A Heros for Hire Christmas

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh
Hey, jingle bells, jingle bells.
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh

Charlie, Parker, and their newest member Ember were singing and dancing around the Christmas tree Larka and Striker had just brought into the house. Striker had an old family Christmas tree stand he had brought down from the attic and placed the tree in it. There was a train set sitting nearby to be set up.

Jerry was sitting nearby, making and repairing Christmas ornaments that had been damaged. Jessie was helping to decorate the tree by sprinkling some of the fairy dust from her wings on the tree. Baloo, Peyton, Riveraka, and Bruce were decorating the inside of the house.

Stacy was helping April with the snacks and other items they baked. She looks over towards her adopted daughter, Ember. She couldn’t believe she was a mother now. Ember had been experimented on using her blood. However, her blood didn’t give Ember her mutant ability. Instead, it turned her into a Dhampir. Ember had to drink blood from her twice a week. She was happy Dr. Green kept a supply of blood at the ranch.

Ember had the same allergies she had to sunlight. She could also see in darkness like her. She was younger than Charlie.

Ember picks up an ornament Jerry had fixed and tries to put it on the tree. She stands on her tiptoes and tries again.

“I got you, sweetie.” Stacy had walked over when she saw Ember trying to put the ornament on the tree.

“Thank you, mommy.” Ember feels her mother pick her up by her tiny waist.

She reaches forward and places the ornament on the tree. After she is placed back on the floor, she grabs another one and is lifted again. Ember liked being held by her new mother.

“It looks like the kids are having fun.” April watches as all three girls decorate the Christmas tree.

“Well, this is the first Christmas for all three of them in their new forms.” Peyton knew Charlie, Parker, and Ember had all been forcefully changed.

“Hey, April, I heard you make the best alcoholic eggnog.” Larka looks over towards April.

“I do, and I’ll be making some for everyone after the kids have gone to bed.” April liked having the children around.

“I want to know where they got a vial of my blood and why they first tried it on a young child.” Stacy was mad when she found out about what the secret government did.

When they found Ember, she was weak and close to death’s door. The lab kept extensive files and videos of the experiments they were conducting. Dr. Greene figured out that Ember needed to drink human blood at least twice a week to survive.

She also learned that the scientist experimenting on Ember had manipulated the genetic properties of Stacy’s blood. They were trying to create a better and stronger mutant. However, something strange happened when they spliced an unknown blood source with Stacy’s.

Stacy watches the girls as they decorate the tree. Even Jessie was enjoying herself. That brought a smile to Stacy’s face because she learned more about Jessie’s background. The poor girl had a good life up until her mother died.

Jessie decorates the top of the tree and glides down to grow to her full size next to Peyton. She was proud of what she did as she looked at the top of the tree. The bottom and middle of the tree were coming along with the girls decorating it.

Parker tosses some tinsel onto the tree. She was having fun throwing the tinsel up on the tree.

“This is fun.” Parker looks over towards Bruce.

Ever since she has been changed, her adult memories have slowly faded away. Now, she had the mentality of a ten-year-old girl. She could still
cause things to appear like she used to, but the more complex it was, the harder it was for her to form it.

Bruce smiles as he watches Parker. He has grown very fond of her and deeply connected to her.

“You girls do seem to be enjoying yourselves.”

Ember and Charlie had tinsel in their hair from where they missed on their toss. The thing was, it was entertaining watching them.

“Riveraka, would you mind giving me a hand in the kitchen, please?” April figures she would start on lunch for everyone.

Riveraka stops what she is doing “sure, how can I help?”

“I could use your help making sandwiches for everyone and salads as well.” April knew certain members of their team were vegans.

“No problem.” Riveraka follows April into the kitchen to start lunch.

Around noon time, lunch was ready. April had several steaks for Larka, cooked the way he liked them. Striker had leftover chili he had made for the contest he had entered. The only people brave enough to eat the chili were Charlie, Larka, and herself.

April was immune to many toxic stuff because of her ability with plants. Charlie and Larka, on the other hand, loved spicy stuff. Dr. Greene couldn’t believe her little mouse daughter loved spicy stuff. Riveraka and Baloo were vegetarians and enjoyed fish as well.

As they sit around the dining room table, Charlie looks at her mother “is Santa going to visit me this year?” Charlie wanted to see Santa.

“He’s going to visit all of you. You kids have been very helpful and good this year.” April has been keeping a close eye on the kids this year.

She knew they all had a hard life, and the adults would make this year’s Christmas the best for them. It would be extra special for Ember because she had never experienced Christmas or other holidays. The research scientist that created her didn’t even celebrate her birthdays.

April and Stacy had gone out of their way for Ember to have a fabulous first birthday party. Ember had invited some of her friends from near the ranch over for a huge party. Larka, Baloo, Bruce, Riveraka, and Striker had been away on a mission. So, it worked out perfectly for everyone.

After lunch, the kids helped put away the storage containers and packages all the Christmas items came in. They change into exercise outfits and follow Larka and Stacy to the gymnasium built on the property to do their daily workout. A second obstacle course had been constructed for the kids to be trained on.

Since Charlie had started on the adult obstacle course, she was allowed to continue training. Larka worked out a physical training routine for the kids and put them through it. He was a strict instructor, but he had a soft spot for the kids and went easy on them at times.

Stacy worked on all the agility, and gymnastics moves with the kids after Larka got done torturing them physically. Since the gym had an indoor pool, she taught the kids how to swim. She gives them an hour to play in the pool at the end of their training.

Later, the kids head inside the house and spend the rest of the afternoon doing whatever they like. Charlie normally helps her mother in the medical unit on the lower levels of the house. Ember learns how to sew from April. She likes to do needlepoint projects that April buys her. Parker spends her time with Bruce.

Stacy doesn’t mind sharing Ember with April. She knew April wished she could have children, but according to the test Dr. Greene did, April could not have children. She suffered from primary ovarian insufficiency. There wasn’t anything Dr. Greene or Peyton could do to reverse the problem. That didn’t mean the rest of the reproductive system didn’t work. She could become pregnant if she had a donated egg fertilized outside and placed inside her uterus.

Larka sits outside watching the enormous slabs of meat he and Striker brought back from the butcher rotate and cook. He had one of his favorite beers in his hand and a cigar in his mouth.

“Larka, you have some bad habits.” Peyton walks out of the house and over to the spare lounge chairs.

“At least I’m out here smoking and drinking instead inside, where April would chew my ass off.” Larka knew April didn’t allow any smoking in the house unless it was in Striker’s office. That was the only exception to the rule.

“Well, she is the house manager and Striker’s long-time girlfriend.” Peyton knew Striker and April had been in a relationship since high school.

The two went to the same elementary school, Jr. High and High school. April’s abilities first manifested themselves when she was thirteen years old. On the other hand, without knowing it, Striker got his abilities from the government.

They performed a different experiment on Larka, turning him into a half-man/half-wolf person. Even Stacy had been experimented on inside her mother’s womb. The only person who hadn’t been was herself, but the government did activate the gene that gave her the ability to heal. Jessie was another mutant, but her abilities surfaced on their own.

“They should go ahead and tie the knot. Those two were meant for each other.” Larka takes a swig from his beer bottle.

“I know.” She and Jessie were in a relationship. It was kind of strange, but it worked.

“Do you think we’ll have any jobs between now and Christmas?” Peyton hopes they don’t.

“Don’t know, darling. Bad guys don’t rest even on holidays.” Larka takes another sip from his beer bottle.

Peyton watches as the meat turns over and over and as Larka finishes one beer off, reaches into his cooler, and grabs another beer. She wonders what her family is going to do this year for Christmas. Her parents died of Covid related complications last year.

What sucked was the fact that she couldn’t heal them. The hospital they were in wouldn’t allow her to see them, even after she showed her government id. It took Striker to restrain her from bragging into the hospital with her weapons drawn.

Striker comes walking towards them from checking on the steers and horses. He spots Peyton sitting outside talking with Larka.

“Toss me a beer, Larka.”

“No problem, boss.” Larka reaches down into his cooler, grabs one, and tosses it to Striker.

Striker catches it and pops it open. He takes a deep swig from it. He looks at Peyton and Larka “bored already, Peyton?”

“Nay just wanted some fresh air, but I wasn’t counting on being polluted by Larka’s stinking cigars.”

“You have no class, Peyton. This here is a genuine Cuban cigar from Cuba.” Larka takes a nice drag on it.

“How do you get a genuine Cuban cigar from Cuba?” Peyton was curious.

“That is the million-dollar question. The problem is, we can’t divulge the name of the agent we use.” Striker knew who it was but didn’t want to give out their identity.

Peyton looks at Striker “you know who it is?”

“Yep.” A playful smile appears on his face.

Peyton shakes her head at his response. She knew Striker kept many secrets and felt sorry for anyone who tried to read his mind. He was a very complex person and could fool any telepath.

Charlie comes walking out of the house. She wanted to see what Larka, Peyton, and Striker were up to. She looked up to Striker and Larka. They were the closest thing she had to a father who cared for her. Her birth father turned her into a mouse person.

Jerry had to fix everything her birth father did to her. He did a half-ass job of changing her. If it wasn’t for Jerry, she might have died.

“Watch you guys doing?” Charlie looked at Striker when she spoke.

“Just talking, munchkin.” Striker smiled at Charlie and was glad she was doing better.

Her birth father messed her up, and it wasn’t easy for Charlie to trust males. The thing now is that she loved being him and Larka. Sometimes she likes to be with Jerry, but she feels more comfortable with him and Larka since he is different.

Charlie hugs Striker, Larka, and Peyton, before she heads back into the house. The three of them were surprised at that.

“I wonder what that was for.” Peyton knew Charlie did a lot of unexpected things.

“Who knows with her.” Larka was caught off guard when she hugged him.

Peyton looks into the house and notices the kids dancing and having fun. She could hear some music coming from inside.

“What are they up to?”

“They are having a dance contest. It was April’s idea.” Larka heard April suggest it to the kids.

Peyton shakes her head as she watches the kids dance. She noticed Jessie was playing DJ. A smile forms on her face.

“Heads up, people!” Larka stands up fast and looks to his right.

Peyton and Striker stand up and look as well. They spot a figure coming towards them from out of the clouds. As the figure gets closer and closer, they can make out that it is a bear person wearing a parachute, and it looks like they are having problems.

“Where’s Baloo?” Striker looks towards Larka.

“He’s in the gym practicing. I saw him walk towards there.” Larka squints his eyes to focus better.

He notices that the figure coming towards their location is a female bear person. She was wearing a body suit that hugged her body. She was able to get control of the parachute and landed roughly finally.

“Ow!” Becky heard her ankle bone crack when she landed.

“That’s got to hurt.” Larka heard the woman’s ankle break.

“Damn it!” As she falls backward onto the ground, landing on her ass.

Becky looked up at the three individuals that were coming toward her. She recognized Striker right from the photos she was given. She also realized the wolfman was coming towards her as well. She didn’t recognize the woman that was with them.

“All right, darling. You have ten seconds to explain before I fill you with lead.” Larka had pulled his Smith and Weston.

“James King sent me to you.” Becky hands over a thumb drive with a silver eagle design on it.

Larka takes it and looks at it. He looks back towards the bear woman “what’s on it?”

“Don’t know. He said to give it to Striker there.” Becky points towards Striker.

Larka hands the thumb drive over to Striker. He wonders what was on it.

“Let’s take this to my office.” Striker was about to walk towards the door.

“Hey, how about my ankle? The pain is killing me.” Becky looks at Striker.

“I got you. Sit down in this chair.” Peyton pulls over one of the lawn chairs for Becky to sit down on.

She kneels before Becky and starts feeling around for the break. She used her ability to scan the bone and tendons to see how bad it was.
While Peyton is working on Becky’s ankle, Larka looks at Becky “so, how did you become like you are?” He was curious.

“Would you believe it started with a wish?” Becky looks at Larka and Striker to measure their reaction.

“What do you mean, it started with a wish?” Striker was curious.

“You’re going to find out anyway, so I’ll explain. Some of my friends and I are into the furry culture. I have always had a thing for the cartoon
character from Disney’s cartoon TaleSpin. I’m pretty good at making realistic costumes, and I made one of Rebecca Cunningham from the comic. My friends and I were at a furry gathering at this old park that used to be part of one of the city’s founding families’ properties. There is this old well located way back on the property hidden deep on the property. Rumor has it that if you can find the well and toss in a pure gold coin. It will grant your deepest wish.

So, my friends and I bought a pure gold coin to see if it was true. We spent most of the day looking for it and were about ready to give up when I found it.”

“Let me guess, you toss the coin into the well, wishing to become the characters you were dressed as?” Larka could see where this was going.

“Actually, yeah. I mean, we enjoy being furries.” Becky was watching the two men. She could feel Peyton still working on her ankle.

“So, how long did it take for you to discover what you did?” Striker was curious.

“The next morning. It seemed that the well granted our wish and knocked us out. We ended up spending the night at the location of the well.
When we woke up, the well had disappeared, and all of us were the characters we were dressed as.”

“So, how many o you were there?” Striker wanted to know how many people he should keep a lookout for.

“There were five of us. Three women and two males. There was me, Carol, and Elizabeth. I was the only male dressed as a female. So, I was
turned into a female. Sam and Jeff were dressed as the male version of their animals.”

“What was everyone turned into?” Larka was curious.

“I was turned into Rebecca Cunningham, except my breasts are slightly bigger than the cartoon version. Carol was turned into a sexy Mink by the name of Fefe and had a French accent. My friend Elizabeth was turned into a sexy female wolf person like you.”

“Hhhmm, I should check her out.” Larka was thinking about finding someone to play with.

“Good luck with that. Her husband was turned into a wolf person but doesn’t look like you. My friend Jeff was turned into a shark person like from the cartoon Street Sharks.”

“I don’t think I have ever heard about that cartoon.” Striker wasn’t a cartoon person.

“So, where are your friends now?” Striker wanted to know what had happened to them.

“With the organization that found us. The one your friend James King runs. He recruited me to work with your group and thought it would be cute to work with a Bearman you have on your team. As for my friends, Fefe is being trained to work with another special operations team out in Montana. As for my friends Elizabeth and her husband, since they were turned into humanoid wolf people and can shape-shift into their four-legged version. Mr. King is training them to track down fugitives.”

“Your friends can shape-shift into real wolves?” Larka was surprised by that statement.

“Yep, they always imagine themselves wolves trapped in human bodies. So, they can switch back and forth.”

“Damn, I can see where that would come in handy.” Larka and Striker could see how that would be useful.

“Whatever happened to the well?” Peyton had been listening to the conversation.

“It moved somewhere else on the property. I think to find it. You really have to want to find it.” Becky couldn’t think of another reason it revealed itself to her and her friends.

“Something to think about.” Striker could see how you find it and that it would come in handy.

“Let’s get you inside, for now, Becky. Your ankle will feel slightly sore, but it is completely healed.”

“Thank you.” Becky gets out of the lounge chair and follows Striker and Peyton inside the house.

Larka stays outside cooking the massive sides of beef. He opens another beer and takes a sip. He looks at the parachute Becky used. He gathers it up and takes it to storage. He’ll repack it later.

As Christmas gets closer, all the kids are on their best behavior in the next few weeks. Striker, Jessie, Stacy, and Peyton have to leave to take care of a problem that springs up in Nevada at the Crystal Palace. According to the briefing they got before they left. It was about two Army specialists that came across some chemicals that turned them into vampiric women.

They were found in the desert and taken to an old western town named Crystal Springs. The woman that found them was called Isa Vulpe. They were taken to her hotel, the Crystal Palace.

When Striker and his crew arrive at the location of the old western town, they are informed that no modern technology will work within the town’s boundary. Also, no motorized vehicle is permitted entry into the town.

“Well, that is unique.” Larka looks towards the old fashion stage coach waiting for them.

“I wonder why they are living like this?” Stacy and Peyton were curious.

Jessie was sitting on Peyton’s shoulder in her small size, holding onto Peyton’s collar. As they rode into town in the old-style stagecoach, they were amazed at how everyone looked. Everyone was dressed in old-style western clothing, and the town looked from the old west.

“Man, I can’t believe this town. Everything here looked like a set from an old western movie.” Larka couldn’t believe how the town looked.

“Man, this is amazing. I could enjoy visiting a place like this.” Stacy liked how it looked.

“Except for your skin condition, Stacy.” Peyton had to remind Stacy of her sun problem.

“Thanks for reminding me, Peyton.” Stacy wishes she didn’t have to cover up all the time.

The stagecoach stops in front of an old-style saloon. Everyone could hear music and laughter coming from inside the place.

“Thanks, Mister.” Stacy looks up at their driver.

“You’re welcome, Miss. By the way, if you’re here to talk with Mrs. Vulpe. You might want to ask her how she deals with the same type of problem that you do, Miss.” Old Ben gives Stacy a wink before leaving.

“What does that mean?” Peyton was curious.

“I don’t know.” Stacy was puzzled.

“Jessie, scout ahead.” Striker looks at Jessie when he speaks.

“On it, boss.” Jessie jumps off Peyton’s shoulder and flies inside the saloon.

Jessie flew inside the saloon and couldn’t believe what she was seeing. The place was right out of a western movie. They were gambling going on, a singer up on a stage singing, and everyone was dressed as if they were from the old west.

She lands on one guy’s hat and notices he is playing poker with several other men. It looked like he was beating them from the look of his poker chips. She watches as he bets and flies off. She spots several strangely dressed saloon girls. They had pale skin like Stacy and bright red lipstick. She managed to get closer and spotted that some of them had needle-pointed canines.

She flies back to Striker and grows to her full size. She looks at him “you won’t believe what I just saw.”

“Well, spill the beans, squirt.” Larka looks towards Jessie.

“Some of the saloon girls in there look like they could be vampires. They had needle shape teeth and pale skin like Stacy.”

“Your joking, right?” Stacy looks at Jessie to make sure she isn’t pranking them. She was famous for playing pranks on the team.

“I’m telling the truth. Some saloon girls had teeth like vampires and pale skin like you. They were also wearing bright make-up as well.”

“What is the rest of the place like?” Larka was curious. His sensitive nose was picking up some freshly cooked food.

“Like going back in time. I swear, it’s like the 1800s in there.” Jessie couldn’t believe how old fashion the place looked.

Striker looks at everyone “let’s go inside and find this Isa Vulpe woman.”

“Lead the way, boss.” Larka follows Striker in.

When everyone walked into the saloon, it was as Jessie said. People were eating and playing poker, and a singer or two on stage entertained people. You could tell the saloon girls from the ordinary women visiting the saloon.

“Well, hi there, strangers. Would you like a table?” Betty looks at the people that just walked into the saloon.

One of them looked like something out of a horror movie. The others were average looking. There was one woman among them that hid her face under a hood. She wonders what is wrong with her.

“We’re here to see Isa Vulpe. Do you know where we can find her?” Striker looks at the cheerful curly red hair woman. She was cute and looked average compared to what Jessie said.

“You want to see the boss lady?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Well, come on and follow me, sweetie. I’ll take you to her.” Betty leads them further into the place and over to the bar.

As they walked towards the bar, Larka was watching the people in the room. He was going to be prepared for any trouble that might pop up. He notices Stacy doing the same thing.

Striker looks toward where they are being led and spots a woman with shoulder-length black hair, native American features, dressed in an old black western-style dress. The difference was between how she was dressed and how some of the saloon girls were dressed. Her dress was dark and had lace and ruffles. Also, it seemed more high class than the others.

“Hey, boss lady, I have some people here who would rather enjoy your company more than mine.” Betty looks towards Isa and smiles. She loved teasing her boss.

Striker looks at the woman and notices her pale skin and pitch-black shoulder-length hair. She was dressed as a high-class woman from the 1800s. Her face was painted up reasonably nicely. The makeup she was wearing emphasized the delicate facial features of her face.
Isa looks at Betty “thank you, Betty. You might want to go to table four and see if you can help them.”

“I’m on it, boss.” Betty turns to walk away with a wiggle to her step.

Isa shakes her head as she looks at the strangely dressed people in front of her. Especially the wolf-looking man.

“You must be the team. Mr. King informed me he was sending.” Isa looks at the two men and three women. She noticed one of them had the
same problem as her and several employees.

“Is there someplace we can tell in private?” Striker didn’t think what needed to be discussed would be for where they were.

“Yes, if you’ll follow me, please.” Isa gets off her bar stool and leads the group toward a hidden hallway.

Isa takes them down the hallway to a huge banquet-style room. Once everyone was inside, she shut the door. She turns and looks at everyone “please, have a seat.”

Everyone sits down while Isa stands and watches everyone. Once everyone was seated, she started.

“Recently, while I was out for my midnight ride. I came across two young women that used to be men.”

“What do you mean, used to be men?” Striker had a confused look on his face.

He wasn’t the only one, either. Larka, Peyton, Stacy, and Jessie had the same look on their faces. All of them were just as curious as Striker.

“What I mean is, your young soldiers are the victims of some leftover Pharmacal products that weren’t properly disposed of,” Isa remembered the company that made the stuff.

The chemicals the young men stumbled into were the same chemicals that had been tested on her and several other members of her staff. It was supposed to turn men into women and women into men. The transformation aspect of the drug accomplished that, but it had the side effect of putting the users into a coma for a few weeks. It shocked their body so badly that it made the person appear dead.

“So, you’re saying some they were exposed to some chemicals that turned them into women?”

“Yes, but not just a normal woman. The chemicals turned their skin pale, gave them pure white hair, changed their teeth, and made them appear vampiric.”

“So, they are allergic to sunlight and bright light?” Stacy knew her little girl Ember was allergic to sunlight.

“Yes, they will have to wear sunglasses when they go outside and be covered up either by clothing or a super strong suntan lotion. If they aren’t covered, they will go blind or burn badly.”

“You’re talking like you have experience in this department.” A smirk appears on Larka’s face.

“I do.” Isa looks at the wolfman when she responds.

“How are the young women doing?” Striker was curious about their condition.

“They are doing okay. They will be unconscious for another day or so.” Isa checked on them before coming down to speak with the team she was informed was coming to get them.

“Maybe we should stick around until they are conscious.” Peyton figures it might be best.

“You’re welcome to stay here at the Palace. If you have any Christmas shopping, you still need to do it. You might want to check out some of our local shops. Everything is handcrafted and baked.” Isa hopes these people will stick around.

“We might do that. You wouldn’t happen to have several rooms available, would you.” Striker figures they could spend a few days.

“Yes, I do. Also, I can give you some discount tickets to use around town if you decide to stay for a few days.” Isa looks at the group.

“Then we’ll take the rooms and your discount tickets.”

“All right.”

Isa leads them back out to the saloon and across the street to the Palace. She gets them rooms and several discount coupons for various shops in town. Once they were registered, “if you guys need anything, you can find me at the saloon.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Vulpe.” Stacy liked the young woman.

“Mrs. Vulpe, before you go. Where are the young women?” Peyton wanted to check on them.

“Follow me. They are down at the old sanatorium we just recently restored.” Isa was glad the council voted to restore the old sanatorium. The population has increased in the past six years since she opened this town. They needed a place the sick and wounded could be taken to. They also needed a place where babies could be born and cared for. Like the new police station, the hospital had running water, sewage, internet, and power.

Striker looks at the rest of the team members that came with him. He hands the discount tickets to them “meet back here in three hours.”

“Ah, boss. I’m going to go and see if I can win some money.” Larka was going to go and try out the saloon.

Two Days Later:
After midnight, the team returned to the ranch with the two young women and the stuff they had bought. Isa hadn’t been joking when she said the women needed to be covered up from the sunlight. Specialist Summerfield found that out when she ran out of the sanatorium in the middle of a sunny day.

Her pale skin burned severely, and she was also blinded. Her eyesight was returning. She still suffered from spots in her vision, but it was clearing up. It seemed the chemicals that had affected them also gave them the ability to heal.

They had to drink fresh blood once daily to replenish their blood. They could also drink the blood substitute Isa told them about. Her people weren’t vampires, but they pretended and drank a blood substitute that acted like real blood. She informed them to warm it up first before drinking it.

April had Ember sleeping with her. Parker was snuggled up against Bruce, and Charlie was sleeping with her mother, Dr. Greene, instead of in her bedroom. Larka and the others noticed that April and the kids had been busy baking cookies, cakes, pies, and other items.

“Hey, Striker, April made her famous Rum balls.” Larka could smell the Jamaican rum April liked using.

Larka takes a few from the plate and pops them into his mouth. He could taste the rum in them. He could see himself eating a few of them and getting drunk.

“Well, I’m going to bed. Don’t eat any more of those balls Larka or April will skin you alive.” Striker knew what April would do to Larka. He has known her for a very long time.

When morning comes, the two new women are introduced to April, Baloo, Becky, Bruce, Jerry, and the kids. They are given either a room inside the ranch house or could stay in the second bunkhouse. Baloo and Becky were staying in one bunkhouse with Riveraka.

The girls decide to stay in the second bunkhouse. They were still adjusting to their new bodies. Also, they still had to learn more about their conditions.

The kids put on a show for everyone a few days later. April was directing the Christmas play, and the kids had fun doing it. They were excited about Christmas being a few days away.

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day:
Charlie, Ember, and Parker were excited as they spotted Christmas presents under the tree. Some of them they helped wrap. There were a few presents for them under the tree, but they couldn’t wait for tonight when Santa was supposed to come.

Larka, April, and Stacy kept the kids busy with their daily workouts. They knew no one was going to sleep tonight, especially the kids. Dr. Greene checks on the two women brought back to the ranch. She knew Charlie was excited because this was her first Christmas since she was turned into a humanoid mouse girl.

As for Ember, this was her first Christmas. The people back at the place she was created didn’t celebrate any holidays or birthdays. So, she was looking forward to Christmas. The same could be said about Parker since she was changed into a little girl. She was experiencing Christmas for the very first time. All her old memories of whom she used to be have faded since she was found.

Peyton spots Jessie standing in front of the tree, looking at it intently. She walks over to her and wraps her arms around her “what are you thinking about, sweetie?”

“What Christmas used to be like when my mother was alive. She was just like April and went all out every year.” Jessie wipes some tears away that have been sliding down her cheeks.

Peyton hugs Jessie and holds her afterward. She knew Jessie missed her mother and wished she was still alive. As for her father, the bastard was dead, and her brothers were in jail.

Later in the evening, a huge fest is served. They had to build several more tables to put the food on. The kids had a table to themselves. Jessie was sitting with them. She may be older than them, but she liked being around them.

After dinner, everyone watches Christmas cartoons and movies. Everyone had changed into their pajamas and were enjoying the evening. When the kids fell asleep, they picked them up and tucked them into bed.

All the adults bring out the gifts they had gotten for the kids and set them up in different living room areas. After the other adults go to bed, April stands next to Striker.

“Let’s go to bed and see what Christmas magic we can make.” She grabs his hand and heads towards her bedroom with him.



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