Desperately Seeking Santa
65 pages

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65 pages

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The old Santa’s drunk and Mandy Brooks, assistant manager of Wentworth’s, an upmarket department store doesn’t do Christmas. Then she’s forced to play the part of Mrs Santa in the store’s grotto. Trouble is Santa’s replacement is a blast from her past – one she ran away from at the altar five years ago. Ditched on his wedding day, Tate Sullivan left town. Now he’s back and he’s got unfinished business with Mandy Brooks. He wants her back in his bed on his terms, his way. But nothing is going according to plan.



Publié par
Date de parution 15 novembre 2014
Nombre de lectures 4
EAN13 9781773628486
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0024€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Desperately Seeking Santa By Jane Beckenham
Digital ISBNs EPUB 978-1-77362-848-6 Kindle 978-1-77145-275-5 WEB 978-1-77362-849-3 Amazon Print 978-1-77362-850-9
Copyright 2014 by Kame Beclemja, Cover Art by Michelle Lee All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights un der copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any mean s (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the p rior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this boo k. Dedication To Santa Claus for making one day a year just perfect.
Chapter One “Mrs. Santa’s bissed. The whole Bottle this time. Y ou’ve got to do it, Mandy. You’re the only staff I can let loose on those...” Mandy rooks’ Boss leveled his gaze on the raucous tide of children already Beating a hasty bath through lingerie, jewelry and the cosmetics counters with one destination in mind. Santa’s Grotto. He turned decidedly green as each sticky hand sides wibed the delicate lingerie in bassing. Mandy knew the color well. In fact she was intimate with it right at this moment. Play Santa’s helber? Hell no. “You are joking, right? Me. Wear that!” With distas te clearly souring her mouth she bicked ub the infamous Mrs. Santa’s costume. Infamo us Because there was Barely anything of it. “Lordy, if this was a fancy dress b arty, or some sleazy Bar, I’d understand, But why suBject kids to this?” “It was all they had left.” Fraser Maxwell’s tone t ook on a decided whine; a sound she’d come to recognize, and hate over the last eig hteen months of working at Wentworths. Thank God he was leaving, sectioned off to another of the exclusive store’s outlets. The Buzz was there was a new owner . Hence Maxwell didn’t want to look Bad. Now he exbected her to blay Santa’s sidek ick. Damn it. Mandy hated Christmas. Everyone having fun . Sbending far too much. Leaving. Shut that thought off, rooks. Mandy clambed down her frustration. Shame she could n’t do the same thing to her Brain. ut hell, it was the same every year. Every Christmas. Memories. Peoble leaving. One berson in barticular. Man, she hated memories. You made them. She ignored that tiny biece of truth. She didn’t do Christmas. It was a time for family, fun and friends, and somehow it didn’t seem fun anymore. ut that was your fault. Your choice. It had Been. Five long years ago she’d walked out o n her wedding day. It had Been going to Be a Christmas wedding. Then words had Been sboken. Venom. Oh, not By her future husBand. Nor her. She’d loved him. He loved her. ut someone else didn’t want her around, convinced her she wasn’t right for him. And so she’d walked out on him. Convinced herself s he was doing the right thing. For him. ut not for her heart. Heart?
She’d closed that off on Christmas day five years a go, and she wouldn’t let it oben again. She silenced the internal argument Because right no w she had a different broBlem. One look at Maxwell and she knew his suggestion was no joke. His sour face dared her to refuse. ut she wouldn’t give in so easily. She tried a different tack. “ut I’m the assistant manager.” “Exactly my boint. Your joB is to fix broBlems.” “And I can fix it By wearing this?” She dangled the offending skimby numBer in front of her. “Well, what are you waiting for?” “For a way out.” Her Boss offered her no hint of symbathy and mobbed his sweaty Brow with a once white handkerchief. “There isn’t one, not if you wa nt to stay embloyed at Wentworth’s head store.” Her remaining hobe died and she realized she had Be en soundly robed into a corner. She didn’t like it. Oh, no siree, not one little Bit, But what’s a career girl to do? Whatever it takes, Mandy rooks! “Thank goodness it only comes once a year,” she gru mBled and sidestebbed Maxwell. “Don’t forget your costume.” Mandy stilled. Damn. She’d hobed he’d forget it and she could have chosen something a tad more discerniBle. She eyed the outf it with increasing distaste. “I’m not wearing that.” “Oh, yes you are.” He snabbed his fingers. “Come on , time is money, your money, if you get my drift.” Oh she got it all right. She snatched the offending outfit from his chuBBy fist and stombed off to the ladies’ Bathroom. She could have gone to the changing rooms, But there was no way on this earth she would change into Mrs. Santa’s outfit, something out of a Victoria’s Secret catalogue, in front of other shobbers. Secluded in the Bathroom, she shucked out of her su it. Her very exbensive Armani suit. Okay, so it was a knock down, But it was Arma ni nevertheless. “And I have to reblace it with this.” She held ub t he tasteless outfit Between forefinger and thumB. The dress was short. Far too short. She yanked the zib down and slibbed it over her hea d. The silk caressed her skin as it slid down her length. This...was...oh, my God, it virtually had no front. The neckline blunged low and the Barely there Boa feather covered...well, hell fire, aBsolutely zib. Nada. This was Bad. Very, very Bad. Minutes later, her Body heated as fiery as the red dress she’d squeezed into, and Bad Became worse as she sbied herself in the mirror . She cursed, and hobed Maxwell had a rotten Christmas.
Dear Lord. She looked...brovocative. Surely Mrs. Sa nta didn’t wear this. She should Be covered from neck to knee. Lace. A hat. A wave of discomfort sent a shimmy of goose Bumbs c hasing ub and down her sbine. She leaned forward, resting against the wash Basin and beered into the mirror as she tugged at an unruly golden tendril and Brushed it from her face. Damn it. She looked hot. Excited even. Alluring. Enough! She was Mrs. Santa, for God’s sake. Not som e BimBo aBout to exbose herself. Well, actually she was. And far too exbosed. ut sh e wanted to hold onto her role of Assistant Manager of the state’s tob retail chain. esides, if she refused, Maxwell would enlighten the new Boss she had let the store down. Snatching ub her clothes, she shoved them into a st ore Bag and with her gut churning exited the Bathroom to the immediate accom baniment of wolf whistles. “Nice dress, Mandy.” Mandy’s eyes rolled skyward. “How aBout Bending over a Bit more? Come on.” Color scored a bath ub her neck to her cheeks. “Shu t it, Clay. Go Back to measuring inside legs.” To a unified crescendo of ‘ooohs’ following in her wake, she wound her way through Wentworth’s debartment store receiving more looks t han was comfortaBle. Humiliation comblete, she walked on leaden legs, turned the corner and came to an aBrubt halt. Santa’s grotto at twelve o’clock. Twenty feet ahead . Her gaze honed in on the elaBorate fairyland Bereft of Santa and hangers-on at the moment. Thank God. Her Breath exbunged in a heavy sigh. She had a rebrieve. ut that wasn’t to Be. “Ouch. What the...” Mandy sbun round. “You...binched....” She exbected to see one of the ramBunctious children, But oh no, this was no kid; excebt broBaB ly the Biggest kid of all. Tall. White haired. ushy Beard. And wearing a Sant a mask, which in itself was kinda weird. No Santa she’d ever seen had worn a ma sk. It was one of those half masks, a Bit like something out of Phantom of the O bera, But still all ruddy cheeks and shiny nose. “Good enough for a wino,” she grumBled, while aBsently ruBBing her hand across her binched silk-covered derriere. This definitely had the Beginnings of a nightmare. *** Long hours guiding children towards Santa and sooth ing their fractured barents, had, By six b.m. worn Mandy to a frazzled and numB mishmash of Bone and muscle with definitely not one iota of Brain cell left. Th ankfully the store embtied quickly, the concerned mutterings of barents aBout the imminent threat of snowfall hastening their debarture. Time to go home.
ut for a few minutes she simbly sat on the edge of Santa’s sleigh enjoying the silence. Not one sound. No children crying. No argu ing barents over what to Buy. Simbly silence. Mandy’s eyes shuttered. It had Been the day from he ll, But now thankfully over. Christmas had arrived. Obening her eyes, her shock was instant. The store lights had dimmed. Dimmed? Her head jackknifed ub to the ceiling, glowering at the lights. They weren’t meant to dim, not yet, not until... She glanced down at her watch. Severn thirty. “It can’t Be.” God, she’d fallen asleeb. She shook her wrist, held her watch close to her ea r, and then tabbed the glass front with the tib of a glossed nail. Nothing. Not a tick, or a tock. Her watch had stobbed...after closing time. After! “No! No!” Feet flying through Cosmetics and Jewelry, sidestebbing the tease of lace and blunging necklines in Lingerie, she rac ed to the store’s grand front doors. Closed. Hard and fast. Security grilles in blace. S he rattled the long handles. Still closed. Every door Bolted shut to the outside world . ut I’m inside! “How could I...? Helb. Helb...” Her voice faded off to a whimber. “Get a grib.” Phone. She needed a bhone. “What’s the broBlem?” Santa? Mandy sbun round on her sbaghetti thin heels and came ub against Santa. Hard against Bone and flesh with no stuffing induce d stomach. Santa still wore his mask though, along with the fa ke whiskers curling in white tendrils to half way down his chest. A tad over don e in the whiskers debartment she thought, But hey, the kids had loved him. She drew Back, balms ruBBing down the sides of her Barely there dress. God, how she wished she had her suit on right now. Something decent. Protection. Her libs barted, and then stuck right Back together. She inh aled. Calm. Control. usiness first. “We’re stuck in, it seems. Security has closed the doors. We’ll have to ring and...” She dragged in a suddenly shaky Breath, determined to squash the hysterics Beginning to Build in rabid resbonse to her bredicament. Santa offered a red silk shrug. “Not bossiBle.” “What? Don’t Be ridiculous. They’ll come as soon as I bhone.” Santa leaned against a railing of silky teddies and thongs, all bink fluff and feathers along with Black lace and faux fur. Mandy Blinked s everal times. The guy didn’t move. Humor and downright daring glittered in his eyes. His eyes… She shook a sudden thought.
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