Release date: December 1, 2013
Available: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M contemporary holiday
Christmas? Blah, humbug…
Not everyone is happy during the holidays. I happen to be one of those people.
It drives me crazy to see everyone so blasted merry around me two months out of 365 days. Why just this time of year? Why not spread the joy though out the twelve months?
Oh, I have plenty of warm, fuzzy seasonal memories during childhood, but since becoming an adult, I can only think of four years where the holidays were not marred by death, employment loss, lack of money or soured relationships. Some years, the depression is so bad that I don’t even celebrate it at all.
I guess that is why I wrote this story. I wanted someone who disliked the season, to magically find happiness. I am a Haven Marley, waiting for a reason to believe in Christmas again.
Who knows? Maybe my Sander Klaus will visit me this year.
Haven Marley’s having the worst December ever. Work was terrible, his car wouldn’t start… and then it gets even worse. His Christmas is awfully blue until he meets Sander Klaus. They quickly discover that when it comes to celebrating, they are total opposites: Haven hates the holidays, while Sander –a mall Santa- embraces everything about the season. Haven may be a Scrooge, but with Sander, he’ll learn more about the joys of being in the Christmas spirit than he ever imagined.
Haven’s eyes fluttered open. He found himself resting on a sofa bed in a candle lit room with a delectable aroma of apples and cinnamon. Noticing he lay naked under a blanket, he jolted up. This caused his head to swim and he placed his hand over the source of pain to find his temple bandaged.
“Ho Ho Ho… you’re awake. Had me worried there for a moment.”
Haven glared in the general direction of where the voice came from. “Who are you? What am I doing here? Why is it dark in here? Where are my clothes?”
“Whoa there, buddy. One question at a time.” The candle flame floated closer. A man in a red Santa suit stood next to the sofa bed. “You’re here because you were in the street and I almost hit you. We were heading to the hospital, but the storm blocked the roads. It also has knocked out the power, hence the candles. As for your clothes, they’re soaked. I didn’t want ya to catch hypothermia, so I stripped you and shoved you under the covers.” He sat on the corner of the bed and touched the bandage. “You got a nasty gash. What where ya doing out in the middle of a blizzard without a coat?”
“My car wouldn’t start. I started walking and was mugged. Lost my cell phone and car keys as well as cash and my jacket.”
“Bastards!” The man sat the candle on an end table, adjusted his wire-rimmed glasses and took off his hat. “Whatta Christmas present.”
Haven peered at the white bearded man in the candle light and pulled the blankets tighter to him. “You still haven’t told me who you are.”
The man threw his hand out to shake. “Sander Klaus at your service.”
Haven gave him a sour look. The man reeked of perkiness. “You seriously don’t expect me to believe you’re Santa Claus.”
“No, my name is Sander Klaus.” He pulled off the white wig and fake beard, revealing a head of dark, wavy hair. “A construction worker by trade, a mall Santa during the holidays to bring in extra cash while the season is slow. I was on my way home from work when I found you in the street.” He stood up, slipped his red jacket and extra padding off, and tossed the items aside. “And who may you be?”
“Haven. Haven Marley.” Aware of his naked state, he pulled the blankets closer.