Anticipating a tropical Christmas break with their family, Matt and Thomas await the birth of their baby. Not everyone is happy about the gay couple's pending parenthood. Their visions of sugar plums and hot man-man sex crash and burn when Thomas is abducted by religious fanatics.
With the surrogate mom going into premature delivery and Thomas missing, Matt's family races into action…for a Christmas their family and Black Point will never forget.
This book was formerly published and has been re-released.
Thomas awoke to the sound of childish gibberish. It had been a late night and sleep still claimed him, until the little voice began mangling a Christmas carol and he found himself smiling in his sleep.
“Where’s my girl?” he called out, his hands coming up from under the warm bed clothes in the direction of the voice. Nothing. Nada. Nobody there. His niece, Baby Daphne was home with her parents. Why did he think she was here?
His sleep-encrusted eyes flew open and he felt a moment of pure panic. It wasn’t her voice. Okay, I’m going crazy now. I don’t know any other little girls.
He realized he was in bed alone. Glancing at the clock, he saw it was eight o’clock and the rain started pounding again, flying through the cracked-open bedroom window. He tried to shut it. Stuck.
“Matt?” he called out.
He heard voices downstairs and winched open the bedroom door. Non stop rain since Thanksgiving had soaked their Hollywood Hills home. The endless damp had swollen the wooden doors that would need to be shaved across the bottoms and tops as soon as they returned from their Christmas vacation in Hawaii.
He peered down the stairs. Matt was pacing the living room, yelling at a UPS delivery guy. Three huge boxes stood in the doorway and Thomas frowned.
“Baby?” he asked and Matt’s head turned to him, his cell phone glued to his ear. Thomas ran down the stairs, the wood creaking under his feet. This was a new thing since the incessant rain.
He saw the labels on the boxes and his heart sank. He and Matt had spent a full day at the toy store a few days before shopping madly for Baby Daphne. All the gifts their entire family members had chosen for their beloved two-and-a-half year old niece had been assembled and packed. The shop assistant assured them it would be no problem to ship everything to their holiday home in Black Point, on the far eastern edge of Honolulu.
“Oh, no, this can’t be…” his voice trailed away and he realized with dismay that it was. They were leaving that day. There was no way they could take three huge boxes on the plane. Everything had been planned. It should have been perfect.
Except that Thomas was hearing voices in the bedroom and Baby Daphne’s Christmas presents were in their home a long, long way from Tipperary, Honolulu and every other damned place in the world.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Matt spat into the phone. “We organized this three days ago. It’s December the twentieth! We’re about to fly out to the island this morning…I can’t take these boxes with me!”
He paused and glanced at the UPS driver who shrugged. The guy pushed his sunglasses back on the bridge of his nose. It was so overcast and gloomy, yet the guy always wore sunglasses.
Thomas put his arm around his husband and kissed his momentarily silent mouth. He felt Matt relaxing in his arms and he scanned the content sheet sitting on one of the boxes. Thomas held the sheet, distracted for a moment by the rain lashing at the patio’s sliding doors. Their hot tub, which was right outside those doors had flooded a few days before, swamping the living room. It had taken two days to clean up the place. They’d drained the tub and covered it, but the rain fell so hard it sat in pools on the deck and seeped under the doors.
The bank of towels pressed against it was soaking wet. Unbelievable. Well, it was a good thing for the water reserves he supposed. California had been in a state of emergency until this happened with severe water rations. His attention returned to the sheet.
Three-in-one tricycle, safety sign, lambs & Ivy baby plush monkey, Infantino Soar and Explore Storyteller set. Oh, he and Matt had loved this thing. It introduced eight different languages to small children in the form of stories. He scanned the list, anxious until he saw that the Infantino Singing Frog was also there. Baby Daphne loved to sing and this little number would keep her busy for hours…Thomas felt the anxiety returning. It hadn’t been her voice he heard. She wasn’t in the house. Whose voice was it?
He gulped. He and Matt were expecting a baby via a surrogate. Lorelei was seven months pregnant and they had decided not to check if they were having a boy or a girl, but Thomas was certain now that the baby he had conceived with Lorelei through artificial insemination was a girl. She had reached across the infinite space of spirit and time, to him…her father.
“Oh baby, don’t get emotional. We’ll figure this out,” Matt misinterpreted Thomas’ moistened eyes. “It’s Christmas. Beautiful things happen at Christmas.”
Thomas nodded. What was happening to him?
“Let’s just take everything with us,” he said then.
“What, are you kidding? We’ll never fit these boxes in a rental car.”
That was true.
“We’ll upgrade the rental to an SUV. Matt, please, let’s just do this.”
Matt glared at him as if Thomas was working against him and then he started speaking into the cell phone again.
“You can’t? Man, this is unreal. I don’t believe it…”
Thomas scanned the list. Barbie roller skates, Disney Princess High Back Chair, a Pop Tunes Music Maker, five books, two children’s Christmas DVDs, three music CDs and, he heaved a sigh of relief to find they had all four of the hotter-than-hot Kai Lan plush dolls that were all the rage with tiny girls. Each doll represented good emotions; happy, giggly, silly and sweet. They’d had a heck of a time finding Sweet Kai Lan but thank God a store in Echo Park had it and it was now in their possession.
There was an inflatable water totter if the shape of a green dragon they would enjoy sharing with Daphne who was already a fearless, accomplished swimmer. There were assorted stocking stuffers and old-fashioned small toys such as moon rocks, sea monkeys, moon sand, Lego, for Daphne to share with Matt’s brother Damien who loved building castles with her. There were also a ton of bathtub toys. He found his good humor restoring itself and looked up, realizing the UPS guy and the boxes had gone. The rain eased off, the slamming sound against the slate roof abating for a moment.
“Why are you smiling?” Matt asked him.