Jaxx Steele here again! Those who know me know I love this holiday. I want to give a big kudos to whoever came up with the idea to set aside a day for busy folk like me to make up for slacking throughout the year on the gift giving. *two thumbs up*
Today I want to tell you about Vegas Valentine. This story is the sequel to my Christmas story, Hosting for the Holidays so it brings back my May-December couple Hector and Chad. This story gives a flash back on how they met and how Hector tries to make good on a promise he made to Chad in Hosting for the Holidays. They are in Las Vegas for Valentine’s Day when they weren’t supposed to be. Neither of them are prepared for the day and have to make quick adjustments, but what better place to be when you have to come up with quick gifts!
This book became a reality by accident. Hosting for the holidays takes place from Christmas Eve to New Years Eve. When that story line was completed I thought I was done, but Hector had other plans. When he made the promise to Chad in Hosting he wanted the readers to know that he made good on his promise. Vain, right! Anyway, my first thought was to throw together a mini thing and make it a free read. Again, Hector wouldn’t shut up so it got way too long for that and boom! Vegas Valentine was born.
*shaking my head* Dag-gone shame how these characters run me sometimes, I tell you.
So, without further delay…Vegas Valentine!
Hector and Chad are back! Hector thought to combine his business trip to Las Vegas with celebrating Valentine's Day with Chad, thus keeping a previously made promise. Unfortunately, work prevails and Hector's well laid plans are demolished. Will he be able to turn things around and make Valentine's Day in Vegas a day neither of them will soon forget?
Chad walked in the door and Hector all but pounced on him. He lifted him from the floor with a hug, swung him around then kissed him soundly in the mouth before putting him down again.
“Wow! Not that I care, but what was that for?”
“It’s Valentine’s Day, sweetheart, remember? That’s all the reason I need.”
Chad’s handsome features transformed from excited to distraught almost instantly.
“Daddy, I’m so sorry. I thought we would be home for Valentine’s since your seminars were supposed to be over before now. I’m afraid I left your present there,” he confessed sadly.
Hector kissed him again. “It’s okay, baby, the only gift I need is you in my arms.” He saw the relief in Chad’s face and smiled. “Now come, I made dinner.”
Chad let out a noise of mock shock. “You made dinner? Should I be afraid?” he asked, letting Hector pull him to the dinette area.
Hector laughed. “No, you shouldn’t. I did manage to feed myself for several years, darling, before you came into my life, you know.”
“Yes, but as soon as I came into your life you quickly relinquished the job to me,” Chad reminded him with a soft chuckle.
Hector snickered, but offered no further rebuttal. He sat Chad in one of the chairs at the table and lifted the silver lid from the plate in front of him with grand fanfare.
“Wow, it looks fantastic.”
Chad quickly sampled the food. Hector stood over him holding the lid against the table as he waited.
“Mmm, and it tastes wonderful. This has to be the best chicken parmesan I have ever had,” he praised.
Hector finally put the lid beside his plate and lifted his own. “Yes, well it’s just a little something I threw together,” Hector said humbly, finally taking the chair opposite him. “I just wanted to make sure dinner was especially good tonight.” He poured Chad a glass of red wine.
Chad lifted the glass and swirled the liquid within. “Oh yes, and it is. Is that why you got it from Perfecto Italiano?”
Hector’s jaw bobbed as he tried to speak, but no words came out. Chad’s eyes peered at him over his glass sparkling with mirth.
“What? No, what—“ He paused to clear his throat. “What makes you say that, Chad?” he asked, shifting his gaze to avoid making eye contact.
“Well, the fact that you have never made edible chicken parmesan since we’ve been together was my first clue. You always take me out for chicken parm because you know it’s my favorite and don’t want to mess it up.”
Hector blinked rapidly and lifted his own drink. “Yes, well—“
Chad held up a finger to stop him. “But the ticket in the lid was a dead giveaway," He finished tilting his finger to point at the lid.
Hector stared at him over his wine for a moment. “The ticket is still in the lid?”
Chad nodded with a grin. “Uh-huh.”
Hector pulled the silver dome to him and looked inside. “Damn. Who does that? You make the food, cover it then throw away the ticket. Not tape it to the inside,” he muttered, shaking his head.
Chad laughed. “You didn’t really think I’d believe you actually cooked this, did you, Daddy? You were putting a can of spinach on the eye of the stove to warm it up when we met,” he reminded him unable to hold back the chuckles that accompanied his reasoning.
Hector shrugged and sipped his drink. “Yeah, I knew it was going to be a stretch but I went for it anyway. I’m still going to take credit for this delicious feast. I picked it out, warmed it up and put it on the beautiful china courtesy of the New York-New York Hotel,” he expressed with a laughing grin, extending his hand across the table. “I did all the work. They just cooked it.”
“And you did a wonderful job. Presentation is a big part of the meal, too. Everything looks fabulous.” Chad patted his hand.
Hector gave him a raised brow look and they laughed again. “Well now that we are in agreement, let’s eat.”
A short while later, Chad dropped his fork and finished the last of his wine before sitting back with a satisfied sigh.
“That was great. You really made a marvelous choice.”
“You are too kind,” Hector said with a slight bow of his head. “I thank you, my love. Now it is time for dessert!” he announced, jumping to his feet.
Hector quickly gathered the dishes dumping them into the sink then returned from the kitchen with a smaller plate covered by a wide, black napkin.
“Did you get the dessert from Perfect Italiano, too?” Chad asked, excitement filling his voice.
“Nope. Some place totally different.”
“This one is all me. Open it.” He leaned forward offering the tray to him with both hands.
Chad raised an eyebrow before leaning forward lifting the cloth dramatically from the lid. A small gasp left his lips as he dropped the top on the floor.
Until next time,
Jaxx Steele has left the building!
Available now in all formats at Muse it Hot