Two steps into the bedroom, Dante stumbled over something and almost fell flat on his face. Glancing down, he wasn’t surprised to find a stray shoe. “Jaime!” From her spot on the floor amidst rolls of wrapping paper, tags, ribbons, and a pile of gift-wrapped boxes, she lifted her head and presented him with a bright smile that always hit him straight in the gut. Ignoring the sensation, he glowered. “Do you want me to fall and break my neck, is that it?”
Cocking her head at her mate – and inwardly laughing her ass off – Jaime replied, “I’ve thought about it.” When he picked up her shoe and pointed it at her, she sensed a lecture coming. “Lay off, Popeye. I’ve been using the shoe rack.”
“Yeah, to put CDs on.” He gestured at the sporadically placed shoes. In honesty, the mess bothered him more than repeatedly tripping over. “Why do you have to scatter them everywhere?”
“Think of it as a test of your coordination and balance.”
“Stop obsessing over it.” Smiling again, she jumped to her feet. “That’s everything wrapped. You’re just in time to help me move it all.”
Fully intending to spank her ass later, Dante helped her carry the gifts through the network of tunnels. In the living area, most of the pack was seated on the large sectional sofa, watching The Grinch. Taryn was playing on the floor with baby Kye while Trey was stood frowning at the tree, telling Ryan, “I just don’t understand the purpose of it.” He had been whining about the decorations for weeks.
Having positioned the gifts under the tree, Jaime stood upright to find that Dominic had come to her side, wearing a flirtatious grin and holding mistletoe over her head. “Oh for God’s sake.”
Dominic just laughed when Dante snatched it. “All I want for Christmas is you, Jaime.”
Dante sighed. “Dom, don’t make me hurt you. Again.”
Dominic ignored him. “Come on, Jaime, would you really deprive me – your favorite person ever – of the thing I want most?”
“Yes, yes, I would.”
“How could you be so selfish and¾? Ow!” Rubbing the back of his head, he scowled at Dante. “Now that was uncalled for.”
Rolling her eyes, Jaime turned away from them and noticed that Kye had crawled to Ryan and was tugging on the leg of his jeans. The little guy had taken an extreme liking to the enforcer. Looking awkward, Ryan reached down, gripped the back of Kye’s sweater, and lifted him. Blowing bubbles, Kye grabbed Ryan’s nose. Wincing, Ryan tried handing the baby to Trey, but Kye wasn’t prepared to release his new toy.
Taryn laughed. “He has a soft spot for you, Ryan.”
Greta huffed at Taryn and gestured at the fairy lights decorating the room. “Is all this really necessary? I’m starting to get a migraine from all the twinkling.”
Taryn smiled sweetly. “I suppose if you’ve lived to see over three hundred Christmas days come and go, it’s hard to get excited anymore. On another note, did you remember to put wrinkle cream on your list?”
“Why does it have to be me?” Tao’s whine had everyone’s head swiveling. Dressed as Santa, he was shoved into the room by Trick and Marcus.
Trick looked at him impatiently. “Stop moaning! It’s for Kye. It’s his first Christmas.”
Marcus nodded, chewing on a cookie. “Yeah, now go and do…whatever Santas do.”
With a long suffering sigh, Tao made his way to Kye. But no matter how much Tao fussed over him, the kid just frowned a very Alpha-like frown at him, totally unimpressed. Then he grabbed Tao’s nose and pinched hard.
Tao jerked backwards. “Ow! I’ll swear he just grunted.”
Dante turned to Jaime, only to find that she was bending over and adjusting the position of a bauble. And that was when he noticed it. His whole body tightened. The second she was upright, he cupped her elbow and whispered into her ear, “We need to be alone now.”
Confused and curious, Jaime allowed him to lead her out of the living area. It was quickly apparent that he was leading her to their bedroom. Once they were inside, he slammed the door closed, pushed her up against it, and swerved her around. “What the¾”
Lifting up her t-shirt and jerking her jeans down slightly, Dante released a low groan and ran his finger along the white fur that lined his mate’s panties. Ignoring her indignant huffs and slapping hands, he stripped her down to her underwear in seconds and then twisted her to face him. He raked his gaze over her, feeling his mouth dry up at the sight of her in the red lacy, fur-lined underwear. “Damn.”
“It was supposed to be a surprise for later,” she grumbled.
“I think you should reward me for being a good boy this year and let me unwrap you early.” He pulled her against him and nipped her neck.
She snorted. “A good boy? Considering the things you do to me in that bed, you must be constantly on the naughty list. But don’t worry – ‘nice’ bores me.”
“Glad to hear it, since you’re stuck with me. Even though I suspect you’re trying to break my neck, I’m keeping you.”
Jaime locked her arms around his neck. “And even though you’re a total neat freak who likes to control everything around him, I’m keeping you.”
He smiled against her mouth. “That’s good, because I intend to love you and irritate you for the rest of our lives.” He kissed her. “I say we don’t leave this room again until morning. After all, it’s important to celebrate our first Christmas as a mated couple in style.”
“In style, huh. I can go with that.”
“But first…” His expression turned pained. “Do you think you could put all your shoes on the rack?”
“Oh for the love of all that’s¾! Therapy, you need therapy!”
© Suzanne Wright
Have a great Christmas everyone and best wishes for 2014!