Silver Bells

by Tinnean

Max Futé and Avery “Smitty” Schmidt are both doctors who work for the Washington Bureau of Intelligence and Security. They’ve settled into a comfortable relationship, and although Max assures him otherwise, Smitty is waiting for the other shoe to drop. That will be when Charles Browne, Max’s former lover, realizes what he’s let slip through his fingers and comes to take Max back.

Although Charles had enjoyed having Max in his bed, he’s always declared he wasn’t gay. And finding solace with other men after Max left him had nothing to do with ... anything. Now, however, he’s found a woman who ticks all his boxes in spite of her somewhat kinky tastes.

Will Santa give them each what they want most this Christmas?

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Charles Browne stared at the door to the doctors' lounge as it swung shut. Goddammit. Max had literally thrown him out of the infirmary. Who'd have thought the little French doctor could be so relentless?
Charles thought back a year and a half ago, to the fiasco with Prinzip, the antiterrorist organization that might as well have been run by terrorists itself. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. All he'd wanted was to see Paris when he wasn't on the job, so he'd gone there for a long-delayed vacation and had wound up being kidnapped, along with operatives from just about every intelligence agency on the planet, including three other agents from the WBIS.
That goon Gaston had dumped him in Max's matchbox of a clinic after he'd worked Charles over. Charles's ribs were sore, his nose dripped a steady stream of blood, and his eyes were swollen to slits, but he could still see the fascination in Max's gaze.


Even though Charles considered himself straight, he'd worked at the WBIS long enough to know he could work with that attraction, use it to help him get out of this situation. A hole was a hole, a mouth was a mouth, and Max's mouth looked like it could do absolutely amazing things.
So okay, surviving had wound up costing him his little finger, but fuck it, he still had nine other good fingers.
Clever Max had blown him, demonstrating exactly what that mouth of his could do, and while Charles tried to regain some semblance of awareness, Max had jabbed him with a needle-he shuddered. God, he hated needles-then injected a local anesthetic into his hand and proceeded to amputate that finger.
Shades of Hansel and Gretel.
Max had assured him presenting that finger to Richard, the madman who ran Prinzip, would convince him Charles was dead. It sounded hinky, and Charles had no clue why Max thought that might be so, but Max was more familiar with the workings of Prinzip and its administrator, so Charles didn't have much choice other than to go along with him.
As it turned out, Richard wasn't the only one who had seen it and assumed the worst. So had Trevor Wallace, the man in charge of the WBIS.
Charles hadn't expected Vincent to show up. He hadn't expected Vincent to be so grateful for Fute's aid in keeping Charles alive that Vincent would offer him a green card and a job at the WBIS.
Max had to go and call him mon cher in front of Vincent, and Charles tried to persuade the senior special agent that Max called everyone that. He had a feeling he hadn't succeeded.
In spite of doing what he did for the WBIS, Charles wanted everyone to think of him as a good guy, so he offered Max a room in his apartment. He hadn't precisely meant his room, but that was how it worked out-that amazing mouth.
Although if Charles hadn't felt he owed the little French doctor, he'd never have invited Max to move in with him.
One of the things that pissed off Charles was how Max got to go to work, while Charles had to remain at home. He worked out of Foreign Affairs, but for some reason he'd been turfed to Interior Affairs, and that son of a bitch Vincent wouldn't give him the go ahead to return to work. Something about dehydration and being malnourished and having that damned pinky finger amputated.
Stanley, director of Foreign Affairs, wouldn't even let him come in to do paperwork. Not that he could blame his boss. Using the computer wasn't his forte. So he had no choice but to stay home.
Well, if he had to put up with all that bullshit, so would Mark Vincent. So Charles began his campaign of calling every other day, demanding to know when he could return to the WBIS.
Only it didn't exactly work out. Each request was turned down, and the results were Vincent got pissed, Charles got pissed, and no one was a happy camper.


About the Author

Tinnean has been writing since the 3rd grade, where she was inspired to try her hand at epic poetry. Fortunately, that epic poem didn't survive the passage of time; however, her love of writing not only survived but thrived, and in high school she became a member of the magazine staff, where she contributed a number of stories.



While involved in fandom, she was nominated for both Rerun and Light My Fire Awards. Now she concentrates on her original characters and has been published by Nazca Plains, Dreamspinner, JMS Books, and Wilde City, as well as being self-published. Recent novels have received honorable mention in the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Rainbow Awards, and two of the 2014 submissions were finalists.


A New Yorker at heart, she resides in SW Florida with her husband, two computers, and a Surface 3.

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