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Every year Simon returns to the family nest for the Christmas/New Year holidays and every year he has to avoid the clutches of Hermione, the town’s most eligible bachelorette, who is convinced she is the perfect woman for the workaholic CEO of a highly successful advertising company. In fact, she is lying in wait to inform him of the date of their forthcoming nuptials on his next return even though Simon has never proposed – and never will. He doesn’t need the aggravation this year as he has to work on an important submission for a contract that could turn his business into a global giant, so when he tells his mum he’s bringing home a male for the holidays she jumps to conclusions and mistakenly thinks he’s gay. Realizing that’s the perfect way out of his dilemma with Hermione, Simon lets everyone think it’s true. Things become awkward when he has to share a bed with his gay PA, Gabe, and act the part of half a loving gay couple. Hermione is no fool and goes out of her way to expose what she thinks is a charade. Simon discovers, however, the act is in danger of becoming reality.  

Homo for the Holidays

Excerpt

It was probably the worst idea in the entire history of the world even though it started out as an accident. However, I can sheet part of the blame to my mother.

“Hermione is so looking forward to seeing you at Christmas,” my mum cooed down the phone, Hermione being my parents’ choice as a suitable partner for the successful CEO of his own advertising conglomerate which I’d built from the ground up. It was a seriously stressful business that left me little time for a personal life as I spent most of my waking hours wheeling and dealing and ensuring my staff were kept on their toes. I always made time to visit mum and dad at Christmas, my ten-day break each year. I’d arrive in my home town on Christmas Eve and leave some time New Year’s Day. This year there would be a slight difference.

“Mum, I do wish you and dad would stop trying to pair me off with Hermione. It’s never gonna happen.”

“She’s the ideal mate for a successful businessman…”

I interrupted. “She’s an ideal mate for a male Black Widow spider.” Truth be known, I detested Hermione. She came from ‘old money’ – the snooty sort of old money that believed merely throwing enough cash at anything meant they owned it. Hermione’s hold was positively proprietorial and I’d tried everything in my power to loosen the suction-like grip on my future. All to no avail. I’d learned not to wriggle, hoping she’d forget about me or, at least, leave me alone. I gave her absolutely zero encouragement.

Mum sighed. “I don’t think Hermione is getting the message, dear. I believe she intends confronting you this Christmas with her preferred date for your nuptials. She’s tired of waiting.”

“Good Lord,” I groaned. “I haven’t even popped the question.”

“I think she’s just sailing ahead as if you have, dear.”

I swore what I thought was under my breath. “Fuck.”

“As you say, dear,” my mother agreed. I wondered if she actually liked Hermione as much as I gave her credit for. Normally she would have chewed my ear off for swearing. “I hope you’re still coming home for the holidays. Your father and I see you so rarely.”

“Mum, I’ve got a really important client I’m trying to win for the agency. It means I’d be one of the big guys if I can snare him.”

“I hope you’re not thinking of using that as an excuse to bail out of the festivities. It’s not just Hermione who’d give you hell, your father and I–”

“No, mum, I’m not thinking of bailing out,” I lied.

“And don’t think about leaving early either.”

Another lie. “No, mum. But I might have to do a bit of work while I’m there, so…”

“That’s all right. We don’t want to suffocate you, Simon.”

“And, mum…” Why was this so hard? She must have heard the sigh in my voice.

“What is it, Simon?” Her voice sounded concerned.

I guess I could have phrased it better, but… “I’m bringing a…um…guy with me.”

Before I could say anything else, I heard a loud gasp down the phone. Then deathly silence. “Mum? Are you there? Is something wrong?”

I heard a slight sniffle as if she was tearing up. “Oh, Simon, you’ve made me so happy that you feel safe enough to tell us. I’ll love you no matter. Your father feels the same. And he owes me fifty bucks.”

I was confused. “Why does dad owe you fifty bucks?”

She was positively crowing down the phone. “That bloody snobby Glenda Bangor, going on and on and on about her lesbian daughter this and her lesbian daughter that as if you get brownie points for it. She’s just an ordinary board member of some tin pot IT company, whereas my son owns an international advertising agency.”

OMG! She thinks I’m gay. “Mum, this young man–”

“What’s his name?”

“It’s Gabe, but–” She wasn’t going to let me get a word in.

“Hermione will be devastated,” she cackled. “Just between you and me, your father and I never thought she was good enough for you. Please let me be there to see her face when you tell her.”

That’s when my brain must have snapped and common sense flew the coop. I didn’t need the aggravation of fending off Hermione and her relatives, I had work to do, so why not…?

Mum made the opening gambit. “Gabe will be staying here at the house, there’s plenty of room.”

“What? No, mum, he’s staying at a hotel. He doesn’t want to impose.”

She made some sort of disparaging sound. “If he’s good enough for our Simon, he’s good enough to stay at the family home. Subject closed. How long have you two...um…known each other?”

“About nine months but–”

“And you’re just telling us now? How long did you think you could keep this a secret?”

“I didn’t know if he’d work out.”

“I can’t wait to meet him. I hoped you settle down with someone nice one day. You work too hard. Anyway, give our love to Gabe. I’m so thrilled. I have to go tell your father the news. I’m sure we’ll love him as much as you do. Bye.”

She hung up before I could get another word in. What a mess. I knew I should ring her back immediately to put her straight – so to speak – before the rumor mill started. But my brain had one of those ideas that have made the company the success it is. It wouldn’t be so bad having Gabe in the family home. I was sure he’d fit in. It’s not like my parents would let us share a room or anything. A little white lie would keep Hermione off my case. It wasn’t like Gabe wasn’t already gay so he wouldn’t mind the subterfuge. He’d be helping me out in a big way. Okay, so I should have asked him. I didn’t. Okay, I should have told him what was up. I didn’t do that either.

Color him confused when we pulled up at my parent’s house in the car I’d rented at the airport. I sat quietly, gathering my wits about me in order to tell him what I’d done. Now that we were at the house it didn’t seem like even remotely a good idea but, before I could mention anything at all, the front door opened and my mum barreled down the front path in full mama role, arms akimbo in welcome.

Gabe raised his eyebrows at the approaching human tornado. “Your mum?”

“Uh huh. Look, there’s something I need to tell you.”


eBook ISBN 978-1-911478-03-4

Cover Price: 2.99

Length: 129 pdf Pages / 25250 words

Gay, Bisexual, Romance

Heat rating: 3