Part 7 in my Christmas blog story set on Christmas Eve night, around one building, twelve characters, and six relationships - some lovers, some friends, and some family.
Thank you to everyone who read the first six parts Santa
Say Yes, Big
Brother, and Little Brother.
"Why doesn't someone pick up?" Curtis Lloyd-Jones bit nervously at his thumbnail. Though it had only been a couple of minutes, he already felt like the four sides of the stationary elevator car were closing in on him.
"It'll be fine. Maybe a fuse or something," his husband said easily, and hung up the elevator's emergency phone. "Give me your cell."
How the hell was Jason so calm? Curtis handed over his phone, and trying to compose himself, he looked at the two other people standing in the elevator with them. The elderly man he knew was Mr Swanson from the seventh floor. The woman he was with, however, Curtis didn't recognize.
"I'm Curtis," he said quickly and stuck out his hand to the woman. He desperately wanted a distraction.
The woman eyed the offered hand, eventually taking it with a smile. "Monique," she said. Her hand was warm as she squeezed his.
Curtis nodded and looked at Jason. He desperately wanted to crawl into Jason's safe and secure arms and be held. The closed space of the elevator was like something out of a nightmare. "This is my husband, Jason," he said and looked from Monique to Mr Swanson. There was a strange expression on the old man's face and Curtis assumed it was to do with the earlier altercation downstairs.
"No signal," Jason interrupted and held the cell phone out to Curtis. "Well, this is just great." With a sigh, he leaned back against the side of the elevator.
No, no, no. Jason couldn't give up. He was the strong one. Curtis rubbed at the ache slowly forming in his chest. He hated small spaces. Glancing around the elevator, he focused on Mr Swanson's dog. The Shih-Tzu was calmly curled up with its nose tucked under Mr Swanson's chin. The dog was cute enough, and he just hoped the dog had done its business
"I'm sorry," Curtis said as he edged toward Jason. "This is all my fault."
Jason put his arm around Curtis's shoulder and pulled him into a hug. "Don't be silly."
Was he being silly? All Curtis felt was guilty. If he hadn't left the damn car keys back in the apartment, they'd have been halfway to the hospital by now. They were going to miss the birth of their daughter and he feared Jason might not forgive him.
"Things happen," Jason said calmly and continued to hold Curtis close. Was he really okay? If only Curtis could look into Jason's eyes then he would know exactly what Jason was thinking.
Tiredness washed over Curtis and he did his best to relax into Jason's arms. Baby Lloyd-Jones wasn't due for another three weeks, so receiving a phone call just before midnight had sent them both into a spiral of panic. Their baby girl was on her way.
"I know you wanted to be there," Curtis said. He glanced across the elevator as Mr Swanson averted his gaze and instead focused on making a fuss over his dog. Holding Jason's hand, Curtis looked up at his husband and gave a sad smile. "There's still time." Some women were in labor for hours. He just hoped their daughter would be delivered safely.
Jason pulled him close and kissed his head. "It'll be fine," he said and gently rubbed Curtis's shoulder. "I know it will."
To be continued...