Castle Roland

Short Story

Published: 18 May 15

Tis the Season...Yeah Right!

© December, 2014
By David Spowart

Danny Aims has never had a happy Christmas, not even as a child. He was orphaned at the age of three, after his parents died in a car crash on Christmas eve 1992. At the age of 8, his foster parents returned him to social services, as they were heading off on vacation for the festive season. They never came back for him. He was heartbroken, as he had grown attached to them.

A series of events concocted to always see he had a miserable Christmas. Now, approaching the 20th of December, his memory of the previous year still very fresh in his mind, when he had planned to end his bad streak of cursed Christmases by proposing to his long-time partner. He bought Champagne and red roses, he bought a ring. But, when he returned to their home in Manhattan he discovered the closets empty and a note; "Sorry Dan, see ya" was all it read. He had sunk to his knees and begun to sob; why was God punishing him this way. He threw the roses and the bottle at the wall, and spent the next few days in bed, crying. He had never felt so alone, well, not in years, anyway.

He sat pondering the events of previous years; he had become so cynical for a guy so young, and let's face it, who could blame him.

Present day

"Plans for Christmas, Dan?" Sheila asked.

"Just me, myself and I" was his reply.

"Oh, why no plans, babe?" she asked, as she sipped her coffee. They had worked at the same firm for almost three years, and she helped him through his dumping the previous year.

"You know me and Christmas" he replied, and she smiled sadly.

"Yeah, sorry" was her reply.

"Sweetie, you might meet Mr. Right, spirits up" she said, sickeningly cheerful.

"I thought I already had him….remember?" Dan responded, and her face sank just a little.

"Christopher was never Mr. Right, he was more Mr. Right now, his spirit was too free to be tied down, you know that; I mean, where is he now?" she asked. Dan had received postcards from all over the world from him. In the beginning, they had ended up in the trash; but his latest ones he had kept, well, at least for a while.

"Babe, all I am going to do is go home, watch a movie, and let the day pass. If I already expect nothing, I won't be disappointed" he added.

A few hours later, while again sitting in the canteen, Jolene wandered around with a bucket of names.

"Secret Santa, no more than $25 for your pick" she said. This annoyed Dan no end, people trying to thrust the Christmas spirit on him.

"Come on, Dan, pick" she insisted.

Dan reached in and pulled out an envelope and stuffed it inside his jacket for attention later.

"You not going to see who you picked?" Jolene asked.

"Why spoil the surprise?" he responded, and Sheila smiled at his candor.

They watched as she moved around the cafeteria, picking out new victims.

"Okay, she's gone, who did you get?" Sheila asked, and Dan just sipped the remainder of his coffee and stood up.

"See you later" he replied and walked off.

"If I have you, you are getting $25 of tinsel and wrapping paper" she yelled as he left the cafeteria, and she sighed for her friend. She knew he has had it tough.

He walked back to his cubical, sat and stared at the computer screen, and just sighed to himself. He hung his jacket over the back of his chair and retrieved the envelope.

He opened it and read the name.

"Janet Link, allergies none" he read.

"Great, the office gossip, Merry freakin Christmas" he muttered to himself.

It was 5pm, and Danny's day was over. He decided to head down town to get this gift buying thing out of the way. He hailed a cab and soon it began to snow.

"Great" he muttered again. By the time he reached the stores, the snow was beginning to stick to everything. He stepped out of the cab, paid the cab driver, turned, and soon was sliding onto his ass.

"Fuck!!" he again bemoaned the jolly season.

"Hey man, are you alright?" He looked up, and a guy with eyes of ice blue stared back at him.

"You hurt?" he asked.

"Just my pride, oh, and my ass" Danny replied.

"Here, give me your hand, I'll pull you up" the guy replied.

Danny reached up and the guy pulled, but soon both were flat on their asses.

"Don't they put salt on the sidewalks anymore?" Danny commented, after they both got up.

"Yeah, but its 10 below zero, and it freezes just as fast as it melts; and a fresh layer of snow is not a gift, it's a hazard" the guy replied.

"Danny Aims" he stuck out his hand to introduce himself.

"Mike Leach" the guy replied. His hand shake was firm, and they both held it a little longer than necessary.

"You wanna grab a drink, or coffee or something, Danny?" Mike asked.

"I'm out gift shopping, but yeah, I could use a drink" Danny replied, and they headed, carefully, across the road to a bar. They ordered their drinks and sat in a booth. A roaring fire in the fireplace at the end of the room had the bar warm and welcoming.

"The wife, girlfriend, boyfriend?" Mike asked.

"Huh" was the very well educated response from Danny's lips.

"Gift shopping" Mike replied, taking a drink of his scotch.

"Oh, none of the above, secret Santa" Danny replied.

"Oh, I hate those. I just started working in New York; well, when I say 'started', I was offered the job and I have just accepted it. I start in January" Mike replied.

"You just moved here, then" Danny enquired.

"Yeah, last week. I was looking for some furnishings, or ideas, anyway" Mike replied.

"Can't your Wife - Girlfriend - Boyfriend help with that?" and Mike smiled at the question.

"Single" Mike replied.

"Me, too" Danny replied.

"Another?" Danny asked.

"Yeah why not, stores don't shut till ten" Mike replied, and they ordered a fresh round of drinks, and found they could hold a conversation without any gaps or pauses.

"Your eyes are the iciest blue I have ever seen." The drink was lowering Danny's inhibitions a little.

"Yeah, my last partner found them a huge turn on" Mike replied.

"She back where you came from?" Danny asked.

"Idaho, yeah, and she was a he, by the way." Mike's barriers were coming down just as fast as Danny's were.

"Look Mike, I need to get going, but do you wanna do this again, sometime?" Danny asked, and it was hard for him. He didn't date, his heart would take a lot convincing, and his most hated season was again at play.

"How about tomorrow?" Mike asked.

"Sure, it's a date" Danny replied, and bit his tongue as soon as he said it.

"You have gone red, Danny, something wrong?" Mike asked?

No, it's just...oh, never mind. Tomorrow, here, okay?" Danny said, recovering his composure.

"I don't know, do you want to have dinner, like a real date?" Mike asked, his face expressionless.

"I'd like that, yeah" Danny replied, and stood up to leave, his legs a little loose. He was a little drunk, not plastered, but not far off. Danny didn't drink, as a rule.

"It was nice meeting you, Mike" Danny said, as he headed for the door.

They had exchanged cell numbers during the night; and, as he climbed into the cab heading back home, he received a message. Gift shopping was long forgotten.

"7pm okay? Mike" was the text, and Danny replied with a short text "Looking forward to it"

Danny rode the elevator to the eighth floor and opened the door to his apartment. He closed the door, hung up his coat, and just stood there, the vision of Mike's eyes still filled his thoughts. He liked the guy, but his heart still needed some convincing; his heart still had the scars of so much heartbreak.

He went to the bathroom and noticed something he had not seen in a while, he was smiling. A goofy smile, but a smile, none the less. He was going on a date, and with someone he had met by pure chance; oh, and a slippery sidewalk.

He went to bed shortly after eleven and fell into a contented thought filled sleep. He dreamed of Mike, and the way they had met. He had earlier checked his ass in the mirror and saw no bruising from the fall, so just his pride was bruised.

The following day he only had thoughts of his impending date with Mike. How has this guy he had only met less than twenty four hours earlier gotten such a hold on him. Was he that starved for genuine attention? Well yeah, but..

"Earth to Danny" Sheila said, as they ate lunch

"Huh" his educated brain reacted again.

"You were staring off into space. Does old Jack have you panting?" she said, looking at old Jack from accounting. "Distracted?" she asked.

"Just a little" he replied.

"Come on, spill" she said.

"Secret Santa... I have no clue what to buy" he replied.

"Bullshit" she responded, and Danny recoiled.

"You kiss your man with that mouth?" he asked.

"Oh, Danny boy, you do not want to know what this mouth does to my man; you would have nightmares for months" she snickered back.

"Thanks" Danny replied, with a disgusted look on his face.

"So, give" she asked again

"Okay, when I left last night, I decided to get this secret Santa thing sorted and out of the way. I sort of fell out of the cab, and Mike..." she interrupted..

"Whoa, slow down there, pilgrim" she replied.

"Who is Mike?" she added.

"I tried to tell you. I fell, he tried to help me up, but he fell onto me, and it was like kismet. His eyes, Christ, Sheila, he has the most beautiful ice blue eyes" he gushed, well, a little, anyway.

"So" she pushed.

"We got up and he asked me for a drink; and over the next couple of hours, we sort of, well" he tried to explain, but couldn't find the words.

"You slept with him…. you slut" she replied.

"No….no I didn't, we just talked. We sort of skirted around what we were; and, after a few drinks, he told me his last relationship was with a guy, and I sort of told him mine was, also. No real details, I didn't wanna curse it; you know me and Christmas" he shrilled.

"So what happened?" she demanded more details.

"I told him I would like to see him again; and, well, we are having dinner tonight. I like him, Sheila, and I think he liked me" Danny replied.

"Oh sweetie, go slow, okay? I don't want to see you hurt again. I mean, yeah, take a risk, but please go slow. Let him make the first move" she said.

"Yeah, I know, my inner me has been battered and I am still bruised, but fuck!!! Don't I deserve a break?" he was almost whining.

"Nobody more" she said, squeezing his hand.

She stood and was about to kiss his cheek.

"Whoa there, missy, I think I know where that mouth has been, so stay away from me" he snickered, and recoiled.

The rest of Friday really dragged for Danny. He had to get home and decide what to wear. Shit, a first date he thought to himself. Fuck, am I reading more into this? Is Sheila right, am I rushing this? Fuck!!!.

At 5pm, he was on the street, the snow was relentless; his coat keeping him warm. He hailed a cab and climbed in; the smell of body odor was overpowering. Despite the arctic conditions, he rolled down a window just to stop him from throwing up. He gave the address and soon he was home.

The elevator, not for the first time, was out of order. He thought his curse was returning to hit him yet again. He climbed the seven floors, got his breath back, and entered his apartment. He was in the bedroom, looking at his wardrobe, and couldn't work out what to wear. He knew whatever it was would involve a thick sweater… a very thick sweater.

After forty five minutes, he decided on a white Aron sweater and Black distressed Jeans and ankle boots, black, good tread. No repeat of falling on his ass tonight! He also took out his Camel hair coat.. it worked.

He looked in his long hall mirror and smiled. "Yeah, I'd do me" he laughed to himself.

He headed down the stairs and hailed what he hoped was a cleaner cab. His luck changed and the cab was clean. He soon arrived at the bar they had had a drink in the day before. He walked in and Mike stood to greet him.

"Hey" Mike said.

"Waiting long?" Danny asked.

"No, just got here" he replied.

"Scotch?" he asked.

"Yeah, but add some coke, please, I'm not much of a drinker" he replied.

"No problem. Would you rather share a bottle of wine?" he asked.

"Perfect" Danny replied.

"Preference?" he asked.

"You choose" Danny replied.

Soon, they were back in the same booth at the back of the bar, the fire roaring at the other end. The room was warm and Danny was second guessing the sweater.

"You look good" Mike commented.

"Thanks, just threw this on; you look good, also, may I add" Danny said sipping a drink of his chardonnay.

"We have reservations at Antonio's for 9" Mike said, taking a sip of his wine.

"Mmm, Italian, good choice" Dan complimented, unable to take his eyes off of Mikes ice blue eyes. They captivated him.

"So, Dan, what's your story?" he asked.

"What do you want to know?" he asked.

"Whatever you want to tell me" Mike replied.

"Well, okay, I was orphaned at 3, spent most of my youth in foster care or children's homes" he started.

"Whoa, sorry man, didn't mean to drag up bad memories" Mike apologized.

"No, Mike, my life has had some good points; but yeah, I've known enough heartache to be a world class country artist" he forced a snicker.

"No kidding" he replied.

"You want me to go on?" Dan asked.

"Sure" he replied.

"Mom and Dad were killed on Christmas Eve. My grandparents didn't like my dad, and his folks had died a few years earlier, so social services took me. I had a few foster families, never stayed long" he continued.

"I stayed for eight months with one family, got attached to them. I really thought they were the ones, you know?" he went on. It was good to share and Mike looked like he wanted to know the real Danny.

"What happened?" he asked.

I was eight years old. My foster mother took me to buy a new winter coat, and when we got back, a woman from social services was waiting in a car. My suitcase was already in the trunk. My foster mother just got out of the car with me, and she walked up the path, went into the house and closed the door.

"Wow, so cruel."

"It was Christmas Eve" he added.

I spent my teenage years in homes of one form or another; but once I hit high school, I applied myself and studied like crazy. I got a full scholarship to college and got educated.

"So, what is it you do?" Mike asked.

"Advertising, one of the biggest firms in New-York" he replied.

"And?" he asked.

"Oh, I met Christopher as soon as I arrived in Manhattan. He was perfect, or so I thought" he said, and lowered his head and sighed just a little, still stung.

"Bad break-up?" he asked.

"No, he just left, and believe it or not..." he was interrupted.

"Christmas Eve?" he responded.

"Yeah, see a pattern yet?" Dan added.

"So, Christmas must be a painful part of the year for you, then" he added.

"Yeah, usually, let's hope it changes" Dan said, looking into those Ice blue eyes again.

"Okay, what is your story then, Mike?" he asked, taking a sip from his glass.

"Oh, only child of a single mother. Step dad hated that I existed, but that story can wait for now. I went to Harvard and graduated.. just.

I have had two what I call good relationships: one, a college thing that lasted almost three years, and Steve, in Idaho. He wasn't as faithful as I thought he was; I don't share" he concluded.

"Drink up! We have reservations" Mike said, standing up, holding out his hand to pull Danny up. He liked that.

They sat in a corner of the restaurant and enjoyed each other's company. The conversation lifted over the next couple of hours.

"When was the last time you danced, I mean really danced?" Mike asked.

"Wow, it's been a while, Chris….. sorry!" he stopped himself.

"Why? He is a part of your past, he is part of you; so, the last time you went dancing was with Christopher, yeah?" he asked.

"Yes, sorry" he replied.

"Want to go dancing tomorrow, hit a couple of clubs?" He asked.

"I'd love that" Danny replied, gushing a little.

"I'd love to get hot and sweaty with you on the floor" Mike added.

Danny just busted out laughing, he couldn't help himself. "Does that line actually work?" he continued to laugh.

"Sexual innuendo; I love to see how people react, and you didn't react how I thought you would" he replied.

"What? You expect me to blush and say yes, I'd love to get sweaty with you; and, by the way, just so you know, I'd love to get hot and sweaty with you; but not in any hurry….okay?" Dan countered.

"Touché" he replied.

"So, dancing?" Mike added.

"Yeah, can't wait" he responded, and smiled.

Both guys talked for a couple of hours; they were comfortable with each other. They talked as though they had known each other for years, instead of just over thirty hours.

They talked about their pasts, and how they coped. Dan eventually heard how Mikes mother brought him up alone, until he was sixteen; when she met Chuck, a real redneck asshole. He still held a little back, the emotional scars still fresh.

"Look it's almost 1am, let's call it a night. We have talked about our experiences and its …. well, brought me down a little" Mike said, and Dan looked a little sad at the statement.

"Sorry, I didn't want to make you sad" Dan replied.

"No, No, No, look, if we are going to spend a little time, or a lot, we'll see, we needed to have that talk; and perhaps soon we can get to our old demons" Mike replied.

"Look Mike, if I'm honest, I have a difficult time at Christmas, trusting people. I get let down a lot. All I feel is dread; but, with you…… I don't know….. I have hope" he said softly.

"Hey, hey, why the tears" Mike asked, rubbing a tear away from Dan's cheek.

"I can't tell you… not yet" he replied.

"Come on, let's get you home; it's been an emotional night" Mike said quietly, rubbing Dan's cheek. Dan was leaning into the touch.

An hour later, Dan, a little drunk and very emotional, sobbed into his pillow. He didn't know why. Okay, he could work out the why. It is the season to be jolly, but he was far from it. He had met the guy of his dreams, but he knew his Christmas curse would strike at any moment and break him one more time.

He woke up the following morning, his eyes sore from crying. He stood in front of the mirror and decided to call off his date with Mike. He knew he would be hurt, but at least he could control the depth of pain he would have to endure.

He picked up his cell and pressed speed dial, but hung up before it connected.

"Take the risk, but be careful" the words Sheila said yesterday still ringing in his ears.

Since he started working in New York, and this not being his favorite part of the year; he saved up vacation days so he would not have to go through the office parties, pretending to be happy when he was not even close. In fact, the only time he had even been close to happy was with Christopher, and he remembers how that turned out. He couldn't say he loved him, though; comfortable was as close as he came to describe it, and for what his life has been, he was ready to settle for comfortable.

So, after he did his grocery shopping and bought the small gift for his secret Santa, and dropped it off at reception; he headed back to his apartment to ready himself for some bump and grind. They had decided on club Persia, a popular gay club. Mike knew it, Dan did not. It would be busy as it was yes you guessed it. It was Christmas Eve eve, 1 day away from his cursed day.

Mike stood by the cab as Dan came down. He now just wanted to enjoy Mike, before all his worries came to fruition.

"Mike, you not cold?" he said, looking at Mike, wearing a ripped Tee and Jeans, and it being minus eight and dropping. Dan was wearing roughly the same style, but also wore a jacket.

"Freezing" he replied as they climbed into the cab. Jingle bell rock played over the radio and it turned Dan's stomach a little. They drove downtown, Christmas lights, trees all decorated, and people milling around, just staring at the sights.

They pulled up outside the club and rushed in. The guy on the door recognized Mike and let them through. The dance floor was packed with shirtless bodies, grinding against each other; the music was loud and rhythmic.

"DRINK" Mike yelled, and Dan could hardly hear him. Mike made a hand gesture and Dan nodded. Soon, they were on the floor and holding each other as a slow song was played.

No words were exchanged, but glances spoke volumes. If only Dan could shake this feeling of impending doom and just embrace the moment; but he couldn't.

Trust and real trust was needed, and time would bring that; but his feeling that his perfect guy would end what they have within…. he looked at his watch and it was just after ten… within the next 26 hours.

They danced and rutted like young gay viral men in a gay club. Both had been aroused for a very long time, the sweat pouring down both their bare backs, as others did the same. The smell of musk and fresh sweat filled their nostrils and stimulated them further.

They stared into each other's eyes and kissed softly. Dan was in heaven and he wanted to stay; but the doubt still remained. He was in a happy place, but he could not quite grasp it… not yet, anyway.

"You have gorgeous eye's Dan… but sad at the same time" Mike said, as they stood outside in the very cold air.

"What do you mean sad eyes'" Dan asked

"The eyes are the windows to your soul, and it looks sad" he replied.

"Oh, I have…. had issues" Dan replied.



"Those marks on your back, I couldn't help notice them" Dan enquired.

"Oh, those… Step-dad issues" he replied.

"He beat me when he found out…. You know ..I was gay" He added.

"Your Mom?" Dan asked.

"Took his side. I moved out… slept rough for a few weeks, a shelter took me in, eventually. I tried going home, but he slammed the door in my face. I was broken for a while" he replied, and Dan could see the hurt written on his face.

"Sorry, Mike" Dan replied.

"Look, Dan, I know its short notice, but what are you really doing for Christmas" Mike asked

"Dinner for one and the Christmas special of Downton Abbey" Dan responded.

"Wanna spend it with me?" Mike asked.

Dan thought for a few seconds "I'd like that, thank you"

"Well, we can plan some things tomorrow; get a turkey and the vegetables to go with it. Wanna get a tree?" he asked, like an excited kid.

"Not my thing, Mike, sorry" he replied in a sorrowful tone.

"The turkey?" he asked.

"The decorations, the tree" Dan replied.

"Cool, most of my shit is still in boxes, anyway" Mike replied.

The time was getting on, the snow persistent. "You want to come back to mine?" Mike asked.

"Yeah, like you wouldn't believe" Dan replied. They hailed a cab and soon they were deeper into Manhattan and outside Mike's apartment block.

"Nice building" Dan said, looking at the architecture.

"Should be, for what I am paying for it" he snickered back.

They rode the elevator to the 33rd floor and opened the apartment door to Mike's home. He flipped the light on and the place was nice; a bit dated in the décor, but homey.

"Very nice" Dan said, scanning the rooms as he walked.

He noticed only the bare essentials out, and the rest still in cartons. the leather sofa looked new, as did the oak coffee table and lamp.

Dan looked at the clock on the mantel and realized it was Christmas eve, his day of doom.

"Hey, your face just dropped" Mike said, looking over at Dan.

"Christmas Eve" Dan replied.

Mike walked over, stood in front of him, placed a finger under his chin and lifted his face up.

"Do you remember sayings like if you constantly believe that things were meant to go wrong, and the more you look for things to go wrong, your mind finds a way to make it so?" Mike asked.

"Sort of" Dan replied.

"What I am saying is, if you expect things to go into the crapper, you will look for a way for it to happen" Mike added.

"Dan, from now on, look for the positive and concentrate on that; forget about the negative….. okay?" Mike added.

"Look at this point of view: if all the shit that has happened to both of us had not happened, we would have never met" He added.

"No, I don't believe that. I think we were always destined to meet, at some point" Dan added.

"What, like as soul mates?" Mike asked, now snuggling closer on the sofa.

"You said I had sad eyes and my soul was sad; don't you find that a little strange to say‚Äč" Dan asked.

"Ermm….Well, yeah, a little; it just seemed the right thing to say at the time" Mike responded, then leaned in and kissed him.

"Well, it's like that for me, every year at the same time. I feel….. I don't know how to describe it…. dread, apprehension, fear. I have never looked forward to Christmas….. ever" Dan replied.

"You have to want to change the way you approach it. If you make a plan to have a good time, and you look forward to having that good time, and it just happens to be Christmas Eve; well, the date should never matter. Look, you are spending Christmas day with me. You already said you do not go back to work until the new year, so stay with me till then."

"I need clothes" Dan replied.

"No, you don't" Mike said with a lascivious expression on his face.

"I'll stink" Dan replied.

"Yep, and we will shower" Mike replied.

"Hot and sweaty, I stink now" Dan replied.

"I like your stink" Mike replied, again leaning in and capturing his lips.

"Oh God, Mike, what are you doing to me?" Dan moaned out as Mike slid his hand into the waistband of his Jeans.

"I want you" Mike said in a sexy husky voice.

"I need to be in you, I need to taste you" he added.

"Fuck!!!" Dan moaned out as Mike popped the top button of his jeans and pushed his hand further into his groin, groping as he advanced.

Mike gripped the leaking length of Dan's now engorged cock as he spread the leaking pre-cum over the head of his cock, then bringing his fingers to his own lips and tasting Dan's essence.

"Stand up" Mike demanded.

Dan stood as instructed and Mike stayed on his knees. He pulled down Dan's jeans and his shorts and his cock sprang from its cloth prison. It took only seconds before Mike's mouth cocooned the length within his warm welcoming mouth.

"Oh……..My………God" Dan moaned out as his legs began to buckle. He held on to Mike's shoulders for support. He could not help himself as he thrust in to Mike's mouth, which received a moan from both their lips. It had been over a year since Dan had been sucked like this, but never this good. It never felt this good.

Mike stopped and stood up. He looked into Dan's eyes, and for the first time since they'd met, they did not look sad. He saw hope, he saw desire, he saw want, need, lust.

He reached down and took Dan by the hand and led him to his bedroom for more exploration, more desire, more lust and want, and most definitely need.

Within seconds, both men were naked and holding each other and kissing with more passion than either had experienced. Perhaps Dan was right about soul mates connecting.

Mike returned to the lustful attack of Dan's senses, devouring his cock to the base. He took him like a pro, and the appreciative moans coming from Dan told him he was pushing the right buttons. While he was working his magic, he also worked Dan's pucker open with first one finger, then two, and again the moans told him don't stop, don't ever stop.

Dan's biggest ever craving in life was true human contact, the desire for another human being to want him like he wanted them; not a quick fuck at the end of the night, and he sensed that from Mike, or at least he hoped he was sensing that.

It was not long before Dan gave up what he wanted since he met Mike. His heart had been taken, and he was trusting that the curse of Christmas Eve would be dispelled, and he would be allowed to experience joy. Mike was now part of him, and the feeling of Mike thrusting hard and deep inside his body told him he was where he had to be, where he needed to be, where he wanted to stay.

"Fuck Mike, oh Fuck, oh Fuck" he screamed, as his ass was being punished in the most delightful way possible. "You like?" Mike asked, and did not need a reply.

They both came in a crescendo of noise and desperate breathing. The sweat poured from every pour of their bodies. Mike collapsed on top of Dan, and the weight of his body was like a blanket of love, and Dan was enveloped in it.

Christmas Eve morning…….

Dan woke up more contented than he ever thought possible. The other side of the bed was empty and a note lay on the pillow.

"You looked so peaceful lying there, I did not have the heart to wake you. Gone to get some groceries for our lunch and for the dinner tomorrow. Going to see if I can find a turkey. Wish me luck… Mike"

Dan smiled to himself. The lovemaking he had experienced with Mike had given him hope for the first time in his life.

His cell phone rang as he climbed out of bed.

"Hey" he said, after seeing Mike's number.

"Did I wake you?" he asked.

"No, I was getting dressed. I missed you" he replied, sounding soppy and not giving a shit.

"Me too, I'm on my way back. I'll park the car and come straight up. You want Starbucks?" he asked.

"Mmm, Americano, no sugar" he replied.

"See you soon" and the phone went dead.

He decided to take a shower to get rid of the sweat from the previous night's activity's.

He let the hot water cascade down his body, and the water pounded his muscles into life. It felt good, he felt good. He must have been in the shower for almost 15 minutes before he climbed out. As he dried, his cell rang again. He picked it up and again saw Mike's number.

"Hey, what's keeping you?" he asked.

"Sorry, Is this Danny Aims?" a strange voice asked.

"Yes it is" he again looked at the caller I.D.

"Why do you have Mike's phone?" he asked in a panicked voice.

"I'm sorry sir, your number was the last number dialed. There has been an accident" was all the words he could remember, he was again being pulled into a Christmas eve nightmare. He was soon at mercy hospital, sitting in a waiting room as a detective talked to him.

"It seems he jumped a red light, and well….. that's when the snow plough hit him.

"Do we know how he is, yet?" Dan choked out the question.

"He's in a bad way sir, I won't sugar coat it" the detective replied, as a Doctor walked in to talk to him. He talked to the detective for a few seconds and then walked over to Dan.

"Mr Aims?" he started.

Dan stood up and shook his hand.

"Dan" he replied.

"Dan, do you know how we can contact Mr. Leach's next of kin?" he asked.

"No, sorry, he does not have any contact with them" Dan sobbed out.

"Is he okay?" he asked with hope.

"No' I am so sorry, the damage was too extensive. He passed away a short time ago. I am so sorry for your loss" he replied.

Dan's world had come to an end. His curse claimed the life of yet another he loved. Dan sat there, totally numb, for over an hour. He stood up, somehow without collapsing, and walked out of the hospital. His cell chirped and he ignored it. he sat on a park bench, the air freezing; but he didn't care. He experienced love for the first time and it had been cruelly taken from him.

He hailed a cab and headed back to Mike's apartment. His home keys were still there and he needed them.

He rode the elevator and stood outside the door, crying. He opened the door and received the shock of his life. Mike, sitting on the leather sofa, eyes red from crying. He looked up and saw Dan, his eyes looking shocked and blood shot.

Mike jumped up out of the seat and pulled Dan into his arms.

"Where have you been?" Mike asked, frantic.

"I don't understand, you died " Dan struggled to say.

"What, hang on, died?" Mike asked, looking into the most confused eyes he had ever seen

"You were in a car crash, you died" Dan replied.

"No, babe, I didn't. I took $10 out of my wallet and left my jacket on the seat and went to get coffee and some low life stole my fucking car" he replied.

Dan couldn't control himself any longer and grabbed Mike and held on for all he was worth and cried like a baby. He thought he had lost the one thing that meant anything to him. He knew what he felt, he knew why he felt it; he loved Mike with every inch of his being.

"Dan, hey, hey" he said softly.

"Hey, look, I'm fine. I'm here. I'm not going anywhere….. okay?" he added.

"I thought I'd lost you; I have just found you and I thought……" he sobbed.

"Christmas Eve" Mike responded.

"Yeah" he whimpered.

"Can I tell you a secret Danny Aims?" he asked.

"Yeah" he replied.

"I'm in love with you" he said, and that melted Danny completely.

"I love you, too" he replied, as Mike wiped the tears and the hurt away.

They sat on the black sofa and just held each other close. The Christmas eve curse of Danny Aims, hopefully broken; despite all the hurt and doom he had felt just a few hours earlier. He knew he would be spending a lot of his life with Mike Leach and he liked the idea. Mike was his family… yeah, family.


The guys, despite no traditional Christmas dinner, had the perfect day. They did not exchange gifts .. well, not in the traditional sense, and what they gave each other could not be found on a hallmark card.

One year later, Dan was now living in Mike's apartment with their springer spaniel, Charlie. They were happy, Mike's job was perfect, and Dan had been promoted. He looked on this time of year with more hope than he had ever, in the past. They had both discussed the possibility of marriage and adoption or surrogacy. Dan knew Mike loved him and never doubted that fact. He also knew he was in love with this man more every passing day.

They lay in bed later that same night, Charlie snoring at their feet as the clock on the mantle struck midnight.

"Merry Christmas, Mike" Dan said, as he kissed his lover.

"Merry Christmas to you, babe" he replied, as he welcomed the kiss as his erection grew almost immediately.

"Ohh, is that for me?" Dan smirked as he went down to unwrap his first "Present" of the day.

The End