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Hosting for the Holidays
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A Short Story by: Jaxx Steele
Genre: Contemporary M/M Holiday
Release: December 2011
Editor: Lea Schizas
Line editor: Carrie RO
Cover artist: Nika Dixon
Hector had chosen Christmas time for his young lover, Chad, to meet his closest friends. Christmas Eve dinner went well and Chad felt he had made a group of new friends. But when they make an impromptu appearance on New Year's Eve will it ruin the surprise Chad has made for just him and Hector?
Hector nodded and sipped from his glass. He looked around and the other two couples nodded and gave their significant others a kiss as well.
“So, are you guys only stopping by for a moment? You have other plans for tonight?” he asked, waving his glass around to include everyone in his questioning.
Each couple looked to their partner and then to the others. Unsure shrugging and negative murmuring seemed to be the general consensus to his query.
“Well, it’s almost eleven now, why don't we turn on one of those New Year’s Eve shows and make this a party,” Hector suggested, cutting off the confused chatter.
Chad stiffened at Hector’s invitation and almost groaned aloud when everyone nodded in agreement. His midnight plans would be ruined if everyone was here. The romantic moment he had spent days planning did not include a house full of people. With a heavy sigh he excused himself and walked into the kitchen. Opening and closing cabinets for the dry foods then moving to the refrigerator for the rest, Chad refilled trays with more crackers, cheese and fruit. Muttering to himself he didn’t notice someone had entered the kitchen behind him.
“Chad, is everything okay?”
He jumped slightly at the sound of Hector’s voice. He spun to face him.
“Yeah, baby. Everything’s great. I just came to gather some more hors d' oeuvres since your friends will be hanging out longer than I expected.”
He quickly turned back to his serving dishes, not knowing how Hector would take his last statement. It came out a little more edgy than he intended. Moments passed as Chad’s heartbeat quickened until he felt Hector’s familiar grip around his waist pull him into his arms.
“Okay, sweetheart." He lowered a kiss to the top of his head then released him. "I will be out here if you need me.” The door swung shut shortly afterward.
Chad sighed. He continued gathering and adding food to the trays, but just before he lifted them to return to the living room, as a second thought he went out the kitchen door to the patio. A chilly breeze blew the snow around lightly dusting the deck, but it melted quickly under the warmth of the pit. The stars shined brightly in the cloudless sky. He picked up the stick he left by the small fire pit and pushed around the log he borrowed from the fireplace. The weatherman cautioned all firework spectators to bundle up since the temperature would be hovering around twenty degrees at midnight. He had come outside with nothing but his sweater on. The flames still burned, but they were going down. The small sign that hung over the pit that was on display at the store explained that as long as the fire burned continuously the area around it would remain tolerable. Sparks and flakes of fire jumped from the log and the blaze was renewed.
He sniffed deeply and smiled. Something about the smell of burning wood always relaxed him…and turned him on. His early years as a boy scout had addicted him to camping and nature. He was thrilled when Hector had the deck added last spring just for him. Until the bite of Indiana’s winter kicked in, Chad spent his evenings sitting outside just enjoying the environment.
On the small table on the other side of the deck were two glasses he had left outside to chill. Beneath the table was a bottle of champagne he had stuffed into a small bank of snow. With a sad sigh, he realized it probably had the perfect chill on it by now, but that no longer mattered. They wouldn’t get the chance to drink it. Chad gave the patio and the beauty of the night one last glance over his shoulder before going back indoors.
Also by Jaxx Steele:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jaxx Steele was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, but now lives in Indiana. His dream is to buy a house near the beach and write all day and make enough money to live off of. I spend most of my time working a nine to five and traveling when I can, to new and wondrous places to incorporate into my stories (or that will at least spark ideas for me). I have love in my life thanks to my life partner, Hou and our cat, Judo--who graciously lets us live with him in his house.
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