The Christmas bug has bitten my butt early this year. My hearth has stockings hanging on it, bows on the wall above it, and two (fake) poinsettia plants on either side. My Christmas tree is off to the left of it, lights on. My kitchen is Christmassy--table with a green brocade cloth, placemats, floral centerpiece; a poinsettia kitchen mat, oven mitts, potholders, and salt & pepper shakers.
Don't ask. I have NO idea why it hit me this early, but it's cool. :)
I have a short story coming from Torquere this Christmas as part of December's Holiday Single Shot Extravaganza. Titled "Gingerbread Men," it's just a little feel-good story of two best friends becoming a bit more...
Here's a little snip:
Jonas pushed the shopping cart down the aisle, rolling his eyes every time Keith threw something else into the buggy. "Jeez, man. I thought we were just doing gingerbread," he said, staring at the two thick steaks, the bottle of Worcestershire sauce, and the bottle of steak sauce.
"What? We gotta have dinner, too." Keith added a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. "Can't have steak without red wine."
Jonas just shook his head and gave up. Keith was a force to be reckoned with when he got set on a mission, though what mission he was on stumped Jonas. They finally made it to the check out, but before Jonas could even get his wallet out, Keith had already commandeered the credit card reader.
"Fine, but I'm paying you back."
"Oh, I don't doubt that," Keith said, somewhat under his breath. Jonas wasn't about to ask.
The groceries paid for and loaded into Keith's car, which he'd brought to the shop instead of his bike, they headed for Jonas' apartment downtown. Jonas stared out the passenger side window, chewing on his bottom lip and wondering how the hell he was going to get through the night. Before he knew it, they were home, Keith pulling into a parking space near the walkway leading to Jonas' front door. They both grabbed a bag and headed inside, Jonas' mind still on other things besides food.
"If you start the steaks, I'll start the gingerbread," Jonas said as he set his bags down on the counter.
"Steaks won't take that long. I'll help with the gingerbread a bit." Keith set the steaks in the fridge and put the wine off to the side.
Jonas got a mixing bowl down from the top cabinet and set it to his left. "Okay, get me the butter, one egg, and the buttermilk," he said as he pulled the flour canister over. "Oh, and the molasses. There's half a bottle in the cabinet to your right."
"Gotcha." Keith set everything on the counter. "What's next?"
"Ginger, ground clove, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Oh, and preheat the oven to 350."
A few seconds later, Keith set three jars of spices and the box of brown sugar down. Jonas mixed the dry ingredients while Keith watched. Then he put the bowl to the side.
"Okay, now to cream the butter with the brown sugar and egg." Jonas put the butter in a shallow bowl and stuck it in the microwave for a few seconds. When Keith gave him a quizzical look, Jonas shrugged. "Softens it up for creaming."
"Soft is no fun."
Jonas nearly dropped the butter bowl, but managed to recover. "Um… Usually, no." He hoped he wasn't blushing as he focused on getting the stuff mixed. He knew Keith was staring at him. Hell, he felt it. Shoving those thoughts away, Jonas finished mixing the batter together, determined not to look Keith until he'd gotten himself under control. When the batter finished, Jonas scooped up some on his finger and licked it. "Damn, that's good."
"Really?" Keith stuck a finger in the dark brown batter, but instead of licking it himself, he touched his fingertip to Jonas' lips. "Taste…"
Throwing caution to the wind, Jonas closed his eyes to keep the need from showing in them, and he sucked the rich batter from Keith's skin. Then the finger was gone and something warm and wet slipped into Jonas' mouth. A split-second later, he realized it was Keith's tongue. Startled, Jonas jumped back, eyes wide, shock slamming into him when he saw the naked lust in his best friend's gaze.
"No more." Keith hauled him close, not giving Jonas a chance to say another word. Those lips came down on Jonas' again, that tongue scrambling his brain. "No more, Jonas," Keith whispered.
"No more… what?" Jonas panted, shaken to the core.
"No more ignoring this. Should've done it a long time ago." Keith confused the hell out of him, but kissed him again, ensuring that Jonas had absolutely no time to even think about what he'd said.