Cupid Says Happy New Year
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Tim Smith
Word Count :10391
Publication Date :2018-12-11
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-2031-4
Two former high school besties find each other during a lonely Christmas and decide to give love a try. But will their resolution survive New Year’s Eve?
Scott Burke and Lisa Berger were high school sweetheart wannabes once upon a time, but that was fifteen years ago. Sparks were rekindled when Lisa found herself stranded in Scott’s home base on Christmas Eve, and they realized that they never should have parted. Now it’s a week later, and they’ve made plans to spend New Year’s Eve together. Will the two lovers keep the flames burning, or will Lisa decide to return to her lucrative job in another state once the glow of the New Year begins to fade? Can Scott bring himself to make the ultimate commitment, or will he stand aside and lose her a second time?
He grinned, remembering what had transpired over Christmas. Scott hadn’t been looking forward to spending his first post-divorce holiday alone. His parents had won a free cruise at a church raffle, and his brother’s family had made other plans. He had received a pleasant surprise when he stopped to get something to eat on his way home on Christmas Eve and discovered Lisa Berger, his former high school classmate, stranded after her car had broken down on the highway. One thing had led to another, and before he knew it, Scott had received the best Christmas gift he could’ve asked for, when Lisa accepted his offer to stay at his place until her car was repaired. It was better than the time he begged Santa for the Jedi fighter from the latest Star Wars flick when he was a kid. And Lisa sure didn’t need batteries.
Scott recalled the rest of their holiday conversation-cum-confessional, when they both realized that the feelings they had for each other in high school were still there fifteen years later. When she left on the day after Christmas, she said she was going to take a job offer she had received from a big investment firm in Columbus, and move here from Memphis, Tennessee after the first of the year. I hope she follows through on that. The more I’ve thought about it the last few days, the more I realize I could be the world’s happiest fella if she moved nearby.
His daydreaming was interrupted as he neared his exit. He made the required turns onto a state route, then settled in for the scenic drive north, through more rural Ohio territory. The corn and wheat fields that bustled with growth and activity in the warmer months were all barren now, the crops having been harvested before the first snowfall. In the distance, Scott observed several cows standing outside a weather-beaten white barn, grazing on whatever they could find on the ground.
He occupied his time by replaying the events of a week earlier, the same thoughts that had forged a prominent place in his memory. It was fun having Lisa stay at my place over Christmas. The things we shared made me wish I’d said them earlier, when we were in school. She was right about one thing she said—if we had been an item in school, then gone off to different colleges, it probably wouldn’t have lasted beyond the first Christmas break. But now we’ve both been through part of life and we see things differently.
Scott entered the city limits, then pulled to a stop at a red light. His gaze drifted to the town square and the giant spruce tree that occupied the center of the plaza. It was at least twenty feet tall, decorated with colored lights, and the branches held enough snow to contrast with the natural green. I spent a lot of evenings looking at that tree when I was a kid and gathering around it with the school choir to sing Christmas carols. I never appreciated it then. Maybe I’ve grown up a bit.
He continued until he reached his parents’ home, then pulled into the driveway. It was a brick ranch-style home nestled in a neighborhood that was straight out of Ozzie and Harriet. He rang the doorbell and was immediately answered by his mother, who pulled him in for a warm embrace. They were soon joined by his father, still trim at 68, with a full head of graying hair. Scott extended his hand, but his dad wrapped him in a big dad-hug.
Scott stepped back to look them both over. “What’s this I see? A little bit of a tan? I guess that cruise agreed with both of you.”
They shared a laugh, then Scott’s dad put his arm around Scott’s shoulder.
“Son, I’m sorry we missed Christmas together.”
“Don’t apologize. If I’d won a free cruise at the church raffle, I would’ve been a no-show, too.”
“I hope you weren’t too lonely over Christmas,” his mother added.
Scott fought to hide his grin. “I managed to keep busy.” He took a sniff. “Is that the unmistakable aroma of fresh cookies and coffee I smell?”
His mother laughed, then laced her arm with his, escorting him to the kitchen. “You know I have to bake every Christmas, whether we’re home or not.”
Scott took a seat at the small table in the eat-in kitchen. His mother set a carafe of coffee and a plate of sugar cookies in front of him. Scott bit into one.
“Mmm, still as good as I remember. Thanks for making these.”
“How’re things at the newspaper?” his dad asked. “Have they promoted you to editor yet?”
Scott laughed. “Not yet, but I’m working on it.”
“What kinds of stories do they have you working on?” his mother asked.
Scott took a sip of coffee. “Groundbreaking stuff, mom. Would you believe that just this past week, I did a fascinating exposé on the Mayor’s new budget? Real edge-of-your-seat reading.”
His dad chuckled. “When can I expect to read another of those spy thrillers you were working on?”
Scott looked into his cup and recalled the conversation he and Lisa had had on Christmas day, the one where she prodded him into finishing his next book, the book his ex-wife had told him was a frivolous waste of time. “This next year.”