“Gus! You ready yet? We have to get going if we’re going to find a tree before they’re all gone!”


Brian called for his son from his position near the front door. I rolled my eyes. You’d think that he was afraid of catching something if he ventured too far into my old home ever since it was formally taken over by Mary Pat and Corinne, along with Melanie Marcus, as home central for their blended family of lesbians and children.  Briana spent a good half of her time here, which was nice for her since she loved being around Gus and J.R., Melanie’s daughter by Michael, Brian’s best friend. Corinne’s adopted son, Aaron, was welcomed into the family last year.  John’s sons from his second marriage, Jared and Josh, also treated the big house as their second home. So, it wasn’t like it was just “muncher central” as Brian called it. I grinned. It was just that all the males in residence at any given time were generally still pre-adolescent.  I turned toward my lover, who had his bottom lip out in a pout.


“You’ll never be heard standing way over there.” I walked over to the bottom of the stair, and, pitching my voice to football stadium carrying levels, I called, “Gus Peterson-Marcus Kinney! Get your butt down here, pronto! Tree search team leaves in three minutes!”


I turned back toward Brian. “That’s how you get heard in this zoo of a place.”  The girls all laughed, pint size and grown up alike.  Except for my own little girl, I noticed belatedly. Briana had a serious look on her face as she sidled up to me and pulled on my arm.  I crouched down so she could tell me what was bothering her.


“Gus won’t come down, Uncle Danny. He’s not doing Christmas this year, he says.”


In response to my blank face, my darling niece merely nodded at me earnestly. I glanced at Brian, who looked as befuddled as I was feeling, so I turned to J.R. to ask, “Do you know why your brother isn’t ‘doing’ Christmas, sweetheart?”


She nodded solemnly but didn’t offer any explanation.  Brian made an impatient noise as he asked sharply, “Well if you know something, tell us and we’ll know it too! Why is he keeping all of us waiting instead of getting his ass down here so we can go look for a Christmas tree as we always do?”


She looked up at Brian and her dark eyes widened but she didn’t say a word, just stuck her thumb in her mouth and stared. Briana walked over to her side and took the smaller girl’s hand. I hid a grin behind my hand. I could see Mary Pat and Emmett doing the same as Briana gave Brian a glare as good as the one he was sporting.


“Gus is Jewish, Uncle Brian! Don’t you even know anything?”


That crossed the line into fresh so I quietly said, “Briana,” and she muttered an apology, which Brian waved off. He was staring up toward the second floor landing, which remained devoid of any signs of Gus joining us.


“When did my kid become Jewish?” he asked the room.


“Well, in case you didn’t notice,” Mary Pat pointed out in her best no-nonsense voice, the one I’d always hated as a kid, “his mother is Jewish and in the Jewish faith it is the Mother’s religion which counts….”


Emmett interrupted, “But technically speaking, his mother is also not Jewish, right?” Mary Pat and Corinne both stared at him blankly. It was probably just as well that Melanie was at the office, I thought; it was a safe bet that she would not find this as amusing as I was.


“Em is perfectly correct,” I jumped in, steering Brian toward the stairs. “Since Gus has two moms, from two different faith backgrounds, he really has his choice. And it sounds like he might have made one. But maybe we should talk to him anyway. I think he should know that he is still welcome to come help us pick out a Christmas tree for the house, even if…even as a Jewish person. Don’t you agree, Bri?”


“This is total bullsh….” Brian’s opinion was cut off by my swift kiss.  I asked him a second time, loudly enough to drown out the commentary I could hear from the adult on-lookers.


“Let’s go talk to him,” I suggested in a low voice, my lips close to his, my arms around his waist. “I promise to try pinching your ass on the stairs.”


“You go up first, if any pinching gets done, it’ll be done by me,” he grumbled, but started toward the steps.


“Don’t make any side stops,” Mary Pat ordered. “We’d like to get this tree up before New Year’s Eve.”


I turned and stuck my tongue out at her, causing the kids, and Em, to laugh. MP just shook her head at me. 


“He’s never really stopped being a child himself, that’s the secret to his success with the kids,” she told the others. I just laughed and continued up the stairs behind Brian.


Brian knocked on Gus’s door, and at his quiet “come in” opened it. We shared a perplexed look before going in—the room was dark and Gus was sitting on his bed, knees up against his chest.


“Hey, Sonny boy,” Brian spoke softly. “What’s wrong?”


Gus looked up from under his long lashes. His mouth was turned down in a sad little pout that looked so much like his father it made my breath catch.  It had a similar effect on Brian. Without another word, he sat down next to his son and pulled him into his arms.  Seeing the two of them so close, I thought maybe I should leave but as soon as I turned to head back out of the room, Brian looked over Gus’s head and mouthed, “Stay.”


Nodding, I perched on the edge of the bed.


After several minutes, Gus’s tears seemed to slow down, and with a couple of deep hitching breaths, stopped. He sighed deeply then looked up from Brian’s chest.


“I’m sorry. I should have told you that I wasn’t going to go with you to select the tree.  I didn’t mean to make you all wait.”


Brian rolled his eyes but fortunately he was positioned so that Gus couldn’t see his face.  I could understand his reaction—after the storm of emotion we’d just witnessed, a lapse in manners was not exactly our main concern.  Since Brian wasn’t saying anything, I jumped in, angels fearing to tread and all that.


“We’re not concerned about waiting Gus, we’re concerned that you seem to be upset. Briana said something about your not coming with us because you are Jewish—is there something you want to tell your Dad about that?”


Gus’s eyes looked enormous as he gazed up at Brian, but after taking a deep breath, he nodded and said, “I’ve decided that I want to be Jewish, like Mama.”


To his credit, Brian didn’t bat an eye at this, which was good since Gus was looking at him so earnestly.  He just said, “Well, your Moms and I always wanted you to be able to make up your own mind about religion, Gus, so that’s fine, if you’ve decided you want to follow your Mama Mel’s faith. Has there been any particular trigger for this decision? And have you discussed it with both of your moms?”


Gus stiffened at that question. Watching him shrug, a niggling suspicion raised its head.


“Gus, this wouldn’t have anything to do with your Mom being away this Christmas, would it?”


The handsome boy flushed red as he answered hotly, “It has nothing to do with her. She’s got nothing to do with me or Mama anymore.  And that’s fine, we don’t need her.”


Bingo.  I looked at Brian. He was going to have to handle this carefully, and especially not let his frequent animosity toward Melanie spill over into this issue.  Brian’s expression revealed that he was at a loss on how to proceed and his eyes asked me for help.


I guess religion was my field in our relationship—he was more the expert on sex toys.  I knelt next to the two Kinney men I loved so much, taking Gus’s hands in mine.


“Gus, I think it is a great thing that you’re feeling called to follow the faith of your mother Melanie, and I know it will make her very happy to teach you about it. I don’t think she will feel that you have to miss out on all parts of the Christian holiday celebration in order to share her holiday with her.”


Before I even finished I could see the stubborn Kinney expression starting.


“What’s the matter with what Danny is saying, Sonnyboy? I’m sure Mel wouldn’t mind if you went tree hunting with us, she’ll understand that you’re just doing it for the fun and not letting it detract from your…Jewishness.  Is that even a word?” Brian looked at me again, as we didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with Gus.


“That’s just it, I think,” I said slowly, watching Gus’s face carefully for clues. “The holiday is already all about Christmas around here that Gus might feel, and correctly, that Mel is feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the Christmas stuff.  But maybe the answer isn’t to stop doing those things if you do enjoy them, Gus, but for all of us to add in a little more of your holiday traditions to our season’s celebrations?”


“You think I should get a dreidel?” Brian asked with a poorly concealed smirk. I was so going to get him later.


“I was thinking of maybe suggesting Mary Pat make room for a Menorah, actually. Did you have one in your old house, Gus?”


He nodded eagerly. “Mama has a really old one that was her grandfather’s. His mother saved it from being destroyed when they fled from the Nazis in World War II and he gave it to Mama special.  She wanted to name me after him, she told me. His name was Abraham and he was a really smart man.”


Brian ruffled his son’s hair. “Well, you take after him in that respect, don’t you? I think that special Menorah deserves a place of honor, Sonnyboy.”


“Well, I’m pretty sure Hanukkah starts next Friday,” I said, getting up. “That gives us time to read up a bit on the holiday and its customs, Bri.”


“Why would you do that?” Gus asked, surprised.


Brian hugged him close. “If my favorite son is Jewish, naturally I’m going to learn everything I can about his religion,” he told him smiling warmly. “I’m not all that into Christianity, but for Danny’s sake, you see me engaging in all of his pagan activities like cutting down perfectly good trees and dragging them into houses where they don’t belong and just end up dying and leaving all of their needles so that you’re finding them in the rugs for weeks afterward….”


I tugged on his hair lightly. “Enough out of you,” I ordered cheerily. “Gus, I cordially invite you along to watch my pagan holiday ritual, but if you aren’t comfortable with it, I’ll leave Brian behind with you.”


Gus looked a bit wistful. “If you think it would be okay if I come along…as long as you understand that I’m not doing Christmas or anything.”


“I understand completely and totally. And appreciate your willingness to compromise,” I assured him, my tone and expression completely somber. 


As soon as he washed his face and put on his shoes, we headed downstairs to join the others, Brian keeping a protective arm over his son’s shoulders.  Once the tree was picked out, I thought maybe I’d make an excuse to split from the group and go hunt down a missing mother—at least, the missing mother who was still in the city. Something told me nothing was going to bring Lindsay back any time soon.




“Hey, can I interest you in a cup of coffee…or hot chocolate?” I leaned in the door of Melanie’s office.  Her head was bent low over some papers but at the sound of my voice she glanced up. I was taken aback at how tired she looked. John must be working her way too much, I thought, although I had to admit that he’d been looking just as tired lately.  She smiled faintly.


“Hey, Danny, how did Operation Perfect Christmas Tree go?”


“It went pretty well, although we got a little bit of a late start. Come on, leave this grindstone for a little while and come get something chocolate with me.”


She hesitated, looking down at the piles of papers still in her “in” bin. I added in a coaxing voice, “They just added fresh chocolate gateau to the specials board at the Café downstairs as I passed. I have to taste some, it’s medicinal.”


She laughed and started to pack up her work. “And what ailment is it needed for, exactly?”


“Lack of chocolate gateau, of course,” I told her, taking her arm and steering her out of the room before she could change her mind.


We chatted about incidental things—the cold, how the Penguins were doing—until our cake was served, along with steaming cups of hot coffee for her and chocolate for me. She looked at my cup, which was overflowing with whipped cream, and shook her head.


“How do you manage to stay so slim?” she asked enviously as I took a big bite of the rich cake. She’d ordered it at my insistence but I bet I could count on her leaving a good half of her serving for me to finish. Women and their obsession over calories.  I smiled at her, licking the chocolate from my fork.


“I am blessed with a fast metabolism,” I said. “But you don’t have to worry about your weight, Mel, so enjoy! Chocolate is made for pleasure.”


She rolled her eyes—she and Brian really were more alike than either of them would ever admit—but she did take a small bite of the decadently delicious pastry.


“Mm, this is good,” she admitted. “But something tells me that you didn’t come all the way downtown just to convince me of the marvels of French pastry.”


I grinned. “I’ve been known to go pretty far to win converts to chocolate in this lemon bar world, but actually, I did want to talk to you about something. It’s been brought to my attention, well, mine and Brian’s, that we’ve been neglectful of your Jewish traditions and celebrations when it comes to the holidays, and Gus has made his displeasure with that situation known.”


Mel paused, her fork poised midway to her mouth. “Are you saying that Gus was rude or....”


“No!” I was quick to deny any such idea. “Excuse me for interrupting but I don’t want you to get the wrong impression, Gus raised a perfectly valid point today.” I quickly explained to her what he told us that morning, tempering the part about Lindsay. Even so, I could see the tears start to form in Mel’s eyes before she looked down, blinking rapidly into her coffee.


“He’s such a good boy and he takes everything so much to heart,” she whispered. Looking up, she asked, “Are you here because you want me to assure him that it’s okay with me if he continues to participate in all the Christmas fun?” She sat up a bit straighter and her face lost all softness—it struck me again that she was like Brian, when she thought she was being rejected, she tried to anticipate the rejection and strike out first.


“Mel, that isn’t it at all,” I said softly. “I am sorry that we haven’t been more sensitive. We O’Keefes tend to be a bit overwhelming, and I never stopped to think about how it might be for you, left in the big house with the kids after….”


There was no good way to say, after your partner left you for a man so I just let my words fade off and took another bite of cake to buy some time to think of what to say next.  But I wasn’t giving Mel credit for being the tough cookie that she was. She finished the sentence for me, saying, “After Lindsay abandoned me and the kids for life as a bohemian artist in Italy, you mean? I don’t know that I have any reason to expect more than the extreme kindness and generosity you and your family have already shown me, Danny. Your sister and Corinne have welcomed me as one of the family, Brian helps support me with his more than generous support for Gus, and I know for a fact that you contribute to the household expenses, so in a way, I owe you too for the nice lifestyle I can now keep my children in.  Not to mention that the job I do have is thanks to you putting in a good word for me with your brother….”


“That is something you earned on your own,” I protested. “John wouldn’t give you work unless you were good, Mel.”


She looked grateful. “Thank you for saying that. Sometimes I feel like I’m beholden to others for everything these days, and I can’t help but wonder where my pride went? But when it comes to my pride or what is best for my kids, I find that it is easy to let my pride go.”


“I kind of think any good parent should feel that way, Mel. And believe it or not, Brian feels the same way. Which is partially why he wants to do whatever he can to make the holiday a good one for Gus—and for you and J.R.  And you know Brian, he doesn’t care if the holiday is Hanukkah or Christmas, all that matters to him is that you guys are happy.”


She gave a short laugh. “But that’s the thing, Danny. I care that my Hanukkah not be turned into another occasion for Kinney largesse. I’m thrilled if Gus is interested in my faith—it was an agreement between Lindsay and me that we not emphasize one over the other but expose him to both and let him choose. Of course, you know how balanced that ended up being. Christmas was just as overwhelming before we moved in with your sister; this emphasis on the Christian holiday over the Jewish is nothing new.”


“I’m sorry,” I said guiltily, trying to think if I knew of any Hanukkah songs—other than an Adam Sandler one, which was pretty funny but…I had the glimmerings of an idea but Mel was talking again so I focused on her.


“The thing is, as much as I’m happy that Gus is showing an interest in his Jewish heritage, and I’m touched by his sensitivity toward my feelings, I don’t really want him making this decision out of a sense of loyalty toward me.  It shouldn’t be something he does to prove he loves me—or worse, as revenge against Lindsay for leaving us.” Mel dug into her gateau with renewed appetite. No chance I’d be getting any of it, I thought regretfully. I signaled the waiter. A morning spent traipsing around the woods looking for the perfect tree—and then a second one for the townhouse—more than justified two pieces, I decided.


“I think you’re right,” I told Mel, around a full mouth of chocolate. “But I think it’s important for all of the kids, J.R. and Briana too, to become more knowledgeable about Hanukkah, and at Easter, maybe we should give just as much attention to Passover. For Briana and John’s boys, it is worthwhile for them to understand the foundations of the Christian faith, which was grounded in Judaism, and for Gus and J.R., they shouldn’t have to feel isolated in practicing the religion of their mother.”


I didn’t say it, but what I’d come to realize was that we should try to meet Mel partway. She’d been quietly participating in our traditions, and had been left alone to practice her own customs. I took her hand.


“On Friday night, let’s light the first candle of the Menorah together and share a special celebration and you and Gus can tell us about Hanukkah—deal?”


Smiling slowly, Mel said, “Only if you get Brian to play dreidel—then it’s a deal.”


I laughed. “Tell him you’re sure you can beat him—nothing will stop him then.”

I didn’t tell her that when I’d left Brian, he’d been googling Hanukkah traditions and customs and would no doubt be an expert on dreidels by next weekend.



“So, you know what I find really ironic?” Brian was standing still while I fixed his tie for him.

“That you own half a dozen tuxedos and countless designer suits and yet cannot tie even a decent Windsor knot?” I gave the tie a final tug, and then leaned forward to kiss him—also part of our own tradition.


“No, that’s just your own little custom and I humor you in it,” he said with a smirk as he looked in the mirror, admiring his reflection. Or maybe he was admiring both of our reflections as he reached out and pulled me back against his chest. I rested my head against him. We did make a hot looking couple, I decided, trying to look at our appearance objectively. It was difficult when I’d long since decided that the man holding me was the most beautiful man in creation.


“So, what do you find ironic?” I finally asked, almost forgetting in the pleasure of his arms around me.


“That Hanukkah, which is easily the most commercialized of all the Jewish holidays, and the most ‘Christianized,’ was created to memorialize a victory against assimilation.”


“Well, maybe that’s true in some ways, but I think we’re doing the right thing by trying to reverse that in our own little family,” I pointed out.

“We can’t address the world at large, if we could I would love to get rid of the commercialism of Christmas too, but at least we can give full respect to Mel and Gus, and I guess J.R. too, and join them in celebrating their victory over assimilation. And besides, the celebration is not over the military win, you know, but for the miracle of one day’s worth of oil lasting eight days—Jews do not glorify war, something that is worth teaching the children.”


“The military victory was needed in order for the rededication of the Temple to take place,” Brian argued.


And kept arguing, all the way over to the big house, where Brian, Briana, Emmett and I met up with John and Michelle and John’s two boys, Jared and Joshua as we parked.


“What are you two arguing about now?” Micky asked.  As soon as I started to explain, Emmett grabbed her arm and led her away.


“Escape while you still can, sweet Michelle! Those two have been going on like that all week. It’s like living in a rabbinical school!”


John laughed. “Has Danny taught himself Yiddish yet?”


I glared at him while Brian laughed. “He’s been trying. I’m not sure if any true Yiddish speaking individual would recognize it as such but…”


“Okay, it’s cold,” I said, clapping my hands and hurrying the giggling children up the path. “Let’s leave these silly guys out here and we’ll get inside where it’s warm and I bet there’s chocolate!”


We raced up the path, Brian joining in the race so that he reached the door as soon as we did. Gus opened it before we could, his face bright with happiness.


“Happy Hanukkah!” we all shouted, as we bustled in, feet stamping, voices all chattering at once.


Ben and Michael were already there, sitting on one of the sofas in the living room.  Mary Pat had managed to keep the numbers down, and only Matt and Dr. Jo were there from our extensive extended family. Since he lived right across the street, his youngest, Bobby, played with John’s boys and Gus a lot, as did his grandkids who were a fixture at his house. He had a couple of them with him along with Bobby.


Corinne and Aaron were sitting on the floor with J.R., and Briana ran to join them while Josh and Jared stayed with Gus. Mary Pat was standing near the kitchen—which I hoped didn’t mean she’d been doing the cooking. I gave Em a worried look and he winked at me reassuringly. He leaned close to whisper, “I brought the food over this afternoon, all she had to do was warm up the latkes.” I kissed him gratefully—Mary Pat was many wonderful things but a good cook was not one of them.


“Are we going to play that dreidel game now, Gus?” Jared asked. “Uncle Danny says we get to play for chocolate.”


The adults all laughed, but it served to break any ice there might have been. Melanie stood behind Gus, her hands resting lightly on his shoulders.

“First, Jared, Gus is going to light the Menorah, and then we’ll enjoy the games and food. Do you want to help, Brian?”


To my surprise, Brian nodded and walked over to the table where Mel and Gus stood behind a very old, very beautiful gold Menorah. The rest of us gathered around.


At Mel’s request, I dimmed the lights. Brian then lit the shammus candle, and handed it to Gus, then, together, Gus, Mel, and surprisingly, Brian, spoke the words of the blessing, saying them first in Hebrew, and then in English:


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe


asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu
Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us


l'had'lik neir shel Chanukah. (Amein)
to light the lights of Chanukkah. (Amen)


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe


she'asah nisim la'avoteinu bayamim haheim baziman hazeh. (Amein)
Who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe


shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh. (Amein)
who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)


As they finished saying the blessings, we all joined in saying amen, then Gus lit the first candle, turning to smile proudly at Melanie and Brian as the candle caught and the light burned brightly in the darkened room.


I found myself smiling just as proudly at Brian when our eyes met. He looked a little rueful but there was a lot of love in his eyes too.  There wasn’t much he wouldn’t do for those he loved, but standing with his former foe and reciting the words of an ancient religious ceremony in order to make his son feel safe and secure—that had to rank pretty high up there in the things we do for love category.

And I loved him all the more for it.


Later, after I slaughtered John, Mary Pat and Matt in a tough dreidel competition, and we’d all eaten far more fried food than I could ever recall eating in my life—which had to count as what I did for love—someone called for music.


Mel raised an eyebrow at me. “Well, Brian always claims you know every song ever written—do you actually know any good Jewish holiday songs.”


I leaned back against Brian’s shoulder and grinned. “I know lots of great Jewish holiday songs…and so do Mary Pat and my brothers.”


Matt raised his hands in surrender. “Don’t look at me baby brother. I went to Catholic schools; we didn’t even pretend to be politically correct back then in the Stone Age. I think the nuns taught us that Jesus was Catholic. I know the ones in Ireland did.”


We laughed at his comical expression.  “Well, I guess I’ll just have to play a few notes to convince you.”


I had them all perplexed as I reluctantly left Brian’s lap to head over to the piano. 


“Here is a holiday standard, written by a famous Jewish composer,” I said, before playing the first couple of notes.  Michael was the first one to react, saying, “But that’s ‘White Christmas!’”


“Yep, written by Irving Berlin, one of our greatest American composers—Jewish American composers. But if that doesn’t work for you, how about this?” I asked, grinning mischievously as I started to play Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song.” The older adults laughed again, and Mel shook her head.


“I didn’t ever stop to think about it, but you’re right, of course. Two of the most famous ‘Christmas’ songs were written by Jews,” she mused.


“Two?”  I shook my head and started a medley of songs, ranging from “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” to “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and including “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree,”   “Silver Bells,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”


“Stop! Weren’t any Christmas songs written by Christians?” Mary Pat asked, laughing.


“A few, but not as many of the great ones,” I told her.  I noticed that Gus was listening intently, so I continued in a thoughtful tone. “It’s also interesting to note that two of the most successful performers of Christmas songs have been Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond, both Jewish, and proud of it, yet willing to share their God-given talents with their Christian brothers and sisters, for which we should be grateful. And we have even more reason to be grateful for the gifts of Leonard Bernstein, another talented Jew who has written and conducted one of the most powerful and moving Christmas Mass concerts.”


“Don’t forget Bob Dylan,” Brian added, his tongue pressing his cheek. I smiled sweetly at him.


“You’re quite right. Bob Dylan, aka Robert Zimmerman, has recorded a holiday album that includes traditional Christmas songs like ‘Little Drummer Boy’ and ‘O Come All Ye Faithful.’”


“But, if they’re Jewish, how come they sing Christmas songs?” Gus asked, looking between his parents and me.


Mel knelt down next to him. “I think Danny is pointing out that there is no reason why we, as Jews, can’t enjoy the songs and other customs of Christmas with our friends. There is more to both our faith and the Christian faith, than the songs and food. But the good feelings, and the caring that comes with both—those are things we can and should share with the people we love, as long as we don’t lose sight of who we are.”


“Like the Who’s down in Whoville,” Briana announced. “Holidays come even without the trees and presents if we have love—though if we’re lucky we get both—love and presents.”


“Spoken like a true philosopher,” Brian laughed. “Now do you know any real Hanukkah songs, piano man?”


Laughing, I swung into Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song”—I suspected it was destined to be a classic.



Later that night, Brian and I finally closed our door on the rest of the world and undressed each other for bed.


“You did good tonight,” I told him, crouching down to slide his pants down and off. I ran  my hands back up along his muscular legs, stopping at his tight ass. Blow-job or rimming, that was the choice I pondered as he ran his fingers through my hair. Then, to my surprise, he tugged lightly on my shoulders to bring me to my feet again.


“Let’s get in bed,” he suggested in a low, sexy voice. “I want to hold you in my arms and feel you lying against me as we make love.”


A little surprised by the romance of his plan, but completely willing, I tossed my remaining clothing to the side and jumped into bed, pulling him after me. As he aligned his body with mine, I took a moment to just enjoy the feeling of his long body next to mine. As much as I was aroused and wanted him now, I was also enjoying this mood that seemed to have hit him suddenly, as he slowly nuzzled the skin at my neck with his lips and ran his hands along my sides.


“I love you, mo gra`,” he whispered, his voice deep and throaty. I looked into his eyes and felt my heart catch at the love there.


“Mo gra`, mo chuisle,” I murmured as I kissed him. “If Hanukkah makes you this loving and romantic, eight days of it won’t be enough.”  I pressed up against his hardness.


He laughed lightly. “We’ll have to see about that. I have your Hanukkah present for you, you never asked for it, you know.”


I smiled as I reached for his cock. “Is it what I’m hoping?”


He shook his head and shifted out of my reach, grabbing my hand away. He kissed me to silence my objection.


“Your present is one of the traditional Hanukkah gifts…which is not cock, trust me, I checked on that,” he smirked at me. Then he reached down under the bed. I tried to see what he was doing but he used his shoulder to push me back down.


“What is it?” I asked, my curiosity aroused, pretty much like the rest of me, by this point.


Brian smiled sweetly, and then opened his hand above my chest, dropping gold wrapped “coins” onto it. 


“Chocolate!” I exclaimed, and tried to bring my hands up to open one. I found my wrist being captured in a handcuff—and was so surprised by that action that I failed to avoid the second cuff being clicked closed on my other wrist, securing my arms above my head since he’d looped the cuffs around the headboard bar.


“Brian! How am I going to eat my chocolate if you have me tied up?” I asked but my mind was already coming up with some ideas.


His were even better.


It was very good chocolate. And my Hanukkah gift, a chocolate covered cock, was better still.

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