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Take a Chance (ebook)

Take a Chance (ebook)

The Flanagan Sisters - Short Story

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Max’s perfect Christmas plan turns into a nightmare when his boyfriend dumps him. Devastated, he seizes the chance to make a colleague’s Christmas wish come true by giving him the opportunity to experience his first white Christmas.

Liam has been crushing on Max since he started work a month ago. Now he’s been given the perfect opportunity to spend a week with the man of his dreams. There’s only one problem – he hasn’t told his new workmates he’s gay.

This might be a Christmas to remember, or one to forget – if Liam is brave enough to take a chance.

*** A Christmas short story ***

Chapter 1 Look Inside

Max tapped his foot in time to the Christmas carol playing from the cubicle next to his, the sound cheery enough to give his day a desperately needed lift.
“It’s Secret Santa time,” Helen called.
Around him people groaned, but he clapped his hands and leapt to his feet. “Oh, let me pick first!”
Helen beamed and hurried over, shuffling the bits of paper in the box. “What do you want for Christmas, Max?”
He grinned. “I’ve got what I want — a man who loves me.” OK, so he and Sam were having a couple of disagreements, but he had the solution to that. The perfect Christmas gift would fix everything.
Helen sighed, with a hand on her heart as he drew out a name and checked who he’d got. Joseph would be easy to buy for.
“What about you?” he asked.
“I want what you’ve got —” She winked. “— but failing that a massage would go down just fine.”
There was no way she’d get a massage from her Secret Santa, but perhaps they could all pitch in. He’d have a word with the others. Helen shooed him away before she moved to the next person.
“Liam, did you get the memo about the Secret Santa?” she asked.
Max leaned against the cubicle wall —careful not to knock down the tinsel— keen to see Liam’s reaction. The sun-bleached blond Australian had only been with the company for a month. Aside from noticing his solidly built frame —a good foot taller than Max’s five feet two— and his sexy designer stubble, Max had been too busy with the software project that had to be completed by the end of the year to get to know him. He should have made the effort. It was hard being a newbie and he looked like someone worthwhile getting to know.
But not in that way. Max was totally happy with Sam.
“Yeah.” The word was drawn out in Liam’s Aussie accent as he took a slip of paper.
Max sighed inwardly. He was a sucker for accents. Pity Sam didn’t have one.
“What’s the limit?”
“Ten dollars,” he answered. “If you need a hand coming up with gift ideas, let me know. I can usually pick something for everyone.”
Liam gave him a slow smile. “Thanks, mate.”
He ignored his racing heart —so what if the guy was sexy?— and waved Liam’s thanks aside. “Only person I’d have trouble with is you. What do you want for Christmas?”
A frown flittered across Liam’s face, chased by a touch of sadness. “Well, a flight home is out of the budget,” he said. “I’d settle for something typically Texan.”
Max’s empathy kicked in. Being alone on the holidays was something he’d had firsthand experience with. Though on the streets, he’d soon found a new family. “Is this your first Christmas away from home?”
“Yeah. First time in the northern hemisphere for Christmas and I chose the wrong city for a white one.”
Yeah, it rarely snowed in Houston. “Do you get snow at all in Australia?”
Liam shook his head. “Not where I’m from. We head to the beach for Christmas.”
Max laughed. “I’m going to my sister’s in Minnesota and I’ll probably freeze my ass off.”
Liam wrinkled his nose. “Sounds nice.”
Max pressed his lips firmly together. Now was not the time to invite a stranger to Minnesota, especially not this year. With that in mind, he said, “We’ll see. Let me know if you need a hand with the Secret Santa.” He turned back to his desk and opened the search engine. He had a gift to buy.

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