Mark and Stephen from the I
**This coda is actually a snippet from the novelette I Spy Something Christmas that will be out (fingers crossed) in time for the holiday.
I closed my eyes, dozed.
Music was playing downstairs. Bing Crosby. Very traditional. I smiled. The floorboard squeaked and I opened my eyes to soft light and wonderful smells. Irish coffee and warm gingerbread.
Stephen set the tray on the bed and crawled in beside me once more.
“You’re spoiling me.”
spoiling us both.” He broke off a piece of gingerbread and held it out to me as
though he were feeding me wedding cake. I raised my head, nibbled the
gingerbread, licked his fingers when I’d taken the last bite. He closed his
eyes and gave a twitchy smile. I kissed his fingertips and let my head fall
back in the pillows.
“Favorite Christmas carol?” I asked.
“Modern or traditional?”
“‘Silent Night.’ ‘Please Come Home for Christmas.’ You?” He offered another bite of gingerbread.
I took a bite. Swallowed. “This year? ‘I’ll be Home for Christmas.’”
He smiled, understanding. “Traditional?”
“Not really a carol. The Christmas section of Handel’s Messiah.”
“I should have guessed that. My turn. Favorite Christmas movie?”
“Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol.”
“Quite serious. It’s one of your classics, yes? I loved that razzleberry dressing and woofle jelly cake.”
“You do enjoy your food. I’m not sure where you put it.” He stroked my ribcage.
I sucked in my stomach. “Yours?”
“It’s a Wonderful Life.”
I said, “You’ve made a difference in a lot of people’s lives. A good difference.”
His green gaze was grave. Sometimes he saw too much. “Best Christmas memory?” he asked.
“This,” I said. “Tonight.”