Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rabbit Creek Santa - A Wolver Christmas Story excerpt

http://www.jacquelinerhoades.com/

It's Christmas!

Things are going well in Rabbit Creek. Elizabeth has taken her duties as the Alpha's Mate to heart and as the story opens, that heart is breaking for the loneliness and isolation of one of her pack.

No one should be lonely at Christmas.

Lindy doesn't feel like she has much to celebrate. After two years of widowhood, she can barely make ends meet without the aid of her pack and while her inner wolf is ready to move on, Lindy isn't sure she can let go of the past.

New to the pack, Travis had party plans for the Holidays, but he ends up playing Santa to a pretty little widow and her pup. She's not what he was looking for, but she's exactly what he wants and his inner wolf agrees.

Now all he has to do is convince Lindy that Christmas gifts aren't always the ones you find under the tree.

Excerpt:




“Okay, but don’t forget to put them on before you go in.” Elizabeth tucked the gloves into  the shiny black belt of the Santa suit and patted his chest.
“There. No one would know it was you.”

“Right,” he muttered to the wipers ineffectively sweeping the snow from the windshield, “because everyone up here drives a brand new, bright blue pickup.”

He passed the narrow drive that led to the four room bungalow he rented and carefully slowed to take the next curve. That’s all he’d need, to wind up in a ditch wearing a Santa suit. Even with four wheel drive, he was crawling by the time he found the turnoff. Weeds stuck up through the six inches of snow covering the drive and his wheels dipped and bumped over the uneven surface. Small spruces growing in crooked rows defined the sides of the lane, some planted so close they scraped against the sides of the truck threatening the glossy finish.

As soon as the headlights illuminated the house, Travis shut them off. No sense advertising his bright blue truck. He parked behind the compact whatever-it-was that was covered with snow.

After straightening the silly hat as best he could, he tugged on his white gloves and, feeling like an ass, trudged to the front porch. Foot on the first step, he remembered the bag and trudged back to the truck. Damn it!

Clamping his mouth shut on all the other words he was about to say, he reminded himself that this was for a widow and her pup, though he still didn’t see why he had to wear the damned getup. Knock on the door, hand her the bag and say Merry Christmas. That’s all there was to it. He could do that wearing jeans and a parka.

And then he thought of his sister’s pups and how excited they were on Christmas morning, shouting “Santa came! Santa came!” in surprise, as if the old elf hadn’t shown up every other year of their lives. It was easy to forget that for some pups, Santa didn’t come every year and a pup without a father, well… Maybe the Mate knew what she was about.

Determined to give the pup a good show, Travis bounded up the steps and banged on the door. Only a few seconds had passed before the curtain was pushed back and he was confronted with a pair of the prettiest brown eyes he’d ever seen. They were big and round and framed with thick, dark, lashes. Those eyes would have been perfect if they weren’t rimmed with red and the lashes weren’t clumped with tears. Travis felt something squeeze inside his chest.

He tried to smile though she probably couldn’t see it through the damned beard.

“Merry Christmas,” he said weakly.

The eyes blinked; once, twice and then they disappeared and the curtain fell into place. The door opened a crack.

“Do I know you?” she asked.

Travis’ mother always bought Christmas cards with angels on the front. The angels always had round, girlish faces with round, rosy cheeks and big round sparkling eyes. He remembered him and his sisters teasing her about it and asking why she never chose cards with angels who looked like them.

“Because you’re no angels,” she’d laughed. “These,” she’d said and tapped the cards, “were what I asked for. You, were what I got.”

“No one gets angels who look like that,” they’d laughed back. “They aren’t real.”

This creature was living proof that he and his sisters were wrong. Someone else had gotten the angel his mother asked for. She was standing right in front of him, raising her eyebrows and waiting for him to speak.

“Oh, um, the Al…”he began in his normal voice, until he saw the pup sitting in the middle of the floor with his thumb in his mouth. He deepened his tone to Santa level.

“No ma’am, I don’t think you do, but the Mate said there was a little fella up here who didn’t have a chimney, so I thought it best to knock.”

“Oh.” She opened the door fully and stepped back to allow him to enter which he did with a hearty “Ho, ho, ho!” and bent to smile at the little boy with a baby’s version of his mother’s face.

The boy’s eyes got wide. The sucking mouth released the thumb as he raised his arms to his mother and… screamed.
ay, but don’t forget to put them on before you go in.” Elizabeth tucked the gloves into  the shiny black belt of the Santa suit and patted his chest. “There. No one would know it was you.”
“Right,” he muttered to the wipers ineffectively sweeping the snow from the windshield, “because everyone up here drives a brand new, bright blue pickup.”
He passed the narrow drive that led to the four room bungalow he rented and carefully slowed to take the next curve. That’s all he’d need, to wind up in a ditch wearing a Santa suit. Even with four wheel drive, he was crawling by the time he found the turnoff. Weeds stuck up through the six inches of snow covering the drive and his wheels dipped and bumped over the uneven surface. Small spruces growing in crooked rows defined the sides of the lane, some planted so close they scraped against the sides of the truck threatening the glossy finish.
As soon as the headlights illuminated the house, Travis shut them off. No sense advertising his bright blue truck. He parked behind the compact whatever-it-was that was covered with snow.
After straightening the silly hat as best he could, he tugged on his white gloves and, feeling like an ass, trudged to the front porch. Foot on the first step, he remembered the bag and trudged back to the truck. Damn it!
Clamping his mouth shut on all the other words he was about to say, he reminded himself that this was for a widow and her pup, though he still didn’t see why he had to wear the damned getup. Knock on the door, hand her the bag and say Merry Christmas. That’s all there was to it. He could do that wearing jeans and a parka.
And then he thought of his sister’s pups and how excited they were on Christmas morning, shouting “Santa came! Santa came!” in surprise, as if the old elf hadn’t shown up every other year of their lives. It was easy to forget that for some pups, Santa didn’t come every year and a pup without a father, well… Maybe the Mate knew what she was about.
Determined to give the pup a good show, Travis bounded up the steps and banged on the door. Only a few seconds had passed before the curtain was pushed back and he was confronted with a pair of the prettiest brown eyes he’d ever seen. They were big and round and framed with thick, dark, lashes. Those eyes would have been perfect if they weren’t rimmed with red and the lashes weren’t clumped with tears. Travis felt something squeeze inside his chest.
He tried to smile though she probably couldn’t see it through the damned beard.
“Merry Christmas,” he said weakly.
The eyes blinked; once, twice and then they disappeared and the curtain fell into place. The door opened a crack.
“Do I know you?” she asked.
Travis’ mother always bought Christmas cards with angels on the front. The angels always had round, girlish faces with round, rosy cheeks and big round sparkling eyes. He remembered him and his sisters teasing her about it and asking why she never chose cards with angels who looked like them.
“Because you’re no angels,” she’d laughed. “These,” she’d said and tapped the cards, “were what I asked for. You, were what I got.”
“No one gets angels who look like that,” they’d laughed back. “They aren’t real.”
This creature was living proof that he and his sisters were wrong. Someone else had gotten the angel his mother asked for. She was standing right in front of him, raising her eyebrows and waiting for him to speak.
“Oh, um, the Al…”he began in his normal voice, until he saw the pup sitting in the middle of the floor with his thumb in his mouth. He deepened his tone to Santa level.
“No ma’am, I don’t think you do, but the Mate said there was a little fella up here who didn’t have a chimney, so I thought it best to knock.”
“Oh.” She opened the door fully and stepped back to allow him to enter which he did with a hearty “Ho, ho, ho!” and bent to smile at the little boy with a baby’s version of his mother’s face.
The boy’s eyes got wide. The sucking mouth released the thumb as he raised his arms to his mother and… screamed.
- See more at: http://www.jacquelinerhoades.com/?page_id=592#sthash.dUFZh9tb.dpuf
“Okay, but don’t forget to put them on before you go in.” Elizabeth tucked the gloves into  the shiny black belt of the Santa suit and patted his chest. “There. No one would know it was you.”
“Right,” he muttered to the wipers ineffectively sweeping the snow from the windshield, “because everyone up here drives a brand new, bright blue pickup.”
He passed the narrow drive that led to the four room bungalow he rented and carefully slowed to take the next curve. That’s all he’d need, to wind up in a ditch wearing a Santa suit. Even with four wheel drive, he was crawling by the time he found the turnoff. Weeds stuck up through the six inches of snow covering the drive and his wheels dipped and bumped over the uneven surface. Small spruces growing in crooked rows defined the sides of the lane, some planted so close they scraped against the sides of the truck threatening the glossy finish.
As soon as the headlights illuminated the house, Travis shut them off. No sense advertising his bright blue truck. He parked behind the compact whatever-it-was that was covered with snow.
After straightening the silly hat as best he could, he tugged on his white gloves and, feeling like an ass, trudged to the front porch. Foot on the first step, he remembered the bag and trudged back to the truck. Damn it!
Clamping his mouth shut on all the other words he was about to say, he reminded himself that this was for a widow and her pup, though he still didn’t see why he had to wear the damned getup. Knock on the door, hand her the bag and say Merry Christmas. That’s all there was to it. He could do that wearing jeans and a parka.
And then he thought of his sister’s pups and how excited they were on Christmas morning, shouting “Santa came! Santa came!” in surprise, as if the old elf hadn’t shown up every other year of their lives. It was easy to forget that for some pups, Santa didn’t come every year and a pup without a father, well… Maybe the Mate knew what she was about.
Determined to give the pup a good show, Travis bounded up the steps and banged on the door. Only a few seconds had passed before the curtain was pushed back and he was confronted with a pair of the prettiest brown eyes he’d ever seen. They were big and round and framed with thick, dark, lashes. Those eyes would have been perfect if they weren’t rimmed with red and the lashes weren’t clumped with tears. Travis felt something squeeze inside his chest.
He tried to smile though she probably couldn’t see it through the damned beard.
“Merry Christmas,” he said weakly.
The eyes blinked; once, twice and then they disappeared and the curtain fell into place. The door opened a crack.
“Do I know you?” she asked.
Travis’ mother always bought Christmas cards with angels on the front. The angels always had round, girlish faces with round, rosy cheeks and big round sparkling eyes. He remembered him and his sisters teasing her about it and asking why she never chose cards with angels who looked like them.
“Because you’re no angels,” she’d laughed. “These,” she’d said and tapped the cards, “were what I asked for. You, were what I got.”
“No one gets angels who look like that,” they’d laughed back. “They aren’t real.”
This creature was living proof that he and his sisters were wrong. Someone else had gotten the angel his mother asked for. She was standing right in front of him, raising her eyebrows and waiting for him to speak.
“Oh, um, the Al…”he began in his normal voice, until he saw the pup sitting in the middle of the floor with his thumb in his mouth. He deepened his tone to Santa level.
“No ma’am, I don’t think you do, but the Mate said there was a little fella up here who didn’t have a chimney, so I thought it best to knock.”
“Oh.” She opened the door fully and stepped back to allow him to enter which he did with a hearty “Ho, ho, ho!” and bent to smile at the little boy with a baby’s version of his mother’s face.
The boy’s eyes got wide. The sucking mouth released the thumb as he raised his arms to his mother and… screamed.
- See more at: http://www.jacquelinerhoades.com/?page_id=592#sthash.dUFZh9tb.dpuf


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