**Okay, yes, I know it’s actually Saturday but sometimes life…and my own brain…gets in the way. So, let’s visit with Deacon and Rory from A Timely Gift, out now. (buy links in the books tab at the top) This takes place immediately following the end of the book. From Deacon’s POV. Enjoy!**
The warmth from the fire, and the spiked hot chocolate, had lulled me into a pleasant lassitude. I’d intended to go home once I dropped Rory off, but after our kisses and conversation, I hadn’t wanted to leave. Rory was curled up against me. He had his ereader in his lap, and when I’d asked earlier what he was reading, he’d told me it was a Christmas romance. I was flicking through channels, never settling too long on one thing. I kept the volume low so as not to disturb him. It was nice, just being together, with nothing but the tree, fire, and TV for illumination.
Rory heaved a sigh, then pushed himself up. I quirked an eyebrow at him, and he grinned.
“I’m just gonna settle Apollo for the evening. It’s late, and he needs to go to bed.”
I nodded and watched as he walked over to the perch in the corner of the room. Apollo immediately stepped up onto Rory’s hand, then made kissy noises. Rory chuckled, and I saw him kiss Apollo’s beak as he turned and headed out of the room.
He wasn’t gone long, but in the time he was out of the room, I started to overthink things. Was I supposed to leave now? Stay another night? I would love to stay, but I wasn’t sure if I should ask. I definitely didn’t want to assume. We were going out to dinner tomorrow night, and maybe Rory expected us to be apart till then.
“Are you staying?”
I startled at the sound of Rory’s low voice, and jerked my gaze to his. He bit his lip, then let it go to take a deep breath. From where I was, in the low light, I couldn’t really make out his expression.
“That’s up to you,” I answered cautiously.
Rory took a step toward me, then froze. His hand moved, and it took me a second to realize he was playing with the hem of his sweater.
“I think it’s up to you,” he whispered.
My mind raced, trying to figure out what he wanted from me. But then I realized that was stupid. If I wanted to know what he wanted, then I just needed to ask.
“Come here, baby.”
Rory grinned and jogged across the room, and when I opened my arms, he sank down against me and snuggled in close. I took a deep breath, and smiled at the scent of him. Body wash and chocolate and just a hint of wood smoke. He smelled amazing.
“I’d love to stay, if that’s what you want. But if it’s too much, too soon, just tell me. We’re meeting for dinner tomorrow, right?”
He nodded, and huffed out a breath before burrowing closer. After a minute, he tilted his head back to stare up at me.
“You said I was your Christmas present right?”
“Yes. I meant it too.”
Rory’s grin turned wicked, and he licked his lips. “Well. It’s still Christmas for another–” he pulled out his pocket watch and checked the time. “–two hours. And you have yet to unwrap me.”
My blood rushed south, and my breathing picked up. Good God. Was there anything sexier than Rory, turned on and wanting me? I didn’t think so.
“You’re right. Merry Christmas, Rory.” I bent and kissed him, hard and consuming, until he was panting for breath. Then I gave him a nudge so he’d get up. “Get in the bedroom. I want to unwrap my present.”
He laughed and ran, stripping off his sweater as he went. I followed.
This really was the best Christmas ever.