Authors: SA Welsh
Tags: #GLBT, #Gay, #Contemporary, #Holiday, #BDSM light
But times of childhood fantasy were long gone.
Shaking his head at the stupid thoughts plaguing his mind, he picked up everything he might need for Loukas. At this age, that was still pretty much the entire baby-contents of his house. He then headed towards the entrance.
Peter had managed to keep Loukas asleep as he’d strapped him into the car-seat, but now that they’d arrived somewhere new, he was wide awake and looking around in amazement. The building was impressive and the huge arched doorway was decorated with pirate flags and seaweed-ridden chains. There were even a few lobster cages and skeletons arranged around the reception area.
He gave his name to the lady out front, and she smiled and ticked off his name before handing Loukas a stuffed parrot-toy that had on an eye patch and a mock wooden leg. Strange. His son seemed to love it though, as he let out a shriek of excitement and hugged the toy close.
Peter had a feeling that the awful green-and-pink eye-patched parrot was going to be his savior for the foreseeable future, whenever Loukas had a bout of earache or colic, or had a temper tantrum.
A favorite toy was better than any medicine.
One toy to rule them all, one toy to find them, one toy to bring them all and in the darkness bind them…
Wow, he really needed a decent night sleep.
A middle-earth marathon was really not a good idea, as he sat in that state between drifting off to sleep and jolting wide awake at the slightest noise in case Loukas needed him.
Every now and then, when Loukas did stir in his sleep and made a noise, Peter sat straight as if a bolt of lightning was shoved up his ass. Wide awake and running to Loukas’s room, he wasn’t sure sometimes if he would be up against an earache or a tribe of Orcs.
“Thank you,” he said, smiling as Loukas gave a bubbly laugh and hugged the parrot tighter.
“No problem,” she said with smile that didn’t reach her eyes, and motioned for the man beside her to step forward. “Jonah will show you to your seats. All but two of your party have already arrived, and dinner will be served once everyone is present.”
At least he wasn’t the last one to show up then, so he had that running in his favor. He hoped. They ducked under a black curtain that ran the length of the doorway, stopping people from seeing in and out.
Peter looked around as his eyes adjusted to the much darker room, and exclaimed. “Cool.” The old theatre had been completely transformed.
The seats were set out family style, with benches that sat six people collected together in little mini booths. Low lighting allowed just enough light to see by, and it added a cool atmosphere to the room as well.
The stage wasn’t all that big, but the backing had been transformed into a pirate ship, complete with ropes and rigging. A part of him, the inner child part, wanted to run up and touch everything, but the adult side of him managed to nip that particular urge in the bud.
Sometimes being an adult sucked.
“Peter Sutcliff, please join us,” a man called from over on his right.
Jonah lead him to the seat the man had pointed to, and when he got closer he recognized John Donne, the CEO of his company, and beside him were the department heads of the different law sections.
No pressure, then.
Peter’s boss, the department head of Contract Law, sat a few seats away, smiling as if he was about to present his class project. Peter had always achieved high grades and prided himself on being quick on the uptake, but he could have hit himself right now for not being prepared.
was the project to be presented.
Sleep deprivation must have been sucking the brain cells out of his head, because he wasn’t usually this obtuse. Damn it, he should have taken Harry up on his offer to take care of Loukas. This was clearly a trial interview for something in the future.
“Mr. Donne, thank you so much for the invitation to be here,” he said politely. As nonchalantly as possible, he put Loukas’s carrier down and turned to ask Jonah for a child seat.
“You are most welcome, Mr. Sutcliff. I see you brought a little one with you,” his CEO mentioned, nodding at Loukas as he lifted his son into the highchair Jonah brought him. “May we have an introduction?”
Introduction to his son? “Ummm certainly,” Peter hedged, not really sure where this was going. “Mr. Donne, everyone, this is my son Loukas.” His son, hearing his name, looked up and cried out excitedly and waved the parrot toy at his boss.
A few of the men and women around the table nodded politely, but one or two genuinely smiled, and Peter relaxed a little as Mr. Donne smiled broadly. “It’s nice to meet such a well-mannered young man. And I’m glad you aren’t missing out on the evening of pirate fun ahead of us.”
Looking down at his son, Peter winked when Loukas glanced up at him. “You’re just too cute, aren’t you? I wish I had your appeal,” he whispered proudly.
Noise to the left caught his attention, and he sighed with relief at people with children taking the empty table next to them. He recognized a few faces from his office too, even though they were in different departments. One of the women caught his eye and smiled, obviously noticing his relief at there being other children there.
“We couldn’t resist bringing our kids this year, since it was a pirate show. They’d never forgive us if we left them at home,” she whispered conspiratorially.
All of a sudden the lights dipped, and music started to ripple through the theatre. A line of pirates in classic garb filed in to the room, in well organized and almost synchronized turns, delivering chicken and fries with salad bowls and fresh crusty rolls to every table.
Loukas squealed, but looking quickly down at his son Peter saw his little boy stretching up, parrot in hand and trying to show his toy to a passing pirate. Laughing, he leaned over and went to distract Loukas, but the pirate beat him to it.
The pirate gave him a wink and bent close to his son. “Arrrrrrrgggh, little mate.”
The look on Loukas’s face was priceless, and Peter cursed that he hadn’t had a camera ready. A flash came from by the side of them and he smiled as he saw a young woman with a camera taking pictures of their table. But she disappeared. She was on to the next table before he could ask her for the photo.
Perhaps she’d be back, once she’d done the rounds, to sell the photos. “Don’t worry, mate, the photos’ll be ‘round in a li’l bit,” the pirate reassured him before moving on to interact with the other kids.
Peter got out Loukas’s food and tried to convince him to eat some of the broccoli-and-potato mash. He made all the baby food fresh on weekends and froze for the coming week, since he'd heard a story on the news about a batch of baby food being contaminated. No way was he risking his baby boy eating anything that could be contaminated. So he bought breast-milk from the female nurse down the road whose baby preferred formula and gave Loukas that alongside what food he made himself. It was all done
officially through the hospital where they made sure the milk was safe.
Loukas ate the whole dose, burped happily, and fell asleep, freeing Peter to eat his own dinner.
When the meals were finished the waiters came back and whisked everything away, bringing more soda, champagne, wine and ice-water for the table. The lights dipped as they had before, but this time stayed at a lower level, leaving only the stage lit in misty illumination.
A heavy slow drumbeat whispered through the speakers dotted around the room and steadily grew louder, like a marching beat. Mr. Donne exclaimed and pointed behind him.
Everyone with them looked that way, and Peter had to wrench his neck almost a full one-eighty to see what the fuss was about.
It was worth the crick in his neck, though.
There were about thirty pirates, split into two groups, all carrying firelit torches and moving in time to the drumbeat. The rhythm of one foot forward, as a group echoed alongside a deep hum on the end of each beat, built the atmosphere. It was captivating and enthralling, and nobody could look away.
The pirates steadily made their way down the aisle, the fire lighting where the electric lights had dimmed. The torches were set in stands surrounding the stage, glowing orange and hot in the darkness as the pirates who’d carried them stood next them, half shrouded in shadow.
A narrating voice came through the speakers, introducing the pirate captains that would be in the show. All of the people involved with the show had a character, and each table had some allegiance or another to one or more of the captains.
The pirate captains got cheers from the audience, and Loukas woke and shouted and clapped right along with them, making Peter smile again at just how cute his son was.
And of course there were the enemy pirates. Everyone booed as instructed, even his CEO, when the baddies came to the stage.
Suddenly the music picked up pace, and everyone gasped when a man flew over their heads.
The man, shirtless and wearing a skull bandanna with leather breeches, spun in intricate circles above them, swinging gracefully and effortlessly through the air.
It wasn’t rope holding the man up though. It was two long strips of material that ran the length of the ceiling to the stage floor. Silks, he thought they were called.
And the man, the flying pirate with shoulder-length blond hair, was keeping himself aloft and moving simply with the power of his massive arm muscles.
“Wow,” he whispered, as once more the man swung above them. If he dared to reach up, he knew, he’d be able to touch the man. It was an unbelievable sight.
Gliding overhead, the pirate controlled his flight until he was hanging instead of swinging, and Peter thought that was it—until the man seemed to wind the cloth around his hands and arms. The pirate, amazingly, defying gravity, rolled backwards and upwards, scissoring his legs at the same time.
In a complicated series of tangling and winding, the man climbed almost to the ceiling, at the very top of his silks. Peter didn’t know what the hell was going to happen next, but he had a feeling it was going to be amazing.
He was right.
No sooner did he finish the thought than the pirate let go of the silks and fell towards the floor. Where the cloth was wrapped around him, it made the man spin and turn and spiral as if he was completely immune to gravity’s pull.
When he was but several inches from the floor, Peter was afraid something had gone wrong and the man was going to crash into the stage, but with a flick of his wrist the pirate came to a complete stop. Then he simply let the cloth fall away, and did a forward scissor flip to land on his feet facing the audience.
Peter had never seen anything like it.
The pirate took a bow, and then a noise to the back of the theatre caught everyone’s attention as another part of the show began. It was amazing, hypnotic even, and all Peter could do was watch in awe and clap whenever there was a slight pause.
There were more acrobatics and wild highflying jumps through the air with complicated partner work, that blew him away. But his mind kept straying back to the flying pirate.
Loukas didn’t even make a sound until there was a particularly loud bang. In the performance, the pirates they been introduced to at the beginning of the show were under enemy cannon attack.
To be fair, the bang did vibrate through the seats, so he couldn’t blame his son for being scared.
Picking Loukas up, he tried to calm the baby, but he knew it wouldn’t do any good. Glancing at his watch, he realized two hours had passed. It was way past Loukas’ bedtime, and his boy had been so good.
“Mr. Sutcliff, do you need to leave?” Mr. Donne asked, leaning over the able.
“Yes. I’m sorry, sir. I need to get my son home. Thank you so much for the invitation to—”
Another loud bang cut him off and Loukas screamed, dropping the parrot to hold hands up to his ears.
Oh, his poor baby. People in the audience were starting to turn around and stare, but that was just too bad. He felt awful that he was detracting attention away from the performers, but it couldn’t be helped.
In the dim light it was next to impossible to see his bags, but he managed to find them and pick them up, and the carrier. He didn’t put Loukas in it since his son was still crying and hiding in the collar of his shirt.
Now if only he could find that damn parrot.
“Shhhhh it’s okay. Daddy’s taking you home now. Shhhhh. There’s a good boy for Daddy. My brave boy,” he cooed, bobbing Loukas in his arms when the little boy looked up at him with red eyes and sniffled. At least there weren’t any more tears for the moment.
He spoke too soon. Loukas looked at his hand in shock, as if just realizing the parrot wasn’t there anymore, and the crying began again. Huge tears slid down his son’s cheeks this time, and his little lip quivered in misery.
As quickly as he could, Peter slid out of the booth and made his way towards the door. Maybe he could drive back here tomorrow and buy another parrot.
Please let him be able to get another parrot.
Loukas started fussing again, and Peter prayed he’d be able to get him in the car before the siren screams started. His boy had a damn good set of lungs on him, and when the little tyke thought he wasn’t getting the attention he deserved, he let them loose.
In that way babies were like cats. If you displeased them, then you knew it fast.
He gave one last look back towards his table in the hope that the parrot would magically appear, but predictably it wasn’t to be.
Just as he reached the door he heard a few more cannon shots, and thanked god he’d left when he did since they weren’t as loud out here. Luckily, Loukas seemed too preoccupied with a few pirates who were guarding the door from enemy pirates to notice
Peter recognized a couple from the acrobatic jumps and strength performances earlier in the show. “I’m sorry I have to leave. It has been amazing, and I’ll definitely be back.”
“We’re here for the year, but I’m sorry you couldn’t stay to see the ending. It’s really cool,” the youngest pirate commiserated.
The older pirate next to him hadn’t broken character yet, and still wore the fierce lopsided scowl directed right at his son. So that’s what Loukas was looking at.