The Reindeer's St. Patrick's Surprise (Reindeer Holidays Book 2)

By: E A Price


*

Eight years later

Harlan growled as consciousness reared its ugly head. It had been a while since he drank like that. The last time had to be when Corinne was last in town. When they were supposed to get married…

But she was back, and Harlan was trying to forget that fact with copious amounts of alcohol. Plus, the night before had been St. Patrick’s Day, so he may have overindulged just a little. There had been the engagement party for his uncle’s former sister-in-law, and there had been the female… Ah, yes, the dark chocolate-haired female who smelled like magnolia. The beautiful scent still lingered, teasing his senses.

His reindeer chuffed at him, and he breathed in, and as his hangover started to ebb, he realized something. One, he wasn’t in his own bed, and two he wasn’t alone.

He turned over and found an abundance of dark brown hair poured over the pillow next to him. It was her – the intoxicating dark-haired female, sleeping peacefully beside him in what appeared to be nothing more than a thin, green t-shirt. The scent of her arousal, and of their lovemaking lingered. He was surprised, though not upset by this – who in their right mind would be upset to wake up beside her? He just hadn’t expected she would want him. Her lips said ‘get lost’ while her eyes said ‘read my lips.’

Harlan rubbed his forehead. Hopefully, the memories of the previous night would become clearer as his hangover relented.

Something metallic rubbed over his head. He looked at his hand, staring as he realized he was wearing a ring – not just any ring – a wedding ring.

Why would he… His eyes darted over to her hand, resting lightly on the bed. Yep, sure enough, there was a wedding ring on her finger, and he knew she wasn’t married. Or at least, she hadn’t been married until the previous evening…

The image of a priest flashed before his eyes.

Ho-lee shit!





Two

Two weeks ago

“Ooh, look at this one,” marveled Heather. “Two PhDs, published author, tennis champion – I’ll bet his sperm is fantastic. Seriously, I’ll bet he has super swimmers.”

Temp gave a pained smile as the nurse on reception looked at them over her reading glasses censoriously.

“First time in a sperm bank,” quipped Temp.

The nurse pursed her lips in a ‘couldn’t give a shit’ way. “Umm hmmm.” She returned to her Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Temp tried to glare at Heather into lowering her voice, and when that didn’t work, she tried shushing her. When that still didn’t work, she just gave up and risked the disapproval of the middle-aged nurse. When Temp got her sperm, she’d never have to come back. Hopefully, anyway.

“Ooh,” cooed Heather in what was definitely an outside voice. “This one is actually a licensed dive instructor. Stands to reason he would have good swimmers.”

Temp sighed. “I regret asking you to come with me for moral support.”

Heather beamed at her as she flicked through the catalog of potential sperm donors. Temp tried to tamp down her misgivings. She was not chickening out now. She had been thinking about this for a long time – since her last ill-fated foray into the dating world – and she had come to the conclusion that she was not going to meet Mr. Right, but she wanted a baby while still young enough to bend over without letting out an ‘ooh’ noise. The noise happened to everyone, but she wanted a baby before she was at the ‘ooh’ stage of her life, and if she waited for a relationship, that would never happen.

Heather frowned. “There are no prices here.”

“It all costs the same.” The same extortionate amount.

“Really?”

Temp gave her a wry look. “Yes, there’s no bargain bucket for sperm.”

The nurse let out a humph and Heather ignored her. Heather generally ignored everyone.

Heather smirked. “Interesting mental image. So how much is it?”

Temp told her, and Heather balked. “You’re kidding? That’s how much sperm costs? That’s ridiculous considering how many men are desperate to give it away!”

“Heather, hush,” chided Temp softly.

One of the advisors, Janine, came out to greet them and ushered them into an office. Temp had spoken to her on her first visit, and the woman spoke about price and procedure as well as suggesting she talk it over with someone first, and to make sure this was definitely for her. Temp had thought about it, and she chose her best friend, Heather to talk it over with – Heather simply said go for it. Heather had a ‘balls to the wall’ approach to life. Heather was the reason they always got back stage at every rock concert they attended. She was also the reason they had been arrested for stalking when they tried to scale the wall of her favorite soap opera star’s house. Turned out it wasn’t his house anyway, though Heather regretted nothing.