“You don’t need to do that, Crystal.”
I screamed, jumping half out of my skin as I spun around. There, next to the fireplace, stood the picture perfect rendition of Santa Claus. He was all red velvet and big white beard, a round cheeked grandfatherly sort, and I knew there was no fucking way anyone could have gotten there in the few seconds since I’d turned away.
Unless he came down the chimney, but that was impossible. Wasn’t it?
“Who are you?” I squeaked.
“I’m Santa.” His voice was surprisingly deep, and very gentle. “And you’ve been a good girl this year, aside from stealing the Robards’ brandy. That was naughty, but I think I can excuse a little naughty under the circumstances.”
“What circumstances?” I asked cautiously, still ready to throw the glass and run at the first sign of trouble.
“Why, Tyler leaving you, of course.”