The candy canes begin as a lark and quickly because weapons, bitten off and sucked to sharp points, crushed against bone and splinted into glittery mint fragments all over the bed. Pieces stick against my shoulders, in my hair, between my fingers. He is dusted with tiny shards. He is the most exquisite broken glass.
It hurts so much but I am loathe to give up first. Not a chance. I smiled and grit my teeth and he grabs a handful of my hair, pulling my face up, crushing a handful of candy canes with his fist, pouring them into my mouth and nose. I shake my head and lick my lips. I am sticky all over. I can't breathe. I fight for air, pinned down, feeling him eating the crushed pieces off my collarbone. I spread my hands out and try and push the remaining canes off the bed, succeeding only in moving them around, making a candy-cane angel where I lie.
He laughs and finds one last cane still intact, licking it, tracing my lips, leaving behind a cool tingle that distracts me. He holds it out for me to take and I suck on it, I am the queen of lethal Christmas cheer. I am the sugar queen. And he is my minty vampire with one cane hooked in each side of his mouth. Fangs made of peppermint.
I start laughing and it's too late. I'm going to be bitten by the monster of Christmas present and there's absolutely nothing I can do.