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Teaser Tuesday

December 9, 2008 | Teaser Tuesday

All I Want For Christmas–part two continued from last Tuesday. If you missed the first episode, you can find it here I hope you enjoy the story–comments are always welcome.

“There’re snacks in the den,” she said over her shoulder as she headed for the living room and safety in numbers.

All of her brothers, except George, who was too brooding, were handsome men. She should be immune. Collin was out of the same tall, dark, and too good-looking mold, but that’s where their similarities stopped. Her brothers were big, and while they could be intimidating, they had an easygoing confidence about them.
Not Collin. He had a honed down look to him. His lean body had sharp edges. His face was hawk-like, his dark eyes full of dangerous secrets.

She’d reacted to him with instant dislike. Her body fairly hummed with it. Even if George hadn’t mentioned his partner in every other sentence for the past year, she would’ve recognized him as a cop. With a whole family in law enforcement, she knew the signs. The haircut, the posture, and the eyes especially, gave him away. 

Though, he was dressed like a civilian in a leather jacket and casual wool slacks.

On the surface, he fit in with her brothers, fine examples for the world’s most irritating men. She loved them, but that didn’t make her blind to their faults. Their outdated caveman attitude, that they knew best about everything, was their most irritating trait.

And if she needed another excuse for not liking him, he reminded her of her ex-boyfriend, the creep known as Chad. He had the same kind of delicious bad-boy thing going on and the same kind of killer grin, minus the dimple. The lack of dimple did nothing to reassure her wary heart.

He had dangerous written all over him. All of that would’ve been fine, if she’d been a different kind of woman, the kind that made his knees wobble.

Since she wasn’t, any attraction would be strictly one-way.
Without a doubt, Collin’s black eyes matched his heart. She knew his type. Two of her brothers were like that. She’d seen plenty of the broken hearts they’d left behind. The discarded girlfriends were always beautiful. Beauty alone wasn’t enough to capture a bad boy. It was simply the first requirement.

And that left her out of the running before the race got started.
Besides, she had too much sense, and too much pride to repeat her mistakes.

She wished, for the thousandth time, she’d inherited her Mom’s sultry beauty. It was grossly unfair that all three brothers had her mother’s curly black hair and chocolate eyes with the sinfully long eyelashes. While she was the one kid who took after Dad.

On Dad, the rugged Nordic warrior thing worked great. The fair hair and icy blue eyes suited his rawboned strength. On her, the hair, straight as straw, the same color and about as stylish, just added to the plain vanilla impression. She also had his invisible blonde eyebrows and eyelashes framing the same blue eyes. Her features were singularly undistinguished and her complexion a wimpy female version of her dad’s fair skin.

She could’ve brained George. Why couldn’t he have brought a date, like a normal guy? Why had he brought a delicious heartthrob like Collin?

When Collin had pulled into the half circle driveway behind Apeman, the big farmhouse sparkled with holiday cheer. It was the hallmark moment kind of scene he’d always dreamed of being a part of when he was a kid.

They parked their cars, adding two more vehicles to the already crowded driveway. As they stomped up the walk, the windows glowed with warm light, and the whole place oozed hominess. The charm of the Anderson’s house made him more aware of his role as an outsider.

He regretted accepting the invitation to Christmas dinner before he’d even gotten in the front door, but he had no way out without hurting his partner’s feelings.

“There’s my old room.” He pointed to a dormer window on the top floor. “I used to crack my head on the ceiling at least once a day.”

“That explains a lot.” Collin’s smart remark earned him a punch on the arm. He rolled back to soften the force of his partner’s affection.
Apeman scrapped his feet on the grated mat. Collin followed suit before getting pulled into the entry. The wood floors gleamed on either side of a worn wool runner. The brass hardware shone from years of loving care.

Stamping his feet, he was still shaking off snow, when a blonde bombshell launched herself at his partner.

Collin felt as out of place as a buffalo in a herd of steers. He didn’t belong at this intimate family dinner. When he’d agreed to Christmas dinner, he’d expected a bachelor party. Now he was stuck. He couldn’t even pretend to get paged, because Apeman would know it was an excuse and be hurt.

It could’ve been worse. At least he was going to get fed. The house was fragrant with the smells of roast beef, garlic mashed potatoes, and Mom’s apple pie. Drool began to form. When was the last time he’d had an honest to God home cooked meal?

His partner was still hugging the blonde. Collin felt lonelier than ever.
Then things got worse.

Apeman introduced him to his gorgeous sister. She looked at him like he was something unpleasant stuck to the bottom of her shoe.
He tried for charming, but she saw right through him. She’d needed only one look to know he didn’t belong.

He felt the electric zap when he’d touched her hand and figured it was combination of horniness and static electricity. He sure as hell didn’t want an attraction, not to her.

Who would’ve figured a nice guy, like Apeman, would have someone like that for a sister? Jenny’s icy beauty caught him off guard. Frankly, he’d pictured expected a female version of his partner. He’d been prepared to be polite and friendly to the poor homely thing.

Apeman was okay looking, in his own wild and hairy way, for a guy. Collin loved him, but even his best friends admitted his appearance was, well–apish. His dark hair and deep-set eyes gave him a brooding look. Add in a thick chest, long arms and an abundance of body hair, and he’d earned his nickname.

Too bad, Jenny looked nothing like him. She was beautiful, even if she was too skinny for his taste. She had on something that looked like a long sweater. The pale yellow emphasized her blondeness. Her hair tumbled down from some kind of gadget. As he watched, she brushed a recalcitrant strand behind her ear. Knowing next to nothing about women’s fashions, he still figured the messy hair for a deliberate style choice.

The sweater dress thing looked softer than bunny fur. It hugged her slim curves and clung to a pair of small, high, breasts as stuck up as her cute little nose. In between where the dress ended and the suede boots began, lay a tantalizing display of creamy thighs.

He had a weakness for great legs and Jenny’s were world class. He watched her cute little butt until it disappeared.

Collin should’ve known Christmas at his partner’s folks would be a mistake. He should’ve of taken an extra shift so some guy, who had a family, could spend Christmas at home. Stuck, he’d to suck it up–there was no other choice.

“Come on bud, meet the rest of–.” The rest of his words were lost as a pair of huge arms wrapped around him.

Collin watched, a grin tugging the corners of his mouth, as his friend got hugged, nearly unconscious, by a Sasquatch imitator. After a minute, he recognized the face of his partner’s tormentor, Spencer, the middle brother. He worked in a different precinct, but they’d met when they’d both been assigned to an emphasis operation.

Then Rich, the older brother gripped his hand. Over the next half hour, he met too many people to keep them all straight. Most were related to Apeman by blood or marriage.

Only a few stood out in his mind. Alexandra and Peter, the parents. Alexandra, because she was gorgeous along the lines of Sophia Loren. Peter, because he was so different from his sons. A big rawboned mountain of a man, with the same pale blonde hair, fair skin and icy blue eyes as the sister. Retired off the job for five years, Peter was still a law enforcement legend.

One other guy stuck out from the crowd, Mark Connors. Something about him rubbed Collin wrong. Connor’s slacks broke perfectly over a pair of polished Italian leather loafers and a gold Rolex flashed from under his shirt cuff. He was six foot, with a slim build, dark blonde hair, and an out of season tan. He had the kind of boyish looks that made him seem young. Close up, frown lines and crow’s feet put him somewhere in his thirties.

The call to dinner interrupted his inspection of Connors. Three tables of different heights had been cobbled together to make one long table that stretched from the dining room into the living room. Connors made a big to-do out of holding Mrs. Anderson’s chair, and then Jenny’s.

The atmosphere was way too homey for Collin’s comfort, but he had no problems with the food. He attacked it, as fast as the table manners Grandma had drilled into him allowed.

Connors sat next to Jenny, directly across from him. Collin found himself an unwilling witness to every word they exchanged.

“You need to eat more protein honey, try some more of the beef.” Connors made the suggestion with a brief smile.

Jenny nodded and went back to her conversation with Rich.
If Jenny was so spineless that she put up with her boyfriend’s micro-management tactics, then she deserved his boorish behavior. Still, Collin’s his left hand curl into a fist under the table, wanting to hold a manners class of his own for the jerk.

Collin tried to shut out the couple across from him. He concentrated on what the woman on his right was saying. Aunt somebody was discussing the adult illiteracy crisis with Alexandra. She sounded like she knew her stuff.

Collin’s idea of a crisis was more like a ‘help the officer’ call. Illiterate adults didn’t make his top ten list of things to worry about.

Invariably, his attention returned to Connors. The guy was a bully, why was he the only one who picked up on it? He told himself that it wasn’t any of his business. What the hell did he know about their relationship? Or relationships in general, for that matter? Not a damn thing.

“We only butter a portion of the roll at a time, honey.”

Connors low voice grated on Collin’s nerves. He shot a quick look at his partner. A vein throbbed on his temple. The small sign of irritation cheered him. He relaxed his hands and concentrated on his plate.

A sharp retort snapped his head up. A small, round toad of woman sitting on Connors right banged on the table with a walking stick. She had a halo of white hair surrounding a liver spotted face. “Butter your own roll Mark and mind your own manners. My Jenny’s way too good for the likes of you.”

“Please Nana.” A flush raced up Jenny’s neck and flooded her cheeks.

The old woman’s face softened. “It’s true child.” She sighed loudly, and then turned to address the long table of now silent diners. “Sorry I startled you, but that Connors boy was getting on my one remaining nerve.”

She sat down her stick and picked up her fork, and then speared a brussel sprout. She eyed it with malice. “I hate brussel sprouts, why don’t we ever have peas?”

To be continued next Tuesday….

Posted by Evanne Lorraine @ 6:00 am  

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