One Night with Santa
One Night with Santa
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Faking it with Santa might put this curvy girl on the naughty list.
- Foster Brother Hero
- Curvy Girl Heroine
- Fake Relationship
- Holiday Romance
Working for the company my ex’s family owns is a drag. Especially when I’ll be forced to attend the company holiday party and don’t have a date. When a hot guy in a Santa suit shows up in the middle of the night, my Christmas wish might be granted. Now all I need is for him to pretend to like me for a few hours in exchange for a place to stay.
I didn’t expect to run into a curvy goddess in a candy cane striped nighty when my brother’s girlfriend loaned me her condo for the night. Now that I’ve met Blakely, my life will never be the same. Not when all I can do is think about every way I can take her after I make her mine. But first I need to convince her what we have is real.
Get a Sneak Peek at Chapter 1
Get a Sneak Peek at Chapter 1
“Bah Humbug!” I punched the power button, silencing Michael Buble’s version of “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.” The work week was wrapping up, and I still hadn’t figured out what I was going to do about my company holiday party this weekend. I didn’t want to go, but management sent out an email today saying they’d be announcing promotions and bonuses at the event. Evidently the low number of RSVPs had them worried about attendance.
This would be the first year since I’d been working there that I wouldn’t be attending with my ex. My ex, who I’d been expecting to propose. My ex, whose dad owned the company I currently worked for.
I pulled into my parking spot at Fitzpatrick Place, more than ready for peppermint martinis at Fitzy’s place tonight. Despite what I had going on in my personal life, spending time around the eclectic older woman always put me in a better mood. Maybe she had some advice on what I should do.
Mr. Mittens greeted me with a crabby meow as I entered the condo I shared with my bestie. She hadn’t been home for a few days and had been spending more and more time at her new boyfriend’s place lately. It’s not that I didn’t welcome the quiet, but I was getting a little lonely.
“How was your day, Mr. Mittens?” I set down my bag and rifled through the mail. Three more Christmas cards stood out among the stack of junk. I used to love receiving holiday cards. Now they were just a once a year reminder of how many of my friends were settling down, getting married, and having kids.
Mr. Mittens rubbed against my legs. He was a gift from my ex a few Christmases ago, though I didn’t hold that against the poor kitty. I plopped some fancy whitefish pate into his bowl and ran my hand over his back. He let out an irritated huff in response. Sounded like neither one of us was having a good day.
“Let’s go see Fitzy. I’m sure she’ll cheer us both up.” I snapped him into his harness and grabbed the thin leash from the hook by the door.
Fitzy and I had a standing Thursday night happy hour date. She was old enough to be my grandmother, but she acted more like a girlfriend. She also had a huge wet bar and didn’t mind sharing it with the residents of Fitzpatrick Place. If ever a night called for a cocktail, tonight was it.
“What’s shakin’, bacon?” Fitzy answered the door in one of the ugliest holiday sweaters I’d ever seen. Dozens of pairs of glittery balls decorated the front, some of them actually flashing like twinkle lights on the appliqued tree.
“What have you got on?” I unclipped Mr. Mittens’s leash so he could roam around her huge condo and pressed a kiss to each of Fitzy’s cheeks.
“It’s my jingle balls sweater. You ought to carry these in your stores.” She lifted a set of balls, then shook them to show me they actually had little bells inside.
“Yeah, I’m sure management would snap those right up,” I joked. I’d been getting increasingly frustrated with my job as a buyer for a chain of gift and novelty shops. The edgy aesthetic they’d built their brand on had shifted to stock more run-of-the-mill items. I’d been trying to introduce a few more lines that would appeal to a younger demographic but been blocked by my boss who thought shoppers were ready for a more sophisticated assortment. Boring was more like it.
“Grab a cocktail and we’ll sit on the patio.” Fitzy handed me a tall martini glass. “Have you decided what to do about the party this weekend?”
I followed her out to her gorgeous patio that overlooked downtown Bourbon, Texas. Temps typically hovered in the fifties this time of year, but Fitzy kept her patio nice and toasty thanks to one of those commercial patio heaters.
“I don’t want to go, but today they said they’d be announcing promotions. It’s pretty much mandatory.” I sat down on one of the cushy lounge chairs and stretched out my legs. I’d been angling for a bump to a recently vacated director position. The extra income would insure I’d be able to continue to pay my half of the rent and still take care of my mom’s recent issues.
“So go. We’ll doll you up so you look positively edible and that jackass ex of yours will rue the day he let you walk away.”
“He didn’t ‘let me walk away,’ he dumped me.” I took a big swig of martini to drown out the memory.
“Well, he can still regret it. What do you say to a holiday makeover?” Fitzy reached for her phone. “I’ve got an entire team on speed dial, Blakely. Just give me the go ahead and we’ll have him wishing you were licking his candy cane in no time.”
“Fitzy!” I shouldn’t be surprised by anything coming from Fitzy’s unfiltered mouth. “It’s not like I want him back.”
“I know. You just want him to realize what a good thing he gave up.” She bit off a piece of the minty chocolate she’d used to garnish our glasses.
“I hate to admit it, but I suppose you’re right.” When Gio broke up with me a few months ago, I was crushed. I’d been expecting a ring, not a request to move out of the penthouse apartment we shared. I couldn’t figure out what I’d done wrong. His motive became clear when he started seeing someone a couple of weeks later. My work bestie found out his new girlfriend’s dad owned the company that had been threatening a hostile takeover. Since then, I’d been doing my best to avoid him, which wasn’t exactly easy since we worked together.
“You know what would really piss him off?” Fitzy leaned forward, her eyes sparkling with mischief.
“If you tell me to find a super hot guy to take to the party, forget about it. I’ve already tried.” Another gulp of my martini and I’d be ready for a refill. I needed to slow down since I had to be at the office early the next morning.
“Did you check the fitness center? There’s a new resident who just moved in last month. He spends a ton of time pumping weights.” Fitzy let out a wistful sigh. “I wouldn’t mind him pumping me a few times.”
I shook my head. “It’s not happening.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be heading home for the annual Christmas cookie baking marathon with your mom this weekend?” Fitzy asked.
“How did you know that?” Blood rushed to my cheeks. The holidays were a tough time of year for my mom and she’d fallen back into some old bad habits. Which meant she was unavailable for our annual bake-athon because she was currently drying out at an expensive rehab facility in Dallas.
“Gloria told me you’d be out of town this weekend and asked me to keep an eye on your place.”
“Oh. Something came up, and we had to cancel.” I hadn’t told my roomie about my change in plans. She wasn’t around anyway, so it’s not like it mattered. Plus, I was too embarrassed to fill her in on my mom’s recent issues.
“Well, damn. I’ve been looking forward to those bourbon balls you made last year.” Fitzy lifted her glass. “Nothing like mixing one of my favorite spirits with one of my favorite things.”
Booze and balls. That was Fitzy. No matter what kind of mood I arrived in, I always left feeling better when we hung out together. “Maybe I’ll stay home and bake by myself instead of going to the party.”
Fitzy shook a long, slender finger at me. “That’s what he expects you to do. Be brave. Shake it up. Show up in a sexy elf costume with a hot Santa on your arm.”
“I think that’s your style, not mine. Now, are we going to order Thai and play canasta, or should I go home and reorganize my sock drawer?”
“Someone’s in a hurry to get her ass kicked.” Fitzy got up to head back inside. “I already ordered the food. It should be here in ten. As for canasta, you shuffle while I mix us another drink. I picked up some wild-caught tuna for Mr. Mittens, too.”
I might not have a man I loved or a job I liked, but at least I had Fitzy. Though I wished things could be different, that had to be enough for now.