Sequel to Colin and Martin's First Christmas.
Christmas is a special time for Colin Rodgers and Martin Kellam. Their relationship began during the holiday five years earlier. But this Christmas could be their last.
Colin left the garden gate open and Toby, Martin’s guide dog, got out, only to be run over and killed. Although he tries not to blame Colin, Martin finds it hard to forgive his boyfriend.
In an effort to save their relationship, Colin takes Martin to London to spend the holiday with the Rodgers family. There they meet Colin’s Uncle Matt, visiting from Australia.
Will the spirit of Christmas, the warmth of family, and the thrills of the big city be enough to mend Colin and Martin’s relationship?
“This is his grave, love,” Colin said as he stood with Martin in the bitterly cold pet cemetery.
Martin knelt down and began to pull out the few weeds that had grown since the last time they’d visited.
“Let me give you a hand,” Colin said, kneeling down next to his partner.
“No, just go away, please leave me be,” Martin said with an edge in his voice.
“I’m sorry, Martin, I ...” The rest of Colin’s words dried in his throat; he shook his head and withdrew to a safe distance to watch over Martin.
“Hello, Toby. Me again,” Martin said to the grave as he worked. With his fingers Martin traced the familiar words on the small brass plaque. Goodnight old pal, sleep well. I’ll be with you in the morning. He choked back a sob.
From his vantage point, Colin itched to go to Martin and comfort him, but knew he couldn’t. It had all been his fault. Colin had gone out to work one morning and left the gate open. Later that day, Martin had let Toby out into the garden. Toby was hit by a car, killing the German Shepherd instantly. The driver of the car had been apologetic, even more so when she was told she’d hit a guide dog.
After placing the wreath on the patch of cleaned earth, Martin stood up and tried to dust the wet clay from his hands and trouser legs.
Colin approached. “Want to go now?” he asked softly.
Martin nodded silently; he took Colin’s arm and they slowly made their way to the car park.
“You can change your mind, you know, but I think it’d do us both good, change of scenery and all that,” Colin said, starting the car.
“I’m sure the new scenery will be wonderful,” Martin said sarcastically.
The pair had agreed to spend Christmas with Colin’s family in London; it had been Colin’s suggestion. He was at his wit’s end to try and salvage his and Martin’s relationship which had soured considerably since the day in early September when Toby had been killed. Although Martin said he forgave Colin for leaving the gate open, his words weren’t matched by his actions. Martin had retreated into himself, and rarely engaged Colin in meaningful conversation.
“Martin,” Colin snapped. “That’s below the belt. You’ve always told me that blind people say things like ‘I’ll see you later.’ So don’t get on my case when I use phrases like ‘change of scenery.’ It will be good for us both to get away for a bit, you know it will.”
Martin sighed. “Sorry, Col, you’re right.”
Colin reached over and squeezed Martin’s knee.