While Life’s Unexpected Gifts is not being marketed as a Christmas story, much of the story does take place over the Christmas holidays. Let’s join Hallie and Troy for a snippet of their Christmas morning. Merry Christmas to all!
The ladies join Adam and they spend time chatting over coffee and rolls, meant to tide them over until they eat the full brunch in a couple of hours. Hallie is just finished helping her aunt by putting the large ham in the oven when the doorbell rings. While Uncle Adam heads to receive their guests, Hallie takes the stick of lip-gloss out of her front jeans pocket. She’d done it subconsciously and quickly shoves it back in her pocket when she realizes what she’d done, angry with herself for feeling nervous.
She takes a deep breath, hoping to calm herself so her guests never suspect how nervous she is to see the tall, handsome spanker. Yes, that is how she vows to think of Troy from now on in an attempt to remind her body how much she doesn’t want to be attracted to a barbarian who thinks it’s okay to light up a perfectly good ass.
Her resolve crumbles the second she turns to see him walking confidently into the room. His presence commands her full attention, his eyes trained on her as if to assess how she is doing this morning. He must approve because his face lights into a broad smile that has her knees feeling weak. She’s luckily close enough to the island to nonchalantly reach for the counter to hold herself steady.
Had he kept his distance, all would have been fine, but he circles the end of the island stopping first to hand a bottle of wine to Aunt Gina, hugging her back when she throws her arms around him to deliver a big hug. Their eyes meet over her aunt’s turned back, proving she has his full attention. The second he is out of Aunt Gina’s hug, he continues forward to scoop a panicking Hallie into his arms for a similar greeting, although Hallie is pretty sure he hadn’t allowed his hands to rest against Aunt Gina’s ass during their brief hug.
Hallie pulls back far enough to look up into his mischievous eyes. He’s in no hurry to release her. “Good morning, sunshine. How did you sleep?” Did he have a camera in her room or is it just her own worry making her feel as if he knew exactly how she’d slept?
“Oh, I slept like a baby. How about you?” Two can play at this game as Hallie lifts her right leg until her knee presses up against the package between his legs. She knows she struck gold when she hears his sharp intake of his breath followed by a long, quiet groan. She smiles up at him sweetly.
After a long exhale, he answers her quietly. “Honestly, I didn’t sleep all that well. I felt a bit like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning so he could see what presents he might find under the tree.” Was it her imagination or did he squeeze her ass on the word present?
“Well, sorry. I didn’t have time to go out to get you the new bike you asked for.”
The look on his face is playful. “How did you know I wanted a bike? Oh well, I’m sure we can come up with an alternate gift.”
She’s thrown off by his bantering and even more flustered by the fact that while he’s moved his hand to her back, he continues to hold her against his body, forcing her to crane her neck to look up into this playful eyes. Troy had been dangerous last night. This playful Troy is lethal.