[Amber Note: Rj is giving away a copy of Sinful Santa or another Rj ebook of winner’s choice]
The party was in full swing by the time Morgan arrived. He’d dropped Oscar at the sitter’s but when the black lab gave him sad woobie eyes, as Nik called them, it was all Morgan could do to leave. Still, the call of a beer or two, meeting up with old friends was enough to have him leaving, after giving Oscar one last hug, of course.
He spotted Dale leaning against the outside wall first. He was on the phone and had his head bowed in absolute concentration. Morgan skirted the ex-SEAL but sketched a wave when Dale looked up at him.
“Wait,” Dale said quickly. He passed the cell to Morgan. “Joseph wants to say hi.”
Morgan took the handset and announced himself with a teasing, “Hey, frogman.” He’d got the nickname from overhearing Nik talk about Dale, and given Dale and Joseph were trained SEALs, Morgan decided Frogman was a SEAL thing.
“Hey,” Joseph responded quickly.
“Merry Christmas. Why aren’t you here?”
“Spending time with family, coming back up on the twenty-first.”
“Good work on the Canada thing,” Morgan added vaguely. He’d learned his lesson talking specifics, but he knew Joseph and Dale had joined forces on a retrieval over the border. “I’m handing the phone back to Dale.”
“Have a good Christmas, give your sexy man a kiss,” Joseph teased.
Morgan returned the phone to Dale, who grinned at him, then Morgan continued on into the main party central. For some reason Jake and Sean thought it was a good idea to open up their house for a kind-of party two weeks before Christmas. Not everyone was here. Joseph was with family, Manny and Josh were on a case. As far as he knew Beckett and Kayden were here, and he’d heard rumors that Adam was coming over later if his handover went to time. Adam was the second person Morgan met and he looked beyond drunk and all introspective as he sat on the bottom step of the stairs.
“Morgan!” Adam called as soon as he saw him. He high-fived Morgan, which was kind of awkward given he was sitting way down. “Nik’s in the kitchen doing something weird with popcorn,” he said carefully. “And I am drunk and I wish Lee would hurry up so he can look after me.”
Morgan ruffled Adam’s hair; the normally hard man didn’t look so hard when he was all happy-drunk.
Kayden and Jake were having a heated debate in the main room in front of the largest TV Morgan had ever seen.
“It was my Nintendo,” Kayden said heated.
“No, it was mine, I was the one who scratched my name on the back so you wouldn’t take it.”
“Yeah right,” Kayden slurred. Beckett moved to stand between them but relaxed when Jake and Kayden fell back on the sofa laughing like loons.
“I never get this sibling shit,” he muttered to Morgan as he handed him a beer.
“Jake and Kayden are a law unto themselves,” Morgan commented. You need to get Sean in to mediate.”
Beckett huffed a laugh. “It was Sean that started it, but he fucked off to the kitchen as soon as Jake and Kayden started the sibling-rivalry shit. I’m surprised they didn’t whip out their dicks and compare sizes.”
Morgan and Beckett exchanged grins and a Christmas-type hug, and Morgan went in search of his lover.
He found Nik and Sean in deep discussion, both men drinking soda, not a beer in sight. Nik smiled when he saw Morgan come into the kitchen, and held out an arm for Morgan to hug under.
“Hey, babe,” Nick said gently. “Oscar okay?”
“Pining already, bit like Dale and Adam who are both out the front missing their guys.”
“Speaking of which, I’m going back out to see if Jake has forgiven me bringing up the old Nintendo disagreement.” He grinned broadly. “It never fails to end up with Jake and Kayden wrestling on the floor, which is damn funny.”
“Last I saw they were upright,” Morgan commented.
Sean left and abruptly Morgan and Nik were alone. Nik cradled Morgan’s face and stole his first kiss since this morning when they’d separated for work, Nik to Sanctuary, Morgan to his small studio at the back of their house. Their fortified security-overkilled house.
“What do you think of the party?” Morgan asked his lover. Nik pressed a kiss to Morgan’s head.
“Better now you’re here.” Nik maneuvered Morgan and helped him sit on the counter in among glass jars of pasta and a pile of Christmas cards. He stepped between Morgan’s legs and Morgan wrapped his arms around Nik’s neck. The sound of Christmas music filtered from speakers somewhere in the kitchen, a soft melody of carols.
“You’re not drinking?”
“Sean and I are on call; there’s a retrieval in South Carolina, a family. We’re just waiting.”
Morgan hid his disappointment. Nik was due to have Christmas off this year, a deal he had brokered way before he’d even met Morgan. But he was first and foremost a Sanctuary operative and his loyalty wasn’t just to Morgan but to the people that Sanctuary helped. His bravery, dedication, and general bad-assery were exactly what made Morgan love him so much.
Kissing Nik was like coming home every single time, with lust pouring through Morgan’s body until he was really ready for more.
“Nik?” Sean’s voice interrupted them and Morgan knew what Sean wanted even before he said anything. “We’re up, big guy.”
Nik pulled back a little and Morgan stared into Nik’s gorgeous brown eyes even as he tangled his fingers into Nik’s dark-blond hair.
“I love you, Morgan,” Nik said softly. “I’ll be back as soon as I can. Have fun. Drink beer. Miss me.”
Morgan held tight for a moment then released his hold. “Stay safe, Nik.” He didn’t have to say that. Nik would always be as safe as he could, just so he could come home to Morgan.
He left with a sketched wave and a ready grin, and Morgan held that expression in his thought for a long while until finally he jumped down from the work surface grabbed his beer and made his way into the front room.
This was a party after all.