It Started With A Christmas Tree - A Lizzie Fuller Christmas Novella

BOOK: It Started With A Christmas Tree - A Lizzie Fuller Christmas Novella
2.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub







A Lizzie Fuller Christmas Novella


Beth Prentice


Text copyright
2013 Beth

All Rights


of Contents










Chapter One


“I blame the shops!” I stated
looking at Riley, my arms crossed over my chest. He looked back at me and
sighed. “If they didn’t put up their decorations in September then I wouldn’t
be quite so impatient to put up my own!
this is my first Christmas in this house so really, how can you expect
me to wait!”

I’d bought this house about six months ago
and had inherited many problems with it—the least of which was dry rot). But
I did get Riley because of it.

“Lizzie, it’s not even December yet. Your
mum said it’s bad luck to put decorations up before December,” replied Riley, running
his hands through his short blonde hair. His patience was wearing thin. Riley
was usually a very patient man, so I must be really pushing him here.

“Oh,” I replied, waiving my hand around
dismissively. “Take no notice of her. She has a superstition for everything. Explain
to me how putting up our Christmas tree exactly three days before December the first
can change our luck.” I looked at Riley and felt victory sweep over me. He had
nothing. “Come on give me a hand. It’ll be fun!”

He looked at me doubtfully. “No, fishing
with my brother is fun. Fooling around with you is fun. Putting up a Christmas
tree is definitely not something I consider to be fun.”

“That’s because you’ve never put a tree up
with me,” I explained. This was also the first Christmas that Riley and I have
been together so he has no previous experience with just how excited I get.

It’s my favourite holiday and has been for
as long as I can remember. The only other people in the world who feel the same
level of excitement for it are children and my siblings, Molly and Danny. Actually,
I can probably put us all under the children banner when it comes to Christmas.
We all love it.

I pulled over one of the boxes that I’d
stored under the stairs and ripped back the tape holding it closed. Inside,
peeking out at me, were the white branches of my tree. Excitement coursed
through me as I pulled out the first branch and lay it on the floor, ready to
place others in piles around it. Approximately one minute later, the box was
empty and I had five neat piles of foliage. I straightened up and moved the box
to the side, out of my way. I smiled at Riley, sitting on the couch watching
me. “Just wait. It’s a really beautiful tree.”

“It’s plastic,” he stated, a smile playing
at the corners of his mouth.

“Yes. What’s wrong with that?”

He shrugged. “Nothing I guess, but in my
family we have real trees.”

“Oh, well….we like plastic. We’ve never
had much luck making real trees last long enough. They always die and look
really horrible by the time January comes around,” I explained, disappointed
that Riley wasn’t feeling my excitement.

“That’s probably because you put them up
too early,” he said. “I’m sure you’re right though,” he said, sensing my
feelings, “this one will be awesome.”

He smiled again, making me forget about
the tree altogether as I felt the world move on it’s axis. Riley’s smile is so
amazing that it can actually make the world stop turning. And even though we’ve
been together for six months now, it still has the power to make me lose my

Shaking myself to clear my head, I knelt
on the floor and put the base of the tree together. Carefully, I fitted the
trunk then pushed the branches into place, fluffing them as I did so. This
process took about five minutes.

Standing back up, I felt the anticipation
as I looked down on it standing approximately one metre tall. Humph.

“Wow. It’s awesome!” stated Riley, giving
his best attempt at hiding his smile. He stood up and moved to stand in front
of it. The tree didn’t even make his waistband. “As I’m the tallest, you’ll be
wanting me to put the angel on top, right?”

Smart-ass. “I remember it being bigger
than that,” I mumbled, feeling the disappointment sit heavily in my chest. Riley
seemed to sense my mood and pulled me in close. He kissed the top of my head.

“That’s because you shared a very small
apartment with your friend Aimee and it wasn’t in a living room with twelve
foot ceilings,” he said, kindly. “But I’m sure you’re right. It would have been
beautiful. And the upside is, it won’t take long to decorate.” There’s that
bloody smile again.

I leaned into him, feeling his heat seep
into me and contemplated how I could make the tree look bigger. I could put it
on a box but then that would probably look stupid, or maybe I could put it on
the window seat but then Cat would probably knock it over. He was very
protective of his spot on that seat. I folded my arms over my chest and sighed.
Maybe I should just replace it.

“I know,” I cried. “We’ll buy a new one. And
because I love you we’ll make it a real one, I said, excitement starting all
over again. I felt Riley’s sigh as I pulled away to look at him.

“You’ll pay for this later,” he smiled.

“I’m counting on it,” I replied
breathlessly. Making me ‘pay for things’ was one of Riley’s favourite pastimes,
if you get my drift. And I will admit that I spent a lot of my day thinking up
things that I needed him to do just so that I would have to ‘pay for it later’.

I reached for the back of the chair to
steady myself as Riley’s smile turned up to full wattage and his gorgeous blue
eyes twinkled. His eyes are his most stunning feature and let me tell you, that’s
saying something because all of his features are incredible. But his eyes are
the colour of a beautiful blue sky and framed with the most beautiful dark
lashes I have ever seen on a man. Sometimes I find myself staring at him,
totally hypnotized by them. Of course he always catches me, as next to
Christmas, embarrassing myself seems to be top of the list of things that I
enjoy the most. Actually, scratch that. Christmas is third on the list of
things I like to do the most.

I cleared my throat attempting to dispell the
lust that crept through me.

“We need to start our own tradition,” I
said, trying to steer my mind down a different path. “So from this year on, we’ll
pick out our tree together,” I croaked.

Noticing Riley’s pupils dilate, I quickly realized
Riley’s thoughts were somewhere other than on our Christmas tree.




It took us an hour to get from
the lounge room to the car but, let’s just say, we used that hour well. And no
matter how hard I tried, I still couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I turned
to look at Riley walking beside me. At six foot three, he towers over my five
foot two. He has the body of a god and is sex walking. I still can’t believe
he’s mine. Admittedly, it had taken a while for him to tell me how he felt, but
in fairness to him, that had a bit to do with me having another boyfriend at
the time.

He recently told me it was my dimples that sucked him in. I know it
wasn’t my unruly, long, brown curly hair. That even gives me the shits. Nor was
it my totally average IQ. Personally, I think it was my D cup cleavage that did
it. But whatever it was, I’m grateful that fate finally put us together.

Reaching my car, I beeped the doors open,
my mind still gooey and unfocused. Jumping into the drivers seat, I started the
motor and waited for Riley to get in next to me. After an eternity of wasting fuel,
I looked around and found Riley missing. I patiently cut the engine and got
back out, wondering what had happened to him. Under normal circumstances this
may have irritated me slightly, but right now, bathed in post-sex glow, there’s
nothing he could do to irritate me.

“Riley?” I called. “Where are you?” I saw
the window of his truck roll down.

“I’m waiting for you,” he smiled,
apparently bathed in the same glow.

“Aren’t we taking my car?” I asked.

“Lizzie, how are we going to fit a
Christmas tree in your Mini?” he asked, laughing at me. I felt my cheeks heat

“Oh. Well. I wasn’t thinking properly,” I
mumbled, locking my doors and walking around to the passenger side of his
truck. Getting in, I noted Riley’s self-satisfied smile. “Don’t look at me like
that. It’s your fault anyway. You make my brain turn to mush.”

“Ha! Anytime, babe. Anytime.”

I felt the blood rush to my nether regions
and my heart palpitate, and considered keeping the Christmas tree I already
Stop it, Lizzie
and get your mind out of the gutter!

We rode in companionable silence after
that to the farm just on the outskirts of town that supplied the trees. All we
had to do was pick one we liked and they would net it and get it ready for us
to bring home. How easy’s that?

Parking, however, was not so easy. I
looked at my watch and realized it was four o’clock. School got out an hour ago
and it appeared that every parent in Westport had decided today was the day to
pick the perfect tree.

Riley eventually found a parking spot
amongst the cars and trailers filling the parking area. It appeared ‘Happy Christmas
Trees’ was pretty popular. Hopefully, they hadn’t sold out of all the nice

I slid down off my seat in the truck and
closed the door behind me, waiting as Riley walked around the back and joined
me. I looked around and thought this business was pretty accurately named as we
could see nothing but Christmas trees everywhere we looked. Big ones, short
ones, fat ones and skinny ones. I smiled contentedly as the smell of Christmas
floated by on the wind.

“How do we pick a good tree?” I asked
Riley as he reached out and took my hand.

“Well, how tall do you want it to be and
do you want a thinner one or a fatter one?”

“Well, I’d like the one I saw in the Home
Beautiful magazine last week. It was huge with big fat branches.”

“Okay. Let’s have a look around and see what
we can find.”

We worked our way through the crowds, and
the sounds of children’s laughter met us with every turn. Now, in my Christmas
fantasy this was all very fairytale-ish, but the reality of it was much more
annoying. Ten minutes into our search, I had a headache, and the heat wasn’t
helping my irritability.

Thankfully, we were approached by a man
who seemed to know what he was doing. He was about my age and wearing a uniform
that said his name was Jerry.

“Good afternoon,” he sang. “How are you
both today?”

“Hi,” replied Riley. “We’re just looking
for the perfect tree.”

“Ah, yes. Same as everyone else, but
what’s perfect for you, lovely lady?” he asked, turning his attention to me.

I saw him discreetly look me up and down,
his eyes lingering on my chest slightly longer than necessary. Riley tensed
next to me. He’d noticed it too.

“Well, I’d like a taller tree with full
branches,” I said.

“Well, luckily for you I have a lot of
those to choose from. Follow me,” smiled Jerry. Riley and I both followed him silently.
Well, we were silent.
Jerry sang
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
over and
over. Unfortunately, he seemed to only know that one line, so by the time we
reached the row of Monterey pines we were looking at, both of us were wishing
he would shut up.

“Now this here’s a nice one,” he said,
stopping in front of a pine about ten feet tall and looked almost as round.

“Oh, that’s perfect,” I smiled, looking

“It won’t fit in your lounge room,” said
Riley, shaking his head.

“Really? Why?” I asked.

“It’s too tall.”

BOOK: It Started With A Christmas Tree - A Lizzie Fuller Christmas Novella
2.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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