WMIS 01.5 Under The Mistletoe With Me

 

 

 

Under The Mistletoe With Me

 

A With Me in Seattle Novella

 

By

Kristen Proby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication:

 

For Alvin. We know how much
work marriage is. Thanks for joining me on the journey. I love you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgements:

 

To my
Naughty Mafia: Kelli Maine, Michelle Valentine, Katie Ashley, Emily Snow and
Ava Black. Your continued friendship and support is amazing. You are all so
very talented. I am honored to be a part of this group. Thank you.

Lori
Francis: As always, you rock. I can’t thank you enough for your friendship.
Love you, girl.

Tanya
Robo: I love you.

To the
best beta readers ever: Nichole Boyovich, Niccole Owens and Kara Erickson. You
always give me the best feedback!

Kit
Redeker: Thank you for taking the time to edit and offer advice. But most of
all, thank you for being a mentor to me for more than ten years. You are
wonderful.

To the
dozens of bloggers and reviewers who have become such an amazing foundation of
support and friendship. Thank you for being so welcoming!

And, as
always, to the readers: I honestly don’t have the words to express my
gratitude. Thank you for your unending notes of love and support. I hope you
enjoy Isaac and Stacy.

Happy
Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNDER THE MISTLETOE WITH ME

A With Me In Seattle Novella

Kristen Proby

Copyright © 2012 by Kristen
Proby

 

All Rights
Reserved. This book may not be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any
printed or electronic form without permission from the author. Please do not
participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the
author’s rights. All characters and storylines are the property of the author
and your support and respect is appreciated. The characters and events
portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living
or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

The
following story contains mature themes, strong language, and sexual situations.
It is intended for adult readers.

 

Cover
image used under license by Foltolia.com

Cover
Design by Rachel A. Marks

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter
One

 

“I’m just
glad you didn’t have a game today and can actually enjoy Thanksgiving dinner
with us.” My mother-in-law, Gail, smiles over at her son, Will who is currently
stuffing his face full of mashed potatoes.

“Me too,
Mom. God, this is good.”

“That’s a
lot of carbs for a man in training,” Isaac mutters next to me. I run my palm up
and down my husband’s thigh and grin up at him. He loves giving his brother a
hard time.

“Dude,
it’s Thanksgiving,” Will replies.

“So the
carbs don’t count?” Isaac asks.

“Exactly.”
Will grins and takes another bite of his potatoes. I am surrounded by a room
full of loving, funny people. The Montgomery gene pool is impressive. But more
than being, well, gorgeous, they are welcoming and good-hearted, and I’m proud
and lucky to be a part of them.

Sophie,
our four-month-old daughter, squirms in my arms.

“Here,
babe, let me take her.” Isaac pulls our baby girl into his arms and lays her on
his broad shoulder. She settles in and falls back to sleep, her face pressed
against his neck. I can’t blame her, it’s one my favorite places to be too.
“You eat, honey.”

We are all
gathered at Luke and Natalie’s house for the holiday. The loving couple have
been married for about two months now, and I couldn’t be happier for them.
Natalie isn’t a sister by blood, but she’s been a part of this family for
years. She and Jules’, the youngest and only girl of the Montgomery clan, are
the best of friends. With the addition of Luke’s parents, Lucy and Neil, and
two siblings, Samantha and Mark, along with my parents as well, this house is
overflowing with bodies, loud with voices and laughter, and is a little too
warm.

There is
no where I’d rather be.

“Stace,
how is your blog going?” Jules asks next to me.

“It’s
going well, thanks. I really love it.”

“She’s being
modest,” Isaac cuts in with a grin. “It’s going great. She’s got over two
thousand followers, and her reviews have been picked up by some publishers to
add to book covers.”

He smiles
down at me and kisses my forehead, his blue eyes shining with pride.
God, I
love him.

“What kind
of books are you reviewing?” Natalie asks.

“Romance
novels,” I reply with a smile.

“The dirty
kind?” Will asks hopefully, earning a smack in the arm from Luke’s sister,
Samantha. “What?”

“Don’t be
a perv,” she mutters, glaring at him.

“Actually,
all kinds, but yes, the erotic novels are pretty hot right now,” I respond and
wink at him.

“Oh! Have
you read those books that everyone’s been talking about?” Samantha asks. “You
know, the ones where the guy ties her up and spanks her and is all kinds of
naughty?”

I feel my
ears burn as I blush. The guys all roll their eyes, but Matt, Isaac’s younger
brother, clears his throat and won’t look anyone in the eye.

Interesting.

“Yes, I’ve
read them, Sam.”

“I could
use some of those,” Jules whispers in my ear. “I’ve hit a dry spell.”

“I’ll
email you a list,” I whisper back and we giggle.

“What are
you whispering about?” Isaac asks, pulling my hand up to kiss my knuckles.

“Just
books,” I reply.

“Okay,
gimme the baby.” Natalie stands and walks around the table, her arms open, and
scoops Sophie up off of Isaac’s shoulder, nuzzling her. “Hi, precious. I missed
you.”

My gaze
finds Luke. He’s watching his wife, his blue eyes full of love and contentment.
Natalie is pregnant herself.

“Anytime
you want practice with middle of the night feedings, you’re welcome to it,”
Isaac tells her.

I roll my
eyes and smack his arm. “Quit trying to give my baby away.”

He winks
at me and takes a bite of his turkey. “I’m just kidding.”

“You know
I’d keep her in a heartbeat,” Natalie responds with a happy smile and kisses
Sophie’s cheek, making her giggle.

Isaac’s
phone rings in his pocket. He checks the display and scoots his chair back.

“I’ll be
right back.”

I wonder
who it could be? Surely not work on Thanksgiving. I shrug it off and finish my
dinner, and then help clear the table and clean the kitchen. With all of us
chipping in, the chores are done quickly and we all settle in with glasses of
wine or coffee to chat and recover from the delicious Thanksgiving meal.

Finally,
Isaac returns from his phone call, a frown on his handsome face. “Who was
that?”

“It was
nothing.” He shakes his head and walks to the kitchen to pull a beer out of the
fridge before sitting next to me on the couch.

“It was
some
one
,” I respond.

He shakes
his head again and takes a pull from his beer. “Don’t worry about it.”

I frown up
at him. This is new. It’s not that we have to share every little detail about
who we talk to, but we usually do. He’s never been evasive before.

Before I
can argue with him, he takes my hand in his and links our fingers, bringing
them up to his lips. “Just drop it.”

He grins
down at me and winks, then strikes up a conversation with Will about his
football season with the Seahawks, effectively closing the subject. With a full
belly, and a warm fire blazing not far away, I settle in next to my firm
husband, rest my head on his muscular shoulder, and watch the activity around
me.

“Stacy,
here are the photos we took last week of Sophie,” Natalie hands me a thumb
drive. “I think you’ll like them.”

“Oh, I
know I’ll love them! Thanks again for doing it. I’ll order Christmas cards next
week.” I grin at her as she takes a seat across from me with Jules.

Jules and
Nat have their heads together, as usual, cooing over a sleeping Sophie. I smile
at the three of them. Three beautiful girls. I pull my phone out of my pocket
and snap a photo of them.

Sam sits
next to them and kisses Sophie’s head, and I snap another photo.

All of our
parents are settled around the dining room table with coffee, chatting about
grandkids and Christmas plans.

Will and
Isaac ramble on about football, with Matt, their other brother, and Luke
chiming in here and there. Mark saunters in from the kitchen, passes Luke
another beer and joins them. The only one missing is Caleb, who is off on some
SEAL mission.

I hope
he’ll be home for Christmas.

“You
okay?” Isaac whispers.

“Mmm.”

He grins
down at me and kisses my hair. My eyes are heavy. I let my eyelids fall and
listen to the conversations around me.

“I’ll be
back in a minute.” Isaac catches my chin in his fingers and kisses me softly. I
never get tired of his lips. My man can kiss. He moves away from me and lowers
me onto the couch so my head is on the armrest and I feel him walk away from
me.

Will, Luke
and Mark are enthralled in football talk, passionately arguing about the
offensive line.

Suddenly,
my eyes blink open and I wonder how long I’ve slept. I didn’t mean to drift
off.

Our moms
have left their husbands at the table and joined the rest of us girls in the
living room. My mom cradles Sophie in her arms, earning a frown from Jules.

“I never
get to hold her. Between Natalie and you guys, I never get her.”

“Don’t
whine,” Natalie mutters.

“Shut up,”
Jules responds, and I giggle. They are so funny, even when they bicker.

“Stace,
I’m glad the blog is going well,” Luke’s mom Lucy says with a smile.

“Thanks,
me too. I just need something to do while I’m home with Sophie. Don’t get me
wrong, I’m not bored, but I just…” How do I explain that I need something, just
for me, without sounding selfish?

“I get
it,” Lucy responds.

“So, let’s
talk strategy, girls.” Jules rubs her hands together and perches at the edge of
the couch with a large stack of newspaper ads. “Black Friday.” She grins
excitedly and bounces on the cushion, her pretty blonde hair bouncing with her,
licks her finger and grabs the ad on top, flipping through it.

“I’m not
going at 4:00 am this time,” Natalie informs her while she rubs her tiny baby
bump. “This little one won’t let me out of bed that early.”

“I can’t
do that early either,” I chime in.

“I’m doing
my shopping online.” Sam waves us off and rolls her eyes. “I refuse to get into
a fist fight over a scarf.”

“You’re no
fun,” Jules pouts.

“I’m in,
if we leave around seven. I can have Sophie fed and be ready myself.”

“Okay, Nat
and I will pick you up then.”

“Gonna
spend all my money, baby?” Luke murmurs into Nat’s ear as she climbs into his
lap. He wraps his arms around her and holds her close and I can’t help but grin
at them. They are so in love.

“Yep. All
of it. We’ll be homeless when I’m done.”

“It’s
okay, we’ll go live with Jules.”

“Oh hell
no.” Jules shakes her head and laughs. “We’ll save enough money for you to
cover the mortgage.”

“Oh good,”
he replies dryly.

“Well,
some of us
are
on a budget,” I inform them with a chuckle. “So go easy
on me.”

“It’s
gonna be so fun!” Jules claps her hands as Sophie begins to fuss in my mom’s
arms.

“We should
probably head home,” I murmur and stand, stretching my arms up over my head.
“Will, where are Isaac and Matt?”

“I think
they’re on the deck.” Will responds, and then returns to his football
conversation with the boys.

What is it
with men and football?

I walk
over to the patio door and open it quietly. I hear my husband’s deep voice say,
“I just don’t know what to do about her.”

“Well,
bro..” Matt begins but stops when he sees me in the doorway. He offers me a
smile. “Hey, Stace.”

“Hey.” I
step out on the deck and smile at Isaac, but my stomach is in knots as I
remember the mysterious phone call at dinner, and now this. “What’s going on?”

Isaac
shakes his head and shrugs nonchalantly. “Nothing.”

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