Kyle found Finn leaning over the railings, watching Jake carry an overflowing box across the entrance hall.
“I thought you were just going to get a drink?”
Finn glanced back over his shoulder, a look of confusion on his face. “I was, but I got distracted.” He pointed down to Jake.
Kyle grinned as he wrapped Finn in his arms. “I can certainly appreciate that sort of distraction,” he whispered as he nipped Finn’s ear.
Finn elbowed him lightly in the ribs. “I didn’t mean that. He was dragging a tree into the lounge.”
“Ah.” Kyle recalled his own confusion the previous year. “It’s a Christmas tree.”
Finn twisted round to face him. “What’s Christmas?”
Kyle bit his lip as he tried to remember what his human friends had told him about the strange celebrations that took place at this time of year. He gave up after a minute. “You’d better ask Jake. I still don’t understand it all.”
They caught up with Jake in the lounge where he was sorting through a box of what Kyle recalled was called tinsel.
“Ah good,” Jake said when he saw them. “Now you lazy gits are out of bed you can come help me decorate.”
Kyle laughed and started rummaging through the box. “So, why don’t you explain to us what Christmas is all about?”
“Didn’t you ask Malcolm the same thing last year?” Jake asked. “Though at least now I know why you were so confused.”
“It’s a religious thing,” Kyle explained to Finn. “As mermen we don’t have a religion and for some reason Caspian hasn’t given either of us the knowledge of Christmas or, from what Malcolm said when I talked to him, any other human religions.”
Since Caspian was an Atlantean god, Kyle supposed he wasn’t going to be giving the mermen any knowledge about the competition, so to speak.
Jake sighed. “I’m going to have to explain it all, aren’t I?”
“Yep,” Finn replied with a wide grin. “We’ll make it up to you later, I promise. And remember, the solstice is coming up in a few days, and you know what that means.”
Kyle sidled up to Jake and leaned into him. “In case you’ve forgotten, it means you get to have sex with two very horny mermen.”
Jake laughed and kissed Kyle quickly on the lips. “Okay, you talked me into it. Let me try and explain what Christmas is all about.”
After a few minutes of searching through the boxes Jake finally found what he was looking for. “This is a nativity scene,” he explained. “It shows the baby Jesus and his mother Mary in the stable where he was born.”
Finn pointed to one of the male figures. “Is that the father?”
Jake shook his head. “That’s one of the three kings. Jesus was the son of God, sent down to live on Earth.”
“Which god?” Finn asked.
“The god,” Jake said.
“No.” Jake sighed. “I want to say there isn’t any other god than the one I’ve believed in all my life, but it’s a bit difficult to do that when the Atlantean gods keep popping round.”
“They’ve been quiet recently,” Kyle said.
“Don’t tempt fate,” Jake mumbled. “Anyway, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus.”
Kyle peered at the nativity scene closely. “There’s someone missing from here.”
“No, there isn’t,” Jake said after checking for himself.
“The guy in the red suit,” Kyle explained. “The big man who keeps flying reindeer.”
“Oh yeah, Santa Claus.” Jake pulled a tree ornament from the box and passed it to Kyle who showed it to Finn. “He’s not supposed to be in the nativity scene.”
“Didn’t Santa bring presents to the baby Jesus along with the three kings?” Kyle asked. “He gives to all the other children of the world.”
“Um, Santa’s not real,” Jake said.
Kyle stared at him with an expression of confused horror.
“Don’t look at me like I just kicked your puppy,” Jake said. “I can’t believe I’m sitting here explaining that Santa doesn’t exist to two grown men.”
“But we saw him,” Kyle insisted.
“That was just a regular man dressed up in a red suit.”
“Oh.” Kyle felt a little dumb.
“What about the flying reindeer?” Finn asked eagerly. “They sound like fun.”
“Sorry,” Jake said. “Reindeer can’t fly.”
Finn’s face fell too.
Kyle picked up a piece of tinsel and started to untangle it. “Your Christmas traditions don’t make sense to me. I feel like an idiot for not understanding them.”
“Me too,” Finn mumbled. “I guess I understand the whole celebrating the birth of the son of your god, but there seems to be a lot of other stuff too.”
Jake took the tinsel off of Kyle and pulled him into his arms. “You aren’t an idiot, I promise.” He reached out his hand and tugged Finn close too. “Neither of you are. It’s just that Christmas started off as one thing and over the centuries it has changed so that a lot of people don’t even remember what we’re celebrating in the first place. I promise that there are lots of people out there who don’t remember it’s supposed to be the day we rejoice in the birth of Jesus.”
Kyle sighed and let Jake wrap the two of them up in his arms. “Could you answer just one more question though?”
“Sure,” Jake replied. “What is it?”
“Why do we have a tree in the lounge?”
Jake chuckled. “Damned if I know.”
They all laughed along with him.
“Come on,” Jake said. “Help me decorate it and I’ll see if I can explain things better for the two of you. And if I still don’t make sense you can always go ask Malcolm. I’m sure he’d do a better job than me.”
Malcolm groaned and threw his hands in the air. “I don’t know why we have a tree, we just do. Go look it up on the Internet. I swear I must be the only man in the country who needs to explain Christmas to a grown adult.”
In another part of England
Zak had no idea why the hell there was a tree in the living room, but he knew exactly who to ask about it. With foster parents who had lived for more than a thousand years they were the ultimate source of information about the strange human traditions on this bizarre planet.
Stars: Kyle, Jake & Finn from Forbidden Waters
Guest Appearances: Malcolm from Forbidden Waters & Zak from My Boyfriend’s an Alien
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Christmas with my characters. For clarification, the Forbidden Waters scene takes place after Forbidden Waters while the short glimpse into Zak’s life takes place shortly before the holiday season which is shown in My Boyfriend’s an Alien.
And now, blatant self-promotion – both Forbidden Waters and My Boyfriend’s an Alien are nominated in the MM Romance Goodreads Reader’s Choice Awards. If you are so inclined, please go and vote for them in their respective categories by clicking on the banner below.
My Boyfriend’s an Alien
One winner will receive their choice of an ebook copy of either
Forbidden Waters (retail value US$7.06 / UK£4.50)
or My Boyfriend’s an Alien (retail value US$7.06 / UK£4.50)
Three men, a tangled relationship, and one chance for happiness,
if they can trust enough to take it.
Can an alien with no knowledge of humans or concept of sex
find lasting love with a human man?
To enter the giveaway please comment on this post leaving a valid email address and choice of which prize you would like. Full Terms and Conditions for entering the giveaway can be found here.
The giveaway will run from the time this post goes live until midnight GMT on Saturday 20th December.
A winner will be chosen at random via random.org on Sunday 21st December 2014.
Good luck everyone!
To return RJ Scott’s Christmas Event please click here.
Christmas lights and tree graphics from Christmas Graphics Plus