Napoleon Solo paused and wiped the sweat from his brow. It had been such a lovely plan at first. He belonged to the local theatre group and found himself on the fundraising committee.
"What if we do a crab feed?" he asked that very first night in front of the Board.
"Did one last year and while it did okay, everyone is doing a crab feed this year." Cliff Jenson was the board president. He was the sort of person who sat on his laurels, collected all the praises and let everyone else do the work. Napoleon knew the kind well. "We need something brand new and exciting. We need to do something that has never been done here. It needs to be something that makes people stand up and salute."
No decisions had been made that night. Instead, it was a round robin of why everything Napoleon suggested couldn't work.
Wearily, he walked into their bedroom and plopped down on the bed. Illya looked up from the book he was reading and pulled off his glasses.
"Remember the monthly meeting with Finance back in New York?"
"This was worse." Napoleon pulled off his shirt and tossed it towards the hamper. Usually he was a bit fussier about how he treated his clothes, but tonight he just didn't care. He was tired, frustrated, and kicking himself for ever having agreed to help.
He stood and dropped his pants, adding them to the growing pile. On top of everything else, he had laundry to do.
"Last year they had a fairly successful crab feed." Illya flipped back the sheet and blanket .
"Cliff wants something different."
"Cliff would. I still think it was a mistake to put someone who had never even attended a play in charge of a theatre group."
"I would agree, but they didn't ask me." He climbed into bed beside Illya, ignoring his usual routine in the bathroom. All he wanted at this very moment was to have his lover in his arms. Illya was obliging.
"So what do they want from you?"
"Something fun and exciting that's different from anything anyone has ever done before."
"When are you thinking of doing it?"
"End of April, first part of May."
"What about... no, that would be silly."
"I'm open for anything."
"Well, I was thinking about on our vacation this past fall."
"Mmmm." Napoleon's hand trailed across Illya's stomach and down his side. "Any part in particular?"
"Not the same part you are obviously." His comment belied his interest in Napoleon's actions. He settled into a kiss, thrusting up against Napoleon's hand as it caressed his penis. For the next few minutes, no words were spoken save small sounds of desire, pleasure, and need.
It wasn't until they were lying, sated, in each other's arms that Napoleon remembered the previous conversation. "What part were you thinking about?"
"What was the silliest thing we did in Hawaii?"
"Ah... went to the damn luau I suppose." The light came on in Napoleon's head. "Illya, that's a fabulous idea."
"I didn't think you kept me around solely for my good looks and sparkling conversation."
"We could get the theatre to do decorations or something. Would you be able to handle the food?"
"On two conditions."
"First, your name is on everything and not Cliff's."
Napoleon grinned at that and noticed a familiar look in Illya's eyes. "What's the second condition?"
"Hand me the lube."
Napoleon was fast to comply.
Napoleon leaned on the shovel and took a deep breath.
"How's it coming, Mr. S?" Rocky dropped an armful of lava rocks down beside the pit Napoleon was digging.
"Slowly, my boy, very slowly. I don't understand why someone else couldn't dig this thing."
"I suspect Chef doesn't trust anyone else. After all, you put flowers in that pit, so you aren't going to do anything careless. Just be happy Chef is merely roasting a small pig out here. Most of the meat will be cooked inside."
"I'm just saying this is a lot of work for mere show."
"But think how impressed folks will be. Speaking of such..." Rocky nodded to a handful of people who were carrying armfuls of cloth and other items.
Taste's and Vinea's packing lots had been blocked off and tables were being set up and decorated. Thankfully the weather was calm and the nights mild.
"Hey, Napoleon, you aren't going to believe this!" Allison Timmle dropped her cloth and ran up to him. "I just spoke to the box office. We are sold out and people are begging to be added!"
"I thought that this might happen. Illya made allowances for twenty five extra people, but don't advertise it and don't tell Cliff or he'll give the tickets away."
"Got it. That way anyone who shows up at the door won't have to be turned away." She looked over at the entrance to the parking lot. The shop had constructed a temporary arch with bamboo and lots of artificial flowers and vines hanging from it. "What are you doing? Do you need help?"
"Well, I am done digging the hole, now we need to build the fire."
"What are the rocks for?" Allison asked Rocky.
"Well, first we use newspaper and wood to build a fire, then add chips to it to flavor the pig, then we pile the rocks on top of the fire."
"How many, Rocky?"
"Um, enough to line the bottom of the pit and some to stuff into the pig's stomach cavity. Then we light it and let it burn for at least two hours."
"We rake the fire down to a flat surface or as close as we can get and pull some of the rock aside for the pig. We set down a six inch layer of banana leaves that have been soaked in salt water. Then we add chicken wire and more leaves, then the pig, remembering to stuff the rocks inside, and anything else Chef wants to add. After that, more leaves and some soaked burlap sacks. And then we pile dirt over it and let it do its thing for the next eight hours. "
"Sounds like a lot of work." Allison looked at the pile of material.
"Everything worthwhile is." Napoleon looked up from his task of building the fire.
"I guess. Bye!" And she was off.
"I feel as if I'm a victim of a drive by conversation."
"You get used to it with her. " Napoleon dusted off his hands and smiled. "I believe we are ready for the rocks now."
Napoleon sat back and sighed. When they had been in Hawai'i, the luau had been a spur of the moment decision. The food had been okay, but tonight the food had been spectacular. Illya prepared all the traditional luau food, the roasted pig, poke, chicken long rice, poi, orange ginger chicken, pineapple beef, coconut shrimp and all the trimmings, but everything had been pushed just a little further.
There was a noise at Napoleon's left and he watched Cliff stand and make his way to the makeshift stage. Cliff had been working very hard tonight making everyone think this had been all his doing and, as usual, he was now about to take the glory.
"May I have your attention, please?" He waited for people to stop talking, a difficult task considering how well served some of them had been at Vinea's make-shift bars. "Please, everyone, before we can start the show, I need your attention."
Napoleon had gone the extra mile and hired a hula halau, a hula dance school, to perform. He'd worked hard to make sure no detail had been overlooked. People were wearing leis, plastic, or if they wanted to upgrade, real ones for a price. The serving staff, mostly actors and actresses, wore white pants and matching Hawaiian shirts, making them easy to spot. Everything had been done with the guest in mind.
"Okay, is everyone having a good time?" There was loud applause. He grinned and held up his hands. "Do we throw a great party or what?" This time whistles and shouts accompanied the applause. "Now you all know that there are two men without whom this never would have happened, so let's bring them up here - Chef Kuryakin and Chef Tovay.
Looking a little awkward in their aprons and chef coats, the two men slipped out from behind the serving line and joined Cliff on the stage. Cliff stood aside and applauded.
Illya took that opportunity to step in and say loudly. "And how about a hand for the man who had a vision and made it happen, not just for the Jackson players, but for all of Jackson, Napoleon Solo."
Cliff started to take a step in and Matt smoothly moved in front of him. "Not while Cara is talking."
"You may not know this." Illya glared at Cliff. "But Napoleon is the one who organized all of this, from the invitations you received to the flowers you are wearing. It was his generosity that has brought you the talented dancers of Hālau Ka Waikahe Lani Mālie and Hālau Kahulaliwai. So everyone, to your feet and lift your glass to toast Napoleon." A waiter handed Illya two glasses and he passed one over to Cliff. Matt grabbed one and lifted it. "Napoleon, a'kane am'luna! Mahalo nui for a wonderful party."
People shouted and Napoleon found himself surrounded by well wishers. He laughed and shook hands before raising his glass to Illya on the stage. Illya bowed his head and then looked over at the fuming Cliff.
"And now, everyone, put your hands together for Hālau Ka Waikahe Lani Mālie and Hālau Kahulaliwai!" A young man wearing nothing but a brightly colored loin cloth ran up on stage and blew into a conch shell as Illya handed the mic back to Cliff.
Illya fled the stage with Matt and they hugged each other backstage. Napoleon was there and he embraced the two of them.
"You guys are too much. Cliff looked as if he was about to explode."
"Speaking of such..." Matt took a step back as Cliff stormed up to them, the cordless microphone still in his hand..
"I've put up with your crap before, but this takes the cake!" Cliff yelled at Napoleon. "How dare you steal my thunder!"
"He didn't. I did." Illya kept his voice calm. "Cliff, I happen to know that you never attended a single planning committee for this party. I was at every one of them. I know how much work Napoleon and all the other members poured into this. This was a success because of their hard work. You didn't do anything."
"Why would I waste my time on some stupid theatre group in this crappy little podunk town. There isn't a man, woman or child here that's worth anything. I simply took this job to fill out my resume for when I run for the senate. I have more important things to do with more important people."
"Like checking to see if your microphone is off?" Illya asked, his face innocent. Cliff's face went white and he turned. The party had grown very quiet indeed. "I'm guessing you just lost the votes of 300 people and their family and friends." Cliff threw the microphone down, tore the plastic lei from his neck and stomped away. Cliff's wife hurriedly jumped out of her chair and ran after her husband.
"You will have some damage control to do tomorrow, Cara" Matt murmured, but Napoleon shook his head.
"No, he was never one of us. Things are as they should be. And we need to join the party. There just happens to be a couple of empty chairs at my table, guys." He slipped an arm around their necks. "Let's go watch them shake it about a bit."
And the dancing, the laughing and the singing went late into the night.
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