Mistletoe & Mr. Hoe - Excerpt “Would you like a coffee, or a glass of wine?” “Wine would be nice.” “Would you prefer red or white?” “Either one is fine, as long as you choose cold and sweet.” “Coming right up.” He kissed her again before he let go to grab a bottle and two glasses, then allowed her to lead the way into the living room. He’d lit a fire in the fireplace and the warmth felt lovely after the cool dampness outside. “This is cozy,” she said. “I like a fire on stormy nights to keep the dampness at bay.” “I’ve never lived anywhere with a fireplace, so to me this is extra cozy.” “Then I’m doubly glad I had the foresight to light a fire tonight. I want you to be comfortable here, with me.” “Oh, Simon, I am comfortable with you, at least, the you that I’ve come to know. But you have so many layers tucked away inside that, when they surface, I don’t know how to respond.” “I’ve lived alone most of my life. I moved too fast for all the wrong reasons and I scared you off. This time, we’ll take things as slow as you need to.” “Sometimes slow is not necessarily better.” “What are you saying?” he asked, his expression a mix of curiosity and hopefulness. “I want to be with you. Do you regret making love to me?” “No. How could you even think that?” He sat the bottle and glasses on a side table and wrapped her in his arms. “Making love to you has been the best thing to happen to me in years.” He proved his words by kissing her senseless, then he undressed her, slowly and with care, caressing and kissing every inch as the golden expanse of her skin became exposed to his view. She was melting and it had nothing to do with the heat of the fire and everything to do with the man lowering her gently to the fireside rug. He lay down beside her, gliding his hands softly over her skin as he kissed her urgently, with more purpose. “The firelight is kind to you, Noelle. It flickers over your skin like a lover’s touch, fleeting yet leaving a burnished glow to captivate and arouse.” “Do I captivate you, Simon?” “More than any woman has a right to. I need you.” “And I need you,” she said as she reached for the buttons on his shirt. She undressed him slowly and with care, as he had done for her, and when his manhood sprang loose, she ran her fingers gently up and down the magnificent, silky length. When they came together, it was like a mating of souls, each ministering to the other instinctively, without conscious thought of their own needs. Her rapture knew no bounds as she made love with this special man. Afterward, they lay entwined, her back to his front, watching the flickering firelight, not speaking, not moving, but comfortable in the silence. Eventually, he began to smooth his hand down her side and up again, getting closer to but not touching the underside of her breast with every upward movement. “Want to go for a dip in the hot tub?” “Yes, but can we come back to the fire?” “We’d be more comfortable in bed.” “Mmmm, a bed has certain advantages.” “Whatever you wish. I’ll keep the fire burning all night if you want me to.” “You would?” “If that makes you happy.” “You make me happy, but so does your hot tub.” Getting up he held out his hand and helped her to her feet, his gaze never leaving her own as he said, “Having you here with me is all the happiness I need.” The firelight reflected their nude bodies in the patio doors, but instead of becoming embarrassed, she felt renewed. This is where she was meant to be, right here, with this man who’d come to mean so much.