little preemptive, but traditions are important. They set up that little bit of anticipation and joy. I want you to look forward to a Yule log cake every year and adore it when you get it."

"I already adore it." Judas went to the refrigerator and pulled out the bottle of milk. "I also find the whole thing incredibly endearing of you. You even managed to wrangle us a Christmas tree."

Hadi licked his fingers and gave Judas a look. "You never told me you'd not ever had a tree!"

"It's not a tragedy," Judas chuckled, pouring them each large glasses of milk. "This time of year, I was usually alone. It took a special sort of Keeper to stay with me through the holiday rather that spend a precious week or two with family they rarely saw."

Hadi smiled and set his chestnut buttercream aside to accept his glass of milk. "You're my family now, and this is a special time of year for you. Besides, we visited my family only a couple months ago, or have you already forgotten my mother's cooking?"

Judas groaned, though he still smiled over the lip of his glass. "I swore my stomach would explode if she fed me another bite."

"She was just happy to finally meet you. The twins were rather fond of you as well," Hadi chuckled.

"Remind me to never pick up a basketball again," Judas said, rubbing at what Hadi assumed were phantom pains his lover would always carry with him.

"I'm just happy you agreed to come with me, to be around my family instead of being so..."


"Yes," Hadi chuckled. "You don't need to be so aloof, not with my family."

Judas was quiet for a moment. "I do it to save my heart," he admitted, staring at the cake. "Getting too close, it can break my heart."

Hadi swallowed thickly. "Isn't the heartbreak worth the life of love and family?"

"It might seem that way." Judas looked up, shadows in his eyes. "But as the years pass, and the lives pass, and you're left behind? It's just so much grief. Too much grief. I chose to distance myself because I just couldn't come to terms with all the sorrow in my life as those I loved, I cherished, died one by one. You know this."

"I know," Hadi whispered. "Death is a part of life. It always hurts."

"Except for me. There is no end. Death happens around me, and I grieve. I have grieved since Yehoshua's death, and there seems to be no end to that grieving."

Hadi held Judas' gaze for a long moment, and he finally asks, "Will you grieve me?"

Pain streaked through Judas' eyes. "Forever."

Hadi set aside his milk and wrapped his arms around Judas' waist. "Don't be sad. Please, don't be sad tonight or looking too far in the future. Tonight is about now, about the celebration of the season. You're going to have cake and milk, and you're going to hum carols with me as we spend time near the fireplace and our tree." A smile worked its way onto his lips. "And I'm only thirty-five, and that means I'm going to make love to you on the sofa, and you're going to love it. Another tradition of ours."

Judas laughed, the darkness fleeing from his eyes as he returned Hadi's embrace. "Is that so?"

"Yes." Hadi dipped down and brushed his lips over Judas'. "If you're really good, I'll eat my portion of the cake off that gorgeous stomach of yours."

A shiver ran through Judas' body. "At this rate, we'll never make it to the sofa."

"Of course we will. That's part of you being good," Hadi teased, nipping Judas' lower lip. "Now, help me with the cake, and we'll take a couple pieces into the other room."

In an ideal world, he would have finished the cake hours ago so it could have chilled, but with Judas' help, he was able to assemble the different layers into the rolled cake and frost it with a couple laughs and a little intentional mess that they cleaned up with tender kisses and licks. By the time they finally made it into the main room, they were laughing again, and Hadi stopped short when he saw the pillows and blankets set out in front of the fire. He raised his eyebrows at Judas. "Well! Someone's been busy in here."

"You asked for a romantic holiday." Judas nosed his cheek. "I tried to deliver."

"You have." Hadi flopped down on the blankets and leaned back on a pillow, his milk and cake carefully balanced. "I love it. I love everything about this." The tree glittered in the corner, the air was thick with cinnamon and pine, and it was warm, candles flickering around them. "It's perfect."

Judas sat beside him and set his milk aside. "I'm glad. I want this to be all you imagined." He stabbed a piece of cake, put it into his mouth, and moaned. "You've also done quite well!"

Pride and happiness swelled up in Hadi, and he practically beamed. "Hours of work finally paying off. I'll only get better at it over the coming years." They tucked into their pieces of cake, sharing bites with one another between kisses. Each kiss seemed to last longer than the one before, and he was soon straddling Judas' lap on the blankets, feeding him a small bite, followed by a deep, languid kiss. Judas was blissfully hard against him, and it only fueled Hadi's own arousal.

"If this is how we eat the cake every year," Judas moaned, "sign me up."

Hadi laughed, the sound low and sensual. "Is that so?"

Judas' arms went around him, slid down to squeeze Hadi's ass through his jeans. "You in my lap, feeding me, kissing me, what else could be better?"

The groping only made Hadi more intent on his goal to end this night with a bang. He set the plate down and threaded his fingers through Judas' thick hair. "Both of us naked? My lips around your cock?" He nipped at Judas' lower lip. "Or maybe my cock sliding inside your slick... hot... body?" he asked, a gentle bite placed along Judas' throat between each word.

"Hadi." The moan of Hadi's name was the most arousing sound he'd ever heard. "Yes."

"Yes?" Hadi whispered against Judas' pulse.

Judas rocked their bodies together and exposed his throat shamelessly to Hadi. "I want to feel you inside."

Hadi shuddered and tightened his grip on Judas. "Then I think we need to switch places, hmm?" He rolled to the side, laughing as they shifted around, pulling off their clothing as they went. It didn't take long for both of them to strip, and Hadi moaned at the sight of Judas. "God, you're beautiful by firelight," he breathed, pulling Judas into another kiss as he ran his hands over Judas' chest and abdomen.

"You just... want to... eat icing off my skin," Judas moaned between kisses.

Hadi just laughed again and reached over to his plate, dipping his finger into the chestnut buttercream. "You have a point," he admitted, smearing his finger down Judas' obliques from his ribcage down to just above his groin. Judas eyes were hot as he dipped down, and he loved the pleasure he saw in them as he licked the sweet, nutty trail. He couldn't avoid Judas' cock, though, not with the hot length of it nudging his chin and throat. Turning his head, he suckled at the tip until Judas moaned his name and tugged at his hair.

"Want something?" Hadi purred against the head of Judas.

"You know I do," Judas said, arching. "It's been too long since we last coupled so fully."

Hadi kissed his way up Judas' body, raking his teeth over his nipples while running his fingers through the thick thatch of hair on Judas' chest. "It's intense."

"It makes me feel possessed," Judas confessed with another moan, his hands tightening in Hadi's hair. "The feel of your seed within me..."

Hadi shuddered, his cock twitching with intense interest. "Please tell me your perfect candlelight set-up includes a hidden bottle of lube."

Judas bent over with a laugh and pulled a vial out from under a pile of pillows. When Hadi raised his eyebrows, he had the delight of watching Judas' cheeks flush. "I just hoped."

Hadi grinned and threaded his fingers through Judas' hair, slowly pulling him close again. "I love when you tell me exactly what you want. Don't even think about apologizing for it," he whispered before their lips connected. He took the vial and slicked his fingers. Judas wiggled forward and rubbed their bodies together perfectly as he reached down and began to tease and caress Judas' opening. He was always gentle, always patient when fingering Judas. He just couldn't help it. He wanted every instant to be filled with pleasure, not discomfort, and when coupling was so intense for them, the foreplay was a wonderful build that allowed them to draw out the act.

The kisses never stopped. It was something Judas seemed to crave, and Hadi never withheld. The sugar and chestnut flavor of their kisses lessened, and when the taste of Judas became potent once more, Hadi moaned. It was perfect. The warmth of the fire, the twinkle of the tree, the light snow outside their windows, and the decadent spread of pillows and blankets under them. This Christmas made all others pale in comparison, and Hadi knew he wouldn't give this up next year or any year after. This would be their tradition, the thing Judas could hang onto when all else was gone.

He curved his fingers inside Judas, rubbed against the gland there, and grinned into their next kiss when Judas groaned low and long. "I love the way you sound," Hadi murmured into Judas' mouth. "Makes me want to do that again." And he did.

Judas spread his legs wider, pushed up against Hadi harder, and another of those gorgeously deep groans filled the room. "Hadi," Judas panted. "At this rate, you'll make me come before you ever manage to take me."

"We can't have that," Hadi chuckled, pulling his fingers back and slicking himself. He didn't have to tell Judas to sit back, didn't have to say a word. He just guided with his hand at Judas' hip, and Judas aligned and joined them. Hadi's breath caught in his throat, and he gripped tightly at Judas' hips as Judas slid down him and settled atop his lap. "Oh, God, Judas," he all but whined, the tightness and heat around him so intense.

"Yes," Judas breathed. "So perfect to have you here, to feel you inside." Hadi looked up, and Judas' dark eyes were so dark and intent that the gaze alone made him shudder. He knew what a look like that meant. Judas was committing the moment to memory, taking in every detail. The thought warmed him so completely that he wanted to give Judas even more to remember. A grin curled his lips as he pulled at Judas' hips and thrust up, and the moan he was rewarded with only encouraged him to set a slow, deep pace. Judas moved atop him, their lips brushed one another, and Hadi thought for a moment that nothing could be closer to heaven.

Hadi lost himself to the rise and fall, the hammering of his heart, the heat of Judas' body. It was slow. It was painfully, gloriously slow as they drew out every moment. Foreplay or not, it seemed Judas was in no rush to come. It was everything he loved about Judas. There was no rush. With Judas, time simply felt timeless, and all Hadi's worries about mortality and grief and age vanished. Each kiss made those fears feel miles away, and when Judas squeezed just so around him, Hadi forgot his own name.

"I love you," Judas whispered, lips brushing against lips. "My heart, my Keeper."

Hadi whimpered, the words filling him with such love he thought he would burst if he didn't kiss Judas, touch him, take him, somehow express what he felt. "Love you, too," he panted, his fingers tracing over stubble and jawline, down to where Judas' pulse raced in his neck. "God, how I love you!"

Any other words he would have spoken were cut off by another kiss, and his hand finally found its way down between their bodies, curling around Judas and stroking him in time with their rhythm. It seemed to last an eternity, a lifetime filled with pleasure and the sweetest of aches, and when he felt Judas tighten around him, he followed his lover into the bliss of release without hesitation, their moans and gasps shared between trembling lips.

Judas' eyes, so dark with flickers of firelight in their depths, stole Hadi's breath away. That look. The look that made him feel as if he were the world to Judas, as if the sun and moon rose and set on his whim. That look both broke Hadi's heart and caused his soul to thrum with infinite love. "Merry Christmas," he whispered, fingers stroking over Judas' cheeks and brow.

A smile curved Judas' lips as he shifted wickedly in Hadi's lap. "I hope there are many more Christmases like this in our future."

Hadi chuckled, kissed Judas again, and laid back, taking his lover with him. "As many as you want."

Judas nuzzled his throat, breathing, "I want all of them."

A lump formed in Hadi's throat as he hugged Judas tightly, basking in the afterglow of pleasure. "Then all of them it'll be."

A moment of quiet, of just their heartbeats, the crackle of the fire, and sound of the wind outside. Just as Hadi was beginning to doze off, content to remain on the floor and sleep until morning, Judas murmured, "Merry Christmas."

Hadi thought, through the fog of sated exhaustion, that they'd begun a fine tradition, and he hoped the memory of it would sustain Judas long after he was gone.

All works contained here are copyrighted to K. Piet. No reproduction or usage is permitted without written, express consent by the author.