What’s the best gift a young, single man could receive for Christmas? Mohawked punk Liam wouldn’t have picked the hideous collection of homemade knitwear he’s presented with by his well-meaning mum and aunties. He’d much rather have the gorgeous older man he sees every day while busking at King’s Cross station. Liam’s been doing his best to seduce the guy with his saxophone playing -- the trouble is, with the holidays coming up, he’s beginning to despair of his message getting through.
But with a little Christmas magic in the air, maybe those garish garments will be just the thing for attracting the attention of a silver fox ...
We headed away from the crowd, cutting through side streets, and stopped under a streetlamp. Its light shone off the snowflakes that had fallen in Neil's hair, blending with the silver and turning it to white gold. It seemed like another bit of magic had happened; we were alone, not another soul on the street. This was the crossing of the ways. “So ... what's it going to be?” I asked. “Down the hill to the Tube station -- or up the hill and back to my place?”
“I've got to go,” Neil said, sounding like the words wrenched his heart as much as they wrenched mine. “Promised my sister I'd drive down for lunch tomorrow. The kids are expecting me to bring 'em presents -- they're five and seven. I can't let them down. And if I don't get some sleep tonight I'll never make it down to Devon in one piece.”
I stroked his cheek, the stubble rasping against my fingertips. “And if you came home with me, I can guarantee you wouldn't get any sleep,” I said softly. Neil's eyes closed under the caress, and his breath warmed my fingers, a teasing hint of the heat we could raise between us, if we only had the time.
Desperate, I looked around -- and saw the entrance to a narrow alleyway between two boarded-up shops. I grabbed Neil by the hand and pulled him down it with me. It was free of winos, pre-digested booze, and other detritus of the night, thank God for a Christmas miracle.
“So I'd reckon it's time we had that kiss we were saving for later,” I said, my voice coming out a little breathless.
“Well, it's definitely later, now.” Neil glanced at his watch, not that he'd be able to see it in the sallow glow of the now-distant street light. “It's so late, if we're not careful it's going to start getting early.”
“Can't have that, now, can we?” I pulled him to me and slipped my arms around his waist, inside his trench coat. He felt warm and solid -- in fact a certain part of him was getting more solid by the minute. Probably warmer, too.
“Never kissed anyone with a mohawk,” he said, his voice low and rough. His hands slid up to cup my face. “Wanted to. There was this boy who lived round the corner from my mum's -- I never even spoke to him, though. He was straight, and he wouldn't have looked twice at me even if he hadn't been.” A smile curled his breath. “You wouldn't have looked twice at me, if you'd known me back then. And I don't mean just because you'd have been in nappies. Weedy little thing, I was then.”
“Filled out nicely now, though.” I let my hands slip to his arse, and kneaded it to show him just one of the areas I was talking about. “Fine wine's not the only thing that gets better with age.”
“I wouldn't know. Give me a pint of beer any day.”
“A pint of beer, a bag of chips, and thou?” I misquoted with a grin.
“See? There you go again. Surprising me. I wouldn't have thought you'd know your Omar Khayyam from your elbow.”
“That's my Aunty Des's influence. She doesn't only do scarves, you know.” I reached out to unloop part of the scarf from around his neck, and put it around mine. “There. Let's see you getting out of this.”
“Where there's a will there's a way. And I'll be buggered if I've got the slightest bit of will-power where you're concerned, my lad.”
“Then I'd say it's time I gave you your Christmas present,” I said softly.
“So which alternate universe did you pop to the shops in, then? I'll warn you now, I haven't got you anything. I might be wearing Doctor Who's scarf but I haven't got a bloody TARDIS.”
“Ah, well that's the beauty of it. See, my Christmas present to you is also your Christmas present to me.” I kissed him again, and without losing eye contact, unwound the loop of the scarf that was tying us together and lowered myself to my knees. In my head, “Edge of Glory” was playing, clear as day.
Neil drew in a sharp breath, and shivered. “Sure about this? It's brass monkey weather out here.”
“Don't worry. I won't let anything freeze off.”
“Gonna keep it warm for me?”
“Oh, yeah.” Slowly, I pulled down his zip.