The 42 Days of Christmas Series from MLR Press continues and today I’m posting an excerpt provided by the lovely Z.A. Maxfield! Enjoy! I know I did. : )


A Picture Perfect Holiday

by Z.A. Maxfield

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Photography club president Caleb loves football standout Christian Muñez. He knows it’s an old high school chestnut, but if being a cliché is wrong, he doesn’t want to be right. They’ve been in school together since the fifth grade but having brothers on the same soccer team provides Caleb with a great opportunity to get to know Christian better. What he finds out – about Christian’s home life and his future plans – could end his hopes forever. Or they might be the beginning of something wonderful.

Caleb throws caution to the wind in A Picture Perfect Holiday.


Oh, yeah. Take it off. Take that helmet off for me. Show me what you got.

Okay. Oh, Christ, the way the breeze caresses that sweaty hair is magic, turn my way. Please baby, please. Just another couple of degrees…

Snick, Caleb took the picture and waited for the next opportunity.

Yeah, that’s it. Now let me see that shy grin… Ah, God, there it is. That’s my pretty boy. Yeah, baby. Pout for me… That lower lip is yummy, mister. Give it a nibble, will you? Use those pretty white Chiclet teeth of yours and—

“Are you perving on number seven again?” Erin asked, raising her voice to be heard over the marching band. Decked out with sprigs of holly on their hats, they played the March of the Toys in a Christmas-themed, slightly too ambitious show.

“No, I am not perving on number seven. I do not perve. I appreciate when I see the skillful hand of the creator and I applaud a work of art in nature as I would any object of art in a mus—”

“You’re totally sporting wood right now. I have seen wood before and that sir, is wood.”

Jeez. Caleb flushed and shifted his position to hide it. Was it that noticeable? “Will you shut up already?”

They weren’t kids anymore or anything. A visit from the boner fairy was nothing new, but seriously, did shePicturePerfectHoliday_200 have to point it out?

“I don’t think so. No. A gay man’s gal pal does not shut up in this situation. A gay man’s gal pal asks what are you thinking? Every single person in this school already knows you pop wood for our varsity QB and I promise you, in his case QB does not stand for queer boy as much as it stands for quickly broken—as in every bone in your body—if he finds out you’re sitting there perving on him. So cut it out.”

“I can’t help it.” “You can too help it. You have to get over this thing you have for him, Cay. Caleb McKenzie does not pine after what he cannot have. Caleb McKenzie is fierce and independent and deserving of the love of an out and proud gay man. Caleb McKenzie is looking for a long term, life affirming—”

“You must have me mixed up with someone else. If I could have Christian Muñez for just one night—for one hour—I’d take it and never look back.”

“No you would not.”

“I would.” Caleb snorted. “My wood would, and I go where the wood goes.”

“No kidding. You and all the other Y-chromosomes. What I don’t get is why Christian of all people? He’s like a hillock of muscle with no personality and no brains.”

“What’s your point?”

“Have you ever, in this entire year, heard him say anything that didn’t start with Um?”

“Now you’re just being mean.”

“No, I’m not. I have a class with him. It’s Um, I think Stalin killed a lot of people. Um. I think Russia was only our ally because Germany was worse. He’s not your type. He’s inarticulate and vague. He’s quiet and maybe a little shy. He’s not into you. He’ll never be into you. He’ll never be worthy of you, even if he was. Which he’s not.”

“Au contraire, Erin. I know I’ve told you the story, but in case I haven’t, let me tell it now.”

“Oh, here it comes.” Erin rolled her eyes. “It all started on the first day of the fifth grade—”

Look for A Picture Perfect Holiday, November 23, 2011 at MLR Press MLR Press Advent Calendar


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