at Midnight


December 2010, Carina Press

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December 2010, Carina Press

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Also available in
His for the Holidays

Also available in
His for the Holidays

Mistletoe at Midnight

An excerpt from the standalone novella

Something yanked me by the scruff of my collar and I stumbled backward into an unseen doorway--or inside a tree. I couldn't tell which, but the smell of liquor and Quaker State motor oil filled my frozen nostrils and I knew. I knew him. I'd always known him. Even his smell was the same.

"I thought I'd find you here." The same words he'd spoken when he found me standing outside the gym. When most sane people were making out under that depressing mistletoe ball or holding hands in public with their heart's desire at that outdated holiday dance, I'd been a solitary figure lurking in the shadows, outside peering in. I'd stood fogging the glass, feeling as if I'd never belong anywhere--because I'd never be brave enough to kiss my true love under the mistletoe.

And just as he'd surprised me when we were teenagers, the shock of his cold fingertip on my skin heated me from within. I wasn't alone anymore, not with Caleb's hand sliding over my jaw. His palm scraped my whiskered chin like sandpaper.

I grabbed his wrist, not to budge him, but to keep him before he faded into my memory. I pressed into his cupped hand and he leaned against me. "Owen McKenzie, funny how I see you everywhere I go."

"I'm hard to miss." My name from his lips sent a wave of longing through my stomach until his words suddenly penetrated. He'd seen me?


"No. That's not what I mean. I've seen you watching me. All the time. You can't take your eyes off me." Breath tickled my ear as if he found my crush endearing, or curious, or, oh God please, maybe mutual. We huddled together out of the wind and snow--my shoulders met the wall and our hips connected in painful perfection.

"We talked in the library that day. Remember?"

"I remember." He moved, pulling something from his jacket pocket and I flinched. I had no idea why--but all he had in his hand was a tiny, silly sprig of mistletoe. "Look what I stole from the dance. Right off the top."

"You're crazy."

"I must be to think you were waiting for me." His fingertip brushed the corner of my mouth. I wanted to touch my tongue to his salty finger and suck him inside, but I was too frozen with fear to follow through.

"What...what are you doing?"

His breath fluttered on my lips. "What do you think I'm doing?"

Jesus. It was all exactly the same. Every bit of it. I tried to shrug him off, but my cock hardened against his fly. "I...I don't know."

"Liar. You do know and you want this as much as I do." That fingertip stroked a line of fire from the corner of my mouth to my chin, and then his hand gripped my nape, sliding until he held me in the palm of one hand. "Don't you, Owen?"

I swallowed.

Our coat buttons clicked together and it was the first time in my life that the bulge of another man's groin magically hardened against my own erection. His lips hovered over my neck. "Do I make you nervous?

"No." Yes. Fuck, yes.

"Don't be. It'll be good."

Jesus, he was a teenage Don Juan.

copyright 2009-18, l.b. gregg