Harrison isn't feeling the Christmas Spirit, but his new lover claims to have the perfect gift for him. Harrison is sceptical, but he's willing to go along for the ride.
Will there be some Christmas Magic in his stocking this year?
Praise for The Perfect Gift (Christmas Magic)
"Charming, surprising, and full of cheerful Christmas happiness describes this book – at least once the initial doldrums are over. This story is a great example of an unexpected twist changing everything – between the main characters and for me as a reader. I adore surprises like this."
-- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
"...the premise is sweet and honestly, what more do you want in a Christmas story? Enjoy this piece of Christmas cheer, it is a nice little read with all the possibilities of the miracles of Christmas."
-- Louisa, Love Bytes Reviews
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The Perfect Gift (Christmas Magic)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2017 Sean Michael
Harrison glared at all the sparkly lights on the houses, all the decorations in the yards, all the snow everywhere. "Bah fucking humbug."
He tried not to think about last year in the silly house that was goofy and a little shabby chic and utterly delightful and filled with love. He also tried not to think about the stupid, pointless argument that had lost him all of that.
"Harrison, lovely." A slender arm wrapped around his waist, Rick giving him a side hug he could barely feel through layers of winter clothing. "It's Christmas."
He looked down at the gamin face, the bright emerald eyes, and tried to find a smile for his new lover, which was, of course, when he fell right over Ollie's leash, landing in a pile of snow. He supposed it could have been worse -- he could have fallen the other way and landed on the pavement, or the snow could have been slush and soaked him through immediately. Still, not at all pleasant, the wind knocked out of him, the snow finding his collar and freezing his neck. His huge St. Bernard pushed right up over him, staring at him, so concerned.
"Harrison!" Rick fluttered, hovering and looking worried.
Ollie licked his face, drooling all over him. Great. Just great.
"I'm fine. Let's just go home." Why was he out walking the big lug again anyway?
Oh, right, because if he didn't, Ollie would pee all over the damn house and fill the tiny back yard with shit. Literally. Asshole dog.
Said asshole dog licked him, slobber coating his face, and he rolled his eyes. "Okay. Okay, I'm getting up. Turkey."
Rick helped brush the snow off his coat. "Let's get you home for a nice cup of cocoa."
"Thanks, Rick. Sorry. I'm just in a shitty mood, I guess." A terrible mood if he was honest, and it wasn't Rick's fault. Or Ollie's either.
"A mug of my magical cocoa will fix you right up. So will our meal at La Cuisine Rouge later this evening." Rick put his hand around Harrison's elbow and turned them back toward home.
"I'm sure it will. You make the best cocoa ever. I'm not sure what you do to it, but damn."
"Magical fairy dust." Rick batted his eyelashes.
"Please don't be telling me you come in my cocoa."
Rick laughed, the sound bright and tinkling. And so different from the laughter that had filled his life a year ago. God, he hated Christmas.
Still, he smiled, didn't he? Rick deserved better than him mooning over what used to be. Harrison took Rick's hand. "Come on, honey. Home."
Ollie heard the word home and zoomed, tugging him and Rick along. Goddamn horse of a dog. Harrison loved him dearly.
As soon as they got inside Rick began fussing over him, helping him with his coat and wiping away any residual snow that had gone down his back, then fetching him a sweater. "Come on. By the fireplace, and I'll get you that cocoa."
"Thank you. You're too nice."
"Too nice -- is that a bad thing?" Rick guided him to the dark blue love seat in front of the fireplace in the living room and kissed the top of his head.
"No. Nothing about you is a bad thing." Rick was a dream come true. Far more than he deserved.
Rick knelt in front of the fireplace and bent, spending a long moment down there. He lifted his head as the fire began to blaze. He'd never met anyone who could start a fire as efficiently as Rick could.
"Mmm... That's so lovely. Warm."
Rick came to stand behind him, fingers lingering as he rubbed Harrison's shoulders. "Hold tight. I'll be right back with your magic hot chocolate."
"With sparkles, right?" He chuckled.
"There will be sparkles for you, darling." Rick wiggled his fingers as if brewing up a spell before disappearing into the kitchen.
"I'm a lucky guy, huh, Ollie?"
Ollie licked his fingers, slobbering all over them. Had to love St. Bernards and their drool.
"I love you too, dorkfish. I wish you could have met Sunshine. You would have loved her too. She went with her other father, though, so..." God, he missed them both, man and dog. He shook himself. That wasn't fair to Rick.
Rick had swooped in for him when he was at his lowest, lost and scared and unable to crawl out of his hole. His agent had introduced them, and the next thing Harrison knew, he was painting again.
Rick came back in with two mugs in his hands, steam rising enticingly up out of them.
Harrison found a genuine smile for Rick. "Mmm. Thank you. You rock."
"Of course I do." Rick gave him a wink and cuddled up next to him, his own cocoa in hand. "I might also be buttering you up for tonight's special dinner out."
"Ooo. I like buttering." Was that hot or stupid? Hopefully the former.
Rick laughed for him, the sound bright and cheerful, almost sparkling. He winked at Rick, then stole a careful kiss. Rick returned it, then leaned against him, head on his shoulder.
"I can hardly wait to give you your present."
Harrison smiled. Rick did love the holidays and had been excited about Christmas since before Thanksgiving. Harrison had found an original Coca Cola sign with Santa on it for Rick. It seemed to suit.
"I know it's something you really want." Rick looked pleased, satisfied.
"Mmm. Cologne? Socks? A tie?" He had to laugh at himself.
Rick shook his head. "Those aren't your deepest wish."
"Probably not, no. I mean, I like socks okay..."
Rick punched him lightly in the arm. "Just for that, I'm sure your stocking will be full of them."
"That's me -- the meanest person you'll ever know." Which was about as opposite of Rick as Harrison could imagine.
"You're my angel, Rick. You brought me out of a hole."
"Your magical fairy." Rick smiled up at him, eyes twinkling.
"I'll take it, fairy-boy."
Laughing, Rick kissed the side of his mouth. "Drink your cocoa, and then we'll get ready for our dinner out."
He took a few sips, the temperature perfect for drinking -- just on the verge of being too hot. "Mmm. Did you doctor it? I feel... buzzed."
"Just magic, baby. Just magic."