Saturday Spice: Sunny’s Christmas Surprise

by Pepper on September 7, 2013

C&KCover Image-FinalHey everyone! Today’s Saturday Spice is a snippet from the IR Christmas novella I’m writing. It will be part of a three-story anthology coming out in November, entitled Candlelight and Kisses. Here is the beautiful cover. Doesn’t that just put you in the holiday mood?

This story is a departure for me. Those of you expecting my usual steamy heat level may be a little disappointed, but no matter what I did, Sunny and Ben wanted to have an emotional love story instead of a hot fling. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing these past three years, it’s that the characters are pretty much in charge of the tone of the story. So here’s a sample, fresh from my first draft, and no adult content warning:

Sunny’s Christmas Surprise  Copyright 2013 by Pepper Anthony

A black kind of nostalgia weighing heavy on his shoulders, Ben got out and went to the kitchen door, cracked it open and called out, “Knock. Knock.”

“Come in.” Sunny’s voice floated down to him on the shoulders of some wonderful scent. Was it beef stew? Chili? He hadn’t had a pot of something homemade like that in forever, unless you counted the shepherd’s pie his mother sometimes concocted from canned stew and biscuits out of the dairy case. His stomach grumbled as he climbed the steps.

When he entered the kitchen, the wonderful smell enveloped him in a fragrant cloud.

Sunny turned from the stove, a big wooden spoon in hand. “There you are. We were just about to sit down and eat. Are you hungry?”

“It smells like beef stew.” He couldn’t keep the note of wistfulness from his voice.

She must have heard it. A smile spread over her lovely face. “It is beef stew.”

“Homemade?”

This time she giggled. “Yes, homemade. And there’s cornbread too, my grandmother’s secret recipe.”

“Be still my heart.” He put his hands on his chest and pretended to stagger towards her.

Suddenly, all his dark regrets evaporated, and he was sharply present to her, caught up in the unexpected perfection of the moment. Caught up in the wonderful smells, her laughter, the white apron that flared at her waist, the dozens of gaily decorated cookies laid out on the nearby counter.

Just moments ago he would have sworn that all of this was lost to him forever. Now, as he joined in her laughter, he was eager to know what would happen next.

Coming to stand beside her at the stove, he watched as she gave the stew a final stir and then reached for the ladle that hung from a hook nearby. Their hips bumped together gently, sending a signal of sexual awareness through him, and the soft floral scent of her perfume made his chest ache. Before she could guess his intention, he captured her arm. She gasped. The wooden spoon clattered to the stove top. Holding her  by the upper arms, he gently turned her to face him.

“Thank you, Sunny.”

A little vee formed between her brows. “For what?”

“For this. All of it. And especially for including my boy.” His voice was close to breaking, like a dam holding back the unspoken emotions of the past year.

“You’re welcome.” Her amber eyes regarded him fearlessly.

A man could get lost in those amazing eyes.

Several seconds ticked by. “Would you like a glass of wine, Ben?”

He shook his head and brought her body up snug against his. “I’d like another kiss.”

“Oh.” She stiffened, eyes going wide. “I thought…Are you sure…”

“I’m sure.”

Not allowing her to demur further, he lowered his lips to hers. She lifted her face, and almost immediately he felt her body go pliant against his. Her mouth was just as he remembered, incredibly lush and warm, and with no hesitation, she parted her lips when he nudged them open. An electric rush burst through his abdomen at the first touch of their tongues; if not for the fact that he still wore his bulky coat, she would have felt her immediate and dramatic effect on his cock.

Heart pounding, he slid his tongue in deeper, teasing and inviting her. She gave a soft moan and lifted her hands to his chest.

“Dad?”

Ben jumped back, breaking the kiss, as Spencer tugged on his sleeve.

“H–hi buddy.”

“Why are you kissing Jasmine’s mom?”

Because it feels great.

Because she’s sexy as hell.

Because I’m tired of being sad.

“I was just thanking her for taking care of you today. And for making this nice supper. Are you hungry?”

It was a lame explanation, but Spencer seemed satisfied.

“I’m starving. I’ll go get Jasmine.” He ran from the room.

Alone with her again, he looked back toward Sunny. She was leaning back against the counter with her fingers to her lips, eyes still wide.

“Sorry. I forgot about the kids there for a minute,” he said.

Hope you enjoyed that little peek. Our release date for Candlelight and Kisses  is November 11th. See you next week!

~Pepper
“Let’s read something spicy!”

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