The Christmas Cookie Catastrophe

He ran his finger along the top layer of white frosting and stuck the frosted finger into his mouth, almost moaning as the sweet confection melted on his tongue. He pulled his finger out slowly, not wanting the explosion of sweetness to come to an end. He was pulled from his moment of savoring by a gasp from behind him.

“Blink! I told you not to touch the frosting!” Mush admonished his boyfriend. He slapped Blink’s hand away and grabbed the bowl of frosting. “You can lick the bowl when we’re done.”

Blink rolled his eyes and slid his arms around Mush’s waist. “Come on!” he begged. “What’s one little lick of frosting going to hurt?”

“These cookies are for the little kids at the church. I warned you that I was going to be busy doing this today, but you said you wanted to help. If you’re going to help, then help!” Mush thrust an apron into Blink’s arms before busying himself with the various ingredients.

Blink frowned, but he obligingly slipped the apron around his neck and tied the strings behind him. “Are you always this testy at Christmas?” Blink wasn’t used to his boyfriend being so “no-nonsense.” Mush was usually a very care-free, happy-go-lucky guy. “Or is it just because of me?”

Mush’s stern pout softened and he sighed. “I just take my cookie making seriously, Blink.” He knew how ridiculous that sounded, but it was the truth. “Every year my church has Christmas Eve with Santa for the needy children of the community. It was my favorite day of every year, so when I grew up and was too old for it I decided to still be a part of it. Now,” he said with a proud grin, “my cookies are the favorite of every year.”

“Sorry,” Blink told him as he filched a chocolate morsel from the bag. “I wasn’t trying to trivialize your baking.” Blink knew that Mush’s childhood hadn’t been the best. As a boy, Mush had found solace with a local church, spending time there to get away from his drug-addicted parents. He’d confided to Blink that, had it not been for that church, he too would have probably ended up like his parents. “I just wanted to spend the day with you. I mean, isn’t this the time of year you spend with people you love?”

“It is,” Mush agreed. He grabbed the bag of chocolate chips from Blink’s hand, though he had a playful grin on his face. “So you help me now and I’ll give you an extra Christmas gift afterwards.

“Do I get to eat any of the cookies?”

Mush gave his boyfriend a peck on the lips. “I think I can give you something better than cookies.”

“I don’t know,” Blink said dubiously. “What’s better than your cookies? You said yourself they’re the favorite every year.”

A playful glint shone in Mush’s eyes as he leaned in and whispered something to Blink. The blonde boy’s smile grew and his eyes practically glazed over as his boyfriend told him in great detail just how he would be rewarded for his help.

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“So we’re done, right?” Blink asked hopefully. His face was currently nestled in Mush’s neck. Around them was an array of bowls, filled with left over cookie dough, different colored frostings, and homemade chocolate syrup. The radio that Mush had lugged out from his bedroom was set to the local holiday music station and “Jingle Bell Rock” played softly behind them. The sweet scent of baking cookies filled the air. The aroma only seemed to fuel Blink’s carnal desire.

“Well, we have to wait for them to bake and then we have to decorate them…” Mush trailed off as he felt Blink’s lips brushing against his skin. “…But they’re going to be baking a while,” he said.

“So we have time to, uh, exchange some presents, right?”

“I thought you wanted to lick the bowl,” Mush teased. He grabbed the bowl that had been holding the cookie dough and offered it to Blink. When the boy didn’t show any interest, Mush scooped up some of the dough on his index and middle fingers and offered it to him. Blink, though, ignored the dough, choosing instead to go right in for the lips.“You taste like cookies,” Blink commented between kisses. “Have you been sneaking cookie dough from the bowl?”

“Maybe just a little,” he admitted as he ran his fingers through Blink’s hair. “You taste like chocolate. Were you grabbing more chocolate chips when I went to the bathroom?”

Blink didn’t respond. Instead, he grabbed Mush’s hands with his own, his thumbs gently stroking his boyfriend’s knuckles. “Come on,” he urged, “we’ve got some time before those things need to come out.” He jerked his head toward the bedroom.

Whether it was the mixture of the sound of Christmas music and the scent of cookies or the fact that it was Christmas Eve or simply the feeling of Blink’s hands on his and the lop-sided smile the blonde boy was giving him, Mush didn’t know, but he made no protests when he was slowly pulled toward his bedroom.

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Mush slowly opened his eyes. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong. The sweet aroma of cookies had been replaced with a thick smell of burning. His eyes widened in horror. “Blink! Oh, crap, the cookies!” Mush sprung from his place in Blink’s arms and sprinted out to the kitchen. The clock on the stove showed that he and Blink had fallen asleep for two hours. No doubt the cookies had become burnt beyond recognition and completely inedible.

A groggy Blink trailed behind. His mouth was agape with a wide yawn and he was zipping up his jeans. “I guess we got a little carried away,” he said sheepishly.

When he opened the door to the oven, Mush was met with a thick haze of smoke. He fanned it away and peered inside, disheartened at the sight that lay before him. Prior to placing them inside the oven, each of the three cookie sheets had been filled with twenty globs of cookie dough. Now they each held twenty black crisps that even a dog would turn its nose up at.

“They’re ruined!” Mush grabbed the pot holders and pulled out the cookie sheets. “They’re all ruined!”

“Mush, it’s okay!” Blink insisted. He placed a supportive hand on his boyfriend’s shoulder, but it was immediately shrugged off.

“I’m due at the church in two hours, Blink! I’m out of cookie dough and I don’t have enough ingredients to make any more.” Mush threw the last cookie sheet into the sink, not even bothering to scrape off the charred cookie remains. For all he cared, the cookie sheets could just stay that way, covered with hard, disgusting burnt cookies. “I should have stayed out here and watched them.”

“I’m sorry. Honestly, I am, Mush. I never thought we’d fall asleep. But I can make this right for you.”

Mush looked at him skeptically. “I can’t bring them store bought cookies, Blink. They’ll know the difference and they’ll start asking me if I’m okay and why I bought cookies this year instead of making them. Then I’ll be forced to tell them, ‘Well, my boyfriend decided we should dirty my sheets while the cookies baked and, as a result of that, the cookies were burnt to a crisp.’ Then that damned Mrs. Mulch, who hates me for no reason other than the fact that the kids like me more than they like her witchy old self, will click her tongue and start going on about how this is further proof that God is punishing me for being gay and then…” Mush was cut off my Blink’s hand on his mouth.

“Baby, you’re going to talk yourself into a conniption fit. Now breathe.” Blink removed his hand and lead Mush to one of the chairs. “Sit back, relax, and let me handle this.” Blink pulled his cell phone from his jeans pocket and flipped it open. There was a short silence as Blink listened to the ring tone and Mush tried not to hyperventilate. Finally, Blink’s eyes lit up and he shot Mush a bright smile. “Hi, Maw Maw. It’s Brent. I know you always have a lot of those great homemade gingerbread people left over…yes, I know I’m too skinny, that’s why I was wondering if I could have all of your leftover gingerbread people tonight…”

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“Ha! And you doubted me,” Blink whispered into Mush’s ear. The two were tucked away in a corner of the church’s small banquet hall where rows of table had been set up for the children who were attending. At the front of the hall was fully decorated tree with presents packed beneath it, and a special throne-like seat that was reserved for the arrival of Santa Claus. The children were busy at the tables, decorating their gingerbread men and women with frosting, sprinkles, gum drops, candy canes, and whatever other kinds of candy Mush and Blink had managed to find during their scramble through the grocery store.

“I have to admit, this turned out really well,” Mush conceded. He leaned back, revealing in the feel of Blink’s arms wrapping around his waist. “In fact…this may have been the best it’s ever been.” Out of the corner of his eye, Mush saw a group of parishioners approaching him.

“Michael!” one woman proclaimed. “Your ‘Decorate Your Own Gingerbread Person’ idea is fantastic! The children love it so much.”

“It really makes them feel as though they’re contributing to this,” another woman added.

“Mm..it’s quite…quaint,” another one of the women – the one Mush had pointed out as being the witchy Mrs. Mulch – said coolly. Her arms were folded and her mouth tightly pouted as she looked Mush and Blink up and down.

“It was actually Blink’s idea,” Mush explained. “Uh, this is my boyfriend, Blink…well, his name is Brent, but we all call him Blink.”

“So you’re the young man who has stolen Michael’s heart,” one of the women said with a wink. “He’s such a sweet young man.”

“Yes, well we really should be getting things ready for Santa, shouldn’t we girls?” Mulch said dryly. The group of tittering women left the pair alone with the promise that they would talk to them later.

“Alone,” Blink sighed, once again circling his arms around Mush’s body. He rested his cheek against the boy’s shoulder and pressed his lips against the skin of his neck. “Too bad there’s no mistletoe in sight.”

Mush turned in Blink’s arms so that he was facing the blonde boy. His arms wrapped around Blink’s neck and he looked at him, a small smile playing on his lips. “You don’t need mistletoe to kiss me, Blink,” he told his boyfriend before pressing his lips against Blink’s. He pulled away after a moment and looked at Blink suspiciously. “Have you been eating gingerbread?”