Disclaimer: While the main character of the story (and his family) are Catholic, I am not. I tried to portray the observances relatively accurately and with respect (the poor decisions engaged in are the fault of the individual characters). Still, as an outsider (and one influenced by pop culture depictions over the course of a lifetime that may themselves be flawed) at some point there's decent odds that I inaccurately portrayed either Catholic doctrine as it's taught, or how people generally practice it. So if you think I got something wrong... well, I actually didn't, because I'm the author and have the luxury of saying that this takes place in a parallel universe where my version is how things work. So there. But still, apologies in advance for any perceived flubs.

Not The Best Catholic This Christmas by AnonyMPC (Mf, inc, cheat, Christmas, other pairings implied)

"You're wearing THAT to Mass?" my wife asked.

I looked down at myself, as though just realizing that I was wearing a long T-shirt and cargo-shorts that went down to my knees. Which I was, but mostly I was trying to figure out if it could somehow get me out of this. "What's wrong with it?"

"Very funny. Go. There's still time to change."

So I did. She was my wife, and this was Church, and no matter what had happened, I didn't think I could or even should get out of it.

We've never been the best Catholics in the world... we didn't go most Sundays. You could say we were Christmas-and-Easter Catholics, but it was Christmas Eve, and that meant dressing up for Mass.

And I believe in God, and I'm happy to be Catholic--even if I'm not a very good one. Especially not this Christmas. I love the routine, the rituals. Some of my non-religious friends used to joke about how awkward Confession was, having some dirty priest listening to your stories of your worst sins, but honestly, it was always one of the things I loved most about my faith, the idea that I'd be forgiven almost anything, if I just bared my soul and honestly repented of them.

But this year, things were a little different, stakes higher. The sins of prior confessions were nothing compared to what had happened in the last couple days. I'd committed adultery... and that wasn't even the worst of it. And as for repenting... well, I felt guilty over it, absolutely, but even just standing in the mirror, taking off my shorts, I thought of that Christmas party again and my cock rigidly stood for attention. I'm not sure what would be worse, not going into the confessional booth--our family always went early on Christmas Eve so we had the opportunity to get that done--and feel like I was committing another grave sin by attending a Holy Mass while I still wasn't right with God, or telling the truth, enumerating my sins to a priest and having to admit that I'm thinking of doing some of the acts again.

How was I even going to begin?

Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It's been something like six months since my last confession. And I was doing pretty good for most of those six months. Sure I'd lied, let my temper get the best of me, had impure thoughts plenty of times. But since that's all penny-ante stuff now, I should probably start with the last few days, where I cheated on my wife, had sex with a minor, and committed incest. And a whole lot of other lies to cover them up.

God knows--I hope He does, anyway--some of it wasn't my fault. Or at least, I didn't go into these sins in defiance of God, out of pure carnal perversion, reveling in these mortal sins. I was coerced into them, which, I think, technically, earns me a little bit of leeway. At least, I've done some reading that suggests that, but I'm no expert. I'm not even a very good Catholic this year. But I have to believe God takes it into account. Especially since a Secret Satan was involved. Who knows, the devil himself may have had a hand in tempting me to do all this.

Whatever future slips might happen--that might be on me, but I was hoping maybe if I got grace for my past sins I'll be stronger and the temptation to do them again wouldn't be as strong. Next year, I would be better.

The big sins, on my part, started at our family Christmas party. We're a big family and we couldn't arrange our schedules any other way that my brothers and sisters and all their kids could all get together except on the weekend before. And we really wanted to get everybody together finally.

This was our first Christmas post-pandemic--at least, that's what they've been promising, "for real, this time" even though the virus hasn't gone away... it just seems like everyone got tired of defending against it. Before the big P, we had our big whole-family Christmas get together every year. For the last few years, we'd only had smaller gatherings when we knew we'd all have to be inside together... sometimes we'd have a big family BBQ or something when the case totals were low and the vaxxes seemed to be offering protection, but for Christmas it always seemed there was a new variant and out of an abundance of caution we canceled the big family get-together.

This year, we decided we were going to risk it, even if it was a week early. And I was looking forward to it, even with some of the annoyances and stress involved. Like the pot luck aspect... I wanted to bake cookies but my sister Lucy was doing them so I had to make these homemade meatballs. If I just bought frozen meatballs and tried to pass them off, I'd never hear the end of it, I had to make my own recipe and hand roll a bunch of them, make my own glaze using grape jelly and chili sauce. Mom found that recipe on some blog somewhere, suggested I try it, though I added a few of my own special ingredients to make it my own.

And of course, there was also the stress of buying gifts a week early, mostly for the little kids. To save our budgets, we'd long agreed to a 'Secret Santa' tradition for everyone who was at least a teenager, but I had nieces and nephews that were much younger that I still had to buy separate, individual gifts for... even if it was a small gift, or ordered online, the time searching for it and the money added up. And for the older nieces and nephews who were still kids we usually still bought gift cards, despite the Secret Santa tradition that was supposed to exclude them. I didn't want them to feel left out just because they were getting older. Similarly, sometimes we'd also buy special gifts for one or another member of the family that we were particularly close to, especially if we were seeing them again before the holiday was over, but those would wait till actual Christmas.

It was all a hassle, but I thought of it as a good hassle. I had no idea how much my balls would get me into trouble, and as for the Secret Santa... I couldn't even imagine how badly that could get fucked up.

The big get-together was at our parents house, of course, the big one that I, the youngest, lived in for like a year in high school before moving into college. That was when my Dad made it big in the stock market and bought it, even though it was designed for a big family and ours was already splitting up for college and our own adult lives. Mom said that was because we would inherit one day--hopefully no time soon--and although I was the only one of my siblings to live there as a minor, several of us kids had taken up the extra rooms for one reason or another for short periods when life knocked us back and we needed help getting back on our feet. Currently, my sister Annie lived there, with her kids, ever since the divorce... had for quite a while, longer than 'back on her feet' should take, but then again, it was way too big a house for Mom alone... since Dad passed there was no rush for her to move out, not to mention the pandemic. Either way, it was a perfect place for the family Christmas party... certainly better than my small place.

The front was all decorated for Christmas when I pulled up. Tastefully, not garishly like some of the neighbors--who had a giant inflatable Santa and rows of candy canes--ours just had some lights around the windows and garage some around the trees out front. Still, I was feeling pretty Christmassy when I got out, gathered together the sack of toys (a big red one anyway, because if you're going to empty your sack you might as well be festive). My wife Helen, who drove, parked the car while I carried the gifts in... she didn't like to be blocked in, which wasn't a problem yet but might be later. I could already see that I was the second one there--who didn't already live there--preceded by my brother Andrew and his family, who lived just a few blocks away, but whoever parked beside Annie's car in the driveway was probably going to be stuck as the last one to leave, so Helen let me out and volunteered to park a little down the street.

Sack in hand, I rang up on the doorbell to announce myself, but the door itself was open and I was family, so I stepped inside, hearing sounds from the kitchen and dining area. The first person I saw was my niece, Mary.

It wasn't the first time I'd seen her since the pandemic, but it was the first in a while, and she'd sure grown up a lot since... or maybe it was more that she was glammed up, her shoulder-length light brown hair done up in the back with only two dangling forelocks, and makeup on her face to that degree that looks like natural beauty but from watching my wife I've learned is a carefully planned effort. Not that either of them weren't attractive naturally, but all that stuff on their face was all designed to enhance and heighten, and, in Mary's case, made her look at least a year or two older. So did her outfit... a pencil skirt and a top that were both Christmas themed... or at least, bright red with some white fur trim, add a Christmas hat and it'd be some kind of low-key sexy Santa outfit, and I'd only describe it that way for my niece because it showed what seemed like a lot of cleavage for a fourteen-year-old girl. Not that she HAD a lot... I was trying not to focus on her breasts but I couldn't help but notice when it was out there, and with that neckline, looking like if she bent over she might expose a nipple, or at least a bra cup. I didn't know how Annie let her daughter walk around like that, but it wasn't my place to say.

The girl also seemed very happy to see me, which probably should have been a danger sign itself. I'd heard my siblings complain about their teenagers' frequent sulks and shrugs and the way they too often stared at their phones, seemingly disinterested in anything else, and I'd certainly seen that kind of behavior before, but right now, she was engaged and smiling widely at me. Her phone wasn't even in sight and I couldn't imagine where she might have hidden it in that outfit. Absolutely wasn't imagining possibilities as she stepped forward and said, "Uncle Will!"

I usually preferred William, or Bill... but family is family, and since I was a kid my brothers and sisters always shortened it to Will. One of the minor annoyances I've just gotten used to... though, with my nieces and nephews, I'm always happy to be Uncle Will. "Heyyyy... Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas!" she said, and then looked behind me as though seeing if my wife was there... she wasn't yet, not even in view, so she must have been looking at something else. Maybe. I like to think it wasn't as orchestrated as all that.

Still, when my sack dropped, she closed the last of the remaining distance between us and pressed her body up to mine. "This is your first Christmas without Buster, I guess. I bet you miss him so much."

My dog Buster crossed the Rainbow Bridge between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Pangs of melancholy still struck me when I thought of him, but now more than a month had passed and the aches had started to fade. It had slipped my mind that I'd always used to bring Buster to the big events, and my nieces and nephews usually liked playing with him (he was such a good boy), so I thought she was just sort of freshly grieving the loss as this would probably be the first time she'd normally have seen him and didn't, because during Thanksgiving she was out of town with her dad. So I awkwardly hugged her back and said, "Yeah, it's been rough."

She held the hug just a little too long, though, and I was starting to feel uncomfortable particularly with her seemingly newly developed breasts pressed against me. Especially when she pulled her face away from the hug but kept her torso pressed against me as she looked up and said, "Well, hopefully we can find something to take your mind off it. Get you good and drunk."

It must have been a joke, at my expense, since I was never a big drinker at these things. Innocent enough teasing, but I'd heard enough of jokes like that in my life, so I just ignored it, smiled at her, and said, "That's okay, just being here, knowing how much he would have enjoyed it, that's enough."

"That's the spirit. We'll make it a good Christmas, for doggy." I didn't know why she didn't just use his name, because she still followed up with, "And if you don't want any booze, I'll take yours." But with a wink that deterred me from bringing it up with her mom. A little less innocent, there. Fourteen was maybe not too early to be drinking (though when it was my niece it sure felt like it) but it was certainly too early to be brazen about it with adults in the room. Unless it was just a joke, and I was being too much a stick-in-the-mud which I didn't like being. Uncle Will was kind of a double-sided joke, because my siblings always thought I was the overly cautious one, yet somehow I'd also considered myself the 'fun uncle.' At least, I got the sense that I was the one my nieces and nephews liked visiting most, because I would take them to fun places and let them get away with stuff... maybe because I was the only one who wasn't a parent myself, consequently hadn't done things kids enjoyed like Go-carts or Fun Zone ad nauseam, and also had a little more disposable income to indulge them.

So I just played along as if it was just a joke and wagged my finger at her as though playfully warning her. "Better watch out," I said. "Don't want to be on the naughty list this Christmas."

"Oh I don't know. Might be fun..." She looked down by my boots, to the big red Santa bag, and made an invitation, "If you'll follow me, I can help you empty your sack."

There wasn't anything wrong with that, right? I'd called it my Santa Sack enough, and she was too young to get the innuendo... I hoped. But I followed her into the next room where there was a glittering Christmas tree, and since nothing was all that fragile inside my bag, I just tumbled the wrapped contents onto the ground. Mary bent over then and helped arrange the presents with the others, and I couldn't help but notice that she was mostly bending at the waist, which made her dress rise up and... well, nothing inappropriate was exposed but it was inappropriate to be looking. If nothing else had happened, I still would have needed to confess that, and now it probably would have to be the first confession-worthy sin, a look that was just a little longer than it should be.

And that was when my wife banged at the door with the tray she was carrying in, and rushed back into the foyer to help open it for her. Mary was right by my side. "Hi Aunt Helen... Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas," my wife said, and seeing my hands were now free, handed me the platter of meatballs and started taking off her shoes and coat. I suppose in retrospect I should have grabbed that instead of the presents sack, but it was hardly my worst mistake that night.

Still, the walk hadn't harmed my balls any. "Ooh... did you make these?" my niece asked, looking them over. It was already well-known that I was the usual cook in the marriage. Not that Helen sucked at it, but I put a little more time into it.

"Yup. Where should I...?" I let the question hang.

"Oh, follow me." It wasn't a long trip to the dining room, nor did I really need directions, but like last time, I did follow. "I'm really looking forwards to trying out your balls." She doesn't know what that sounded like, I told myself.

"They're a simple recipe," I explained. "But I think people will like them." Helen and I both did. Perks of being the cook. "A little spicy."

"Oh, that's not a problem for me. I like things a little spicy. In fact, between you and me, if nobody stops me your balls might fill me up tonight."

I gave a weak chuckle, again assuming she had no idea what that might sound like, especially considering what she'd just said. She cleared off a spot on the table, and I took a second to look at the other dishes there, noting my brother or, more likely, his wife just made these cut up tortilla wrap bites with cream cheese that were good but no effort compared to my meatballs.

I could hear rushing tiny feet climbing up stairs and there was one of my other nieces, Mary's little sister, two years younger, brown hair down to her neck, a little wild, which was her whole vibe... wild in terms of being a messy force of nature, not that anyone thought she was out of control. "Uncle Will!" Sarah, thankfully, was dressed like a kid, in a Christmas sweater that, knowing her, she probably made herself. Knitting was one of her hobbies. This particular production was green, which complimented her hazel eyes, with a tiny embroidered present box at her waist and a line of text that said "Small Package." A little joke? I wondered at while I smiled at her.

"Merry Christmas, Sarah!"

"Hi, man! Merry Christmas!" She closed the distance between us and greeted me with a much less problematic hug, then I complimented her sweater. Sarah apologized that she couldn't hook me up, explained that this year there was only time to do a few, but I wasn't bothered at missing out, I was just happy to see her. But of course, in the end, although I was a favorite Uncle I was still an adult, so after a little bit of face-time she snuck one of the tortilla bites and retreated back into the house... and then I had more hellos to make. My other sister Lucy was at the door with her kids, and Mom came down from upstairs, and I was just lost in Christmas greetings for a while, and Mary and her mildly inappropriate jokes fled my mind... mostly.

It was shaping up to be a pretty good Christmas party... not one of the ones that devolved into a big fight, which would have sucked for our first post-pandemic party and something I was a little worried about. Tensions were high particularly between Andrew and Annie this year, with both of them refusing to talk to each other for much of the summer, and even if the rift hadn't completely healed at least they seemed willing to declare a Christmas truce.

The fact that their daughters didn't seem to be attached at the hip this year might have had something to do with it. That was how the drama started, with each of the parents accusing the other's little girl of being a bad influence on their perfect child, but even though I thought of them as generally good kids, generally, neither of them were perfect, and the two cousins were like that their whole life, getting each other into minor troubles. The family had called them the Terrible Twosome for years, and since they started going to the same school for the first time it could only get worse. Really, it was a little like Annie and Andy when they were younger... since they were so close in age, they gravitated towards each other more than the rest of us. As the youngest often I'd always try to tag along with them and they'd ditch me and go do something together but without me, and I imagined little Sarah experienced similar things with her older sister Mary and cousin Tina. Every family party, those two were always sitting right next to each other.

Except tonight, for some reason, where they didn't even seem to be on the same floor. Maybe their friendship had naturally drifted apart, like Andy and Annie's had, or maybe they were being forcibly kept from each other, but it didn't seem like Mary and Tina were hanging out as they had at previous Christmas parties.

Which seemed like a bit of a shame because in my view it was the parents who were the problem. Even if they were my brother and sister. So if one's grades had suffered and the other had gotten into vaping, or whatever the most recent bone of contention was, it seemed too easy to blame the cousin and not look closer to home. I try not to take sides and stay out of family arguments but when it's kids vs adults I side towards the kids. And maybe leaned a little towards Annie's side just because I had a suspicion that Andy was freaking out more because his daughter had come out this year.

My family might not be the best Catholics but at least most of us don't think that one of our problems is thinking that the Church's official stance on gay issues is a little out of date (even if it's improving, with the new Pope). We're all pretty much agreed on that, and my brother even flew halfway across the country to attend the lesbian wedding of a high school friend, so clearly didn't have a problem with it... except, apparently, when it was his only child, Andy did. Or at least, he wasn't sure how to handle the development in Tina's self-identity, so, it looked to me like he was latching on to this idea that Mary was a bad influence on her life... Annie only lashed out about Tina's flaws once on the defensive.

I tried suggesting this once to him... Andy yelled at me to stay out of it. So I decided to keep quiet about it since, and this Christmas was no exception. I was privately happy for whatever truce they might have declared, but I wasn't going to poke the bear by asking about it.

By the time everyone arrived, we all seemed to be enjoying ourselves, catching up, although the drinking had started, which was a mixed blessing. It made things a bit more chill and fun, sure, but the looser people got the more likely a family argument was to break out, and, whether that happened or not, there would inevitably be jokes at my expense.

As the youngest, my brothers and sisters sometimes called me Altar Boy as an insult, or that old hated joke name, 'Will Won't.' Just because I'd learned from their mistakes growing up and kept myself out of trouble, mostly. I certainly wasn't perfect and I'd gotten into plenty of risky shit--just as often dragged into it by one of my siblings, but on my own as well. And although I did drink, now I was the type to nurse a single drink all night or switch to ginger ale. My wife was similar to me in that way... we actually met because we were both designated drivers for different groups of people at the same party. Together, we often got jokes about being party-poopers for not having as much fun or not wanting to join in on whatever jackass idea my older brothers had, like a snowball fight... not for the kids, but for the adults. It was pretty immature.

So were the also-common jokes about me being somehow less of a man because I usually make dinner and also frequently let my wife drive. That only made sense for us as a couple, because she works farther away and for more hours, whereas it only takes a quick bus ride for me... I've often got hours to myself, so making dinner and doing a bit of cleaning is the least I can do. Likewise, when we're going to the same place, I don't care enough to demand the wheel when it's already a habit for her. Apparently, though, my brothers are stuck in the last century, and I'll often have to endure jokes about being whipped or her being 'the man' in bed. The reason we were so adamant about not being blocked in is because we're usually the first to leave. This year, though, my wife being the driver worked against us in ways I never imagined.

The food, talking and light drinking stage was still pretty fun, though. My meatballs were a big hit, everybody being surprised how grape jelly made it work. Also fun was as seeing all the nieces and nephews, and watching them open their gifts... which would be later, for most of them who were young, but for the teens, who were in on the Secret Santa part of the tradition, I made a special circuit of so I could slip them each a gift card without being too obvious about it.

Mostly the kids were in the basement. That's where I finally found Tina, in her pouty-goth glory, listening to music on her phone, but she did seem happy to see me and for the gift I slipped her. And Noah who was fifteen now and had sprouted up what felt like two feet since I last saw him, looking more like a man. Although even though he, like Tina, was of an age where he was welcome to join the adults upstairs, he was still happier in the kids area... and though, like a lot of the kids, he was busy on an electronic device, he was at least being more social than most... Sarah was playing a video game with him... he seemed pretty content with that, and I thought it was cute that they got on so well together, but he still jumped up when he saw me, expecting what was coming. "Merry Christmas, Noah."

"Hi, man!" he'd said, just like Sarah had, and she'd probably gotten it from him, though hearing it I felt a pang of loss again, because when I came home from work that was always how I used to greet Buster. 'Hi, man!' It made me sad that it wasn't possible anymore, but I wasn't going to dwell on it when one of my nephews was saying, "Merry Christmas!"

That was when I once again did that move, where I gave him a gift card concealed in a friendly handshake. It was a pretty smooth move, one I learned from my own uncle (with cash), but Noah wasn't as smooth as Tina and instead of smiling coyly, completely revealed the card, which caused Sarah beside him to ask, "Do I get a giftcard?"

I smiled at her. "No, there's a present for you under the tree. But I think you'll like it. And next year you're in giftcard age." And also in the 'welcome at the upstairs party' age, which would be weird. Having skipped a few years made the other 'near adults' not seem quite so young. But of course, the upstairs party was optional for the teens anyway. I could see her, like Noah, preferring to stay downstairs with the video games and their own TV, or just where they wouldn't all be harassed about being on their phones.

Teens sort of straddled the line, and Sarah seemed just as ambivalent about it. "I don't know which I want more," she said, and then looked at Noah. "Maybe I'll just get you to share your gift card with me." He chuckled a bit nervously, and I shook my head and smiled at him -- even if he wasn't quite an adult he was at least old enough where I could still exchange a 'kids, huh?' expression with him.

And I moved on, gave more individualized greetings to the younger kids of my sister Lucy... for whatever reason I was a little less close to them, because she still lived farther away than I liked, but I still loved them and were happy to see them, and the rest of Adam's kids (Noah being the only one in gift card range), and then left the kids to be kids and went back upstairs.

One of the many family traditions at the upstairs part of the party was a traditional Christmas movie on the TV. No, not Miracle on 34th Street, or It's a Wonderful Life. No, we always had the Lord of the Rings extended edition trilogy playing. Nobody expected to watch it all, it was very much the kind of thing where you dipped in for a few minutes and then went to get another drink or conversation or join the card game. Usually.

Though I usually avoided cards, because I had no poker face and always got cleaned out by my older brothers and brother-in-law. Occasionally older nephews. Even if the pot only ever reached ten dollars at most, for my own siblings, the humiliation was the real point... I learned my lesson about that long ago. So I tended to watch the movie more than most. And watch was the operative word, since actually listening to the dialogue was pretty tricky with the Christmas medley also playing overpowering the soundtrack, but I'd gotten used to subtitles.

There was one other big family tradition, if you can call it that, that I usually skipped out on... most of my brothers and sisters smoked, or their spouses did, or both. But Mom had a rule, not in the house... she always disliked it, but she'd had a touch of the long COVID that made her really unable to stand it. And they respected that, but they still had their needs, so usually they'd all go out together, to continue whatever conversation, so usually there'd be a few minutes every hour where everything quieted down.

Not completely quiet of course, because the kids downstairs were kids, and could raise quite a ruckus (though Mom often used the smoke breaks as an opportunity to go down and check on them and get some grandparent time in, so they were usually on better behavior). And the godawful Christmas music still didn't let up except for a few seconds break between songs. But relative peace was still peace.

This time, my niece Mary seemed especially interested in watching the movie with me, which I thought was odd, but not unwelcome, at least until I started thinking maybe she was trying to tease me.

For a long time I was left in the maybe zone, because, at first, it was pretty subtle. During one of the hands of poker I got bored of watching, left the main group and sat down in front of the movie. Mary sat on the couch beside me a minute or two later, meatball in her hand, holding it by the toothpick and licking the outside like a meat lollipop, eventually taking a nibble only after her tongue had wiped away most of the jelly. But there was nothing untoward about it, and there was a gap between us. A big enough one that my wife sat down beside me for a while, and we talked a bit, all three of us. I can't even remember what about besides a little bit of polite inquiry about how school was going for her, and that was where (in front of my wife) I gave her the gift card we'd gotten for all the niblings, but then it drifted on to a chill, casual conversation about whatever came up, as though she was demonstrating she was mature enough to get along at the upstairs party. Sometimes one or another of us would get up for a drink or another bit of food, but aside from that, for about ten minutes it was just us three on the couch, talking amiably, getting along like family. It was when Helen got up again for a longer period, left the room to talk to my sister and Mom about something one of them saw on Facebook, that my niece slid into a lying down position, taking up my wife's former seat.

Swear to God, I was watching the movie, not her... except very occasional looks in her direction because she'd said something, but not deliberately. Certainly not because, lying down as she did, I could just about see down her top. To a degree, anyway... the nipples weren't quite visible, might never have been, but there was enough that a pervert might stare just in the hopes that an errant move might bring them into view. I didn't think of myself as a pervert, so I kept my gaze on the screen once I noticed that. Mostly.

Until people broke for a smoke break. And my wife went out on the heated porch area to continue the conversation with my sister, who was one of the smokers. I was still good... not staring at my niece's chest wasn't about whether I got caught. Though I certainly was worried about being spotted and punished by Helen... mostly I averted my eyes because I wouldn't want my niece to think I was pervert. Even if she never said anything to anyone else, the uncle-niece relationship's a very special one and I didn't want to ruin it by her thinking I was creeping over her.

Any looks in that direction were brief, deniable, pretty much accidental. Then the music changed, and Mary declared, "I love this song," and started to sing along. And when your niece starts singing, it's rude not to watch, right? Especially when her eyes are half closed and she's wiggling her body as she croons along to "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

I could tell myself, or others, I was gawking at her bad taste, maybe. But there was still the possibility of a nipple slip which I knew I shouldn't witness so I turned my head away, only looking back to smile indulgently when she finally got bored of singing along with the chorus, and looked back to the screen.

Soon I drained my glass, excused myself to get a refill and some snacks until my wife got back from the smoke break and could provide some protection, wound up talking to my Mom in the kitchen a little, almost forgot about Mary for a bit, until the next time I turned back to the movie and found her still there.

This time, I was smart... or at least I thought I was, because I chose a different seat, where I wouldn't be tempted into looking down the top. I suppose that, if nothing else, proves that I wasn't thinking about my teenage niece's ass, since that was still pointed in my direction, occasionally wiggling as though she had some general antsiness, but my eyes weren't drawn there, much... until her underwear became visible.

My wife was completely out of the picture by this point... in the intervening time between our last encounter, Tina had come up from downstairs and needed to be driven home to get something, or maybe because she was feeling partied out, I didn't catch the whole story, only that Helen had volunteered to drive her, since our car wasn't blocked in like Andy's was.

Mary must have known this, although I didn't want to believe this at the time, to think that my innocent niece wasn't so innocent that she actually was deliberately trying to seduce me and picking her best moments. That moment came when most of the others were again out for a smoke break, and out of the corner of my eye I noticed some movement, like she was raising moving her arm to scratch and itch, didn't look until a few seconds later, when I saw that her skirt was pulled up in what I thought, then, must have been an accident, although looking back it was pulled up far too much for it not to be deliberate.

I didn't think about them, just noticed that I could definitely see her underwear. Her thong, to be exact. Black, that kind of crisp blackness that fades once it's been washed a few times and is not longer new, provocative by itself and the contrast to the milky white skin it exposed. Suddenly Hobbits on the screen became far less interesting than that, I couldn't help but stare like that was my precious. Well, the real ring was being hidden by the thong. The underwear's fabric looked pretty skimpy, but it was still covering both holes... mostly. What were pretty obviously pussy lips peeked over the edge, like they were being devoured, and then even without the hole there was the shape of that ass... I shouldn't have been staring at either of them. But I was.

And when I finally dragged my eyes away, I caught her looking me in the eye, smirking. Like she found it funny. I told myself that maybe she didn't know how high her dress had managed to get, that she was just amused that one of her uncles was checking out her ass--which would have been bad enough, but I prayed maybe she'd let it slide, not tell anyone, and I could get out of this with my dignity and reputation intact if I just got up and got a refill on my drink right then.

I was about to, the only problem was, what happened right before I could is she casually reached behind her and pulled her thong back, stretching the elasticy material and dragging along some of her cheek as well, exposing both the magic ring of her asshole and part of her pussy for a second, before letting the fabric go with a snap. Before that snap, I swear I saw the asshole pucker and release, too.

If that sight had been followed up with a pungent smell, it would have almost been a relief, some raunchy crude joke where my niece didn't take offense but just thought it'd be funny to do a gross fart in her Uncle's face to punish him for looking at her butt, and didn't realize she was exposing herself even more in the process, didn't grasp quite how inappropriate it was. Except I didn't smell anything, which made me think it was a deliberate muscle movement, more like her asshole was blowing me a merry kiss.

Then, looking away, I met her eye again, she was craning her neck again and looking directly at me--no chance she'd missed what I was looking at--and even raised and lowered her eyebrows, like an invitation. The precious is right there. Go for it!

But I couldn't, obviously. Uncle Will Won't assault his niece in the living room during a family party. And I didn't really believe her expression meant that. At most, she was being a little cheeky (no pun intended, the cheeks were lovely though), enjoying the sensation of getting an adult man to stare at her.

Then there was the sound of the side entrance opening, boots stomping and kicking against the side of the door, as the parade of smokers returned, and as though what she'd just done was nothing, her hand moved again, but this time tugging her skirt back down to a more or less decent position. If anyone walked in right then, they wouldn't see anything.

Except maybe me staring at her butt with an erection. Luckily, I'm not a teenager anymore, I long ago learned how to force down an erection through will alone. At least if something sexy isn't happening right in front of me.

So clearly I had to get out of there. Give up on Lord of the Rings and get out of my niece's line of sight. Even if she had deliberately flashed me, she wasn't likely to when everyone else was there, right? So I'd use them as my protection, be more sociable, join the party.

Even joined a round of the card game. Losing some money was preferable to losing control somewhere, right? Although what just happened, it infected me, a little, staring across from my older brothers and my one remaining brother-in-law, wondering if they'd had a similar Mary tease tried on them. I couldn't read their faces, but with all of these perverted thoughts running through my mind, I must have looked like I was worried my bluff would be called. Except I happened to be holding a flush, so I actually won.

My eldest brother Adam's a sore loser... Andy's not much better, and I knew if I stayed the insults would begin in earnest, especially now that my wife was out of earshot... so I ducked out of the game after that. I spent time in the kitchen with my mom. She was also taking advantage of my wife's absence, though in a more caring way, to ask about our marriage... not in any really negative sense, but just checking up. Her usual probing about if we were considering kids--which we weren't, and my wife didn't like it being brought up in her presence--and also bouncing around ideas of what to get her for Christmas. I'm a last minute shopper and, although I had some inklings, I hadn't settled on anything.

Mom was in another of her phases of earnestly giving well-meaning--but ultimately not-very-good--advice (because she doesn't know my wife has no interest in home facial kits), when she looked up behind me. "What do you need, hon?"

I looked back, and sure enough, there was Mary, lurking in the threshold of the kitchen. "Nothing." And then immediately proved it was not nothing with, "But I thought maybe Uncle Will could help me fix my laptop while he's here?"

Normally, I'd always be game to give it a try, even if I resented being the tech-support guy in the family when most of my answers came down to googling the problem and trying the suggested solutions. Today... I wasn't sure if I could trust my niece's motives. Especially since she didn't actually have the laptop in her hands. "I don't know, I mean it's a party and I don't get much time to talk to Mom as it is."

Mom smiled at that, but said, "Go on... it's better than hearing her whine all week."

How do you tell your Mom you don't want to go upstairs with your niece because you're still debating whether she just deliberately showed you part of her pussy when she pulled her underwear aside after she caught you staring at her ass? That's not a conversation that goes well for anybody, no matter how innocent you manage to portray yourself.

And it was possible she really did want me to fix her laptop, that maybe the flash was just... well, I can't exactly call it innocent, but at least random and impulsive and not meaning anything deeper. The best thing to do, I told myself, was to just pretend it didn't happen, and if I had to address it, do it in private. Both of those strategies suggested going up to her room was a good idea.

Or so I told myself. I went upstairs with her, making it a point not to look at her as we ascended, just the very interesting wall with art of various saints. Mom was a good Catholic, like we all were supposed to be, but I'd never looked at them so intently before and couldn't identify a single one, which I guess is another sign I'm not the best Catholic this year.

In the upstairs hallway, I could afford to look at Mary again, try to get an idea of her intentions, but it was hard to tell what her bright smile signified. We certainly weren't talking about what happened on the couch, so maybe it wasn't on her mind anymore. Kids have poor attention spans, right? Thanks to their phones?

The door to Mary's room--also the room I lived in my last year of high school, so many years ago--was closed, until she opened it, and stepped inside to a sight that just highlighted the strangeness of my return, darkness lit in soft blue light from LEDs on the ceiling. I probably shouldn't be doing this, I told myself as I crossed the threshold, but by then she'd turned on her normal lights and suddenly the room looked less dangerous to be entering with a teenage girl. I could almost still live there, I realized, in some other universe where I was a teenage boy in this era. The area being clean was about the only thing that distinguished it from a teenage boy's room (and maybe that's just a stereotype, but it was a pattern that held for my youth and the few teenagers whose rooms I'd been in since)... she had some nice old wooden furniture was a little fancier than what I had as a teen but I'd have been happy with and her walls were plastered only with a few assorted movie posters on the walls that in specifics were different films than were formative in my day, but otherwise, could just as easily be mine. The bed was in the same place, near the window, and her bedspread was a neutral white color. The carpet was maybe plusher and more fluffy than I'd expect in a guy's room, but nothing distinctively Mary stood out for me. If you didn't know the family and my niece in particular you might not be able to tell exactly which kid from the party lived here. It was a room that I'd masturbated in at least a hundred times, but I absolutely shouldn't be doing any more, or even thinking about, in this company. But while we'd both called this room home, Mary was the one who stepped in like she owned the place, while I lingered in the doorway. Too long, as it turned out, as she'd first stepped towards the desk her laptop rested on, and then turned back to look at me, and the smile widened.

She took a few slow, deliberate steps in my direction, and my instinct was to back out of the room entirely, but it didn't make sense so I resisted my instincts, and instead stood still as she said, "Uh-oh..." and got closer, standing on her tiptoes.

Then I reacted. I couldn't let my niece kiss me, and it became clear that was what she was doing, so I drew back. "What are you...?"

She backed off, just one step, and pointed up. There, I saw the telltale sight of a mistletoe hanging from the top of her doorway. "It's tradition." Then, after a second--in which I weighed the fact that she was almost certainly the one who put the mistletoe there in the first place against the fact that she invited me up here--she added, "Relax, I just was going to do it on the cheek." Another second. "But if Uncle Will Won't follow the tradition, that's okay. You can still look at my laptop, though, right?"

"Sure," I said, relaxing. She pointed me over to the desk, where I sat, and she leaned over my shoulder to type in the password, alert about the near contact that represented, feeling that it was another spot that she might try to push some boundaries. Her background screen turned up (a scene from The Witcher, I think), no browser windows open or anything, just a music app running, but paused. "So, what seems to be the problem?"

"Well, one problem is... when I transfer pictures from my phone? They come out weird. Look." And she pointed to the screen where the desktop had a folder, labeled 'Hot Selfies.'

"Uh, I really don't think I should be clicking on that."

"Oh, it's okay. I trust you, you're my uncle," she chirped, as if that somehow made it okay. "Besides, I'm, like, the opposite of shy."

"Yeah, bu..." And I turned back in her direction and stared.

"See?" She'd pulled the dress up, revealing--perhaps--far more than what was in the folders. Or perhaps not. If she was willing to stand in front of her uncle, holding the red and white hem of her Christmas skirt up and show off the tight black thong underwear... or flash more than that from behind, earlier... maybe the hot selfies were a lot hotter than I was prepared for.

And still I stared, openly, at the front of the thong, clearly outlining the lips of her pussy in lacy fabric that looked tissue-paper thin. You'd think having seen the actual pussy from behind would make that less captivating, but there was this sense that this wasn't some random, spur of the moment tease, that she was doing this deliberately, that was starting to sink in. Her hips wiggled back and forth like she was showing it off, and it was harder and harder to do the right thing and look away. I'd managed to resist the mistletoe, but was helpless at the camel toe.

Almost helpless. Definitely was not thinking about planting a kiss there, or giving her a tickle from her uncle, but the consequences of doing either seemed to be pretty clear to me, so I finally turned away, played dumb, like I hadn't seen anything. "What exactly is the problem with the pictures?" I asked. I didn't click, but my hand moved the cursor to hover over it.

"They just look... off. The color's weird. Not as good."

My brain saved me. I didn't even have to look. Either at the pictures, or her. "That's just because of different screen settings," I explained. I was looking at her anyway, the shadowed reflection of her against the screen, just enough to see that she'd dropped the hem of her skirt again. "The pics you take on your phone are calibrated for your phone's screen... when you put them on a different screen, like this, they're not going to look the same." I dared a look back. The hem was still down, the camel toe still not in view. "You can tweak your graphics settings if you want the screen to look closer to the phone, or play with your camera settings if you want the other way around, or get a good image processing program to play with the picture itself so you can get a version good for both." I felt like I was rambling, but at least it was something I could say that would not get me in trouble. At least as long as I didn't volunteer to hand-correct every image, or give her an excuse to ask. To prevent that, I hastily added, "I'm not really an expert in how to do that, but it's not really a problem with your laptop that can be 'fixed.'" And, I thought, that means I can get out of here.

"Oh," she said. "But there's another problem, too." I sagged, waiting. "I do have something else going on with my speakers?" She said it like a question, voice rising at the end.

Okay. I could maybe help with that, and I didn't see how it could get me in trouble. "And what's the problem?"

"I mean, I'm not sure it's a problem, exactly, but... see, when I play my music loud?" She got close again, and moved the mouse pointer over to a playlist. My brain tried to anticipate the problems she might be having, troubleshoot even before I heard it, maybe static, or popping noises, or... "Like as loud as I've got it set to... the thing is, nobody downstairs can hear what we're doing here. Especially when everyone's out having another smoke." Leaning close to me as she was, her face was right next to mine, but out of the corner of one I saw her turn to me and grin, "Want to try it out and see?"

"I don't know what you're suggesting here..." Though I'd lived in this room before, I had about a year of knowing what kinds of things could be heard elsewhere in the house, and my brain was agreeing with her.

She stepped away, letting me look at her face to face, see how serious she seemed to be. "You seem to like looking, and I wouldn't mind doing a little more... I mean you are my number one you-elf."

At least, you-elf was what it sounded like. Maybe Yule-Elf? "What..."

"Uncle-I'd-Like-To-Fuck." Oh, UILF, not You-Elf.

I felt my face burning up, embarrassed but also at the same time aware of a strange pride welling up inside me, that I was the top choice over any of my brothers or even my brother-in-law who would be slightly more socially acceptable for a teenage niece to crush on, not being blood related. But me? "Mary... this is totally not appropriate." Took a lot to not add a 'thank you, but' first.

Her expression was impish. "Neither was staring at my ass but we both enjoyed you doing that." Her body pulled away from the desk, straightening while bending at the hips just a little to highlight that part of her body.

You know that thing where you feel like you're yelling but you're actually still whispering? That's what I was doing. "I was not staring!" But neither of us believed that, so I switched to, "You're my niece!"

"That's what makes it hot!"

"I'm married!"

"Still making it pretty hot," she said, although this time with a hint of teasing to it. Maybe that's what this was, I hoped, clinging to that thread, some kind of elaborate tease, testing her Uncle to see if he really was the kind of pervert who'd agree to cheat on his wife with her, that maybe she'd decide to forgive the staring as long as she was convinced Uncle Will Won't really try to make a move on her.

That lasted until I noticed her hands pulling her dress up again and slipping into her underwear. "Besides, your wife isn't here, I am, and I want it so bad." She let out a little moan of pleasure or frustration to demonstrate it. "Come on, don't tell me you're not going to fuck your teenage niece when she wants it? Seriously, Uncle Will, that's so cringe."

Well, I didn't want to be cringe. God forbid I be cringe, even if avoiding that meant doing something God actually did forbid. Several things, really. At one time I could probably list exactly which, and why, but right then, I was not feeling like the best Catholic in the world, and only one thing came to mind. "It's the worst kind of sin!" I meant sex with my teenage niece, not being cringe, for the record.

"Yeah, that's why we use the loophole."

"The what...?" Bizarrely, the only loophole that jumped to mind was that sex was okay if two people were married.

That wasn't what she meant. "God doesn't expect us to be perfect," she explained. "But the good thing is Jesus died for our sins, even the worst ones. As long as you confess later, it's fine."

I'm not the best Catholic in the world, but that really didn't seem like it should work. There were a lot of things that God just plain wouldn't want me to do, and Mary, my niece, was definitely tops of the list. No loophole could get around that, could it? Confession wasn't a get-out-of-sin free card, was it? There was more to it, wasn't there? For a moment, my mind was blank, but then, yes, suddenly it hit me. "That's for if you feel genuine remorse."

"Uncle Will!" she said, almost a soft gasp as she stepped back theatrically, like I was the one scandalizing herenough that she had to draw away from me. "Are you saying that you could fuck me, your own niece, and not feel any remorse the next day?" She was teasing me, she had to be, but it was hard to argue with her logic. "Even if it was cheating on your wife? Wow, that makes you sound even worse." Whatever flaw in my character that might have implied, it didn't seem to bother her much though, because the edge of her lips started to curl into a smile. "That's even hotter, actually. But I have more faith in you than you do." She cocked her head at a noise from downstairs. "Looks like everyone's going out for a smoke. Want to turn on the music and see if we can do something that you'll regret?"

This was crazy. Totally crazy. "What's wrong with you?" I asked.

She let out another little moan of frustration, and I could see a pout on her shiny lips as she turned away for a moment. "I'm horny, that's all. I'm pretty sure you are too, so let's take the opportunity to fix both problems at once. Come on, it'll just be between you and me and God." She looked back and took a step nearer to me, although enough to the side that I wasn't sure if she was approaching me or moving to lean past me, and it was only when her arm reached out that I realized she was going for the mouse and not my body. But either way, my hand grabbed hers, pulled her arm upwards. "Mmm, yeah, that's the spirit, but music first." Her eyes darted from me to the screen.

As horrified as I was about what had happened in the last few minutes, my dick wasn't sharing any of my moral dilemma. It was alert when she first made the proposal, and with contact, even defensive contact, and the soft sound of her mmm, it was like a man half-possessed, some stiff animated part of me fighting to get close to her, and the rest of me trying to win a spiritual battle by staying still. "This is wrong."

"I mean, it's up to you," she said, looking me straight in the eye. "If you want to be all puritan about it, we can go downstairs and I can be honest with everyone about how you grabbed my arm and implied Uncle Will wouldn't feel remorse for fucking me."

I wouldn't exactly call that honest, but as a threat... even if it was delivered with shining eyes on an angelic face... it was downright devilish. Just from the accusation, I could imagine the scene that would follow, where all my protestations of innocence got ignored... I could see it all vividly in my mind's eye... Adam beating on my face, Andy would race with Annie over who could call the cops first.

Maybe I should have done something to fight off this satanic influence. Prayed, at the very least. Weren't there stories in the Bible about that, praying in the name of Jesus to drive out demons? In retrospect, it seems like something I might have at least tried. But that night I guess I wasn't the best Catholic, because all I felt like I could do is give in to the threat. "I'm going to regret this." My hand loosened its grip.

"See, there you go! Now put on the music, we've wasted enough time." That was when my niece slid between me and the desk, dropped to her knees in front of the chair and the sinning began in earnest.

If I was going to go to Hell, I might as well have musical accompaniment. I'd have pictured hard rock, but what came blaring out of the speakers when I double-clicked was newer, not anything I recognized, a bit of a techno vibe to it, and part of me wondered if this was what the kids were into nowadays or if she'd just chosen it because it made a lot of random noise and you couldn't easily piece together what was from the song and what was from two people upstairs. But then my pants were being unzipped and all I could think of was my little niece on her knees in front of me, pulling my swollen cock out of confinement.

"Huh," she said. "Guess Aunt Helen really did luck out." Which I guess meant she found it to her liking. "If you guys ever want another girl for a threesome, keep me in mind. But tonight... I'm glad I don't have to share." At that, the lips and tongue that had recently been sucking on my balls downstairs started to work on my cock. Christ, if it's any mitigation for my sin, this was clearly not her first blowjob, the way she bobbed her head up and down on me, this underage teenage girl obviously had practice. No fear or shame, either, although apparently she expected to regret this in the future, at least if she was being honest in her theories of confession. At the moment, she was too wrapped up in enjoyment to show much sign of remorse.

I could relate, I guess. I knew, somewhere in the deep in my soul, that I was going to regret what I was doing, but my mortal body had seemingly committed--this was happening, so I might as well get what enjoyment I could out of the experience before the inevitable consequences. As you sow, so shall ye reap, but the body wants to sow.

The oral only lasted a minute of soft glugging sounds I could barely hear over the blaring music, and then she pulled away, wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. "Come on, we've wasted enough time..." She awkwardly made the moves required to stand up without banging herself on the desk. I scrambled out of the chair, not sure whether I was being considerate and helping her get up so we could fuck, or getting ready to run, but I didn't run, just stepped away so I could see where she'd lead me. And I certainly wasn't going anywhere when I heard her, "I need you inside me." As she spoke, she began undressing, quickly, efficiently, and again, zero shame. The glimpses I'd seen of her body before were tantalizing, but this was a different kind of experience. She really was a vision of teen beauty. I'd never considered myself a pedo before, but now I was making the kind of justifications pedos did, like acknowledging she was well past puberty which means, technically, it was something other than pedophilia. But I couldn't deny that a part of me thought that she was at some peak of beauty... women of my age, even older, could be hot as fuck but somehow in her teens Mary was at her moment of perfection, where she had to look her very best, her body tight, unblemished, breasts happy- and eager-looking, nipples even pointing slightly upwards. And, perhaps most of all, eager, her eyes bright, excited, like, despite her evident skills, that this sort of thing was as new and exciting for her as it had suddenly become again for me. "We've got to finish before everyone gets back."

Her head scanned around the room for a second or two, as though assessing her options, choosing a good spot, considering whether we might do it in her bed, and then finally she decided to just go with the nearest option and turned her back to me, showing off that perfect tight teen ass. It was alluring enough clothed and bent over, or exposed from under a skirt while sitting on a couch, but naked and standing up, it was really something. Such a pert little bubble, like it was perfectly designed to provide a shady overhang for her pussy without hiding it at all. Especially not hiding it when she leaned up against the side of her desk and thrust it outward in my direction.

I know it's kind of sick to be fetishizing the beauty of a naked teenage girl... even if she wasn't my niece, this would be wrong. I should be able to resist. My wife is beautiful, and I'd never want to hurt her or betray her even without her knowing... so I knew I was going to regret this. But when it was right there in front of me, I knew that I'd regret not at least trying that body out--feeling how it squeezed my cock--so much more.

So I stumbled forward, dick in hand, still wet from her saliva, about to get even more wet assuming she actually let me do what it seemed like she was. She was certainly wiggling her body like she was. And for her, Lucy pulling the football away at the last moment was probably such a dated reference it wouldn't even make sense to her... she'd just think I was talking about some childhood event with my sister.

I made a silent prayer for forgiveness... it felt hollow, like a fraud, considering what I was doing, but it was all I had as I angled the head of my cock for her slit, and, feeling the warmth of her lips, pushed inside, feeling her body yield to me with only the slightest hint of resistance, and a soft moan of what sounded at the moment like surprise more than pleasure, like, deep down, she hadn't really expected me to go through with it.

If it was indeed surprise, it didn't seem to be of the unpleasant variety, because she immediately pushed back, and turned to look at me, wide smile still on her face, at least until she bit her lip and pushed deeper, then reached one hand back to tangle her fingers in mine, pull it to her waist, and then let go, like she was instructing me to hold her there.

Sin doesn't always live up to the temptation, in my experience. However much you wanted to do something you know is wrong, actually doing it doesn't often provide all the pleasure you expected you'd feel. My first instinct--second instinct, maybe--was that this was another of those times, that I'd made an even bigger mistake, thrown away my soul for a cheap thrill that wasn't even that good... after that first moment of exciting penetration, it was good, but had sort of an awkward fumbling quality to it... but only until we'd found our rhythm, until I really felt like I was fucking my teenage niece and... not giving zero fucks, since I was constantly aware of the risks I was taking, but knowing that sometimes things are worth the risk. Risk and fear of consequences had in fact transcended into something that made the experience better rather than worse, just like the brief flashes of pain from friction or too much force. Feeling her push against me, while I pushed back, like we were just two animals in heat made all of reality, even the bad parts, feel so naturally good that I almost lost my conviction in the whole concept of an immortal soul.

Animals don't talk though, and the soft whine of her, "Oh fuck..." just barely audible over the music--just loud enough to tell that it wasn't a complaint--made me, for a moment, revel in the sin I was committing. The worry about being caught faded, never really going away but becoming less important than feeling Mary, the desire to make her feel my body slamming against her ass, my cock stretching her underage pussy, my balls shooting a load deep inside of her.

That moment I could feel getting closer and closer, and every one of her grunts were driving me closer, and she kept looking back at me, with an expression on her face... it was like she was trying to say something, but continually deciding it wasn't the right time, that she could wait a few more thrusts.

Finally, she couldn't wait anymore. "Uncle Will, I'm not on birth control," she blurted out in a whisper. "And I can't get an abortion..."

You'd think the word 'abortion' would be a boner killer at the best of times, particularly for a Catholic... in the eyes of a lot of our Church, abortion's basically the biggest sin a person can commit.

But I'm not exactly the best Catholic in the world. My wife and I are quietly pro-choice, taking the attitude that abortion's a tragedy that's best avoided, a sin if done casually, but a greater sin is forcing a woman to bear a child she's not ready for, and so, in the end, it's up to any individual's conscience. That's what I believe at the best of times. Balls deep in my niece, some dark part of me believed "be fruitful and multiply" was the greatest commandment, that her saying she wasn't on birth control and "can't get an abortion" meant "if you pump your seed in me, I'll have no choice but to carryyour baby," and that started priming the pump.

All of us have two natures. Some would call it mortal and divine, others the good angel and bad angel on our shoulder, or two wolves inside of us. There's the part of us that wants what we want and damn the consequences, and there's the part of us that wants to do the right thing, to let God's will guide your life in the direction it needs to go.

The real problem was I couldn't tell anymore which was which. Because He may not have wanted me to have sex with my niece, but my faith taught me He also seemed to think impregnating her was the right call at this point. All sex should, ideally, be procreative, right?

But I didn't want to impregnate my niece. Or, I did, absolutely want that, but I knew it would be bad for so many reasons, wrong for myself, wrong for her. So I don't know if it was the better part of my nature, or the selfish part, but with my own groan of "oh fuck," I managed to pull myself away while I felt the irresistible pressure rising up my shaft. It sure felt like tearing my soul in two, but I was also cumming, so, not in a particularly painful way.

We parted, and the furniture she was leaning on made a noise against the floor, but my splatter went against her butt, not inside. I think. Good thing I wasn't a younger man, when this room used to be mine, I used to be quite a squirter... could hit my ceiling with the first rope before I knew what was happening, and although it had been around two decades since, I wondered how much of my long-dried cum was still up there under a layer of new paint. In those days, if I didn't grab a napkin quick, it'd become a cummy rainshower. These days, it's a slower process, the muscles are a bit laggy to kick in, so it often starts with kind of a dribble of excess lubrication and maybe one or two big spurts then like a runny fountain. Unless I'm super, super-turned on, in which case that first dribble might be a spurt too. I'm not entirely sure which happened there, but in fairness I was pretty turned on at the time, so I had to consider that a jet of my semen have stealth-launched deep inside her while I thought I was pulling out in time. I just didn't know. I guess it was in God's hands.

We tried our best, though. Mary whirled around almost as soon as I pulled out, which might have been why the squirt landed on the side of her ass, and I had to hope and pray that was the first real squirt rather than the second, which would mean that some was inside her. Even a dribble was probably a risk, but a lesser one. I only had a moment to worry about all that before her mouth was on me again, sucking down the runoff like it was some kind of holy water, and then for a while all I could do was admire her thoroughness, felt like not a single sperm was wasted. When I finally softened, it felt like she'd cleaned me better than a washcloth, except for the lingering saliva, which itself felt clean, like the fluids of some kind of saint, incorruptible as a miracle... I knew it wasn't true, but as she finished up all that remaining pent-up tension rushed out of me with a deep breath as the only thing I could say was another, "Oh fuck."

That kind of language, in front of my fourteen-year-old niece. I should be ashamed.

I guess she'd heard it before, though, because she giggled and licked the edge of her lip. "You said it, Uncle Will. We almost didn't make it in time. That would have been a pickle. If we do this again, you should use condoms, or stick to my ass like I'd planned." She got to her feet, then turned to her computer, showing off that ass again.

"We can't," I said. I was still out of breath, or at least it felt like it. I'm not as young as I used to be.

"It's fine," she said. "I learned in Catholic school. God's OK with sodomy... but only if you're straight." She winked.

"We can't... Mary, we can't do this again," I clarified. Now that the moment of lust had passed, I was once again in my right mind, thinking of Helen, of the stupid risks I'd just taken, and it all felt so stupid and dangerous and wrong.

Mary still seemed like it was no big deal. "Are you sure? Cause I was only planning on making this a one-time thing originally, but that was... wow, you really went for it." Then her face changed, seemed remorseful, but not for the right things. "Sorry I had to play a little dirty with the threat, I wasn't really going to say anything, I just thought you needed a little extra push." Her eyes lit up again, teasing, excited. "But it turns out you're not Uncle Will Won't after all. Maybe you could call me when your wife goes out Christmas shopping or something and I could come over and we could really have some fun. I can be kinky as fuck, you know." This wasn't kinky enough? "Hey, you still have Buster's collar? I could be your little chained slut for the day."

You've heard of Elf-on-a-Shelf, but are you ready for Niece-on-a-Leash? I wasn't. "Seriously, Mary... this can never happen again."

She pouted. "Fine." Turning off the music, she turned back to me. "See? What did I tell you, you've already got the regret part down pat. Not me. I'm going to have to work at it. Right now, I'm still glad I drew your name for my first year."

Drew my name? First year? "What?"

"Surprise! I'm your Secret Satan this year." She bounced on her feet.

"... What?"

She began to move again, this time towards a bookcase where she had some kind of wipes, either always available or specifically prepared... I didn't spend enough time in my niece's room to really know. As she grabbed it and wiped herself down, she explained. "You know, the family tradition. Aunt Lucy told me I'm yours this year, and, well, when I saw it was you this was the first sin that jumped to mind."

There was only one thing she could be talking about. She had to be joking, right? I don't understand kids' humor these days, all memes and references to TikToks or YouTubes or something, but there was no way... "The secret SANTA tradition?" My oldest sister married too early and, at first, moved too far away for regular visits, so tried to make up for it by organizing all the family events. She kept it up after moving closer to home, and, already having enough kids that made finances tight and seeing her little brothers and sisters starting to have kids, came up with the idea to save everyone money. But it was always a Secret Santa tradition.

Except Mary didn't seem to think so. Her forehead crinkled. "No..." Suddenly, she had her phone in her hand. Since she was still naked and I had it on very good authority it wasn't hidden in her ass or pussy, she must have grabbed it from the bookshelf along with the wipes, and I simply hadn't noticed. Now, with an ease and speed I could only envy, she was whipping through apps, and then handed it to me while she gathered up her clothes. I looked down on an email she'd gotten from my sister.

Yup, it definitely was a real email from my sister Lucy, and it said 'Secret Satan.' "This is obviously just a typo!" I was getting exasperated, not sure if I was being teased or this was all based on a misunderstanding... I'm not even sure which was worse. That my niece really wanted to have sex with me and, now that she'd succeeded, we just playing with me, or that I'd just possibly damned my eternal soul because of a mistake. Maybe a lot of this, I just had to blame Lucy for.

"I mean, now that you mention it, I guess it's kind of obvious," she agreed. She now had her top back on and was flattening out the skirt, which made her look like some slutty pantsless Christmas elf on present-wrapping duty. "I just thought, you know, this was like, a cool adult secret we were finally getting in on, that every year you try to tempt each other into doing some kind of sin that you have to confess to. I mean, it would explain a lot." There she stepped into her skirt and was now more or less presentable, except for the moment when she pulled her underwear back on. "Oh, shit." I froze, looked to the door, thought maybe she'd heard somebody coming, who'd heard me coming. "Hey, can we consider this my Secret Santa gift then? Because I already kinda used the twenty-dollar limit on this." She pulled the skirt up again to show off her thong, now once again covering the pussy I'd fucked. She could become covered again, but I could never unfuck that.

"Fine, fine, just don't tell anyone," I said. I could hear people downstairs again, the smoke break ending. Had all of this happened in just those few minutes? It felt like a lot longer.

"Of course not. Except at confession, of course." Her grin turned positively devilish again. "Don't want my soul in jeopardy." At least priests weren't allowed to tell anybody. But it still felt incredibly dangerous. "Anyway, if you really want to keep it a secret, maybe you should go back and join the party."

Right. Even though I was invited up here, the door was closed, and even if it used to be mine, right now this was my teenage niece's room, I certainly didn't want anybody to get a hint of what had just happened. Given that permission, I left, without even so much as a goodbye.

I didn't rejoin the party immediately though, I took a little detour in the upstairs bathroom, splashed water in my face, tried to see if I could look at myself in the mirror. I could, it turned out, though the guy staring back seemed pretty freaked out. Washing my cock a few times helped a little, and some deep breathing, but I couldn't stay there forever, so I went back downstairs

Everything there seemed normal. There was no whispered conversations broken when I reappeared, no glares of condemnation or suspicion. I'd gotten away with it, it seemed. Mostly, anyway... I guess I still seemed a little out of sorts, one of my brothers asked me if I was okay, and I lied and said I was just tired.

I went back to the Lord of the Rings marathon, just to look like everything was normal, but I was thinking of the one ring of my niece's asshole around my cock, that she teased as a possibility for next time, if there was one. Maybe she'd not been serious about that. I certainly couldn't take her up on it. But the thought of it...

Especially when I heard Mary downstairs again, in the kitchen, talking to my mom. "Did your uncle take care of your problem?"

"Oh, yeah, Grandma," she said. "He knew exactly what to do." There might have been some innuendo on her end, but Mom had no idea, she must have assumed they were talking about computers.

Mary also didn't come join me again on the couch, which was a relief but also somehow disappointing, a blow to the ego, but it seemed like now that she'd won her conquest there was no reason to spend any extra time with me. Or maybe she was just trying to be discreet and I should be thanking her.

The next time I saw her was when we were all gathered together in the family room for the gift exchange. Or rather, the kids unwrapping their presents, since that's mostly what it was. A few of us older folk got presents from the kids, a few had Secret Santa presents that were put under the tree instead of given out earlier, or, in my case, being retroactively offered up in a bedroom. Though, for everybody else, she claimed her gift for me was being delivered and she'd give it to me when it showed up. Meanwhile, her mom was who I pulled for Secret Santa, and as she unwrapped what Helen chose for her, I had to worry and hope that I hadn't actually just given my sister the gift of an early grandchild by impregnating her daughter that night.

Beyond that, I didn't remember much of any of the gift-giving, who got what, who was disappointed, who was excited... even the gifts Helen and I gave to some of the younger ones ourselves... I spent that gift exchange in a confused haze, drinking more than I had at those parties in years, and none of it really sticks out... except one thing.

I remember Mary's little sister Sarah giving a gift to her cousin, my nephew, one of her hand-made sweaters. I saw Noah tear open the packaging, unfold it, then his eyes widen and quickly fold it up. "Good..." my mother read, over his shoulder.

"It says 'Good Tidings,'" he said quickly. Too quickly, especially how he crumpled the sweater up. "Thank you so much, Sarah!"

Everybody moved on, because one of Lucy's kids wanted their present and the attention on them. Nobody else seemed to notice the moment of panic in that boy's eyes, the paranoid looks around, the beaming smile on the gift-giver turned to annoyance when he revealed what it said... or got what it said wrong, I think. Because the sweater Sarah was wearing said "Small Package," and so it might raise way too many questions to reveal that she'd gave Noah a sweater saying, "Good Things." Or possibly "Good Thing," singular. Either way, I'd cover it up too, because there was an obvious connection... Good Things Come In Small Packages. Was Sarah giving a brazen attempt at secret messaging there? If she even knew the other meaning of 'come,' it could have been a proposition... or a lovestruck preteen's idea of a romantic reminder of something already done.

Or maybe it meant nothing. Maybe Noah was just conscious of what it might look like, that his cousin's innocent joke could be misconstrued, and politely protecting her from the embarrassment if nothing else.

But the fear and guilt in his eyes seemed very much like the face I saw in the mirror after I fucked my underage niece, and I wondered for a moment if these sisters were more alike than different.

I wasn't going to tell anyone my idea. Judge not lest ye be judged, after all.

As for Mary, she seemed to be taking things casually, but she did give a glance and a smile my way. That was about it, in terms of our interactions, right up until my wife finally showed up again and I could tell her about my headache and make an excuse to go, which Helen was fine to do after a tiny bit of final socializing. I hugged my nieces and nephews goodbye as a matter of course, and the girls often gave a kiss on the cheek, but Mary's seemed to have a little more force and she parted with a "Good seeing you again Uncle Will."

I prayed for forgiveness that night, alone in bed, in my head, but I knew Mary was right about one thing, I was going to have to confess to a priest, next chance I got.

And finally that chance had come. Another of our family traditions was gathering at Church for the Christmas Eve Mass, or rather, Christmas Eve Afternoon Mass. Lucy and her family did it somewhere closer to them, but the rest of us were close enough to each other that we gathered at the same place, and we also show up early, when they're still doing confessions. There's also a Mass on Christmas Morning, but we never went to that one, it was more important to us to get it out of the way early and then enjoy the rest of the holiday and be able to sleep in... we're not very good Catholics I guess, but we always believed we were being good enough both with our faith and our works that God looked kindly on us.

I didn't even have that, anymore, at least if I didn't confess.

I tried to smile, act like everything was normal. It's amazing how easy that is to do, even when you've done something abominable... you come into church and smile at everyone and shake a few hands and somehow you don't burst into flame when you cross the threshold... not that you really expected to, but having done something so sinful you feel like maybe you should. Or break down as you're filled with the holy spirit and confess publicly. Maybe better Catholics would, but then, I've never seen it happen, for any sin, so either I'm not as bad as I thought, or the absolute worst. Definitely not the best, though, since I have to believe most people haven't committed sins as heinous as mine.

But I could smile through it, seeing family, all with my heart in my throat, eyeing the confessional, waiting for my turn, and being relieved whenever it was postponed. My wife wanted to confess before me, and I graciously allowed her, and an old lady, and even my nephew who may or may not be confessing to sex with his preteen cousin. If that was true, he might be the one person there who needed confession more than me. He might need it even if all that happened was Sarah tempting the same sort of thing as Mary, and Noah made better choices... the temptation is enough. Or maybe I had it all wrong, I only saw a few snapshots of their interactions, maybe they had a long association and throughout all of it there was Noah tempting inappropriate things like a teenage predator. Either way, I let him go ahead, taking it like one more stay of execution.

Eventually, my turn came, to sit in the booth behind the screen and tell my horrible secret.

And you know what, it wasn't so bad.

The confessing itself was terrible, of course, awkward and shameful, but there's a reason we do it, and the relief afterwards... it's hard to describe to somebody who doesn't do it, doesn't truly believe in it, when you're told your penance and it becomes simple, pay for your crime, and go and sin no more. At least, that's the theory.

I'm not the best Catholic this Christmas, but for a while, I felt I could do just that, move past it. The priest I was confessing to, he sounded genuinely sorry for me, not like I was a horrible person, but just someone who'd lost his way a little, and the penance was a lot lighter than I expected for infidelity, incest, and sex with a minor. Like a bargain... possibly because he'd just heard much worse, I don't know, but I know to take a deal when I get one.

I emerged from the confessional like a man with a cleansed soul, still guilty for what I'd done but determined to make it a one-time lapse. I thought I could do it, because I had, since the party... I hadn't tried to hit up my niece for a second fuckfest while my wife was out shopping, although I did think about it (I confessed that, too, as I said, temptation is just as much a sin), but remained scrupulously faithful, and even a model husband, not arguing with my wife, doing chores, trying to somehow make up for the horrible way I betrayed her... without actually letting her find out about it.

We stopped for a coffee and gathered again as Mass was about to start, and I was feeling pretty good about myself... until I spotted my niece Mary. Not just her, but her little sister, and Tina, my niece from my brother, talking, smiling. I didn't know then if Mary had done her confession yet... if she even intended to, but I did notice they were tossing looks in the direction of the confession as they talked. And something made me approach, quietly, until I was close enough to listen in from behind.

"I bet he's trying not to jack off in there," Tina said. She might have wiped off some of the gothier makeup for church, but she was still a teen, and I wasn't that worried about teens making edgy jokes in Church. I had, when I was young, to look cooler to my friends, hoping God would forgive. More innocent days.

Mary also sounded the picture of innocence when she said, "Priests don't jack off." But I knew better than most that in her case, that was the performance.

"Of course they do," Tina insisted. "Just not usually at confessional. Though I think he came close with my story." She had a story too? What could she have done?

"Only because mine got him worked up first." So I guess Mary had told him the truth, or some version of it, but my relief for my niece's soul was outweighed by the dread over the implication that she also told her cousin. Cousins aren't bound to keep your secrets.

"Please. Your story might have shaken him more, but mine got him turned on the most. He's gotta be turned on by girl-girl more than incest. Most people aren't turned on by that."

"Mine was riskier though, and risky is always a turn on. And besides, yours is incest too."

"Aunt Helen is only related by marriage." Oh shit. Aunt Helen? As in, Helen, my wife, Tina's aunt? "It's not the same thing."

She had to be making it up, I thought at first. And yet... my wife had been gone an awful long time that night. And she had wanted to go home the moment I suggested I might. She'd also been... I don't want to say 'on her best behavior,' but less prone to the kind of things she knew irritated me. Maybe I wasn't the only one with a guilty conscience.

God, if Helen'd somehow had sex with Tina while she was driving her home, I totally should have invited Mary over while Helen was shopping. Confessing to one more time couldn't really make that much of a difference, right?

That was an unworthy thought. But I thought it. And bizarrely felt a little better about myself as I did. If my wife also cheated with one of my nieces, then what I did couldn't be so bad, could it? I might have made a dirty joke of our marriage vows but at least I wasn't the only one. Depending on the timing, she might have even cheated first. There was something immensely relieving about that.

Unless of course, it was a lie. Kids lie all the time, brag about things they didn't do. I took a step closer and heard another brag, this one from little Sarah. "He was breathing hard when I was done. I bet he really was whacking it." Horrible thing for a twelve-year-old to say about a priest in God's house. "So I think it's safe to say he found the incest a big turn-on."

"Yours is barely incest," Tina dismissed.

Sarah protested, but Mary was with her cousin here, "It's true, cousins doesn't even really count. Like, some places you can even marry. And anyway, you're not in this."

"Am so!"

"Are not. You're already practically boyfriend and girlfriend, you didn't really tempt him into anything new."

"That's not true, Noah never came in my veejay before. And I'd never confessed any of it to the priest before."

Tina leaned forward slightly so they could have the conversation, over Mary sitting between them. "Yes but the game's to make him think that you're the Secret Satan even though you're not doing anything really bad." Was what Mary told me a lie and this was the real Secret Satan game they played? And what did it say if incest, encouraging the breakup of a marriage isn't 'really bad' in their book? Maybe I'm not the worst Catholic in the family. "Your story's just going to make him think Noah corrupted you."

"As if. More like the other way around." That was a relief, I guess... if they just tempted Noah into a mortal sin, like they did me, then maybe he still a good person, like I wanted to believe I was. I still had to wonder what was wrong with Annie's daughters that they were so into corrupting people. Andy's girl too, by the sound of it. Was one of them really a bad influence on the others, or did the Terrible Twosome just spur each other on into worse and worse behavior, and Sarah an early casualty? Maybe the priests had been watching this happen slowly over years, never breaking the seal of confessional and giving the parents a chance to right our course? Or, perhaps most terrifying of all, maybe it wasn't just our family, maybe this was just how most kids were, these days, overly sexual. Social media made that seem terrifyingly plausible, although I had none of my own to judge by. Unless, perhaps, one was incubating in Mary's womb. In the middle of saying, "When we were playing hide and seek, he was so scared, I almost busted..." Sarah looked over her shoulder, locked eyes at me and suddenly cut off her sentence, looking spooked. "Shh, shh." And the other girls turned, too, seeing me close enough to have heard something, although they might not have known how much.

Tina looked almost as worried as Sarah, but one of them wasn't concerned at all. "Don't worry. Uncle Will's cool. Will Won't say anything," Mary said, and smiled like a saint, daring me to disagree.

I didn't say anything then, actually too wrapped up in wondering if this presumably dirty hide and seek game happened down in the basement at the Christmas party, or at some other time with Noah's siblings. The question would go unanswered, but Sarah's anxious expression did morph into a grin at her sister's confidence. "That's the best thing about family I guess." Now I had new questions. Was that why she targeted her older cousin? Because Noah couldn't spread their affair around? Did Mary target me for the same reason? And Tina luring my wife?

That was when I felt a tug from Helen, looked that way, saw the ashen look as she suggested we take our seats, and she started pulling me to the other edge of the pew. Nothing immediately unusual about that... the spaces immediately next to the kids would be more appropriately taken by their own parents, but I couldn't help but wonder if she was afraid Tina might say something, not realizing she already had.

But I allowed myself to be pulled away from those sinful kids--bodily, at least, if not in soul, and pretended not to notice Helen stiffening when Tina called out a sultry, "Hi Aunt Helen, thanks for helping me out the other week," aimed at our backs. There was a lot I'd already decided we weren't going to talk about, particularly now. Now was God's time, so I sat and listened to Mass.

Tried to, anyway. I didn't think I'd committed any fresh sins since confession, except a few dirty thoughts, but my mind wasn't exactly on the Mass for a lot of it, kept wandering to dangerous areas, so though I tried to pay attention, I couldn't tell you most of what was said. Though the part about Christ coming to redeem all of our sins, that really spoke to me. I'd always believed but I'm not sure I ever really felt I needed it to be true as much as I did this Christmas. If God's forgiveness was really that all-encompassing, then my particular sins this holiday season might not matter so much, in the end. My nieces either, we could all flirt with wickedness but still be guaranteed a spot in heaven. The only truly unforgivable sin is to turn away from the Holy Spirit and refuse to repent. I may not be the best Catholic this Christmas, but I just had to be stronger in my faith. I'd confessed my sins, and I believed that mattered. That had to be enough.

Normally we lingered a while after the Mass too, chatting with my brothers as they had the cigarettes they couldn't have in the car, but I could sense Helen wanted to get away. Tina standing next to her father Andy might have had something to do with it, because that's where we were when my wife finally made it explicit, telling me she was tired and wanted to go get the car. Only, to what I imagine was her chagrin, at that moment Tina whined about going home, and so the two of them caught up with her on their way into the parking lot.

I knew now my wife had cheated on me, and even though I'd done just as bad, if not worse, I think it was only natural to feel hurt, but I knew I had to decide whether to let it fester inside me or forgive. Judge not lest ye be judged was the old saying, but we're also taught to forgive, and after my confessions I had to believe forgiveness to be divine. I may not be the best Catholic this Christmas, but I could forgive. Of course, the fact that she cheated with a cute and female teenager made that easier, somehow, picturing their encounters didn't hurt me like it might with a male co-worker, but still, even if the motivation was wrong, the choice was right.

As I pondered forgiveness at the outside of the Church I was in a group with Adam, Annie and their kids, except Mary, who was inside talking to a friend, or perhaps a priest was doing his best to talk her out of a life of sin, I don't know. I had enough on my mind without her there... Adam was talking to me, and I was pretending to listen while thinking about Helen, and Tina, and other things probably unworthy for what was still probably technically holy ground.. and also half-paying attention to his wife and my sister talking right beside us. They were negotiating Sarah's request to ride along in Adam's car... ostensibly to visit with her younger cousins but really ride with Noah, or at least, I assume. Rather, they were discussing the logistics of returning her home after.

I almost wanted to warn them that it wasn't a good idea, that too many rides with Noah and they'd have to work through the logistics of an underage pregnancy. But of course I didn't... if they found out, it wouldn't be from me, and they'd have to decide whether to blame him or her or maybe support both. They were both minors, at least, so that last was plausible, and I hoped the families would be able to forgive each other... although I was under no illusions that I might fare as well if what happened in Mary's room ever got out. That was the sin that was most likely to tear us all apart, but so could what happened with Helen and Tina, or Noah and Sarah... and who knows what else might be going on that I didn't know about? Clearly there were plenty of secrets that could easily do the same if one of them got out... at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if Annie and Andy'd been having a secret fling since we were kids. Even that wasn't true, the whole family seemed on a precipice, and right now it felt like I was the only one who saw it.

"So, what do you think?" Adam asked me, and I realized I had only the faintest idea of what he was saying. Something about an argument he got in with a co-worker--possibly a prank--and whether he should teach him a lesson, somehow.

All I had to fall back on was what I was already thinking. "I mean, you know what they say, to err is human, to forgive, divine." I prayed that might cover all of us, for whatever sins we committed against each other, although I didn't have any real expectations about that, except for the ones that were against God. He'd forgive, I had to believe.

Adam blew a puff of smoke in my direction as he rolled his eyes. "You are such a pussy, Will." Not angrily, not cruelly, just brotherly teasing. "You don't have to be such an altar boy all the time." He playfully tapped my face with the back of his hand, like he was smacking me, then turned to his wife to figure out if he was going to have to take an extra trip somewhere, and I backed away to the other side of the staircase, pretending I was doing it to get away from the smoke.

I ran right into Mary, who must have finished whatever conversation she was having inside and come out. Now, though, she was alone, the two of us far away that our conversation could be seen but probably not heard, and that alone made me nervous. "Oh, hi, Uncle Will." That damn Mary smile again, the one left me convinced she was pleased with what she'd done to me. Or maybe she smiled because I gave her a full up-and-down look as she approached. Minimal makeup, which means my eyes fell briefly on a tiny bit of acne on her cheek that either wasn't there or was covered during the party, that reminded me of her just being a teenager, looking almost innocent. Nor was she dressed particularly sexy... a puffy jacket, white jeans. Nothing at all as alluring as Mary's Christmas party dress that I imagined, possibly would imagine every time I looked at her from now on, if I wasn't imagining even less, though still showing off her figure more than I'd expected. When I was young, my sisters weren't allowed to wear anything other than a long dress to Mass, but I guess times had changed and kids today were different. In so many ways. "So you having a big turkey dinner tonight, or tomorrow?"

A normal, polite conversation at least. That was a relief. "Tomorrow. We're visiting Helen's mom and sister."

"Yeah, us too. I mean turkey, not, you know. Just staying home." The smile turned a bit more of a smirk. "At least I don't have to go back to school until after the New Year, but I don't like to be stuck at home all day, sitting on my ass. Better things I could be doing, you know?" Oh God, was she saying what I thought she was? "So I might do some visiting. Maybe I'll even drop by your place, if you don't mind some company. I could bring your present by." Considering her present for me was the underwear she'd already decided to keep for herself, yes, it seemed like it was. "I've got your number, maybe I'll text you later and we can figure out a good time." A time when Helen wasn't around. At least, that was what I assumed she meant. I couldn't exactly ask about it. There were too many people around. But there was a significant look, just before Annie called her to get going--Sarah having eventually gotten her wish to go with Noah--and the two of them gave me one last wave, and walked off into the parking lot.

I was expecting Helen soon, myself, but my eyes were still watching Mary, and wondering how long before I got a text message and had to face temptation again, and already thinking about my wife and my respective schedules, trying to work out a good time for a visit where I knew I was probably going to give in.

The sin is in the thought as much as the act. Obviously I've not been the best Catholic this year, and like I said, next year would be better... but... there was still good week or so left. That was what New Year's Resolutions were all about, right? Especially with diets, people falling off their goals during the Christmas season and deciding to wait until next year to try again. Maybe something like that could work for me... I mean, I obviously wasn't going to do anything Christmas itself, I'm not that bad a Catholic, but maybe, if I could just squeeze in one or two Mary visits this week, I could get everything out of my system, try all the dirty things I hadn't yet done, and in the process I'm sure she'd lose interest in the game of seducing her uncle. Then, all I'd have to do is visit Church one more time for New Year's Eve and confess before the ball dropped. That way I could start the next year on the right foot.

A part of me knew that wasn't how it worked, that it wasn't going to be that easy to stop sinning once I'd started. But sometimes we believe things because we need them to be true, whether or not they actually are.

I'll believe anyway. That's what faith is. And the two biggest things about being a Catholic are faith, and redemption. So I'd have to pray that those would carry me through the rest of my life, whatever shape it took.

Merry Christmas

Disclaimer: Any justifications made for sex with underage girls are purely to service the story and should not be taken as endorsement for similar acts in reality. However, the grape jelly/chili sauce thing is actually a real recipe and I do endorse that. Works well on meatballs, pork chops, chicken, and probably other uses. I won't provide it, some googling provides lots of recipes and you can make your own variation. I add a little mustard and soy sauce to the basic recipe.

This story is free to share and distribute so long as no money is charged.



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