My First Christmas as a Married Man’s Mistress

Giselle knows how hard it is to find a good Christmas gift for a married man. She wants to give him everything, but where would he put it? Sometimes the best place to hide a secret is in plain sight…

“This is not just one story, but many stories, many little fictions fastened together by a larger tale of forbidden love. While the little fictions are just that—thrilling narratives I wrote one Christmas as a special gift for my lover—the larger fiction is true. It is the tale of my lover’s gift to me, mine to him, and the gift we shared between us.”

Originally published as A Mistress’ Christmas, My First Christmas as a Married Man’s Mistress is a strange and dreamy holiday trip through one young woman’s illicit love affair.

If you’ve ever fallen in love with a married man, you know gift-giving elicits a feeling of defeat, of anxiety, even.  It’s Christmastime, evergreen trees for sale in every parking lot, the city lit by those precious little fairy-bulbs, and you want to give him something—you want to give him everything!—but you can’t.  You simply can’t.  Where would he put it?

Books can hide in offices, but books are the most impersonal of gifts.  I was restricted, restrained, by our wretched situation, and it grated on my nerves every time Winston said, “I don’t need things; I have you.  You give me all I want.”

And it was true, of course, that he could afford to buy himself anything he desired, but that was hardly the point.

“I want to be able to give you something,” I told him.  “Some little object that you can look at and, when you do, your heart is warmed.  You’ll see it on your desk or your bookshelf and think, ‘Ah yes, that was a gift from ma belle Giselle.’”

Winston scratched the dark hairs of his chin in contemplation.  He was assessing me, of course.  “You’re concerned I don’t spend enough time thinking about you, and, by extension, that I don’t care for you.  Is that it?”

I pouted, hoping there was a lingering tease to my voice.  “You know, I’d like to chastise you for psychoanalysing me, but how can I when you’re always right?”

He placated me by saying, “I’m just compensating for all the years before I knew you, when I got pretty much everything wrong.”

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