And then Kate stiffens, and the sound of her screaming my name echoes around the room as her inner walls clamp down. My fingers dig into her hips as I thrust up once, twice more, then I’m pulsing inside her, grunting and cursing against her chest.

For a few moments we stay right there—catching our breath. Until Kate leans back and gently brushes my black hair from my forehead. “Were you surprised?”

“Very pleasantly, yes.”

Her smile is joyful. “Good. It’s nice to finally give you a present that you didn’t already know was coming.”

I kiss her soft lips. Then glance down the hall toward the kitchen. “Speaking of coming . . .”

Later, after some quality countertop time, Kate and I lay bare ass on the chaise longue, under a downy red throw blanket—recuperating.

I check my watch. Shit. I have to go, though a big part of me—the large lower part—wants nothing more than to stay right in this spot with my wife. But I kiss Kate’s forehead and force myself to stand. I grab my discarded shirt from the floor, slipping my arms into it.

Kate rests back on her elbows. “What are you doing?”

I can’t find my underwear, so I slide on my jeans without them—being ever so careful with the zipper. “I’m going to head into the office for a few hours.”

“But . . .” Kate stutters. “. . . but it’s Christmas Eve.”

“I know. But Media Solutions is finally ready to have a sit-down with Hawaii. We’re going to video conference at nine our time. That only gives me three hours to prep.”


Media Solutions is a conglomerate I’ve been courting for weeks, and I’ve finally got them right where I want them on a deal that’ll revolutionize social media. Think Twitter, reality TV, and YouTube combined—posting broadcasts from and on your television, the star of your own channel.

Narcissistic techies will bow down like it’s the second coming of Steve Jobs.

I give Kate a wink. “But your holiday seduction was definitely worth the lost work time. That Mrs. Claus outfit is going straight to the top of the spank-bank pile.”

She blinks and sits up straight. The blanket falls down, exposing one creamy breast . . . and suddenly three hours seems like a whole lot of extra time.

I can make do with two.

“I’m not worried about your lost work time, Drew. Why are you working at all?” Her enunciation sharpens—the way you’d talk to an old person who’s hard of hearing. “It’s Christmas Eve.”

Kate Brooks-Evans is many things—a loving wife, an amazing mother, a brilliant businesswoman. It’s that last one that has me expecting her to understand my rationale.

“If I don’t do this tonight, I lose the deal.”

“Then you should have told them it’s their loss, not yours.”

“And you think that’s what you would’ve done if you were in my position?”


I button my shirt. And call bullshit. “Easy to say when the deal isn’t actually on your desk, Kate.”

She doesn’t confirm or deny my observation, which means I’m on right on the money. She stands and wraps the blanket snugly around her body. Kate hiding her assets from my appreciative gaze is never a good sign. “We’re supposed to be at your sister’s in an hour for dinner. They’re expecting us.”

Her mouth is pursed, her cheeks are flushed, and there’s a fire in her eyes that . . . well . . . that gives me a renewed boner. Always has, always will.

My dick likes to argue. Sue him.

“Go without me. You can represent. Drink eggnog with my mother, pretend to listen to my old man talk about holidays past.”

Her voice rises. “I don’t want to represent! I want to spend the evening with my husband! There’s a time for work and a time for family, and tonight is supposed to be about family.”

“It is about family!” I counter, my voice doing a little raising of its own. “In the next several hours I’m going to make a shitload of money for our family.”

She shakes her head. “Oh, please. This has nothing to do with the money, Drew. Not for you.” Then a new thought occurs to her. “And what about James’s gifts? For weeks we’ve been pushing off putting his big presents together—the bike, the trampoline . . .”

Damn it. I forgot about those.

“I’ll see if Matthew can come over later and help you out. Until he does, after James is asleep, start to do it on your own.”

“If I’d known I was going to be alone, I would’ve gone home to see my mother.”

I step closer. “First of all, this is your home. Second, we talked about this—I’m not dragging James out to Bumfuck, Ohio, for Christmas. We’d be in line at airport security longer than we’d actually be at your mother’s!”

“We spent last Christmas with your side—”

“And if your side wanted to see us that badly, she could’ve hauled her ass to New York. She’s one person—our three beats her one. Majority rules, sweetheart.”

“Screw your ‘sweetheart’—I am so angry at you right now!”

I roll my eyes. “And we both know you’ll get over it.”

Kate’s mouth widens in a gasp. And a black boot comes hurtling at my head. She has the aim of a major-league closer, but in the last few years I’ve become a master ducker.

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