Dashing Through the SnowBy: M. Leighton
A Sexy, Snowy Christmas Tale
“Do I taste balls? I think I taste balls,” I tell my editor, smacking my lips in an unsavory way.
“Almost like someone I love and trust just teabagged me.” I pause, sticking my tongue out in a silent yuck! “Yep. I taste balls. I just got a holiday teabag.”
“You’d better shut that sassy mouth of yours, Dilyn,” Jacob hisses as he looks left and right to make sure no one else heard me. “Just because we used to date does not mean you can talk to me like one of the guys.”
“Well, if you’d start treating me like a journalist you respect, I’d start talking to you like a boss I respect. Until then, I’ll mention your balls in my mouth as often as I like.” I cross my arms over my chest and tip my chin up in defiance.
“Jesus, Dilyn. Get in here,” Jacob snaps through gritted teeth, grabbing my arm and pulling me into his office. He looks around one more time before he shuts the door and turns his glower onto me. “You can’t say shit like that out there.”
“Why? Afraid Patrick will get jealous and want your balls in his mouth?”
“Christ Almighty, Dilyn, you just… Can’t you just…” My ex stops trying to finish his sentence, settling instead for dropping his head and pinching the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. It’s a gesture I know all too well. It means he’s frustrated. When he finally raises his head, there’s anger in his dark blue eyes. “Keep this up and you’ll end up suspended. I can’t let you cost me my job.”
I back down immediately. I would never hurt Jacob Mullally. No matter how much he hurt me two years ago.
I sigh, letting my arms drop. “Oh come on, Jake. You know I’d never do anything to get you in trouble. So everyone around here knows we used to sleep together. What’s the big deal?”
“The big deal is when you try to use it against me. Or bring it up when you don’t like your assignment. It doesn’t look good, D. And it’s gotta stop.”
I inhale deeply and exhale slowly. “Okay, fine. All ball references aside, could you please give someone else this story and let me take something less…unpleasant?”
“Every female in this business would give their left tit for an exclusive with Dash Grainger. I thought you’d be happy about this.”
“Oh sure, he’s a rich, famous champion snowboarder who’s traveled the world. And sure, he’s a professional playboy with a string of conquests long enough to stretch the length of the Swiss Alps. And sure, he’s so gorgeous it hurts to look at him, but anyone who knows me at all knows that it takes more than that to get my juices flowing.”
“Is that what this is about? Are you afraid you’ll be attracted to him?”
I hate the hurt that I see flit through Jake’s eyes before he catches himself. We used to be lovers, yes. We’re friends now, yes. But our relationship was a complicated one, and there’s always one person, it seems, that you just can’t get over. I think Jake and I are that person for each other. As much as we tried to make it work, it wasn’t meant to be. And sometimes that still hurts.
“Jake, no.” I have the nearly unbearable urge to go to him, to reach out and touch his lean cheek in that way I used to. The way he used to love. But I can’t do that now. Not after everything that’s happened. I curl my fingers into the hem of my shirt to keep them still. “He’s an adrenaline junkie. He gambles with his life. You of all people should know how I feel about men like that.”
I watch as realization dawns. It spreads across the landscape of his face like the orange and gold rays of sunrise. “I didn’t…I didn’t even think about that. God, I’m such an inconsiderate asshole.”
I laugh at that. “Only on Tuesdays. And two days before Christmas.”
He tips his head back, massaging the nape of his neck, exposing the long, muscular column of his throat. I stare at it, a little twitch of want firing in my belly. Jake always did have a great body, throat included. And I happen to know every single inch of it. And sometimes those memories come back at the damnedest times.
“I’m really sorry, Dilyn, and I wish I could fix this, but it’s too late. I don’t have anyone else to put on this, and the interview was practically handed to us on a silver platter. I hate to say it, but you’ve gotta go.”
TCC, also known as The Celebrity Channel, is a growing online magazine, a large portion of which is dedicated to celebrities and their lifestyles. Obviously. But within the last year, they’ve started to run a couple more respectable segments that go in depth with important or influential figures, people who actually contribute to the planet in one way or another, not just make it pretty. And dramatic. Around the office, we call it the Walters side, as in Barbara Walters. That’s where I like to work. But even so, I’m well aware of what kind of opportunity this is, and why we can’t screw it up.