Sneak a peek at 


Mike punched the up button in the lobby of the downtown bank building and stared at the lights above the bank of elevators.  Anywhere but at Carol. 

She had breasts.  She’d never had breasts before.  Why tonight?  This was a test, only a test.  And there she stood, smiling, humming, totally clueless she was blowing the curve.


With breasts.

The ding of the elevator startled him and he put a hand to her back to get her inside.  He jerked away as he touched the warm, bare, silky flesh.  Geez, no front, no back, she might as well be naked.

The entire board of directors from somewhere trotted in after them, laden with Christmas presents and bottles of wine.  The old man next to him was wearing reindeer antlers and a ruddy, one hundred and one proof nose.  Great, everybody in Dallas was in the elevator, and he was trapped. 

Carol stood pressed against him and he bit back a groan.  Just as the doors were closing, they opened again and more people filed inside, until they all stood there, packed like sardines with a red and green bow.  Ho-Ho-Ho. 

Fifty-one floors.  Fifty-one floors of hell.  The curves of her rear jostled between his legs and when she finally stopped the torture treatment, he was hard as a California redwood.

Maybe she wouldn’t notice.  Like how he didn’t notice she was wearing a garter belt underneath that dress.  Hell. 

She looked back, calm as you please, her voice completely normal.  “Uh, Mike.  Can you move the umbrella, please?  Just to the side, it’s poking me.”

The old man with the reindeer antlers moved a little before looking down, and gave him a conspiratorial wink.  Mike moved the other way, anything to escape that luscious rear.  For two floors they were fine, but on seventeen the doors opened, and a stock broker with a fruitcake the size of Rhode Island stepped on.

Carol moved back to where she was before.  He started to sweat and prayed she would keep her mouth shut.

He should’ve known better.  This was Carol, after all. 

“Mike.  You’re doing it again.  Fix it, please.”

Mike felt his cheeks go hot and Rudolf started to snicker.  There was nowhere to go. 

“Shut up, Carol.”

“Mike!  You don’t need to be rude.”

He gritted his teeth and whispered against her ear, “Leave it alone, Carol.  I can’t do anything about it right now.  Okay?”  Raspberries.  Ah, man, she smelled like raspberries.

She huffed and that perky little butt rubbed against him.  At the fortieth floor, the Santa Clause convention departed, but not before the old man patted him on the back, his antlers bobbing.  “Have a nice evening, son.”

Mike scuttled to the farthest corner of the elevator.  As far away from Carol as he could.  When they finally reached the fifty first floor, he felt like he had just climbed Mt. Everest.  The night was young.

He followed her out of the elevator and as soon as they were alone, Carol rounded on him, parts of her jiggling that had never jiggled before.  Of course she wouldn’t let it go.

“Mike, what is wrong with you?  All I wanted was for you to move the stupid umbrella.  But, noooo.  You couldn’t do that.”  She glanced down and for the first time noticed he wasn’t holding an umbrella.  Nope, the little hussy didn’t miss a thing.  Her cheeks grew amazingly pink and her mouth formed a little ‘o’. 

This was not how he had imagined this moment.


From A Christmas Carol,
Harlequin Duets, December 2001, by Kathleen O’Reilly



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