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Santa's Plus-One Surprise

Written by Melissa Senate

Chapter Four

As Felicity headed straight for Drake Russo, exactly what she was going to say ran through her mind.

You asked me out last week and I said no, but now I’m saying yes and you only have to meet every member of my family at a wedding and pretend to love me.

Right. She turned back around, sure her cheeks were flaming red. What the hell was she thinking?

“Hi, Felicity.”

Drake Russo’s deep voice rang out. Darn it.

Calm, cool, collect yourself, she thought, sucking in a deep breath. Turn back around with a normal expression.

“Oh, hi,” she said, as though she hadn’t just beelined for him a moment ago. “I didn’t see you there.”

He smiled.

That smile—dazzling, warm, sexy—could melt the heart of even mean Ms. Finch, who was in charge of the school supply closet.

Just blurt it out. Just ask. Asking is how you get. Be proactive!

“So,” she began, “the reason I said no when you asked me out last week is because my love life has been a disaster lately—I brought my boyfriend to a family party six weeks ago and he and my cousin fell in love in the buffet line while waiting for my grammy’s barbecue. I received an invitation to their wedding and need a pretend boyfriend so that everyone will stop referring to me as ‘that poor dear, her turn will come, we hope.’”

“That is rough,” he said with a nod.

“Up for an evening of pretending to be madly in love with me while my family asks you personal questions and fusses over you?” she blurted out.

He stared at her. Hard. His blue eyes were so mesmerizing that for a moment she forgot where she was, what she’d asked and just got lost in them. How could he be so good-looking?

She blinked, realizing Darcy had been right. Why would he say yes when there was nothing in it for him?

She shook her head. Why had she humiliated herself? She was a grown woman with a busy, fulfilling life. Shouldn’t she be above this nonsense? Going to the wedding alone—that would be the real showstopper.

But then she saw herself at the singles table, next to children flinging food at each other. She imagined the bride calling her poor dear and promising to aim the wedding bouquet right for her so she’d be next. She lifted her chin.

“I’ll make you a deal, Felicity,” Drake said. “I’ll be your fake perfect boyfriend for the wedding if you’ll be my fake perfect girlfriend for one hour tomorrow.”

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Melissa Senate

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