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Santa's Plus-One Surprise

Written by Melissa Senate

Chapter Eight

I guess the most important thing is that we seem comfortable around each other,” Felicity said. “We don’t have to finish each other sentences, but we should seem like a couple.”

Drake nodded. “I feel comfortable around you already. So we’re halfway there.”

“Well, you’re probably comfortable around me because you’re always comfortable around women. No expectations. I’m not comfortable around you because I don’t know anything about you, other than what I assume. Tell me who Drake Russo really is.”

Okay, now he was uncomfortable around her. “There’s not much to tell. My folks died in a car accident when I was young, and my divorced aunt, who didn’t have or want kids, took me in ‘to do the right thing.’”

She winced, and he was sorry for blurting it out like that. “That sounds rough.”

He shrugged. “I’m thirty. All that is old news. I send my aunt a birthday and a Christmas card every year and never hear from her, but what can you do.”

“No family, though?” she asked.

“I got used to being on my own a long time ago. But I’ll tell you—when I found out that little guy was mine? I’ve never felt a pull like that. The thought of that baby gripped me, Felicity. That baby is my family. And no one could be more surprised than I am at how much that means to me.”

“I believe you. And I’m going to help you, Drake.”

He could have hugged her. Kissed her. Both of which he wanted to do. But he settled for saying, “Thank you.”

“I’ll give you the rundown on me now,” she said. “You might need another notebook.”

She told him all about a nosy, pushy, wonderful family, relatives who called all the time, came over with casseroles and pints of ice cream and unsolicited advice on everything. The cousin who truly hadn’t meant to steal her boyfriend but, well, had. How hard it was going to be to show up at the wedding at all, let alone without a serious love interest just to shut everyone up and live her life.

“But enough about me!” she said too brightly, and he could tell how much this wedding thing bothered her. “If the Cartlands come over here to check the place out, they’ll expect a festively decorated home for the holidays. I didn’t see a single strand of garland or one twinkling light on that gorgeous evergreen beside the house.”

Christmas. He didn’t even want to think about Christmas.

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