For Want of a Christmas Miracle

by Olley White

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When one down-on-his-luck gardener and one garden centre owner meet, neither could predict the attraction they’d feel towards each other. Toby is just about turning round the business he’d inherited from his dad, and it’s all going well—until a risk he took looks like it might not pay off. Rhys’s employment at Toby’s garden centre is temporary, just to cover the Christmas sales, and frankly he’d much rather be outside gardening. And avoiding Christmas.

When an accident means Toby can’t be at work at a crucial time, it's time for Rhys to step up to the mark. But can the Christmas Scrooge make the difference required for the man he’s starting to love?

Book Info

Author: Olley White

Release Date: December 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-911153-03-0

Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF

Cover Artist: Aria Tan

Category: Romance

Genre: Contemporary

Theme: Seasonal

Word Count: 18700*

Pages: 58

Sex Content: Explicit

Pairing: MM

Orientation: Gay

Identity: Cisgender

*Novelette

Excerpt

For Want of a Christmas Miracle
©Copyright Olley White 2015
All rights reserved

Toby appraised the area in front of him again. He couldn’t believe it; he honestly thought he was going to have a good couple of hours work out here before he could start shifting the Christmas trees that had been delivered earlier. He spent longer looking than it was really worth; it was only a clean shop floor after all, but all the time he spent looking at it meant he didn’t have to meet the gaze of the employee in front of him. He needed a moment to gather himself. A moment was all it took though, and his natural confidence returned.

Turning, he smiled again at Rhys, taking in the tall wiriness of the man and accepting the beat his heart skipped before he spoke.

“So, you’re our newest employee, huh?” he repeated.

“Yep. Just temporary over the holiday period.” Rhys faced him, dark eyes flitting momentarily to his before darting to stare back over the cleared space. “Well, I suppose I’d better go in and see what my next job is.”

Toby supposed Rhys should as well, but he didn’t want him to. “Have you been out here all afternoon?”

Rhys glanced at his watch and nodded. “Since tenish,” he said, and a serene look settled on his angular features.

“You’ve been stuck out here all day?” Damn. It was freezing. “I’ll have a word with your supervisor; nobody should be stuck outside all day. It’s meant to work on a rota system. It’s too cold.”

“No.” Rhys reached and grabbed Toby’s sleeve. “I mean, I don’t mind. I like it outside. I’m a gardener; I’m used to it.” Rhys’s eyes flicked to the shop and the bustle and brightness inside. Toby watched a small frown cross the man’s face.

“Nobody likes it out here at this time of year. Nobody. In the summer, I can’t get the staff to stay indoors, but this time of year, it’s the opposite problem. It’s why I end up doing a lot of it myself. I like it outside, whatever the weather.”

“God, yes, me too. Who’d want to be stuck inside when you can be out in the fresh air?”

Toby narrowed his eyes. “There’s not going to be TV crew coming to tell me I’m the butt of a practical joke, is there?”

Rhys looked at him blankly.

“Never mind. I thought I’d never find anyone who was willing to do the outdoor jobs in winter.”

“Well, I’m more than happy to. But now, I’d better go in and get my next job.” Rhys repeated, turning towards the shop. A look of mild horror crossed his face as he took in the customers looking through the plants, knick-knacks and endless boxes of Christmas decorations.

There was something about the reticent look that tugged at Toby’s heart. He found himself wanting to know all about the newest employee of Brambley Garden Centre; not a good idea, he knew that. He did, he really did.

Still, having someone who didn’t mind working out in the cold was a godsend. It meant he didn’t have to do it all by himself and that was the only reason he made his next suggestion to Rhys. At least that was what he was telling himself.

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