BONUS SCENE ~ Déjà Vu ~ Another Holiday Season

I received a total of 15 prompt words from 3 of my newsletter readers and used them all for this bonus scene:

Anonymous: unicorn – biker – chihuahua – licorice – interstate
Kareni: bread – candle – socks – bell – dictionary
Penumbra: prickly – trees – rumble – cinnamon – petrichor


Gavin swerved sharply on the rain-slicked pavement as he followed the speeding biker onto the interstate on-ramp. The cartoon character—in this case, an innocent looking chihuahua—on the back of the man’s bomber jacket might have been meant, originally, to mislead people from suspecting the criminal nature of the group’s intentions, but that ship had sailed months ago.

One of Gavin’s fellow detectives had named them the Nickelodeon gang, presumably out of a lack of imagination since none of the cartoon characters actually resembled anything from a show airing on that network.

Trees zipped past in Gavin’s peripheral vision, and the rumble of a second motorcycle roared up behind him. In a flash, the second biker whizzed by and scattered something onto the pavement. The rainbow colored unicorn on that rider’s jacket seemed to be laughing, mocking him as it zoomed out of sight.

Gavin pumped his brakes and veered to the side, but couldn’t completely avoid the tire spikes. The explosion of air from two of his tires rent the air like gunshots. Gavin turned his steering wheel to avoid skidding out of control on the wet road, but he caught traction on a dry patch, and the car careened into a ditch.

“Damn it!” Gavin slammed his hands on the steering wheel when the car rocked to a jarring stop. He rolled down his window as the motorcycles roared into the distance. He laid his head back and took a deep breath. The earlier brief rain had released the sharp odor of…

* * * * *

…of what? What was that word?

Victor leaned back in his chair and wavered his hand back and forth between his dictionary and thesaurus before moving it to rub at the prickly short hairs at the back of his neck. Pulled out of the story he was writing, the homey scent of fresh-baked bread mixed with the cinnamon candle Bryan had lit earlier permeated Victor’s reality, and his stomach grumbled.

“Babe?” Victor popped a licorice bite from the holiday candy tin on his desk into his mouth, turned, and hollered again in the general direction of the kitchen. “Hey, babe?”

Bryan popped his head around the corner, and his brows disappeared behind the hair falling across his forehead. “You’re not killing off Gavin and Matthew again, are you?”

“Would I?” Victor snorted, but shook his head with a grin. “Nah. Giving Gavin a little trouble, but he’ll live.”

“What’s up?” Bryan strode across the living room, veering to the side when a bell on the Christmas tree jingled.

Victor grabbed a spray bottle and joined Bryan in the living room. “Felix, Socks, get out of that tree.”

Apparently the mere threat of a squirt of water was enough, and the cats scattered. Bryan rolled his eyes ceilingward and stepped into Victor’s arms.

“Mmm.” Bryan nuzzled at Victor’s neck. “Pity it’s almost time to leave for Amelia’s party.”

“We could be fashionably late?” Victor drew in a deep breath of citrusy scent from the new shampoo in Bryan’s hair, then blinked, remembering… “Oh, hey, what’s the word for that odor you get when the ground has been dry for a while, then it rains and kicks up a scent?”

Bryan stepped back and gave Victor a squinty look as he gathered some of his long hair and smelled it, then lifted an arm to sniff his pit. “What are you talking about?”

“What? No, not you.” Victor laughed. “It’s a word for the story.” He pulled Bryan back for a quick kiss. “You smell perfect, as always.”

“I don’t smell sweaty, though? I mean, you might consider that a turn on, but I don’t want everyone at the party giving me a wide berth.”

“No, no. Sorry. My timing is shit. The question had nothing to do with how you smell.”

“Ah.” The lines on Bryan’s face smoothed out. “Do I want to know what you’ve got Gavin and Matthew doing?” He double flashed his eyebrows, and his voice dropped an octave. “Got them hiding out in a hay loft until a sudden rainstorm ends, overcome with kinky urges when the earthy scent of petrichor mixes with the muskiness of lust that’s always simmering just beneath the surface?”

Victor snorted a laugh and grinned as Bryan pulled him toward their bedroom. “Kinky urges, eh?”

Speaking of…Victor steered them toward the Christmas tree. Perhaps he should have Bryan open a particular one of the gifts piled beneath it a little early.

Not your typical holiday story! It tries so hard to be dark, but gives the reader a few chuckles and warm fuzzies instead.

Gavin and Matthew just want to get home to enjoy Christmas Eve in their safe, warm apartment. Should they walk or take a cab? But will either option do the trick when Victor, suffering from his holiday blahs, is determined to undermine this happy twosome at every turn?

Years ago, Victor made the unfortunate mistake of coming out to his family on Christmas. Why couldn’t he have picked a random summer day? Can Victor’s husband Bryan pull him out of his gloomy mood in order to give the popular Gavin and Matthew the merry Christmas they deserve?


Publisher | Kindle | Books2Read | Bookstrand | BAM!


Hoopla | Overdrive

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