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