An On Dublin Street Christmas (On Dublin Street #1.1)

by Samantha Young

The smell of coffee and cinnamon teased my curious eyes open and I pushed lazily up onto my elbow, grinning at Braden. He stood over our rumpled bed wearing a long-sleeved pajama top and matching pants.

Boo to winter for stealing my nak*d Braden time.

Strands of his gorgeous, dark hair flew out in different directions courtesy of my fingers and the rough treatment they’d given it when Braden had gifted me my first Christmas present of the morning. A stocking filler, he’d called it before he’d pushed my legs open and well… filled me.

Sigh.

I eyed the mugs of cinnamon-topped coffee in his hands. “Another present?” I asked as I took my mug from him. He placed his coffee on the bedside table before getting back into bed with me. I snuggled into his side as he reached back for the coffee and once he was settled I knocked my mug against his. “Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas,” he murmured and pressed a soft kiss to my lips.

Mmm, he tasted good. He tasted Christmassy.

Braden shot me a teasing look when he pulled back. “Definitely better than last year so far.”

Un-amused at the reminder, I flipped him the bird. He threw his head back in laughter.

Last year we’d spent Christmas day barely saying a word to each other, passing time in awkward conversation, swapping overly expensive Christmas gifts, and lending support to Ellie as she anticipated her upcoming surgery to remove tumors from her brain.

The surgery part had obviously not been my fault. The weirdness with Braden had been. I’d broken up with him. I’d messed up hugely, terrified of being in love with him, and terrified of losing him.

I’d given him the run-around and it hadn’t been easy on him.

Every now and then he’d mention it and my guilt transformed me into a rampant sex goddess, bent on making it up to him.

Well, he’d already gotten sex this morning and I was getting wise to his manipulation.

“It’s Christmas. You can’t pull that card. You get presents instead.”

Braden pouted comically. “I just want sex.”

“Tough. You’ve had sex. Now you get a sweater.”

“A sweater?”

“It’s cold outside.”

“I own plenty of sweaters.” He eyed me in disappointment. “You seriously bought me a sweater for Christmas? And then told me before I opened it? Why bother wrapping it?”

“Maybe it’s a special Christmas sweater.”

“Does it have a reindeer on it smoking a hash pipe?”

I snorted. “No.”

“Then it’s not a special sweater.”

Laughing, I shook my head. “Maybe it’s pieced together with Velcro so that when I feel like having my wicked way with you I can just tear the damn thing off. That’s pretty special.”

Braden took a sip of his coffee. “You didn’t buy me a sweater, did you?”

“No! Who do you think I am? Your Aunt May?”

“I don’t have an Aunt May.”

“I know that. I’m just saying that only Aunt May’s buy sweaters. If your girlfriend buys you a sweater on your first freaking Christmas together you kick that tool to the curb.”

Lips twitching, Braden’s eyes glittered as he stared into mine. “Even if you’d bought me a sweater I wouldn’t kick you to the curb.”

I felt my stomach flip flop and wondered if I’d ever get used to his scrumptiousness. “Really?”

“No way. Far too uncomfortable to have sex on a curb.”

“Oh, ha ha.” I rolled my eyes at him. “Funny man.”

He was still grinning as he nodded his head towards the door. “Let’s open our presents before Ellie and Adam get here.”