Zach is a nurse struggling to pay the bills as his partner Andy continues to finish his college degree. Even though they have everything they need, Zach wants Andy to have the best Christmas he has ever had. After getting locked out of their car, and having to ask a pet store owner for a hanger, Zach finds the one thing that would do it, in the bundle of fear of a husky puppy. Knowing he can’t afford, he regretfully says no. Zach heads to work for a shift he regretted taking, and Andy is left home alone pondering his gift for Zach. Zach opens up to a co-worker about wanting to ask Andy to marry him on Christmas day and how he has saved up for months to afford an engagement ring. On his way home, he stops and makes a purchase that will make this Christmas the best for both of them.
Zach reached for the car door and found it locked. He dug in his pockets for the keys and caught sight of them in the ignition. Zach swore. What else can go wrong? I have to be at work at the hospital by four o’clock, and I need to get Andy home before then. Of all days, why today? He rested his head on the hood of the car and sighed, attempting to calm his building frustration. Today was Christmas Eve, and not only did he have work, but he locked himself and his boyfriend Andy out of the car. At least it isn’t snowing. Something wet hit his hand. As he looked up, a few snowflakes drifted in a lazy and haphazard descent. Oh goodie. I could be at our apartment cuddling in front of the television with Andy, but we had to go shopping and see the Christmas Parade in the old part of town. I shouldn’t have picked up that extra shift, but we need the money. Rent won’t pay itself.
“What’s wrong?” Andy asked.
Zach could see the look of concern on Andy’s handsome face. This is why I am here. Not the parade or the shopping, but for Andy. Damn, I love this man. He inhaled and slumped his shoulders. “I locked the keys in the car,” Zach replied. He tapped on the window to emphasize his point.
“Maybe one store may have something we can use to get the door unlocked.” Andy grinned.
Zach couldn’t help but smile back. Andy had a catchy cheerfulness with the current Christmas season. He was in full holiday spirit mode. Their apartment had decorations up as early as October, and it drove him crazy with the random holiday music on the radio, but Andy’s energy and easy smile kept him from complaining. He wouldn’t have, anyway. If Andy was happy then so was he. He watched Andy walk around the car and stood in front of him. Zach stared into Andy’s deep green eyes and saw a spark of mischievousness. Andy wrapped his arms around Zach and kissed him. Zach blushed while standing frozen in shock at Andy’s display of affection. He didn’t fear showing his love for Andy in public but preferred to keep most things private. It was part of who he was. Andy lived without fear and seemed not to care. For once he didn’t either. Things were looking better already, make the yuletide gay.
“It isn’t so bad. It could be worse,” Andy remarked.
Zach watched Andy bend over and peek through the car window. “How is that?” He wrapped the scarf around his neck. He buttoned his jacket up since his time outside just got extended.
“It could snow harder.” Andy walked toward the door to a local pet store. Zach followed close behind.