Christmas with Danny Fit (5 page)

BOOK: Christmas with Danny Fit
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“Nice,” Jesse said, nodding thoughtfully. “I’m honored.” There was a silence, and then Jesse stood apologetically. “Time to get Amy Lane

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back to work. Can’t keep my crappy apartment without my crappy paycheck, right?”

Kit imagined that Jesse’s “crappy” apartment looked like it had been lived in, probably had old furniture, with real dents in the walls and scuffs on the floor, and a haphazard mess in the bedroom. There had probably been sex in Jesse’s crappy apartment, the kind that involved two people, and probably laughter as well.

“I’ll bet your crappy apartment is fun place to be,” Kit said a little wistfully.

Jesse stopped at the doorway, and the look in his eyes was wise and old. “Anyplace can be fun, Kit, when you’re not alone there.”

“Yeah.” Kit tried hard not to sigh, and then remembered the other part of his plan and brightened. “I’m going to get a cat.”

“Can I help you look? I like animals—I just never have apartments where they can stay.”

The strangely empty hollow in Kit’s chest suddenly warmed and filled, and he knew his smile gave too much away, but he couldn’t make himself care. “That would be awesome. Before Thanksgiving or after?”

“After,” Jesse said regretfully. “I’ve got packing and cleaning tomorrow night, and my bestest bestie is in town tonight.” Kit must have looked puzzled. “My best friend from high school,”

Jesse clarified. His expression softened, got dreamy. “I wouldn’t have survived high school without her. Anyway, I promised her a night of talking and a crash on the couch, so if you can wait until Saturday? PetSmart has adoptions on Saturday—I’ll meet you at your place, if you give me the address, and we can go then!”

Amy Lane

Christmas With Danny Fit [39]

It was a date, one that made the rest of Kit’s day bearable, especially when he went home to his empty house.

He got used to the empty-house noises, though. He cut cardio out of his workout program and walked around the neighborhood Monday and Tuesday, enjoying seeing the other people around him, the happy families, the places where kids played in the yard and adults had porch swings or benches to sit on. The neighborhood was nice—but not too nice. You could still see people, unlike the really pricey places where they all huddled inside or “went somewhere” for recreation. He waved at the guy who lived next door as he helped his daughter on a bicycle, and the guy waved back. He went home, did his workout, fixed his dinner, watched some sci-fi, and surfed his computer. It was a lot like living with Ma, except….

Better.

It was still a lonely existence, he figured as he walked in to work Wednesday, but it was his, and that made it better. (He’d also managed about six loads of laundry and some dry-cleaning.

His clothes already smelled less like tobacco. He tried to tell himself that this was yet another reason to wish that Pat was short for Patricia, but it sounded hollow, even in his own head.) To his surprise, Jesse was at work, waiting for him.

He was dressed casually—no slacks and button-down work shirt, but jeans and a sweater, and his hair, instead of being carefully blow-dried back, was gelled and a little spiky. Kit literally found it hard to talk for a moment. God. Just… God. He was beautiful. He was so beautiful. For a moment, Kit knew his eyes got bright and shiny. He was beautiful, and Kit was… Kit. Even if he lost a zillion pounds, he had sandy hair, muddy greenish eyes, and an unlovely rectangle of a face. He could never have Jesse, Amy Lane

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even if Jesse were gay, even if Jesse stopped smoking, even if…

even if….

“Kit?” Jesse said softly, and Kit took a breath. Spots were flooding his vision, so he must not have done that in a while. He took another one.

“I didn’t expect to see you today,” he said, trying to be bright and breezy. Oh God. He was so fucking bad at bright and breezy.

“I wanted to say bye on my way out of town.”

Kit couldn’t look at him. He made a business out of walking past Jesse to take off his jacket, then hang it on the hook inside his office. “That’s nice of you,” he said, meaning it, but unable to make eye contact. “It is. I mean, I know I probably seem sort of sad, by myself on the holiday, but I’ll be fine. You never told me about your time with your friend the other night. You’ll have to fill me in when you get back. Saturday, right? You said you’d be back by….”

Oh God. He was babbling, and he’d taken off his jacket and put down his briefcase and booted his computer and arranged his pencils, and he didn’t have anything else to do to mask the fact that seeing Jesse right now completely unhinged him. Jesse was so beautiful, bad boy in high school (and that was actually starting to be a turn-on) or not.

“Saturday,” Jesse said from right next to his chair.

Kit was so startled that he gasped and flipped the pencil right off the desk.

“Here. I’ll get it.” Jesse’s voice was very gentle. He knelt down and stood halfway up, eye level with Kit. Their eyes connected, and Jesse straightened but kept one hand on the back of Kit’s Amy Lane

Christmas With Danny Fit [41]

chair and the other on the desk, so that he was leaning over, and Kit was looking up at him, flustered and helpless.

“I’m looking forward to Saturday,” Jesse said softly. “I really want to see your new dream house.”

“It’s a little lonely,” Kit confessed, embarrassed.

“Well, we’ll make it not so lonely.”

Jesse was leaning into him, close enough for Kit to tell he didn’t use aftershave, and his soap was subtle and clean. His eyes gleamed with an intent that Kit had never seen and could barely recognize. “Jesse?”

Jesse’s mouth was a precious little bee sting of a pout, and he quirked up one end of it. “Yeah?”

“What’s ‘Pat’ short for?”

The quirk became a full-blown grin. “Patrick.”

Kit’s mouth made a soft little O, and Jesse’s grin disappeared, and then their lips were touching, and it was…. Oh God. Jesse took advantage of his complete and total bemusement and invaded with his tongue, and he tasted… like coffee, faintly of cigarettes, but not enough to matter. He just…. He tasted like human contact and warmth, and that ever-present laughter. He tasted of sweetness. Jesse was the boy (man) who made Kit’s days sweet, and he tasted just exactly like that.

Kit was breathing hard when Jesse pulled back from the kiss, and his body felt like the Fourth of July, without the heat, stickiness, and smell of sulfur.

“I’ll see you Saturday,” Jesse said softly, kissing his forehead.

“Sbulahbhay.” Oh God. Kit’s brain had done it. It had scrambled itself and would never be useful again.

Amy Lane

Christmas With Danny Fit [42]

“Yeah. Saturday.” He kissed Kit again, quick and hard, and then stood up and flashed that killer,
let’s suck Kit right down the
rabbit hole again
grin, and turned around and left.

Kit stared after him for what must have been half an hour before he realized that he was never going to get any work done at all, and that maybe he’d have a better day if he either went home and masturbated repeatedly or went shopping for his small Thanksgiving dinner and caught a movie.

He went for option B, mostly so the anticipation of option A could grow painful and delicious for the rest of the day.

While he was shopping, he saw a flier for the local soup kitchen, asking for volunteers and supplies. That night, after getting a small, fresh turkey, potatoes, greens, a box of Stove Top, and a fresh box of bakery cookies (instead of pie), he also threw in half the canned-good section of his local grocery store. After he got home, worked out, and got ready for bed, he took a moment to actually think about the kiss in his office.

It had been… soft. That was his first thought, and he savored it. Jesse, whose ex was Patrick and not Patricia, had kissed him, and it had been soft. It had just been lips and tongue and the taste of Jesse’s smile, and he’d come by just especially to tell Kit bye and to… to kiss him.

He found the thought was too wonderful even to masturbate to. In fact, lying there, thinking about all the years he could have been kissing but hadn’t been, it made him want to cry. Then he thought that maybe it was worth it, not kissing anybody, just so Jesse could be his first kiss, and then he really did cry.

He was glad nobody got to see him, weeping in the dark, mourning a youth spent in a cocoon of fantasy and science fiction Amy Lane

Christmas With Danny Fit [43]

and smothered in the bitterness of his mother and an eternal, voiding sort of loneliness.

He pulled himself together after a minute. He had the possibility of a real life now, and he didn’t want to be a loser in it.

He could no longer say he’d never been kissed, and he could no longer say he’d never been in love. He had been—although, whether it was with Jesse or Danny Fit, the vote was still out.

He told himself firmly that either way, he had a life, even an inner one; then he wiped his eyes on his new sheets (which weren’t as stiff as they’d been when he moved in) and then set his alarm early.

It was hard getting up at four a.m. to prep his turkey and put it in the oven, and it was even harder to dress in jeans and a sweatshirt and go out into the smoking cold of dawn.

But it was worth it when he drove up to Loaves and Fishes with cans of everything from green beans to Spam and asked one of the volunteers where they needed it. They helped him park his car safely (a big if, off of Richards Boulevard) and the woman—in her fifties with frizzy gray hair and a warm smile who was there because, she told him, her kids were in college and her husband was sleeping in—took him to the back, showed him where to leave his jacket, and put him to work peeling potatoes.

He peeled potatoes for two hours, listening to the sounds of the soup kitchen, the forced happiness of the volunteers, the remorseful gratitude of the people who’d had it too rough this year to do for themselves. When he had half an hour left to get his bird out of the oven, he told his volunteer (Margaret) that he had to leave, but he’d return sometime if she liked.

She hugged him. No “personal space,” no “you’re a stranger and I barely know you”—she just hugged him, told him warmly Amy Lane

Christmas With Danny Fit [44]

that she would love to see him whenever he had the time, and wished him a happy holiday.

Kit thought he might show up at the soup kitchen a lot after that—if there were people there who would adopt him and be kind, well, then, he probably had lots of charity in his heart to give.

He went home, and the turkey smelled great. The sides weren’t too difficult, and he lit candles, put a vase of flowers on his table, and set music, then sat down and had himself dinner.

He imagined that Jesse was there. He imagined that Danny was there. Danny would be a perfect host and a good lover. Jesse would be a perfect guest and a lot of fun. And maybe, if Kit was lucky, Jesse would gift him with more kisses like the one in his office.

At the end of the meal, he couldn’t decide who he’d rather have at his table in reality, but he was aware that a little bit of reality was necessary. He packed up a small tray of food, complete with cookies, and took the ten-minute drive to his mother’s tiny Victorian on R Street.

He knocked on the door with conviction, and when she opened it—in nothing but a house coat, red eyes, and a dangling cigarette—he thrust the package into her hands.

“Happy Thanksgiving, Ma. Enjoy.”

He turned around, not expecting a lot of thanks or even recognition, and he reached the top step of the porch before she said, “What? You’re not even going to eat it with me?”

He contemplated ignoring her, but then it hit him. That was the closest thing she’d ever expressed to an actual desire for his company. He turned back around.

Amy Lane

Christmas With Danny Fit [45]

“Sure, Ma. What’s on TV?”

“Crap. Nothin’ but crap. But
Wizard of Oz
is on right now.

You used to drive me crazy with that one when you were a kid.”

Kit blinked. He didn’t remember this. “Figures,” he said philosophically. “Yeah. I might have a cookie.” He’d packed all the extras with the meal—why not?

He stayed through the rest of the movie, while his mother ate her little impromptu meal, balanced on her lap. The dining room table was dirty, still—lots of bowls full of cereal and a few empty beer bottles. To his memory, she’d always had food on the table for him. He thought about the people in the soup kitchen that morning—the same couldn’t be said for them, could it?

“How’s the food, Ma?” he asked, hoping he didn’t sound needy.

She swallowed a bite. “It doesn’t taste like shit. But you need more damned cheese in the mashed potatoes.”

He smiled, practically swooning with the compliment. “I’ll remember that next time.”

“You’ll come visit again?”

“Yeah. How ’bout Monday night?”

“Why not Saturday?”

“I’m getting a cat.”

His mother took a bite of turkey and potatoes and prodded the green beans experimentally with her fork. “I could come over and see it sometime. I like cats.”

Kit nodded. “No smoking in the house, okay Ma?”

“Be fucking picky. Yeah, fine. Whatever. Just make sure your Amy Lane

Christmas With Danny Fit [46]

fucking cat has all its fucking shots, okay? I don’t want rabies.”

“Yeah, Ma. Germ-free cat. It’s a deal.”

“You got a faggoty boyfriend yet?”

“Got a hope for one.”

“Just don’t do no ass-fucking while I’m there.”

Kit swallowed, thoughts of sex with Danny
or
Jesse suddenly fleeing his mind like rabid bats from a ghost-shrieking cave. “I guarantee it.”

He left at the end of the movie, after clearing up the takeout mess and sharing a cookie. He kissed her cheek firmly before he left, and although her smile would never light up the world, she wasn’t calling him a fucking faggot and throwing him out on the lawn.

It was a start.

Amy Lane

Christmas With Danny Fit [47]

Maidens and Maidenheads

BOOK: Christmas with Danny Fit
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