I thought I'd take a short break from Fortitude and bring you a little one shot story for the holiday. I hope everyone has had a lovely holiday season so far. Please enjoy my special holiday flash, inspired by the following picture, "Shake that booty" and "Dear Santa". Quite the mix, yeah? LOL
“Run, run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!” I made the cookie do a little salsa, much to the delight of my nieces.
“Again!” they cried.
I started the rhyme over, making my little gingerbread man dance.
“Oh yeah. Shake that booty!”
Startled, I dropped the cookie and straightened up, throwing a look over my shoulder. The lights from the Christmas tree probably weren’t hiding the fact my face was flushed. “Uh….”
“Sorry. I couldn’t resist.” The stranger winked.
“Sydney!” the twins shrieked as they raced around the table and jumped on him. He caught them both in his arms and helped them climb up his legs like little monkeys.
Damn, he was fine. He definitely had the California surfer look—tan skin and streaked blond hair. But that accent. I wanted to smack myself for gawking at him like an idiot. Though, with the way he’d been looking at my ass earlier, he wouldn’t get all pissy and offended a gay guy was checking him out back.
“Hey ankle-biters. You excited for Santa Claus?”
“We put out cookies,” Connie said. “See, gingermens!” She pointed out the small plate of cookies sitting next to the mug of milk we’d poured for Santa. They were in a place of honor by the tree, where Santa would be sure to see them.
“I made mine pink!” Julia was very proud of her cookie. We’d spent an hour decorating them. I was entertaining the girls during my brother’s holiday party before they had to go to bed. They were riled up, since there’d been a lot of candy sampling during decorating.
Ah well. I didn’t get to see them all that often lately, which would be why I hadn’t known Jaime had a such a hot new neighbor. I was going to have to come home more often.
“Very pretty. Uh-oh, I think your mum is signaling it’s two little girls’ bedtime.”
There were the usual complaints, but Gloria wasn’t giving in, not even on Christmas Eve. “C’mon girls, Santa can’t come if you’re awake. Say goodnight to Tio Juan and Sydney.”
“Night!” they chorused.
Julia tugged me down, and both girls kissed my cheeks. “Don’t stay up late, Tio, so Santa will come.”
“Okay, sweetie.” I looked up, hoping my blush had faded. “Hi. I’m Juan.”
“You’re Jaime’s brother?” He looked surprised. “I’m Sydney, the new neighbor. Nice to meet you. Sorry if I embarrassed you before.”
I shrugged. It wasn’t the first time I’d been caught acting silly—at least this time I had playing with the girls as an excuse. I was known a goofball in the dorms. I was too tired to keep it going, though. We’d been all over, last minute shopping, and of course the girls had wanted to sit on Santa’s lap at the mall. The line had snaked around the Winter Wonderland set-up like a damn anaconda, with harried parents and suckered-in siblings suffering to keep the magic alive for the little kids.
Gloria had promised me an excellent treat after the girls went to bed in return for minding them all day, especially after they insisted I sit on Santa’s lap to tell the bearded guy what I wanted.
Santa’s cheeks were more than rosy when I was done whispering my wish list in his ear.
“So you must be from Australia with an accent like that and the name Sydney,” I said.
“Too right. I think Mum was paying me back for putting her through hell having me.” He laughed, and I couldn’t help but laugh with him.
Jaime came up and nudged my arm. Jaime and I had different moms. My brother was a short and dark—the typical Hispanic male. I took more after my mom’s family, and I got her height and pale skin. We both had the same dark hair and eyes, though. “I see you met the new neighbor. Did you tell Sydney you’re enrolled at the college? He’s starting there next quarter.”
“It hadn’t come up.” I was starting to get suspicious.
“Maybe you can show him around campus.” Jaime winked at me.
Okay. Suspicion confirmed. This was a set up. “Sure.” I shot Jaime a look, then my gaze landed on Gloria who was grinning and not-so-subtly pointing at a bunch of mistletoe hanging by the fireplace.
Now we were both embarrassed.
But damn was he cute. And interested, considering he was still standing beside me even though my Jaime and Gloria were being total idiots.
“Why don’t you go get Gloria some eggnog?”
“Sure, sure. I’ll let you two talk. Merry Christmas, Sydney.”
“Merry Christmas. Thanks for inviting me,” he said.
Awkward. Jaime spent a lot of time embarrassing me as a teenager, though, and I should’ve been used to it.
“So. You live next to my brother’s house where I stay on break, you’re enrolled in my college, and we’re both gay, and I’m assuming single.” I waited, one eyebrow raised.
“Yeah. I was dating a bloke back home, but nothing serious. We called it quits when my family moved.”
“My brother and sister-in-law created a ridiculously obvious scheme to introduce us, and they seem to think we’re gonna take advantage of that mistletoe. Since I’ll probably be hounded to death if I don’t ask… would you like to go out sometime?”
Sydney stepped into my personal space. “Sounds really good. The oldies are taking me on a trip for the next week, but we’ll be back New Year’s Eve.”
“I’ve a party that night. You could come.” First date didn’t always end with a kiss… but on New Year’s it was pretty much a lock.
Sydney licked his lips. He was only inches away. “By the way,” he said, “I don’t need mistletoe or a countdown as an excuse to kiss you.” Sydney’s ability to kiss was just as hot as he was. I was breathless when we finally parted.
“Thank you, Santa.”
TBC? Do you wanna see their first date?
Okay, now go check out the other Briefer's stories. Some are holiday shorts, but authors' stories were just too good to not continue.
Wednesday Briefers website