|21| - "I'm a single girl now and he's hot."

"So, do I get Christmas sex?"

I chuckled into the pillow, pulling Nathan's arms tighter around my body so that he was spooning me closer.

"Depends if you've been naughty or nice."

He nuzzled my neck before allowing his lips to graze my ear. "Is that in a sexual sense or an everyday sense?"

I smirked even though he couldn't see me. "Doesn't matter. Same answer for both."

"Ouch..."

When I rolled over to face him, his expression was tender, and I allowed my eyes to flutter shut as he brought up his hand to caress my cheek.

"I'm so happy we're spending Christmas together," Nathan said.

"Me, too." I smiled. "But we can't stay in bed all morning or we'll be late for my parents."

A brief twinkle reappeared his eyes just before he pushed at my shoulder to roll me onto my back and then swung his leg over my hips to straddle me.

"What if I promise to be quick?"

His fingers curled around my wrists and he drew them upwards until my hands were pinned on either side of my head.

"That doesn't sound much fun for me."

He grinned and lowered his upper body until his chest rested against mine. My heart thumped, anticipating his next move.

"You don't know how I'm going to do it yet," he said.

"Please enlighten me, then."

And he lowered his mouth to my ear.


Like always, my parents fussed over Nathan like he was their own, whilst their actual child sat alone on the sofa, flicking through the Radiotimes and sipping at a mug of mulled wine. Sorting out the issues between Nathan and me felt like a weight off my shoulders; I couldn't imagine how awkward this would have been otherwise.

"Isobel tells me that you've applied for a new job," I heard Mum say from the kitchen.

"Well, it's not exactly new," Nathan replied. "Same company, similar work... just on an international placement with our Italian office for a few months."

"That's fantastic. What a wonderful opportunity. Hopefully you'll enjoy it over there more than Isobel..."

Upon hearing that, I dropped the magazine onto the coffee table and hauled myself to my feet.

"You make it sound like I'm having the worst time of my life," I said, joining them in the kitchen and winding my arm around Nathan's waist.

I probably did sound thoroughly unhappy whenever I'd spoken to my parents recently, but that wasn't just Italy. That was due to the situation with Nathan. I hadn't wanted to divulge too much to my family, for fear of tainting their opinion of him. Instead, I'd said we were finding the long distance tough.

Despite that, I wasn't keen on revisiting those conversations in our kitchen at Christmas, especially when Nathan and I had tried so hard to move past them.

"It's not even confirmed that I'll get the job yet," Nathan said, shooting me a small smile, as if reading my mind.

"We have full confidence in you," Mum said, squeezing his arm briefly before turning back to my dad who was chopping vegetables.

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