Thursday, December 31, 2015

Throwback Thursday Tune



This is a perfect song for New Years Eve by the wonderful Dan Fogelberg. I hope you enjoy it and may you have a safe, joyous and prosperous 2016!


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Life is a Stevie Wonder Song Release Day!








Happy New Years a day early! What a wonderful way to say goodbye to the old year. Nothing like a new book to bring in the new year! And what a lovely book this one is if I may toot my own horn. This novella was a delight to write from the moment of its conception to the last round of proofs. I loved both the leading men, the journey that Stephen makes, the joy and light that Declan provides, and the magical setting of the forest.




I hope you enjoy my first (but not last) Gay For You story. You can find Life is a Stevie Wonder Song at the following online retailers:





Thank you all so much for your support over 2015. Your feedback means the world to me, so please continue to read and review, not just my books but every book you read. Nothing inspires an author more than hearing from a reader who enjoyed your work. I'll see you in 2016 with more gay and straight romances for those who love a little hockey in their life. 

Skate hard and love deeply,


V.L. 


Monday, December 28, 2015

Tuesday Tales - Shoe



Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales.



Today we have the next issue in my historical M/M romance, Dear Jon, which is set in 1945. Every issue of this serial will be under 1500 words so they're quick reads.  Our word prompt today is 'Shoe'. This story contains mature language and gay sexual situations. If that offends now would be the time to move onto another Tuesday Tales offering.

We're picking up the day after Jon and Ross had their first sexual encounter.

Don`t forget to visit the other talented Tuesday Tales authors. Thanks for stopping by!




            Yep, I was up at sunset again. This time it was with brush in hand, thank God. Andy had slept like a rock despite being rousted from a warm bed, plunked into a car, driven home, and dropped into a cold sleeper sofa. He slept plastered against my back until I had been awoken by the first red tendril of a new day. Sensing the sunrise was going to be something to see, I grabbed the easel and my supplies.

I had spent two hours in the front yard, barefooted, as the new sun stretched its red and pink embrace over Hannity Hills. George and Gracie arrived once, honked, but then raced back to the creek when they spied the easel. They were a lot like people I knew who, when presented with something new, ran around making terrified blustery noises.

            Finding myself pleased with the landscape, I stretched. My body twanged with intimate aches.  That`s what happens when you have an eager beaver lover. My skin pimpled and it made me smile. Gathering up my goodies, I went inside. Andy was nothing but a lump under the covers. I slid past the snoozing lad. Coffee was needed. Once the percolator began bubbling, I found myself facing a horror that I had put off for too long. I was out of clean clothes. The Maytag sat in the corner smirking at me.

            I dragged the old wringer washer over to the sink and then began filling the tub with a bucket. After one filling, the rusty Crane water heater in the corner began to clatter. I then began hauling in armloads of dirty laundry that had been piled in the bathroom. I`d be here all damned day. Plugging the washer in set the agitator into motion. I stuffed a few armfuls in and then dumped a scoop of Tide flakes into the swirling water. I glanced up from my cup to find Andrew stumbling into the kitchen. The kid looked like he had been up be-bopping all night. He was wearing one shoe for some bizarre reason.

            “The washer squeaks,” he complained. I patted his head as he walked past me. I`d have to oil the pulley that was squealing under the washer tub.

            “When does the milkman come?” I asked. The kid shrugged then climbed into a chair, his bleary green eyes settling on me. “I`ll have to call to set up service again.” I left the wash to get the lad some breakfast. Eggs and some armored heifer were on the menu. I hated the taste of watered down canned milk, but the half gallon I had bought was already gone. Andy went through milk like Grant went through Richmond. After our scrambled and half moo I sent the kid out with a single slice of bread for the geese.

            “Can I help?” he asked when he returned, muddied and flushed from running along the creek bank with two geese.

            “Sure,” I said, "just watch the rollers.”

            “I know,” Andy shouted over the screaming pulley. “Mom showed me. Monday is wash day.”

            “Well, today is Tuesday,” I shouted, lifting a pair of boys knickers out of the tub then carefully feeding them through. “Guess we started our own tradition, huh?”

            “Guess,” he said, concentrating on keeping his fingers free from the wringer. I had forgotten the laundry basket, so I went to fetch it. When I returned from the bathroom with the big wicker basket I found Andy pushing a slice of bread through the wringers.

            “What are you doing, buddy?” I asked, dropping the basket to the floor. He smiled.

            “Making the bread flat.”

            “Guess you are.” That set us back as we had to clean the rollers. By the time we were outside hanging up the first load, Ross was pulling in. He gave us both a long look when he sauntered across the tiny front yard.

            “You two gents forget to get dressed this morning,” he asked with a twinkle in his grey eyes.

            “We didn`t have anything clean to put on, wisenheimer,” I replied, pushing a clothespin down over the shoulder of a shirt. Andrew had wandered off, still in his pajamas, to find something dirty to wallow in. “You`re going the wrong way if you`re heading to work,” I pointed out.

            “Gas is cheap,” he smiled. I snorted.

            “I wouldn`t call twenty-one cents a gallon cheap,” I said moving along to the next item to be hung up to dry. “What brings you out here, Ross?”

            “I was hoping to join you for breakfast, but I overslept.”

            “You`re not going to buy the farm trying to keep up with me, are you, Gramps?” I inquired.

            “You just worry about yourself, Skippy. Been painting?” he asked, reaching out to run the tip of his index finger over my cheek. I was a notoriously sloppy artist. I nodded and found myself leaning closer to the man. Ross cleared his throat and stepped back. The road was clearly visible, and while traffic was light, it was just asking for trouble to be seen touching each other in public. His hand dropped to his side. “Good. When it`s done bring it to town and we`ll see if we can sell it for you.”          

            “That`ll be great.” I heard Andrew and the geese splashing behind the bungalow. “Ross . . .”

            “I should get going. I`m already an hour late opening up,” he said, his hands now in his front pockets. I had a randy thought about sneaking a kiss hidden by the wet pants and shorts. That was all I could do though. Think about it. “Can we get together tonight?”

            I reached down to tug one of my dress shirts from the basket. The sun was warming nicely. A wind was just beginning to tickle the wet clothes on the line.

            “Sure, bring some cards and we`ll call it a poker night,” I said. Ross nodded.

            “I wish . . .” he started to say. I shook my head.

            “You know what they say about wishes and beggars.”

            “Someday men like you and me will be able to be together in public, Jon,” he said before he left for the shop.

            Personally, I thought he had spent too much time inhaling turpentine vapors, but who was I to squash his idealistic fantasies? I would have far greater concerns over the upcoming week then the happy-go-lucky ideals of my new lover.

Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey

*~*~*

Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the Tuesday Tales authors.


See you next week!



Monday Author/Book Spotlight - Tracey Clark's Shocking Finds


Please welcome a new friend to our little corner of the interweb! Tracey has dropped by to share some info about her novel, Shocking Finds.

*~*~*



"What do you mean? What present? And why my trunk?" Anton sure had a lot of questions, but at least he drove a little faster.
"I needed to transport him back to Marin's house, and your car was unlocked."
"It most certainly was not, you Battle-Fae-Bastard." Anton was vibrating with tension.
-Teaser: Shocking Finds

 
Author Bio: Tracey Clark




Howdy all! I am a country-twang gal from the bluegrass state. Kentucky is a hot bed of horses, cave systems, and whiskey. And I love all three. With my pugs and bossy kitty cat, I spend my days writing and working social media. I write with the help of the voices pushing me to create worlds for them to live in. Fantasy Romance, Contemporary Romance, and eventually some cowboys (because cowboys live in a group all there own, yummmm) are the genres that I love best.

I wanted to update everyone on the Finder’s Keepers series... Book One: Shocking Finds (A Finder’s Keepers Novel) came out Oct. 26... and Book Two’s rough draft is completed and is in the editing stages... The Finder’s Keepers series is a Paranormal/Fantasy Romance, but also fits nicely in the New Adult genre... Man do I hate pegging down the exact genre... :P but anywho, here is an excerpt of Book Two: Double Findings (or maybe Twin Finds... I’m not sure... the voices in my head haven’t made up there minds yet!!)

Excerpt: Book Two
Chapter One

The portal tossed Quaidin Lari in every direction until he felt like his head was spinning and his stomach was about to evict all of its contents in any manner possible; north or south, he was about to be sick. Colors flew by in shades of burnt green and browns so dark they might as have been considered black. He could have handled the depressing color scheme and the runaway rollercoaster ride but the shots of yellow and brightest white being flashed before his eyes was too much.
Squeezing his eyes shut, Quaidin prayed to Lac Mar that the ride would soon end. He was one of the Fianna, the mercenary troop, taking over the job of policing the Fae community for the missing Sentinels. Hurling his guts up and pray to the Fae Goddess Lac Mar wouldn’t look very reassuring to those depending on the Fianna for safety. Besides, he was in charge of persuasion for his squad. He had all the allure of his Incubus heritage, but no one looked at the deathly ill and thought, "I want to tell this man all my secrets."
Just when he thought that Fate had decided to turn a simple portal jump into a lifetime of confusion and punishment, Quaidin stumbled across solid ground, immediately falling to his knees. He couldn’t see straight yet but knew that he wanted to go home to Out-realm. Every time he came Earth-side, the experience cemented how much he hated the place. "Please tell me I managed to land in a patch of soft, foul smelling Kentucky mud."
No one answered. Still, Quaidin refused to open his eyes. His knees were firmly planted on solid ground, but his hands had managed to find something disgusting.
Sitting up, his ass propped up on his feet, he continued to deny the truth. Eyes tightly closed, he started flinging and flicking his hands to dislodge the substance clinging to his skin.
His squad mates all started screaming at once.
"Son of a-"
"Dammit, Quaidin."
"You lousy-"
"Stop that you-"
Grinning like a devil, Quaidin opened his eyes. Looking around at Casfin, Vloran, Zander, and Yolland he cut them all off. "We can all wear this muck together."
Casfin, one of the most laid back and composed Captains the Fianna mercenaries had ever seen, looked like he was on the verge of homicide. Stripping off his clothes without a word, Casfin stalked off to a nearby pond. One by one, the others decided to follow.
Vloran was last to add his clothes to the growing pile. It wasn’t that the man was slower. For a nearly eight foot mountain, he could move quick swiftly when he wanted to. When he wanted to, being the key phrase.
Quaidin pushed himself up from the ground as Vloran turned to leave. "What’s the big deal? A little dirt never hurt anyone."
Vloran glared over his shoulder, and said, "I believe the people Earth-side call what you landed in a cow-patty." Seeing the, no doubt, confused look on Quaidin’s face, Vloran turned away in disgust. "Cow shit, man. You landed in cow shit."
More than ready to go home, Quaidin ripped off his clothes and threw them on the burnable heap of mission clothing. Moving for the water, he barked, "I hate this place."

Quaidin eyed the large beast lazily munching on grass the grass growing alone the bank of the small pond. Floating in the middle of the water, he felt safe in glaring at the cow. He felt like he was suffocating in heat and honeysuckle. How could it be so hot? Summers on Earth-side wouldn’t begin for another week. They needed to find the new Fae Princess and slip back through a portal to Out-realm before the heat level reached the nineties, or Lac Mar forbid, the hundreds.
"Come on Quaidin. Our ride should be here any minute." Casfin dropped Quaidin’s satchel on the bank and walked off.
The cow moved suspiciously toward his satchel, spurring Quaidin to swim with increasing strokes for the edge of the pond. Keeping one eye on the animal, he pulled his body onto the grass and started jerking his spare uniform out of his satchel. Unless he wanted to wear his uniform for the entirety of the mission, he needed to locate something a little more fashionable for the area.
Vloran moseyed over – the man was the definition of relaxed – and tossed him a canteen of water.
"Thanks man." Quaidin took a long pull of the slightly warm water. "Is the portal shut down yet?"
The portal they had just to get to Earth-side was a rogue portal. Their squad was in charge of shutting the portal down, but instead of taking care of the matter while they were still in Out-realm they had used it to travel closer to the Princess and their goal. Casfin had decided that using the rogue portal would put them closer to the Princess and the Danshue that had created the portal in the first place.
The Danshue, or evil Fae, were growing in number and they all had it out for Princess de Platadreki. They needed to secure the Princess and eliminate all threats along the way.
"Yolland and Zander are taking care of it. The portal was hastily opened, but that just means that it will be harder to close. It looks like someone just ripped open a hole in reality. Some of the spells used to open it need to be reinforced so that the entire does not explode as they attempt to close the link." Vloran crouched down, his arms planted on his knees. His eyes continually quartered the area, watching the trees, the field, the nearby gravel road, and even the sky.
Pants on and shoes laced up, Quaidin checked the ground for any surprises before flopping down beside Vloran. "Casfin could close it in no time."
Plucking a piece of grass to roll between his fingers, Vloran looked back at Yolland and Zander. "Guess the Captain thinks they need the practice. Would have done it himself otherwise."
Quaidin took another swallow of warm water, refusing to even unpack his shirt until the last minute. He pinched a few strands of his light brown hair between his fingers and pulled the wavy mass forward. Squinting his eyes, he tried to determine if the missing blonde streaks were covered in mystery pond scum or if they were just heavy with water. He was about to ask Vloran what he thought when a large SUV came into sight, slowly driving down the one lane road at the edge of the field. "Looks like our ride has arrived. Maybe you and Casfin can stick you heads out of the windows."
It was no more than the truth. Vloran had to be nearing the eight foot mark, and their dear Captain looked to be slightly over the eight foot mark. Quaidin didn’t know a lot about Earth-side, always wishing to keep his visits short, but humans rarely made it to seven feet. They definitely didn’t make cars to accommodate small giants. It was a good thing that human and Norms – those Fae born without magic – were unable to see anything placed under a glamor. Otherwise, Vloran and Casfin would have started a riot. What with Vloran’s silver skin tone and the light blue dusting on Casfin’s otherwise pale skin, it was hard to mistake them for human.
"Come on funny guy. With the mood Casfin is in, he may just leave your ass if you make him wait."



Shocking Finds Teaser:

Marin fell to her knees as the buzzing came back with a vengeance, her eyes blinded by the light coming through the hall window. The light that she had bemoaned every morning for the last twenty-one years, as she made her way to the bathroom. On top of everything else, she felt rage, an all-consuming rage. And, dammit, she still didn’t have any clothes on.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Snippet Sunday






Hello and welcome to another Snippet Sunday! 

Today we're going to have the last excerpt from Full Strength that I can share. I just typed THE END for Victor and Dan's last book, and don't want to share anything after today in fear of spoiling some key plot points for my readers. As it is I had to erase the name of Victor and Heather's baby so that surprise wasn't revealed! Speaking of the baby, in today's snippet it seems as if the time has come for the parents-to-be to become mom and dad.

When you're done reading my offering, skate on over to Cathy Brockman and Ellie Mack's blogs to see what they're working on. 

This excerpt is unedited so please forgive any errors you may stumble across. It also contains mature language because hockey players. Vic and Dan's story deals with two men in a loving, sexual relationship. If this offends please feel free to leave. I won't be offended at all. 

Thanks for stopping by! 


**~*~**


            Things seemed to be going along the right track until the day before Thanksgiving. Heather and Mrs. Arou, who were now chatting daily on Facebook for some reason, decided that since Heather was due in two weeks, flying or driving to Winnipeg would be too much for her. Therefore, the Arou clan were coming down to Cayuga for Thanksgiving even though those crazy Canucks had celebrated their Thanksgiving in October.  Guess who was going to be in Binghamton for a special Thanksgiving Day game? Yep, Dan and me.
            "Tell me again why your family and my baby momma are taking over our new place?" I tossed some clothes into a big duffel bag and looked across the bedroom at Dan. Everything we owned was now in boxes. We had hoped to move over Thanksgiving break but no, the AHL sorting hat had spewed out the Cayuga Cougars and the Binghamton Broncos to play on Thanksgiving Day. Lucky us. "We haven't even fucked there yet."
            "Because they can't make a big dinner here," Dan wearily explained for the fourth time. I knew the reason; I was just pissy and liked to hear my own voice. "Stop being such a twat and just suck it up."
            I threw a pair of ratty underwear at him. He flung it back. Somehow we ended up on the bed, our neatly stacked clothes scattered as we tried to cram the torn BVD's down each other's throats. My cell started ringing. I thought about ignoring it because I had a hot Hobbit with my briefs in his mouth writhing around under me.
            "Might be Heather," Dan said after he spit my underwear out.
            "Don't go anywhere. As soon as I hear her latest sob story about what the Quartermaine's are doing to the Spencer's on General Hospital I am going to fuck you silly."
            "Promises, promises," Dan said then let his arms and legs go slack. I rolled off the tease and grabbed up my phone. One glance informed me it was indeed Heather.
            "Hey, what's up?"
            "Victor, I don't want you to freak out but I was in town shopping for shoes. Mine are all so small and I found this really cute pair of sandals that fit great but it's November and who wears sandals in Cayuga in November? But, if I get them now and put them away, well, they're half off and then I'd have new sandals in the summer."
            "Heather, please stop talking about shoes and get to the point."
            "Oh right, so yeah, I think my water just broke here in the middle of Smith's Shoe Shop. Can you come get me and take home? I don't think I should drive."
            "But you're not due for another two weeks," I said. Dan stopped trying to look seductive and sat up.
            "Guess XXXXXX—"
            "XXXXX."
            "Oh for God sake, fine, I guess XXXXX has different plans. Now can you come get me?"
            "Yeah, just sit tight and don't let the kid fall out onto its head." I hung up and looked at Dan. "Her water just broke."
            "But we have to meet the bus to Binghamton in two hours," Dan said as I scrambled off the bed, trying to remember where my shoes and keys were.
            "I'll call Lambert on the way to get Heather and tell him she's going into labor. They do that, right? I mean, after the whole water gush they start labor? Why didn't you make me go to those fucking Lamaze classes?" I barked at Dan as I searched under the bed for my shoes.
            "Me? I tried to make you go with her but you said 'Women have been popping kids out for centuries. She'll be fine. Come sit down and watch Jax Teller shoot this guy in the face' or something stupid like that."
             I sat back on my calves. "Do not ever call Jax Teller stupid. He sacrificed it all for his club," I warned him them flopped back to my side to dig around under the bed.
            "Your keys and shoes are by the front door where I always put them."
            I shot to my feet, threw my arms around Dan, and held him to me.
            "I am fucking terrified," I whispered. He cinched me close.
            "You're going to be a great dad. I wish I could be here for this," he said then kissed me so hard it helped ease the fear a bit.
            "You and me are going to make our own baby as soon as you get back from Binghamton," I told him.

            "Yeah, we'll work on that. Go get Heather before she talks the ears off old man Smith. I love you."





Don't forget to drop by Cathy and Ellie's blogs-

Cathy Brockman Romances

Ellie Mack's Blog

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Some Obvious and Not So Obvious Inspiration









When the idea for Life is a Stevie Wonder Song hit me, the title wasn't on the radar yet. I knew I was going to write my first Gay for You novella. I knew it would be a May-December. I knew the Catskills would be the setting and I knew that my leading man would be an author and lover of old vinyl record albums.

My muse took over and I had my rough draft done in about eighteen days. As I had worked through the story, one performers name came up repeatedly. His songs and the joy that they bring stood out to me. They perfectly reflected the emotions of both Stephen and Declan as they met and then slowly fell in love with each other. When title time came, the name of the book sang out loud and clear. I hope you enjoy reading this wonderful tale of one man's self-discovery as much as I did writing it.

Life is a Stevie Wonder Song releases next Wednesday, December 30th. You can preorder your copy today at the following retailers:




Blurb:
Authors know that their muse is a fickle creature. Best-selling spy novelist Stephen Ramsey has been in a hate-hate relationship with his inspiration for months. When Stephen's publisher lays a legal ultimatum upon him, with a rapidly approaching deadline, he knows he must do something to kick-start his creativity or face the unemployment line. His daughter comes up with a possible answer: a summer camp for the creative soul. With nothing to lose, Stephen packs up his laptop, phonograph and beloved record albums and heads from Greenwich Village to the Catskill Mountains.


There, among a horde of college students attending for extra credits, is Declan Pomeroy, a photographer of fey creatures who is twenty-two years younger than Stephen. The woods are a magical place, and he quickly finds himself falling under the spell of the free-spirited photographer. Confusion wars with desire inside Stephen as he succumbs to the feelings welling up inside. But, sadly, summer camp always has to end. Can a man who has just found himself really leave the person that makes his heart sing?


Excerpt:

PG-13 - Mature language & gay sexual situations


A sharp rap on the door a week later jolted me out of my zone. My eyes were dry. I looked over my shoulder at the door, my mind still lingering on the rambling oration I had been writing. No, it was not the next Mick Dell. What I had been writing for the past two days was literary vomit, if I were being honest. It was stream-of-consciousness crap for sure, a fifteen-page run-on sentence hidden under the regurgitation of masticated wordage. By God, it felt good to put words on virtual paper, even if it was just journaling.

"Come in," I called loudly over Hall & Oates on the record player. Declan peeked around the door. A slight arrhythmia occurred in my chest. I hurried to save and close the Word document. A lot of what I had been spewing out revolved around the young man entering my space. For as slight as he was, he certainly filled the bungalow. "Would you like a beer?"

He smiled in that weird whimsical way of his then rushed over to stand in front of the old portable record player I toted everywhere.

"Wow, you have vinyl," he said.

I closed my laptop and placed it on the round table in front of the loveseat.

"A whole box," I offered as I pushed to my bare feet. I noticed that Declan had no shoes once more. He had nice feet. Small and well formed. My feet belonged on an orangutan, according to my daughter. "Do I have to card you?"

He laughed softly and shook his head. His hair flowed around his head with the movement. The lamp highlighted small streaks of summer gold amid the dark brown.

"I'm twenty-two. Man, these are awesome." He dropped to his knees to flip through the box of albums. I went to the fridge as he whispered to himself. "I don’t know any of these bands," he told me after I tapped his shoulder with a cold one. He was clad in brown cargo shorts and a white tank top cut low under his toned arms. The shirt hung off him. Declan took the beer, sipped it gingerly, set it beside him on the floor, and continued examining my music.

I sat down on the loveseat, wildly curious about what had brought this photographer of fey creatures to my door this evening. For a long while, I contented myself with simply enjoying his reactions to some of the more obscure groups he found. His face and eyes were expressive, amazingly so at times. He barely touched his beer. After about ten minutes passed, the record needed turning over. I rose and walked over to the desk the player rested on.

"So, what brings you here tonight?" I asked casually as I lifted the needle from the record and flipped it over. When he didn’t reply, I looked down at him. His gaze rested on me. A surge of raw lust raced through me to see him kneeling there. The album nearly slid from my fingers. What was going on with me? I was straight. I had been married three times and had a child two years younger than this capricious young man.

"It’s a full moon. Do you want to come capture the fey on film with me?"

God yes. "Really?" I asked as I lined up the hole in the album with the spindle. "Sure."

Declan smiled. His teeth were white and straight. I wanted to kiss him. No, it was more than a mere want. It was a crazy, irrational, wild need to kiss him, taste him, and feel him pressed tightly to me. My cock began to lengthen. I turned from him sitting there on his calves so enticingly.

"I'll be back at midnight," he announced as he sprang to his feet. "Wear as little as possible."

"Okay."

Out he went. A June bug flew in as Declan exited. The massive beetle bounced around the lampshade. The crickets outside quieted as my captivating guest bounced through the grass. I let the album slide down the spindle, then bent over to pick up the bottle of beer my neighbor had left behind. Would it be too weird to drink after him hoping to taste him on the glass?




Friday, December 25, 2015

Sleigh Bells Ring - Chapter Four



Welcome back for the final chapter in Sleigh Bells Ring! I hope my readers have enjoyed this little holiday gift from Oscar and me. This story has not been professionally edited, so you may find some errors even though I have self-edited it to the best of my ability. Please forgive any glaring mistakes that I may miss.

This short story is about a gay couple. If this offends then you should move along to another blog. 



Sleigh Bells Ring
Chapter Four



            "Oscar, babe, you need to come out from under the covers." I peeked over the top of the duvet at Nilay. His hand on my stomach was comforting. "Why are you still in bed? It's Christmas Eve day. Your party is tonight."
            "I'm cancelling the affair," I said then pulled the covers back over my face. "All we have are four chickens and six geese. We might as well all put on denim overalls and sing Hee-Haw songs instead of Christmas carols."
            I heard his hearty sigh even under the blankets. He pulled the coverings down to expose my face.
            "Honey, you're overreacting."
            "I'm not," I said then sat up, the covers dropping down into my lap. "I have members of both Philadelphia hockey teams coming over tonight and not one damned turtle dove or leaping lord can be found!"
            "Oscar, they're not coming to see leaping lords or turtle doves, they're coming because they love you, just like I do."
            He pressed a kiss to my lips. It felt divine but I was in a funk. "You say that about the wedding too, but people like fantastical events."
            "Well, maybe people do but our friends don't. They just want to come and celebrate the holiday with you because they adore you." He patted my thigh though the covers. I made a face. "It's the truth, honey. Our friends won't care if you have white goats at the wedding."
            "I know where we can rent some," I mumbled thinking of Mr. Christie's farm.
            Nilay smiled warmly. "The point I'm trying to make is that the people who care about you aren't going to talk badly about the party tonight simply because there aren't seven swans a swimming."
            "There are two swan boats a sitting," I groaned then fell back into bed.
            "Yes, there are. And six nasty geese plus a crate with four French chickens sitting in our heated garage."
            "Are you put out with me?"
            "Not in the least." He lay down beside me, even though he was fully dressed and ready to head to the stadium. I wiggled around to press myself into him. "I know you want everything to be perfect because that's just who you are. It's one of the reasons I love you. "He pressed a kiss to my bald head and I sighed dreamily."Just know that I would marry you in the middle of Broad Street."
            "That would be utterly tacky and quite dangerous," I murmured into his suit jacket. "But I thank you for the sweetness."
            "Are you going to be okay?" he asked and I nodded.
            "I'll be fine." I patted his strong chest then lifted my head for a tender kiss.
            "Good. I'll be back for lunch and we'll start setting things up for the party. I love you." He stole another kiss, this one deeper and much more sensual, then slid from the bed and left for work. I rolled to my back and stared at the ceiling.
            "Okay Oscar Larue Tiffany, time to stop moping. You have a party to get fabulous for." I said the words but the joy didn't quite make it to my heart. But, since I didn't wish to upset Nilay any more, I forced myself to get up and get moving despite my lingering malaise. I did what needed done but my heart just wasn't into the preparation. Nilay came home at lunchtime and helped to lift my spirits slightly. Even though my Hindu heartthrob doesn't recognize Christmas as a religious tradition he loves to celebrate and be with friends, so his enthusiasm was pleasant just not catching sadly.
            As the time for the party drew closer, we stood back and appraised our work. There were decorations from stem to stern, enough food to feed an army, and holiday tunes playing in every room of the townhouse thanks to Nilay's whole-house audio system. I schlepped upstairs to begin my toiletry. Nilay was as fancy as he was going to get. My squeeze is not one for glitz. I, on the other hand, had a lovely outfit planned and even if my party bombed, which was a given, I was going to look amazing as it went down in flames. I showered, shaved, plucked, powdered, applied my beauty mark, put in my contacts, perfumed and then dressed. Black slacks, white dress shirt, green satin vest and a jaunty red beret with gold snowflakes made up my outfit. I looked at myself in the full-length mirror in our bedroom. I did look amazing. Pity no one would see it.
            "Just stop. Nilay will see you. Who is more important than him, hmm?" I asked myself then pulled on a gorgeous pair of black leather Italian boots. As I opened the door of our bedroom, I heard voices from downstairs. I plastered on a smile and sailed down the stairs, head held high and chest out just like Grace Jones had taught me. I paused at the bottom of the stairs and awkwardly gawked at my packed living room. I had assumed only Viviana, Lizzie, and Maggie would attend the debacle. Nilay saw me, grinned, and hustled over to take my hand.
            "What is all of this?" I asked as he led me into the crowd of hockey players and their dates.
            "These are your friends," Nilay replied. I nodded dully as I drank in athletes dressed like leaping lords, pipers piping, drummers drumming and ladies leaping. Many faces I didn't know well, others, like Maggie, Liz, Margarite, and my darling Viviana, I knew quite well. "Guess they heard you had trouble finding the required parts for the song so they dressed up as them. Did you see Aho? He and his wife are turtledoves. How charming is that?"
            "Oh dear me, I'm all weepy," I coughed as I pawed inside my vest for my handkerchief. I turned and buried my face into Nilay's neck. He began rubbing my back as I sniffled into his collar.
            "If you cry you'll lose your beauty mark," Viviana said behind me. I turned from my love to embrace my best girlfriend who was either supposed to be a swan or a calling bird. Alain was also in costume. He saluted me with his flute. What a handsome sight he was! I searched for our lovely owner and the GM of the Venom, but found them nowhere. Probably Philip had stayed home with Isabelle who was quite pregnant. 
            "I tried to make Derrick put on tights and be a leaping lord," I heard to the side as I worked on gathering myself.
            "Who wants to see my old knobby knees I told her."
             I lifted my head from Viviana's feathery shoulder. There stood Maggie and Derrick, both dressed up like milkmaids complete with long blond plaits, gingham dresses, and milk pails. Derrick Andersson would not be giving RuPaul any competition.
            "I think I'm allergic to all these feathers," Veikko said as he and his wife strolled up. As he spoke, tiny grey feathers fluttered around him and made him sneeze violently.         
            "Oh my gosh, I just love you all so much!" I shouted to be heard over Michel BublĂ© crooning Walking in a Winter Wonderland. "And I love you most of all," I said to Nilay.
            "I am pretty lovable." Nilay held a sprig of mistletoe over my beret and waggled a black eyebrow.
            "Yes you are," I whispered then grabbed a festive kiss to thunderous applause.
            What a wonderful Wildcat Christmas this was going to be!
            "Hey, there's a flock of geese in the kitchen eating the fruit cake," Bobby Fovea yelled then jerked his redhead in the direction of our kitchen.
            "Better them than us," I commented then sailed off, Nilay tight to my side, to enjoy the party and the wonderful people who had saved it for me. There really is no greater gift than love and friendship is there?


Merry Christmas Everyone!
*~*~*


You can get to know Oscar and the Wildcat gang even better by reading the To Love a Wildcat series starting with Pink Pucks & Power Plays: