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The Perfect Gift

By Jade Falconer



Description

No one wants to be alone at Christmas time. For Jeffrey, being away from his family was hard but his walk home reminded him of those who had it so much worse. When he offers to buy a homeless man a cup of coffee, he doesn't realize just how much the stranger could change his life. Kicked out of the emergency room for having no insurance, the surprisingly eloquent stranger has no memory of his life before he was knocked unconscious in the park. Despite everyone's assumptions, he is neither drunk nor crazy. Will the random act of kindness turn into a Christmas miracle?


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Excerpt

Jeffrey was awake instantly and out of the bed before he even remembered he had a houseguest. He nearly tripped over the cat, who was puffed up and looking worried, as he reached the sofa. "Are you all right?" he gasped, realizing it was a stupid question, but it was automatic. The soft light of a nightlight illuminated the young man's face and Jeffrey leaned close.

The man put his arms around Jeffrey, leaning his head against his shoulder. "Oh, God. I'm sorry," he croaked. A shudder ran through him. "Bad dream."

Jeffrey sat on the bed next to him, gently pulling him closer. It had been a long time since he had held someone like this, and it felt good. Too good. He rubbed the man's back and whispered soothingly, "It was just a dream. You're safe here."

"Shane," he whispered. "That's my name." He was still shaking. "I remember them reading the name off my license before they tossed my wallet into the lake along with my cell phone."

Jeffrey gasped. "That's amazing! Shane ... such a lovely name." Jeffrey kept caressing him, holding him close. "Just relax. It's going to be all right." He wanted to help this man so badly it hurt.

The man took a deep breath and as he exhaled, the tenseness in his muscles seemed to drain away. "I remember the attack. Or most of it." He shivered again, leaning in to Jeffrey's embrace. "I think ... they wanted my jacket and thought I had money. I don't think it was personal."

The senselessness of it struck Jeffrey. They would never know what they'd done to this man. "Shane," he said, trying out the name. "It's going to all come back to you, I just know it." He practically had the man in his lap now, but Shane didn't seem to mind. He felt like he weighed nothing, and though Jeffrey wasn't all that big he felt so strong and protective in comparison.

Shane nodded slowly, still breathing fast. He tipped his head back to stare into Jeffrey's eyes. "You've been so kind to me, Jeffrey."

Jeffrey gazed back, heart pounding. He brushed Shane's hair out of his eyes and said, "I'm glad you're here, Shane. Really glad." He never wanted him to leave. He wanted to kiss him. He wanted it so badly he could taste it.

Shane's breath hitched slightly. "I ... can I ask you another favor?"

"Anything. Anything at all," Jeffrey said immediately, without hesitation.

"Could I sleep in your bed with you? I just ... I don't think I'll be able to get back to sleep if ... if I'm alone."

Jeffrey was stunned for a moment, then said quietly, "Of course. Um. As long as you know, well, I'm gay." He figured the man already knew. "Not that I'm gonna hump you in your sleep or anything. Not that I don't find you attractive. I mean, oh fuck, I should just shut up now, shouldn't I?" He knew his cheeks were bright red.

The corners of Shane's mouth lifted and he huffed out a quiet little laugh. "I figured you were. And..." He licked his lips. "I find you attractive, too."

Jeffrey hadn't expected that. Suddenly the rest of his body decided to wake up. "Oh," he said. "Well, then..." He gazed into Shane's soft hazel eyes. "Let's go to my bed, shall we?" His heart was beating like he'd run a marathon, and his stomach was full of butterflies. "Not that I'm assuming anything ... oh, God. Shut up, Jeffrey."

Shane smiled shyly and leaned back. "It's okay. I don't want to make you uncomfortable or anything. That was kind of a ballsy request, I guess. Are you sure you don't mind? 'Cause you can say no, too, you know."

"I'm not saying no," Jeffrey said, and stood up, extending his hand to Shane. He was half hard and it would show, but it wasn't as if the other man hadn't been warned.

Shane took Jeffrey's hand, grabbed his own pillow, and followed him to his bed. He sat on the edge of the mattress. "Does it matter which side?" he asked.

Jeffrey shook his head. "However you're comfortable," he said, going to the other side. He sat down, then slipped his legs under the covers.

The man lay back and slid under the covers, settling himself. He turned towards Jeffrey in the semi-darkness. "Thank you. I don't know what I would have done without you."

On impulse, Jeffrey reached out and took the man's hand. "You don't have to thank me, really, Shane. I'm just happy that I had the courage to do the right thing. You've changed my life already. I should thank you."

Shane pulled Jeffrey's hand gently up to his face and pressed a light kiss against his palm. "Thank me for eating your food and using your shower and waking you up in the middle of the night?"

Jeffrey whimpered. Shane's lips on his skin felt hot and so good. "Yes," he sighed. His cock hardened completely. He pulled Shane's hand to his face this time, returning the kiss to the back of his hand. He had to remind himself to go slowly. He couldn't assume this was going anywhere, no matter how much he wanted it.

Shane's eyes fluttered closed for a moment and he sucked in a sharp breath. He looked at Jeffrey again. "Thank me for wearing your clothes and talking your ear off with my hella fucked up story?"

"Yes, that, too," Jeffrey agreed, and then he couldn't help it. He sucked one of Shane's fingers into his mouth, pretending it was something else.