The 42 Days of Christmas Series from MLR Press continues and today I’m posting an excerpt provided by Geoff Knight!!!
Together in Electric Dreams
by Geoff Knight
Now Available from MLR Press
Bailey Baxter’s only Christmas Wish was wishing that Christmas would go away! Not that this handsome, kind, young man was ever mean or angry, he was simply busy—pitching to clients and securing successful accounts for the ad agency at which he worked tirelessly.
So it’s just as well that Bailey—unbeknownst to him—has someone making his Christmas Wishes for him.
And this year, on the eve of his biggest account—which happens to be Christmas Eve—this year’s Christmas Wish comes in the form of a handsome electrician named Gabe, willing to do more than simply help Bailey put up his Christmas lights to please his elderly and eternally grateful neighbors.
Will Bailey let this Christmas race by him like all the others? Or will this racy Christmas be one to remember?
Bailey managed to turn the lock, push open his door and flick on the lights to his apartment. “I hope you’re as understanding and patient as you seem.”
He gestured into the apartment and Gabe’s eyes widened at the sight of the tumbleweed of Christmas lights sitting on the floor in the middle of the living room.
“Like I said,” Bailey shrugged apologetically. “I tried.”
Gabe simply smiled, picked up his toolbox and step ladder, and walked confidently into Bailey’s apartment. “Let’s get you untangled, shall we?”
While Gabe knelt beside his toolbox and began unloading tools, Bailey—feeling suddenly guilty at the mess he’d made for the handsome tradesman—put down his computer, his broken phone and attempted to pick up the twisted ball of wires trying to unravel an end.
“I know this is kind of supposed to be easy,” he said, taking a twirled strand in one hand, “and I know millions of people do this every year, but I’m just not used to… Christmas.” He turned in a circle to grab another end, and the wire snaked around his torso. “You see, my neighbors have this stupid dream of turning the outside of our building into a big Christmas tree. They’ve all lined their fire escapes with green lights that kind of zigzag all the way up here.”
Bailey turned again, entwining himself in lights even more. “Now it’s up to me to…”
He pirouetted again and made things worse.
“…to finish the job…”
He twisted right, left, until he could barely move at all.
“…with a beautiful big star on top.”
With one last effort to unpluck the web of wires, Bailey successfully tied himself into a complete knot. That’s when he let out an exasperated sigh.
Gabe stood with a, “Whoa, whoa, slow down. You’re rushing things again. Just stay still for me for one moment.”
Without a second’s warning, the electrician placed one large hand on Bailey’s right hip to stop him from struggling.
It worked instantly.
Bailey froze and caught his breath.
Gabe slid his other hand over Bailey’s extended arm, following the enmeshed trail of lights down to Bailey’s hand. “Let go,” he instructed softly. “Let me take care of you.”
Bailey tried to gulp down his fears, but in doing so let out a nervous splutter.
“It’s okay,” Gabe smiled, sliding his fingers around Bailey’s to untwist the wire. “We’ll have you fixed up in no time.”
Gabe stood a little closer, struggling with a tricky knot around Bailey’s ring-less ring finger.
Bailey felt his own hand begin to tremble.
Worse still, he felt his crotch quiver, aroused by Gabe’s fingers dancing over his, by the proximity of their bodies, by the closeness of Gabe’s face. Yes, with Gabe’s next words, Bailey could feel the warmth of Gabe’s sweet breath on his cheek.
“Just keep still. I’ll have you undone before you know it. Nearly… got it… Ah, there you go.”
Gabe released a pent-up puff of air at the moment he released Bailey’s finger. Bailey felt the air brush his black hair, warm on his ear which had been frozen out in the city night earlier, but was now pink and burning.
He suddenly realized he was hot all over. Being bound with his overcoat still on didn’t help matters.
“God, it’s hot in here. Don’t you think?” He realized he was rambling again.
“It’s okay, let’s get you out of this tangle first.” Gabe had both hands on Bailey’s hips now. “Turn this way for me. Slowly.”
He turned Bailey in a half-circle, then stopped him, holding him in place with one firm hand while his other hand worked on freeing more lights.
“Now this way,” Gabe continued, his movements calm and collected, his touch soft and certain.
“And back again,” he said as he unloaded a net of wires from around Bailey’s narrow waist.
“Now turn again.” This time he unthreaded a necklace of pearly lights from around Bailey’s neck.
“And with that…” Gabe lifted the last of the wires off Bailey’s chest, “…you’re free.”
Bailey let out a whoosh of quivering air and said, “Thank God. I need a beer. You want a beer?”