The Copycat Killers(8)

By: Paula Millhouse

Soft kisses from full, pink lips. Tender at first, always tender. Then, if her response demanded more, he responded in kind.

Her kisses were made for him.

“Tell me what you want for Christmas?” she asked against his lips.

“Marry me,” he answered, and burrowed his head closer to hers, nuzzled her face, scraped her cheek gently with the new beard gracing his jaw. She’d liked the beard, so he let it grow in.

She giggled. “You’ve asked for that before,” she said and snuck a nibble of his lips. “Something I can wrap and put under the tree.”

“I can see you wrapped in just the right shade of red ribbon under the tree. Not too much ribbon…” Nick claimed her lips again. This time, not so tender, his kiss.

More demanding.

A kiss with some backbone.

The kind of kisses Nick enjoyed building up to. The kind of kisses that left Evie panting for more.

God, but she was going to be the death of him. Those soft, pink lips said everything he needed to know. At 30 years old, the love of his life wore his engagement ring, the very large and glittering affair left to him by his parent’s will.

He didn’t wait long to present her with the ring. Their courtship was short compared to societal norms, but their lives fell into sync their first month together. The attraction growing between them was something neither wanted to live without.

He’d found himself surprised at how much he enjoyed living here with her. As a former FBI agent who’d resigned due to corruption, he’d assumed he’d be bored. At one time he’d sworn he’d never move back to his hometown of Bradford, Vermont. But Evie changed all that.

Nick found it hard to breathe right without her in his general vicinity.

“I want to give you a present,” she pleaded.

“You’re the only present I want. That you’re safe, here with me, and have agreed to be my wife—that’s what I need.” He nibbled the skin on her neck.

While the Evie and Meg built their touring business, he’d continued what he started after leaving the FBI. He worked with his hands and built high-end birchbark canoes and bamboo fly rods. He’d learned the skills from his father when he was a kid. Honoring the old traditions of custom wood work made him happy. Finding out there was a lucrative market for his wares made him rich.

Evie found his lips and kissed him. Soft, pink lips worked their magic, and he imagined them stranded on a desert island together. All he’d ever want was to have her safe in his arms wherever they wound up.

She pushed herself back to stare at him with incredible dark blue eyes. “Tell me what I can buy you for Christmas. No more of this mushy crap. Something tangible. Speak up, man—Santa’s getting restless! You have less than two weeks. My royalty money has to do someone some good, somewhere.”

“Give your money to charity. Buy yourself something. I have what I want. Right here. In my arms, in my cabin in the woods, in front of my fireplace. You. That’s what I told Santa I wanted in my letter, and what do you know, he delivered early.”

Girl next-door-looks stared back at him, with soft, long, brown hair, beautiful curves, soft full chest bare against his skin…

She rolled her eyes. “Just my luck, falling for a romantic like you. We’re doomed! We’ll never accomplish anything together like this. A writer, and a romantic? Seriously, there’s no hope.”

The stab of desire grew, manifested itself clearly. He kissed her neck again, suckling the special spot where her neck curved to her collarbone. “We can spend all day in bed together and accomplish tons.”

She moaned with his attention to her neck, but said, “We’ve got to get ready to meet Meg and Patrick to go to Hanover. You have a business to attend to, and I’m going Christmas shopping.”

Nick grinned at her. “The nice thing about being self-employed is we dictate our own schedule. They’ll just have to wait.”


“HANOVER NEW HAMPSHIRE GETS PRETTIER every time I see it. Look at all those Christmas decorations,” Evie said, pointing down the birch tree-lined Main Street. Two inches of snow lay on the ground, although the streets were clear.

“It does. I love Christmas shopping here,” Meg said. Nick’s sister grabbed her hand and tugged her around on the sidewalk. “Come on. They can manage the shipment. I’ve got places to show you this morning.”

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