AN: DUE TO THE EXPLICIT CONTENT OF THIS SHORT STORY, THE FOLLOWING IS ONLY A PREVIEW. To read this short story in full, please go to my blog (link in profile) for download links as well as links to other sites where the full story has been posted.


Small Packages

A Harborview Immortals Story

Written by Emma Peterson

Copyright 2015 by Emma Peterson/CLI

Cover image courtesy of PublicDomainPictures at Pixabay

This story is a work of fiction. References to real people, places, or historical events are used fictitiously. All other characters, names, events, places, and so on are strictly products of the author's crazed imagination. Any resemblance to actual places, events, or persons—living, dead, or zombie—is completely coincidental.

This story contains explicit adult content.

For Yuki.


Christmas Eve 2006

The view outside of the living room window was far more breathtaking than many of the Christmas-themed pictures and paintings that Jacob had ever seen. There was snow as far as the eye could see, about three or four inches of it, blanketing the massive front lawn and driveway. The street beyond was covered as well, though the sound of the plows two blocks over indicated that would not be the case for much longer. Snow fell in large clumps from the bare branches of the sugar maple tree in front of the house across the street. All of the neighbors' houses were festively decorated with numerous strings of bright, blinking lights that cut through the darkness with alternating flashes of red and green. Some of the houses displayed Nativity scenes while others had Santa and his reindeer. The Taylors, who lived two houses down on the other side of the street, had both. It was a combination that amused Jacob to no end—even more so because of the zombie garden gnomes that were acting as stand-ins for two reindeer and one of the Wise Men.

"We should decorate the outside of the house one of these years." He turned his head slightly to the right to acknowledge the vampire who had joined him at the window. "Maybe the neighbors would like us then."

"Do you really care if they like us or not?" Dominic asked.

"No, but it would be nice if they didn't stare at our house like it was a part of some circus freak show."

Dominic leaned forward to peer through the glass, his chin resting on Jacob's shoulder. "We are a gay, interracial couple living in a conservative neighborhood, Jacob. Holiday decorations aren't going to make much of a difference to most of these people. I can only imagine how they would react if they knew that we were vampires." After a moment, he added, "Are those zombies?"

"Yeah," Jacob replied with a grin. "At least we're not the only weirdos on the street."

He closed the curtains and turned around. While the view outside was indeed lovely, it was the view in front of him that pleased him most. A fire burned steadily in the fireplace, filling the room with enough heat to counter such a cold winter night. An enormous Christmas tree sat in the corner, adorned with huge, twinkling balls and stars, blinking lights, endless tinsel, and some of the handmade ornaments that Xan had made over the years that Jacob couldn't bear to part with. Piles upon piles of prettily wrapped presents were under the tree, most of which were reserved for the fourteen-year-old who sat on the floor beside them while eagerly waiting for the clock to strike midnight. Speaking of which…

"Come on, Dad," Xan said over the sound of Bing Crosby's velvety vocals, staring at Jacob with his big blue eyes. "It's almost midnight."

Jacob smiled warmly at the boy, who looked like he was about to burst out of his skin with excitement. "You've waited all year for this. You can wait twenty more minutes."

When Jacob failed to succumb to his charm, Xan turned to his other father. "Domi?"

"Twenty minutes," Dominic repeated. "You'll survive."

"I'm not so sure about that," said Dominic's identical twin, Demetrio, from his chair by the tree. He offered Xan his empty wine glass. "Why don't you get me a refill? That'll take at least a minute. Or two, if you take your time."

Xan groaned and took his uncle's glass. "Can I have a sip?" he asked suddenly, his impatience temporarily forgotten in the hopes of scoring some booze. "Domi lets me have some champagne every New Year's Eve."

Demetrio looked to Dominic, who looked to Jacob for a final answer. "Last I checked, it wasn't New Year's Eve."

"No fair," Xan pouted, though it was plain to see that his heart wasn't truly in it.

Jacob strolled over to the teen and helped him up. "Poor baby," he said as he ruffled Xan's blond hair. "You have the meanest parents in the world."

"I know!" Xan's adorable scowl gradually melted into a smile. "Well, maybe not the meanest, but close."

"Then we'll just have to try harder."

Xan stuck out his tongue and ran into the kitchen before Jacob could swat him on the bottom.

"I can't believe how much he's grown this year," said Becky, the British vampire who was also the family's closest friend. She yanked on the front of her Mrs. Claus outfit, which had slid down her sizable cleavage to dangerously revealing levels. "He's almost as tall as you, Jacob."

Luca Melani, the muscular human who watched over Xan during the day, nodded in agreement. "At the rate he's going, he's going to pass you soon. He might even end up as tall as Dominic."

"Probably." Jacob took a seat on the floor while Dominic joined Luca and Becky on the sofa. He wasn't ready to think about craning his neck to look into his son's eyes or what it meant having to do so. The baby who had taken their hearts captive fourteen years ago was becoming a man. Time was passing by far too quickly. "What does everyone have planned for tomorrow night?" he asked, wanting to steer his thoughts away from the inevitable.

"Sex," Demetrio replied.

Dominic grunted in disgust, as he often did when his brother opened his mouth. "Do you have even the tiniest bit of shame?"

"Not really."

"Perhaps you should try having some."

"And perhaps you should try removing the stick from your ass."

"Stop it, both of you." Jacob tried not to laugh; Luca and Becky were doing enough of that for him. It simply wasn't a family gathering if Dominic and Demetrio weren't snapping at each other. Jacob couldn't begin to understand how two siblings who undoubtedly loved each other bickered so much, but such had always been the case for the twins, who were opposites in every way aside from their identical faces. "What about you, Becky?"

"After I bring the rugrat back—"

"I'm not a rugrat!" Xan claimed as he reentered the living room with a glass of wine for Demetrio.

"—I'm going to spend some time with a few friends," Becky concluded.

"You have friends besides us?" Dominic asked with genuine curiosity.

"If you count personal massagers," Demetrio muttered.

Xan, who had plopped himself down on Jacob's lap after giving Demetrio his wine, blinked at the vampire and wanted to know, "Are massagers for sore muscles and stuff?"

"Only if she's doing it right—"

"Demetrio." Dominic glared at his twin, agitated but not surprised.

"Moving on," Jacob spoke up before war erupted. "What about you, Luca?"

"I imagine the Old Man will want to stay in and have a few drinks," the big man replied. "So basically the same thing we do almost every other night of the year."

"The two of you are more than welcome to join us at the shelter," Dominic offered.

"I'll ask him about it."

"Are you lot handing out gifts again this year?" Becky asked.

"We sure are, aren't we?" Jacob looked at Xan, who nodded emphatically. "It went over pretty well last year so we decided to make it a yearly tradition."

They spoke for a little while longer about the Dawson House, which was the homeless shelter that Dominic and Jacob opened thirteen years ago for the public purpose of providing free lodging and food for any who needed it. Privately, the shelter was their primary source for obtaining the blood they sold and traded, though the residents had no recollection of making any donations because their memories were wiped immediately afterwards.

Xan checked the clock above the mantelshelf and informed them all that there were only five minutes left until midnight, just in case they hadn't noticed. Then, after another failed attempt at getting a sip of Merlot from Demetrio, he boldly announced that he was going to drink an entire bottle of the stuff the second he turned twenty-one.

"You do that and you may never want to drink again," Luca warned him.

"But first I'm going to get some tattoos," the boy told everyone. "I can do that when I'm eighteen."

Jacob glanced at Dominic, who merely shrugged. Xan had been going on and on about getting tattoos for the better part of the past year. Jacob had no idea where the fascination came from and he secretly hoped that Xan would change his mind before he was old enough to permanently mark his body. But if he didn't, then… well… whatever made him happy. That was the only thing that mattered to Jacob.

"And I want to get my ears pierced," Xan continued. "I can do that now if Dad and Domi let me."

"Your ears are already pierced," Jacob pointed out, tugging on the platinum hoops in the teen's ears. "You want more?"

"Yep."

"How many more?"

"Lots more. All the way up. And my tongue. And maybe a nipple."

Jacob sighed. His son was never one to aspire to anything half-assed. "How about we stick with your ears until you're older?" he suggested. "After you're eighteen, you can poke as many holes in your body as you want. Deal?"

"Deal."

Jacob pressed his nose against the back of Xan's neck, inhaling the combined scent of soap and shampoo. He wouldn't get too many more chances like this since the boy would soon reach the age when he felt that sitting on his father's lap was for babies, so he wanted to enjoy it as long as he could. Unfortunately, the chiming of the clock brought the moment to an end far sooner than he would have liked.

"Merry Christmas!" Xan screamed as he scrambled to his feet. He pecked Jacob on the cheek and then made his way to the others, sliding in his socks along the hardwood floor as he quickly dispensed obligatory hugs and kisses to all of his family and friends. With that out of the way, he returned to the floor and dropped to his knees, then looked expectantly at Jacob. "Now?" he asked, practically foaming at the mouth.

"Now," Jacob agreed.

Presents were passed out and plenty of pictures were taken; Jacob had an entire photo album reserved just for the occasion. Everyone unwrapped their gifts and expressed the appropriate shock and gratitude, which made Jacob feel much better about the fortune he and Dominic had spent to find the perfect things for each of their loved ones: diamond earrings and an antique earthenware tea set for Becky, a thick platinum and gold bracelet for Luca, and a stunning stainless steel Rolex for Demetrio that was worth as much as a brand new car. Xan bounced and squealed when he saw the Playstation 3 and accompanying games, then the manga, then the comic books, then the action figures, then the shirts with clever gaming references that Jacob didn't understand, and finally the first generation Transformers that had been damn near impossible to find. Jacob feared the kid wouldn't have a voice left the way he carried on, but it warmed his dead heart all the same to see him so ecstatic.

The floor was now covered with piles of torn wrapping paper and ribbons and bows. Luca offered to clean up but Dominic stopped him, telling him that he would take care of it himself later. Then he presented Jacob with his gift and sat back, waiting.

Jacob pushed aside his presents from the others and crossed his legs. He slowly unwrapped Dominic's gift, partly because he could never bear to rip up something that someone had taken such time and care to wrap and partly because he knew it drove Xan—who was a dedicated wrapping-destroyer—crazy. He then opened the plain brown box that held the mystery item and looked inside…