Friday, November 28, 2008

Stuffed (and I'm not talking about the turkey)

Hope every had a fabulous Thanksgiving yesterday! Personally, I stuffed myself so full I probably don’t need to eat again until Christmas. On the menu: pesto torte, garlic mashed potatoes, rosemary stuffing, green beans with shallots, mushroom gravy, cranberry bread, gingersnap cookies, Mexican hot chocolate, and homemade apple pie. (And, of course, there was a very large turkey, but, being a vegetarian, I gave it a wide berth.) So you can see why I now resemble that blueberry kid from Willie Wonka. Seriously, I think someone had to roll me to bed last night. But totally worth it. (One guess what I’m having for lunch today? Aren’t leftovers the best?!)

After thoroughly gorging myself yesterday, I’m on to the next holiday tradition: Black Friday Christmas shopping. No, I was not one of you brave people in line outside the department stores at 4am. (Though, kudos if you were! You people are my heroes!) I’m doing strictly online shopping deals this year. Hey, why leave my fuzzy slippers and hot cocoa if I don’t have to? Plus, as I may have mentioned here before, I’m kinda in love with Amazon’s gift organizer, so I’m letting Amazon do the shopping for me this year. (That way if anyone doesn’t like their presents, I can blame Amazon!)

So, while I’m surfing the web for super bargains, I thought I’d kick off the Christmas season here with a free holiday short story I've written called Christmas in High Heels! It’s kinda long to fit in one blog post, so I’ll post the beginning to get your started and you can read the rest by visiting my website and downloading it for free: www.gemmahalliday.com




Christmas in High Heels

    “Maddie, what is that?” a deep voice asked behind me.
I looked up at the green sprig I was currently pinning to the ceiling of my boyfriend’s living room.
    “Mistletoe.”
    “Mistletoe?”
    “Yeah, you know, you’re supposed to kiss under it.”
    I felt a pair of large, warm hands at my waist as I strained forward on my stepladder. “I know what it’s for. I just don’t get why you’re risking life and limb to stick it to my ceiling. Whoa, careful,” he added, grabbing my hips as I teetered to the left.
    “Use your imagination, big guy,” I responded, stepping down to face him.
    “Hmmmm.” He looked up. We were standing directly underneath the green sprig. “Good point.”
    He leaned in close, his warm breath hitting my lips just a second before his mouth did. He tasted like coffee and the rocky road ice cream we’d had for dessert. Yum. I kissed him back. Hard. With tongue.
    “So,” he said when we finally came up for air. “What’s on the agenda tonight?”
    I nipped at his lower lip. “Use your imagination, big guy,” I repeated with a grin.
    Tonight was Christmas Eve. Our first together. Not that it was the first Christmas Eve that had passed since we’d started dating, but it was the first one we’d spent together. In fact, it was the first holiday of any kind that we’d really spent together.
    Jack Ramirez was tall, dark, and handsome with a capital H-O-T. He was also a homicide detective with a captain who tended to call at all the wrong times. Like on my birthday when our opera tickets had gone to waste over a double homicide in the West Hills. And last Valentine’s Day when he’d made reservations at this romantic, little Italian bistro with drippy candles and everything. Then had to cancel when some stockbroker got hopped up on one too many triple lattes and shot his partner in their office downtown. And then there was Halloween. My best friend, Dana, had thrown this huge costume party, and Ramirez and I were supposed to go as two-person horse. An outfit that doesn’t work so well when the front half gets called to a triple homicide near the airport.
    So, when Ramirez had sworn on his grandmother’s grave that his captain was not only not calling him in this Christmas but was also in Vancouver visiting his mother, I immediately made the agenda for our evening. Ramirez, me, and a nice romantic evening at home. Quiet. Alone.
    Possibly even naked.
    And from the look in Ramirez’s eyes, I’d say he was totally on board with that plan.
    He leaned in close again, doing a sort of deep growl thing in the back of his throat, before his hands snaked up my sides, pulling me taut against a six-pack Budweiser would kill for.
    I planted my lips squarely on his, nibbling again until we both started panting like Dobermans.
    But just as his fingers began flirting with the button fly of my jeans, the “William Tell Overture” rang out from my purse.
    Ramirez groaned.
    “Hold that thought,” I told him, quickly locating the offending cell and hitting the on button.
    “Hello?”
    “Merry Christmas, Maddie,” my mom’s voice sang out from the other end.
    “And Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and Yule, too!” I heard Faux Dad (as I’d affectionately dubbed my stepfather) add in the background.
    “Thanks, same to you guys, too.”
    “We’re heading to your cousin Molly’s right now,” Mom said.     “Are you there yet?”
    “Uh, no.” I glanced across the room to where Ramirez was folding up the stepladder, while conspicuously standing just beneath my mistletoe. “We’re actually staying in tonight.”
    There was a pause. Then Mom’s voice rose two octaves. “What do you mean staying in tonight? Don’t you know it’s Christmas Eve?!”
    “Yes…” I hedged.
    “A holiday.”
    “Yes…”
    “A day for spending with family.”
    “Mom, I swear I will be at your house for turkey dinner tomorrow. But, Ramirez and I wanted to spend our first Christmas Eve together with just a nice, romantic, quiet evening at home.”
    “I never promised to be quiet,” Ramirez teased, grabbing my butt as he walked past with the ladder.
    I gave him a playful swat.
    “All right,” Mom said with a long-suffering sigh that only those who have given birth can master. “Spend the evening at home. You can catch up with us at Midnight Mass with your grandmother.”
    “Um, actually…”
    “Don’t say it, Maddie,” Mom warned.
    “Well, I kinda…”
    “If you love me at all, don’t tell me you’re not going to Midnight Mass with your grandmother.”
    I bit my lip. “Okay. I won’t say it.”
    Expectant silence hung on the other end.
    “Maddie, how could you!” Mom screeched.
    I pulled the phone away from my ear.
    “I’m sorry?” I said. Though it came out more as a question.
    “Your grandmother is Irish Catholic. Your grandmother lives for the church. Christmas Eve is maybe the most important day in the church. I just know you would not make you own mother, who loved you through every scraped knee and over-pierced adolescent boyfriend, tell your grandmother that you’re not coming to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve because you’re having a quiet evening at home!”
    I bit my lip again. Then said, “No, I wouldn’t.”
    Mom let out a sigh.
    Then I added. “Make Faux Dad do it.”
    “Maddie…” she warned.
    “Loveyou,MerryChristmas,you’rethebest,” I slurred together and quickly hung up the phone.
    Then dropped it in my purse again as if it were a time bomb waiting to go off.
    Yes, I know it was mean to leave Mom alone with Grandma. But I was pretty sure that I had years of dealing with my own mother’s eccentricities left, so it was only right to let her do her time with hers.
    “Did she blow up?” Ramirez came up behind me, wrapping both arms around my middle.
    “Like a hurricane on a trailer park.”
    “She’ll get over it.”
    “Maybe. Or maybe she’ll poison the cranberry sauce tomorrow night.”
    “Still worth it,” he mumbled, his lips nuzzling against my neck. His hands slid down to frame my hips, his mouth nibbling just at my pulse.
    I sighed. Yes. Yes, it was.


... and to read the rest, visit: www.gemmahalliday.com



~Trigger Happy Halliday

5 comments:

Tori Lennox said...

Oooo, yummy!!! Can't wait to read the rest. :)

Christie Craig said...

Gemma,

I know what you mean about being stuffed. I hope you find all sorts of great buys.

And oh, love the story.

CC

Gemma Halliday said...

Thanks! Glad you liked it. :)

~Gemma (who can't even look at food today)

Estella said...

Left the leftovers at my daughters last night.

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