Everybody likes to take a vacation. A lot of people like to take sultry summer vacations at the beach, especially those from cold climates.
Living in the sub tropics, I dream of snowy vacations. But I'm probably not in the norm.
Today's story features a woman from a cold climate who longs to enjoy the summer beach.
Before I forget, don't miss my new book releasing today at Total-E-Bound: "Whirlwind Relationship"
Colleen’s life didn’t turn out like she planned. At fifty plus she’s divorced, childless and her career’s nowhere. If that isn’t bad enough, a hurricane destroys her home and sucks her into it.
When she awakes she’s either dead or crazy. It can’t be 1978 and she can’t be young again but all indications point to that.
She really can’t have a second chance with the only man she’s ever loved...or can she?
by Ashley Ladd
All rights belong to Ashley Ladd. This story may not be reproduced without written consent
"I will not go into the family business. I will not move back home." Chrissie stared up at her mother and folded her arms across her chest. She loved the tropical beaches, the warm sunshine and the tall, muscled hotties riding the surf. And she hated snow and cold, and long, dark wintry nights.
Her mother, pale as snow, wearing a long, red dress, looked completely out of place on the beach full of bathing beauties. She let out a long suffering sigh and gazed at Chrissie with a mixture of concern and frustration. "But it's the best place in the world, the best job. If I could do it, I would. Think of it as job security. In this economy it's a blessing."
Chrissie grabbed a long, tall pina colada from a passing waiter. Then she took a long drink and lowered her sun glasses over her eyes before constructing a reply. "I don't think it's the best place int he world. I'm sick of it. I want to be free. I want to see the world."
Her mother gasped and wrung her hands. Her brows pinched together. "Christmas Claus, I can't believe how selfish you're being. Children worldwide are depending on you to take the reigns and deliver their toys when your father retires."
Chrissie's heart raced and she jumped off her beach chair. Her gaze collided with several amused and skeptical ones which made her skin crawl. Before they got carted off to the loony bin or laughed off the beach, she took her mother's hand and dragged her to her room.
She faced off against her mother. "I can't believe you blurted that out in front of everyone."
Mrs. Claus shook her finger in Chrissie's face. "I can't believe you'd let everybody down. You're the only child of Santa Claus. Millions of children would love to change places with you."
Chrissie gazed down at herself pointedly. "Millions of children expect a jolly rotund old man to pop down their chimney, not me. Cousin Stuart's a Claus. He can grow a beard and a big pot belly. Can't he inherit the family business?"
Her mother closed her eyes and shook her head. "You're rewinding the women's right movement a hundred years. And your cousin Sutart's a screw up. Remember the Christmas he fed spiced egg nog to the reindeers? And they were doing the loop-de-loops and almost dumped your poor father out of the sleigh? Or the year he convinced the elves to go on strike and we almost missed Christmas? Or the year he tied up the tooth fairy and demanded ransom?"
Chrissie tried to hide her mirth but a chuckle erupted. "Yeah. Cousin Stuart's a pretty colorful character."
Then she sobered. "Isn't there someone else? What about Trey? He's Dad's right hand and knows the business better than anyone. He'd do a great job."
Her heart glowed and she grew warm and fuzzy all over when she thought about Trey. She hugged herself and rocked back on her heels. Trey was the best man she'd ever met. Kind. Easy to talk to. Funny. Strong. And he had the prettiest twinkling blue eyes she'd ever gazed into.
Her mother harrumphed and lowered herself into her chair. She played with her bell earrings making them tinkle. "Elves can't be Santa Claus. It's simply not done."
Chrissie shivered so went in search of her robe. She snuggled into it, wishing it was a shield. When she rejoined her mother, removed her glasses and tented her brow. "And female Santa Claus's are?"
The door burst open, making her gasp.
Trey swaggered in, leading a team of fierce looking elves. He marched up to her and climbed onto the table beside her so they were eye level. The normal twinkle in his eyes faded into rebuke. "Your father wishes for you to come home."
Anger boiled in her vins and she narrowed her eyes. Then she put her hands on her hips. "I don't want to go home. I want to spend my summer at the beach, not buried in snow. I'm tired of toys. I'm tired of kids things. I'm ready to be an adult." And she was tired of being so close yet so far from the man she loved.
Trey stroked her hair as if it was spun gold or the rarest silk. Then he leaned forward and slashed a kiss across her lips.
Shocked, she parted her lips and leaned in for the kiss. When he deepened it, he wrapped her arms around him.
When he pulled away, he murmured, "Then it's time to start acting like an adult. It's time to stop running from your destiny, Christmas."
The same songs year in year out, mining the coal for naughty kids, referreeing the reindeers' disputes, trying to stick to a diet with so many sugary temptations around... "I'm not running from, I'm running to a normal life."
But was she? Her heart flipped over. She'd been running from her feelings for the forbidden.
Trey cupped her cheeks in his hands. "Normal's over rated. You were born for far superior things."
She rolled her eyes but didn't move away. His touch mesmerized her. His eyes bewitched her. And his lips, were conquering her.
Her heart cried for him and she put her hand over his. If only she could have him, she could face anything, do anything, go anywhere--even the North Pole.
But he was an elf. She was twice his size. And she'd had a crush on him since she was a little girl. A crush that had blossomed into love.
When she tried to pull away, he caught her in his arms. "Please come home."
She wondered why his voice was so ragged. But hers was also raw. "Because my father told you to bring me?"
Trey leaned his forehead against hers. "No. Because I miss you. I love you."
Mrs. Claus put her hands over her ears and started to sing Christmas songs.
Chrissie's nerves riccocheted through her. She couldn't stand one more Christmas song in the summer. "Mother, please. Could we have a few moments alone?"
Mrs. Claus bustled to the door but not before Rudolph stuck his head through the open door and his nose made the room glow red. Chrissie had to laugh and winked at him.
"Admit it," Trey said huskily. "You miss your family, your home."
Affection for her favorite reindeer, her mother, and her family filled her but still couldn't overpower the love she felt for this man. She nodded. Then his words sank in and wonder pushed out everything else. She gazed into Trey's eyes. "You love me?"
A slow smile dawned over Trey's chiseled lips. He traced her lips with the pad of his thumb. "With all my heart. Enough to leave the North Pole to be with you if you refuse to return."
Her eyes widened. Her heart palpitated. "Honestly?"
He nodded. "Do you love me? Will you marry me?"
Joy flooded her. Magic flowed through her. She pressed her lips to his, soaking in the magic. Against his lips she murmured, "Yes. And I'll return to the North Pole with you."
After he kissed her thoroughly, he held her close. "How about we honeymoon here? At the beach." He lowered his voice as reindeers had excellent hearing. "And how about I make some adult toys?"
Don't forget the Christmas in July contest going on at Romance Books R Us. There's only a few more days to enter to win a Sony Touch eReader from Romance Books R Us or a copy of my book in pdf format, Carnal Lust. To enter to win my book please leave a comment on my blog and tell me you'd like to enter.
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