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  • Writer's pictureBrigham Vaughn


Updated: Dec 23, 2023

Red Background with Christmas Tree Branches, Candy Canes, Presents, and Ornaments White Text Saying Celebrate Brigham Vaughn's 10 Year Publishing Anniversary with The 12 Days of Christmas Day 1: Wade & Trevor - The Nightmare Before Christmas

Today is my 10 year publishing anniversary. It seems impossible that it's been a decade since I released my first short story but it's true!

I am constantly amazed by all you do to support me and my writing so to celebrate that milestone, I want to give back to you with 12 days of bonus short stories.

From now through Christmas Eve, I'll be posting one short story per day here on my blog.

I found some fun little holiday prompts to spark my creativity and had a wonderful time writing these stories.

Every day will feature a different couple and the stories will vary in length. They'll range from sweet to a little bit spicy and hopefully will leave you with a smile on your face and a warm feeling of holiday cheer in your heart.

Thank you for ten wonderful years!



DAY: 1

CHARACTERS: Wade Cannon & Trevor Underhill + Braden Cannon

PROMPTS: Nightmare Before Christmas + Decorating a Gingerbread House

NOTES: This is set the December following the events in Breaking the Rules.

“I think we're in over our heads." Trevor wiped his forehead dramatically as he grimaced at the pieces of gingerbread house strewn across the kitchen island.

Smiling, Wade kissed his temple. "Nah. We can do this."

"Can we?"  Braden’s tone was doubtful.

"Yes." Wade clapped his hands, then rolled up his shirt sleeves.

"Now, c'mon. How hard can it be to stick some pieces of gingerbread together with a little frosting, guys?"As it turned out, pretty difficult.

None of the wall pieces were square and the frosting was pretty gloppy, so they’d had to prop the walls up with cans and mugs to hold them in place until they dried.

Now that it was dry, some pieces still listed a little drunkenly, the roof definitely wasn't level, and the chimney had slid halfway down and tilted to one side.

But hearing his son and Trevor laugh together, watching them playfully tease each other, seeing their heads bent together as they decorated the gingerbread house ... that was the magic Wade had been hoping for.

Not that it took holiday magic to get Trevor and Braden to get along.

But a former bad boy who’d spent a good chunk of his life pushing people away wasn’t the first person Wade would have pictured as a fantastic stepfather-type figure to a twelve-year-old kid who could sometimes be challenging.

But Trevor was so patient, even when Braden’s ADHD got the best of him.


Oh, Trevor wasn’t perfect either.

There had been a learning curve and a handful of missteps and some weird little issues that had cropped up. But Wade had never expected Trevor to throw himself so wholeheartedly into the role. 

And while they’d only been dating for about six months, Wade didn’t have a shadow of a doubt about Trevor being in this for the long haul.

“He’s staring at us with that look again,” Braden whispered loudly to Trevor.

“It’s like he loves us or something.” Trevor flashed Wade a bright smile and a wink.

Wade chuckled. “Something like that.”

“We are pretty loveable,” Braden said, gluing another gumdrop on the roofline.

“True that.” Trevor hooked his ankle around Wade’s and pressed their shoulders together.

“He’s pretty loveable too, though.”

“Yeah, he’s okay,” Braden said.

Wade sputtered. “Okay? Excuse you! I am better than okay!”

Braden giggled. “He did make us do this gingerbread house.”

“Oh, you mean the worst gingerbread house ever?” Trevor teased. “True.”

“Hey!” Wade protested. “It’s not that bad.”

“It’s pretty bad,” Braden said, still giggling. He held out the final gumdrop to Trevor, who stuck it on the top with a flourish.

“It’s … not great,” Wade admitted with a laugh as he surveyed the final effect. “We definitely wouldn’t win any contests or anything. But this was fun to do anyway, right?”

“Totally. Did you have fun, Trevor?” Braden asked.

“I always have fun with you guys,” Trevor said, straightening with a groan.

Wade stood and stepped behind Trevor, massaging his shoulders. He let out a grateful noise, sagging back against Wade.

It had been a rough first part of the hockey season.

The Otters were doing terribly and without the offensive powerhouse of Murphy, Lindholm, and Hartinger on the first line, Trevor and the rest of the D-corps were trying to make up for it with increased defense.

It was definitely taking its toll physically and mentally.

All Wade could do was give him a soft place to land at home. Which meant a lot of massages, Epsom salt baths, and letting Trevor vent when he needed to.

Although, Wade had also purchased a sauna for the basement of their home, which would be Trevor’s big Christmas gift this year. It would be installed in early January and should be good for his recovery and relaxation.

“Man, this thing is a total nightmare,” Braden said with a laugh as he surveyed the gingerbread monstrosity. “I can’t wait to show my friends.”

“Hey! Does that make it the nightmare before Christmas?” Wade teased. 

Braden just stared at him blankly. “Why do you say that like I should know what it means?”

Wade blinked at his son. “You don’t know that movie? How have I never made you watch that?”

“I dunno.” Braden ate a purple gumdrop. “It sounds weird.”

You’ve seen it, right, Trevor?”

He glanced up. “Maybe? It sounds familiar but I’m not sure. It came out way before I was born.”

Wade shook his head, trying to ignore that he suddenly felt very old. “Well, if you two can bring yourselves to watch an old-time movie, we should do that today!”

“Sure,” Trevor said. “Let’s have some of that cheddar popcorn while we watch.”

“And hot chocolate!” Braden said, popping another gumdrop into his mouth.

Wade almost told his son he didn’t need any more sugar, then decided to hell with it. It was two days before Christmas. He should enjoy himself.

“Sure. Sounds good,” Wade agreed. “But we need to clean up first.”

“Aww, man,” Braden complained.

“I know. I’m the worst,” Wade agreed.

“I dunno. I kinda like you right now,” Trevor said, tilting his head up to look at Wade.

Laughing, Wade dipped his head and kissed him.

“Are you still going to love me when I stop rubbing your shoulders?” Wade asked, stepping back with one final squeeze.

“Love you? Yes. Like you? No.” Trevor stood, stretching his tattooed arms toward the ceiling.

“That’s fair.” Wade smacked his ass. “Okay, I’m on dish duty. You guys can fight over who clears the counter and puts stuff away, and who sweeps the floor and wipes up anything sticky.”

“I’ll clear the counter and sweep!” Braden said.

“I guess I’ll put stuff away and clean up the sticky stuff then.” Trevor eyeballed the crushed peppermint disc and squished yellow gumdrop on the floor with a grimace. Luckily, they’d thought to banish their dog, Pepperoni, to the laundry room while they worked.

Braden’s suggestion wasn’t quite how Wade had planned the division of duties but as long as the cleaning got done, he didn’t care how it happened.

They’d only gotten a little cleaning finished when Braden let out an exclamation of delight.

“Hey! I know how we can fix the house!”

“A bomb might do it,” Trevor said drily, using a metal spatula to chisel the dried royal icing off the counter. “Or maybe not. This stuff dries hard.”

Wade laughed and loaded a bowl in the dishwasher. “What’s your solution, Braden?”

“You know those gingerbread dinosaurs I made?”

Chuckling, Wade nodded. They’d had some extra dough and Braden had insisted on using the dinosaur cookie cutters Wade had bought for Braden’s fifth birthday party, then stuffed in a drawer and promptly forgotten about.

“Yeah. What about them?”

“We’ll just set them up around the gingerbread house!” Braden propped up a T-rex on the foil-covered board they’d attached the house to. “And tell everyone the dinos destroyed it!”

Wade laughed. “I love that.”

“Trevor?” Braden looked at him hopefully, clearly wanting approval from his hockey hero.

Although the longer Wade and Trevor were together, the more Braden treated him like an annoying parental figure. Trevor had been delighted the first time Braden yelled at him and slammed his bedroom door in his face.

“Perfect.” Trevor grinned. “Great idea, Braden!”

Braden glowed at the praise. “Awesome. Gimme some more of that icing.”

When Trevor passed it over, Braden got to work.

“Wait, I have an idea too,” Trevor said, scooting forward. He pointed at the corner of the roof that had been broken off. “Let me see if I can put some little grooves in it and make it look like the dinosaur chomped it!”

Chuckling, Wade dried his hands and reached for his phone. He’d taken some pictures earlier, but he definitely needed to record this part on video and send it to Trevor’s sister, Nicole.

She was scheduled for shifts at the hospital over Christmas, unfortunately, but they’d already bought her a ticket to visit in January during a stretch of Trevor’s home games.

After Braden and Trevor worked their dinosaur magic, they displayed their creation to Wade.

He smiled at the sight and praised their hard work.

“It certainly does add a certain something to the look,” Wade agreed.

Was it a traditional, beautiful gingerbread house? No.

Was it absolutely perfect for his family? Yes.

Twenty minutes later, the three of them—plus the dog—sat down on the couch by the glowing tree they’d decorated yesterday and Wade queued up The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Wade pulled Trevor close and Braden wiggled into position between Pepperoni and Trevor, snuggling in. Trevor automatically draped an arm over his shoulder and Wade’s heart felt very, very full at the sight.

“Do we have our popcorn?” Wade asked a little thickly.

“Yep!” Braden held up a big bowl.

“Hot chocolate?”

“Got it!” Trevor lifted his mug.


Wade hit play and closed his eyes for a brief moment, soaking in the happiness and committing it all to memory. He’d had dreams about days like this. 

“Hey. You good?” Trevor whispered.

“Yeah, I’m good. This is going to be a great Christmas,” Wade said confidently.

Trevor shot him a soft smile and leaned in for a kiss.

Wade squeezed him tighter and smiled as he heard Braden’s delighted laugh. “Whoa, this animation is so cool! Why didn’t you show this to me before?”

There were already presents for Wade from his boyfriend and son under the tree and Wade was sure he’d love them, but this moment right here was everything he’d ever wanted for the holidays.

Time with his family. 


Enjoyed the story? Please leave a comment and tell me what you think!

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24 comentários

18 de dez. de 2023

Thanks very much. I really enjoyed your story.

Brigham Vaughn
Brigham Vaughn
20 de dez. de 2023
Respondendo a

You're very welcome! I am glad you enjoyed it!


14 de dez. de 2023

What a wonderful Christmas story 🌟🎄

Brigham Vaughn
Brigham Vaughn
17 de dez. de 2023
Respondendo a

Thank you so much!


14 de dez. de 2023

What a sweet story! 🥰

Brigham Vaughn
Brigham Vaughn
17 de dez. de 2023
Respondendo a

Aww thank you!


14 de dez. de 2023

Love seeing what these guys have been up too 😍

Brigham Vaughn
Brigham Vaughn
17 de dez. de 2023
Respondendo a

I am so glad to hear that! Thank you!


14 de dez. de 2023

Love the slice of life shorts!!

Brigham Vaughn
Brigham Vaughn
17 de dez. de 2023
Respondendo a

Aww I am so glad you're enjoying them! They're really fun to write

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