25 Days of Holiday Cheer – His Beautiful Beast – Day 9


For today’s $10 ARe GC, do you decorate for the holidays? If you do, what is your favorite decoration?


Sammy Dunn had always dreamed of being a musician. When his mother’s employer offers to pay for his music school in exchange for Sammy to return he agrees.

Jonah Croft had longed for someone like his boyfriend Sammy his entire life. When Sammy disappears Jonah refuses to let his vanishing go unremarked but what he discovers when he finds him changes his entire world view.

Will love prevail or will evil tear the lovers apart?



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Sammy Dunn tapped at the piano keys seeking the right combination, trying to match the sounds in his head to the pattern beneath his fingers. The music drove him. It whispered in his ear a steady, insistent chatter he tried to write down before it vanished. Sometimes the sounds overwhelmed him, and he had to stop, close his eyes, and take deep breaths until he could focus on one note of music at a time.

He pulled one more string of sound from his head and scribbled down the marks in a furious rush of motion. His pencil broke, and he almost cried. The tune spun dizzily around in his brain.

“Shh, boy, calm down. It’ll be fine. You’ll get it.”

Sammy glanced over his shoulder. Mr. Strassford, his mother’s boss, stood behind him. Age wrinkled the skin around his eyes and deep grooves lined his mouth, but his eyes held a kind light.

“Sorry, sir, I didn’t mean to disturb you.” His hands shook and rustled his music sheets. He’d been given permission to use the piano while his mother cleaned, but maybe Strassford didn’t approve after all.

“You should be in a music school. You’re very talented.” Mr. Strassford tapped a piano key as he spoke.

Sammy bit his lip and hunched his shoulders. “We can’t afford it.”

He’d begged his mother to send him to a boarding school on the East Coast. They had the best music school in the United States. She’d cried for two days after she had to admit she couldn’t afford to send him.

He never brought it up again.

“I hate to see talent wasted. I will pay for your schooling if you promise to come back and visit me on your twenty-first birthday.”

“Why then?” Although his heart sped up at the opportunity, his instincts twanged warily at the strange request. No one gave away anything for free. His mother taught him that with her hard work.

“Because that is the price of understanding your gift. Everything has a cost, my boy. Everything.”

Sammy didn’t trust Strassford. Although the offer appeared good on the surface, the price might prove too high. He only knew of one person he could trust unconditionally. “I’ll talk to my mom.”

Two days later, he was off to school.


97 thoughts on “25 Days of Holiday Cheer – His Beautiful Beast – Day 9

  1. Besides the multi colored lights, I was given a pair of porcelain carousel horse Christmas ornaments when I was in high school. I still have them and they go on my tree every year. I got them back in the mid eightie so they are old but still beautiful.

  2. I’m not a huge fan of decoration putting up but I do love house lights and Christmas trees when I’m not the one that made them

  3. I don’t decorate much but I do decorate the tree. My favorite decoration is this old angel that sits on the top of the tree. She beautiful and was my grandma’s.

  4. I used to go wild decorating the house for Christmas but these days I am more low key due to being unable to physically hang decorations. However I do put my favourite one on display every year. It’s a musical bell that plays Silent Night and was the first decoration my husband bought for me on our first Christmas together.

  5. I decorate for Halloween with whatever strikes my mood that year but I didn’t really have favorites (sometimes I would do scary while other times my decor would follow an anime theme). My parents were the ones that enjoyed decorating for Christmas though.

  6. My favorite decorations are the lights but between our animals and our schedule we don’t put up any of our own anymore.

  7. My Christmas village with the little street lamps, people, animals, shops and houses, yeah I really liked setting it all up every year. Last year I gave it to my grandson and his wife. I don’t have any place to put out any more and maybe they will think of me when they set it up.

  8. This year we’re not… circumstances prevent us which is fucking annoying to say the least. but I LOVE decorating with Tinsel and anything Shiny I can find to put on the Christmas tree!! LOL 😀

  9. My favorite decorations are Christmas Lights! when you use them they brighten and make festive the entire house inside and out.

  10. I decorate the day after Thanksgiving. My favorite things are my nutcrackers. I have one that is 45 years old. It was my mom’s.

  11. I love decorating our Christmas tree every year I buy a special ornament for the tree. I started with my daughters first Christmas, she is now 13. When she was in elementary school some of them are hand made. This year I had four made with my husbands picture, my daughters picture, my picture, and one with all three of us.

  12. We decorate every year, inside and out! This year I only helped decorate 3 trees. I usually do 4 or more. Outside we put up the lights and a special new decoration every year. This year it’s a 6′ Angel we got at an estate sale and she’s absolutely Gorgeous!!!

  13. We always go a little mad with decorations I love sitting in the lounge at night with just the tree lights on it lovely and peaceful.

  14. We always put up a real tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. I love that evergreen smell! Our tree is decorated with an assortment of ornaments, both store bought and hand made. My Grandma started the tradition of giving her kids, and then her grand and great-grand kids, an ornament every year; usually ones she made herself. My mother continued the tradition and now I’m passing it on to our children. Our tree is a mish-mash of memories that I love re-discovering each year.

  15. I love to decorate for the holidays! I love the tree and the lights, but I really love all the handmade items either I made or bought throughout the years!

  16. Great story. I love the lights after they are up. But I hate putting them up. Or at least untangling them.

  17. We have a tree and decorate the mantle as well. Someday I hope to have more decorations for the rest of the house. My favorite decoration us the Christmas tree top which is a large star with Santa and his sleigh spinning around the star.

  18. Favorite decoration is the Christmas tree and the little various decorations that are around the house, including the stockings that hang on the banister to the upstairs.

  19. We usually decorate just after my birthday but we havent yet 😦

    We usually do a tree(a fake one of course), string some lights outside, a few mobiles or whatever they’re called in some corners, hang something on every bedroom door and a “Merry Christmas” sign on our front door, not much but with lots of people walking in front of our house it makes sense.

    My favourite decoration has to be the Christmas tree, I love decorating it. I especially love the crystal ornaments on them(that I used to steal from the tree when I was a kid).

  20. Yes – we do decorate every year and make a party out of it. It is really tough to pick a favorite decoration…maybe my Dept 56 Reindeer Inn complete with a reindeer in a hot tub.

  21. I bring in a Christmas tree. It’s not always big but I love to decorate it with the ornaments I have collected over the years.

  22. Lately just the tree though I usually hang lights and ornaments in the windows. My favorites are the handmade ornaments that my Auntie Laurel has made each year for every member of the family. They’re so many of us she has to work on them all year. Those are the ones that must go on the tree each year.

  23. I love putting up our tree every year. It’s even better now that my kids are old enough to enjoy it.

  24. Since my husband and I live in an apartment (fixing to start looking for a house now that we’re where we want to be), we don’t really decorate for Christmas.

    My favorite is the tree and ornaments currently in the spare closet, that will make an appearance hopefully next Christmas.

  25. Not since the kids were little but I want to do a little because son #2 might be coming home from the navy.

  26. I used to help my mom decorate before I moved out but my apartment is too small and no one but me would see it so I don’t now. When I was younger my favorite was the tree after the lights went on but before the ornaments. My mom and I sometimes left it that way for a day or two just to enjoy the pretty lights at night.

  27. Yeah we decorate and I love putting the lights on different decorations, like wraiths, vases with Christmas baubles in etc, and give a totally different feel to them

  28. I have two. The first one is a manger scene ornament that belonged to my mom and dad and the second one is the first ornament I bought with my husband in 1990 for our first Christmas together.

  29. My favorite decoration is a Santa with a snow globe for his belly and in the globe are milk and cookies. It makes me smile whenever I see it.

  30. I don’t decorate too much these days, but I’ve got an old world Santa figurine dressed in a heavy brocade suit that I still set out.

  31. Yes, I love to decorate for Christmas. My favorite item is a Big Santa Stich holding a xmas ornament. I love disney . Next would be the Xmas tree, I love the lights and colors.

  32. We really do not decorate much, with the exception of Christmasy figurines here and there and of course the Christmas tree that is still yet to be put up. Considering the tree is my fave decoration for this time of year, I am surprised it is not up yet.

  33. We decorate, and my favorite is the ornaments for our tree. We have slowly been purchasing those that have specific meaning to us, so putting up the tree is a trip down memory lane as we select the perfect spot for each decoration.

  34. Yes we decorate for christmas. My favorite decoration are battery operated candles in colors of candy canes, mine are white and red, you see through that have water and glitter inside them. When turned on they light up and the glitter swirls around inside.


  35. Would have to be my Christmas tree. it’s a white LED tree with multi change colour lights. Once my kids decorate it and it’s set up it looks amazing with the lights going. We went for a white tree, because in Australia it’s hot and sunny over Christmas so the white of the tree reminds us of a snowy one.

  36. We decorate, although mostly for Christmas. We have a bunch of hand-carved wooden and woven straw ornaments from Germany, which I absolutely adore.

  37. The whole family decorates the outside of my partner’s parents’ place – lights, ornaments, inflatable creatures – if it is sold as an outdoor Christmas decoration, it is squeezed onto the property. Then we decorate a tree inside our house just for our little family. My favourite decorations are those made throughout the years by my daughter.

  38. The only thing I have is my tree, last year I got a really nice fibre optic one since a real one isn’t practical for me, I have some special ornaments a friend sent me, that I add to it

  39. Not so much since my daughter moved away, but Snowmen (I collect them) and snowflakes. We do have a holiday decorating contest every year at the office though, so I usually participate in that.

  40. I don’t always decorate by myself, but I do love having ornaments and even lights to decorate the rooms.

  41. When my husband and I moved in together and had our first tree together he made me an Aliens ornament because I had watched it the whole summer before. That’s 28 years this Christmas.

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