Bidder Rivalry (MM)
When Rudy enters Elvis’s Vegas Sing-Along Bar, where Gideon works as an Elvis impersonator, the two get caught up in the magic of yuletide melodies and a spark as bright as the star atop the Christmas tree is lit. But soon the two men discover they’re online auction rivals, both angling for memorabilia from their favorite childhood TV show The Fun Family, and that’s when the evening goes from magical to explosive.
Over the course of the holiday season, the two can’t stay away from one another. Soon they begin to understand why the memorabilia they fight over online means so much to each of them.
Will the spark between them reignite? Can anger turn to passion, and love bloom with the help of a little Christmas magic?
Over the next hour or so, the regulars all trickled in to gather beside the old Steinway. Sometimes they sang along, and sometimes they just listened, as Gideon and Rudy harmonized their way from the front of the songbook to the back, from Elvis to Bing Crosby, Burl Ives to Rosemary Clooney. The second to last song in the binder was “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”
“I like this one.” Rudy licked his lips.
“You need a drink?”
Gideon nodded at Brett and held up two fingers.
“You’re not going to put anything in it, are you?” Rudy’s head tilt was cute.
“Because of the line in the song, you mean.”
“Nah. I’m hoping my company is intoxicating enough,” Gideon tried the cute head tilt himself.
“Your neck getting sore?”
“Nah.” Epic fail. “I’m good.”
Brett brought their beers over. “Excuse me.” Only when he had to reach past some regulars -- Michelle, Rex, Andrew, Denise, Eileen, Corrine, and Stefan -- did Gideon remember he and Rudy weren’t alone.
“Gideon used to look at me like that when he sang,” Eileen said, giving her snow-white hair a seductive flip, squinting sexily, which enhanced the deep creases around both eyes.
“You want my seat?” Rudy stood.
“No!” Gideon startled the poor guy. “No,” he said more softly. “She’s happy where she is, right, Eileen?”
“I haven’t been happy since 2009, but I’ll pass. You two sing it.”
The sultry rhythm Gideon chose had the piano bench creaking like an old set of box springs during some intimate grinding and writhing. Rudy slurred “it’s” and “cold” into one word every time he sang it. Either he was feeling the two beers he’d had, or else he was feeling the spirit of the lyrics. He put his head on Gideon’s shoulder -- just kept it there -- for the last thirteen measures, forty-some notes and a bunch of rests. Snuggled in as if it really was cold, his vibrato against Gideon’s neck brought shivers like a bitter Oregon wind he recalled from childhood. Rudy’s breath was warm, though, and each one tickled, not just where they landed, but deep in Gideon’s gut.
The last long F and A notes blended into a perfect cloud of sound in the air. Rudy lifted his head once he’d rested. Gideon turned to him once he’d finished at the keys. He could smell Rudy’s no doubt pricy cologne and was close enough to see every separate blond whisker and gold flecks in Rudy’s green eyes. “That was good,” Gideon muttered. “I feel like I might need a cigarette.”