- 717 miles Christmas Special
I promised myself many years ago that I would never set foot in London again.
I promised. Adam promised. I said I wouldn't. He said I would never have to.
Yet here we are again, and life has become quite surreal. This is us, a good few years later, older and wiser with more baggage than the baggage belt at Heathrow.
And now it is Christmas and Adam is working too much and I have far too much time to think about things that shouldn't really matter. Or maybe they should?
717 miles Christmas Special is a short novella to follow on from 717 miles, the novel, and should not be read as a standalone.
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Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Adopted Child, Families/Raising Kids
Word Count: 14900
Setting: London, United Kingdom
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
I stumble across the threshold, almost losing my footing at the number of boots carelessly strewn across the hallway. Then I smile at myself and take a deep breath to prepare for what I might find beyond the closed living room door, because I never know what to expect these days.
I thought we would live a quiet, peaceful life out here, miles away from anyone we know. Yet life some days feels like we have morphed back into our student days, where our flat would fill with random people and we were lucky if we had space to sit on our own sofa.READ MORE
“Aaaadam!” Patrick does a weak attempt at a high five from his position in my armchair, his socked feet sharing space with discarded beer cans and empty milk bottles up on the coffee table, and Wolf in his pyjamas wrapped up in a blanket on his chest. He’s asleep. Snuffling gently as I bend down and place a kiss on my son’s head. Ruffling Patrick’s unkempt hair with my fingers as he shushes me and points across the room.
Uncle Harry is fast asleep, sprawled across the sofa, his feet resting awkwardly on Felix’s lap. Felix, who is half-curled up towards the other end, drooling into a cushion.
I can’t help it. This little cackling laugh escapes through my mouth.
“So, they left you babysitting?” I half whisper to Patrick, who just nods and throws his hands up in despair as someone just scores a goal on TV.
“Liverpool, I mean come on. Shoenfield had him just there, that should have been a foul.”
I just nod and shake my head. I haven’t got a clue when it comes to football. None. But I laugh out loud at the shopping bags strewn across the kitchen table. Rich thick paper bags with GUCCI in bold letters embossed across the front.
“Sorry about the shopping,” Patrick calls from behind me. “You know what Harry is like. He got some crazy idea about picking out your Christmas gifts himself and made me double park outside Gucci so he could run in and impulse buy overpriced tat. “
“You guys are ridiculous.” I smile back at him. “We don’t need anything, you know that.”
“Yeah, well just so you don’t think I am the tight arsehole Harry makes me out to be, I have topped up Wolf’s investment fund for Christmas, and added another portfolio for Felix. He needs to do one of those online courses in share trading so he can start to manage it himself one day. It’s a decent portfolio he has now, steady growth.”
“Pat, you are far too generous, and we appreciate it. Don’t get me wrong, we do. I just wish we could do something for you back. The two of you are just hopeless to buy for.”
Patrick just waves his hand in the air, and fist pumps as another attempted goal falls flat on the screen on the wall.
“We don’t need anything. Just buy Harry some Nespresso pods and get me another mug or something.”
“Whilst we get GUCCI jumpers?” I smile as I pull a knitted jumper out of the bag. It’s bright yellow with dark brown accent stripes. Ridiculously soft. Very Uncle Harry. Totally unusable, but I will make a point of wearing it. Because I want to. Because I love that they care enough to always go out of their way to make us feel like family.
“Sorry.” Patrick sighs on the sofa. “I could maybe get you some freebies from Adidas instead if you prefer? I have a mate there who tends to send me the latest stuff. I just have to ask for a bigger size. You know for blokes who are built like giraffes.”
I chuckle as he turns his head around to wink at me. And Wolf doesn’t even twitch in his sleep, obviously safe and warm with his Uncle Pat.
“You are like some kind of baby whisperer, Pat. What’s your secret?” I pull the yellow monstrosity of a jumper over my head. Pull a beer bottle out of the box, and giggle to myself as I have to fold myself into some weird sitting position on the floor by the TV. There is no space anywhere, and there are remains of some massive takeaway feast strewn across the floor. I pick up a chicken wing from the carton nearest to me. Look around for dip that surely must be in one of these boxes under the table. I bet they finished it all. Twats.
Patrick just shrugs his shoulders and does a silent scream at the TV, where someone has just scored some ridiculous show-off goal.
“I deal with Harry every day. He’s like a bloody infant most of the time so I have had lots of practice.”
“He’s hilarious. Love Harry. “
I look over at the sofa where both the ridiculous creatures perched on there are snoring. Harry with his arm slung over his head. Felix with his mouth open leaning back on the sofa.
“He’s the most precious thing, my Harry. He drives me crazy. Makes me angrier than anyone else in this world. He pushes every fucking button in me. But in some stupid way my brain can’t make me stay away from him. He’s always been like some freaking magnet, that boy. He just pulls me in, every fucking time. I love him. I suppose that’s what it is? When two complete opposites just can’t live without each other?”
I take a sip of my beer. Swallow the cool liquid down and look over at the window where frost has formed on the glass, letting the electric candle arch throw light on the crystal shapes.
“I suppose a magnet is a good way to describe it, but for me, I think it’s like having your right arm chopped off if Felix is not near me. I miss him desperately during the day, and then we come home and whine and shout at each other. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I need him in my bed to be able to wind down. I reach out for him in my sleep. I adore him. He’s mine, and I am his. Sounds corny, but, I suppose, that’s just me.”
“There’s nothing corny about loving someone, Adam,” Patrick says, and strokes Wolf’s back. Little soft taps over his bum. Soothing hums as my son wriggles in his sleep. “Love makes us soft around the edges. Like it kind of cuts away at those sharp corners in our lives. It took me a long time to accept it, that I could let Harry love me, and it didn’t make me a different person. And that loving him back, in our own fucked-up state of affairs, was the only thing I had to do to make us both happy.”
“I never stood a chance.” I laugh. “Felix had me the first time I saw him. He was angry and scowling and shouting at me. And I fell in love. Just like that.”
“You did good kiddo, and you have been everything that boy needed. We worried about him for so long and then BANG! He is a different kid. Happy. Content and full of life. All because of this tall fucker that showed up out of nowhere and whisked him off to the Norway hills or whatever.”
I laugh softly and reach out to clink my beer bottle against his can. Meet his eye and we both wink.
“The Norway Hills. Sounds like LA. Full of twatty names.” I know how to tease him. I know he hates LA. And how Harry would live there full time if Patrick didn’t keep dragging him back for a few weeks at a time to indulge in English football, proper tea and woolly sweaters from Gucci.
“LA is a freaking dump. But... Well, it’s where Harry likes to be. And I love him, and I need to be where he is, so I have no fucking choice, do I?”COLLAPSE
Not a standalone and should be enjoyed after reading 717 miles