Authors: K-lee Klein
Also by K-lee Klein
Never The Perfect Moment
Unbreak My Heart
For Bethany, Karrie, and everyone who still loves Brett,
JT & especially Whiz.
Brett took the stairs two at a time with Whiz nipping closely at his heels. The pup was excited, or more to the point, just plain excitable, and Brett took care to not trip over the darn mutt and fall headfirst down the stairs. That would definitely put a kink in the elation of the day.
JT was still a lump under the covers, just the way Brett had left him. The blankets were pulled up over his head, since Brett's California princess didn't like the sun shining in his eyes after a late--and very active, if Brett did say so himself--night.
In truth, Brett had left the blinds up on purpose, but only because there had been a light dusting of snow the night before. He liked the way it danced over the white twinkly lights he'd put around the deck for the holidays and was seriously considering leaving up all year round. He thought the lights were romantic, and they struck just the perfect chord inside his heart when he held JT in his arms in the hot tub. Plus, in bed, JT usually managed to bury his face in Brett's neck before the sun rose anyhow, and Brett wouldn't have had it any other way.
He corralled Whiz before he could make his usual running leap from the doorway and onto the bed. The pup had grown so much in the last while that Brett wasn't sure he'd be able to pack him around so easily for much longer. A gentle finger to his nose and a soft coo that the dog had reacted positively to since he was tiny, tamped his panting excitement down a notch. He looked dressed for the occasion in his new red bandana that neither Brett nor JT would admit had been their idea. The same could be said of Whiz's other accessories tucked away in
Whizzy had also become quite a handful in his teenage years and there'd been more than a time or two that old Ray had threatened to drive him down the road and leave him when he'd been making a nuisance of himself. Of course, only an hour later Brett would see the old guy sneak the pup a morsel or two under the table.
Brett supposed that's what it would be like to have kids--so frustrated you could spit one minute but still loving the stuffing out of them the next. He remembered his mama doing exactly that when he was growing up.
When JT groaned and messy blond hair appeared from the end of his flattened blanket fort, Brett was reminded that he had his own sort of youngster right there in front of him,
"Merry Christmas, Darlin'," JT said with a sweet, slow-curving grin. His face was sleep-creased and flushed, and the curls on his head stuck up here, there and everywhere. But his eyes were bright and up to nothing except mischief. Brett could not think of a more beautiful sight.
"Hey!" He feigned objection as he let Whiz wiggle to the floor. "Isn't that my line, kid?"
"I reckon you said there ain't nothin' we ain't gonna share anymore, cowboy. What's yours is mine and visa versa. Darn tootin'."
Brett squinted hard, taking a few heartbeats to answer...because what in God's green earth had JT just said? "Why the hell are you talking like that?"
"Jus' tryin' to fit in is all, y'all."
Brett rolled his eyes, then vaulted onto the bed. He tackled JT, which startled Whiz, who barked, then tried to burrow his way under the blankets. It was a good thing they hadn't intended on him being any kind of watchdog because he was even scared of his own darn shadow.
Brett flattened JT into the mattress, a big old whoosh of breath bursting from between his lips as Brett disguised a chuckle with a fake growl. He used the element of surprise, or at least breathlessness, to grab both of JT's wrists and hold them hostage above his head.
"I need you to promise me something, and this is very important to me, surfer boy," he said, calling on his compact but greater strength to combat JT's bigger frame.
JT eyed him with suspicion, gentle brown eyes gleaming, his bottom lip puffed out in a pout. The edge of his mouth curled up as he spoke. "When'd you get so dang heavy, ya goldarn varmint?"
Brett moaned with frustration. "That right there," he said inches from JT's lips. "That thing you're trying to do--"
"I ain't doing nothin',
Brett kissed him before the last word slipped off his tongue. Kissed him so hard JT's head sunk as far back into the pillow as it could go. Kissed him until he thought he'd never breathe again, licking into his mouth, his teeth clacking against JT's. Brett thought he was doing a pretty good job of setting him straight, but what did the kid do? He laughed into Brett's mouth, lips vibrating against Brett's, tongue tickling, and the sensation rattling goddamn shivers down Brett's spine and into his belly.
"What were you saying?" JT teased.
Brett moaned out loud when JT shifted his hips, bowing his back and spreading his legs until their groins pressed together. He was as big a flirt as Brett had ever encountered, not that he minded a whole lot, of course.
"That accent you're trying to use," Brett managed to squeak between gritted teeth and lips itching to kiss. "You know, that demented country thing?"
"Yeah," JT murmured as he arched to press a trail of soft kisses along Brett's jaw. "You like it, cowboy? Does it make you wanna go roll in the hay or get laid in the--"
Brett straddled JT's hips, holding his wrists with one hand and settling the other over JT's mouth. "Jesus Christ. You been watching really bad old movies or has Ray been teaching you just how to drive me crazy?"
JT batted long dark lashes over wide innocent eyes. A smile barely noticeable at the corner of his mouth spoke of unvoiced happiness. He managed to look angelic and sexy as hell at the same time. But it didn't matter none, Brett was not going to fall for his tricks.
"Stop distracting me." Brett paused to organize his thoughts while JT continued his damn grinding and batting. "I love you with my last breath, but if you use that horrible accent thingamajig again, you'll be sleeping with the horses."
"Better than sleeping with the fishes." JT grinned from ear to ear before busting out laughing and pressing his face against his pillow. "Too far, huh?"
Brett couldn't control the grin that threatened to crack his skull wide open. He swept fluffy curls off JT's forehead; the same curls that made him look so damn angelic. JT smirked up at him as Brett's thumb stroked over his temple. He could never look away when he was like this--laid out under him, all full lips and wide, attentive eyes, a mixture of love and challenge. Damn kid got under his skin more and more each day. Brett would never have thought that possible if he hadn't been actually living it.
"You're lucky I love you so much."
He pressed his forehead to JT's, cradling one side of his face, thumb sweeping over his lips. "Merry Christmas, baby."
He spent a few precious moments just kissing his fella--slow and tender, sloppy and thoughtful. Christmas was meant for life and love after all. And with JT at his side, Brett wasn't afraid to take on either one. Holidays had always brought out the hopeless romantic inside him with a huge helping of sappy love.
"You want me to pull you back under the covers or do we really have to get up?" JT tipped his face up, rubbing his nose to Brett's and breaking into Brett's reverie. He ghosted their lips together.
"That's a mighty fine offer--" Brett started but stopped, his words trapped in milk-chocolate eyes and a spinning heart.
JT took full advantage, licking slowly across his lips, then flashing a devil-may-care grin. He was relentless. "I suppose there's a but in that sentence."
Brett snickered under his breath, matching JT's look with a sneaky one of his own. He slid a finger over JT's bristly jawline, pressing harder until his head tipped back. He licked a trail from JT's collarbone to the curve of his jaw, his breath quickening when JT shuddered with a full body groan.
"But..." he continued when his tongue was a little less busy." I've got a bird to stuff and Christmas breakfast to make for my man."
"You're just a little boy when it comes to Christmas, aren't you?" JT yawned and stretched, rubbing his hips against the inside of Brett's thighs.
Brett pushed off the bed so he was upright over JT. Truth be told, he felt like a child on Christmas morning, and being that it
was in fact
Christmas morning, that seemed like it was okay. Except it was more than that. It was waking up with a full heart, the most beautiful, caring man in the world snuggled at his side.
It was getting up early so JT could sleep in, watching Whiz chase the horses on a gusty December morning. It was a little bit of real goddamn snow on Christmas Eve and being thankful for having a renewed spirit that had taken him years to find again, a spirit that had songs swimming 'round his head that weren't all full of doom and gloom anymore.
Dammit, he was just happy.
"What's that thing on your head?"
Of course JT had to interrupt his joyful buzz. He wrinkled his nose in the way that made Brett want to lick it, so he did.
"It's a Santa hat," he said rubbing Eskimo kisses against JT's warm skin.
The kid snickered and tried to pull away from the tickling caresses. "And why are you wearing it?"
"Because Santa comes on Christmas. Don't you California boys know anything that ain't about surfing or Hollywood?"
"Cram it, Taylor. The most important question is, where would Santa like to
There are a few options, you know."
Brett gasped in mock horror. "Who the hell are you and what have you done with the love of my life? The holidays may make me sappy but they make you damn horny don't they?"
"No. That's all you." JT reared up to kiss him again, shuffling Brett to the side so he could sit up. "But, seriously. What's with the hat? I don't remember you wearing one last year."
Brett shrugged, adjusting the fluffy, white fake fur brim so it sat lower on his forehead. "Things were still new then. I didn't want to scare you off with my eccentricities."
"You mean your weirdness? That was pretty obvious from the start."
"You're not going to throw any shade on me today, kid." Brett chuckled when JT's eyes widened.
JT looked wide-eyed at him. "Oh my God. Where did you get that from?"
"That drag queen show you got me hooked on, dammit." Brett
have become attached to a show he'd never even realized existed, let alone expected to have it become something he looked forward to every week. He'd been around the world at least twice, met a lot of different people with a lot of different lifestyles, but those dang drag queens just cracked him the fuck up with their sarcasm and wit and, yeah, shade.
He cleared his throat when JT appeared to still be staring at him. "You know it's Christmas, right? Santa has to be here today."
With a one-shouldered shrug, the brightness in JT's eyes wavered. "I don't have a lot of good Christmas memories," he said. He tugged the end of Brett's hair, winding the strands around his finger. "Until now."
"Don't tell me your mama and daddy didn't celebrate the holidays."
JT rolled his eyes and pulled harder on the strands. "First of all, I have a mother and father, not a mama and daddy, and yes, we did have Christmas. There was our yearly visit to church to keep up appearances, getting dressed up to impress the neighbors and relatives, dinner with just the three of us looking at each other bored or probably pissed off, and no Santa that I can ever remember."
Brett grunted his disgust. He reached for JT's hand, pressing a kiss to his palm, then flattening it to his chest. "Those people should be charged with child abuse."
"At least I have you now to indulge me," JT said as he leaned to kiss Brett a little more. "And I might even prefer kissing you in this hat since your brim doesn't try to poke my eye out."
With a snort, Brett nipped at JT's bottom lip. He always tasted so damn good. "Don't get used to it, Darlin'. It's just a short visit."
JT snuggled up against Brett, and Brett took the attention and ran with it. He wrapped him tight in his arms and nuzzled the top of his head, burrowing his nose deep, getting lost in JT's scent. But he wanted more, turkey and breakfast be damned.