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Not Much of a
Christmas Miracle

M/M, Holiday, Contemporary Romance
[18 Pages / 4,700 Words]

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After years of hiding his feelings, Eric can't believe he kissed his boss. Even worse, in the wake of his misstep Vincent is trying to reassign him. If Eric wants to stay, he needs to convince Vincent his infatuation won't be a problem. Christmas Eve is no time for confrontations, but if Eric is lucky, it might be a time for unexpected miracles.

Series: Christmas Shorts
A Christmas Catch A Christmas Secret A Place Like Home Not Much of a Christmas Miracle Especially at Christmas


He's turning to retreat the way he came when the click of the front door freezes him in place. There's a faint creak of hinges behind him, and a rush of warm air, as the little bells in the wreath shake and jingle. Eric has half a mind to keep moving. His boot has already touched the next step down. Sleet and heavy snowfall continue to pummel the sidewalk, but he can clearly discern the path that brought him. There are perfectly placed dents in the icy snow, tracing dark wet shapes along the pavement. It would be easy to follow them away from here without raising his eyes, get on the next bus whether it's the route he needs or not.

"Eric?" Vincent's voice sounds startled and confused.

There is something uncharacteristically gruff in the tone, and Eric freezes mid-step. His eyes close, just for a moment. Then he turns to meet his boss's wide, incredulous stare.

No matter how many times Eric looks at Vincent, he will never get used to how strikingly handsome the man is. Tonight, Vincent wears a soft sweater striped with understated blues and greens. Somehow the fuzzy edges do nothing to diminish his stern stature. He stands nearly a foot taller than Eric, skinny shoulders tight with surprise. His sienna brown skin is flushed warm at the cheeks, and snow is already beginning to catch in the tight coils of his closely trimmed hair.

He's so gorgeous the sight of him makes Eric's chest hurt.

One hand continues to hold the doorknob, but the other hangs restlessly at Vincent's side like he's not entirely sure what to do with it.

"Jesus, Eric, you're soaked through. Come inside." Vincent opens the door wider. The gesture is expectant, and Vincent's eyes seem sincerely worried as he tracks Eric's progress across the threshold. "Let me get you a towel and a mug of cider."

"You don't have to—" Eric starts, but Vincent is already gone. Vanished deeper into the house too suddenly to hear any answer.

At least the front hall is empty. For all the cheerful ruckus Eric can hear, the noise remains at a reassuring distance. No one comes to investigate his presence as he shrugs grudgingly out of his sodden winter garments. His skin, always pale, looks white as death from the cold when he removes his gloves. His knit hat is indeed soggy all the way through, and Eric suddenly wonders how he'll survive the trip home without giving himself frostbite. Maybe Vincent can loan him some dry things, if Eric overcomes his own mortification enough to ask such a favor.

Fucking hell, he didn't think this through at all.

He's still blessedly alone when Vincent returns, and Eric allows himself to be guided into the first room off the main hall. It's a confused sort of space. Part study, part library, part piano room—he wonders if Vincent actually plays—and also apparently the place where all of tonight's guests have deposited their coats. Still carrying the outer layers he shed by the door, Eric sets them down now, as close to the radiator as he can manage without dripping on anyone else's things.

He reluctantly accepts the soft towel Vincent hands him—using it to scrub the icy rivulets from his hair and nape—and then more willingly takes the steaming mug offered next. He inhales the crisp aroma of cider and cinnamon, savoring the way heat thaws back into his numb fingers. After hauling his ass through sleet and snow, the warmth feels so good he could cry.

He doesn't drink the cider.

"What are you doing here?" Vincent asks, and the softness of his bafflement makes Eric bristle.

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Book cover white font on pink snowy background: Not much of a Christmas Miracle
Cover design by Yolande Kleinn
ISBN 978-1-946316-19-6
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