Last Christmas, Kenn Greyson gave husband Chris Martenson an ultimatum—spend more time with the family or we’re leaving. He never expected Chris’s reply would be “then leave,” but that’s exactly what happened, and Boxing Day took on a whole new meaning.
Separated for nearly a year now, both men are miserable apart and coping the best they can for the kids’ sake. With Christmas just around the corner, a new conflict arises: neither man is willing to forego Christmas morning with their children. Chris finally suggests they spend the holiday together at the house and, to his shock, Kenn agrees.
Armed with the knowledge that he’s been a stubborn idiot, but that perhaps he can change and begin to repair their relationship, Chris takes steps to win his husband back. He just hopes he can get Kenn on the same page before Santa comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve.
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excerpt (picking up from where the excerpt on Dreamspinners leaves off)
“Please, Da! I wants to go to the party. Daddy would let me go.”
“I don’t know, honey. There’s a snowstorm coming in and I have a late phone call tonight and I thought we’d have a family weekend.”
Right, because they were still a family. Kenn wasn’t bitter, though. Oh no, not him.
Chris shot an unhappy look in his general direction as Sarah started crying. Like it was his fault. “Look, sweetie, if it’s not snowing, I’ll bring you, okay? If not, I’ve got ice cream and we’ll buy a cake so you won’t miss out.”
Kenn always thought it must be nice, being the fun dad.
“And we’ll get her a present?” Sarah asked. “A new Barbie?”
“God, can we just go?” Chris grabbed her pink backpack, which was next to the door. “Micah? Are you ready, son?”
“Right here.” Micah rolled his eyes. “See you Sunday, Dad.”
Kenn nodded. “I’ll make lasagna.”
He hated his part. Hated it. Hated being alone in his shitty apartment, hated being the oldest man ever to pour coffee for a living, hated being without his Mister Right. Still, it had all been his fault.
Spend more time with us and less at the office or we’re leaving.
He’d never expected Chris to say, “Then leave.”
Boxing Day had whole new connotations now. While it used to mean boxing up the decorations and whatnot to him, now it meant putting his whole life into boxes.
Shit, they hadn’t even talked a little bit about what they were going to do for Christmas this year. They’d never spent it apart, even if last year Chris had left at six to go deal with “an emergency” at work. Which had been what had prompted his ultimatum.
“I’ll drop them off at six.” Chris’s words brought him out of his thoughts.
“Yeah. Sure. Okay. We’ll have to discuss the holidays.” Thanksgiving had been a nonissue. Chris had been overseas in Dubai and he’d taken the kids to his parents for the whole long weekend.
“You just had them for Thanksgiving,” Chris bit out. “I assumed I’d have them for Christmas.”
“The whole holiday?” No. No way. Sarah was still little, still excited about Santa, and next year she might not be.
“Christmas Day,” Chris told him.
“Can we talk about this later?” When the kids weren’t watching them with worried eyes.
“Sure. I’ll have Anita call you to set up an appointment.”
“Yeah.” Kenn refused to let his hurt show. He was just another inconvenience these days. He supposed he ought to feel grateful the kids were still important to Chris. “You guys have a great weekend. I’ll miss you.”
Micah rolled his eyes, but Sarah ran to hug him. “I miss you already.”
“Yeah, me too.” He locked the door behind them and went to find his uniform shirt. Time to get to work. He had to buy a new Christmas tree, decorations, presents. Single dads had no time for tears.
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