Melissa MacNeal
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UNWRAP ME


Naughty, Naughty
Unwrap Me

'Tis the season for all things sexy and there's no better way to celebrate than with these three naughty novellas. These three girls don't want coal in their stockings. They're looking for something big and hard that will last the whole night long...

Naughty Noelle - Melissa MacNeal

Being nice has gotten Noelle nowhere so this Christmas she decides to give naughty a try. And there's no one better to practice on than bronzed and blonde Andy Hathaway, who's got a package she can't wait to check out...

Unwrap Me - Susan Lyons

When Jude Benedetto opens the door and finds her very own studly Secret Santa, she's ready to celebrate the season with some steamy sex. Counting down the twelve days of Christmas has never been so exciting- or erotic...

All She Craves For Christmas - Melissa Randall

Renovating her childhood home in time for the holidays seems impossible until Anita hires Dylan Scott. His body is hot enough to melt snow and he quickly shows her just how talented he is with his tools-and his hands...

WARNING! This is a REALLY HOT book. (Sexually Explicit)

"Melissa MacNeal adds to the anthology with a positively wicked encounter.  NAUGHTY NOELLE is a tantalizing tale full of passion and playfulness that reminds us to live life to its fullest." -- Melissa Kammer, NovelTalk

UNWRAP ME
October 2008
Aphrodisia
ISBN 978-0758228536 

 


Excerpt

Naughty Noelle

by
Melissa MacNeal

1

Saturday, December 20th

Ohhh, you better watch out, you better not cry! You better not pout

Noelle jabbed the radio button, ready to cry and pout and then cuss and kick the car, as well. "Mom, do you see all those frickin' stairs? How the hell are we going to--"

"Noelle, stop! My head's throbbing and my leg feels paralyzed from sitting in this seat and--and I just want out!"

"Well, that makes two of us!"

"If your father were here, he wouldn't be yelling at me and--"

Noelle shoved her car door open, eager for peace and quiet and-- anything but this! If her father were alive--if Nick had kept it in his pants--none of this crap would've happened. She closed her eyes against a fresh welling-up of tears. Instead of clean air she got a blast of salty mist that smelled of dead fish. And none of this gave her any inspiration about how she would cart all their luggage, not to mention her mother, up the beach house's steep flight of stairs.

"Whose idea was this, anyway?" she muttered, and then slammed her car door harder than she intended. Pale gray clouds loomed over the rolling ocean, and when a gull squawked overhead, a plop hit the hood of her car. Not here five minutes and the natives were shitting on her.

The tall, Victorian-style beach rentals, which stood shoulder-to-shoulder around the cul-de-sac, looked deserted, and even though she had the key in her pocket, she had the urge to drive back to Buffalo. The pounding of an insistent fist on the windshield brought her out of her dark musings. After these umpteen hours behind the wheel, Noelle wanted to lock the car--with her mother in it--and stalk off. Didn"t matter where! If this wasn"t the pissiest Christmas ever, well--

"Oh, ya better watch out! Ya better not cry! Ya better not pout--"

Noelle pivoted toward that too-cheerful male voice, ready to sucker-punch whoever dared to sing that song again.

"--I'm tellin" you why! Santa Claus is comin"--"

She choked on her rude remark. The guy walking toward them looked compact and strong and cocky, and the furry red Santa hat did nothing to improve her opinion of him. Had to be a nut case. And when he stopped a few feet in front of her, his eyes actually twinkled! This was too much.

How can I help?" he asked with a dimpled grin.

He's a blonde. Remember how you despise blondes. Can't trust them.

Noelle forced a smile and then gestured toward her mother: Mom was again pounding desperately on the windshield, as though she'd been locked in the car by her evil daughter. "I won't bore you with the gory details of these past miles and hours since we left upstate New York," she began, "but we've got a car full of stuff and my mother can't bend at the knee because of her damn cast and I'm looking at the longest frickin' flight of stairs I've ever--and this is supposed to be Christmas vacation! I just want to be home! Except I don't have one," she added in a final gasp. "I'm sorry, I--"

Noelle blinked. Mr. Santa had opened the passenger-side door as though he'd found a wonderful present inside her car. "Hey, that's my mother! Don't get any funny ideas about--"

Her mom stepped into this guy's arms as though he'd asked her to dance. "I can't thank you enough, dear! You must be a Christmas angel--or at least one of Santa's elves--to show up when we needed you most!"

"Validation at last!" The blonde smiled as though he were sincerely glad to assist her. "Can you walk to the foot of the stairs? Or shall I sweep you off your feet?"

Mom looked ready to swoon. "I--I'll be better once I stretch my legs--"

"And how'd you earn that cast? Not falling on the ice, I hope?"

"I didn't know what hit me! One minute I was walking out to get my paper, and the next thing I knew--wham!" her mother recounted with a smack of her hands.

Had she not used the same inflections and held her hip the same way for the gazillionth time, Noelle would've envied her mother's miracle mood recovery. She was hobbling along, clutching Mr. Wonderful's arm as he nodded indulgently at her nonstop chatter.

And damned if he didn't slip an arm under her hips to lift her into his arms! His Santa hat slipped down his forehead, and as he flashed her a grin, Noelle almost grinned back.

"Could you go up ahead of us and unlock the door?" he suggested. "And if you'll get my hat out of my eyes--"

Her mother swiveled to reposition the furry white band. Then she kissed his cheek loudly. She looked ecstatic; charmingly childlike, cradled against this guy's chest with her red cast sticking straight out in front of her.

"Sure, I--" Noelle held the screen door for them, and then clomped up the steep wooden stairs. She opened the door into a vestibule where the floor and walls glowed like a white sand beach. Stairs carpeted in pale blue led up to an airy, open living area with a white kitchen and a fireplace and overstuffed couches and chairs in shades of blue and peach and pale mulberry.

The house felt like an oasis of sanity: so quiet and fresh and clean. And wasn't it wonderful, to be walking into a fully furnished dream home where the decor was contemporary and coordinated--and none of it reminded her of Nick? She stared out the huge picture window, to watch the waves curl gracefully at a distance before they surged toward the misty shoreline that was a mere boardwalk away. The beach was deserted, yet even in its pale gray mystique it called her to come walking...to get lost in its ancient rhythms.

"We'll sit you right here, Mrs. Felton--"

"Oh, call me Vicki! Thank you so much, dear!"

Not here two minutes and her mom was on a first-name basis with Mr. Nice-Guy. He set her gently in the recliner, tipped it back, and then deftly swiveled the whole chair so it faced the magnificent view of those waves. "Sit tight, Vicki," he crooned. "Relax and have visions of sugarplums while Noelle and I unload your car."

"Oh, sugarplums!" she said with a rueful laugh. "Any other December I'd be baking dozens and dozens of cookies, but...well, it"' been a tough year for both of us."

My God, had her mom already given this guy their life history? The way he was grinning at her, Noelle suspected Santa knew way too much--as in, she was divorced, and so lonely, and all those other endearing details Mom reminded people of at every possible opportunity.

"Shall we get that stuff now?" She walked out before those shining eyes could tease at her any more. The last thing she needed was this young pup--because he was just a kid--getting ideas about hanging around, making a nuisance of himself.

"Welcome to the Outer Banks," he said as he followed her down the screened-in stairway. "If you're after a nice, peaceful getaway, Christmas is the perfect time to come here. Warm enough to walk the beach, yet--"

"Like Mom and I are going to do so much of that!"

Andy chuckled. "She'll be fine, and so will you. You did a good thing, getting away from the ghosts of Christmas Past together."

"What'd she tell you, anyway?" Noelle turned at the bottom of the stairway to confront him, but he was gazing down at her from a couple steps above. For a fleeting moment, he did resemble a Christmas cherub in a red hat. She did not want to admit how adorable he looked with that fuzzy white tassel flopping beside those...intensely green eyes.

He smiled. Stuck out his hand. "Andy Hathaway. I manage the rentals in this subdivision, and I was painting the porch next door when you pulled up. You looked tired and frustrated, sweetheart, and I just wanted to--"

"I am not your sweetheart!"

His expression dimmed and she kicked herself. He was trying to be nice--something she desperately needed--and she had no reason to bark and snarl like a rabid bitch, even if he reminded her of a pesky pup that wanted to play.

"I'm sorry. I don't usually snap like this." She'd left him standing there with his hand out, so she quickly gripped his fingers.

"Rough year, sounds like. Lost your dad, and then found your man in bed with two--but enough about real life," he added in a breathy voice. "Let's get your stuff."

"Yes, let's." Sheesh. Had her mom left nothing out of the heart-to-heart she'd had with this total stranger? Those two seemed awfully chummy for...

Yet when Noelle looked into those eyes again, a sizzly jolt passed through his warm, firm grasp to travel up her arm. This was too freakin' much, behaving as if--

As if you might LIKE this guy, if he weren't young enough to be your--

Noelle released him abruptly. She felt exposed, as though Andy had x-ray vision and could see through her fleece jacket to the underwear she wore. Or didn't. She popped the button on her key fob, sighing over the old duffels and shopping bags she'd crammed into the car this morning. The trunk and back seat looked like a hurricane had hit. "I don't usually--Mom and I really do love each other, but we didn't sleep much last night. So when we left the motel this morning--"

"Hey, holidays are the worst, when it comes to missing family members," he said softly. "Go back upstairs and take a load off. I'll be glad to carry--"

"No, I'm fine! Really--I'm fine!"

And so convincing, too! her inner voice mocked. He's being kind. Is that so awful?

Andy grasped a suitcase handle in each hand. His muscles bunched beneath his rolled-up flannel shirt sleeve; animal strength radiated from thighs that flexed in his faded jeans when he lifted the luggage from her trunk. Except for that cockamamie Santa hat, he had the air of a construction worker who could throw around a lot more weight than his own, but not in a bullying, gotta-be-king sort of way.

And isn't that a switch from what you lived with for twenty years?

Noelle told herself to stop analyzing this guy and get the car unloaded. It wasn't like she'd be spending any time with him these next two weeks.

No, it'll be you and Mom trapped in this house with all these stairs, just biting each other's heads off and having the merriest little Christmas and the happiest--

"After you." Andy nodded toward the steps, and she took off with an overstuffed duffel in each hand. The sooner they toted this load upstairs, the sooner she could get on with letting Mom drive her nuts. Why anyone would come to the beach in the dead of winter--

"Saw on the Weather Channel where Buffalo got another big dump this morning. Fifteen inches."

And how many inches do YOU have, baby-cakes?

Where had that come from? Noelle let out an exasperated gasp, damn glad he couldn't read her thoughts. "Yeah, we got out just ahead of the front," she remarked as she started the ascent. "Makes you wonder why sane people want to live there, doesn't it?"

His chuckle came from behind and below...jeez, she'd worn her baggy-ass jeans to drive in, never figuring some do-gooder kid would be eye-balling her butt--

The duffel in her left hand caught on the lattice. She jerked it, but the zipper flap was sticking out. So she cussed under her breath and yanked harder.

With a sickening riiiiiip, the old nylon split, and her makeup bag and blow dryer tumbled out. "Oh, jeez, I'm sorry--"

Andy sidestepped quickly so he wouldn't get hit.

But the duffel wasn't finished with her. It regurgitated her flannel jammies, and then every pair of faded, stretched-out cotton panties she owned fluttered down the stairs. They made a pale, pitiful rainbow that reminded her so much of her shattered life, she burst into tears.

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