This is a continuation of my popular book, "The Marriage List". I couldn't leave the characters or they refused to leave me!
7:30am, December 24
Carrie sat back against the fine black leather passenger seat of the Jaguar XK as Grey maneuvered it skillfully along the curves of the Palisades Parkway. Although it was Christmas Eve, it was only seven o’clock in the morning. There was almost no traffic so Grey depressed the gas pedal, pushing the limits of the sports car on the winding road. Carrie looked out at the stark scenery thick with bare trees and bushes. She slipped a Christmas CD in the slot and turned the sound up. “White Christmas” was the first song to play.
The ground had a slight dusting of snow clinging to frozen grass. Carrie expected there would be more snow in Pine Grove and she smiled at the idea of an old-fashioned white Christmas with Grey’s family.
“About last night…” he ventured, glancing quickly at her then back at the road.
“I thought we covered that.”
“One more thing. I had a difficult week, aggravating, stupid dumbass accountant and I thought when I got home…I was envisioning your Boeuf Bourguinon and hot sex…”
“At the same time?” She laughed.
“You know what I mean. So when everything was a mess and I was disappointed…”
“What are you trying to say?”
“I had expectations you had no idea about. It wasn’t fair for me to get mad when my fantasy didn’t come true. I never even told you what I wanted.”
“Glad you see it that way.”
“Guess I’m apologizing again.”
“No need, sweetheart. I get it,” she reached over, rested her palm on his shoulder and smiled up at him.
“Good. Wanted to clear the air.”
“Thought we did that on the sofa,” she murmured.
“I guess we did,” he snickered, stealing a glance at her.
“I’m a little concerned about Christmas…” She shifted in her seat and crossed and uncrossed her legs.
“I bought all these gifts for your sibs without any help from you.”
“I always gave them gift cards. I’m not good at shopping for people, knowing their size and all.”
“So what if they hate what we got them? It’ll be my fault.”
“They won’t hate anything. You have great taste. They’ll love the stuff you bought. Relax. My family likes you. I like you…that’s all that counts, honey,” he took his hand from the wheel for a moment to pat hers, then went back to concentrating on the road.
“I bought a little something special for you…”
“You did?” She sat up in her seat and turned to face him.
“I happened to be in Bergdorf’s yesterday and…”
“And I saw…well, it’s a surprise. Can we have our own ‘private’ gift exchange tonight?”
“I have something for you, too.” Her cheeks color slightly.
“Let’s go up early, like eight o’clock?”
“Isn’t that a little early? Won’t it look like we’re…uh…going to have sex?”
“So what if we are?” He checked his side view mirror, signaled, then depressed the accelerator and moved into the passing lane.
“I don’t care. I want some private time with you. You don’t have a big family, it can get pretty crazy. We’ll have little time to ourselves.”
“Okay. Eight o’clock. It’s a date.”
Carrie sighed, pushed the thought of the gifts she bought out of her mind and focused on the music. When “Jingle Bell Rock” came on, she turned it up and burst into song, bobbing up and down in her seat. Grey laughed and joined in.