**Let’s visit with Cole and Luke from last week!**
I groaned as the alarm went off, then rolled over and buried my face in the pillow. Luke reached over me to silence the alarm, then snuggled up and pressed his nose into the back of my neck.
“Wake up, baby.”
His voice was soft and cajoling, but I’d eaten far too much yesterday and had one too many glasses of wine. After the whole thing with Luke’s mother, I was emotionally wrung out too. I just wanted to sleep.
“No work,” I muttered, the pillowcase sticking to my lips. “Keep sleeping.”
“Oh no,” Luke said with a chuckle and giving me a gentle shake. “This was all you. The whole reason we set the alarm in the first place. Time to wake up.”
Luke chuckled again, squeezed me tightly, then attacked my neck with playful, biting kisses. I squirmed, my body reacting to his touch, but just as I was about to really get into it he pulled away. I felt him sit up, and then he whipped the blanket back and gave me a sharp smack to the ass.
“Get up, love. It’s Black Friday.” The sound of him standing was immediately followed but a groan as he stretched. I flopped onto my back quickly so I wouldn’t miss the show, but he was finished by the time I got my bleary eyes to focus. Damn.
“Come on, Cole. I’ll start the coffee, you get dressed. You know what you have to do.” He pointed finger guns at me and I couldn’t help but laugh.
By the time I got into the kitchen, there was a pot of hot, delicious brew waiting for me. I poured a cup, inhaled deeply, then added a dollop of creamer and sipped tentatively, not caring that it was too hot.
“You get everything?” Luke asked. I nodded, still not ready for speech. He grinned. “This was you, Cole. This is what you wanted. I only agreed because I love you.”
Feeling more awake now, I was able to smile. He was never shy about giving me the words and I loved hearing them. I leaned over so I could kiss his neck, and then said, “I know. I love you.”
Luke pressed his lips to my forehead. “Breakfast first?”
I shook my head. “Maybe in a bit.”
“Good then. Let’s get cracking.”
It took the better part of the morning, but by the time we stopped for lunch, everything was pretty much done. The tree (fake because Luke was allergic) was up and fully decorated, the white lights sparkling from every branch. We didn’t have a ton of ornaments, but what we did have meant something to us and it looked incredibly pretty. The garlands were up above the doorways, candles and bells decorated the end tables, and my collection of elves had found homes throughout the house. We even had candles in every front window, the battery operated kind that would flicker and cast a warm glow without lighting the curtains on fire.
Soft carols played over the speaker, and Luke had just laid down the finishing touch: a dark blue rug with snowflakes all over it. It looked fantastic in front of our space heater, which I only got because it looked like a real fireplace. Or a close approximation anyway.
I sighed happily, and sat on the couch to take it all in. Luke joined me a few minutes later, bringing with him mugs of hot chocolate. It was the instant kind, but it was the thought that counted. I kissed him as I took my mug, and then snuggled into his embrace. We sipped and he hummed along with “Adeste Fideles.”
Warmth and happiness filled me. I had Christmas and the man I loved. I couldn’t ask for anything more.