Page 8 of VCard for Christmas

5

Lincoln

You have to go to the party.

I’ve told myself that over and over ever since I picked her up. She looks all beautiful, and the skirt of her dress has ridden up, showing an expanse of thigh at the top of her stockings that I just want to grip on to.

“You okay?” she asks.

I grunt my answer, because the throb of my hard cock has been driving me crazy since earlier in the dressing room.

She turns as much as she can, lifting her leg into the seat. More thigh. Fuck.

“So we should probably know a few things about each other since we’re supposed to be married and all.”

I nod, looking at her thigh and the ring on her finger that she’s staring at again. “Right. Uh, I have three brothers. One in New York, one in California, and one in Hawaii. Our parents are deceased. It’s almost impossible for all of us to get together for Christmas so we celebrated a few weeks ago.”

She nods. “I’m sorry about your parents. Mine retired to Florida. I recently lost my job, an ex-boyfriend stole my money, and that’s how I ended up over my aunt and uncle’s garage.”

I grip the steering wheel. “Someone stole from you?” I’ll kill them.

She just shrugs like it’s not a big deal. “Yeah, but we probably don’t want to mention the ex-boyfriend.”

I shift in my seat. She’s right about that. I don’t want to think about her dating anyone else. “And you like to make cupcakes. Is that what you do?”

She nods. “Yeah, back in Knoxville I had quite a few restaurants I delivered to, but I haven’t set up anything in Whiskey Run yet.”

“I’ll be your first customer. I’ll take four dozen every Monday.”

Her hand goes to her heart. “Four dozen? Lincoln, you don’t have to...”

I’m already shaking my head. “I want to... and if it means I get to see you and eat your cupcakes, well, I want in. My employees will at least have something to look forward to at our Monday meetings now.”

She reaches across and squeezes my arm, letting me know how much it truly means to her. “Thank you, Lincoln. I mean it, really. Thank you.”

I shrug my shoulders and at the same time turn my arm over and take her hand. Hers is so much smaller than mine, but I still thread our fingers together and hold them on my thigh. “Don’t thank me. You’re helping me out.”

“So tell me about your job. What exactly do you do?”

“I buy properties. Sometimes by myself and sometimes with partners and then I plan for what to build there.”

“And that’s how you met...sorry, what’s his name?”

“Tom Sizemore. He just invested three million dollars into a project in Jasper. I found the land for him and am planning the construction and everything for him.”

Her eyes are wide. “Three million dollars?” She starts to fidget. “Look, Lincoln, I don’t know about this. It’s probably a bad idea. He’s rich, and I know you want to make a good impression... I don’t want to screw this up for you.” She turns in her seat and tries to pull her hand away. “Just pull over here, and you can make an excuse why I couldn’t come.”

“I’m not going without you,” I tell her, holding on to her hand even tighter. She’s so damn cute, thinking that I’d pick anyone else over her. At this point, there’s only her.

She takes a deep breath. “Are you sure about this?”

I bring her hand up and kiss the back of it. “Yes, I’m sure.”

When we get to Jasper, I pull into the long, winding driveway and up to the valet. This was supposed to be a family dinner, but it looks as if it’s something bigger than that. I wave off the valet from opening Avery’s door and help her out of the car. She’s holding a large pink box filled with her cupcakes. “Should I leave the cupcakes?”

I take the box from her. “As much as I’d like to say yes so that I get to keep them all to myself, no, you should take them in. It will be good for your business to get the word out.”

She nods self-consciously.

I put an arm around her waist and walk with her inside. There are three Christmas trees all elegantly decorated in the huge open room. There are Christmas lights, and everyone is drinking and having a merry time. Just like I knew it would be, every man’s head turns toward her. I pull her in even tighter and growl under my breath. She turns facing me, patting her hand to my chest. She’s smiling up at me, and for the first time, I think she’s realizing the power she has over me. “It’s okay, Linc. I’m going home with you.”

As soon as the words are out, she turns a deep shade of red. “I mean... I don’t mean home with you... I mean.”