Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Katrina's Christmas part 2

Katrina walked through her empty apartment straight to the bathroom and started a hot bath. Streaks of mascara-stained tears trickled over her cheeks. Grant’s words had hit her hard, more so than she expected them to. She was lucky she managed to hold the tears off until he stormed out of the office.

She’d never had a family, spending most of her adolescence bouncing from foster home to foster home until she escaped the system when she was seventeen. Her distressed heart, the pain, it wasn’t his fault. He didn’t know the truth. Only what she’d told him—that she didn’t speak to her parents. There was no choice, she didn’t know who her father was and her mother left her on Christmas Day when she was seven. She wiped her eyes and tossed the dismal thoughts from her head. Dwelling on the past would do nothing but take her back to the life she’d worked so hard to forget.

After resetting her hair to a messy bun she stepped into the steaming water, submerging her body under its warmth. She propped her head back on the edge of the tub. Staring at the ceiling, proud it was hers, she didn’t regret one moment of all the work she’d put into the company, and what did she care about Grant’s ‘you’re working your life away’ statement? Hell, her BMW 5 Series didn’t fall out of the sky, nor did her ocean-view apartment within walking distance from the beach. Not that she’d taken the time in the past few years to get her feet in the sand, but hey, just knowing it was there was enough…right?

At twenty-eight years old, she had everything she wanted.


She ran her hands across her stomach and down her thighs. Grant Ward was the closest relationship she’d had since college and he was strictly her employee…or he had been. Closing her eyes, she pictured his face, how his beaming smile always made her feel better, the way those deep blues looked at her when he thought she couldn’t see or wouldn’t notice. Her body tensed at the thought. Just as quick, when reality punched her in the chest and she knew he would no longer be around every day, a strange ache overtook her heart.

She sat straight up and splashed her face with a handful of water. Was she losing her mind? It had to be the time of year.

Katrina slipped on her white, silk robe and padded to her wine closet, choosing a vintage port—her favorite for cool weather. As she set her glass on the kitchen counter, a knock at the door interrupted the peaceful silence. It sounded as if a sledgehammer was banging the walls.

Carolers. Every year, a group of enthusiasts went from apartment to apartment in an attempt to spread holiday cheer, and every year, she refused to open her door. This time though, she would give them a chance because, well…why not?

Swiftly, she filled her glass and downed half in one gulp. Warmth from the liquid courage sated her chest as she made her way through the house and reached the entrance. She squeezed together the material of her robe with one hand, making sure she didn’t expose too much skin as the other hand turned the knob.

She opened the door and blinked in surprise.

Thanks for reading!
Check back next Tuesday for part 3.
While your waiting, enjoy other Holiday Kisses stories by these talented authors tomorrow.
Merry Christmas, Mrs. Todd by Elise Whyles
Believe in Me by Aimee Duffy

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Katrina's Christmas part 1

Hi! Thanks for taking the time to drop by and read part 1 of
Katrina's Christmas.
Christmas has always been just another day to Katrina Bryant.
She works hard and expects her employees to do the same.
When her sexy assistant, Grant Ward, quits on Christmas Eve she becomes worried she will never see him again, and she wonders why that bothers her so much.
To her surprise, he arrives at her home hours later and whisks her away for a Christmas she will never forget.
This short story is included in the Beachwalk Press anthology
Holiday Kisses.

Katrina’s Christmas

by Sidda Lee Tate


“Good afternoon, thank you for calling Sand and Sun Vacation Rentals. Can I interest you in our last minute holiday specials?” Katrina Bryant adjusted her headset, waiting on the caller’s reply. “Hello? Sand and Sun Vacation Rentals…”

The caller hung up and she rolled her eyes. Pulling the headset from her ear, she tossed it on her desk and turned to the only person left in the office of seven, the only person on the planet other than herself she trusted—her assistant of three years, Grant Ward. “That is the third hang-up I’ve had today.”

“It’s Christmas Eve.” He placed a fresh cup of coffee on her desk, shrugging, and took a seat in the plush leather chair against the opposite wall. As always, he looked good. Deep blue eyes, dark hair, and a perfect smile that always calmed her nerves. He knew when to use it too.

“I cannot for the life of me imagine what Christmas Eve has to do with it, Grant.” Katrina reached down and pulled off her pumps, giving each foot a quick rub and making a mental note to schedule a massage as soon as possible.

“Me either, Ms. Bryant, I was only reminding you what day it is.” He also knew she wasn’t pleased when he called her Ms. Bryant. Okay, maybe she didn’t mind. Not every time. Over the years, it had become a source of amusement between only them. She was three years older and he loved to remind her.

“It’s another day to me.”

“As well as tomorrow?”

“Of course it is. You know that. Oh, and be sure to dock everyone’s pay who left early today.” Katrina winked playfully as she released her long auburn hair from the tight bun, then gave it a quick shake, and tied it back up in a lose ponytail. “I have no doubt you will be here tomorrow. It is a Wednesday, you know. I suppose since you think it’s special you can wait until noon to come in, but we need to finish preparing the new price bundles for the first of the year.”

“No.” He adjusted in the seat, leaning forward and pressing his palms to his knees. Deep blue eyes stared at her, almost daring her to challenge him.

“Excuse me.”

“I won’t be here and neither will you. You’re working your life away.”

“Don’t be absurd. I didn’t build this company from nothing to the highest rated vacation booking agency in all of Florida by not showing up to work. And you, well, you will be looking for another job if you’re a no show.” Katrina shocked herself with those words. She would never fire him. She needed him…for work.

“Threatening to fire me won’t work, Katrina. You must’ve forgotten I have a degree in business finance, so finding a career other than an underpaid, underappreciated assistant to you will not be hard. It’s Christmas, damn it!”

“Like I said, it’s just another day.”

“What is wrong with you? Every year you pull this shit and every year I’ve missed out on being with my family. I’m not doing it again.”

“They’re hours away, besides you’ve told me time and again your family doesn’t get together until the weekend after.”

His eyes took on a fury she’d never seen. “Just because you don’t have a family, doesn’t mean you should take it out on those of us who do.” Grant jumped to his feet and moved toward her. Gripping the armrests of her chair, he leaned in. Stopping with his lips just inches from hers, he held her gaze and muttered, “I quit.”

I hope you enjoyed. Please stop by next Tuesday for part 2.

Also, don't forget to visit other Beachwalk authors. My Tuesday posting partner is Patricia Bates with her story Hometown Miracles

Tomorrow and each Wednesday enjoy the stylings of Elise Whyles with Merry Christmas, Mrs. Todd and Believe in Me by Aimee Duffy.