The smirk on Reed’s face made me want to smack him.
I mean, really. Who was I engaged to again, and was there a way for me to get an exchange or refund?
Or were there no refunds allowed?
“Why’d you make me eat all this, Reed, huh?” I stared at him from across our tiny kitchen table over a mountain of food. The Chinese takeout in their Styrofoam containers littered the red and green tablecloth decorated courtesy of one Bryn Reamer.
My stomach would be turning from all the Christmas adornments showered across our condo by Reed and my brother, Bryn, if it weren’t already catapulting from the food that was currently trying to digest in my pitiful stomach.
Reed raised his hands, quickly shaking his head in denial. “Don’t look at me, Jade.”
I continued to stare. “I feel like I’m going to projectile vomit.”
Reed narrowed his eyes, unsure if I were serious. “You were the one begging me for Chinese food. I’ve learned that when baby wants food, you give baby food. No arguments.”
I rubbed my distended belly in discomfort. “Well, baby made a mistake.”
Reed got up from the chair and walked over to me, leaned down, and kissed me on the forehead. “You really gonna hurl?” he asked, brows high.
“No,” I said slowly, forcing my body to listen to my words. “But if you say it again, I might just surprise you.”
He straightened, tugging on my ponytail gently and I made a face at him. “A girl after my own heart.”
I followed suit and rose from my seat, but definitely at a slower pace courtesy of the gut I was rocking. Yay for being almost six months pregnant! Reed stepped closer to me and gave a sexy wink. I wrapped my arms around his neck, my fingers finding a comfortable home at the nape of his neck. I smirked right back at him. It was not like I could stay mad at him forever. “I already own your heart, babe.”
His hands slid slowly up and down my sides and I instantly reacted to his touch when a shiver passed through me. He bent his head and I tilted back my own, falling into his arms. Our lips met on a sigh and I sunk further into him, kissing him deeply. I honest to god didn’t want to stop feeling his lips against mine but we finally came up for air when he pulled back.
I breathed heavily as I gave him a look. “Why’d you stop?” I asked. Reed’s kisses made me forget my head sometimes.
Hell, for those seconds I forgot I was experiencing major gastrointestinal distress.
He placed his palm against my cheek and smiled. “Have I ever told you that I’m the luckiest guy in the world?”
I smiled back but tried my best to hide it as I gave a stern look. “Are you being sappy because of the holidays, Reed? ‘Cause I don’t know how I’m supposed to handle both you and B if you continue to be this sentimental. B was going on how he was gonna learn to knit so he could make a sweater for the baby. I’d rather not subject our future child to the fashion sense of my brother.”
Reed gave a chuckle but soon lost his grin. “I mean it, Jade. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“Well,” I said, pulling him closer, the only thing preventing us from full body contact was our future kid. “You’re stuck with me. In this life and the next.”
Reed wrapped his arms around me and squeezed, resting his chin on the top of my head. “Now who’s being sappy?”
I gave him a slap on the back and he jumped, pulling back.
“Seriously, Jade. I think you’re getting stronger with the pregnancy.”
My eyes narrowed. “And I’ll be she-woman if you don’t knock it off.”
He ignored my deathly stare and grabbed my hand, tugging me toward our bedroom.
I let him.
“You seem pretty eager to get to bed,” I observed, watching him toss the sheets back and tear off his shirt.
Throwing the shirt in the hamper next to the closet, he turned back to me, his tattoos on full display. He decided to add on more tats and now his left arm was a full sleeve. It was sexy as hell and I had contemplated getting a tattoo of my own, but Reed still hadn’t been able to get me into the chair.
I wasn’t particularly good with pain.
“You know, this will be our first Christmas together as a couple.”
I raised a brow in mock surprise. “And?”
“And the quicker we get to sleep, the quicker you can sleep off the food poisoning—”
“Which is totally your fault—”
“Which is totally not my fault, by the way.” He settled into the bed, resting against the headboard. “Then you’ll wake up as chipper Jade and not bitter Jade, and we can have a fantastic time with our family who you know is going to get here at the crack of dawn.”
I huffed, but he was right.
“Well, then,” I simply said.
The fact that I didn’t mind going to bed before midnight when normal people my age would have been out partying was a disgusting thought. But who the hell cared, my stomach hurt.
And I needed to use the bathroom ASAP.
Making my exit as chill as possible, I rushed into the smaller room and did my thing. I felt slightly better but knew a good night’s sleep would definitely help with the slight discomfort. After taking the fastest shower known to mankind, I slipped into my pajamas, and quickly brushed my teeth. When I came out of the bathroom, I saw Reed passed out on the comforter.
The bedtime was more for him than me, apparently.
Making my way into the bed, I snuggled up against Reed, then yanked as much of the comforter from under him, pulling as much as I could over myself. Placing a soft kiss against his cheek, I whispered to him softly.
“Merry Christmas, love.”
Four Letters Christmas, a short story from the Four Letters universe.
Chapters posted weekly until Christmas day.