All John wants is to stay at home in peace and quiet, but when the Santa booked for the town’s Christmas party at Jen’s café catches a fever, Zachary decides to take his place. It’s just for a few hours, John should be able to take part in the celebrations like any normal person, but instead, he finds himself hiding in the kitchen, eating loads of the delicious honey baked Brie cheese Jen made.
Zachary loved the town’s Christmas party as a child, and he wants to spread some holiday cheer both to the kids in Nortown and to John. However, being Santa is not as easy as he thought. And how he’s going to lure John out of the kitchen and get him to sit on Santa’s lap, he doesn’t know.
John took another bite of cheese. It was perfect—warm, nutty and sweet. He hadn’t realised how hungry he was. With the party hanging over him, he hadn’t been able to eat all day, but now, people trickled out the door in a slow, steady stream.
He drew in a breath, enjoying the smell of pine and gingerbread for the first time this season. Chris waved at him as he and Gabe exited the café, and John smiled.
This wasn’t too bad.
He went up on tiptoe, hoping to see the red Santa suit heading his way, but Santa was caught up talking to Gary. John huffed and took another piece of crispbread. Gary had grown chatty lately, and John wasn’t sure he appreciated his friendliness, not that he doubted Zachary for a second. Zachary was the only person he trusted, but Gary was out there mingling and John was here hiding.
“What are you doing?” Zachary suddenly arrived in front of him, grinning, and took a tress of John’s hair between his fingers. It was hanging loose today, spilling over his shoulders like a protective blanket.
“I thought you were talking to Gary.” John winced at how the words sounded. The last thing he wanted was to whine because Zachary was talking to someone.
“I was, but then I noticed a hot little angel standing all alone and eating cheese as if his life depended on it.” Zach wiggled his eyebrows. “And I thought to myself, I’d rather talk to him than Gary.”
“Flirting? Now? And I wasn’t eating that much.” John’s face heated anyway.
“No, you weren’t, but I’d still rather talk to you than Gary.” Zachary scratched his chin under the fake beard, his shoulders slumping.
“Didn’t it go well?” John searched his eyes.