All normal disclaimers apply. All things Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyer, all things outside of her character names and some descriptions within this story belong solely to WeeKittyAndTAT.
Special thanks to the ladies who keep us readable: AWayWithWords, Jess2002, and LaPumuckl.
Banner by Tiffany Kennedy
Swan's Toys, Trees and Reindeer
The annoying buzzing sound gets louder and I sit up. As my eyes spring open, I see blurred words. I pull the paper from my forehead placing it back on the table where my head was resting. I yawn and cover my mouth. I need to wake the hell up. I've got six more hours of work to do, and only two hours to do it in.
Once I have a pot of coffee brewed, I get to work.
"Daddy," I hear two little voices call out together.
I turn to the door as my twin six-year-olds run in. I take a look at my watch and see that I've already been working for almost two hours. I sigh, rubbing my face before hugging them both.
I'm thirty-two and a single father to Coby and Corrine. I'm not their biological father, but I'm the only dad they've ever known. Their mother, Tanya, was my best friend. Tanya had a one-night stand with some guy, which brought these two into the world.
I was with Tanya every step of the pregnancy; we even moved in together. Tanya did speak to the biological father once before the twins were born. He told her he wanted nothing to do with them or her, and signed away all his rights. She cried for days over the fact her children wouldn't have a dad in their life. It was then I told her I would be their father. It's my name that's down on their birth certificate as father. The twins were only two when Tanya was in a car accident. She died on impact, leaving me as a single father of twin toddlers.
Out of the twenty-four years Tanya and I were friends, we only shared one kiss. That kiss is still the most disgusting kiss I've ever had. It's not that I didn't love her—I did—she was my family, or even that she was a bad kisser; it just felt wrong.
"What are you two doing running around?" I ask knowing they should be eating breakfast.
"Sorry," says the friendly voice I've loved since I was a child. I look to the door and see Mary.
Mary is an older woman; she immigrated here forty years ago at the tender age of eighteen. She was hired as a nanny to my big brother Carlisle. Ten years later, when I was born, she became my nanny, too. Over the years, she's very much become part of the family. Twenty-four years ago, she cared for my niece and nephew—Alice and Emmett. Just four years ago when Tanya passed away, she became my children's nanny. Between helping raise children, she's also been a cook for our family.
I smile as the twins follow after her to get their breakfast. I get ready for work and head downstairs to say my goodbyes.
"Are we getting a tree today?" The twins ask simultaneously when I enter the room.
I smile down at them. "Yes, we'll get a tree today, just as soon as I'm done at work."
I kiss them both and wave bye to Mary before heading off to work. I hate my job so much; I work at Swan's Plantation. It's broken into three markets. There's the tree farm, which does really well this time of year. There's the deer farm, which also does well around this time of the year. Lastly, the side I work at: the toy department. The toy factory is a busy department year round, but always busier during the holidays.
The job has slowly been demanding longer hours this year. Sadly, the pay is shitty, almost next to nothing. Where I know we aren't poor, I do still live paycheck to paycheck.
Swan's is a relatively large company for the small town it's stationed in. The company does bring in tourists, which keeps the town going throughout the year. It's also well-known that it gets aid and support from the United States' largest company: Blacks Incorporated. Even with the extra money they get and the money made in profits, every one that works for Swan's has seen a cut in wages along with an increased workload.
I run, getting to the bus stop just in time. With it being so cold and the Christmas season ahead, there seems to be lightness to everyone around. This town may not have very much, but we all seem to help each other out.
"It's getting colder – they say the snow will soon be upon us."
I smile as I look to Mrs. Cope. "Yes, I heard that this morning on the radio."
"How are those lovely children of yours?"
"They are both doing well, thank you. How is Mr. Cope getting along?"
Mrs. Cope sighs a little. "He's all right, just business has been a little slow."
I nod at her, and seeing that my stop's coming up. I give her a wave as I pull the bell and head for the door.
I walk off the bus and straight for the large iron gates surrounding Swan's. As I enter, I notice the tense atmosphere and frown looking around.
"The dragon is here," Jasper whispers looking up the stairs to the main office.
"What's she like?" I ask having never seen her with my own eyes.
Jasper just shrugs. "Don't know; she's been hiding in her office since I got here."
I look up and I can see the movement of a woman as she passes the frosted glass of the windows upstairs.
"Don't you think it's weird that out of the four years she's been living here, no one has really seen her up close?"
"Makes me a little sick that she doesn't buy her food from the town shops; bet she's got some fancy foreign stuff shipped in," Jasper says sounding almost hateful.
I know that his family owns the grocery store, and are finding this last year hard with the rising costs of things.
"Hi, Uncle Eddy!"
I roll my eyes turning to see Emmett standing there smiling.
"It's Edward, Em," I say with a sigh.
"YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FREAKING KIDDING ME!"
I jump and spin around to see Rose standing there yelling with a piece of paper in her hand. Everyone stops what they are doing and just looks at her.
"She's canceled our Christmas holidays," Rose says slamming the paper down.
I look at the paper and sure enough, it says that we are open from six a.m. all the way to eleven thirty p.m. the whole week of Christmas, including production on Christmas day. She is demanding nearly forty percent of the employees sign up for the overtime shifts. As if that's not bad enough, at the bottom she has Happy Hanukkah written.
"She's a bitch – I'm not working it, she can for-get-it," Rose hisses.
I pull at my hair in frustration.
"Maybe someone should speak to her; this is unfair. This is our holiday," Alice says as she hugs me.
We all talk for few minutes and agree speaking to Ms. Swan before storming out may be the better idea.
"So who's going up?" I ask regretting right away as everyone points at me.
"Oh, come on," I say with a moan, not wanting to do this.
"You're the calmest out of everyone; just put on your charming pants and do it," Rose demands.
I pull my hair and sigh before heading up the stairs.
I get to the door and knock.
"Enter," is called out and I walk in.
I look at the desk seeing a young woman behind it, her hair is up in a tight bun.
She looks up at me for a few seconds before raising her brow at me. When I've seen her before, it's been between the frosted glass around her office and from below. Now standing before her, she looks so much younger. If I were to guess I'd say late twenties at the most.
"Can I help you?" she says sounding almost irritated.
"It's about this," I say waving the paper and she drops her eyes.
"You have the list already; I thought it would take a bit of time for you to work out who would get the overtime."
"Huh?" I say confused.
"I know money is tight and any overtime would be wanted, just didn't want to divide the hours to stave off arguments. I wasn't expecting someone to have the list so fast for me."
"What?" I manage to stutter out, surprised about her train of thought.
"Look, I don't care who gets what or how the hours are done, just give me a list," she says without looking my way.
"Cullen," I say harshly and she just hums. "My name is Edward Cullen."
"Is that all, Cullen? Leave the list and close the door behind you."
I narrow my eyes at the fact she just dismissed me. I walk over to her desk slamming the paper down.
"This is our holiday. We always get from the twenty-fourth of December until the second of January off."
"That's not possible this year, maybe it will be next year," she says like it's no big deal.
"Ms. Swan—" I say loudly.
"Bella," she says right away stopping me in my tracks.
"Bella ... my name is Bella."
I swallow and nod as she looks at me. "We all celebrate Christmas; this is important to us."
"And having a job is not?"
"Are you saying if we don't work this new schedule, you're firing us – all of us?" I ask shocked.
"No, what I'm saying is that it will be best we find a way for this," she says holding the paper up, "to happen, or this town will not recover."
I shake my head. She just threatened the whole town. She really is a cold-hearted bitch.
"Now, is that all, Cullen?"
I glare at her and storm out of her office knowing we need to think of something else.
The rest of the day is spent between working and trying to think of a way to keep Swan's open. As much as we hate it, we know this place being open brings people here. When people come here, they spend money in our town, which keeps the small businesses going.
"Maybe she'll get visited by three ghosts," Alice says glumly.
"That's it," Rose says wide-eyed.
"What?" I ask.
"We should Scrooge her."
I raise my eyebrow sighing. I'm still not following whatever it is that's going through her mind.
"We'll show her the error of her ways, you know, like what happened to Scrooge."
"And how do you think we'll get three ghosts to visit her? I mean we have no idea about her past," I say not seeing this plan working.
"You're right, we need someone to dig that information up for us," Rose says thinking.
"Rose, you're going to need someone smart and charming that can act a little. They'll have to fool her into thinking they like her."
Rose looks at me with a smug grin, and I look seeing that Emmett, Jasper and Alice are all looking at me.
"No way," I yell knowing they are planning on me being the smart and charming person to gain her trust.
"It's perfect; c'mon, Edward. You have so much charm it rolls off you. We all know you can act – you're always picked for the town plays. You need to do this," Rose says.
"What about Coby and Corrine?" I say.
Rose rolls her eyes at me. "They don't need to meet her. Come on, we've got two weeks until Christmas."
I sigh pushing my lunch away.
"You need to do this for them; you need this job, and this town needs you to do this."
"Fine," I say still not liking it.
I get freshened up and head back to see Ms. Swan. I knock on the door and again there is a yell for me to come in.
I frown when I see the desk is empty and look around until my eyes land on Ms. Swan, who's sitting on the floor.
"What can I do for you, Cullen?"
I bite my lip, not that it did any good as she was back to looking at the paperwork in front of her on the floor.
"Are you are free this evening for drinks with me?"
Ms. Swan looks back up at me with a frown.
"As good looking as you are, Cullen, I will have to decline."
"Why?" I say shocked she turned me down.
"You're one of my employees."
That's a very good reason and I'm not sure how to rebut that.
"You are also a father," she finishes.
"What in the world has that got to do with anything?" I ask harshly. I'm mad that she is taking a dig at the fact I'm a single father.
"They will take up a lot of your time, and relationships need time. You have kids, so that is time you may not have."
I glare at her. "I was asking you out for a drink, not to marry me." This woman seriously needs a reality check.
"I meant nothing by my comment, Cullen. I just don't spend time with men, unless I know that there's something there worth the heartache."
Sounds as if someone's been burned a few times, not that I blame whoever hurt her, it must be hard to be with a cold fish.
"Is there anything else, Cullen?"
"Why do keep calling me Cullen, my name is Edward?"
"Duly noted, Edward."
I sigh and walk out of her office. This is going to be harder than I thought it would be.
I finished my work for the day, and collect Coby and Corrine and take them out to the tree farm to pick our tree. I keep an eye on them as I talk to James.
"Can you believe we may have to work Christmas?" He says sighing. "This could be Vicky's last one. I wanted it to be great for her and me. I wanted this to be one that will stay with me if the worse were to happen."
I pat his arm, knowing that Vicky has cancer and has not been doing very well this month.
There's a loud bang and I see many trees falling over. Looking down I see a shocked Coby standing at the side. I look for Corrine but see she's nowhere to be seen. I run as fast as I can to where the trees are.
"Corrine," I yell
"She's under the trees," Coby sobs.
Immediately, I start to pull the trees off her as others run to our aid. After the piles of trees are pulled off, there is a larger figure lying tucked over in the snow-covered ground. I slowly touch the person's back and hear their whimper of pain. As they move a little I see my baby girl was safely tucked under them.
"You gave me a heart attack," I say squatting and pulling Corrine to me.
"Ms. Swan," I hear someone say astonishingly.
I swallow looking around for the dragon not seeing her until my eyes land on the person who protected my baby girl.
"I'm fine," she says moving away from those who are trying to attend to her. "James," she yells and he swallows stepping forward. "These trees need to be secure. They could've hurt Miss Cullen badly, if I'd not have been here."
He looks at me ashamed before he nods at her.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to knock them down," Corrine says.
I watch in shock as Ms. Swan bends down to her. "Next time, don't run in places where you could be hurt."
Corrine bobs her head as she moves out of my arms wrapping her arms around Ms. Swan. I frown even more when Ms. Swan's arm stays by her side only moving up to remove Corrine.
"Thank you for saving me, Bella," Corrine says sweetly.
"That's, Ms. Swan, honey," I say automatically, since I raise the children to be respectful of adults.
"I asked them to call me Bella," Ms. Swan says before walking away.
"Daddy, can Bella come for dinner?" Corrine asks smiling at me.
"I don't think so, honey." I'm sure nothing I would serve would be good enough for her hoity-toity attitude anyway.
I keep a hold of Coby and Corrine's hands for the rest of our tree shopping trip.
I smile at Mary when we get home, and see she has everything out for decorating the tree. The tree is delivered within an hour and we get busy putting it up. We sing Christmas songs as we hang up the lights, stockings and ornaments. Once we are all done, Mary places Tanya's Star of David, which she loved so much, on top of our tree.
A/N: So this story has ten total chapters including the epilogue and there are only four days left in the new year. So we will be posting more than one chapter a day, because this will be fully posted by years end. We hope that you enjoy this story, it was another Christmas story idea we had.
So what are your thoughts of the story so far?