“Hi,” Grant said as he stepped over the threshold, discounting the lack of invitation.
She was still holding the door open, watching him survey her living room when his eyes stopped on her.
Grant held up a red box with a gold and white striped ribbon. “I got this for you.”
“What are you doing here?” Her words felt choked and strained as she closed the door without losing sight of him.
“I was a couple of blocks over having dinner with some friends and decided to stop by.”
“I don’t do Christmas.” She moved to the sofa, adjusting her robe to ensure full coverage before taking a seat. “I never expected to hear from you again. That is, at least until Friday.”
His dark hair was ruffled from the ocean breeze. He raked his fingers through it, leaving it mussed. “Friday?”
“Oh, yeah…my last one. I guess I’ll be swinging by then too.” He grinned, tossing the wrapped box on the sofa beside her. “Open it.” Not waiting on her response he went to the gas fireplace. “Do you mind?”
She nodded and watched as he turned it on and knelt beside it. Gazing from under her lashes, Katrina blinked hard. She’d always known he was easy on the eyes but against the flickering light of the fire the fitted gray sweater he was wearing highlighted the definition of muscle in his chest and arms. His jaw was scruffy with a day’s growth, maybe two, and he looked sexy as hell.
“Bringing me a gift won’t get your job back.”
He gave a grunted snort. “I’m not here for the job, Kat. I’m here for you…you’re coming with me.”
“Where? A party?” She shook her head. “I’m not going anywhere, Grant. I have to work tomorrow.”
“I need you to trust me.” He came across the room and stopped behind her.
Despite the instinct to move from him, she sat still as his hands worked the elastic tie loose and freed her hair. Chills zipped under her skin as his fingers combed through the locks. She closed her eyes and relished in the tenderness of his touch.
“Katrina, get some clothes on…or not. But pack an overnight bag and come with me.”
“An overnight bag? No way.” She shook her head. “I told you, I’m working tomorrow.”
Grant gathered her hair and tugging it tight, arched her neck so she could see him standing over her. “You’re going if I have to carry you out of this apartment.”
He continued to speak but his words became muffled. Her every thought had transformed and centered on the ache of needing to feel his hands caress the skin under her robe. Imagining the sensation of his weight, the warmth of his breath as he entered her, emanated tremors to her core. She swallowed hard and subconsciously heard her own voice agree to his reasoning.
Before reality kicked in, she hurriedly went through her bedroom gathering clothes, dressing as she threw a few garments in her unused, designer overnight bag. A ridiculous purchase, she knew, but she’d bought it to celebrate Sand and Sun’s official rise to the top of Florida’s long list of booking agents.
“At this rate, we’ll arrive at midnight,” he shouted from the living room.
Katrina rolled her eyes and tossed her toothbrush in her bag. Since she’d known him, he always had issues about time. He would probably clock the length of their trip down to the minute. Wait. Midnight?
“Where are we going, anyway?”
“It’s a surprise.”
She hated surprises.
With one last glance around the room, she zipped up the Louis Vuitton and flicked off the lights. Rounding the corner, she suddenly needed a drink and made a beeline to her open bottle of wine, scooping up her glass as she did.
“Have I ever told you how gorgeous you are?” Grant asked.
She put the newly full glass to her lips and drank it dry. Not sure of his intentions but hoping they were the same as hers, she gave a nervous laugh. A few hours ago she considered him off-limits, but since he’d quit working for her he’d become accessible…desirable. She wouldn’t let him know though. Not yet, not until she was positive of what he wanted.“That wasn’t in your job description, no.” She turned on her heels and marched by him to the door. “I’m ready."
Hope to see you back next week!
Part 4 will be posted Tuesday, November 13th!
Holiday Kisses Beachwalk Anthology stories.