Cape High Book 24 is out!

It’s out! Heads up, it’s a little bit scarier/creepier than usual, but I still like it. I hope you guys do, as well!

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Cape High Book 23 is out!

Trent in SPAAACEEE! Is now out! Just with a slightly better title. Enjoy!

Cape High Days Past 1 is out!

This story is the first of a spin-off series featuring the background stories of established adult characters! In other words, this is how Toodles became an elf. It can be read as a stand-alone!

Cape High Advent 2018 Day 25

Merry Christmas everyone! May your day be merry and bright, and may your Happy New Year be nice and happy! Thank you all for sticking with me this long, and I hope you stick around for all the books I write in the future<3

Now, on with the show!

Century Claus (part 2)

“I must stop this from coming, I must STOP THIS WHOLE THING!” Skye yells as she dances around the room Century’s working in. He tries not to laugh as she stops in front of the family dog, cooing over it. “You’re a good boy, yes, you are!” she says, scratching them behind the ears. “Well, unless you’re a girl, that is, then you’re a good girl!” she says.

“And we’re done,” Century says, standing. “Next house, Sugar,” he says, holding out his hand to her. She looks at his hand.

“Shouldn’t you be wearing gloves?” she demands, just barely touching his hand. “Spending this entire night holding hands was NOT in my contract!” She drags him through the wall, heading straight into the next house.

Century checks his phone, finding the information at hand and then reaching into the magic bag to get the presents. It goes smoothly, as Skye happily eats the Christmas cookies left for Santa. The hand-holding issue is completely forgotten as she makes the gingerbread men battle it out before biting their heads off. He takes one of them away from her, finishing it off. “This burns a lot of energy, sugar,” he says.

“I was just about to have them turn into zombies,” she complains. “On to the next one!” She grabs his hand this time, pulling him on to the next house and then looking around the place with big, sparkling eyes. “All these ornaments, all the trees, all the pretty stuff! I LOVE IT! Hey, hey, let’s sneak into my base and leave presents for the girls!”

“That was Kris’s job, Sugar,” he says. “I’m just doing the southern hemisphere this year.”

“I bet he didn’t, though,” she says, playing with some of the ornaments. “I never got Christmas presents from Santa. But, I guess since I was always moving around, it makes sense… that and the fact that I’m ALWAYS naughty!” She poses, but her grin seems a bit fake, now. He stares at her, his hands coming up, and then going down again as he forces himself to stop.

“I will personally make sure that doesn’t happen again,” he says quietly.

“Eeeeh, I’m grown up, now,” she says, looking around. “Hey, what’s that white berry stuff? I keep seeing it in all the houses.”

“That?” he asks, coming over behind her and pointing at it.

“Yeah, that.”

“It’s something you probably don’t want to know about,” he says.

“I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want to know!” she says, glaring at him.

“Then that, my dear, is mistletoe,” he says. Her expression of shock has him laughing. “See? I told you that you didn’t want to know,” he teases her.

She gives him a look before walking stiff-leggedly to the wall. “That was not fair.”

“I didn’t kiss you,” he points out, following along and reaching for her hand. He doesn’t take it, leaving her to do that part.

“But it was—there was—oh for crying out loud, Christmas is a TERRIBLE holiday!” she declares. “I get why the Grinch wanted to steal it!”

“Because of mistletoe?” he asks, trying not to laugh. She grabs his wrist and hauls him through the wall.

“Because of mistletoe!” she agrees. “Mistletoe could force you to do terrible, terrible things!”

“I thought you were bragging just last week about how seductive a villainess you are,” he says as they enter the next house. Had he known this would be THIS entertaining, he wouldn’t have dreaded it so much.

“I AM a seductive villainess! But I’m not working as a villainess tonight, I’m working as an ELF!” she says. “And elves don’t kiss every Tom, Dick, or Century!”

“Well, that is true,” he says, “to a point. But elves have been well known to enjoy mistletoe, Sugar. It’s one of their favorite first Christmas date traditions.”

The surprise on her face almost makes him laugh. She shakes it off. “I want to put the presents out this time!” she says, grabbing the bag off of his back. “Hey, elves! We need presents for um…” she pauses, looking around for a moment before tapping on her watch and rattling off coordinates. She starts pulling presents out, looking extremely busy.

Century saunters over to the cookies and milk, helping himself as she does his work for him. She stops as she grabs the next present, and goes, “Toodles, do elves kiss under EVERY piece of mistletoe? Because Century implied that they do!”

“I said no such thing!” he says, almost choking on his milk.

“He made it sound like elves couldn’t keep their lips to themselves!” Skye goes on.

“I did not!” Century protests. “I said that mistletoe is a favorite for your first Christmas dates!” The sound of elves roaring with laughter from the other side of the bag’s portal almost has him tugging on his collar.

“And I told him that elves aren’t in the habit of kissing every Tom, Dick, or Century!” Skye says, prudishly.

“Now who’s being naughty?” he mutters as she makes a face at him.

“Well, it depends on how well the date is going,” he hears Toodles say. “How’s your first Christmas date going, Skye?”

Skye turns bright red, and then goes, “Oh, look at that, all the presents are delivered. Time to go to the next house!” she says, jumping to her feet and closing the bag quite emphatically. The sound of Toodles laughing comes from inside the bag, but she ignores it.

***

The night was a flurry of present giving and teasing. Now Skye is sound asleep against his shoulder as he flies the sleigh up to the North Pole to drop it off. “Skye, sugar? Wake up, sweetheart,” he says, gently.

She mumbles something and moves closer, not waking in the least. He gives up, landing the reindeer on their target spot and waiting for the platform to go under the ice. Toodles and his brother are standing there, grinning widely at the sight of them. Toodles rushes forward to undo the reindeer. Other elves step up, leading them away to their stalls for a warm meal and a well deserved brush down.

“So?” Santa says, “From what I heard, it wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought it would be.”

“The company made it a lot more palatable, “ Century admits, tossing him the hat and trying to get out of the suit without waking Skye. When he’s handed that over, he scoops the sleeping villainess up, looking at her with a smile.

“I was expecting you to take Voltdrain with you,” Santa says.

“Voltdrain spends the holiday months helping out with a food drive for the homeless, “ Century says. “I wouldn’t take him away from the most important day for that.”

“I see,” Santa says. “But how did you get her to go, in his place?”

“She followed me,” Century says, moving her so her head is on his shoulder. “She thought I was sneaking around.”

“On who?” Santa asks.

“I wonder,” Century says, taking to the air and heading away.

“They’re so adorable,” Toodles says with a happy little sigh. “Now, I’m going to take a nap. I want to call Malina in a few hours.” She walks away, yawning largely, completely ignoring the mistletoe she walks under.

Santa looks up at it for a moment before sighing, and heading off to get the gifts for the Cape High schools ready.

***

Cape High Advent 2018 Day 24

So here we go! Final story of this Advent Calendar, and I must admit, this was a LOT of fun to write. Not just this story, but all of it! Oh, there were more serious moments, but I loved how much I got to show of our lesser seen characters, even with short little stories like these^^

Now, we all know (I hope) that Century traded a few years of Santa work for Dolly, and he honestly doesn’t regret the trade. Dolly is doing a wonderful job! But he STILL doesn’t really look forward to the work, itself. Well… he didn’t, that is, until this happened^_~

Century Claus (part 1)

So, Century, how DID you get a full blooded Toy Box line elf? He hadn’t answered, but Mastermental had almost started laughing. Oh, sure, the man’s face had SEEMED blank, but the others have known him long enough to know something was up. That’s why, right this moment, on Christmas Eve, Century is being sneaky.

He turns, releasing the time stop on the land far away, hoping to convince them that he’s still back in Texas. Right now, though, he’s a bit lower. He’s right on the equator, waiting on the roof of a rather beautiful building, for his brother to show up.

“Darn Marigold,” he mutters, sipping his coffee. “She just HAD to get Rocco, didn’t she?” He has TWO coffee thermoses in a bag, both full with coffee so thick that it doesn’t qualify as liquid. He’s not looking forward to tonight, and that’s a fact. Oh, sure, there’s a chance his brother will send him a helper, but he doubts it. This is most likely Kris’s revenge for skipping out all those years ago.

“Oooooh, this isn’t looking good for yoooou,” a sing-song voice says from behind him.

“You ain’t whistlin’ Dixie, Sug—“ he stops, jerking slightly and looking over his shoulder with shock.

“You’re running around for a secret rendezvous!” Skye accuses him, pointing and posing dramatically. “Just WAIT until this gets out to the world! Century is CHEATING!”

“Oh, Sugar, you don’t know HOW happy this makes me!” he says with a cheer, running over and picking her up, swinging her around in a circle.

“Hey! Hey! This is not happy cheering time! This is I CAUGHT YOU! Time!” she protests, even though she doesn’t slip out of his hold until he hugs her. “What are you doing, running around strange places in the middle of the night?” she demands.

“I’ll tell you,” he says, his eyes gleaming, “but only if you promise to do one little thing for me.”

“I don’t trust you,” she says, suspiciously. “You’re supposed to be out here meeting a scandalous person!”

“On Christmas Eve?” he asks, blankly. “Sugar, you’ve got one fascinating imagination.”

“I was going to post it online!” she says.

“Well, I suppose it IS a bit true,” he says, changing his approach. “I won’t be able to tell you, Sugar, because it’s a secret. One that cannot be told to ANYONE.” He moves closer, reaching up. Her eyes grow big, until he plucks the hairpin out of her hair. “I can’t let this record me, Sugar.”

“HEY!” she says as he hides it in his suit.

“You understand, don’t you? This is top secret. A secret between you and me,” he says. “But you want to see who I’m meeting, right?”

She nods, and a tiny smile pulls at his lips, even as she jerks away, glaring at him. “You stop trying to be smooth!” she snaps, pointing at him. “You’re out here meeting another woman! You don’t get to flirt with me!”

“Woman?” he repeats, blankly. He snorts, and then bursts out laughing, much to her irritation. “So if I’m not here to meet a woman, I can flirt with you?” he asks, boldly. Oh, this is going to bite him in the end, and he knows it, but he’s feeling reckless right now. He NEEDS her tonight—well, not need, honestly, but he sure as hell doesn’t want to do this on his own, and her powers are perfect for the job!

“HA!” she says. “Why else would you be skulking around and leaving false time-stops everywhere?”

There’s a jingling overhead, one that she doesn’t even notice because she’s ranting about how he’s being “unfaithful” and then trying to backtalk about WHO he’s being unfaithful to—

“HO HO HO!” a familiar voice says. “It looks like you’ve already brought a helper, Charles!”

Skye goes still, her mouth still open, and then looks up slowly, staring at the sleigh and reindeer overhead. “That’s—“ she says, pointing.

“That’s right, Sugar,” Century says, wrapping an arm around her waist and whispering into her ear, “I need you to help deliver presents to the world tonight. You will be the unknown hero of millions.”

“You’re not meeting a woman… you’re playing SANTA?!” she yelps, pointing at him. Even as she says that, the suit drops down on Century’s head. “Well… that’s not scandalous at all,” she decides a second later, pouting.

“I never said it was,” Century says. “Other than the Hall Leaders would surely try to use this method to get some of the best elves. The world doesn’t deserve a Marigold Santa. It’s not been that naughty.”

It startles a giggle out of her, which turns into a flood of laughter as he slips the uniform on and puts the fake beard on. Once he’s wearing the hat, he looks EXACTLY like his brother, save for the expression in his eyes.

“Give me a second,” Kris says, sticking his head into the bag. “That’s right, we need a female elf uniform for Skye—thank you, Toodles,” he says, coming out with a package in his hand. “And here we are, Skystep, I’m certain that you’ll make a wonderful helper elf for my brother,” he says, handing her the package and then flying off before she can protest.

“Oh… um… huh…” she says, pulling it out of the wrapping and looking at it curiously.

“You can keep it, if you give me a hand,” Century says temptingly.

“Nobody will find out?” she asks, examining the uniform.

“Not a one,” he promises.

“Theeeennnn… I’ll do it!” she says, slipping the uniform over her suit and posing. “All the jingling!” she cheers, and then runs over to hug the reindeer. They look a bit surprised, but don’t freak out, thankfully. “You guys are AMAZING! And so handsome!” she tells them, making sure to pat each one before getting into the sleigh and grabbing the reins. Before she can do any damage, Century slides in next to her and takes them.

“You can play with them after tonight, Sugar,” he says. “This is the only night when time is not negotiable.”

“Okaaay,” she says, only to turn and peek into the bag, instead. She goes deeper and deeper, until only her legs are sticking up in the air, and he hears her say, “TOODLES! HI!”

“Hi, Skye! Did Ariel come with you?” he hears Toodles ask.

“No, no, I wanted to be SNEAKY and she’s busy making it snow in random places over Texas,” Skye says. Century reaches over, pulling her out of the bag with a roll of his eyes.

“We’re almost to the first town, Sugar, and you need to help me. You’re going to get me into the houses.”

“You should go down the chimney!” she says.

“Well, sugar, I COULD do that, but… I can’t, really,” Century says. “That is a skill that was only taught to the official Santa. I always had to pick the locks, which takes too much time. That’s why I need you, so I can get this done and still take gifts to both of the Cape Highs in the morning.”

“Ohhhh… so only the real Santa can go down chimneys?” she asks.

“That’s how it goes,” he agrees.

“Then we will do it MY WAY!” she says, waving her arms in the air. “DO A LOOP DE LOOP!” she calls out to the reindeer. To Century’s shock, they do exactly what she says.

***