Read Mistletoe Online

Authors: Lyn Gardner

Tags: #(v5.0), #Christmas stories, #Fiction, #Gay & Lesbian, #Humorous, #Lesbian, #Romance

Mistletoe

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Mistletoe

Lyn Gardner

Mistletoe
(c) 2012 Lyn Gardner

All Rights Reserved

Edited by Bron T.

Cover by Robin Ludwig Design Inc.

http://www.gobookcoverdesign.com

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

To GG

Who carries Christmas in her heart all year long.

May we all learn from you.

Chapter One

Y
ou need to eat more.”

Letting out a hearty laugh, he rubbed his rounded belly and grinned at his wife. “You say that every year.”

Smiling back at her husband, she said, “True, but you know how you get this time of the year. You’re so busy answering all those letters, that you forget to eat, and you know you need all the insulation you can get.”

“Well, if I get any more insulated, we’re going to have to add another reindeer to the sleigh to get it off the ground,” Kris Kringle said as he brushed a few crumbs off his long, white beard.

“Santa! Santa! Santa!” Percy Giggly-Legs cried out as he ran down the long hallway leading from the stables to the main dining room. “Santa! Santa! Santa!”

Startled, Kris Kringle turned in his chair. “Percy, what is all the commotion about?”

Coming to a sliding stop when he reached the head of the table, the little elf held his hand to his chest as he tried to catch his breath. After a few moments, he shoved a piece of paper into Santa’s hand. “I was cleaning out some of the old sacks when I found that,” Percy said.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know how it was missed.”

“Missed?” Santa said, looking at the crinkled piece of notepaper in his hand.

“Percy, if this is a child’s wish, we have plenty of time. Christmas isn’t for another twenty-three days.”

Penitent, Percy hung his head and said quietly, “I’m afraid we’re a little late on that one, sir.”

Cocking his head to the side, Santa glanced first at Mrs. Claus and then slowly unfolded the letter. Seeing the date on the top of the page, his eyes flew open wide. Quickly scanning the words, Santa looked over the top of his glasses and glared at his lead elf. “Percy Giggly-Legs, how could you let this happen?”

“I’m sorry, sir, but it got stuck in the lining of one of the old sacks.”

“In the lining, you say?” Santa said, reading the date on the letter again.

Looking up, he sighed. “Oh my.”

“Poppa, what seems to be the problem?” Mrs. Claus asked, seeing the frown on the chubby man’s face.

“It seems that a little girl made a wish thirty years ago that we never granted.”

“What?” she exclaimed, jumping out of her chair. Snatching the letter from Santa’s hand, Mrs. Claus read the words written in a child’s scrawl. It only took a few moments, but by the time she returned the letter to Santa, her cheeks were the color of Rudolph’s nose.

Casting a quick scowl in Percy’s direction, Mrs. Claus waddled as fast as her tubbiness would allow across the room to the two digital counters hanging on the wall. Although each displayed an identical number over a dozen digits long, with the letter now in Santa’s hand, they all watched in horror as the red counter on the top grew by one number, but the green counter below it remained unchanged.

“Percy, do you see what you’ve done?” Mrs. Claus said, pointing at the numbers on the wall. “In all our years, the
Wishes Made
and
Wishes Granted
counters have always matched…until now!”

“Momma, you need to calm down,” Santa said. “We’ll make this right.”

“And how are we supposed to do that, Poppa?” she said, placing her hands on her hips. “You know the rules. She’s too old now.”

Stroking his beard, Santa read the letter again, and tilting his head, he touched the side of his nose with his finger as he paused to think about his options. Looking up, he said, “Percy, go see if you can get Him on the phone for me, will you please?”

The bells on the end of Percy’s green stocking cap began to jingle, and the ones on the tips of his turned-up red shoes followed suit as the little man’s knees started to shake. Wide-eyed, he squeaked, “Him, sir?”

“That’s right.”

“You…you…you mean
the
Him, sir?”

“Yes, Percy, that’s exactly who I mean. Now, please, go do as I ask.”

Swallowing hard, Percy took a deep breath and nodded his head. “Yes, sir,” he said, quickly jingle-jangling out of the room.

“What are you planning to do?” Mrs. Claus asked.

Glancing at the letter, Santa said, “I’m going to ask him to relax the rules a bit.”

“Oh, Poppa, I know you mean well, but after children stop believing in you, they’re in His hands. You know that. And even if He said we could grant her wish, I’m afraid that what she’s asking for we don’t have in any of our workshops. A teddy bear would have worked when she was a child, but she’s a grown woman now.”

Hearing the tinkle of the bells announcing Percy’s return, Santa turned his attention to the very nervous looking elf as he approached.

Holding the latest in mobile phones hard against his chest, Percy said, “Sir…um…He’s…He’s on the phone, but I…I couldn’t put Him on hold. It…it…it just didn’t seem right.”

Smiling, Santa took the smartphone from his hand. “Thank you, Percy. Why don’t you go back to your work, and we’ll talk about sack linings later. Okay?”

“Yes, sir.”

Watching as the elf shuffled out of the room, Santa took a deep breath before putting the phone to his ear.

For the next several minutes, Mrs. Claus sat silently as her husband pleaded his case to the man on the other end of the line.

Watching as her husband flicked off the phone, Mrs. Claus sat up straight.

“Well?”

“We’re in luck.”

“He’s going to allow it?”

“Yes and no.”

Noticing the twinkle in her husband’s eyes, Mrs. Claus crossed her arms, leaned back in her chair, and asked with a wary smile, “What exactly are you boys up to?”

Letting out a chuckle, Santa winked at his wife. “You know me too well.”

“Yes, well centuries of living with you will do that,” she said. “Now, come on…out with it.”

Before Santa could answer, his administrative assistant, Lucy Bouncy-Bits, came flouncing into the room.

“An email for you, sir,” she said politely, handing Santa a piece of paper.

“Thank you, Lucy. Do me a favor and find Percy for me. He should be in the stables.”

“My pleasure, sir,” she replied, flashing him a toothy smile before sauntering down the hall.

“So what’s that?” Mrs. Claus asked, trying to see what was written on the paper in her husband’s hand. Noticing that he didn’t appear to hear what she had asked, she rolled her eyes remembering that Santa was as guilty of selective hearing as the rest of the world. Deciding to give him another minute, she waited patiently, but just as she was about to repeat her question, Percy dashed into the room.

Once again, out of breath and nervous, Percy slid to a stop next to Santa and all but shouted in the man’s ear, “
Lucy said you wanted to see me, sir
?”

Chuckling at the little man’s angst, Santa looked down and said, “Percy, relax. We all make mistakes, and accidents are bound to happen. The secret is to learn from them.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Now, I need you to visit our botanical workshop and bring me back some mistletoe.”

“Mistletoe, sir?”

“Yes, Percy…three sprigs, please.”

“Of mistletoe?”

Looking over the top of his reading glasses, Santa said, “Percy, I don’t think that this young lady should have to wait any longer for her wish, but if you keep asking me to repeat myself, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Now, since you’re my lead elf, I was hoping that I could depend on you to help me correct this mistake, but if you feel the task too daunting for you to undertake...”

Percy’s eyes flew open. “What? Absolutely not, sir,” he said, snapping to attention. Saluting Kris Kringle, Percy said, “I’m your elf, sir! No job’s too small or too large for Percy Giggly-Legs! I’ll be back in a flash with your mistletoe, sir. Quicker than a flash… quicker than…than…than Rudolph, sir!”

Laughing as he watched the little, red-headed man sprint from the room, Santa turned his attention back to wife and was met by a very curious look.

“Mistletoe? That’s the best you could come up with?” she said, crossing her arms.

“Actually, it was His idea,” Santa said. “While we were talking, He let it slip that she’ll be attending three Christmas parties in the coming weeks, and He suggested that perhaps if we give her a nudge in the right direction, she might very well get her wish.”

Tilting her head to the side, Mrs. Claus said, “A nudge? By using mistletoe?”

“It worked for us, didn’t it?” Santa said, looking over the top of his reading glasses.

Mrs. Claus’ cheeks darkened ever so slightly, and nodding her head, she asked, “So what’s in the email?”

“Oh, it’s just the addresses for the homes where the parties will be held,” Santa said. Getting to his feet, he handed her the child’s letter. “Do me a favor, hold on to this so we don’t lose it again, and when Percy returns, send him to my office.”

Grinning as he kissed her on the cheek, Mrs. Claus watched as Santa strode from the room. Looking at the folded piece of paper in her hand, she opened it and re-read the words of a four-year-old girl, which had been written some thirty years before.

Dear Mr. Santa,

My name is Diana, and I want a soul mate just like my Mommy and Daddy were before they had to go live with God. Aunt B says that's 'cos they loved each other so much. Because Mommy and Daddy are gone, my Aunt Brenda is drawing my words 'cos I'm only four and can't do words yet. I can do a D and an I and an A and an N and another A though. That says Diana.

I know I have to ask for a toy when I see Santa at the mall, but I miss my Mommy and Daddy, and I want to be like them. So I don't want a toy, I want a soul mate for Christmas. Someone to love me and so I don't have to be by myself anymore. Aunt Brenda says she's always going to be here for me, but I want the kind of lovey stuff like Mom and Dad had, with kisses and cuddles.

Aunt Brenda is nice, but she is old, and smells funny. Can I have a prince like from my stories? They seem nice and have a horse.

Aunt Brenda says that she is drawing down what I’m saying, but she has something in her eye, so I have to go now. She’s a good girl, most of the time. Can you get her a soul mate, too?

For when I grow up and go to live in my fairy castle?

Hope the elves do all their jobs right and that Rudolph's nose glows properly.

D I A N A

~~~

“Why am I doing this again?” Diana Clarke asked, stepping into her high-heeled pumps.

“Because you’re my best friend, and I need a date.”

“You’re not my type,” Diana said, flashing a quick smile.

“Let me rephrase,” Gwen Fowler said. “I need protection from Phelan.”

Shaking her head, Diana said, “I have no idea why you still work for that man.”

“I work for the firm. He’s just head of the division where I’m assigned.”

“By what you’ve told me, it sounds like he’s more the tail end,” Diana said, walking out of the bedroom.

“You’ll get no argument there,” Gwen said, following Diana down the stairs. “But since I’m a junior partner, I’m required to attend these parties, and you agreed to be my chaperone. Remember?”

“I agreed to go with you tonight, but I’m not sure about the other two.”

“Why?”

Searching the hall closet for her coat, Diana said, “Gwen, Christmas is three weeks away. I can’t spend every Saturday attending your office parties. I have things to do.”

“Such as?”

With one arm in the sleeve of her coat, Diana stopped and stared at her friend in disbelief. Even for Gwen, that was a low blow. “Tell me again, why you’re my best friend?”

“That’s not what I meant, and you know it,” Gwen said, waving her hand through the air to dismiss Diana’s interpretation. “You, yourself, said that you’re not going to start looking for a new job until after the first, and this will cheer you up.”

“And how do you figure that?”

“Well, for one thing, I’m sure there’ll be some eligible bachelors there.”

“Not interested,” Diana said, grabbing her small clutch bag. “I think I’ve had enough disastrous relationships for one year, don’t you?”

“You’ve only had three.”

“Two,” Diana said. Stopping to mentally tally her failed affairs, her shoulders slumped. “Shit, it was three, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, but who’s counting?”

“Apparently, you are,” Diana said with a snort. “But no matter, because three’s the charm, as they say, and I’ve had all the charm that one girl can handle this year.” Seeing the taxi pull into her driveway, Diana asked, “You ready?”

“Yeah, let’s go.”

~~~

A few minutes later, settled in the back of the cab, Diana said, “So, you never said...why the three separate parties this year?”

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