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She wanted to bite back those words, but it was too late. His lips had already turned up in the most adorable way, making his entire face extremely…kissable.
“Gorgeous?” He popped the yellow gummy bear she’d given him into his mouth. The motion of his lips hypnotized her as he chewed. God, it was easier to be angry with him when he was just a memory. “I could say the same about you, Kat. You’re even more beautiful than I remembered, and trust me, I pride myself on not having forgotten a single detail about you.”
Shiver and swoon. Shit.
“So, are you hungry?” he asked again.
Good God, yes!
“How about you cook me that omelet thing you used to make? Remember it?” What was she doing? She was supposed to be going home to wrap presents she wouldn’t be delivering until next week when her family came back. She was supposed to be alone tonight.
She was supposed to be mad at Reade Collins.
“I remember. I can make you something far more complicated than that now.”
Kat shook her head. “No. I’ve tried to recreate that omelet and can’t do it. I want the recipe.”
Reade laughed. “So you missed me then?”
“I missed your cooking.” She looked out the windshield as he navigated through the steadily falling snow. What do you know? He actually was a good driver.
“Well, I’m mature enough to admit, I’ve missed you, Kat. A lot.” He turned onto Swan Pond Road.
“You still live here?” She’d always loved his little house with the waterfront view. They’d spent so much time hanging out on Adirondack chairs by the pond, sharing beers, laughs, kisses…and more. She’d talked herself into believing he had never returned from Europe. Never once drove by his street. Avoided it actually.
“Yeah. I’m head chef at Italia down in Providence. This house is close enough yet far enough, you know?”
Kat nodded. Italia was Providence’s most expensive restaurant. Her salary didn’t allow for meals there, but she’d read reviews about it. All of them were positive. None of them had mentioned the head chef’s name. Had she known…
“Guess that time in Europe was worth it.” She unlooped her scarf. The heat in Reade’s car must have been really pumping. Yeah, that was it.
“On some accounts it was worth it.” He glanced at her with sad hazel eyes. “On some accounts, I’d do it all differently.” He sighed. “What about you? What have you been up to?”
“I’m a social worker at Old Creek Road School in Seafield. Been there for about six years. It’s good work. I moved into a house about five minutes from the school.”
“You always did hate to drive more than three miles from your home.” He pulled into his driveway, a single light by the front door illuminating falling snow. It sparkled like fairy dust, and Kat wondered if there wasn’t some magic afoot as the car eased into the garage.
“I still like having a driver.” She gathered her handbag, her hand on the passenger door.
He stopped her from getting out just yet with a hand on her forearm. His fingers were strong and warm through her coat, and her insides felt as if someone had let loose a flock of birds, their wing feathers tickling as they flew around.
“It was my pleasure to be your driver tonight.” He smiled, released her arm, and got out of the car.
She followed him inside the house, closing the door behind her. Once inside, Reade turned around suddenly and backed her up against the door with a hand on either side of her shoulders. She’d forgotten just how tall he was, how his body always seemed to fill a room, how he constantly smelled of something just delicious.
“I have to kiss you.” His voice was a low whisper, almost a growl, as his eyes combed over her face.
“You gotta do what you gotta do.” She gripped the sides of his open jacket and pulled him down to her level.
When their lips met, that same fire they’d shared ten years ago exploded. Coats, shirts, shoes, jeans, lacy underthings, and boxers fell to the hardwood floor in the kitchen and hallway, all the way down to the bedroom.
Naked and perfect, Reade scooped up Kat in muscled arms and gently deposited her onto the bed. He crawled up the length of her, and she quaked with need, with molten desire for him, only him. Kissing a trail along her neck to her shoulder then to her mouth, he brought back everything that had made them so right for each other, made them soul mates.
“Oh, Reade…” She pushed herself up against him, felt his wanting, mirrored it.
“I’ve dreamed of this moment, Kat. No one has ever made me feel like this. No one but you.”
“Good.” She grinned and what they made together while the snow fell silently outside could only be described as love. A love returned. A love rekindled.
When they finally collapsed in a heap of entangled limbs, soft caresses, and lingering kisses early Christmas Eve morning, Reade twirled one of her curls around his finger. “I should have slammed into your bumper years ago.”
She laughed and poked him in the stomach. He squirmed away but was back snuggled against her in an instant.
“There were probably easier ways to get back to this.” She dropped a kiss on his forehead as he burrowed even closer, his cheek resting on her shoulder.
“Like some mistletoe maybe?” He raised his head to look at her. “I was wishing for some when we were leaving Tom’s garage.”
“Looks as if your mistletoe wish came true without the mistletoe.” She turned to wrap her arms around Reade.
“Best Wish Ever.” His arms slipped around her waist and gathered her close, possessed her, claimed her.
Best Holiday Ever.
Kat Graves had only one wish for the holiday. That wish involved a remote for the Universe in which she could pause this moment for an eternity.
Hope you enjoyed Mistletoe Wish. I had an absolute blast writing it.
Buy my other holiday stories, Midnight Mistletoe and In the Nick of Time at www.christinedepetrillo.weebly.com.