Chapter 13: Merry Christmas

Copyright© 2009 by Jujubees

It was the morning after the party, and Callie was pouting as she cooked breakfast. Her bottom was still sore. Cade walked up behind her and nuzzled her neck affectionately and she pushed him away, "Stop it."

"What's the matter?" He asked in irritation.

She turned away as tears rolled down her face, "You whipped me hard last night, that's what."

"I know, and I won't hesitate to whip you again like that if you keep flirting with other men." He was stern, cold, and unapologetic.

Callie looked down, "You are so mean sometimes." She sniffed and used the back of her hand to wipe away her tears.

Cade whirled her around to face him. This time he wouldn't allow her to push him away. He planted a kiss firmly on her lips, "You were wrong to behave the way you did at that party, now stop fussing or we'll go for round two." He looked tenderly into her eyes.

Callie leaned against him and began to sob. "It hurts when you whip me."

Cade caressed her back tenderly, "I know it does, and it hurts me when you flirt with other men; I'm your husband. I know your history Cal, and I'm not putting up with any of your shenanigans this time around, got it?" He tilted her chin up so he could look down into her eyes.

"I got it," she pouted, and every time she moved, she could feel the tenderness in her bottom. She finished cooking breakfast and called the kids to come and eat. The kids eagerly gathered around the table, they were starving.

It was Sunday and Cade had the day off work. It was cold outside and the snow was lightly falling. Cade sipped his coffee and looked out the kitchen window. "We should go into town today and look around the stores a little," he suggested.

"Yes!" Harley exclaimed.

"I want to go to the store," Jessica said.

Callie was beginning to feel less glum as Cade talked about leaving the house. She attempted to hide her tear filled eyes from the kids, but she was doing a poor job of it because she was so emotional.

"Are you sad mommy?" Jessica asked as she watched Callie brush a stray tear away.

Callie managed a slight smile, "No, I'm fine sweetheart."

Harley and Jessica suspected that Cade used the strop to punish their mother, because for one thing they had heard the distinct sound it made on the day Cade had nearly thrown their mother out. They had stood outside on the back porch and listened to what was going on inside the kitchen rather than going out to the garage as they were told. The idea of their dad punishing their mother for misbehaving made them feel a little uneasy, but Harley was old enough to realize that his mother had a few issues. Callie had been throwing herself at men her entire life. Part of Harley was relieved that his dad was taking a firm hand with her, yet another part of him felt an obligation to protect her. One thing that Harley had come to realize over time however was that no matter whose house they lived in, the man of the house was always the one who seemed to be in charge, and since Cade was his father and not some random stranger, and this was his house, Harley was not about to question Cade's authority.

Going shopping as a family was exactly what they needed. Once they were in the store, Cade watched the children browse through the toys. Callie couldn't help but smile as she watched their smiling faces. Cade knew how to aggravate her at times, but when he did things like taking the kids to the store just to look at the toys, it warmed Callie's heart. Cade noticed she was staring up at him after awhile and he pulled her close. She put her arms around him and tried not to start bawling again, but her tears hovered just below the surface and she wished she wasn't feeling so emotional.

"I want to get the kids a little something for Christmas with my bonus check," Cade whispered softly in Callie's ear. "Help me decide what we should get them."

It did not escape Callie's attention that he used the word "we" instead of "I." She watched the children playing with the various toys and she whispered her observations to Cade.

After a few hours of looking around the various department stores, Cade drove to the grocery store so they could purchase their Christmas ham with the coupon he had received the night before at the party. Jessica was still obsessed about not having a TV and after being in the stores and seeing the brand new TV's, she focused on it more than ever. "Why can't we have a TV?" She whined.

This was the part of being a parent that was difficult for Cade. In his mind, he had provided his family with a lot of things and he didn't like hearing his children whine about wanting more, even if they were only five-years-old. Jessica's constant complaining about not having a television was becoming difficult for Cade to stand. "We'll get a TV someday," Cade assured her.

"When?" Jessica demanded. She had a strong willed streak in her that Cade knew would not be cute once she grew up a little more.

"We need a lot of other things first, before we get a television," Cade explained.

"Like what?" Jessica asked.

"A phone and a washing machine for starters," Cade said, and he wondered why he was having this conversation with her again. He had already told her these things.

"We don't need a phone or a washer," Jessica pouted.

"Are you sassing me?" Cade asked sternly.

Jessica wasn't sure what sassing was, but she knew it was bad. "No," she answered.

Cade shook his head. "Santa won't bring you any gifts if you get sassy with me."

Jessica got a worried look on her face. "I've been good, haven't I Harley?" Jessica pleaded her case and wanted Harley to back her up. Harley wasn't about to be dragged into the discussion and he quickly fixed his gaze on something else and didn't respond.

Cade nodded, "So far you have been pretty good Jessie, but if you keep complaining about us not having a TV, I might have a talk with Santa."

Jessica's eyes filled with tears. "No daddy."

Harley and Ashley smirked at one another.

"No more talk about us getting a TV." Cade warned.

Jessica was crushed, and she stuck out her lower lip and pouted.

They purchased a ham and a few other items to go with it and then they left the grocery store. Christmas was just over a week away. "What about a tree?" Ashley asked as they walked out of the store, "are we getting a tree?"

"Yes daddy, get us a tree," Jessica pleaded.

Cade had almost forgotten about a Christmas tree and he realized there was a fenced in area in the parking lot of the grocery store where a vendor was selling Christmas trees. He walked over to the tree lot, after putting the groceries in the trunk of the car, and everyone tagged along behind him. "Which tree do we want?" He asked as they entered the lot.

"This one," Jessica pointed excitedly at a nearby tree.

Cade wasn't excited when he saw the price tag, so he managed to find another tree that would work and cost about half as much. The salesman helped him tie the tree to the top of the car for the ride home. The kids were excited when they arrived home with a Christmas tree to decorate and a ham to eat for Christmas dinner. Cade put the tree in the living room and Jessica danced around it. "Let's decorate it!" Jessica demanded.

Cade thought for a few minutes about decorations. "I guess we don't have any ornaments."

"Maybe we can make our own ornaments," Harley suggested.

"I bet old Walt has some decorations in the basement. I'll see if I can round them up tomorrow and we'll decorate the tree then." Cade said in a tired voice, "Or maybe we can wait and decorate it on Christmas Eve."

"Christmas Eve," Jessica shouted with glee, "Let's decorate it on Christmas Eve." She had no idea what she was suggesting, but anything with the word Christmas in it sounded good to her.

Cade decided they would wait and decorate the tree on Christmas Eve. This was their first Christmas together and they might as well make it as memorable as possible.

School let out a few days prior to Christmas and Callie had her hands full keeping the kids in line all day while Cade was at work. She enlisted their help in baking and decorating sugar cookies, which was a tradition her aunt used to have, but most of the time, the kids ran around bickering and getting in each other's way and they weren't interested in doing anything constructive. Callie wished Cade would allow her to spank them; all she was able to do to keep them in line was threaten that Cade would punish them if they weren't good, and it didn't work that well. "Your dad's gonna whip your butts if you don't stop it," she would say, but they didn't seem fazed by that at all, probably because Cade wasn't around.

When Cade arrived home from work two nights prior to Christmas, he was exhausted. Callie was at her wits end. "You need to give all three of these kids a good hard whipping," she said in exasperation. "All they do is bicker and misbehave all day, and you won't allow me to whip them, so you need to do it like you promised."

Cade pulled Callie down on his lap and gave her a kiss. "I know they're a handful," he smirked, "just like their mother," and he pinched her bottom playfully before planting another kiss on her lips. She smirked, "Cade." She could tell he wasn't in the mood to punish the kids. "C'mon," she moaned, "They need to know I'm serious. You need to give them all a good spanking for the way they've been behaving."

"No, don't spank us," Jessie protested.

Cade was amused by Jessica's attitude. He grabbed her by the arm and stood her in front of him. "I'm gonna start calling you Miss Bossy Pants," he smirked, and Jessie looked down afraid. Cade reached over and tilted her chin up and then he gave her a squeeze. "If you misbehave then you deserve a lickin', right?" He yanked Jessica over his knee as if he was going to spank her and she began nervously kicking her legs in protest. "Little girls who are bossy deserve good hard spankings," Cade smiled playfully and then he raised his hand in the air and brought it down in one sweeping motion, barely tapping her on the bottom.

Jessica thrust her hand back to cover her bottom and screamed. "No daddy," she squealed.

"I should make you pull down your pants so that it hurts more," he said sternly.

Jessica was on the verge of tears, "No daddy," she cried.

Cade began to laugh and pulled her up, poking her in the sides and tickling her. She shrieked with laughter, "Stop it daddy." Cade watched her for a minute with amusement and then his face grew serious. "I'm not going to spank you this time," he warned and he looked at all three of them in turn, "But you better behave yourselves or next time I will."

Jessica frowned, "OK."

Cade looked at Harley and Ashley, "That goes for both of you, too."

"Yes sir," Harley frowned. "Yes sir," Ashley said.

Callie shook her head in frustration. "If you don't start whuppin' the kids for misbehaving, then you should definitely let me do it." She jeered.

Cade stood up and pulled Callie into his arms, "Be patient with them Cal, they're just kids." He whispered. "I don't want you spanking them and you know that. Maybe you can make them stand in the corner or something, but how about you cut them a little slack? It's Christmas and they're just a little excited."

Callie pressed her head against his chest, "You're too soft on them."

Cade felt himself becoming anything but soft as he held her because the feel of her body pressing against his was turning him on. "The kids can use a break."

Callie knew deep down inside he was right about the kids, so she backed off for the time being and savored the feel of his arms around her. His being home helped Callie forget her frustrations.

"So, how long until dinner is ready?" Cade asked.

Callie frowned and walked into the kitchen to check on the chili she had prepared. "Another half-hour or so," she called.

"Just long enough for Ashley to practice her reading," Cade smiled expectantly at his oldest child.

Ashley frowned and walked over and got her book off the shelf and then she took her place on the couch next to her dad. He never let her skip a day of reading. Harley went upstairs to play with his toys, but he was getting tired of the limited selection. Jessica sat down on the couch with Cade and Ashley so she could listen to Ashley read. She wished she was old enough to read and she stuck her thumb in her mouth as she listened only to have Cade promptly remove it as he always did. She jutted out her bottom lip in protest and leaned against him.

Cade put his arm around both of his daughters as Ashley read her book. Ashley still struggled a great deal with the words, but she was steadily improving.

The next night was Christmas Eve, and Cade looked through some boxes in the basement until he found a box containing some old Christmas tree decorations. He hefted the box up the stairs so that they could use the ornaments to decorate the tree. Callie had managed to make some minestrone soup for dinner and she was proud of herself because she was becoming rather proficient at cooking.

Cade found ancient strands of Christmas tree lights and strung them around the tree after making sure they would light.

The kids rushed around the room excitedly as Cade put the lights on the tree. The kids wanted to help decorate and look at everything in the box and Cade definitely understood Callie's frustration with them because it was difficult to cope with their nonstop excitement. They stuck their hands in everything and examined everything and pushed each other out of the way, and hit each other. Even Ashley was difficult, but there was part of Cade that was happy to see Ashley behave like a normal kid because she had been in her shell for such a long time.

"When can we put the ornaments on the tree?" Jessica demanded and she held out the ornament she wanted to put on the tree first.

"You need to learn a little patience," Cade said and touched her on the nose.

"No I don't." Jessica frowned angrily.

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