Don't Open til Christmas

Don't Open til Christmas

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Summary

Addie planned to spend her first Christmas 'Down Under' alone, regretting the spontaneous move to Australia after her fiance left her a week before their wedding. Jai planned to spend his holiday low-key and stress free with his family, avoiding the public eye and coming back to the simple pleasures in life. But, fate has a peculiar way of intervening; showing them both a path they never thought they'd go down

Summary

Addie planned to spend her first Christmas 'Down Under' alone, regretting the spontaneous move to Australia after her fiance left her a week before their wedding.
Jai planned to spend his holiday low-key and stress free with his family, avoiding the public eye and coming back to the simple pleasures in life.
But, fate has a peculiar way of intervening; showing them both a path they never thought they'd go down

Chapter1 (v.1) - One

Author Chapter Note

So... I'd love to hear any feedback* on my first attempt at fanfiction... Well, first attempt on publishing anything on this site, tbh. And I'd love to be directed to any of your Jai Courtney fanfiction as well. Because, seriously, can we ever get enough Jai??<br /> <br /> *Please be gentle

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: December 25, 2018

Reads: 483

Comments: 2

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: December 25, 2018

A A A

A A A

"Ah, Desi. Ya killin' me." He groans at the screen.

"Please Jai. She has nowhere to go," his sister-in-law begs. "She's here all by herself."

He adjusts his position when the sun breaks through the clouds so he can lose the glare and see her better. Sometimes he can't stand FaceTime. You can't hide your displeasure when your sister-in-law begs you to let some stranger come to your house for Christmas.

"Not my problem she moved to the other side of the world. I've spent my share of holidays away from you. I got over it."

"You always had somewhere to go, though. Some big, dumb celebrity and their fake Christmas cheer, I reckon. But, you still had somewhere. You know what she's going to do? She's going to sit at home and rearrange her pantry. If that's not pathetic, I don't know what is."

"At least she's productive." He shrugs.

"Jai!"

"What do you want me to say, Desi? I told you all this. It's not safe to have outsiders in our homes." He takes a deep breath. "Look, I appreciate you doing your best to keep me out of your life beyond immediate family. It's better for all of us. But, just because you feel bad your friend is alone for Christmas, doesn't mean you should risk our privacy and safety. Trust me, you don't know what some of these innocent looking girls are capable of."

"She's not a girl. She's a grown woman-"

He cuts her off with a grumble. "They're usually worse than the girls."

"And she has absolutely no idea about you. All I suggested is that she spend Christmas with a real family instead of missing hers." she replies, ignoring his comment. "She's not going to get all weird when she meets you. Maybe nervous, but she's not that type of person who goes gaga over a celebrity."

"And how do you know? People don't usually air the fact that they're closet psychos."

"I just know... besides," her voice turns a little sweeter. "I think you might like her once you get to know her."

His eyes widen. "You are not trying to set me up with your friend."

"That's not what I was saying... but since you mention it... she is quite pretty."

"Ah, Desi!" He groans again.

"Just think about it Jai. It could be your good deed of season. End the year knowing you made your sister-in-law proud."

He just grunts.

"Look, I have to go. Just promise me you'll think about it."

"Yeah. Whatever."

The call ends. He puts his phone down on the table and looks out to the vastness of the bush from the back of the house.

He specifically asked his family to be as discreet as possible about him. Not for his sake, but for theirs. He has a security team when he's out and about. But they don't. And he's seen the lengths some people go to in order to get close to a celebrity.

Granted, most people are harmless, but why take the chance with his family? Just not worth it.

He knows this is just the beginning too. Desi will tell his brother, David, and then David will tell mum, and mum will lay into him for being a heartless asshole.

Merry fucking Christmas.

* ** *

"Oh, Desi. I wouldn't want to impose." Addie says from across her desk. "That's supposed to be time spent with your family. Not worrying about me."

"You can't spend your first Christmas in Australia organizing your kitchen. It will just make you miss home more." Desi's accent exasperated the issue by reminding her just how far away from home she is

Her workmate and closest friend had a point. She'll probably end up on her couch watching some kind Australian Christmas movie she's never heard of, balling her eyes out over the huge mistake of packing her life up and moving to the other side of the world after her fiance broke it off with her a week before their wedding.

"I really appreciate you thinking of me, Desi, but-"

"No 'buts'. There's plenty of room at my brother-in-laws house for one more. He's more than happy to have you."

She grumbles below her breath. Desi hasn't shut up about it for over an hour. She thought Australians were supposed to be laid back. Not Desi. The woman goes a hundred miles an hour... and doesn't take 'no' for an answer.

"Can I at least make some food to bring?" Addie sighs is defeat.

Desi squeals in delight. "Great! And you bring as much as you want. Those boys know how to eat."

**  *  *

She rolls her car to a stop in front of the address Desi gave her. This can't be right. She must have the address wrong. Desi told her to call when she got to the front of the house... but a gate? A large, imposing gate with stacked stone pillars and iron fencing all around for a house that she can't even see from the road? No. This is wrong.

She picks up her phone and calls her friend. "Uh, Desi? I think I'm lost."

"Yeah? It's kind of secluded out here. What are you by? Maybe I can direct you to the house."

"Well... I thought I found the address, but there's this huge gate and-"

"The iron gate with the vine work?"

"Yeah."

Desi yells away from the phone. "Open the gate! She's here!" Then her voice comes back to the phone. "Just follow the driveway. You'll see the house eventually. I'll meet you out front."

And with that the gate opens.

Holy shit.

The gate abruptly closes behind her once she makes it through. Her car creeps along the driveway and she peeks around the property like she was on the lookout for an ambush. But there was nothing. Just trees and pasture. Serenity. What they call 'the bush' here, reminds her of the woods she loved to explore when she was little, back in the States.

A house comes into view and the drive turns to gravel.

Okay. Not really a house. More like a rustic mansion with timber walls and stacked stone columns identical to the ones at the front gate.

Who in the hell are these people?

Desi stands on the front porch, waving her down as she approaches.

"Oh, Addie. I'm so glad you made it. Drive wasn't too much trouble, yeah?"

"No actually," she pulls her bag from the car and begins to stack pans of cookie on the roof. "It was a beautiful ride. Got to see parts of Australia I haven't gotten to yet."

Desi helped her with the trays and led her into the house. It was just as incredible on the inside as out. Christmas lights and tasteful decorations adorn the home. Like something out of a magazine. A few kids ran past them, chasing a remote controlled car, one of whom she recognized as Desi and David's son, Stephen.

"That car better not have mud on it!" Desi yells as they pass. "Ya uncle just had these floors done!"

Voices, in what sounded like friendly banter, came from another room, but she was led into the kitchen before she had a chance to look.

Now this was a kitchen. Stunning white cabinets, butcher block counter tops, a copper apron front sink. Had she died and gone to heaven?

"Desi," she whispers, not knowing why considering they were the only ones in the kitchen. "This house is beautiful."

Her friend places the pans on the counter and smiles at her, pulling foil off the freshly made Christmas cookies. "Wait til ya see the rest."

"And who've we here?" An undeniably Australian, female voice calls from behind them.

A older woman, but still beautiful with a warm smile, approaches them.

"Mum," Desi says, holding her hand out to the woman and places it on her shoulder when she gets close enough. "This is Addie. Addie, this is Lynn, my mother-in-law."

Addie immediately extends her hand. "Pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much for having me." 

The woman takes her hand with the same warmth as her smile. "No worries, sweetheart. Desi and David rave about you. We're honored to have you."

Addie was then escorted into the main room where the majority on the family resided, her cookies in Desi's hand and was introduced to Greg, Desi's father-in-law.

More family members. An uncle, some cousins, a couple kids. She ran across David who wandered in at the announcement of cookies on the coffee table and gave her a big hug.

Names and faces she'd need to go over a few more times to remember, but they were all friendly and welcoming. Some poking fun at her American accent. Reminded her of her family and their big Christmas gatherings at Me-Maw and Pop-pop's house. It was nice knowing even on the other side of the world, people still enjoyed the gift of family.

She ended up back in the kitchen with Desi, helping to prepare dinner, but realized she still hadn't met the actual owner of the home. What was his name again? Did Desi even tell her?

She busier herself with stirring a pan of what she guessed was some type of sauce as Desi sipped on her wine and mixed some oil with herbs and spices into a bowl of vegetables. "As soon as I get these in the oven, we can-" she abruptly stops and changes the subject. "Oh. There he is," then changes the direction of her address. "Where have you been?"

"Outside with the kids." A new, Aussie male says from behind Addie.

She takes a second to look away from her pan and meets a set of the most breathtaking blue eyes she's ever seen. Then, she got a look at the rest of him. Tall and broad. Chiseled features beneath an impressive amount of of stubble, on the verge of being called a beard. Sandy, brown hair cropped into a slightly curled mess.

Wait a minute...

"Addie, this is my brother-in-law, Jai."

For a moment, her most vital organs stopped working. Lungs. Heart. Brain. And she stared at him for what may have only been a split second, but seemed like an eternity to her.

She just said 'Jai', didn't she? She must have because there he stood before her. Jai fucking Courtney. In all his handsome glory.

And just when her she regained the function to breathe, the bastard smiled, crushing her already weakened senses. "Hello." he says, extending his hand to her. "Welcome."

She thought she had gotten used to the Aussie accent by now. Over time, she found out that not every Australian man sounded like Steve Irwin or Crocodile Dundee. But this one...  swirled around her like like a dark, velvety ribbon.

Luckily, the small part of her that survived was the part that knew how to be cordial. She grasped his hand in a firm shake and forced herself to look back into his eyes. "Um, hi. Thank you for having me... Your home is... beautiful."

He shrugs, looking about the home. "It's alright. Can't take credit for the decorations, though. That's mum's department."

She had to make the conscious effort to release his large, warm hand and looks to Desi. She needs answers. And she needs them now. "Uh... Desi, can I have a word with you?"

"Sure." Her friend says and waits for her to speak.

"Um..." Addie jerks her head to the hall, clarifying she wants to talk alone.

"Oh. Okay," she looks to Jai and points to the pan Addie was just stirring. "Stir that. I'll be back in a second." then, takes the spoon from Addie and hands it to him.

Addie respectfully smiles at him. "Excuse us." she tells him as the make their way to the hall.

She waits til she's out if earshot and lets her friend have it.

"Desi." she growls through her teeth. "What the hell is going on? Do you know who that is?"

Her friend looks at her, incredulous. "Yeah. That's Jai." she says simply.

"Jai? Jai Courtney? Your brother-in-law is Jai Courtney?"

Desi nods. "Has been for the last 8 years."

"But your last name is Smithton."

"My maiden name."

"And you didn't think to tell me this beforehand?"

"What? And have you act like you're acting now even before you step foot in the house?"

"I wouldn't have came if I knew and we could have avoided this whole thing."

"Now that's just nonsense."

"How is he okay with having some stranger in his house? Aren't you supposed to have like, security or something? There's a lot of weirdos out there."

"Are you one of them?" Desi asks, nonchalant.

"No," she answers, slightly offended. "But, I can't see some celebrity opening his home to someone he doesn't know."

"Well... I kinda had to persuade him a little." she admits.

"Desi!" Addie says a little louder than she would have liked, then rubs her forehead with the palm of her hand. "You've got to be fucking kidding me." she mumbles.

"Oi!" Jai calls from in the kitchen. "Is this sauce done ? I think it's done."

Desi looks back to Addie. "He's just some bloke, Addie. I'm sure he'd appreciate it if you treated him that way." And off she goes, back into the kitchen, relieving him of his duties.

She takes a minute to collect her thoughts, only to have him enter the hall and make a mess of them again. "Uh, are you alright?" he asks.

She nods. "Yeah, I'm fine... This is just..." she at waves her hand about him, trying to find words.

"Is it weird?" he suggests.

"Yeah. It is." she admits, grateful he understood. "Look, I'm sorry she put you up to this. I had no idea-"

"No worries, darlin'. She says she trusts ya. I mean, ya not going to sneak into my bedroom or anything, are ya?" he says smiling with a hint of mischievousness.

She blinks at him, taken aback. "What? No." she insists with conviction. Why would he even think that?

He lets out a laugh. "Yeah. You'll do just fine here." and with that he walks off into the living room.

She makes her way back to the kitchen with a renewed sense of awareness and Desi simply instructs her to continue on with placing the vegetables in the oven. Like some twilight zone shit didn't just go down.

 


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