Page 19 of Wrap with Love

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“It is.” She won’t be cutting herself down in front of me. “Tell me about your Christmas traditions. What should we do here since it looks like we’ll be spending several days in the cabin? You have the reindeer food story. What else?” I want to do them all.

“We always had a tree with a big topper. My mom always wanted an angel topper for the Christmas tree but couldn’t find one that she liked. Dad was at a gas station and found one and brought it home. It was hideous.” She lets out a small laugh. “It was so heavy that it nearly made the tree tip over.” The memory puts a sad smile on her face. “Mom hated it at first, but it kind of grew on us all.”

Maybe I shouldn’t do the reindeer food thing. I want her to have new memories but here with me.

She shifts uncomfortably in her seat. “How about you? What Christmas traditions do you have?”

“None.” I spoon the stew into my mouth.

“None? Like no Christmas presents on Christmas morning or the Elf on the Shelf?”

“Elf on the Shelf?”

“You’ve never heard of that? It’s a little stuffed elf and you move it around every night as if he’s come to life while you’re sleeping. Mom would have him attached to the kitchen cupboards or one morning I found him on the counter half buried under flour that had spilled out of the container. He looked like he had tried to climb up the side of the ceramic bin and it tipped over.” This time her smile is bright and happy, but inwardly I’m frowning because I didn’t order an Elf on the Shelf. Fuck me. Maybe I could make a pine cone man. Pine cone on the limestone? Doesn’t have the same ring to it, but if the stupid stuffed man makes her happy then I’m getting one.

“I did not have an Elf on the Shelf. I spend most holidays—most days—in the lab or going over my research,” I say by way of explanation.

“Doesn’t your mom miss you? My mom is away this year. I pushed her to take a cruise she’s been wanting to do forever. If she was home she’d drag me out by my short hairs if I didn’t come home for Christmas.” She checks her watch. “I should probably call her and check in. She’s going to be worried. Do you mind?”

“Nah. I’ve got some research to dive into anyway.” I watch her go.

I need my Kayla locked up in the cabin until the break is over.

My vision of us sitting by the fire, drinking hot rum and making love until we’re too exhausted to move is starting to evaporate like smoke. Jealously, I watch as she calls her mother and laughs way too many times. I don’t think I’ve ever made her laugh like this. I don’t know if I’m capable of making her laugh like this. I’m not a funny person. There’s no recipe for being funny or making people laugh—or is there? I mentally debate this until Kayla returns to the table. Her face is flushed from the merriment she shared with her mom. The last time I saw Kayla looking like this was when she was in my bed, having just experienced a tremendous orgasm. So maybe I can’t make her laugh, but I can make her scream. I can make her come from sucking on her tits. I guess it’s time for dessert. I sweep a hand across the table, not caring that dishes crash to the ground. Her eyes grow wide, and a small yelp escapes as I drag her out of her chair and spread her across the newly cleared space.

“What’s going on, Nathan?”

I grin ferally. “It’s time for dessert.”



I fastenthe back to my snowflake earring, it being my final touch to my outfit for the holiday party tonight. This is going to be hard. Nathan and I only got back to the city today. I don’t think he wanted to leave the cabin at all, but since it’s the holiday party for work tonight we came back.

Once it’s over then we will all officially go on break. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to be around Nathan anymore without touching him or leaning into him for a kiss. I haven't had any practice in acting as though we’re not together since we stayed so long in Lancaster.

We did some work while we were there. It made me feel less bad about not being in the office for those two days. I’m so new, I don’t want people to think I’m ditching work. I think I more than did my job. I’m Nathan’s assistant, and I made sure he was taken care of in all ways. I think I’m pretty good at it too. I giggle at my own dirty thoughts.

A knock sounds at the door, letting me know Nathan is here. He dropped me off a few hours ago so I could get ready. He went home to do the same. I know Nathan is only going to the holiday party because I am. Socializing isn’t really his cup of tea. Some of our co-workers might actually die of shock when he walks in. I think it’s sweet that he’s going so that he can be with me.

When I open the door, I let out a small laugh when I see Nathan is really wearing the sweater I got him. It says Oh Chemistree Oh Chemistree on the top and the periodic table has been shaped into a Christmas tree. I ordered it when we were at the cabin when I’d asked Nathan about the holiday party, and he admitted he didn't own a holiday sweater.

“Your chest is lighting up.”

I look down at my sweater, which has dancing lights on it. “Do you like it?” I give him a smile. My fingers itch to grab at him, but I’m not sure if I should or not. He kissed me when he dropped me off. It was hard and long, taking my breath away. I worried it was a goodbye kiss. Not one that meant we’d never see each other but a goodbye to what we did at the cabin. We’re back here, and we have to act professionally again. My stupid plan sucks. How the hell had I planned on not falling in love with Nathan? Did I really think that was possible? Well, it’s not, and I’m already head over heels in love with him.

My mind had screamed for him to tell me he loved me. To tell me this wasn't a fling and that whatever the fallout might be, it would be worth it because we’re forever. There were so many words that I waited for but never came. I mean, I would have been happy with him asking me to spend Christmas with him or even to get married over the break. Then no one could say anything about our relationship. Wow. I sound like a crazy obsessed stalker.

“Everyone’s eyes will be focused there.” He glares at my sweater, making me laugh at the pout that has formed on his lips. I grab my bag, pushing out the front door before I grab Nathan to pull him into my place. I knew if I didn’t get us out of my apartment, one thing would lead to another, and we wouldn’t be attending any holiday party. Was that glare because he was jealous thinking that other men would be looking at my goods? I hope so. It’s a terrible thing to hope, but I do.

He grabs my hand as we make our way toward his car. Okay. That’s a small sign that he doesn’t want to leave what happened between us at the cabin. Yet it could just be a habit. I don’t correct it as he opens the door for me, and we’re on our way.

“When will you head back to the cabin?” I find myself asking. I look out the window, not wanting to show all the emotions playing on my face. Do I even want this job if it comes at the cost of heartbreak? No, I don’t think I would, but I also have no idea what Nathan sees us as. He might not believe in monogamy.

“Soon” is all he says. I steal a peek at him, but his eyes are on the road. When our building comes into view, my stomach starts to turn. Why did I think a holiday party would be fun again?

“Love.” His hand grabs mine, and my heart turns over as it always does when he calls me love. He’s done it a handful of times now. “Something is wrong. Tell me what it is.”

Tags: Ella Goode Romance