Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Home Fires of Christmas - My Story Gift To You

It's Christmas Eve, a holy and special day.  We're spending time with family and friends, sharing love and laughter, food and gifts.  And it's a day for sharing.

Today I'm sharing my Christmas tale "The Fires of Christmas", a little piece of original fiction I wrote for one of my other blogs, Seanachie Stories and More.   On that blog each week I participate in Tuesday Tales, a weekly sharing from multiple authors writing original fiction to the same prompt.

Here's where the weekly fun begins (even though this isn't Tuesday)
http://tuesdaytales1.blogspot.com

And here's where my story first appeared on Tuesday last:


http://seanachiestories-tuesdaytalesandmore.blogspot.com

But you don't have to go - the story is here!
Now enjoy my special little tale, a romance with a touch of heat.


The Home Fires of Christmas
by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy


He promised he’d be home so she waited up, wrapped in her favorite pine green robe he bought her last Christmas, sipping hot chocolate and listening to Christmas carols on the stereo until she couldn’t push the tears away any longer. The old black rotary phone on the end table mocked her with silence and so Lela surrendered to the sorrow she’d ignored for hours. When the grandfather clock chimed out the midnight hour, she knew. He wasn’t coming home in time for Christmas.




As she trudged upstairs in the huge old house his money bought them, a Victorian beauty restored to the opulence of its youth, the stairs creaked beneath her light tread and she paused at the landing to stare north as she could spot Santa or at least Shane heading her direction. All she could see, though, were the lights of the communications tower and maybe a lonely aircraft. She listened but she couldn’t hear any traffic moving, not near or distant.

Just in case, she’d left the Christmas tree lights plugged in and burning, like a candle in the window but in her heavy heart, Lela didn’t expect him. Her Shane wasn’t hers any longer – she shared him with the world. She married a young man with dreams, a guy with a voice people loved, one offering a potent combination of sweetness and sensuality. He could play a few guitar chords, enough to get by and to look great on stage with a guitar in his hands. Shane’s first gigs were high school dances back when they were barely out of high school themselves. Then during college he played at a few frat parties, then at a bar downtown where some guy from California heard him and liked the sound.



Everything happened fast after that and their lives took off like a rollercoaster at a major theme park. Life out on the road offered fun at first but when it lost the charm of something new, Shane bought the big old house in their hometown, had everything restored, and Lela stayed to supervise. Somehow she never went back on the road and Shane didn’t expect it.

“Keep the home fires burning for me, baby,” he told her every time he left.

At first she didn’t mind. Lela loved decorating the twelve room house, finding antiques and just the right accents to make it into a home, their home stamped with their style and personality. She enjoyed trying out new dishes to cook when Shane got back and baking but when his career took off, with first one hit single and then a chart busting monster hit, he lived on the road and came home when he could, which wasn’t often.



He still loves me, she thought as she curled up in bed, alone, her bare feet cold. She knew he did. Most nights he called her when the show ended and often he called her throughout the day, quick little calls to tell her where he was or what went down around him. The florist’s van made frequent stops at their address, delivering dozens of roses or special daisies or plants. Sometimes they marked an occasion – their first date, her birthday, but most of the time, his cards were signed, “Just because I love you, Shane.”

Until now, he’d never missed Christmas at home. He cleared his concert schedule to be back by mid-December and together they picked out a tree, brought it home, trimmed it, and went shopping, arm in arm. Maybe because they grew up blue collar poor, making ends meet on a lot of beans and meatloaf, they gave generously. Family and friends always received beautiful gifts, things they wanted or needed, often things they’d never dreamed of owning. Shane and Lela also usually shopped for the local children’s home, delivering a truckload of Hot Wheels race track sets, Barbie Doll houses, and board games but this year, she’d done it alone, all of it.

Shane Wynne’s Christmas Concert sold out the day his promoters announced it, in cities across the United States and some dates in Canada. His advance take of six figures wasn’t one Shane wanted to refuse and when she saw how he longed to go, Lela gave her blessing, her lips smiling as her heart hoped he’d refuse. He accepted, though, even though God knows they didn’t need the money and left, waving at her, cell phone to his ear as he talked to his producer, manager or wardrobe people.

He left Thanksgiving night, the aroma of roasted turkey still hanging in the air and the echo of their many guests’ voices remaining in memory. Alone Lela watched old movies and cried, knowing he wouldn’t be back until almost Christmas.

“So you’re coming home?” she asked him last night, on the 23rd, her voice stretching all the long miles from Missouri to Detroit where the last show of the tour closed.

“I’ll be there on Christmas Eve,” Shane said, in the voice she’d loved longer than all his millions of fans, “I promise, Lela. We’ll drink wine by the fireplace and I’ll make love to you right up until Santa comes down the chimney.”

“That sounds perfect,” she’d told him. “I love you, Shane.”

“Love you, too, babe,” he replied and then, after voices murmured in the background added, “I’ve got to go. I’ll see you then.”

Happiness bubbled in her like fine champagne and carried her through most of the day on Christmas Eve. She braved the last minute shoppers to buy all Shane’s favorites and chilled the Moscato wine. At dusk, she took a long bath and emerged to put on her favorite lingerie, an emerald green complimenting her dark hair. Lela added her favorite perfume and made up her face, simple but elegant just the way Shane liked and then she waited. At seven, she figured he’d arrive any time. By nine, she changed into her old flannel nightgown to keep warm and wrapped up in her comfortable robe. At ten, she watched the news with a ball of ice in her stomach, half expecting a report about an accident involving Shane’s tour bus. When the clock marked eleven, she made hot chocolate and at midnight, she released the tears she’d kept back for hours.

She wept until she slipped into restless slumber, awakening when a sound permeated through her consciousness. At first she couldn’t place it and all she knew was it didn’t fit, wasn’t usual. Lela lay quiet and listened until she realized the sounds coming from downstairs were her favorite Christmas music, the old songs Shane sang to her before he became a star. Somehow it didn’t sound like the CD but she couldn’t be sure. With blended trepidation and anticipation, she reached for her green robe and put it on, thrust her feet into slippers and tiptoed down the front stairs with such stealth she made no sound at all. Halfway down, she peered through the banisters into the front parlor, the room with a beautiful hearth and mahogany mantle piece. Lela forgot about keeping quiet and gasped when she saw the cheerful flames dancing in the fireplace. Dark green holly peppered with red berries decorated the mantle and among the greenery, small white candles flickered. If she’d heard music before, there wasn’t any playing now.

Someone stood before the fire, his back to her but she’d know his stance anywhere and she flew down the stairs, running, her heart pounding to a rock and roll drumbeat. He didn’t turn around or seem to hear her approach and suddenly bashful, she stopped about five feet away from him. Maybe she’d been wrong. It could be what she’d often feared, an intruder who came because of her husband’s fame.

Still, Lela pushed her heart back down her throat to say, voice husky after her earlier tears, “Shane?”

He turned to face her and she laughed aloud with delight. Shane’s eyes sparkled, reflecting back the firelight as he opened his arms to her, wide as the outside world and Lela entered them, basking in their strong comfort, their sanctuary. In those first few moments he just held her, tight and safe, as if she was precious and Lela knew now her doubts were foolish. She trembled in his arms, the after effect of her fear, her worry, and her crying jag.

“Hey, are you all right?” Shane whispered, his voice millions loved speaking now just to her.

“I am now,” Lela told him, “I thought you weren’t coming home.”

His big hand brushed her tangled hair back from her face. “Silly woman, you should know I’d be here for Christmas. You’re my heart, Lela, and I love you. Where else would I be?”

Her concerns seemed frivolous now so she answered, “I don’t know. I worried about you, Shane.”

His chuckle warmed her more than the fire. “I know you – you worried I’d been in an accident and then you worried maybe I found a pretty little fan I liked better than you.”

He knew her, down to her bones and beyond her soul. Lela couldn’t deny it so she smiled up at him, “Something like that.”

“You don’t have to worry about other women, ever,” Shane told her. “There’s snow on the roads almost all the way between here and Detroit. The bus laid up for the night at Memphis but I rented a car and came on home. It took a lot longer than I thought it would but I’m here.”

“I’m glad,” she said and nestled closer against his chest. Then she lifted her face to him and needed his mouth to reassure her. “Kiss me, Shane.”



“Merry Christmas, babe,” he said as he bent low to put his mouth over hers. He tasted of peppermints and a fainter hint of good bourbon, pleasant and familiar. Heat kindled between their lips and fire ignited between them as his mouth teased hers into desire. His kiss pleasured her mouth but sent waves of want through her body, sweet thrills of delight rippling with need. As her body eased into the familiar tension, the yearning just one thing could relieve, Lela curled herself closer against Shane until she felt his hard cock move against her.




He pulled away her robe and stripped her flannel nightgown away. Shane’s large hands roamed over her body, caressing and fondling. He knew just where to touch to evoke her reaction, how to stroke her to increase her desire to a fever pitch. Lela’s hands jerked at his shirt, fumbled the buttons until she could take it off. When she did, Shane unzipped his jeans and stepped out of them, bare as the day he came into the world beneath the denim. She admired his shaft and reached out to take it into her hand. As she began to caress him, Shane pulled his mouth away from hers to latch onto her left nipple where he suckled. Extreme pleasure flowed through her body as she arched her back to get maximum reaction. He switched to her right breast, hand cupping it as he tongued around her sensitive nipple until she whimpered with need.

Shane’s fingers moved to her mound where he stroked until her inner pulsing increased so much Lela thought she’d die if she didn’t get satisfaction soon. Her own fingers tangled in his hair, longer than he’d once worn it and then moved to rake his back with her fingernails like a she-animal. He groaned with pleasure and maneuvered her toward the antique couch. Lela sprawled on it, legs spread open and he entered her, fast and harsh, with the power of a river flowing into her body. From the first connection she spasmed with glad satisfaction as each ripple grew until waves of erotic enchantment bewitched her.

He worked her and she gave back, moving beneath him to offer the release they both sought. At the last they shuddered together in a climax powerful enough they slid from the couch onto the hard wood floors with a crash. Still connected, the final spirals of bliss spinning them through a rush of delight they burst into laughter, a happy sound carrying them the rest of the way. After he caught his breath, he scooped her into his arms and returned her to the couch where they lay intertwined, firelight playing a game of light and shadow over their nude flesh.



Lela rested her head against his chest and listened to the steady beat of his heart. She never noticed she’d become cold enough to shiver until he wrapped her in something soft. Against her cheek, the silky warmth tickled and she glanced to see fur. Her fingers stroked its’ surface, too pliable not to have come from a living creature.

“What’s this?” she asked, curious and pleased.

“It’s your new mink,” Shane said, “Merry Christmas.”

She squealed with delight. “It’s my present? I love it.”

“That and about a dozen other things,” he said, “I went crazy buying stuff for you.”

“Why?”

“’Cause I miss you when I’m out on the road,” he said, nuzzling his chin against her shoulder. “I get lonely. I wish you’d come with me, baby.”

Lela stilled. She waited, processed his words, and then said, tentative and almost shy, “I thought you wanted me here, Shane.”

She sensed his surprise before he said, “I always thought you wanted to stay home, Lela. Don’t you?”

“I love the house,” she said, her throat closing around a growing knot of unshed tears. “But I’d rather be with you, even if it means sleeping on the damn tour bus, putting up with your band, eating cheap food, and keeping insane hours. You always tell me to keep the home fires burning so I thought you wanted me here.”

“I want you with me,” he said, with such simplicity she knew he spoke truth. “When I’m here, when I’m gone, anywhere, everywhere, I want you beside me.”

Her tears earlier sprang out of anxiety and sadness but the ones burning her eyes, choking her were birthed with joy. As much as she liked the mink, something she’d yearned to own for a very long time, no matter what else Shane’d brought her, his words were the real gift of the season, the one mattering most.

“Then I will be,” she said, voice softer than the mink, quieter than the fire whispering through the flames. “I love you, Shane. Merry Christmas, honey.”

Lela turned her head to see his reaction and he smiled. “If you’re coming with me,” he said, “It’s going to be a happy new year, too.”

Naked, swathed in mink, in her husband’s arms, Lela, watching the light and shadows play of the leaping flames, knew within her heart it would be and that the old saying, home is where the heart is, it would be true.




You can also find me here:

A Page In The Life


Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy



On Twitter @leeannwriter

On Facebook Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy



Book trailer:


Check out my Christmas release Sing We Now of Christmas


Now enjoy my special little tale, a romance with a touch of heat, here:


The Home Fires of Christmas
by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy


He promised he’d be home so she waited up, wrapped in her favorite pine green robe he bought her last Christmas, sipping hot chocolate and listening to Christmas carols on the stereo until she couldn’t push the tears away any longer. The old black rotary phone on the end table mocked her with silence and so Lela surrendered to the sorrow she’d ignored for hours. When the grandfather clock chimed out the midnight hour, she knew. He wasn’t coming home in time for Christmas.




As she trudged upstairs in the huge old house his money bought them, a Victorian beauty restored to the opulence of its youth, the stairs creaked beneath her light tread and she paused at the landing to stare north as she could spot Santa or at least Shane heading her direction. All she could see, though, were the lights of the communications tower and maybe a lonely aircraft. She listened but she couldn’t hear any traffic moving, not near or distant.

Just in case, she’d left the Christmas tree lights plugged in and burning, like a candle in the window but in her heavy heart, Lela didn’t expect him. Her Shane wasn’t hers any longer – she shared him with the world. She married a young man with dreams, a guy with a voice people loved, one offering a potent combination of sweetness and sensuality. He could play a few guitar chords, enough to get by and to look great on stage with a guitar in his hands. Shane’s first gigs were high school dances back when they were barely out of high school themselves. Then during college he played at a few frat parties, then at a bar downtown where some guy from California heard him and liked the sound.



Everything happened fast after that and their lives took off like a rollercoaster at a major theme park. Life out on the road offered fun at first but when it lost the charm of something new, Shane bought the big old house in their hometown, had everything restored, and Lela stayed to supervise. Somehow she never went back on the road and Shane didn’t expect it.

“Keep the home fires burning for me, baby,” he told her every time he left.

At first she didn’t mind. Lela loved decorating the twelve room house, finding antiques and just the right accents to make it into a home, their home stamped with their style and personality. She enjoyed trying out new dishes to cook when Shane got back and baking but when his career took off, with first one hit single and then a chart busting monster hit, he lived on the road and came home when he could, which wasn’t often.



He still loves me, she thought as she curled up in bed, alone, her bare feet cold. She knew he did. Most nights he called her when the show ended and often he called her throughout the day, quick little calls to tell her where he was or what went down around him. The florist’s van made frequent stops at their address, delivering dozens of roses or special daisies or plants. Sometimes they marked an occasion – their first date, her birthday, but most of the time, his cards were signed, “Just because I love you, Shane.”

Until now, he’d never missed Christmas at home. He cleared his concert schedule to be back by mid-December and together they picked out a tree, brought it home, trimmed it, and went shopping, arm in arm. Maybe because they grew up blue collar poor, making ends meet on a lot of beans and meatloaf, they gave generously. Family and friends always received beautiful gifts, things they wanted or needed, often things they’d never dreamed of owning. Shane and Lela also usually shopped for the local children’s home, delivering a truckload of Hot Wheels race track sets, Barbie Doll houses, and board games but this year, she’d done it alone, all of it.

Shane Wynne’s Christmas Concert sold out the day his promoters announced it, in cities across the United States and some dates in Canada. His advance take of six figures wasn’t one Shane wanted to refuse and when she saw how he longed to go, Lela gave her blessing, her lips smiling as her heart hoped he’d refuse. He accepted, though, even though God knows they didn’t need the money and left, waving at her, cell phone to his ear as he talked to his producer, manager or wardrobe people.

He left Thanksgiving night, the aroma of roasted turkey still hanging in the air and the echo of their many guests’ voices remaining in memory. Alone Lela watched old movies and cried, knowing he wouldn’t be back until almost Christmas.

“So you’re coming home?” she asked him last night, on the 23rd, her voice stretching all the long miles from Missouri to Detroit where the last show of the tour closed.

“I’ll be there on Christmas Eve,” Shane said, in the voice she’d loved longer than all his millions of fans, “I promise, Lela. We’ll drink wine by the fireplace and I’ll make love to you right up until Santa comes down the chimney.”

“That sounds perfect,” she’d told him. “I love you, Shane.”

“Love you, too, babe,” he replied and then, after voices murmured in the background added, “I’ve got to go. I’ll see you then.”

Happiness bubbled in her like fine champagne and carried her through most of the day on Christmas Eve. She braved the last minute shoppers to buy all Shane’s favorites and chilled the Moscato wine. At dusk, she took a long bath and emerged to put on her favorite lingerie, an emerald green complimenting her dark hair. Lela added her favorite perfume and made up her face, simple but elegant just the way Shane liked and then she waited. At seven, she figured he’d arrive any time. By nine, she changed into her old flannel nightgown to keep warm and wrapped up in her comfortable robe. At ten, she watched the news with a ball of ice in her stomach, half expecting a report about an accident involving Shane’s tour bus. When the clock marked eleven, she made hot chocolate and at midnight, she released the tears she’d kept back for hours.

She wept until she slipped into restless slumber, awakening when a sound permeated through her consciousness. At first she couldn’t place it and all she knew was it didn’t fit, wasn’t usual. Lela lay quiet and listened until she realized the sounds coming from downstairs were her favorite Christmas music, the old songs Shane sang to her before he became a star. Somehow it didn’t sound like the CD but she couldn’t be sure. With blended trepidation and anticipation, she reached for her green robe and put it on, thrust her feet into slippers and tiptoed down the front stairs with such stealth she made no sound at all. Halfway down, she peered through the banisters into the front parlor, the room with a beautiful hearth and mahogany mantle piece. Lela forgot about keeping quiet and gasped when she saw the cheerful flames dancing in the fireplace. Dark green holly peppered with red berries decorated the mantle and among the greenery, small white candles flickered. If she’d heard music before, there wasn’t any playing now.

Someone stood before the fire, his back to her but she’d know his stance anywhere and she flew down the stairs, running, her heart pounding to a rock and roll drumbeat. He didn’t turn around or seem to hear her approach and suddenly bashful, she stopped about five feet away from him. Maybe she’d been wrong. It could be what she’d often feared, an intruder who came because of her husband’s fame.

Still, Lela pushed her heart back down her throat to say, voice husky after her earlier tears, “Shane?”

He turned to face her and she laughed aloud with delight. Shane’s eyes sparkled, reflecting back the firelight as he opened his arms to her, wide as the outside world and Lela entered them, basking in their strong comfort, their sanctuary. In those first few moments he just held her, tight and safe, as if she was precious and Lela knew now her doubts were foolish. She trembled in his arms, the after effect of her fear, her worry, and her crying jag.

“Hey, are you all right?” Shane whispered, his voice millions loved speaking now just to her.

“I am now,” Lela told him, “I thought you weren’t coming home.”

His big hand brushed her tangled hair back from her face. “Silly woman, you should know I’d be here for Christmas. You’re my heart, Lela, and I love you. Where else would I be?”

Her concerns seemed frivolous now so she answered, “I don’t know. I worried about you, Shane.”

His chuckle warmed her more than the fire. “I know you – you worried I’d been in an accident and then you worried maybe I found a pretty little fan I liked better than you.”

He knew her, down to her bones and beyond her soul. Lela couldn’t deny it so she smiled up at him, “Something like that.”

“You don’t have to worry about other women, ever,” Shane told her. “There’s snow on the roads almost all the way between here and Detroit. The bus laid up for the night at Memphis but I rented a car and came on home. It took a lot longer than I thought it would but I’m here.”

“I’m glad,” she said and nestled closer against his chest. Then she lifted her face to him and needed his mouth to reassure her. “Kiss me, Shane.”



“Merry Christmas, babe,” he said as he bent low to put his mouth over hers. He tasted of peppermints and a fainter hint of good bourbon, pleasant and familiar. Heat kindled between their lips and fire ignited between them as his mouth teased hers into desire. His kiss pleasured her mouth but sent waves of want through her body, sweet thrills of delight rippling with need. As her body eased into the familiar tension, the yearning just one thing could relieve, Lela curled herself closer against Shane until she felt his hard cock move against her.




He pulled away her robe and stripped her flannel nightgown away. Shane’s large hands roamed over her body, caressing and fondling. He knew just where to touch to evoke her reaction, how to stroke her to increase her desire to a fever pitch. Lela’s hands jerked at his shirt, fumbled the buttons until she could take it off. When she did, Shane unzipped his jeans and stepped out of them, bare as the day he came into the world beneath the denim. She admired his shaft and reached out to take it into her hand. As she began to caress him, Shane pulled his mouth away from hers to latch onto her left nipple where he suckled. Extreme pleasure flowed through her body as she arched her back to get maximum reaction. He switched to her right breast, hand cupping it as he tongued around her sensitive nipple until she whimpered with need.

Shane’s fingers moved to her mound where he stroked until her inner pulsing increased so much Lela thought she’d die if she didn’t get satisfaction soon. Her own fingers tangled in his hair, longer than he’d once worn it and then moved to rake his back with her fingernails like a she-animal. He groaned with pleasure and maneuvered her toward the antique couch. Lela sprawled on it, legs spread open and he entered her, fast and harsh, with the power of a river flowing into her body. From the first connection she spasmed with glad satisfaction as each ripple grew until waves of erotic enchantment bewitched her.

He worked her and she gave back, moving beneath him to offer the release they both sought. At the last they shuddered together in a climax powerful enough they slid from the couch onto the hard wood floors with a crash. Still connected, the final spirals of bliss spinning them through a rush of delight they burst into laughter, a happy sound carrying them the rest of the way. After he caught his breath, he scooped her into his arms and returned her to the couch where they lay intertwined, firelight playing a game of light and shadow over their nude flesh.



Lela rested her head against his chest and listened to the steady beat of his heart. She never noticed she’d become cold enough to shiver until he wrapped her in something soft. Against her cheek, the silky warmth tickled and she glanced to see fur. Her fingers stroked its’ surface, too pliable not to have come from a living creature.

“What’s this?” she asked, curious and pleased.

“It’s your new mink,” Shane said, “Merry Christmas.”

She squealed with delight. “It’s my present? I love it.”

“That and about a dozen other things,” he said, “I went crazy buying stuff for you.”

“Why?”

“’Cause I miss you when I’m out on the road,” he said, nuzzling his chin against her shoulder. “I get lonely. I wish you’d come with me, baby.”

Lela stilled. She waited, processed his words, and then said, tentative and almost shy, “I thought you wanted me here, Shane.”

She sensed his surprise before he said, “I always thought you wanted to stay home, Lela. Don’t you?”

“I love the house,” she said, her throat closing around a growing knot of unshed tears. “But I’d rather be with you, even if it means sleeping on the damn tour bus, putting up with your band, eating cheap food, and keeping insane hours. You always tell me to keep the home fires burning so I thought you wanted me here.”

“I want you with me,” he said, with such simplicity she knew he spoke truth. “When I’m here, when I’m gone, anywhere, everywhere, I want you beside me.”

Her tears earlier sprang out of anxiety and sadness but the ones burning her eyes, choking her were birthed with joy. As much as she liked the mink, something she’d yearned to own for a very long time, no matter what else Shane’d brought her, his words were the real gift of the season, the one mattering most.

“Then I will be,” she said, voice softer than the mink, quieter than the fire whispering through the flames. “I love you, Shane. Merry Christmas, honey.”

Lela turned her head to see his reaction and he smiled. “If you’re coming with me,” he said, “It’s going to be a happy new year, too.”

Naked, swathed in mink, in her husband’s arms, Lela, watching the light and shadows play of the leaping flames, knew within her heart it would be and that the old saying, home is where the heart is, it would be true.




You can also find me here:

A Page In The Life


Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy



On Twitter @leeannwriter

On Facebook Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy



Book trailer:


Check out my Christmas release Sing We Now of Christmas too!

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