Time for the last part of my pride Christmas story! It was already published yesterday on Beany Sparks’ blog as part of her eXtasy Advent Calendar, so you might already have read it, but if you didn’t, here it is. I tried to keep the spoilers at a minimum since it happens right in the middle of Finn and the books comes out on January 1. Enjoy!
Finn knew his eyes were huge, but he couldn’t help it. He had never seen anything like that. It wasn’t only the decorations and the warmth, but the people.
He had moved in the mansion a little more than a week ago after Dominic had insisted, and he hadn’t regretted it, not even if the situation with Bryce wasn’t quite solved yet. He didn’t think he would ever regret it, because he had gained a family, something he had never had.
Life was a lot different in the mansion. Finn was warm, and if he wanted to eat he just had to open the fridge. Other people cooked, because he wasn’t able to, but he didn’t mind helping.
He had helped Jamie set the table for the Christmas day breakfast, and now they were waiting for everyone to come down to eat. Jamie had gotten there only a half hour before, looking quite flushed, and sometimes he made some weird sounds, but he had said he was fine to Finn.
“Are you sure?” he asked after Jamie had made something that sounded like a moan while bending down to gather the napkins he had dropped.
Jamie nodded, but Finn could see he was flushed and that his pupils were big. He opened his mouth to insist, but he didn’t know how well it would be perceived. He was new in the mansion after all, and he wasn’t sure he really belonged, not yet.
“He’s fine, don’t worry,” Ward said, putting the big orange juice bottle he had entered the dining room with on the table and sliding one arm around his mate’s waist. Jamie squeaked, and Finn shook his head, a smile on his lips. He wasn’t sure he ever would understand the mated guys. They always seemed to have secrets, and they probably did. They understood each other with only a glance, and Finn could see that the one Jamie and Ward were exchanging was full of promises and lust.
It made him wonder if he ever would have that type of relationship with Bryce, and it made him feel slightly out of place, as if he was intruding on a private moment. He turned around and was about to leave when Keenan came in.
The man stopped when he saw him, but they both smiled. They were still wary with each other, but Finn had been happy to find out that Keenan didn’t hate him, and they were slowly finding out that they actually liked each other. He just wasn’t sure what to say to him most of the time.
Luckily for him the door opened again and Dominic came in with Sebastian. The two were talking, their voices low, and Sebastian didn’t look particularly happy. As they sat down, Soren and Denver came in, then Joshua, and the room slowly filled.
The children were running around, their mothers trying to stop them and get them to eat, laugher filled the room, the scent of cinnamon and sugar was heavy on the air. Finn sat on his own at one end of the table, overwhelmed by the situation.
“Where are Nate and Derick?” Dominic asked.
“I passed by their suite when I came down, but they’re not in there,” Keenan said, pouting. “I think Nate is avoiding me.”
Jamie chuckled. “I think you’re right, but can you really blame him after the last stunt you inflicted on him? He had to go get his mate in the city’s jail, Keenan!”
Everyone was laughing when the door opened again, and Nate and Derick came in. Hellos came from everyone, but of course Keenan had to be different. “Nate, why are you standing like that?”
It was true that Nate looked uncomfortable. His back was hunched as if he was trying to keep his chest from coming into contact with his shirt. He didn’t answer, but Derick had no problems doing it for him. “He’s just not quite enjoying my Christmas present.”
“Oooh, what is it? Can we see it?”
Finn’s eyes widened yet again. He had never seen Nate that flustered and he was even blushing. What on earth did Derick buy him?
“I don’t see how it’s any of your business, Keenan,” Nate growled, but Keenan wasn’t so easily dissuaded.
“Don’t be a party pooper, Nate! Come on, show us!”
Everyone chorused show us and come on except for Dominic. The man was sitting in his chair, a smirk on his face as he watched his Beta trying to refuse. It wasn’t doing him any good, though, especially because Derick seemed to agree with everyone else.
“Just show them, Nate. They’re going to find out as soon as you have to shift anyway.”
“Oooh, so he has to get naked?” Keenan said.
Derick just smirked and Nate sighed deeply. His hands rose to the first button on his shirt and everyone shut up, all eyes on him. Finn would have been embarrassed in Nate’s place, but he wasn’t a shifter. They were used to getting naked in front of everyone.
When Nate reached the third or fourth button, Keenan squeaked in his seat and pointed at Nate’s chest. “Is that what I think it is?”
Derick grinned and nodded. “Yup. Nipple piercings. I wanted him to have something else, but he didn’t like the idea of a needle coming too close to, eh, you know.”
Keenan snickered but his eyes never left Nate’s chest. Even Finn could see the silver metal gleaming on the sides of both of the man’s nipples now, and he flinched. He didn’t know how anyone could do something like that. It had to hurt like hell, yet Derick was full of metal, and if rumors were true—and they had to be since it had been Keenan who had told him—he even had one on his dick.
Finn crossed his legs without even realizing it. He could understand why Nate hadn’t wanted needles there, that was for sure.
The two men sat down once Nate was done buttoning his shirt again, and breakfast went smoothly. Finn was still overwhelmed by everything, but he had never felt more at home.
It didn’t take them long to finish eating, and the kids were the first ones to run to the huge tree standing in the living room. It reached the ceiling and was decorated with just about everything one could think of. There were lights twinkling in red, green, blue and white, candy canes, red bows, golden angels, popcorn links done by the children, even butterflies. Under it were stacked piles and piles of wrapped gifts, more than Finn had ever seen, not that he usually got gifts for Christmas.
Dominic went to stand by the tree and started calling out the names he read on the tags, handing out the presents to the people he called. Even Finn got some, and his face hurt with how much he was smiling.
The room was soon full of discarded wrapping paper and playing children, and Finn’s heart was full of thankfulness for the people who had taken him in when he didn’t have anything.
His eyes fell on Bryce. The shifter was looking at Finn and he smiled when he saw Finn watching him. Finn smiled back. Christmas was making him hopeful that everything would be fine between them, and Bryce’s smile sure made it seem that way.