"Ho, ho, fukkin' ho."
"I'll take that as a compliment," she said.
Santa looked her up and down. Long shapely legs below and hourglass figure all topped by bright brown eyes in a sophisticated face. Just the sort to make the naughty and nice list at the same time.
"So what can I do for you?" asked Santa.
"Aren't you going to warn me it's a hundred dollars a day, plus expenses?"
She walked through his office like it was a model's runway, walking through a pool of light from the hooded bulb in the ceiling. She glided into the chair in front of his desk and pulled out a cigarette.
"Got a light?"
"What for? You don't smoke. He watched the expression on her face. "Your skin is too clear, there are no stains on your fingers, and you've got the filter tip pointing away from you. Now, what do you want from me?"
She looked down. She'd had a plan, he'd just crushed it. She had no plan B and so, slowly, the truth would start coming out. Santa gave her time. He didn't have to press her.
Outside, the city was having ans uneasy sleep. They all thought Christmas was a long way away and by then the old man would forget. Santa never forgot, though most times he could forgive. When he couldn't, well, that's what the detective agency was for.
"I need you to find someone," she said at last.
Santa sighed. Down to business. "Okay," he said, dropping himself into an oversized office chair that echoed his sigh as his weight hit it.
"My ex-husband," the woman said.
Santa picked up a pencil, looked at her and raised his eyebrows.
"Oh, right. Six-two, black hair, balding--"
"Oh, uh, Peter Patrick Marley... You're not writing."
"Just give me a second." Santa cleared his throat. "Here." He stabbed a map with his pencil. "He lives here. 1204 Regents."
"I'm Santa. I know where everyone lives. That's a hundred bucks."
Santa took the money and watched the woman sway out of his office. This was sure easier, and more profitable, than his previous gig.
Opening: D Jason Cooper.....Continuation: Anon.