Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Coda 16




“How’d it go?” Sean asked, opening the door to  Vic’s knock. He kept his voice down, so the old lady, Sean’s Aunt Miriam, was in bed. That was a relief. Vic had just about had his fill of female relations that night, though Aunt Miriam was practically another species from his own mother.

“It went the way you thought it would.” Vic removed his scarf, shrugged out of his wool coat. Sean took them, limping over to the coat closet and hanging them neatly. Aunt Miriam was as fussy as a Fleet Admiral about keeping things shipshape.

“You okay?” he asked over his shoulder.

Vic nodded. “I could use a drink.”

Sean nodded toward the sitting room and they moved silently down the hallway.

There was a fire going in the hearth and a decanter of whisky on the table next to the arrangement of holly and candles. Vic flung himself down on the horsehair sofa while Sean poured out a pair of stiff drinks.

Sean watched Vic toss his back and said, “So we’re right where we were before you went to see her. No harm, no foul.”

Vic threw him a dour look. “She actually asked me what the point of my military service was if I was just going to throw away my brilliant career in politics.”

Sean laughed. They both looked guiltily up at the ceiling with it’s broken ceiling medallion. But not a creature stirred. Not even a mouse. Though the old house probably had plenty of them.

Sean remarked, “I didn’t realize you had a brilliant career in politics.”

“Neither did I. Apparently I could have if I wanted it – provided I don’t throw it away.”

Sean snorted. Vic looked up out of his gloomy preoccupation long enough to be glad that Sean wasn’t taking this personally. It wasn’t personal, that was the weirdest thing about it. It should have been personal.  The question of who her only child intended to spend the rest of his life with should have been of personal interest and importance to Abigail Stone.

“She actually said she didn’t see the point of my military service if I wasn’t going to use it as a springboard for the future.”

Sean’s brows rose. He took a thoughtful mouthful of whisky. “Sort of missing the point, isn’t she?” he asked mildly. He had a right to ask, having nearly given his life, not to mention his leg, in the service of his country.

Vic shook his head and finished his drink. Sean leaned forward and refilled his glass.

“Look, Stoney,” he said crisply, “I know you’re angry and disappointed, but the fact is, we’re no worse off than we were.”

“That money is mine. She has no right to block me from my inheritance.”

Sean shook his head. “You’ll get it eventually. In the meantime I’ve got my savings and my disability. We’re not going to starve.”

Vic winced inwardly. His own retirement pay was negligible as he’d chosen to retire after a measly twelve years. At the time he’d made the decision he’d had plenty of options, though politics had not been one he’d seriously considered. “That money could make a big difference to us.”

“Yeah? Well I for one am relieved I won’t have the Manchurian Candidate’s mom for my mother-in-law.”

Their gazes met and after a long instant, Vic grinned. “True, right? Why the hell are you sitting over on the other side of the room?”

Sean rose and came around the low table to join Vic on the lumpy sofa. Vic put his arm around Sean’s broad shoulders and pulled him closer still. “Ah hell. I know we’ll be okay. I just wanted to…”

“Keep me in the style to which I've never been accustomed?” Sean was laughing at him now.

Vic grimaced. “Something like that.”

The clock on the bookshelf began to chime. Twelve lazy, silvery chimes. Midnight.

“Merry Christmas,” Sean said. He touched his glass to Vic’s.

“Cheers. Anyway, Mother made a point of saying she had nothing against you personally. She always thought you were a nice boy.”

“I am a nice boy.”

“And if we wanted to see each other on a regular basis, she couldn’t see why anyone would—could you stop laughing?” But Vic was laughing too now, reluctantly. His arm tightened around Sean. Maybe Sean was right. It was only money after all, and he’d gladly have given every cent he ever earned to have what he had at this very moment: Sean alive and well and in his arms.

Sean stopped laughing and said, “Hey, if it makes things easier for you, we don’t have to move in together right away. We could—”

“Shut up, you,” Vic growled.

“Make me.” Sean smiled, eyes glinting in invitation.

And Vic did.










  1. Today I got myself a double treat, two codas, because I didn't have time to approach my computer yesterday. ;)

    It's so nice to see Vic and Sean peacefully settling down together. These two have been through some rough times.

    Thank you.

  2. I enjoyed this so much, I re-read the original story. Your characters pack quite the impact. I'm glad to see they got their happy ever after this Christmas.

  3. So very sweet! Not sure if anyone has told you this, but you're very good at this! I'm glad I've got a large chunk of time of coming up because I need some rereads! Thank you so much!

  4. So nice and lovely coda! It's my new favourite.
    What do you know, I will reread another one of your stories.


  5. Thank you for another lovely coda! It's so nice to see how Sean and Vic are doing after the end of the original story. Vic's mum sounds kind of terrifying but glad to see these guys are finding their way and building their new life together :)

  6. So enjoying these, and rereading the originals, I do love a happy ending. Many Thanks. Nick UK

  7. Oh, I'm so happy that Sean and Vic are really going to get their "happily ever after" after all the years they spent apart. #lovemenin(andout)ofuniform

  8. i love all your books- i even buy the new editions to support just joshin :) these are great. have you ever said if you're male or female. don't care but very curious!

  9. "The clock on the bookshelf began to chime. Twelve lazy, silvery chimes. Midnight."
    Love this line.
    Love the horsehair sofa.
    Love that money is secondary to being together.
    I think I'm in danger of needing a series of New Year's Codas--you're spoiling us with this coda-a-day thing!
    Once again, thanks.
    Cheers, Kelly

  10. I am so enjoying these codas i look for them as soon as i can each day you are indeed good at this vrry very good. Thank you. Happy holiday catch up reads.

  11. i hadn't read this couple's story before reading this coda but now i am interested in reading their story. thank you for these little treats. it's nice to read about old friends and discover new ones. i now have a list of stories that i want to read. perhaps i'll make it a new years resolution.

  12. Josh, thank you so much for these codas. They have been a lovely treat at this hectic time of year. This coda is especially sweet for me since, of all your characters, these two are the ones I worried about most. To see them alive and well and together is a wonderful gift. Thank you.

    I hope you feel better soon, and have a fabulous Christmas!


  13. Fabulous codas! Thanks for the present. Found 2 new books to read from these. Yippee!

    Hope you're feeling better.
    Happy New Year!

  14. Hello, I was rereading this because Until We Meet Once More was your first story I read and I really love it.
    I was just wondering did Sean lose his leg or did he almost lose his leg, because reading it I wasn't clear. Sorry, but English is not my first language. Anyway I'm happy to read about their life together.