NYPD officers Rocco Maroni and Ridley Cumberland’s Christmas plans are put on hold when they’re sent undercover with a production of Nutcracker on Ice after death threats against the show’s stars. Ridley, a skating fan, is thrilled, while Rocco, all set for a singles’ cruise to avoid the entire holiday season and his growing feelings for Ridley, is a grouch.
Under the direction of federal agent Vic Monty, the pair interrogates the usual suspects: the understudies, jilted lovers, former competitors, and a fading legend. Rocco, known around the precinct as Low Fat because of his height and weight, must also deal with jealousy when the hot, athletic male lead makes a play for Ridley.
Solving the case and saving the day won’t be easy, nor will getting in and out of their tights, but the Christmas season is all about miracles and love. Will Rocco and Ridley find both under the tree at Rockefeller Center this year?
Rocco hadn’t heard much from Ridley. Sergei insisted one stay with Mikolas and one with Anastasia overnight, so there was Rocco, at two in the morning, wide awake on her floor in his boxer shorts and a NYPD T-shirt, wondering if he was lying in spit as he listened to her cry. “Are you okay?”
“Do not speak to me.”
“Fine. I won’t.”
And then she cried some more.
“If you want to talk ...”
She got up and went to the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.
“I guess you don’t.” Rocco took the opportunity to be nosy. Using his cellphone for light, he leafed through a couple of her magazines. Every one he picked up was in Russian. Things had been cut out, but there were no American words or letters. Whatever she had clipped, it couldn’t have been used in the notes he had seen.
He found a printout from the computer in another pile. She had lots of piles, and some of the stuff truly looked like garbage. Once again, most of the writing on the form he studied was in Russian. The header, though, looked vaguely familiar, like something he had seen in an ad.
Ancestry.com ... the little leaves. It took only a second for the revelation to come to him. The timestamp on the bottom was in English. It had been printed only days ago. There were two columns with -- a name, right? -- atop each one. Rocco found a translation app on his phone, and though it took forever as he listened for the click of the bathroom doorknob, he managed to decode Anastasia’s first name one letter at a time. He started the last name, just to make sure it was her. Anastasia in Russia could be like Mary in the US. Three matching letters in, he decided it probably was, and moved onto the other name -- the new relative, perhaps. The first letter in the second name was S.
“Shit!” Nasty was coming out. Rocco panicked, but kept on going. The room was dark except for the glow from his screen. Maybe she wouldn’t notice.
“What are you doing? Are you touching my things?”
“No ... I ...”
The second letter was E. Or was it the third. Crap! He’d gotten so nervous he may have missed one.
“Get out!” She started throwing things, and then picked up a nail file big enough to give the Statue of Liberty a pedicure, brandishing it toward Rocco’s partially open fly. “I will cut off the shaft and then stomp on your testicles!”
Rocco bolted out the door and into the hotel hallway in his poker print underwear. Where to go, he wondered. Back to Bart’s? He stopped by Mikolas’s room on the way and pressed his ear to the door. What the hell am I doing? Rocco felt like a fool. They’re asleep, he told himself.
Within an instant, the rhythmic thump of a frame on the wall outside their room said otherwise. Less than twenty-four hours in, Ridley had apparently given in to Mikolas’s considerable charms and was taking his considerable cock up inside him.
Well, that’s that, then, Rocco decided. If he had to choose between tall, dark, athletic, and European and short, dumpy, Brooklyn, he’d be fucking the figure skater, too.
Two hundred eighteen hours. By the time the lights came up for the end of act two the next evening, Rocco was ready to say “Fuck off!” to the entire cast. If Bart and Betsy found him attractive, maybe someone onboard the Jolly Holly would too, even if Ridley didn’t. Sure, Rid claimed he did, but as bold as he’d been with Mikolas, if he really meant what he said, he’d have certainly made a move.
“Good show.” And there he was, their first private moment since the day before. They hadn’t even shared a “Break a leg!” And though the praise was probably just another lie, Rocco was slightly proud of himself. He had managed to fall down only when he was supposed to.
“Thanks. You, too.”
“Curtain call!” Sergei hollered. “Ensemble first.”
Rocco lined up for his bow. The applause was quite generous. Maybe Ridley was right. People did seem to love the clowns. As was customary, the leads went last. That whole “There are no small roles” thing went right out the fucking window when it came to curtain calls. Any performer with an ego would knock down any other to be the final one announced. Anastasia, of course, had the honor that evening. Rocco ended up standing to her right, with Mikolas on her left. When the huge overhead stage light came down within inches of Rocco’s head, it very well could have been meant for any one of them.