Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kiss Me Under the Mistletoe by Kelly Jamieson

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Dylan and Brooke appear in Slammed

“Tell me again why you didn’t come to Hawaii for Christmas,” Dylan said. “We could be on the beach under a palm tree drinking piƱa coladas.”
Brooke smiled at him as she hung an ornament on the small tree in her apartment. Strains of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” drifted in the room along with the fresh scent of pine from the tree. Lights twinkled and sparkled off the red and green and gold ornaments, not only on the tree but all around the apartment. And Brooke wore a plush red and white Santa hat that was crazy but adorable. Turned out Brooke was a Christmas nut, but she’d waited until he was home so they could decorate the tree together on Christmas Eve.
If it was up to him, he’d prop a surfboard in the corner, drape a string of lights over it and call it good.
“Christmas is for family,” she said. “And much as I’d love to go to Hawaii, that doesn’t sound very Christmassy. Tomorrow we’ll be drinking mulled wine and roasting chestnuts.”
“Get outta here. You’re actually gonna roast chestnuts? People really do that?”
She laughed. “Kidding! Although, maybe we should try that! We could add it to our other family traditions.”
Huh. Family traditions. He wouldn’t know about those.
“I thought you were looking forward to a big family Christmas,” she continued. “I can’t wait for you to be part of my family.”
He’d had family Christmases, of course, but that had been a helluva long time ago, and frankly, his memories of Christmas were mostly of his parents fighting. Once he’d left home and started travelling he’d always been “too busy” to go home for Christmas, and then his parents had split and moved far apart anyway.
“I am looking forward to it,” he said. And he was.
“We’re going to gather around the piano and sing Christmas carols,” she said. “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. The First Noel.”
“Christ,” he muttered. “I can’t sing. Seriously?”
“Yes! It’s fun!”
He gave her a narrow-eyed look. He’d fallen for the roasting chestnuts line—was she serious about a family sing-along? Maybe he was changing his mind about this family Christmas thing.
“We have lots of family traditions,” she continued excitedly. “The mulled wine is one. There’s also the traditional Scrabble game.”
“Scrabble?” He was fucked. He sucked at Scrabble. “Uh…okay.”
“You don’t sound enthusiastic.” She turned into him and they stood in front of the small tree, his arms linked around her waist, hers twined around his neck. “Dylan. I thought you were happy to spend Christmas with my family.”
Her eyebrows slanted down as she gazed up at him, her brown eyes big and beautiful beneath the white fur trim of her Santa hat.
“I am,” he said. “Really. I just don’t know about singing…and I’m not very good at Scrabble.”
He loved Brooke’s family. He’d felt at ease from the moment he’d met them. Her sister Fraya had been a little intimidating, but he owed her big time for helping him when he’d failed that drug test earlier this year and she’d helped him keep his title. Brooke’s brothers were cool. After he’d met them, he’d found himself wanting to be part of a family. He’d found himself wanting to make his own family with Brooke. When they’d thought she was pregnant, he’d been surprisingly disappointed to find out she wasn’t.
Buying gifts for people, especially people he didn’t know very well, was another source of anxiety. He’d bought a bunch of crap in Honolulu and hauled it back to give to her family—Kona coffee, macadamia nuts, guava and papaya jams, ukuleles for the kids —so his gifts for them were going to suck. Hopefully they hadn’t spent a lot of time and money on gifts for him, because there was nothing he really wanted, and if they had, it was going to make his pathetic crap look even worse.
“It’s going to be fun. We can open our presents for each other here tonight, then get up early and go over to Mom and Dad’s so we can watch the kids open their presents. That’s the best part.”
“Yeah, kids are cute,” he acknowledged.
“Then I’ll help Mom and Fraya and Jinny cook the turkey. Then we’ll play Scrabble and eat dim sum.”
“Dim sum?” He lifted an eyebrow.
“Another Christmas Day tradition.”
“Uh…no offense, sweetheart, but your family has some odd traditions.” He still wasn’t entirely convinced she wasn’t playing some kind of weird Christmas joke on him.
“I know.” She grinned. “But we have fun.”
“Okay. It’s all good. After dim sum, we’ll go surfing.”
She laughed, her fingers sliding through the hair at the nape of his neck. “If you feel a need to go surfing, you could probably squeeze it in. Oh! It could be a new family tradition. You should totally wear a Santa suit! The kids would love it!”
“I, uh, don’t have a Santa suit.” Was she nuts? Surfing in a Santa suit?
“We have one,” she assured him.  “We’ll get it out for you tomorrow. Are you ready to open our presents? I’m so excited! I made us Christmas Eve hot chocolate and sugar cookies.”
He’d rather have one of Matt’s Lords a Leaping Lagers. But whatever. “Sounds great.”
Moments later, Brooke handed him a mug of hot chocolate with a candy cane in it. “Here you go!”
They sat on the couch and he dutifully drank his hot chocolate flavored with peppermint from the candy cane. Weirdly, the peppermint taste took him back, reminding him of being a kid. He probably hadn’t had a candy cane since he’d been…well, he had no idea. It tasted good.
“Who should go first?” she asked expectantly.
“You. Here, babe. Merry Christmas.” He handed her the box he’d had gift wrapped at the store.
She plucked at the ribbon and carefully peeled open the glossy red paper, painstakingly removing the tape and keeping the paper intact. Her lips lifted into a smile and she gave an actual shiver of anticipation when she saw the jewelry box inside the paper. When she lifted the lid, her jaw dropped and her eyes widened.
She lifted her gaze to him. “Oh my god, Dylan. This is amazing.”
He smiled and touched her cheek. “I bought them in Hawaii, but they’re actually from Tahiti. I have good memories of Tahiti.”
Her cheeks grew pink as she looked back down at the string of black pearls, the accompanying pearl and diamond earrings, and matching bracelet. They gleamed with a rich, elegant luster. “Thank you,” she said, her voice husky. “Will you help me put them on? I want to wear them.”
“Sure.” He set down his mug of hot chocolate and helped fasten the clasp of the necklace at her nape. With her hair brushed aside, he kissed her there, opening his mouth on her soft skin and letting his tongue linger. Then he fastened the bracelet at her wrist and she put in the earrings. “Let’s see.”
She sat back and he studied them. “Gorgeous. I knew you’d look good in them.” He kissed her mouth. “Know what I was thinking when I bought them?”
She touched her fingertips to the pearls at her throat. “What?”
“I was thinking I’d like to see you in bed, naked, wearing nothing but those black pearls.”
Her breath hitched and her eyes gleamed. “Oh.” She let out a soft sigh. “They’re so beautiful, Dylan.”
“Not as beautiful as you.”
“Sweet talker.” Her eyes were warm. “I have good memories of Tahiti too. Thank you.”
“Gonna take you back there someday,” he promised. “And I’ll buy you more pearls. And have sex on the beach again.”
Her cheeks grew even rosier. She leaned into him and they kissed, a long, lush, tongue kiss that made him hard. Whoa boy. They needed to finish the presents and then he’d get her into bed, naked except for those sexy black pearls and…Jesus.
“Okay. Your turn,” she said, a little breathless. “Here’s my present for you.”
She handed him a large, flat box wrapped in red, green and gold paper with a huge glossy red bow. He grinned. “Do I have to open it as slowly as you opened yours?”
He tore through the paper and opened the box inside to reveal…uh…what? He picked up the knit garment and eyed it doubtfully. “Um…”
“It’s a Christmas sweater!” Brooke said excitedly, shifting on the couch beside him.
“I see that.” His eyebrows rose as he took in the chunky red sweater. He held it by the shoulders and shook it out to study it. Jesus Christ. It was the ugliest sweater he’d ever seen. Stripes of green and white ran down either side of the front, framing a stylized sprig of mistletoe. Beneath the red, green and white neckline were the words “KISS ME UNDER THE MISTLETOE” and then beneath the mistletoe was an arrow pointing down.
“You have to wear that tomorrow!” Brooke continued. “It’s another family tradition. We all have ugly Christmas sweaters that we wear every year.”
“Uh…babe…I am not wearing this sweater.”
She froze, her mouth still open, eyes wide. “What?”
He shook his head. “Are you fucking kidding me? I know you’ve been shitting me with the roasting chestnuts and sing-along and fucking dim sum…there’s no way in hell I am wearing this fugly sweater with your family tomorrow. They’re gonna think I’m nuts.”
She gazed at him, then blinked rapidly. “But…but…I’m not kidding, Dylan. I know we have some wacky traditions, but…”
He shook his head and laughed, folding the sweater back into the box. “Okay. Joke’s over. Where’s my real present?”
She just looked at him, lips parted and then he got a funny feeling in his gut when he saw the hurt in her eyes. No fucking way…shit…was this for real?
Brooke leaped off the couch and hurtled into the bedroom, slamming the door behind her.
Dylan slumped back into the couch. He stared at the Christmas tree glowing and sparkling with red, green, gold and silver. Shit. He sank his teeth into his bottom lip. Apparently the Christmas sweater had been a serious present.
What the fuck?
He picked it up and again held it up in front of him. His eyebrows flew up as he pictured himself wearing the sweater and where that arrow would be pointing.
His gaze went to the hall where Brooke had just disappeared. Shit, shit, shit. It wasn’t that he wanted another present. He just thought his was a joke. Was her family all going to be wearing embarrassing sweaters tomorrow? Was it really a tradition? One corner of his mouth lifted as he studied the sweater and the arrow…
Well. He had to make this right. It was Christmas Eve. It was their first Christmas together. Next month they were moving into their own home. Tomorrow he was spending Christmas with her apparently somewhat whacked family. And fuck…he loved her. Beyond anything.
He stood and reached for the hem of his long-sleeved T. He pulled it off, tossed it aside and grabbed the sweater. Whatever.
He pulled it on. Big and loose, it settled over his torso. Then, with a doubtful look down, he unbuttoned his jeans and lowered his fly. He pushed the jeans down and stepped out of them, leaving them in a heap on the floor, then walked to Brooke’s bedroom.
He paused to give his cock a few strokes, closing his eyes, remembering his fantasy of Brooke in nothing but black pearls…oh yeah…then gave a soft rap on the door. He didn’t wait, just walked in.
She sat on the side of the bed, shoulders slumped. The Santa hat lay crumpled on the bed beside her. Her head snapped up as he walked in. She stared at him.
“Hey, babe,” he said softly.
Her eyes bugged out as they tracked up and down his body. He probably looked like an idiot—but when had that ever stopped him?
“Uh…” She took in the no doubt incredible sight of his bare legs and feet beneath the chunky sweater…and his erect cock at the hem, right below the arrow that invited her to kiss him under the mistletoe. Her lips twitched. Then quivered. Then she sank her teeth into her bottom lip and met his gaze. She was trying not to laugh.
“Sorry babe. I thought you were fucking with me.”
Her face softened. “Dylan. I love you. I just wanted you to fit in with everyone tomorrow. To be part of the family.”
“That’s the best present you could ever give me. You know I want a family. And a family Christmas.”
“I know.”
He spread his arms, planted his feet wide apart. “C’mon, babe, you know you want to do it. Isn’t this why you gave me the sweater?”
“Do…what?” Laughter vibrated in her voice.
“Kiss me. Under the mistletoe.”
She licked her lips, and his cock twitched. Her eyelids lowered. “Yeah. I do.” Then she rose and while he watched, she stripped off her sweater and jeans, then bra and panties, leaving her standing there wearing nothing but black pearls. She sauntered toward him. “Merry Christmas, Dylan.”

To read more about Dylan and Brooke, check out Slammed:

Brooke Lowry has a mission: fly to Tahiti, pluck PR nightmare Dylan Schell out of whatever party he's in, bring him home and clean up his image.

It was her idea for Jackson Cole clothing company to sponsor the pro surfer. But the chances of saving this deal -- and her career -- look pretty slim when she finds the sexy party boy “shooting the curl” with two beach bunnies.

Dylan is finally getting back on track, and the next big event would put him over the top. . .if it wasn't being held in San Amaro, where he'd be forced to watch his best friends Matt and Corey tie the knot and move on without him.

He'll do anything to keep that from happening, including taking shameless advantage of a tropical cyclone -- three days cut off from civilization -- to distract the lovely Brooke into his bed.

Despite her moment or three of weakness, Brooke won't be deterred. And suddenly Dylan finds himself facing a lot of things -- his hometown, his past, and something he didn't see coming. Love.

Warning: Check it, dude, this book contains a bad boy surfer who gets slammed by fierce waves but gets back up, a buttoned-up woman who learns to chillax, and some righteous shreddin' the gnarl.

 For more information about this event, check out last Friday's post or visit us on Facebook.


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Kimberly Mayberry said...

This sounds like a awesome book! I love the ugly sweater!

kbinmich AT yahoo DOT com

KIM TALBOT said...

This excerpt was hilarious.

Kim Kernc said...

Awesome excerpt!!!

Juniper Bell said...

Love it, Kelly! Great story, and absolutely classic ugly Christmas sweater. ;-)

Slick said...

Love, love, love!!!

PG Forte said...

It is a great sweater. :) I love this story. I could just imagine Dylan's reaction. And I've developed a total obsession with black pear;s now. Sigh.

Sydney Somers said...

Dylan certainly knows how to make the best of a bad situation lol Great story, Kelly!

kmx2 said...

Wonderful story! I'll have to read the whole book now!