Jingle All the Mitchell Way: A Holiday Novella (3 page)

BOOK: Jingle All the Mitchell Way: A Holiday Novella
13.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“We have two kinds, and a loaf of fresh bread from the market. The
hors d'oeuvres
will be out around three. We just need to pop them in the oven right before. Reese is going to take some stuff over to their house so everything will fit.”

I spun her around to face me. “We’re going to pull this off, baby. It’ll be great.”

“Just promise me you’ll take care of the turkey.”

“I promise.”

She smiled, which caused me to do the same. “It was nice getting that call this morning about the movie. I know I can’t take the job, but it’s great knowing someone asked for me.”

I stroked her cheek, moving a few loose hairs and tucking them behind her ear. “I wish there was some way we could make it work. You know I’d do whatever you wanted. I know how much it means to you.”

“Jax, you and the girls are what’s important. If I’m never in a movie I’ll be fine. If I spent the holidays away from you three, I’d never forgive myself.”

“That’s good to hear. It never hurts to get extra reassurance.”

She kissed me gently on the lips. “If today turns out okay, I’ll give you an extra special dessert later.”

I reached down and pinched her ass as I spoke. “I’ll make damn sure it’s perfect, because I know there’s a delicious pie waiting for me now.”

“You’re terrible,” she teased while separating us.

“You wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Just then I saw the swinging door to the living room coming ajar. Two little girls ran while screaming, being chased by their aunt who was pretending to be a cat. They clung to both my legs once reaching me, acting as if she were really going to harm them. “Dude, leave my girls alone or I’ll sick a big dog on you.”

Reese rolled her eyes. “Big dog? You’re more like a cute Pomeranian. You can bite ankles, but not do much damage.”

There was a lot I could have said to come back at her, but one look at my wife told me I better behave. “Girls, pretend to be big dogs. Go get her!”

They looked at me with their bright brown eyes and matching dimples for a brief moment, contemplating if my idea would work. Then, almost at the exact time, I watched them go after Reese, chasing her back into the other room.

Amber had her hands on her hips, giving me a look of approval. “You really want that pie later, don’t you?”

“You’re damn right, I do.” I smacked her lightly on the ass. “I’m going to clean out the fryer. If you need me I’ll be outside.”

When I walked out of the house I finally felt as if we were going to pull Thanksgiving dinner off without another major catastrophe. For once, things seemed to be looking up, instead of turning to complete shit.





Chapter 4



I hadn’t thought this completely through. Was I really willing to trap myself in a small metal living space for an entire month? Would Amber even go for it?

Since it seemed like Reese was on board, I decided in some ways I still owed Jax for betraying his trust so long ago. Sure, everything turned out better than either of us could have imagined, but the road to redemption had been rocky.

At any rate, I’d already arrived at the motorhome business in hopes of being able to make Amber’s dreams of being in a movie a reality.

An older man came walking out a side door of the house located next to the business. He was patting down his white hair as it blew in the wind. With a hand extended, he stopped in front of me. “Welcome to RV World. I’m big Joe.”
“Hey, Joe. I used to attend school with your son, Joe Jr. We played football together.”

“I remember. You and your brother were a force to be reckoned with. It’s a shame you didn’t go pro, son. You both had potential.”

“Yeah, well life kind of happened instead. Speaking of which, that’s sort of the reason I’m here. I’m sorry to come on Thanksgiving, but we’ve run out of options. You see, my sister-in-law is a model.”

“Yeah, I know the one.” He snickered. “Small town. Everyone knows everything.”

“True. The thing is, she’s been offered a part in a movie, but she and my brother have twins girls, and the schedule would take her away from them for a month. I’m not real sure how this is going to play out, but my fiancée and I thought if we could rent an RV we’d be able to keep them together for the holidays.”

He rubbed his chin as if he was considering my idea. “I don’t normally rent RVs.”

Just when I was about to feel defeated, he reiterated. “But I know your daddy, and his for that matter. You come from good people, so I’m sure I’ve got something on this lot that will get you where you need to go. You sure you’re not interested in buying one of these? I’ve got a great one that’s been sitting here for a year.”

I shrugged. I’d never much thought about it. It would be nice to camp with the family while still having the luxuries of home. The women wouldn’t bitch as much, and us guys would have time to relax. “I suppose for the right price I could be.”

I wasn’t a fool. Anything that sat on a lot for a long period of time had to have defects. “What’s wrong with it?”

Nothing. I’m obligated to tell you about the previous owners. A husband and wife purchased the motorhome to travel to Florida for the winter months. They picked the RV up on a Thursday and headed out that following Monday. They got about twenty miles down the road and the old man had a stroke and passed away. In light of what happened, his wife returned the unit. It seems that the news of someone dying behind the wheel has prevented anyone from purchasing it. It wouldn’t be right for me to keep it a secret.”

“How much of a discount are you willing to give me to take it off your hands?” I was intrigued. Jax might be freaked out about it, but I couldn’t have cared less. One man’s loss was my gain. If this guy was willing to take off enough money, I’d be interested in owning.

“Let me show you the motorhome. If you like it I’ll show you some comparisons and then we’ll talk money. How’s that sound?”

“I’m sort of pressed for time. I need to be back before dinner, and I’m sure you don’t want to spend the day here.”

“We’ve got some time,” he reassured me. He wanted the sale, and I was hopeful we’d be able to work something out.

We spent two hours touring each trailer on the lot, starting with the used unit. In all honesty, I didn’t know the first thing about motorhomes. We’d camped out of a cabin my whole life, and the idea of being able to pick up and drive away was appealing. I knew we’d get a lot of use out of it. The more I looked at them, the easier my decision of buying one was becoming. Against Reese’s judgment, I fell victim to my own bad habits and took the plunge into ownership.

When it was all said and done, we sat across from one another with a slew of paperwork between us. I’d agreed to do a one month rent to own deal, making the deciding factor my family’s ability not to kill one another while using it. If this went well we’d be able to spend many trips together, traveling without having to leave most of our special amenities behind. I’d also made plans to bring it back for a final inspection and to finish some financial details we couldn’t do since it was a holiday. Shaking on good faith was all it took in the end game.

Since I then had two vehicles to take home, I called my sister, Isabella, and asked if her husband could come drive my car home so I could learn how to manage the beast and attempt to get used to it.

I’d been gone for three hours by the time I pulled the RV onto the ranch. The first person to come outside was my father, of course looking me up and down with wonder while waiting for me to explain. “What? Reese and I decided to take our shit show on the road. We’re doing forty eight states in six months.”

“Bullshit. What the hell are you doing with that monstrosity?”

“If you have to know,” I continued. “I’m trying to make Amber’s dreams come true.”

My father stared at me, even more confused than before. “Come again?” He shook his head. “Please tell me you aren’t hitting that.”

“What?” I couldn’t believe he’d ask, especially after my brother and I had already been through hell with the Reese situation. “Have you lost your mind?”

“Have you?”

He pointed to the RV. “Just tell me what the hell you’re doing, Jake. Your mother will pitch a fit if you cause problems for your brother today.”


“Dad, you’ve got it all wrong. I’m trying to make life easier for them. It’s kind of a surprise, so I’d rather not announce it. Just do me a favor and keep your mouth shut until I can explain. They don’t have any idea I’ve gone out and done this.”

My Uncle Colt managed to step outside carrying a large crock pot. His wife, Savanna followed behind him with a large covered turkey platter, heading in the direction of their vehicle. “Is that yours, Jake?” He asked.

“It might be. Ain't she a beauty?”

He handed my father the pot of food and headed in my direction. “You mind if I check it out?”

We walked inside, my dad coming with us, filling the motorhome with the aroma of a mystery Thanksgiving casserole. It took me a few minutes to maneuver the bump outs, which extended the trailer on both sides, doubling the square footage. I have to say, the look on my dad’s face was impressive. “You could live in here.” He crossed his arms.

Since it was in my nature to irritate my father until he reached a breaking point, I decided to fabricate a story even he’d go for. “Okay, fine. I’ll tell you what’s going on, but you have to promise to keep it a secret until I can share the news with Jax. He doesn’t know I’ve acquired transportation and I don’t want him finding out from someone else.”

“Well, don’t keep us waiting,” my dad announced. “What are you planning on doing with such a high dollar piece of machinery?”

I sighed, as if to be relieved, though it was all part of the joke. “I suppose it’s been a long time coming, ever since we discovered Reese had been involved in a porno flick. It was a shock at first, I think to both of us. Of course, Jax was the first person to point it out to me, he and Amber had been searching for a good video to entertain their extracurricular needs.” I waited to watch the reaction on my uncle’s disapproving face before continuing. “Anywhoo, Jax told me about the video, and after giving Reese hell, she finally admitted to being a part of it. She said she did it for the money, and didn’t think anyone would ever find out. Jax wasn’t too bent out of shape, considering she was with another female in the video, and with the time factored in they’d definitely been a couple. His only problem was how she hadn’t included him.”

“You’re kidding. Your brother would have mentioned it. He wouldn’t let you live something like that down.”

“It just happened a few weeks ago. He promised Amber he wouldn’t give Reese a hard time about it.” I was doing my best not to crack up laughing. My Uncle Colt seemed like he was going to take my hand and say a prayer for us. The more disturbed his grimace became, the harder I wanted to push at his nerves.

“So what does any of that have to do with a mobile home, son? I know this wasn’t cheap. You’re not planning on moving away? Surely the family will be considerate of her bad choices. We all make mistakes. Only God can judge us.”

“No. We’re not going to run away from our problems. We’re going to embrace them. I got a good deal, and if it doesn’t work out I can return it. It’s rent to own for the first few months.”

After watching him pick the prepared food up, my father kept pushing. “Again, spill. I’m not standing here with my hands full of food all day.” He was anxious, making the situation even more appealing. I loved shocking him, making him feel like he failed as a parent. The best part was knowing he would do whatever it took to protect my mother from it, even fabricating a whole different scenario to defer her from finding out we’d somehow screwed up. I half expected it was because she’d blame him for his earlier shenanigans.

“We’re planning on driving it across country filming college chicks getting freaky in order to kick start our new porn venture. It’s been a dream of ours for quite some time.”

I could tell my dad was catching on that I was joking, while Uncle Colt seemed to be sickened. It was quite entertaining to witness.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Jake,” he attested. “You need to make better choices. Doing something like that will ruin your lives. I don’t know what you and your brother are into these days, but you need to think twice about getting involved in something so taboo. You’ll be taking advantage of young desperate girls, not to mention putting yourselves in danger of being charged with underage pornography or worse. You never know what these girls will say for a few extra dollars in their bank accounts.”

By this point, my dad had jumped on board, with me, not my uncle. “Actually, I think it’s an opportunity. Good for you. Sometimes I wonder where I’d be if it wasn’t for your mother keeping me tied down. Imagine the amount of pussy you’re going to get to see, and your wives are on board. That’s fantastic.”

It only took my dad a few seconds to burst into a laughing fit. He tapped on my uncle’s shoulder. “Lighten up, Colt. He’s yanking your chain.”

I chuckled with my dad. “We had you going. Damn. It was too easy.”

Uncle Colt seemed annoyed, but thankful we weren’t getting into the porn business. “You had me going. I never know what you two are getting in to.”

“Jax is a married man, with a woman he would never take for granted. I’d like to think he would have been in on the joke, but I never know with him. He walks a tight rope when it comes to keeping Amber happy.”

“He’s whipped,” Dad added. “Plain and simple.”

“It takes one to know one,” Uncle Colt added.

“True.” Dad exclaimed, before turning his attention back to me. “Alright, enough of the bullshit. Why did you go out and buy a motorhome on Thanksgiving?”

“In due time, Dad. I’ll tell everyone the news once I know everything is a go. I can tell you this… It does have something to do with film, and the four of us being together for an entire month.”

Seeming to be intrigued, I headed out of the motorhome, hoping to leave them puzzled as to my intentions.

They joined me a few seconds later, my dad closing the door as he exited.

“What’s in the crockpot?” I asked.

“Your Aunt Van’s macaroni. She also made an extra turkey, just in case Amber’s doesn’t work out.”

My dad chimed in. “That makes two of us. Miranda had me fry one up last night.”

I laughed. “Jax is going to shit himself by the time the night is over. I can’t wait to see his face when you both walk in with two turkeys. He’s doing his best to pull this off, but let me just say, when I last saw them they were getting worried.”

“If I were you, I’d keep that bit of information from Jax and Amber. They’re adamant about tonight.”

My dad and uncle looked at one another, and then both back to me. He spoke in a matter-of-fact tone. “History repeats itself. We needed to make sure there would be scrumptious food, instead of the charbroiled kind they tend to end up with.”

I shook my head and started to head toward my sister Isabella’s house, which was also located on the property. “You all do whatever you want. I need to get back to Jax before he commits Thanksgiving suicide. Smell you two later.”

BOOK: Jingle All the Mitchell Way: A Holiday Novella
13.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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