Bitter and depressed after his boyfriend walks out on him, Garth Morgan cancels Christmas. Garth’s mom has other ideas however. She reminds him there’s still Adam, Garth’s eight-year-old son to consider. So Garth braves the Christmas Eve crowds at the shopping mall to buy gifts.
Despite aching feet and arms that feel like they’re being pulled out of their sockets, Garth agrees to wait in line so Adam can see Santa.
Adam asks for a new boyfriend for his daddy because the last one made Daddy cry. When the Santa lectures both Garth and Adam about the sins of homosexuality, Adam objects, swivels around on the man’s knee, and kicks him in the nuts.
Before Adam and Garth can make their escape, they’re stopped by Tony Luciano, a former Marine who now works as a security guard. One look at the man’s wide chest, broad shoulders, and model-handsome face has Garth hoping Adam’s wish is about to come true.
Adam and Garth had barely taken a couple of steps before Garth came face to upper chest with a wall of blue uniform.
Garth looked up and gulped. “They didn’t have to call you. We’re leaving.”
“I wasn’t called,” Mr. Mountain of Muscle rumbled. “I was just passing when I saw the, uh, commotion.”
“He,” Adam turned around and shot Santa a death glare, “said my daddy was a de…degeneration.”
“A what?” The security guard squatted until he was eye-level with Adam.
“I asked Santa to send a new boyfriend for daddy ’cause Uncle Jerry was mean and nasty and --”
“Adam!” Garth warned softly and closed his eyes. This wasn’t happening.
“And Santa said some mean things, so I kicked him in the nuts.”
“Adam!” Garth said louder, his eyes shooting open. Where had he learned that word!
The security guard barked out a laugh and offered a hand to Adam. “My name’s Tony.”
Adam took the man’s hand and they shook -- Adam’s tiny hand completely engulfed by Tony’s huge paw.
“Did you learn in school that you should always listen to what a cop tells you?” Tony asked.
Garth had to admire the guy’s technique. From the look on Adam’s face, Tony had the eight-year-old’s full attention.
“Yeah,” Adam nodded.
“That isn’t the real Santa Claus. He just works here at Christmas.”
Adam looked confused. “He has to be. He knew my name.”
Tony shook his head. “The elf at the head of the line asked your name didn’t he?”
“And then he said it out loud.”
Adam nodded again.
“The elf has a little microphone on his costume and the man playing Santa has a little speaker in his chair. So he heard what the elf said.”
Adam’s eyes got big.
Garth hoped Tony wasn’t spoiling the secret of Christmas for Adam. If he did, the man would have to face Garth’s mother’s wrath, and that wouldn’t be pretty.
“The real Santa Claus knows every little boy and girl’s names. And, do you want to know what else?”
Adam nodded, clearly willing to believe everything the man was saying.
“Unlike that fake Santa, the real Santa is nice to everyone, especially men who like other men ... ’cause he knows it’s harder for them to find someone special.” Under his breath, Tony added, “And I should know.”
Garth knew his mouth was hanging open. This ... god was gay, and single?