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Fake Christmas Lexy Timms 2022/8/3 13:45:40

They held on to each other for what felt like ages, neither of them wanting to let go.

Finally, she gasped out, “That was amazing.”

He laughed, and kissed her forehead. “It was, wasn’t it?”

“Do you still have to go to your meeting?” Now that they had made up, she wanted him all to herself for the morning. Especially since they had a long flight ahead of them later in the afternoon.

“How about we have breakfast together before I head out?” He kissed her forehead again, making her stomach quiver. “I can order room service.”

She smiled. “That sounds great.”

Breakfast came up to their room within twenty minutes.

Dane had gotten dressed again, while she had thrown on a bathrobe.

When she got a look at the special holiday-themed breakfast, her stomach growled. There were scones, pancakes shaped like reindeer and Christmas trees, cinnamon rolls, French toast, and crispy bacon. She hadn’t been eating right these last few weeks. Mostly she had scarfed down fast food or donuts from a local coffee shop. And some nights, she was so exhausted she just got into bed without eating dinner. Like she had last night. No wonder she was so famished.

They took their breakfast trays to bed, and Allyson took a bite of her warm cranberry scone. “This is heavenly.”

“We should have breakfast in bed more often.”

“There won’t be time for any of that when we get back to New York,” she said. “I have to focus on making sure everything is perfect.”

He frowned. “Why don’t you let me help you?”

“Because I’m good at planning events,” she reminded him. “Besides, I want to make a good impression for our first Christmas. You mother will be watching to make sure I’m the perfect society hostess. Plus, having a good Christmas means I can repair my relationship with my sister and parents.”

Her sister, Monica, still resented her for achieving success. Not to mention she had to mend fences with her parents after the embezzlement scandal. Her mother had apologized for thinking she had committed a crime, but they hadn’t had time to really have a heart to heart. Her brother, James, and her sister-in-law, Holly, had just had their new baby, Owen, so that had sidetracked any kind of reconciliation. Christmas was the perfect time to bring their two families together and heal old wounds.

Dane sighed. “If you’re sure this is what you want.”

“It is,” she said confidently. “I’m going to make sure this is a Christmas we’ll never forget.”

AFTER MEETING WITH some of Snow Canyon’s public officials, Dane headed back to the hotel. He found Allyson packing her bags when he returned to their room.

She greeted him with a quick kiss. “I got a call from your mother.”

He groaned. “What now?”

“Dane, you always think the worst of her,” she scolded.

His eyebrow went up. “We’re talking about my mother, right? I know you two are getting along much better than before, but she doesn’t exactly make idle conversation when she calls.”

“Mostly some gossip,” she said.

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“Wow. My mother doesn’t gossip with just anyone.”

“I can’t tell if that’s sarcasm or not,” she murmured.

He laughed. “It’s not. She only gossips with people she likes. Which means she doesn’t do it often. It sounds like she trusts you to keep a secret. A secret she should probably not be sharing with you, but I guess that’s beside the point with her.”

“She also called with some big news,” Allyson said.

“Francesca Barnes has basically confessed,” his wife replied. “Which means there won’t be a long, drawn-out trial. If she takes this plea deal, she’ll be out in a few years.”

“What rotten luck,” he muttered. He didn’t give a damn how harsh that sounded. As far as he was concerned, Francesca Barnes deserved to rot in prison for the rest of her miserable life. There wasn’t a snowball’s chance in Hell of him forgiving her for her despicable acts. She had framed Allyson, attacked her, and had nearly gotten away with it. When she had finally been arrested, her one regret seemed to have been the fact that she hadn’t killed Allyson.