I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm

Come and join the authors of Winter Warmers this week on our Toe-Tingling, Finger-unFrosting, Neck-Nuzzling, Sofa-Snuggling Blog Tour – all for the purpose of keeping you warm, you understand!

Each day, one of us will chat about the why and how of our warming, heartfelt, romantic and amusing stories. Feel free to chat with any of us about your thoughts for the season – especially if you have equally good ideas to keep warm :) And your comment will also enter you into a draw on Monday Dec 17 to win a FREE COPY.

Four posts have gone up so far:

Ready to warm the cockles of your heart?? by Clare London

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow by Josephine Myles

Where did those cockles come from? by  Lou Harper

Where’s the Snow, Snow, Snow? by Chrissy Munder

And now it’s my turn! And to wind up the tour, I thought I’d bring you something a bit different. So here’s a little epilogue to my story in the anthology, A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Crisps and Thou, about mohawked saxophonist Liam and his silver fox, Neil:

I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm

I love Christmas. It’s a grand time of year to be a busker. Not that I’m busking full time these days; I’ve actually got a proper job. No fainting in the cheap seats, please. Well, when I say a proper job, I mean I’m part of a band, but the gigs are regular. Eighties tribute acts are very popular with a certain crowd, and seeing as a certain person is part of that certain crowd… Well. He’s happy; I’m happy. Although he does keep warning me not to find some other old codger to run off with. Particularly if any dark alleys might be involved.

But most of the time I’m on keyboards, so when I’m not gigging, I like to dust off my saxophone, head down to the Tube and play whatever takes my fancy. Right now, it was Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, and I could see the tension easing out of the faces of the commuters and the last-minute Christmas shoppers as they rode down the escalator, laden with briefcases or bags or both.

Then I saw that certain person I was telling you about, silver hair shining like the star on the top of a tree and the scarf my Auntie Des knitted me last Christmas wrapped around his neck like shite-coloured tinsel. I segued into I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, and Neil stepped off the end of the escalator with a broad grin on that good-looking face of his just as I finished with a flourish.

He raised an eyebrow as he walked up to me. “Even I wasn’t born when this one was popular. Next thing you know you’ll be playing Brahms and Liszt.”

“I’m saving that for Christmas Day when Auntie Mags gets out the green ginger wine.”

Neil made a face. “Vile stuff, that.”

“You’re telling me,” I said, crouching down to put my saxophone back in its case. I had to crick my neck to look up at him but trust me, the view was worth it. Especially from that angle. “If you mix it with three parts whiskey, mind, it passes for drinkable.”

“Ye gods. And here was me thinking this would be a Christmas to remember. Right, well, come on then. There’s a couple of pints with our names on them down the Queen’s Head, and they aren’t going to drink themselves. Like the hair, by the way. Suits you.”

“Yeah?” I reached up, realised I was about to pat the mohawk like an old dear with a shampoo-and-set, and put my hand down again quick. “Thanks. It’s cranberry. Thought it’d be seasonal.” I shut my case with a snap and stood up. “Speaking of which, I ought to warn you. Mum’s gone a bit mad with the mistletoe, and she tends to lose her inhibitions after a sherry or three.”

“Don’t I know it.” Neil shuddered, but he had a smile on his face.

“So if she asks you into the kitchen to help baste anything—”

“Got it. Forewarned is forearmed. I’ll just make sure I stick close to you at all times.” He winked at me. “I think I can handle that.”

“I think I can handle you handling that,” I said, my voice all low and husky.

It’s busking down the Underground that does it. Gives you a dry throat. Honest.

Neil’s sky-blue eyes darkened to twilight. “Tell you what, do you want to skip the beers and get an early night?”

“Tired, are you?” I asked with a raised eyebrow of my own.

“Oh, no. I just thought maybe we should get a head start on the handling.”

“You’re a man after my own heart.” Which, by the way, was beating a little faster now.

“And that’s not all I’m after, so come on, get a shift on.” He grinned, those gorgeous eyes of his crinkling up at the corners. “Some of us aren’t getting any younger.”

“Good,” I said, reaching up to ruffle his hair as we headed on down to the Northern Line. “I wouldn’t want people to think I was a cradle-snatcher.”

“I should bloody well hope not. That’s my job, and don’t you forget it.”

*******

Winter Warmers cover

Baby, it’s cold outside! Beat the chill with Winter Warmers – a seasonal anthology

Mulled wine. Butterscotch kisses. Hideous sweaters. Candy at the beach, or a trip to a sex shop in Amsterdam. And the man of your dreams, wrapped around you…

Winter warmers come in many shapes and sizes, from the tongue-in-cheek to the hot-as-hell. Enjoy a quintet of heart-warming tales of men loving men from Clare London, Chrissy Munder, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, and Lou Harper that are guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.

One thing’s for sure—it’s going to be a red-hot Christmas!

Kindle US | Kindle UK | Smashwords

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    About jlmerrow

    JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne. She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Find JL Merrow online at: www.jlmerrow.com
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