Author’s choice? You mean I have to choose? I’m terrible at making choices. I actually went back over my previous posts to see which of my books may not have received adequate attention and discovered they’re all about equally featured. So, I asked myself, what was one of my favorite scenes? I’ve featured most of them already. Who was my favorite character? They ALL are my favorites or I couldn’t have written them. So I decided to give you a sneak peak into Ryan and Megan’s relationship in my upcoming Christmas novella, I Need You For Christmas. (And do you know I only just realized something about their names–anyone else catch it? If so, believe me, it was not planned. Honest.)
I Need You For Christmas
Copyright © 2012 Leah Braemel
[T]he scent of bacon and cinnamon and coffee penetrated Meg’s consciousness long before she convinced her eyelids to open. Accompanied by Ryan’s off-key warbling of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, she stretched beneath the duvet and planned out her day. Which consisted of…what? Staying in bed all day was tempting, but that probably wasn’t an option, especially since she’d promised Amy she’d help her do her annual Christmas-cookie-making marathon.
Grumbling about having to get up, yet excited to be spending the day with Ryan, she tossed back the covers and padded to the washroom. Once she’d had a shower and dressed, she wandered out to the kitchen where Ryan was frying bacon wearing only a T-shirt and butt-hugging briefs. Standing in the doorway, she stayed quiet, appreciating the sight of his long legs with their muscular thighs and calves from miles of riding his bike over the hilly gravel roads in the area. Legs that had clenched around her the night before, the rough hair tickling her cheeks when she’d gone down on him. Then later, they’d brushed the insides of her thighs when he’d ridden her until they were both out of breath, sweaty and sore and thoroughly satisfied.
The music changed to “Silver Bells”, or as he sang it, Silver Balls. Guys. For such a talented artist, talk about tone deaf.
“Aren’t you worried about grease splatter?” She grabbed a mug and filled it with coffee.
Ever the wise man, he waited until she’d had her first full hit of caffeine before taking the cup and placing it on the counter. As she was about to protest, he wrapped his arms around her. With one hand firmly cupping her butt, he kissed her until they were both breathless.
“I wasn’t expecting you to wake up so early. You were sleeping like a log when I got up.” Ryan’s satisfied smile told her he knew full well he was the reason she’d slept soundly. “I was planning on bringing you breakfast in bed.” His hand squeezed her behind then released her. “But now you’re up, you sit your butt on the couch while I finish here.”
“You spoil me.” She picked up her coffee and headed to the couch, but not before stopping off to admire the seven-foot live pine taking over the corner. Nestled among the original blown glass ornaments and metal pieces Ryan created were a dozen or more embroidered pieces. They’d been his mother’s creations—he’d told her that until his father remarried and his new wife moved in, his mother’s needlework adorned just about every surface in the house.
She stroked the long needles; the scent of pine brought memories flooding back. “Do you remember our first Christmas tree?”
He chuckled. “Not the tree itself, but I remember trying to impress you by driving you out to Shewchuk’s tree farm and getting stuck in the ditch. Not my finest moment.”
“I was remembering what happened after we brought it home.” How they’d made love after they’d decorated it.
“I’ll never forget that part of the day, babe.” His voice was soft.
While she’d always loved the spirit of Christmas, she’d seldom found it at her family’s home. For some reason her parents fought more over the holidays, and the Christmas carols she’d play seldom drowned out the shouting matches. Though she hadn’t told him, she suspected Ryan had when he had invited her to his family’s place for Christmas their first year together and included her on the tradition of picking out the family’s tree.
If she hadn’t already been falling in love with him, he’d sealed the deal when he’d said he loved her that afternoon.
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