Day 9 of our holiday extravaganza celebrating not only our 1 year anniversary but this special time of year with our families and friends is an EXCLUSIVE scene from the THE STORM Series by SAMANTHA TOWLE!
TMS Christmas Scene ~ Jake POV
“When’s Santa getting here?” I push the door to the office open.
Stuart looks up from the laptop he’s working on. “What?”
“Yeah. Fat guy. White beard. Wears a red suit.”
Stuart shrugs. “How should I know?”
I give him a confused look. “Um … because Tru asked you to book a Santa for the party.”
He leans back in his chair. “Er, no she didn’t. She asked you to do it.”
Did she? …
Fucking. Fuck. Fuck.
The sound of Tru’s sweet voice filters through my mind…
“Jake, will you book a Santa for the kids for the Christmas Eve party.”
“Sure, thing, babe…”
I thrust my hands through my hair. “Well, whatever. It’s the same thing. She asks me to do stuff, and you’re supposed to do it for me.”
Stuart laughs, raising an eyebrow. “That so?”
“Okay, fine, not everything smartass. Just the stuff you know I don’t want to do.”
“Well, I’m not a fuckin’ mind reader, so maybe you could clarify which stuff in future.”
I flick my hand, annoyed. “Look, I don’t have time for this, because now we have no fuckin’ Santa coming and it’s Christmas eve, and JJ and five other kids are out there waiting for Santa, and there’s no mother fuckin’ Santa coming to the party!”
Stuart gets up from his seat, moving around the desk, he rests against it. “I don’t think you’re supposed to use the words Santa and motherfucker in the same sentence.”
“Don’t be smart.” I thrust my hands through my hair again, irritated.
Tru is going to kill me. She will actually kill me.
And JJ … fuck, he’s going to be real disappointed.
I see a flash of JJ’s little face all sad and disappointed, and my heart tightens in my chest.
Fuck. I can’t let him down.
My gaze flicks to Stuart. “We need a Santa. JJ will be devastated if there isn’t a Santa.”
I see his eyes light. “I have a Santa suit.”
“You have a Santa suit? … Do I want to know why?”
He gives me a look of disgust. “It’s Josh’s. He dresses up as Santa and visits the kids ward, giving presents out.”
Josh is a good guy. But no fucking way would you ever see me in a Santa suit.
“Cool. So, go get the suit, put it on, and you can be Santa for the kids.” I gesture to him.
He laughs. “No fuckin’ way!”
“What?” I frown.
He removes all trace of humor from his face. “I said no fuckin’ way am I dressing as Santa – you do it. It’s your screw up.”
Just then, Tom’s head pops around the door. “What the fuck are you ladies doing in here? Talking hair and makeup.”
“Fuck off,” Stuart and I say at the same time.
Tom laughs and comes in the room, closing the door behind him. “Tru sent me looking for you,” he says to me. “The kids are getting impatient waiting for Santa, and when I say impatient, I mean they’re turning wild.”
“Tru okay?” I ask.
“Yeah, she just keeps throwing candy at them. Seems to be working for now – but if Santa doesn’t turn up soon, man, it’ll be fuckin’ carnage. One impatient kid … scary. Multiple impatient kids … terri-fucking-fying. I’m not ashamed to say I’m scared shit shitless of a bunch of toddlers. Seriously, man, I’m never fuckin’ having kids. Never.”
“I just heard a hundred uterus’ breathe a sigh of relief,” Stuart deadpans.
“Fuck you.” Tom flips him off. “So you gonna get your ass back out there?” he asks, turning to me.
I glance at Stuart, then back to Tom. “We forgot to hire the Santa … okay, I forgot—” I correct, at Stuart’s loud cough, “—but Stuart has a Santa costume … don’t fuckin ask,” I impart, when Tom’s mouth snaps opens.
“Wasn’t gonna. That would be one image I would never be able to scrub from my mind … so who’s Santa then?”
I narrow my eyes at him.
“No fuckin’ way! Not a chance in hell am I dressing up as the fat man! I have an image to maintain here.”
“So do I!” I fire back.
“It’s your party, dude. It should be you that dresses as Santa.”
I can’t believe I’m having this conversation. I’m a rock star not a children’s fucking entertainer.
“I’ll give you a thousand dollars to do it,” I say to Tom.
“You’ll give him a thousand dollars to do what?” Denny appears through the door.
Tom looks over his shoulder at Denny. “Fuckwit here didn’t book the Santa, and Stuart has a Santa costume – don’t ask—” he adds, at Denny’s raised brow, “—and Jake is trying to bribe me to dress as Santa for the kids.” He looks back to me. “But there isn’t enough money in the fuckin’ world, because no way am I passing up on opportunity to see you dressed as Santa.”
“Fuck you.” I turn to Stuart. “I’ll give you five thousand dollars to do it.”
“You’ve already given me ten as my Christmas bonus.”
“Yeah, I do the bonuses, remember.” He grins.
“Whatever. I’ll give you twenty thousand dollars to dress as Santa.”
He pauses. He’s considering it. I’ve almost got him…
“Don’t you fuckin’ dare do it!” Tom says to Stuart. “You know you want to see Jake making an ass of himself as much as I do. I’ll match what Jake’s offering for you not to dress as Santa.”
I narrow my gaze at Tom.
Bastard. Mother fucking bastard.
Game. Fucking. On.
“Forty and that new Audi you’ve been talking about,” I toss my words to Stuart, without taking my eyes of Tom.
Tom smirks. “Sixty. Top of the range Audi. And a holiday of your choice.”
“You two have way too much money, and no fuckin’ sense,” Stuart says, crossing his arms over his chest, laughing. “But by all means carry on.”
I turn back to Tom, narrowing my eyes, as I throw more words, and money at Stuart. “One hundred thousand dollars. Plus all the shit he said, but I’ll make the holiday first class.”
“Never said mine wouldn’t be. And I’ll give you one fifty.” Tom adds.
I clench my teeth.
I’m not losing this, no fucking way. And there is no fucking way in the world that I’m dressing up as Santa.
“I’ll match that one fifty,” Den pipes up, moving to stand next to Tom.
I snap my gaze to him. “What the fuck!”
“I’m sorry, man.” Den holds his hands laughing. “But I’m with Tom here – no fuckin’ way do I want to miss out on you dressed up as Santa. It’ll be fuckin’ priceless!”
Tom’s grin gets wider.
I have the sudden urge to punch him. Repeatedly.
Stuart lets out a laugh and pushes off the desk.
He walks past Tom, and jabs a finger in his chest. “Keep your money, Tom Cat … but I’m taking the holiday.” Stuart looks at me. “Sorry Jake, but I was just fuckin with you. No amount of money would be enough, to not see you dressed as Santa.”
Tom’s grin gets so wide it may possibly crack his face. That, or my fist will.
“And that boys, is what you call a win.” Tom high fives Den, as he saunters toward the door.
Laughing, Stuart and Den follow behind.
Panic sets in. I can’t dress as Santa. I just fucking can’t. And I can’t lose. I never lose!
“I’ll give you one million dollars to do it!” I yell at Stuart’s back.
The three of them stop. And all turn, and look at me.
“You’re offering me a million bucks?” Stuart says, his face giving away nothing.
Shit. A million bucks is seriously over doing it. Tru will kill me if she finds out. But I’ve said it now, and I can’t back down.
“Yep.” I bite my lip. “One million.”
It’s silent in the room for the longest moment.
Then Stuart bursts out laughing.
“If you’re that desperate that you’d give me a million bucks to do it – then I just want to see you in that Santa suit more than ever!”
I give them all a death stare. “Screw you,” I bite out.
“Sorry, man.” Den laughs as he backs out the door.
“I’m not,” Tom pipes up.
“Bastards! You’re a set of fuckin’ bastards!”
“Oh, I forgot to say…” Stuart’s grinning face appears around the open door. “The Santa outfit is in the closet by the front door at my place.”
I pick up the first thing I lay my hand on—a stapler … a fucking stapler— and throw it in Stuart’s direction. He closes the door just in time, and the stapler hits the door, bouncing off it and breaking into pieces.
I hear loud laughter through the door.
“You’re all fuckin’ fired!”!” I yell. “FUCKIN’ FIRED!” Then I kick the desk.
Fucking hell! That hurt. A lot.
Great, so now I have a broken foot and I have to dress up as Santa fucking Claus.
Merry Christmas to me.
I slump down in the chair, and reach into the drawer where I know Stuart keeps a bottle of whiskey and a glass.
I pour myself a drink, and take a sip.
My eyes fix onto the framed photo on the desk. It’s a picture of us all.
I lock onto JJ’s little smiling face.
I love to see him smile. And he’ll smile big when he sees Santa.
I take another sip of whiskey.
And me dressing up for Santa would be for JJ … and there isn’t anything I won’t do for my kid.
Then the thought of dressing as Santa doesn’t seem so bad anymore.
Maybe it’s the whiskey, or maybe it’s just the dad in me … but … yeah, I can do this. I can dress as Santa.
I’m Jake fucking Wethers! I can do anything I want.
I can rock the Santa look, and make it cool.
… and I might just wear the suit for Tru tonight as well.
Fuck, yeah … now that’s got me smiling.
I toss the whiskey back, and get up from the chair, to get that Santa suit and make my kids Christmas perfect.
Series Reading Order
Book 1 – The Mighty Storm
Book 2 – Wethering the Storm