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Authors: Natasha Boyd,Kate Roth

Tags: #Anthologies, #Contemporary, #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Short Stories

Mistletoe & Hollywood

BOOK: Mistletoe & Hollywood
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Mistletoe and Hollywood

Copyright © 2014 by Natasha Boyd & Kate Roth

 

Interior Design by Angela McLaurin, Fictional Formats

https://www.facebook.com/FictionalFormats

 

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.

 

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real person, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

 

My Star, My Love

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Thank You

 

 

Many Times, Many Ways

1. Miss You Most At Christmas Time

2. Merry Christmas, Darling

3. Home for the Holidays

4. Step into Christmas

5. Winter Wonderland

6. All I Want for Christmas is You

7. Santa Baby

Acknowledgements

Kate Roth

 

 

 

“OH MY GOD,
I can’t do this,” I choked out as the car neared the airport turn off. Panic had me by the throat. It was also hanging on my limbs and doing an ice bucket challenge in my gut. “Seriously, I can’t.”

Jack’s green eyes were fixed on me, luminous in spite of the dim interior of the town car we’d taken to the airport. His brow furrowed. “Okay, just breathe, baby. Keri Ann, just breathe.”

Damn, I thought I was over this. My anxiety about the fact I was about to embark on a twelve-hour flight over a rather large and deep body of water known as the Atlantic wasn’t helped by present circumstances. I was still not okay with the odd photographer trying desperately to get a picture of us together, but now there were three of them standing impatiently by curbside check-in at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. How were they always one step ahead of us?

Kill. Me. Now.

“I’m sorry I’m such a head case,” I managed and dropped my eyes to his firm
Rag and Bone
-clad thighs as he instructed our driver to do a circuit of the airport terminals. “I swear, I must have been a kamikaze bomber in World War Two or something. It always feels like a one-way trip where landing gear will never be used. Why am I so afraid of flying?”

Jack chuckled, the smooth rasp and rumble was like popping an antianxiety med; it was instantly calming. I closed my eyes to let his sound wash over me. He’d been so distracted the last few weeks.

I’d been driven instead of flying on my own to meet Jack for our connecting flight to England.
To meet his mother!
Even when we met today, he’d seemed preoccupied. Hearing him laugh though, and at least try and calm my nerves, helped.

We hadn’t seen each other in two weeks, him having to be back in Los Angeles for meetings, and me finishing up my semester at the Savannah College of Art and Design. The car he’d ordered to drive me the five hours to Atlanta had met him at a private airfield north of the city, and we hadn’t had a chance to be alone yet.

“Are you sure it’s not because you’re meeting my mother?” Jack teased.

I sighed, the breath catching over my tension.

As soon as we were moving again, he leaned over, dosing me with his piney scent and bringing his gorgeous lips so close to mine my heart tripped. He unsnapped my seatbelt. “Come here,” he said and hauled me roughly onto his lap. He worked my knee over him, his hand feeling hot through my linen cargo pants, until I sat astride him on the back seat. His arm pulled me tight against his body, our foreheads touching.

This was a good way to distract myself from impending doom. I’d pick death by Jack any day of the week.

I curled my fingers into the soft hair at his nape and scraped my nails up into his hairline like I knew he liked.

“Careful,” he whispered with a sexy smirk, eyes glittering. “I’ve missed you far too much.” Then his arms left me to mess with his seatbelt and stretch it around us both.

I laughed quietly as he grimaced and grunted and finally clicked it into place, locking me tight against him.

“Safety first. Damn, we should always travel like this with you strapped against me.”

I was saved answering as the car took a speed bump a little too fast and bounced us.

Holy hell
.

“You’re hard,” I squeaked, and my insides did a zipline over hot boiling lava, the heat wafting through me. “Did the driver hear that?” I whispered with a cringe of embarrassment. What was I saying? Of course he did.

“You sound surprised. Has it not been apparently obvious that I have no control of my body when you’re around?” Jack’s laughing tone slid back into a whisper as he dropped my gaze and angled his lips for my ear.

I shivered.
Me neither
I answered mentally.

“Let alone when you’re pretty much wrapped around me. And sitting right on my—”

“Sir?” the driver’s voice cut in, his tone vapidly neutral as his training required. “We’re approaching the terminal again. Are we stopping this time?”

I sighed and pulled back reluctantly, resting my forefinger over Jack’s soft lips. Such a contrast to the rough surrounding skin that was already sprouting its shadow. “Yes, we’re getting out. Sorry,” I said, feeling it was my place to assert that I was pulling myself together. And Jack had successfully refocused my mind. As he always did.

We adjusted the seatbelt and I slid back over to my side. “Are
you
okay that I’m meeting your mother?” I asked.
Oh why did I ask that?

Jack smiled tightly as the car approached the curb again, and the driver hopped out. “Of course.” Then glancing out the window as he mashed his maroon ball cap on his head, he muttered, “Showtime.” His street side door opened, letting in the whine of jet engines and chattering people.

“Jack!” A male voice called his name.

He slid out and the driver closed the door behind him, leaving me a blessed moment’s peace before he came round to get me. I had seconds to slide on my large sunglasses and steel my nerves. I did a quick scan of my wardrobe choice: my Snapper Grill T-shirt worn for nostalgia and my festive red Chuck Taylors, and looked for stray toilet paper or anything that might embarrass me. All good.

God, my life. The last eight months since Jack and I had hit the tabloids with Audrey Lane’s awful story, claiming that Jack’s cheating had caused her to miscarry their baby, had been awful. Spectacularly happy because Jack and I were together, but trying to start studying for a degree while essentially living under a microscope, was tough. But Jack had been right. The tabloid fever had only lasted so long, and then they were bored when Jack wasn’t around. I wasn’t quite as interesting to them on my own. Thank goodness. But when we were together? Different story.

It had been tough to make friends at college because everyone whispered about me. But when the tabloid furor finally died down, and after I was assigned a study group and got to know some of my fellow students one on one, it was better.

The door opened and Jack held out his hand. We moved hastily, pausing side by side for just a moment with big smiles to have our picture taken. Our driver, after handing off our luggage to the airport porter, walked ahead of us, clearing a path and leaving the small group of photographers behind. It was comforting to know he had bodyguard training. Inside the terminal, we were led directly to the crew check-in and met with a personal assistant from the airline. Jack and I shook our driver’s hand, thanking him, and then we were hurried down a quiet hallway of the airport, leaving our luggage to be privately screened and checked. It was ironic that I’d never taken a regular flight like most people. My first airplane experience was a private jet with Jack, and now we were “going commercial” as Jack termed it, and I knew it was hardly the procedure most people went through.

He wrapped a hand around my waist, hauling me close as we walked. Before long we came to double security doors where a middle-aged and efficient looking woman in the navy airline uniform met us and handed me my purse and our passports. The doors led out to a public area where a crowd of harried travelers walked, marched, or flat out ran in all different directions. “I guess we skipped the security line,” I murmured to Jack.

There was a golf cart looking thing we jumped on. It beeped, letting people know to move, earning a few curious glances. Jack pretended to study the inside of his passport to keep from looking up, and the bill of his cap kept his face mostly hidden. He was a pro at this.

We sped past people, gates, and a newsstand I would have loved to stop at and buy a book. Finally, we pulled down a carpeted side hall. Here two large frosted glass double doors indicated a First Class Lounge. But we didn’t stop. We went ten feet beyond that to a smaller innocuous white door. I raised my eyebrow at Jack in a silent question.

BOOK: Mistletoe & Hollywood
7.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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