Last Gift

By: Jessica Clare, Jen Frederick

To our fans – happy holidays!


NICK WATCHES THE CARS HEADING down the side street of our apartment building. It’s unusually busy, and I can tell it’s making him tense. It’s evident in the stiff set of his shoulders, and the way he ever so gently bends down the mini-blind so he can peer out on the snowy streets, unnoticed. When his hand brushes at his waist as if looking for his gun, I realize just how on edge he is.

I lick my fingers and put aside the Christmas cookie batter I’m making, and move to his side. “Nikolai,” I say softly. “What is it?”

He looks over at me, beautiful eyes dark with worry. “It is nothing, Daisy.”

But I know it’s not nothing. Every inch of his body is telling me that it is something. So I move to his side and peer out the window, trying to see what he sees. There are cars in the street, moving slow, but it’s to be expected. In the distance, there are Christmas lights covering every inch of the nearby buildings, all sparkling and pretty. I see nothing unusual, but I am not an assassin, so perhaps I am missing something. I turn to Nick. “What is it?” I repeat.

He nods at the window. “Many cars. They slow on this street. They watch something.”

I blink for a moment, and then laugh. “Of course they watch something. They’re slowing down to look at the Christmas lights.” I point at the nearby buildings, festooned with green and red and white lighting. There’s even an animatronic nativity that I passed by. It’s garish, but still impressive. “I imagine it’s parents taking their kids out to see the decorations.”

His shoulders relax a little. “Da? Is tradition?”

I nod firmly and link my arms around his waist. “Tradition. Nothing to be worried about.”

His breath exhales slowly, and his hands rub my back. “I still think like hitman.”

He does. I imagine it’ll take time for that to work out of his system. My Nick needs a distraction. “Do you want to get in the car and go drive past the lights?” Nick gives me such a disgruntled look that I laugh despite myself. “That must be a no.” I snuggle against him, loving the slow, possessive feel of his touch as his fingers skate down my back. “What Christmas traditions do you have?”

“I do not celebrate.”

This surprises me. I pull back and look up at him, puzzled. “Not at all?”

He shrugs. “You forget my upbringing.”

I do. My face immediately softens in memory. My poor Nick, brought up since childhood by the Bratva, raised to be a killer. Any kindness or softness he might have known before me was all an act, something he paid someone to do for him. The Bratva trained him to be an assassin; they did not train him to be a normal man.

I was foolish to ask. How could I not know the answer? It’s there in the way his hands have tightened around me. He realizes he is missing a vital part of a normal life, and it bothers him. It is another missing puzzle piece, and he wants to be whole for me.

I feel cruel for asking. I will distract him, instead. I am good at distracting. “I think we should get some mistletoe for our apartment.”

“Da?” His voice is musing, almost playful, and it makes me feel achy with need. I love it when Nick is playful. “You wish to hide underneath and surprise me with kisses?”

“Parts of you with kisses,” I agree breathlessly, and my fingers go to his belt. He stiffens again, but when I go down on my knees, his fingers caress my jaw with such love that I ache inside. I unbuckle his belt and pull it free, and by the time I tug down his zipper, he’s erect underneath his jeans and hard at what I’m suggesting.

I slide his clothes down his thighs and his cock pushes free, firm and beautiful and inches from my face. I am learning what pleases Nick as we live together. We practice a lot, I think with a smile, and I’m getting better at driving him crazy. I don’t reach immediately for his cock. Instead, my hands stroke back and forth on the thick muscles of his thighs, and I watch his cock jerk in response to my touch. There is a drop of pre-cum beading on the head, and I want to taste it.

I will, but not yet.

Nick’s hands are moving over my face, my jaw, my hair, frantically touching me but not wanting to interrupt what I’m offering. I know he loves this; it’s because he loves it so much that it gives me such great pleasure to do. I love pleasing Nick. I love seeing his face when my mouth is on him. This angle will make it almost impossible to watch his expression, but I will picture it instead.