Page 27 of Wrap with Love

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I scream when an unexpected knock sounds at my window. Astor holds her hands up, mouthing the wordsorry. She takes a step back so I can open the door.

“Didn’t mean to scare you.” She gives me a warm smile. I always admire that about her. Astor understands hard work too. She’s worked on her family's farm since she could walk. There is nothing that she loves more than horses. Well, out loud at least. It suddenly dawns on me that we actually have a shit ton in common. Even though she’s a handful of years older than me.

“I was playing with my phone. Sorry. I’ve got your delivery in the back.” I jump down from my Jeep and go around to grab her order from the hardware store.

“You’re fine. Sorry for the last-minute delivery. I couldn’t get away.”

“Anytime. You know that.” I hand her over the box. She doesn’t actually get deliveries from me often. I know money can be tight for her too, so she usually runs her own errands if she can. Every penny matters when you don’t have family money to fall back on.

“You hear we might actually get snow?” I drop my head back to look up at the graying sky.

“It might be nice,” I admit. Astor makes a noise, clearly not agreeing with me. Then again, I don’t have horses to worry about and whatever else they have going on here. I know she does the bulk of work on the land, and I’m guessing snow would only make things harder for her.

“I suppose a white Christmas could be beautiful. I’ve never experienced one.” She finally gives.

“Marry Cane Justice and I bet he’d take you to Aspen every Christmas.” I poke her a little to see if I can get a reaction from her.

“You talk a lot of shit for a girl who has Tyson Carter in love with her.”

“Fair point,” I agree quickly, hoping she’ll drop the subject.

Tyson’s family owns Carter Energy Transfer. They are an energy company that transports oil and gas products. Tyson has the luxury to never lift a finger for the rest of his life if he doesn’t want to. His family has secured their wealth already and will take care of him.

I know that’s not his fault or doing, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit I was bitter about it. Still, I always find myself thinking about him first thing when I wake up and last thing when I go to bed. He’s always there and not only physically.

“How do you do it, Astor?”

“Do what?” she asks, looking confused.

“Keep away from him?” I’m not trying to pry into her business. I truly am curious as to how she maintains her distance from Cane. Maybe she could share some tips with me because I’m obviously failing miserably when it comes to Tyson.

Even now, my fingers itch to pull my phone back out and check social media again. To see if he’s responded to the girl who posted she would happily be his girl. He usually does. Always saying his heart will know no other. He’s a giant sap. I hate how adorable it is. Anyone at a first glance would never think that about him.

“That’s a bit different. It’s only you that’s keeping you from Tyson.” She takes the box from me. “See you around,” she says before she takes off back toward the giant barn. I’m pretty sure she’s talking about her father not caring for the Justices. I’m not really sure. I’ve never heard the story, but I’ve never been big on gossip. Who has time for it?

Though I think she’s wrong. My family might not tell me not to be with Tyson, but the reality is I don’t have time for him. I barely have time for anything. The truth is I’m a bit scared if I let myself have even a taste of Tyson Carter I’ll never want to let go.

Then what? People depend on me. I won’t be selfish. Not when it comes to taking care of my little brothers. They’ve been let down enough. I shut the back door of my Jeep before jumping back into the driver's seat to finish my deliveries. I need all the cash I can get. This Christmas will not be like last year. I promised my brothers that.



“Tyson,your mom and I’ve been thinking you should get away for the holidays. Give your account some fresh content,” Dad suggests over dinner. He slides an envelope across the table until the edge hits my plate.

I set my fork down and peak inside the envelope. It contains plane tickets and a printed invoice for a hut in the Maldives. “People like that I’m relatable. I don’t think a tropical vacation that costs thirty grand a night is relatable.”

“You never know,” Mom chirps. “I watched an hour-long video of someone getting their hair washed in Japan. That’s not relatable, but it was entertaining. Your audience might enjoy new scenery.”

I rub a finger under my nose because I don’t want to offend my very loving parents, but I can see right through their scheme. “This is nice and all, but Christmas is around the corner, and I’ve got a date on Christmas Eve.”

Dad clears his throat. “About that. Your mom and I thought that I could take over your duties as Santa Claus this year.”

For the last five Christmas Eves, I’ve ho ho ho’d my way around town dressed in a Santa suit, dropping small toys and candy at homes where I know there are kids. I shake my head. “No can do. The suit wouldn’t fit you.” My dad is two inches shorter and about a hundred pounds heavier.

“We can easily get a new suit made,” interjects Mom. She turns to my dad as I guess this tag-team effort now requires him to chime in. When he doesn’t immediately speak because he’s intent on scarfing down his porterhouse steak, she nudges him with her elbow.

This show would be kinda amusing if it wasn’t all intended to take me away from Rory.

Tags: Ella Goode Romance