Levi Thornton is the closeted gay son of homophobic televangelist Marshall Thornton. So what’s the perfect gift for the father who never cared? Levi’s going to find a yummy young man on Christmas Eve, fuck him all night long and six ways to Sunday. And then he’s going to out himself on live national TV on Christmas Day in front of his father and God and everyone else.
The problem is he’s having no luck at finding that special someone to share this moment with. Just when he thinks his quest is hopeless, in breezes Darjeeling Crane, and it’s off to the family hideaway for a night of fun. This will be a Christmas to remember, if Levi has anything to say about it.
Note: previously published as Dirty Little Lies
“What’s a sexy guy like you doing alone in a place like this on Christmas Eve?”
Jarred from his internal reverie, Levi Thornton looked up from the menu in his hand. A wave of annoyance washed over his face, but he quickly quelled it with the ease of long-time dissembling. A young woman stood beside his table, obviously dressed for clubbing: short red satin dress with puff sleeves, decorated with frilly bits of tulle and accented with sparkly jewels. Glittery ropes adorned her neck and wrists, and she stood on heels so high she’d undoubtedly have to kick them off in order to dance without fear of breaking her neck.
Despite her too-corny-for-words come-on, he decided to follow her clumsy attempt at a pick-up—just for shits and giggles.
“Looking for someone to spend the night with,” he replied in a low growl. His words had the predicted effect. The woman gave a breathy sigh and leaned in toward him.
“Me too,” she confided, darting a quick glance over one shoulder. He followed her gaze to a nearby table filled with like-minded girls in similar dresses. They seemed to be following her exploits with great interest. Her cheerleaders, no doubt. Bosom buddies of the single persuasion, out on Christmas Eve looking for a hot time with Mr. Right. All they were missing were the obligatory pompons. They giggled when they saw him look their way, yet boldly continued to stare. He turned away from them dismissively.
“Is that so?” Never missing a beat, he locked his eyes on hers.
“So, what would you like to be doing tonight?” She dropped her voice to match his, placing a knowing emphasis on the word you as though there were anyone else within earshot she could possibly be addressing, her hand falling atop his over the plastic-coated menu.
“What would I like to be doing tonight?” He waited just for the time it took for her to draw one bated breath—he could almost feel the heat from between her legs, and he gloried in the effect he had upon her as he casually shook off her hand—before removing his own to a safe distance.
“Nothing with you,” he replied with atonal indifference. He watched with almost clinical disinterest as her face took on the peculiar hue of a plum tomato. Her mouth opened and closed. She seemed to be on the verge of making a comment. Levi leaned forward slightly, in expectation that the woman would cause a scene, his eyes gleaming in anticipation. But she never said a word, even though he was sure her eyes were undoubtedly moist and ready to leak copious amounts of tears at his terrible cruelty. Instead, she gathered what remained of her wounded dignity, spun about on her stilettos, and stalked back to her table to join the curious clique assembled there. They formed a protective phalanx about her, murmuring their commiseration in soothing tones. More than a few angry glares were cast in his direction.
Levi didn’t care.
Not in this lifetime or with somebody else’s dick.
Disappointment welled for a brief moment—he’d actually hoped she’d become more hysterical. Kick her heels, maybe show some spirit and slap his face. Draw attention to herself and, by extension, him—but she’d given up with barely a protest. Was Eliot right? Was this the way the world would end? Not with a bang, but a whimper?
Not if Levi had anything to say about it.
Being saddled at birth with a name like Leviticus, how ironic that Levi Thornton should turn out to be gay. Even more ironic was the fact that he was born the son of Marshall Thornton, the most charismatic televangelist that had ever caught fire in the virtual pulpit—and the most homophobic. Levi was raised with the smell of brimstone and the threat of eternal suffering should he ever stray from the path of righteousness.
Small wonder he’d never come out to his father. He’d been forced to suppress his true nature ever since he realized that his appetite ran toward cocks, not pussy. A lifetime spent living in his father’s shadow, afraid to be who and what he really was.
Well, that was all behind him now. No more Mr. Fake Straight Guy. Levi was going to make this a Christmas that his father—and the rest of the world—wouldn’t forget for a very long time to come. He was tired of living a lie, tired of living under his father’s thumb... and tired of trying to measure up to his father’s holy expectations when that wasn’t who he was.
But first, certain things had to fall in place, and so far his luck had been running toward the red. He needed the perfect guy for this one night extravaganza and he’d yet to see a candidate that filled that particular bill. But the night was still young, and if he didn’t find him here, Levi would change locations and troll somewhere else. Sooner or later, he figured he’d get a nibble, and then a bite... Even in this rather podunk town in the middle of nowhere. A town whose only claim to fame was that this was where his father’s church was located—and that suited his purpose perfectly. Timing was everything, and right now anonymity was the name of the game.
A shadow fell across the menu—his waitress had managed to find her way back to his table. He thought maybe she’d fallen in, considering the length of time she’d been gone. But since he’d not decided if he was staying or not, her presence was more of an irritation than a help.
“Have you decided what you’d like to order?” she asked. She looked more than tired. Dark circles ringed her eyes. She was slumped onto one leg as if the other could no longer support her weight, and her general demeanor was that of someone who wanted to be anywhere but there.