Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Happy Holiday!

It’s that magical time again. The holidays.

I’m more of a spring and summer girl, m’self—a slave to warmth, sunshine and blooming flowers. But I do love to sip hot chocolate while eating sugar cookies and watch the snow fall, as long as I don’t have to drive through the drifts of white. I have a strong affection for my Christmas tree and decorations, some of which I’ve had for decades. I love my tree(s) so much, I have two of them. I don’t bother with outdoor lights because I’d be that person in the neighborhood who leaves the twinkling lights up all year. Yes, those are my people.

What else? Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s I get four days off work with pay. That’s a gift in itself. Which reminds me—GIFTS! Giving and receiving. There’s not a downside to festively wrapped gifts waiting to be opened.

I haven’t even mentioned the food. But I will. Don’t get me started on the aroma of cookies, candy, and confections wafting throughout the entire house. Fruity, spicy, fragrant spirits warming my insides. Some of my favorite holiday traditions are included in Catered Affair, my Christmas story—lavish parties, yummy treats, hot sex and voyeurism. Rewind. What? Since when did hot sex and voyeurism become a treasured holiday tradition? Since now. You’re welcome.


When you mix a fresh picked coupling…

Caterers Chantal and Monty have been hired to handle Layton Industries’ annual Christmas party held at the couple’s penthouse apartment. With big dreams and very little money, they’re living on love. When their hosts don’t make it home for the party, a heady serving of desire distracts the freshly engaged pair during the post-party cleanup…

With a freeze-dried relationship…

Steve and Alexa Layton find it difficult to connect anymore. They’ve spent so much energy and time on achieving financial security, they’ve forgotten what it feels like to be young and in love. When their flight is grounded during a snowstorm, it brings their disconnect to a boil…

Toss in a little spice…

When Steve and Alexa catch their caterers’ after party romp via their online security camera, will it be the ingredient they need to repair their marriage?

…and this catered affair is one they’ll never forget.



“I just want to check on the party,” he said.

She swooped in close to him, close to the computer screen. “You can do that?”

Her hot breath beat against his neck, and the short hairs stood on end in response. The scent of her expensive perfume snaked a path to his brain.

“Yeah. It’s that new security system we installed after the neighbor’s break-in last month.”

Alexa groaned. She made no secret of her disdain for the alarm she routinely set off by accident.

Despite a doorman, an on-duty security guard 24/7, and cameras on every floor, a neighbor had been robbed, and with Steve gone so much, that scared him. He pressed a key and the screen filled with an image of the penthouse elevator.

Pointing, he said, “There’s Mallory Dunlop from accounting. I think that’s her boyfriend.” He waved hello at the screen like a jackass.

Laughing, she swatted his arm. Her laugh lightened the weight he always carried. The burden to stay on top, to make another buck. All he really wanted was to make her happy.

He pushed a button. An image of their living room, the gas fireplace ablaze for holiday ambiance, replaced the elevator scene. The giant Noble fir by the picture window, decorated with gold balls and matching bows, lit with white lights. Very elegant. So classy and stylish. Terribly boring. Nothing like his childhood holidays with handmade ornaments and blinking multi-colored lights. Tasteless, Alexa had said. He surrendered to her on all things decoration-related. Furniture, art, window treatments. Hell, she even picked out his clothes so he wouldn’t come off looking on the outside like the nerd he was on the inside.

All fell into her field of expertise. She’d created visual magic even when they’d been penniless newlyweds. Back when she still smiled at him, laughed with him, and talked to him.

People mulled around their apartment, chatting, mingling, and nibbling on catered food in their absence.

“The food looks magnificent,” she said.

Better than what they’d likely get in the hotel restaurant. “A good time will no doubt be had by all. With or without us.”

“I feel like a voyeur.” Her voice jingled with giddiness.

He shrugged and clicked to their master bedroom. “Our place. Our party.”

Dan Schnelling from sales had his tongue down the throat of an administrative  assistant as they rolled across the king-size bed. One of Dan’s hands snaked up the gal’s blouse, the other up her skirt. Knowing Dan, if he had a third hand, it would be in his own pants. The guy was a womanizer and hedonist. Deep inside, Steve sort of envied him his debauchery, while simultaneously condemning his actions and his constant bragging about his conquests. Steve never regretted committing to one woman. Alexa. If he had it all to do over, he’d marry her again, but doubted she’d sign on if given the choice.

“Ew!” Her face puckered up in disgust as the couple grappled and groped in their private space.

Whipping out his electro-gadget-thingamajig, as she called it, he scrolled to Dan’s number and cleared his throat. “Hey, Dan,” he said when Dan found his buzzing phone under the woman’s butt. “Get off my bed and out of my bedroom.” He hung up.

Alexa laughed as she watched Dan on the screen, flustered as all hell. “Too fun.”

Steve grinned, satisfied he could make her laugh again like he had in college and in the early days of their marriage before he’d switched to making money. “Still hungry, honey?”

“Yeah.” She planted her hands on his shoulders, which surprised him a little. “But I want to go to our virtual party instead. We could order room service.”






Tina Donahue said...

Happy Holidays, Kelli! I'm with you on warmer temps, but I do like the holidays. Loved your excerpt. :)

jean hart stewart said...

Xmas is still Xmas even in sunny San Diego...Love it!!!
GReat excerpt...