Graham is a broken soldier in body and soul. With no place to go, he moves to the coast to live with the only relative who loves him. Lost and without hope, Graham is not sure how he can get his life back. That is until he hears the song of the most gorgeous man he has ever seen.
Kamau is a siren who lives part of his life with his siren mother the other part with his human father. Dutiful son to mother and father but never true to himself. That is until Graham walks into the church and Kamau realizes he has found his mate.
Jonah Anderson is the pastor who relies on his son’s gift to grow his church. All is going well for him and the church. That is until he sees the way Kamau looks at Graham.
At a time when Christmas presents are given for the holiday, will Graham and Kamau receive the gift they’ve dreamed of for a lifetime? Each other.
Graham’s leg ached, or the knee did right above the piece that had been blown away. He breathed slowly through his teeth as it cramped while sitting in the tiny pew built for a person who wasn’t six-foot-seven. He still worked out as much as he could so that his arms were large and his shoulders wide. Imprisoned in the confined space was not comfortable. The ability to turn and find a spot where he didn’t ache remained difficult. Graham had bumped his cousin, David, over into his husband at least four times between Angus Dei and What Child is This.
David smiled at him for about the fifth time, but who was counting, right?
“It’s okay, Gray. No worries. It’ll be fine.”
Yeah, fine. If fine was packing up and leaving a place where he grew up because his mom couldn’t deal with him finally coming out, and his sister acted like she hated his ass for being alive. Fine. Nothing was fine, and he didn’t know what to do to make it better.
“You start work on Monday. You’re staying with us until you find your own place. Everything will work out.”
Graham loved his cousin, but he didn’t have the same faith he did. He looked around them. Christmas wreaths and poinsettias. Christmas trees and the smell of candles burning. White walls and stained glassed windows. Wooden pews and worn bibles. Tradition. He’d grown up in church, had gone each Sunday with his mother and his sister. He’d been in every Christmas play and attended every midweek service, Sunday school, and church service.
More than ready to leave his mother, and the church that bound him, he’d fled into the military. And, he’d returned broken. An old GI Joe toy with its leg torn away. What good was he? Hell, why was he alive when guys better than him—more worthy than him—were buried and gone?
He glanced over just as Louis curled his hand around David’s and kissed him gently on the cheek. Graham was happy for them. They’d found a church where they were accepted, where they used their skills and were an integral part of the community. David, a corporate man, ran a partnership that helped the youth of the church. Louis worked as a journalist using those skills to write for New Direction Church. They’d found a place where they fit.
Graham had none of that.
He arrived the other night and wanted to stay in his room, in a bed almost too small for him, and take his pain pills. If a tiny part included thoughts of tipping the bottle so he could swallow all of them together, he’d never tell. But, he didn’t have to. David knew him, loved him, and kept him solid. So instead of attending the pity party for one in the house, alone, he sat in church waiting for the next part of the show.
And, then he heard him sing.
Broken vessel healed by the potter’s hand.
It was Christmastime. Where was the jolly and holly? Another song that praised the birth of a child born long ago?
Filled with the waters of hope, enough to clean the soul and heal the man.
Graham felt warmth run through him and reached to his aching knee running his fingers over the prosthetic. Metal and plastic made to look like him, but it wasn’t real.
Broken vessel healed by the potter’s hand.
Filled with possibility, just needing a reason to be.
The words spoke to him, but the voice seared his soul. He looked up to find the singer and saw a man whose eyes were focused on Graham, his hands reaching up and out toward the congregation but who was singing directly to him.
Graham wanted to look away, but he couldn’t. The notes of the song danced around him, entwining him layer by layer until all he saw, all he heard was Kamau.
David mentioned Kamau earlier, how they’d met in college. He told him how Kamau mesmerized people with his singing. David followed him to this church and remained ever since. Graham saw why. He sat ensnared, and he didn’t want to leave, didn’t want to do anything but be Kamau’s captive. His heartbeat battered his chest so intensely he heard its drumbeat in his ears, and tears lay at the corners of his eyes.
No longer a broken vessel but an instrument of destiny.
The song ended, and the layers of notes fell away freeing Graham. He gasped for air while people around him screamed and clapped, tears staining their cheeks. One woman stood at the front, her arms raised above her head as she shouted praises, and Graham had to escape.