Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 1

“Miss, please stay in line,”

My eyes flickered up, an eyebrow raising as I saw the man yelling at the woman in front to stay in line.

“I am in line you blind bat,” she hissed back throwing her blonde curls over her shoulder. I rolled my eyes going back to the text I was reading but the tugging at my side made me sigh and look down.

“Yes Evan?” I asked somewhat irritated. This boy was going to make me late for my shift. I looked around, where the hell was his dad?

“Why is it taking so long?” Evan pulled out the candy cane from his mouth, and it looked really sharp at the edge, the type of sharpness I always tried to achieve when I was a kid and ended up getting fed up with mastering it and ended up biting the whole candy cane off.

I shrugged, “I don’t know E, the line is big,” I said wondering if the six year old had noticed how big the line was. Probably not since he was stuffing his face with Christmas candy. It was another ten minutes before I spotted Evan’s dad running towards us, the man also known as my older brother.

“Are you finished, can I go?” I asked as she shoved bags into my hands. What the hell was I meant to do with his Christmas Shopping. I looked down seeing various toy store bags and a pink bag.

He went to Victoria’s Secret?

Great, I could do without the imagery of my brother and his wife. I shuddered as I watched my older brother Ethan wipe Evan’s mouth with his handkerchief like the caring father he was, how sickening.

I quickly swapped the bags to make it seem like I wasn’t snooping in his stuff, “Can I go now?” I asked.

I knew coming to the plaza during Christmas time was bad, but I just had to return those over-due library books. And then realising how much the fine was I simply threw the card into the bin, hey if I don’t have a card they can’t charge me right?

I’ll just simply apply for a new card, my seventh card this year. I snickered, they really needed a better way to give out cards. At this rate I was going to get a new card every month but it just wasn’t my fault.

I could never bring those books back in time, especially since it was out of my way and I simply forgot.

“Eve, are you even listening to me?”

“No,” I said straight out and turned to look at Ethan who was now standing up making me crane my neck, the bastard stole all the good genetics in the family, “What did you say?” I asked. He also got the blonde hair he and his son sported while I was stuck with daddy’s dark brown hair.

“I said, have you done your Christmas shopping yet?”

I waved a hand, “No, I don’t Christmas remember?” I asked. Why did people keep forgetting that, or were they just that blind to realise that each person was different and not everyone celebrated Christmas.


“I thought that was just a phase,” he said narrowing his eyes at me.

“A phase for five and a half years now brother,” I replied. The last time I celebrated Christmas was when I was seventeen, and now at twenty-three, I tried to keep the festive cheer away from me. I would still rock up to family dinners but I wouldn’t come bearing presents and I wouldn’t accept any.

And I didn’t sing the songs or get dressed up like the rest of them. I simply hated Christmas, and I had a fair reason. Bitter sweet memories.

“Well,” Ethan grabbed the bags from me again, “I won’t argue with you, I don’t have the time. I need to pick something else so take Evan to have a picture with Santa okay? I’ll come back to pay in time promise.”

My mouth dropped, “What, no. He’s your son, you take him to take a picture with the fat man!” the woman next to me gasped looking at me, covering her daughter’s ears like I just swore and talked about sex near her kid and rolled my eyes. Well Santa was fat, get over it.

Must be all the cookies and milk everyone fed him. But then again, he wasn’t real. E on the other hand didn’t complain as his dad sprinted away to the other side of the plaza.

It was only December 12th and people were shopping like the end of the world, people were crazy. They would spend thousands on food and presents and only the material aspects of Christmas, and I hated to say that I would have done this years ago.

Shopped for everyone, bought gifts because “I loved to give” but secretly I wanted a million presents in return. Except half of them were useless and not well thought out gifts and it was in January you realised the pain of your bank account.

“Can I have another one?” Evan asked looking up at.

“I don’t think so. Your mum will be angry if I ruin your teeth with candy,” but with the blue eyes looking at me like that I sighed digging into my jacket and pulling out another candy cane. The only reason I even had these were that they were giving out free ones before and I had skipped lunch in my hurry to return those books and I wanted to eat.

But then I had to run into Ethan and Evan shopping and I was given the kid to baby sit and it was either the chatterbox five year old, or me just giving him a lolly and telling him to shut up.

The line finally seemed to be moving at a faster rate and we were only two people away from being photographer.

The ground of teenage girls behind me were giggling excitedly and I raised an eyebrow at them, weren’t they a bit too old to be taking pictures with Santa?

“Are you sure it’s your cousin working here?”

“Yeah I already told you, he texted me!”

“I can’t believe it! I shall grind him in the arse,” my eyes nearly popped out at that one as I looked over my shoulder. First of all, I did not need to hear that and neither did the couple behind them as they shared my disgusted expression.

And secondly I don’t think you could really grind someone in the arse. Shuddering I looked down grateful that Evan didn’t hear the word, because he would ask me what it was and I wouldn’t lie to him. And I was sure his mother, Janelle, was still annoyed at me for explaining to Evan where babies came from.

Well the boy was going to find out sooner or later, and Ethan simply laughed his arse off, why can’t Janelle just take it like that?

Besides one was never too young to learn the cold hard facts of humanity and its ways.

“Hello guys, are you excited to take a picture with Santa!” it took me a while to realise the man was talking to me and I couldn’t help my eyes roll over him, taking in the stupid elf costume he was wearing to the face painting.

Were the girls talking about him? Because I wrouldn’t grind this guy even if you paid a million dollars to me, okay maybe that was a lot of money. But he was shorter than my five feet four frame, that was suddenly ten centimetres taller thanks to heels, but he looked like someone out of the Grimm fairy tales with his thick brown beard.

He looked scary.

“Yeah!” Evan answered for me nodding his head as he chewed on the candy cane, red staining all over the side of his mouth. I dug in my pocket for a tissue or something I could wipe his face with. Where the hell was Ethan and his magic handkerchiefs when I needed them?

“Okay so simple go up to Santa when its your turn and then just look over here,” he pointed to where there were more people dressed up in elves, surprisingly not as short as him, “And we’ll take a few pictures of you with your mum and yourself,”

“I’m not his mum,” I muttered as he kept talking and frowned, did I look that old, old enough to be his mother?

I subconsciously reached behind and tugged at the hair tie, maybe if my hair was loose I looked less like his mum. Ouch, that hit me right in the esteem zone. I looked back at Evan as he licked his finger and sighed.

“Here,” I said bending down and using the edge of my jacket sleeve to wipe his mouth, well it was that or him having a creepy stain on the pictures. And Aunt Evelyn was going to be blamed for feeding him too much candy again.

“Alright you guys, up you go!”

Man why was he do damn cheery?

I grabbed Evan’s hand standing up, the cracking in my knee reminded me that maybe I did look as old as his mum and marched towards the other side, “Here,” I said stopping at the red line and giving Evan a push.

“Go sit on his lap or something,” I waved grabbing the kids jacket. I wrinkled my nose seeing his Rudolph shirt his mother picked out. Evan didn’t seem to care but I was sure when he was twenty and looking back on this picture he would cry a little bit.

Instead he ran up to Santa, “Santa!”

The old man laughed and I saw him lifting him up into his lap as they spoke in hushed voices. I did that routine enough times as a kid to realize what they were saying.

“What did you want for Christmas young man?”

And then Evan would list all the toys he would want and then the picture would be taken and then you fish out a hefty note for one picture which was ridiculous. And then you were told the list your child wanted and you had to go buy them all or a few to make it seem like Father Christmas still existed.

And all the fat Santa would do was give you a candy cane and a small packaged parcel that contained a cheap soft toy and done, your Christmas was made.

“Hey, you!” I blinked looking up to see the overly large woman calling my life, Mrs. Claus. Whoa, they had Mrs. Claus’s now Except she looked bored and behind the camera motioning for me.

“What?” I asked confused.

“Go, you take a picture with your brother,”

“No, thanks, I’m fine,” I said but internally I was smiling. Yes! The hair worked, I looked like his sister, not the mother yes!

“Aww, Aunt Eve come on,” Evan ran up to me grabbing my hand and giving me a tug. Damn it Ethan, you were meant to be doing this with your son. I shook my head, “No, just take one more and we can leave,” I said.

“I’m not going till you come with me,” Evan pouted crossing his hands across his chest and I shrugged, “Well you’re going to be here for a long time,” I said looking up to meet the eyes of a very amused old man, Santa, staring at us.

“Oh hurry up woman we have a line here,”

I looked over my shoulder to see people glaring at me and sighed, fine, stupid people.

I got up, should I take my jacket off? No, because I was in uniform underneath.

Grudgingly I walked up to the stage with Evan as he jumped into the mans lap, damn, didn’t that hurt.

“I’ll just stand,” I said making my way to the side when Santa’s arm shot out grabbing mine and pulling me towards him earning a squeal from me as I toppled onto the old fart.

“Do you mind?” I snapped as I re-positioned myself so I wasn’t so much in…well in his lap. That was gross.

“Not at all,” replied a surprisingly deep voice giving me another shuffle so I toppled backwards, no doubt looking idiotic as I was pushed against his chest. Well this was uncomfortable.

“Okay done, next!”

“What?” I asked finally managing to sit upright, “But I wasn’t ready!” I said as I sat on his knee, “Do you mind old man,” I said pushing my elbow back to rib him when I felt his hand dangerously high on my leg and my eyes widened as I looked over my shoulder.

I looked down at my elbow which instead of meeting hard stomach met a pillow. Santa looked just as surprised, “Okay you get get off now,”

“Wait a minute,” I said taking my other hand, “You’re a fake!” I snapped.

He raised an eyebrow at me and I realised how green his eyes were from this close, I could even smell the minty breathe, “Don’t tell me you still believe in Santa,”

“No, but your pot stomach is fake mister,” I said annoyed.

“And that’s a bad thing?”

I looked at Evan who was staring curiously between us and I sent a mental prayer, don’t say it.

“What’s fake?”

He said it.

I sighed, “Nothing let’s go,” I said grabbing his hand when Santa decided it was better to grab my waist pulling me back down.

“Sasha, give us one more picture,” he yelled.

“I’m fine th-,”

“Just smile,” Evan protested getting his charm on for the camera and I frowned turning around and giving a pursed smile for the camera. The flash was blinding and the moment my eyes readjusted I was out.

“Merry Christmas, ho ho ho,” He said bending down loudly and grabbing presents from under the chair. He gave him a blue wrapped rectangle that looked big with two candy canes on top.

His green eyes met mine and I tried figuring out who the man was behind the mask, but all I could see was my old neighbour which was slightly disturbing.

“I think you already got your present,”

I raised an eyebrow, “What?”

“Well sitting in Santa’a lap is present enough huh?” He said and I swore he slapped my arse, but he woudln’t dare, not in front of everyone? Would he?

Instead of replying I grabbed Evan’s hand and pulled him down, “Creepy jerk,” I muttered storming off.

“Aunty Eve wait, we have to buy it!”

I groaned, right, there was that. “Where if your dad?” I asked annoyed as I walked up to the computers.

“You have some great pictures!” the bubble teenager spoke as she started pulling them up and I shook my head, “Just get the ones with this boy up yeah?” I said. She gave me a confused looking but nodded pulling up three pictures.


They were all great, one was just Evan smiling at the camera and the other had him whispering stuff in Santa’s ear and the third one was slightly blurry.

“Which one do you want Evan?” I asked bending down and lifting him up so he could see it.


“What can I get you?”

“A shot of you would be nice,” I pursed my lips, “Vodka maybe?” I asked staring at the seventy year old man trying to hit on me.

“Scotch, stirred not shaken,”

And let me guess, your Bond, Mr. Old Bond. I nodded going to fill up a glass when I heard my name being called. I looked over to see it was Gavin and smiled lifting up a hand. What was he doing here. Pouring the glass I gave it to the man telling Ashlee to take over his tab.

“Hey, I’m taking my break,” I yelled and saw Mike raise a hand in acknowledgment as I hopped around the counter. My feet aching to be out of these heels and wrapped my arms around Gavin, the warmth familiar.

“What are you doing here?” I asked. Gavin didn’t look as chirpy as I felt, finally a face I recognized, he hardly looked like that.

“We need to talk, coffee?”

I didn’t want to point out to him that it was nearly eleven at night and he wanted a coffee but I shrugged following him out of the side entrance. Most of the shops were closing down, the Christmas period meant the shops were open for longer.

I followed him to the Gloria Jeans, “The usual?” he asked and I nodded grabbing a seat and slipping out of the heels.

I looked around still seeing families dragging their kids around with their hands full of bags.

“I called you,”

“And I was working,” I replied as Gavin sat back down with our table number, a frown on his face, “I thought you were going to quit,”

I rolled my eyes hoping the drinks would come back quick, “Yeah…I will,” I said. Besides they were closing down the pub anyways, whose ever idea it was to have a pub in a family mall was stupid, but then again it was in the city and it was in the upper levels anyway.

And some people needed to earn money, not rely on their parents wealth to buy them everything. I hated that.

I wriggled my toes, “What did you want to talk about?”

I knew something was wrong the second he reached over the table and grabbed my palms stretching them into his and I raised an eyebrow.

“What do you want to achieve out of this?”

“What?” I asked confused. His question seemed something your professor asked during class “What do you want to achieve out of university? A job? A degree? Maybe knowledge,” and we would all laugh because we weer all in it for one thing, get a job and make some money.

“Our-thanks,” he said letting go as the girl came back without drinks. I wrapped my fingers around my cold chocolate chiller instead, it was too late to be drinking a coffee and Gloria Jeans had the best Tim Tam chillers.

And this way my fingers would rather strangle the cup than his hands, because I had a feeling where this conversation was heading.

“Our relationship,” he said drinking his stupid tea. I don’t get why he always suggested, lets go for coffee, when he never drank some himself.

I shrugged “What do you mean Gavin, we’ve only been dating for three months,” I said playing with my straw. Did he expect me to get married to him? Because firstly, I didn’t know him that well. Besides didn’t it take someone longer than three months to fall in love with someone.

Because I didn’t find any emotional baring towards the man in front of me. Sure he was attractive, only as the next stranger with his hazel eyes and boyish looks. I wouldn’t even have considered dating him if my friend didn’t set us up on some stupid blind date and I wasn’t that much of an arsehole to bail.


And it was’t because I only dated hot people. No, it was that I didn’t date. Full stop. Nothing extra nothing less, relationships were just to much work as Gavin was proving right now.

“I just feel like this isn’t going anywhere,”

“And where is it meant to go?” I asked taking a long sip of my drink, the cold liquid calming my insides as I stared at him. Gavin ran a frustrated hand through his head.

“I think we should see other people,” or another way to say, you suck, sorry I’m going to leave now before I invest more time and money into you.

“Okay…?” I asked. Did he really come running at eleven at night to tell me this. A simple phone call would have done the job, but then I would have called him heartless. Fine, it was hard to win with a woman changing her mind but then again.

Why now?

“I’m sorry, I really am you’re a great woman you really are and any guy would be li-,” I turned out of the whole It’s not you it’s me speech only because I didn’t want to hear it. If I was good for any other guy, why not you?

But then again I didn’t really feel sad about ending this relationship.

But damn, I just got dumped.

Usually I was the one breaking things off, this was a first. I wasn’t sure whether or not to condemn myself or pat my back and say ‘Hey, nice job finally got dumped,’

“I wish you the best, and hope you have a splendid Christmas,”

Huh? Oh right he was talking.

“Oh yeah, you too,” I said as he got up. He bent down kissing my cheek and I coudln’t help but have the itch to wipe my cheek.

“If you need anything, anything at all, call me right. We can still be friends, right?”

I nodded. No, that was like saying, “Here I spat in your drink but you can still drink it right?” It didn’t work like that way.

Besides, it was going to be pure awkward.

I wonder why he dumped me. Was it because I wasn’t hot and sexy enough for him?

I scoffed slipping my heels back on, whatever. I don’t need him.

I grabbed my drink slapping a note onto the table and walking back to work, knowing I took more time than I was meant to.

“Hey, you okay?” Ashlee asked as I went back behind the counter, placing my drink out of the way and looked at her, “Yeah, of course, why?” I asked.

Did it show?

Did I have a Just got Dumped stamp on my head. I shook my head looking up.

Great, I was dumped just before Christmas. Can someone just call on more merry spirit for this time. Not that I cared much about the Christmas part itself but it was New Years after that! And I was never going to get that kiss on NYE now.

Hell that one was still on my bucket list.

“What can I get you?” I asked.

The man turned around, green eyes meeting mine before his pearly teeth flickered into a smile and he raised his hand to run it through his somewhat blonde and dark brown hair. His too pink to be natural lips were in a smile and the white shirt did nothing to hide his statue body underneath in the bright lights, “Well, make me a drink fit for Santa,”

I took a step back, why did he look familiar?

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