Tag Archives: Jason Reed

A Carter Christmas Treat: Part 4

christmas carter

“I need to get there. Now,” Matt snapped, shoving Ian away as my eldest brother tried to talk some reason into him.

“Think this through, Matt,” Ian growled back, pinning him against the wall. “You’ve been drinking. We all have.”

There had been a fair few liqueur coffees, several beers and the odd tumbler of whiskey. It was Christmas after all.

“I need to get there,” Matt screamed, wrestling against Ian fruitlessly.

“We can call you a taxi,” Karl tried to reason with him, handing Grace to Elise to keep her away from our volatile adopted brother.

“It’s Christmas Day,” Ian looked at Karl as if he was an idiot.

Karl raised an eyebrow. He didn’t like being spoken to in that way; I could tell by the tight bunching of his muscles. “Not everybody celebrates Christmas.”

“Don’t get all PC on me,” Ian teased, still pinning Matt to the wall as if the effort was nothing to him despite his violent struggle.

“Get the fuck off me, E!” Matt flailed wildly with his free limbs.

“Not until you calm down,” Ian answered calmly, unfazed by Matt’s venom.

“I need to fucking get there now, Ian! You don’t understand!”

“I understand more than you know,” Ian whispered back but it wasn’t quiet enough. I still heard him. “Let’s try a few taxi places.”

“Um, Ian,” I squeaked.

“Not now, Jelly,” Ian barked and I shrank back. This was soldier mode and no matter how much safer I felt with my brothers, I wasn’t about to trifle with soldier mode.

I sat quietly back in Jason’s arms and nibbled my lip whilst they all called every single taxi company in the city and surrounding areas.

“You okay, little squirrel?” Jason studied my face with concern.

“Yeah,” I replied sadly. This wasn’t the way things were meant to go on Christmas day. Poor Matt.

“Do you know what’s going on?” He asked me, brushing my cheek with his thumb as he cupped my face.

I shook my head sadly. “Not really. With Matt it has to be his family though. Nothing else gets him this mad.”

“Two fucking hours?” Matt screeched when Ian told him how long he would have to wait for a taxi.

“Don’t even think about it, Matt,” Ian warned him, predicting his intentions. “You are not driving.”

“Um, guys,” I spoke up.

They continued screaming so loud they couldn’t hear me. Matt swung out at Ian but he dodged it, hitting Jake in the gut by accident.

“Guys!” I screamed.

Jake didn’t like being hit for no reason so he swung back at Matt; Karl had to jump in to pull him away. Ian did the same with Matt.

“Shut up!” I bellowed as loud as I could to get their attention.

All eyes, sweaty faces, and bunched muscles turned to me.

“Thank you,” I breathed a sigh of relief. “I’m sober and Berty is ready to go.”

“Why didn’t you fucking say so?” Karl dropped his head, obviously irritated with me.

“She tried but nobody listened,” Jason jumped to my defence.

“I’ll give you a lift,” I told Matt softly.

He scowled. I knew I was the last person in the universe he’d come to for help but he had no choice. I was his only option.

The ride was possibly the most awkward I’d ever experienced. The silence was almost painful. Jason had wanted to come along but Matt was obviously struggling with something. I thought having Jason witness that might make it harder for him. I asked him to stay with the others.

“A and E,” Matt grunted as I flipped my indicators to enter the massive complex.

“Okay,” I answered softly.

He was staring blindly out of the passenger window, his jaw firmly set. The second I pulled the car into the bay, his door was open and he was running full speed into the hospital. He didn’t say anything to me.

I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. At the very least I needed to pay for parking, so I did that first.

How long will we be here?

I put two hours on the car just in case. I could always top it up later. Did Matt want me to follow him? Did he want me to stay in the car? It was Matt; of course he wanted me to keep my distance. The car was too cold though. I figured I could just sit in the waiting room.

With it being Christmas day, I half expected the waiting room to be chaos but it was almost empty save for an elderly man sat in a chair, half asleep.

I could see a few people rushing around through the door which lead to the beds but it didn’t look as bad as it could have been.

I text Matt to let him know where I was and settled into the seat.

“Ms Carter,” a familiar pair of eyes met mine from across the room.

It was one of the doctors I’d met during my stay in hospital whilst I’d been recovering from my meeting with Jason’s father.

“Hi,” I smiled politely.

“What are you doing here?” He greeted me. “Not gotten yourself into trouble again I hope?”

“No,” I shook my head. “I’m waiting for my brother.”

“Craig isn’t working today,” the doctor frowned in confusion.

“Not Craig,” I chuckled. It seemed like everyone here new him. “Matt.”

“Is he hurt?” He looked at the chart in his hands. “There are no Carters on my bed list.”

I shook my head again. “Matt’s here visiting somebody. His surname is Smith,” I added in explanation. “He’s my adopted brother.

“Smith,” his face fell. “Oh.”

“What?” My heart beat quickened slightly. That was not a good reaction.

“I think your brother might need you. Come with me.”

There was no chance for me to explain that Matt wouldn’t want me there. The doctor ushered me into the nerve centre, past a number of empty beds. I could hear the crying before I could see it. I didn’t need to see who it was to know it was Matt.

“I’ll give you two a moment,” the doctor whispered to me, patting my shoulder and leaving me in front of the curtains drawn around the bed.

I took a deep breath. I didn’t want to cross a line and upset Matt but he was family and I hated hearing the noises coming from the other side of the curtain. I’d never seen or heard him cry before.

I pulled the curtain to the side carefully. There was a woman of around forty lying in the bed, her face sunken and grey, her cheekbones jutting up against her skin. She looked like she hadn’t eaten in a month. Her bright red lip stick was smeared across her face and she’d obviously been wearing mascara at some point because it still stained her skin.

Despite her battered and famished appearance, she was obviously a blood relative of Matt. They had the same dark hair and almost black eyes, only hers stared blankly at the ceiling above her head. This must have been his real sister, Stacey.

“Matt,” I whispered softly, coming to a stop a few steps away from him. “I, um..”

I didn’t really know what to say. He was hunched over her bed side, shaking and crying.

I sighed deeply, pushing past my fears to move towards him. He was known to have an unpredictable temper.

I took the seat next to him and cautiously placed a hand on his back. When he didn’t lash out or yell at me. I gently rubbed his back.

I could barely take my eyes off the women in front of me, especially not once I noticed her bandaged hands. Or rather, what was left of them.

She was distinctly fingerless.

Bile rose in my throat as the reality sank in. Somebody had cut her fingers off. I stilled as I looked from the blood stained bandages to the face of the woman in the bed. She wasn’t crying, wasn’t visibly in pain. It was like there was an empty shell of a person in front of us.

The same couldn’t be said for Matt – and I knew why.

I remembered what had happened at the club on the night of Craig’s birthday. That ape like man had said Stacey owed him money and threatened to remove her fingers if Matt didn’t pay up.

“It’s all my fault,” he whimpered, grabbing me and pulling me into an embrace.

I wanted to tell him it wasn’t. He hadn’t done this to her. He had no responsibility for this awful act of violence. But he was hugging me too tightly. I could barely breathe so I just hugged him back.

“Merry fucking Christmas,” he added bitterly, trembling with his whole body.

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A Carter Christmas Treat: Part 3

christmas carter

I beamed to myself as I looked over the Christmas dinner spread out across the table. My brothers obviously weren’t holding back and there was a good deal of face stuffing but there were also smiles on every face.

I had little Gracie on my left and Jason on my right. Only little Gracie wasn’t so little any more. I swore she doubled in size every week. She was sat in a high chair and I watched in amusement as she tried to reach the bread roll which Karl was holding in his right hand.

She was clearly learning from the best because somebody else’s food was obviously more interesting looking than the mountain of food in her spider man bowl. There were no pink, flowery dishes for Gracie. She got to pick her own and she always chose action heroes.

“Oi!” Karl turned around with a dark look of irritation as his bread roll was snatched from his hand. “Oh,” his voice softened when he realised he’d been robbed of sustenance by his own daughter.

She wasn’t so much eating it as drooling on it.

Grace didn’t miss the angered expression on her Daddy’s face though. She immediately started bawling, crunching her little fists and smashing them onto the table of her high chair.

Elise raised an amused eyebrow and waited for Karl to make things right. We all knew that Grace had her Dad wrapped around her tiny little finger.

“It’s okay Gracie,” Karl soothed. “You can have the roll.”

The bawling continued.

“I think Gracie wants your sausage as well,” I interjected with an evil grin because this was too good of an opportunity.

Karl grimaced because he could hardly say no now and he couldn’t show his disappointment in front of Grace because she would be even more upset.

“Sodge!” Gracey bellowed around her tears. I gathered that was 1-year old speak for sausage. Oh yeah – this girl was on my team.

“Are you withholding food from your own daughter?” Matt goaded his partner in crime.

Karl ignored him. “You have sausage right here, sweetheart.” He pointed to the chopped sausage in her bowl.

“Don’t call her sweetheart,” Elise frowned at her husband. She hated pet names.

I swore Karl actually squirmed in his seat. He was being attacked on all fronts.

“Sodge!” Her little bottom lip quivered as she pointed to Karl’s sausage.

He was already cutting it up into baby-sized pieces with a huge man-child pout on his face. My brothers were all watching with supreme amusement.

“Sodge!” She squealed happily as Karl heaped the sausage into her already full bowl.

“Will she really be able to eat all that?” Isabella looked on with wide eyes.

Elise laughed. “She inherited her father’s appetite. She’d never stop eating if we gave her the chance.”

“She’s a growing girl,” Karl grinned proudly.

“We never fed Jelly that much,” Danny pointed out, gesturing to me with a roast potato on his fork.

“That’s why she’s so tiny,” Rick chuckled.

“I’m not tiny!” I interjected with a stern glare but they all just laughed harder.

“You’re a bit tiny, little squirrel,” Jason squeezed my knee under the table, his voice soft. “But I love you that way.”

“I’m only tiny to you because you’re huge,” I pointed out to my six feet of boyfriend.

“Yeah I am,” he winked cheekily, flashing that million dollar smile.

“Perv,” I grumbled, trying to hide my smile because we both knew he wasn’t talking about his height.

“Jelly!” Matt called over. “Pass the gravy.”

“Only if you say please,” I fluttered my eyelashes at him boldly because he was always so rude but he was still a little scary.

He glared across the table and I swallowed but maintained my defiance.

“Jelly!” Ian levelled me with his big brother stare. “Just pass it.”

“Fine,” I scowled because if I hadn’t said please, Ian would have told me off. Why should there be a different set of rules for Matt?

“Learn some manners,” Ian nudged Matt as I passed the gravy. His tone was jovial but we all knew Ian was serious.

“Yes, sir,” Matt grumbled with zero sincerity.

We all saw Ian kick him under the table but I guess he was feeling festive because he let it slide otherwise.

“I’m going to be in London a lot over the new year,” Ian continued speaking as if nothing had happened.

We could just about hear him over the delighted sausage noises of our adorable niece.

Nobody asked why; with Ian it had to be work related. The house phone was ringing vaguely in the background but we ignored it because it was Christmas day.

“Will you be reachable?” Karl asked without looking at Ian because he was eyeing up his former sausage, obviously wondering if he could poach some back without Grace noticing.

“Text only,” Ian replied. “I’ll call back if I’m able.”

I pouted. It was almost worse now we had an idea of what Ian did for a living.

“It’s only London, Jelly,” Ian grinned, noticing my expression in his normal super-observant fashion. “How bad can it be?”

“Down South,” Danny interjected. “Might as well be Falluja.”

The others laughed and Ian just smirked. I’d guess he had a better idea of what Faulluja was really but I’d rather not think about that.

“How long for?” Matt asked just before shovelling a forkful of gravy drenched mashed potato into his mouth.

The house phone rang again and I saw my brothers looking curiously across at it.

“A few months at least,” he shrugged. “Go check the number, Jake.”

I saw Jake roll his eyes as he pushed away from the table but he did as he was told, ruffling Grace’s hair as he passed.

“Derby 340131” He called out as he checked the ID.

“Give it to me,” Craig groaned. “That’s the hospital.”

My heart sank in my chest. They couldn’t call him back into work could they? Not on Christmas day.

“Craig Carter,” he put the phone to his ear. “Oh.” He immediately frowned. “Sure, I’ll put him on.”

He looked at the phone as if it had been speaking Chinese and blinked twice. “It’s for you,” he handed it to Matt.

Matt frowned. “Hello?” He took the phone to his ear before he turned deathly white.

.

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A Carter Christmas Treat: Part 2

christmas carter

“You licked chocolate off your lip,” Jason reminded me as I began getting into bed.

“Why are you frowning?” I pouted.

“I wanted to lick it off,” he sulked, wrapping his arm around my waist and pulling me into him before I could escape into the warmth of the duvet.

“You have to hear your challenge first,” I interrupted him with an apologetic smile.

“Jamie,” he growled, resting his head against my forehead. He wanted to finish what he’d started, as did I, but I needed to say this first.

“For tomorrow,” I continue. “Because it starts first thing.”

“It starts on Christmas eve?” He looked at me blankly. I think he expected us not to do any challenges for the next few days.

I nodded, slightly distracted by the trail of golden brown hair leading into his boxers.

“Jamie,” he reminded me with a slight smirk. He knew exactly what I was looking at.

“You’re not going to like it,” I grinned wickedly because I’d been saving this one.

He groaned and squeezed my waist gently. “If you ban me from touching you, I’m not going to manage more than ten minutes.”

I giggled. That was never going to happen. I needed his touch and the tingles it brought more than I needed my next breath. “No,” I shake my head. “I want you to be nice to Matt.”

“Matt?” He recoiled with a slight scowl.

“For a whole day,” I nodded.

“Okay…” he replied uncertainly.

“And you can’t just ignore him, you have to actively be nice to him.”

“Little squirrel,” he sighed. “Are you asking for a spanking?”

“Yes,” I teased because I knew it still surprised him when I asserted myself sexually and I liked that. “But that’s not relevant.”

“I dislike Matt intensely,” Jason sighed, planting an apologetic kiss on my forehead.

“I know,” I pouted. “I know better than anyone that Matt can be hard to like but, Jason, he’s still my brother and I love him.”

“He’s aggressive and he talks to you like dirt,” he growled. “I don’t like him.”

“Well then you’ll fail the challenge,” I shrugged, feigning nonchalance. “Can’t you at least try? For me?”

“Jamie,” he responded with a hint of irritation.

“Please,” I replied sweetly and with no small amount of eyebrow fluttering.

“I’m not making any promises,” he mumbles gruffly, showering small, butterfly kisses down the side of my face.

“Jason,” I pleaded, only slightly distracted by the warm touch of his lips.

“But I’ll try,” he reassured me.

“Thank you,” I breathed out a sigh of relief.

I knew Matt was hard work. I knew he didn’t make friends easily and it didn’t really bother him. I also knew that it was all a façade; deep down he was actually quite sweet and caring, he just chose to bury it under layers of gruff exterior. Several layers.

“But I need something to make it worth my while,” he murmured against my skin, peeling my spaghetti straps down my arms so he could drag my t-shirt over my head.

“Oh?” I responded coyly. “What might that be?”

“What’s mine.” His voice oozed confidence as the words rolled from his full lips.

“I’ll always be yours,” I replied with a contented sigh

***

“Morning, Craig!” I called out, hearing the front door open and assuming it was him because he was due back from his night shift any second.

“And Bella!” I grinned, seeing that he had company. “How are you?”

“I’m great,” she grinned back.

“I’m fine, thanks for asking,” Craig teased me, scooping me up under the arm that wasn’t holding shopping bags.

“You have Bella with you,” I replied, flailing wildly so he had to put me down. “I knew you’d be fine.”

He scoffed but carefully released me again so I felt less like a sack of potatoes. As I steadied myself on my feet once more, he handed me the shopping bags.

“What’s this?” I asked, peaking inside. There were eggs, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips. Everything I needed for baking.

“I finished all the baking last night,” I told him with a grin of accomplishment.

His response was to raise an eyebrow at me.

I frowned in confusion but then followed his line of sight to the snack cupboard.

No, no, tell me they didn’t.

I rushed over and pulled the cupboard open. My carefully written “do not eat, or else” note had been replaced with a “Sorry, Jelly!” note in what looked suspiciously like the twins’ hand writing.

“I’m going to kill them,” I groaned, hanging my head in despair at the lack of baked goods in the cupboard.

“We all knew it was going to happen,” Craig grinned, pulling me into a hug. “That’s why I came prepared.”

“What if I don’t want to bake any more?” I protested sulkily.

All that back-breaking effort gone in a few seconds down the twins’ gullets.

“It’s Christmas, Jelly bean.You go through this every year. You know we all appreciate it,” he whispered gently.

I knew he understood my frustration, but I also knew he wanted to eat some cookies as well since it was Christmas and he was relaxing his diet for the Christmas period.

“Morning!” One of the biscuit thieves greeted us as the two of them joined us in the kitchen.

I glared in response.

“She’s pissed at you,” Craig told him, releasing me to return to Isabella’s side.

“Meh,” Danny shrugged. “She’ll forgive us.”

I shook my head with my arms folded for good measure. They did this every year and they kneew how much time it took me to bake all these things.

“You two have no respect,” Jason growled at them. “She spent hours baking all that.”

“What difference does it make when we eat it? It’s still going to get eaten.” Danny responded with little interest, getting a loaf of bread out the freezer.

“I doubt they ate it all on their own,” I chimed in because there was no way they would have eaten everything without leaving at least one for Ian.

Danny said nothing, he simply carried on preparing a hundred slices of cheese on toast for the army of Carters.

“They had help,” Ian enters the room in his usual ninja fashion, idly scratching his cookie filled stomach.

“I hate you all,” I glared at my eldest brother with venom.

“Don’t tell lies, Jelly,” he reprimanded me seriously, his twitchy arms threatening to cross over his chest and make the transition to soldier mode.

I glared at him further because this wasn’t really the moment for lecturing me when he’d just eaten all my Christmas baking along with his lackeys.

“If I bake again, you guys aren’t allowed any,” I sulked.

“Not gonna happen,” Ian informed me abruptly.

“Then I’m not baking,” I continued my childish strop, well aware that I was overreacting but far too irritated to care.

“Jelly bean,” Craig sighed. “I’m knackered. I’ve been up all night working. I’m going for a nap and if there aren’t cookies when I come down, there will be consequences.”

He was joking but I glared at him anyway, only relaxing slightly when he kissed my forehead.

“I guess it is Christmas tomorrow,” I grumbled begrudgingly. Christmas needed cookies.

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A Carter Christmas Treat: Part 1

christmas carter

“Jelly. What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Danny rounded on me, his familiar blue eyes glaring in my direction like he might just murder me.

“Eating,” I answered nonchalantly, chuckling inwardly at the way my life had changed.

This was all Jason’s fault of course. We had a new game which we liked to play which was all about challenging each other. Every day we set each other a challenge to complete. It could be something simple, something hard, something sexy or – in this case – something devilish.

There was no punishment for not doing the challenge because our relationship didn’t work that way. Jason might teasingly spank me if I didn’t do it but, even if I completed a task, he’d find an excuse to spank me.

Tasks were Jason’s way of making sure I stayed out of my shell now I’d left it and my way of making sure he opened up to me. They were mutually beneficial.

“You’re doing this on purpose,” Rick joined his twin in a united front against me, each of them gripping onto the kitchen island with enough pressure to snap the poor countertop.

“Doing what?” I replied innocently, nibbling the edge of my chocolate chip cookie.

“Torturing us,” Danny growled. They began to approach me, one from each side, with matching threatening glares.

The threat was empty; I hadn’t done anything wrong, they couldn’t touch me.

“I made enough cookies so that everybody could have two,” I reminded them, looking intently at my cookie because I’d probably lose my nerve if I looked at either of them.

I wasn’t exactly scared but Jason had pointed out that I give them my food even now I know they won’t take it. They’re not entitled to it and he wanted me to stop giving in to them.

I could see my sexy hulk of a boyfriend leant up against the door frame watching me with a glimmer of amusement in his eye. His loose blond curls were as unkempt as ever and I licked my lips and a coincidental stray cookie crumb as I watched him.

“Jelly, this isn’t fucking funny!” Rick tugged on my ponytail to draw my attention back to their suffering.

“Don’t get grumpy with me because you both wolfed down your cookies as soon as they were out of the oven,” I told them with a serious frown.

I would normally have just handed over the cookies by now to save myself from the whining and nagging. Instead, I slowly ate the first of my two cookies, crumb for crumb.

“If you two don’t back off, I’m not baking anything else for you until next year!” I threatened before taking another meaningful bite.

“Jelly!” Rick gasped in shock, as though I was threatening to drown a puppy, not stop baking for three weeks.

Danny tugged his twin back a few steps in horror. “I don’t think she’s bluffing.”

“She’s been eating that one cookie for over five minutes,” Rick whined checking through the cupboards in the kitchen to try and satisfy his cookie cravings. “It’s like she doesn’t even want it.”

“I’m savouring it!” I told him seriously because I was. It was delicious, why would I inhale it? “Would you like some, Jason?”

Okay, now I was just being mean.

“Nah, I’m enjoying watching you eat them,” he grinned his million dollar smile. “There’s chocolate on your lip,” he added, strolling over to the island.

“Did I get it?” I asked having licked my lips.

He shook his head with that dark heat dancing in his eyes. I knew exactly what that look meant and I steeled myself because he was going to lick that chocolate right off my lip no matter what I said. The twins weren’t going to like it.

I’d stopped caring about that though because Jason began tangling his fingers in my long, curly locks. Tilting my head back, he angled my jaw so that his warm tongue could like the bead of melted chocolate off my lower lip.

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Jason POV ‘Right There with You’

Seriously, what the hell am I doing here? I’d asked myself the same question at least forty times over the past hour but the answer was blindingly obvious. I was here for her.

Jamie-Lea was the reason I came and she was the reason I was ignoring everything I thought I knew about myself. There was some kind of irresistible pull between us and the scientist in me was curious to understand it.

I messed up the night before; I could tell she was uncomfortable with the way that asshole was touching her but I was too busy wanting to kill something to make sure she was okay. Like the stupid fucker I was, I got angry with her instead of putting it right.

That won’t be happening again.

I’d been watching the way she acted with her brothers for the past few hours and I was sort of gobsmacked. It would have made for a fascinating study of human behaviour if I’d wanted to trade my education in for an armchair degree. I needed to figure it out.

It was like the girl I’d come to know over the past few weeks had retreated into the background and was replaced by someone else, someone who was afraid of her own shadow. Apparently, I was more right than I could have imagined when I jokingly likened her to a scared little squirrel. Whenever one of them looked her way, she seemed to freeze for a second.

I didn’t like that. Not one fucking bit. Continue reading

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