Mary smiled as she surveyed the scene before her. Little baby Jesus was fast asleep, all the kind shepherds were crowded around him, and three men had just appeared out of nowhere with a load of presents!

It had all worked out so much better than she had expected. She breathed in the musky aroma of myrrh and curled up inside the scratchy blanket.

Smoke from the frankincense drifted across the heads bent over the crib and curled its way towards Joseph, sulking in the corner. He was patting the donkey and looking bloody miserable as usual. For fuck’s sake. She had just given birth in a fucking stable with bits of straw ending up God knows where. All he had to do was entertain a few guests, and he couldn’t even manage that! She sighed. He was such a wallflower!

Mary had known they weren’t compatible within days of being introduced but her parents kept insisting that she needed to ‘settle down’ and have some stability, why not ‘give the poor bloke a chance’. Blah blah blah.

Then all those sexy Roman soldiers had arrived in town, with their thick leather sandals… their shiny, hard breastplates….and their enormous long spears. Mmmmmm hmmmmm.

Mary and her friends had gone out with them nearly every night, drinking wine and flirting, because the soldiers were REAL men – they didn’t faff about with bits of carpentry or herding lambs around. It was a shame Gabriel, Mary’s favourite soldier, had been given orders to leave town the day after Mary told him she was pregnant.

Not surprisingly, Mary had been devastated so her friends took her on a girls’ night out. After much discussion (and several jugs of wine), they had agreed there was no way she should tell her parents about being pregnant – her mum would be devastated and her dad would disown her.

By the time she stumbled home that night she had been drunk. Very, very drunk. So drunk that when her mother had confronted her about her growing belly, she had blurted out the truth. Then, when she saw her parents’ shocked faces, she had panicked and tried to explain that she was still a virgin, and what an absolute angel Gabriel was….but somehow things had got all mixed up and everyone just took two and two and made five. Joseph, she knew, still had his suspicions but then that was fair enough really.

Mary looked around at the guests gathered in the stable as she ran her fingers over the cool, smooth gold piled next to her. The guy who’d brought it was older, but he certainly seemed to know how to ride a camel! And there was something about that massive turban piled on top of his head. Was it silk? Mmmmmm. He was pretty sexy for an older man; he seemed really clever, too. Mary wondered, with a dreamy smile, what would it be like to be impregnated by a king?

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