Prompt: Dex and Sloane’s first Christmas as a married couple told from the different couples POV.
*** CONTAINS RELATIONSHIP SPOILERS FROM TRIED & TRUE ***
“You’re going to burn a whole in my floor,” Tony grumbled.
Sloane couldn’t help his pacing. It was almost time. Dex wanted to surprise Sloane by getting the crew to help him decorate the house for Christmas to make it extra special, which was touching. It really was. Sloane loved that Dex was even more excited about Christmas than usual, and all because it was their first as a married couple. It didn’t however ease his mind. Dex had a habit of going over the top, and the fact that he was bringing the rest of the crew in to help, made Sloane a little nervous. Okay, a lot nervous.
“Hey,” Tony said, interrupting his pacing. “There’s been no word from dispatch on any fires or emergency services being sent out.”
“You’re right.” Sloane sighed, and took a seat on the couch. “I’m overreacting.”
“No, you’re reacting appropriately,” Tony said, a hint of amusement in his tone. “This is Dex we’re talking about. God only knows what he’s up to, but he’s not ended up on the news so that’s a good sign.”
The fact they could judge how his husband’s evening was going based on whether or not Dex made the news was… somewhat disturbing, yet comforting because no news was good news.
His watch beeped, and Sloane stood. “It’s time.”
Tony’s reply was a chuckle as he made his way to the front door with Sloane quick on his heels. They’d had a nice relaxing day—at least when Sloane wasn’t thinking about news headlines containing the words “Strange Blond Man Causes Christmas Chaos…”.
Sloane was enjoying his “play dates” as Dex called them, with Tony. His father-in-law and former sergeant wasn’t big on chatting. He was one of those guys that believed in talking when there was something worth talking about, but there was never any need to fill the silence. Sloane could just sit and enjoy the man’s company as they hung out and read, watched TV, or played cards.
They took a cab to Sloane and Dex’s house, and on the ride over, Sloane checked his phone. No texts from anyone. No calls. No alarms. That was good right? He checked his phone battery. Fully charged. The closer they got to his block, the more he found himself leaning forward.
“You planning on crawling into the passenger seat,” Tony teased.
With a sheepish grin, Sloane sat back. “Sorry. No, you’re right. I’m good.”
The cab came to a stop, and Sloane bolted from the car. Shit. Spinning around, he ran to the window, and gave the driver money. “Thanks!” Not bothering with change, he ran across the street just like he’d been instructed. As nervous as he was, he didn’t want to spoil Dex’s surprise. Nothing was on fire, so there was no immediate danger. That he could see, anyway.
Sloane couldn’t help his dopey smile. He laughed when Dex barreled into him, and hugged him tight.
“I missed your face,” Dex said, kissing him sweetly. When he pulled back, he winked playfully. “Among other things.”
With a chuckle, Sloane pulled him close, and nuzzled his temple. They’d only been apart a few hours, but with their bond, it felt much longer. Having Dex back in his arms settled his felid half, and he let out a happy sigh.
“Where is everyone?”
Dex looked up at him, eyes slightly wide. Uh-oh. His husband might be training to be a spy, but when it came to Sloane, he was still shit at lying.
Sloane peered at him. “Why haven’t they come out to see your big surprise?”
“They will.” Dex pulled out his phone, and waved it at Sloane. “Soon as I text Hobbs, he’s going to hit the lights, and then they’re all going to come out.” Dex’s smile widened, and Sloane braced himself.
“Is everyone inside?”
Dex nodded slowly. “Yes.”
What wasn’t Dex telling him?
“Are they all in one piece?”
Dex’s expression was unimpressed. “I did not maim any of our friends in the making of the The Daleys’ Eye-gasm-inducing Décor of Christmas Awesomeness.”
Sloane nodded, though he wasn’t quite sure he believed him.
“Ready for your surprise?” Dex was so excited he was practically vibrating.
Well, Dex was in one piece, no bandages, bleeding, bruises, or missing appendages so that was a good sign. Sloane looked him over while Dex was sending his text. He looked perfectly fine. Wait, what was that on his Christmas sweater?
“Is that me?” Sloane asked, pointing to the somewhat grumpy looking black jaguar wearing a Christmas hat.
Dex grinned up at him. “You have been forever immortalized in 100% cotton.”
“Um, thanks?” He was a little bit worried about the Christmas sweater he knew Dex had inside for him.
Dex reached into his pocket, and pulled out a pair of sunglasses that he then handed to Sloane. “Here, you’re going to need these.”
“But it’s eight in the evening.” Sloane took them, and put them on. Relax, it’s going to be fine. Where the hell had Tony gone? Probably inside. Because he’s a smart man.
“Okay, turn around,” Dex said excitedly.
The block was suddenly plunged into colorful daylight, and Sloane turned around. “Holy fuck!”’ His jaw dropped, and he took a step back. Somewhere under the millions of tiny bright lights was his and Dex’s house. The strings of lights ran from the base of the house to the roof. There were lights around the windows, the handrails, the fence. There were reindeer pulling a sleigh angled off the roof, frosted holly wrapped around the handrails along with the lights, and candy canes attached to the fence. The words “Happy Holidays” flashed in sequence to what Sloane now realized were Christmas carols coming from speakers somewhere. Christmas had exploded all over their house, and it lit up the entire block like a supernova had just gone off. There was a giant wreath on the door, and even their tree was lit up, from the bottom of its trunk to the very top, and candy canes were plunged into the dirt circling it.
“Don’t look directly at it without sunglasses or you might burn your retinas,” Dex said casually before he bounced like a little kid beside Sloane. “Do you love it?”
Sloane turned to Dex, his husband’s blue eyes filled with adoration, and his face lit up like the lights on their house. Sloane’s expression softened, and he pulled Dex into his arms.
“Baby, it’s amazing. Thank you for doing this. I love it.” He kissed Dex, pouring all his love and admiration for his man into the kiss. As much trouble as Dex got into, his intentions were always nothing but pure, and everything he did, he did from his big heart. He was the best man Sloane knew, and he loved Sloane like no other. “I love you,” Sloane murmured against Dex’s lips. Dex melted against him with a dreamy sigh, and Sloane chuckled. “I have to admit, I was a little worried. I’m glad to see it all went as planned.”
Dex cringed, and Sloane opened his mouth when he heard Ash grumble behind him.
“Your pain in the ass husband needs to be declared a national disaster.”
Sloane turned, ready to reply that it couldn’t have been that bad, but when he saw their friends, the words died on his lips. Ash looked like he’d fallen down a ravine. He was covered in dirt, had a bandage over his right eyebrow, he was missing a sleeve, and a shoe. Everyone else looked just as bad. Rosa’s hair was standing on end like she was the Bride of Frankenstein. Letty was wrapped in so many bandages she looked like a mummy, Hobbs was covered from head to toe in—
“Oh my God, did someone use a fire extinguisher on you?”
Hobbs nodded, a big boyish grin splitting his face as he held two thumbs up.
“What the hell happened to you guys?”
Everyone turned their narrowed eyes to Dex.
“Well, you see….”
Three hours earlier….
PART FOUR ON CHRISTMAS DAY!
Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.