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Secret Santa Romance pt 3

16 Dec

This story looks like it is going to run another day at least. I hope everyone is enjoying Randall and Jolene’s story. I would love a few comments telling me what you think.-PG

white-elephant-gift-exchange

Jolene woke to pain on her right side. She looked around her, realizing that she was in a hospital, and reached for the nurse call button, when she noticed Randall sleeping in a chair beside her. She pushed the call button to let the nurse know she was in pain. She looked at her stomach and realized she had been operated on. She sort of remembered someone telling her that her appendix had burst. Randall stirred beside her and opened his eyes to see her looking at him. “Hey, how are you feeling?”

“I’m hurting, but I just called for the nurse.”

“You really scared me, Jolene. When we got to you, the EMT’s couldn’t wake you up. Then I got here, the doctor said your appendix had ruptured. For a while there, I was afraid I had lost you.”

“I’m glad you got to me in time.”

Just then, the nurse entered. “You’re awake, good! How are you feeling?”

“I’m in a lot of pain right now.”

“I thought you might be, so I brought your pain meds with me. This may make you a bit drowsy, don’t fight it. The more you rest, the quicker you’ll heal.” She connected a syringe to Jolene’s IV and about five seconds later, Jolene felt the pain melt away.

“I’ll be back later to check on you. Do you need anything else?”

Jolene shook her head. “Okay, you rest and I’ll check on you in a bit.”

After she left, Randall stood and came over to the bed. “Jolene, do you think you can stay awake for a few minutes? I need to talk to you.”

“I’ll try, Randall, but I can’t make any promises.”

“I’ll try to be quick, then. I was going to wait until you’d received all my presents but this surgery made me realize I don’t want to wait, not one more day.”

“What are you talking about? You haven’t given me any presents.”

Randall reached into a bag that was sitting beside the chair he had been sleeping in and pulled out a box that was wrapped in the Christmas wrapping paper that all her Secret Santa gifts had been wrapped in. He sat it on her lap. “Yes, I have.”

She looked at the tag attached and it read “The third gift of Christmas my TRUE LOVE gave to me was…”

She gasped and looked up at her best friend and the only man she had ever loved since high school. “It was you? You’ve been giving me these gifts?”

“Yes, I know you’ve thought our dates have been to keep other people away from us. But I’ve never thought that way. I’ve always loved you. I wanted to make you fall in love with me for real, and had twelve of these planned. Then I saw you laying on the bathroom floor unconscious and realized I don’t want to wait even till Christmas to tell you how I feel. I love you. I want us to be a couple for real. Honestly, I want us to be more than a couple, I want us to be husband and wife, mom and dad, and eventually, a grandma and grandpa together.”

Jolene couldn’t stop the tears that leaked out of her eyes. “That’s what I’ve wanted, too. I thought you didn’t want me like that. Every time I got one of those gifts, I wished it was you sending it instead of some unknown guy.”

“Then let’s make it official. This was going to be gift number twelve.” Randall reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a blue Tiffany’s box and flip it open to reveal a beautiful diamond ring. “Jolene Fairaday, will you marry me?”

“Yes, Oh, YES!”

Randall slipped the ring out of the box and placed it on her finger. Then he leaned down and kissed the girl of his dreams gently and sweetly for the first time. Jolene wrapped her arms around the man she’d always dreamed about and the kiss intensified till her toes curled. When Randall pulled away, they were both smiling like goofy lovesick kids. Randall rubbed her check, then leaned down and kissed her again, and whispered, “Get some sleep, my love. I’ll be right here when you wake up.”

Jolene looked up at him and slowly did exactly what he’d told her to do, and slipped into medicine-induced sleep. Her dreams were all about her future with Randall. She knew that her dreams would now become her reality. God had heard the cry of her heart and blessed her with her heart’s desire. Randall felt about her like she felt about him.

 

Randall watched as his fiancé slipped into a drug-induced sleep. She hadn’t even opened her gift but he left it on the hospital table and set the ring box beside it. She said yes! He’d been ready to convince her that they were right for each other; instead she had been feeling the same way he had all this time. They’d wasted years by not telling each other how they felt. Never again. He’d tell her every day how much he loved her. He’d shower her with tokens of his love just to make sure she never felt like he didn’t care about her. She said yes. He wanted to shout it from the rooftops; instead, he called his assistant and had him make the announcement. When Jolene woke up, he’d see how long an engagement she wanted. If he had his way they’d be married before Christmas. They’d wasted enough time apart.

 

#

 

Jolene slowly recovered from the surgery, and having gift number three helped. Randall had gotten her a signed first edition of her favorite book: “Persuasion” by Jane Austen. She loved that he’d noticed her eyeing it on one of their trips to the used bookstore. Every day she was in the hospital, Randall would arrive right after breakfast with another of those gifts. Each had that Card which always read: “The ___ gift of Christmas My TRUE LOVE gave to me was…”

She’d open each one to realize just how special a man God had gifted her with. Gift four was an antique music box just like one her grandma used to have. Gift five was tickets to see the Nutcracker ballet three days before Christmas. She got gift six just before they released her from the hospital, and it was a new outfit, which she was grateful for since she had been brought to the hospital in her ratty old pajamas.

They only had one argument as she was released. She expected to go to her apartment, but instead found herself at Randall’s Penthouse for the first time. “Randall, I can’t stay here with you. What will people think?”

“I don’t care what they think. You need to rest and continue to get well. Here I can look after you, and when I’m not here, Jarvis and the staff can make sure you are taken care of.”

“Jarvis works for you? I should have known that.”

“I hired him after he was at your house. You made him sound so great, I didn’t want to let him get away.”

“Randall, I can’t stay at your place alone with you. We may be engaged, but I don’t want either of our reputations to be soiled by rumor and speculation.”

“We won’t be alone, there is staff here all the time and until we get married, you will have your own room. I insist, Jolene. You can’t be alone right now and I refuse to have to kick your door down again. Here, someone can make sure you’re okay and call the doctor if needed.”

Jolene knew that look. He wasn’t going to relent no matter what she said. “Fine, but I think you’re overreacting.”

“Maybe so, but this is the way it’s going to be.”

“What about my things?”

“I’ll send Larry with a couple of the maids to your place to bring your clothes. Anything else we can talk about later, okay?”

Jolene sighed. “Fine, you win, but make sure someone else is in the apartment the whole time I’m here.”

“I can do that, at least until after our wedding.”

Randall helped her out of the car and into the elevator. When they stepped out into the penthouse, Jarvis was waiting at the door. “It is good to see you again, Miss Jolene.”

“You as well, Jarvis, I’m glad that Randall gave you a job.”

“It will be a pleasure to serve you again, miss, and I see he gave you his heart,” the butler said, looking at the ring on her finger.

“Yes, it seems that I just needed to pass out to earn his name.”

“I hear it was more than that. Shall I show you to your room and help you get comfortable?”

“That would be nice, thank you.”

The butler gave Jolene his arm and showed her to her suite, which was a bedroom and small sitting area, as well as an ensuite with glass shower and soaker tub. “If you need anything, miss, just push this button, and either I or one of the staff will respond in seconds. Everyone has been informed that your needs are top priority, per Mr. Herrschner’s orders.”

“Thank you, Jarvis, and can you have someone bring me a drink? I need to take my antibiotic and a pain pill, then I’ll rest till dinner.”

The older man nodded. “We have been informed of your favorite foods and beverages. I will have an ice cold grape crush brought to you straightaway, miss. Shall I call you when supper is ready, or would you prefer I have a tray delivered to you?”

Jolene smiled. “You’d better just inform me, I’m sure that Randall will end up in here himself if I don’t come out to eat with him.”

“As you wish, Miss Jolene.”

Once the soda had been brought and Jolene had taken her pills, she laid down to rest until she was called for supper.

Cute newfoundland puppy face in pure black

She woke several hours later to a knock on her bedroom door. She called at whoever it was to come in, and several of the house staff entered with several boxes of her clothes from her apartment, as well as her laptop and personal grooming products. She eased out of the bed and started putting stuff where she wanted it. As she put the last of the products in the ensuite, there was a scratching sound at her door. She opened it to a see a solid black puppy with a golden bow around its neck and that familiar tag – “The sixth gift of Christmas my TRUE LOVE gave to me was the puppy I always said I wanted.” On the opposite side of the card was, “He’s a Newfoundland puppy just like you always said you wanted. He needs a name.”

She squealed and picked up the ball of fur and hugged him to her. “Look at you. You’re such a cutie, you look like a living teddy bear. That’s it I’ll call you – Teddy. Now, I hope Randall bought some puppy pads and food for you. I bet he’s here somewhere let’s go find him.” She sat her Teddy on the ground and headed into the main part of the penthouse. The little puppy whined and then followed right along behind her. When she got into the sitting room, there was Randall looking like the cat that ate the canary. She walked over to him and gave him a big hug and a kiss. “I love him, thank you! I’m going to call him Teddy because he looks just like a little teddy bear.”

Randall laughed. “You do realize how big these dogs get, right? It’s going to be hilarious to here you calling a hundred pound beast a little teddy bear.”

“I don’t care how big he gets, he’ll always be my teddy bear. Now, did you get him a collar, food and water dishes, and puppy food? Also, how about puppy pads? I doubt he’s house broken yet.”

Randall laughed. “I did get all those things. I figure you want them taken to your room?”

“Yes, please.”

“I got you a leash too, in case you want to take him out to the park for a walk. Also, he is scheduled to start obedience training on January the 2nd. I figured as big as he is going to get, you need to make sure he’s properly trained, or he’ll drag us both around like a chew toy.”

Jolene gave him a kiss that told him just how good a job he had done picking this gift.

“Can we sit and have a conversation while waiting on supper?”

“Of course.”

Jolene sat down on the love seat and waited as Randall sat beside her. Teddy jumped at her legs, trying to get up on her lap. She reached down and pulled the fluffy little bundle of love onto her lap.

Randall laughed “I don’t know that you want to get that beast used to sitting on your lap. In about six months, he’ll crush you.”

Jolene stuck her tongue out at him. “Well, until then, he is perfect for cuddling.”

“You’ll wish you hadn’t started that, but he’s your dog. Anyway, we need to talk about our engagement.”

“What about it?”

“How long an engagement do you want?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, when do you want to get married, Jolene? I feel like we wasted a ton of time and I don’t want to waste any more.”

“Well, I haven’t even gotten to show off my ring to our friends yet.”

“We could have a party and invite them all over this weekend if you want. I could have a heated tent put up on the rooftop terrace and hire a band. But I would want us to announce our wedding date if we do that.”

“Well when were you thinking?”

“How about on the twenty-third of December?”

“You want me to plan a wedding in three weeks?” she asked incredulously.

“I would like to be married before Christmas if you think we could do it.”

“I want a real wedding, Randall, in a church with all the trimmings.”

“Okay I’ll make you a deal, you agree to marry me on December the 23rd and I’ll hire you a fleet of wedding planners to make it the wedding of your dreams.”

“I don’t even know if we could get dresses altered in that time frame.”

“Jolene, trust me, with the kind of money I’ll throw at them you could get the dresses made from scratch in that time frame.”

“Then I guess it’s a good thing you’ve been so successful, isn’t it?”

“It has its advantages. We’d never pull this off if we were still in the old neighborhood.”

“Okay, I will marry you on the twenty-third but you have to get our friends here this weekend. I’ll call the girls I want for bride’s maids and maid of honor. And you will find me a wedding planner tomorrow.”

“ I will get a wedding planner and party planner to meet with you before tomorrow is done. Thank you. I love you, never doubt that.”

“I know you do. I love you, too.” She leaned against him, asking, “Why did we wait so long to tell each other how we felt?”

“I don’t know, but I don’t want another day to pass without us telling each other from now on.”

“Let me go put Teddy in my room, I’m sure supper will be ready soon.”

Randall nodded and kissed her soundly, which was hard with a wiggly puppy trying to lick them both. Jolene got up laughing and sat Teddy on the floor. “Come on, Teddy, let’s get you in the room and get ready for supper.”

Randall grabbed his phone and gave Larry a call. “I know it’s late for work, Larry, but I want you to find a Wedding Planner who is willing to plan a wedding for December 23rd. Money isn’t an obstacle. I’ll also need a party planner for a party this weekend. Send them both to the penthouse tomorrow to see Jolene. I’ll be in at some point tomorrow.” He was silent and then said, “Yes I know they are getting antsy, remind them who owns the majority of the stock. I’ll be there by noon then. Just get me those planners here in the morning.”

Randall hung up and then called his real estate broker and told him what he wanted to purchase and scheduled to see him at the office tomorrow at two. Jolene would be blown away by her next present. He planned to see all her dreams fulfilled from now on.

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Posted by on December 16, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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