Two men are brought together by a green pirate parrot at a Christmas work function. One is a divorced high flying lawyer with a baby and the other is an acrobatic pirate performer. The link? They were best friends until they were nine and Luka's family moved away. Luka, the pirate, just got out of a relationship and needs a place to crash, and Peter is sleep-deprived and desperate not to lose Luka again. The problem? Luka is gay and Peter is straight. Against the odds they come together and discover family isn’t made by blood but love. Can Christmas spirit and the love of family help them overcome their differences, rekindle the childish love they shared when they were young, and let it grow into something more?
By the time he’d found the old theatre he was already ten minutes late, but thankfully he found an empty mother-and-child parking spot and slipped in quickly. There was a little guilt in parking there, but he had a baby and he was damn well entitled to use this spot.
The theatre was an old-fashioned building, with architecture that kids could imagine all sorts of adventures and stories about. He used to love making up stories of famous pirate captains or medieval knights who stormed the enemy castle to save the day.
But times of childhood fantasy were long gone.
Shaking his head at the stupid thoughts plaguing his mind, he picked up everything he might need for Loukas. At this age, that was still pretty much the entire baby-contents of his house. He then headed towards the entrance.
Peter had managed to keep Loukas asleep as he’d strapped him into the car-seat, but now that they’d arrived somewhere new, he was wide awake and looking around in amazement. The building was impressive and the huge arched doorway was decorated with pirate flags and seaweed-ridden chains. There were even a few lobster cages and skeletons arranged around the reception area.
He gave his name to the lady out front, and she smiled and ticked off his name before handing Loukas a stuffed parrot-toy that had on an eye patch and a mock wooden leg. Strange. His son seemed to love it though, as he let out a shriek of excitement and hugged the toy close.
Peter had a feeling that the awful green-and-pink eye-patched parrot was going to be his savior for the foreseeable future, whenever Loukas had a bout of earache or colic, or had a temper tantrum.
A favorite toy was better than any medicine. One toy to rule them all, one toy to find them, one toy to bring them all and in the darkness bind them…
Wow, he really needed a decent night sleep.
A middle-earth marathon was really not a good idea, as he sat in that state between drifting off to sleep and jolting wide awake at the slightest noise in case Loukas needed him.
Every now and then, when Loukas did stir in his sleep and made a noise, Peter sat straight as if a bolt of lightning was shoved up his ass. Wide awake and running to Loukas’s room, he wasn’t sure sometimes if he would be up against an earache or a tribe of Orcs.
“Thank you,” he said, smiling as Loukas gave a bubbly laugh and hugged the parrot tighter.
“No problem,” she said with smile that didn’t reach her eyes, and motioned for the man beside her to step forward. “Jonah will show you to your seats. All but two of your party have already arrived, and dinner will be served once everyone is present.”
At least he wasn’t the last one to show up then, so he had that running in his favor. He hoped. They ducked under a black curtain that ran the length of the doorway, stopping people from seeing in and out.
Peter looked around as his eyes adjusted to the much darker room, and exclaimed. “Cool.” The old theatre had been completely transformed.
The seats were set out family style, with benches that sat six people collected together in little mini booths. Low lighting allowed just enough light to see by, and it added a cool atmosphere to the room as well.
The stage wasn’t all that big, but the backing had been transformed into a pirate ship, complete with ropes and rigging. A part of him, the inner child part, wanted to run up and touch everything, but the adult side of him managed to nip that particular urge in the bud.
Sometimes being an adult sucked.
“Peter Sutcliff, please join us,” a man called from over on his right.
Jonah lead him to the seat the man had pointed to, and when he got closer he recognized John Donne, the CEO of his company, and beside him were the department heads of the different law sections.
No pressure, then.
Peter’s boss, the department head of Contract Law, sat a few seats away, smiling as if he was about to present his class project. Peter had always achieved high grades and prided himself on being quick on the uptake, but he could have hit himself right now for not being prepared.
He was the project to be presented.
Sleep deprivation must have been sucking the brain cells out of his head, because he wasn’t usually this obtuse. Damn it, he should have taken Harry up on his offer to take care of Loukas. This was clearly a trial interview for something in the future.