Being gay and pagan can make for a lonely holiday season, as Ian knows well. He’s used to celebrating alone. The last place he expects to meet a like-minded guy is at LAX during a twenty-nine hour layover.
Ian’s never felt so comfortable or compatible with another man, even if there is an air of mystery to Race.
Race is no stranger to holiday isolation, and he decides they should seize the opportunity they’ve been given and observe the Saturnalia the way it was meant to be. A grand celebration ensues, where every moment is special and every meal a feast. The ancient traditions take on new meaning as the men find meaning in each other. But each of them has a destiny and for their paths to continue together, it’ll take a kind of magic that hasn’t been seen in centuries.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar "Warmest Wishes."
LAX WAS a city within a larger city, and today, Christmas Eve, it was alive with people bustling from one end to the other. Travelers on their way home or to grandma’s or leaving on that vacation they’d planned and saved for.
Trudging to the employee area of the airline he worked for, pulling his suitcase, Ian Dever fingered one of the two small figurines—a sigillaria—nestled in his pants pocket. This one was terra-cotta; the other was pottery. Race—short for Horace, and Ian still pictured the way Race wrinkled his nose when Ian said his whole name—had given him the gifts on the previous day. Those who celebrated Christmas would give loved ones presents tomorrow, or possibly tonight. Ian was pagan; his gift exchange day had been yesterday. Normally he’d have had no one to celebrate Saturnalia with, and more often than not, he worked this week.READ MORE
Ian was still working this week, but the twenty-nine-hour layover in LA made this year special. Along with the sigillaria was a small card with Race’s phone number and a promise their day-long fling would become so much more. Ian had doubts, but nonetheless, he’d had some of the best hours of his life here, with Race.
Today he was flying out, Hawaii then Japan, before returning to Los Angeles and three weeks downtime before his next assignment. Wasn’t it just his luck to finally meet a man who was not only pagan but shared a mutual attraction with Ian, only to have to fly out so quickly? Such was the life of a flight attendant. Nodding to a few other flight-crew members, Ian took his place in line and pulled out his ID. Leaning on the suitcase handle, he glanced around the concourse, not really paying attention to the many people walking briskly on their way to catch flights to anywhere in the world.
Ian had another layover in Hawaii, but he’d be calling Race often and was already planning the phone sex.
A low rumble came from somewhere farther along the main terminal. A pilot in line next to Ian frowned and muttered, “What the hell was that?”
“Earthquake?” someone else suggested.
In the next instant, explosions sounded, breaking glass flew like shrapnel, and screams filled the air. Ian turned in time to see a bright flash. He was thrown back against a row of chairs by some unseen enormous weight. Large shards of glass impaled him, and he stared, fascinated, at the dark spot spreading out from his chest to meet another one inching up from his stomach. Ian tried to brush it away with one hand.
Sirens and shouting assaulted Ian from all directions, but it was all getting farther and farther away. Race’s face, the twinkle in his eyes and the blush on his cheeks, flashed through Ian’s mind.
Then everything went dark.COLLAPSE