Christmas Merger-Mobi Version
“Okay,” I mumble as I sit the boxes aside. “What do you want, Cooper? Pussy?” I ask, shocking him.
I watch as he babbles a bit before gaining control.
“Well, um…if you willing to give me-“
“I didn’t say I’m giving you shit. I just wanna know what the hell you’re working up to?”
“All I am working on is beating you.”
I scoff loudly. “Well, you’ll be working overtime to get no pay because I’m taking home the win, again,” I stress. “What’s it gonna be?” I pause for effect, “Third year in the row?” I tease, rubbing salt in the wound.
“You haven’t crossed the finish line yet,” he smirks.
“I would be getting closer if you would stay out of my face so I can work,” I finish with a nice-nasty smile.
“So, that offer of pussy, nevermind,” he says as he takes note of my hard gaze.
Bitter rivals since high school, Cooper and Felisa have been going head to head in business, and the annual Christmas Festival for years. It never fails for things to get out of hand whenever the two are in close quarters. Things only get worse when to save their sinking companies, a business merger is proposed. Being in each other’s face on a daily only serves to increase the opportunities for comical moments, fights that get the town talking and taking bets, and strokes the flames of a sizzling romance that’s been years in the making.
The most wonderful time of the year, I think, as I put the finishing touches on the first of many decorations for the Christmas fest in town. I wish that it could be, but there is too much else going on, too much that has taken up my thoughts to make me excited as I usually am for Christmas.
“What should I do with this?” Kelly, my assistant, asks, holding out the beginning of a train set.
I look at it and consider just where it might go. I’m partially in charge of decorating half of the downtown Christmas Village, along with having a booth to sell items. I’ve been doing this for years, and usually, I can do it with my eyes closed, but with the drama going on in my business, which is causing it to fail, my mind is all over the place. Hell, I didn’t even consider buying new decorations when I’m fighting to keep the lights on. Nah, I have to work with what I have and hope that the customers would enjoy it as they have every year previously.
“We’ll have it start in the back of our booth and run along the table in front. I think there are some poles that we can use in the back. I’ll go grab them,” I finally answer.
Kelly nods and sets the piece on the table as she continues to unpack more decorations. It would take just the two of us days to set everything up. Time that I honestly should be working on my actual business. Yet, I can’t back out. For five years, I have financed a portion for the month-long fest that features fun family activities, a talent show, and a flea market for people to sell their items. Too many town’s folk count on my funds to pull this off. Not to mention, me backing out would be a big red flag of what’s going on behind the scenes.
I place the decorations I had been debating on as I move to the storage pod of the town event hall. Years of doing this has taught me what will be available for me to use. The musty scent of the room is a surprising comfort to me. I flick on the light, and it comes on, sputtering to life to dimly light the pod so I can search.
Items have been moved around since I’ve last been here, which is to be expected. I'm not the only one trying to snag one of these neutral items that are up for grabs to whoever gets it first. I move through the too close together rows. I know I’m here for the poles, but I scan the shelves with hawk-like eyes in hopes of finding a real gem. Finally, I find the poles with the stands at the bottom and top that I know will be perfect for holding up a train set. Collecting a few pieces, I head back to the storage entrance.
Halfway to the door, I see a shadow, and I slow my steps. I shouldn’t have to
gather my whits every time I see this damn man, but that’s the case.
Why the fuck he’s always underfoot? I wonder.
Okay, that’s not true. He’s not. It just seems that way because it takes me so long to shake the feelings seeing him has on me. That’s what makes it seem as if he’s lingering. We’ve known each other for years,… since we were teenagers. Just a year apart, we bumped heads at school and at his mom’s business after I got a job there. When I was working my ass off, Cooper was the pretty boy with his Mama’s credit card. Whatever the money couldn’t open for him, his stunning, Mediterranean looks did the rest. Our heated and at times insane need to best each other, I’m sure, is born out of both our desire to win and sexual tension between us. It’s no different yearly with who’s Christmas display wins with the most visitors. So much so that it’s become a town’s guilty pleasure of betting who’s gonna win.
Knowing he hasn’t noticed I’m in the pod, I use the advantage to let my eyes look him over. Although I’ve been wishing obesity on him, Cooper’s 6’2 frame has not an ounce of fat. Pure muscle flexes under his tan skin to cause his light blue turtle neck to breathe and sigh. I’m not too shocked it’s blue…his top. With his mother not only being the owner of a posh clothing store, and also a columnist for Vanity Fair magazine, Cooper knows fashion. I make a face of happy appraisal of his ass in his low riding jeans as he turns to dig around on a shelf.
“Mr. Rogen,” I call out to make myself known. I give him a stiff nod as I try to make a run for the door.
“Ms. Williams, how good it is to see you again. I don’t think I’ve seen you since the summer fest.”
I frown at his bold-faced lie. Our stores are in the same district. We bank at the same bank. We sat rows apart at the Christmas planning meetings.
Okay, if he wants to play it that way.
“Yes, good to see you too, can we talk later? I need to get this to my station.”
“That busy? Promise we’ll talk later?”
Once again, I give him a double-take. I huff while readjusting the poles in my arms, “Yeah.”
Cooper smirks before opening the door wide enough for me to easily walkthrough. I don’t have to glance over my shoulder to prove he’s still looking at me. I can feel his dark eyes on me.
“I see Cooper is already here,” Kelly says.
The damn girl never misses a beat when it comes to that damn man. I wish she is that focused on helping my struggling ass instead of straining to examine him.
“Yeah, and he’s already causing me problems. I just hope that he won’t be here when I’m not, but I highly doubt that.”