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

By: E A Price


A worryingly familiar scent attacked his senses and fury stole through him as he recognized the woman walking towards him.

She was looking down, and as she lifted her eyes, she gasped. “Harlan?”

“Corinne,” he growled.

She bit her lip as her blue eyes widened. She looked the same. Her dark hair was a little shorter, but she still had those big, doe eyes, those full lips and that sweet smile that used to make his stomach flip.

“Harlan, I…”

He walked away.

“Harlan, I’m sorry,” she called after him.

Not as damn sorry as he was. Damn, he needed a real drink.





Five

“Whoa, slow down there, cowgirl,” teased Heather as Temp took a slug of another beer. “You know you’re a lightweight. I don’t want a repeat of the plum cake incident.”

Temp tapped her fingers against the bottle. “I think getting drunk sounds like a mighty fine idea right now, and plum cake actually has a lot of alcohol in it.”

“It has a lot of plums in it too – it’s fruitcake, and most people don’t strip down to their underwear and sing ‘Oklahoma’ while swinging on the monkey bars at a kids’ playground.”

Temp shrugged. It had been really good plum cake.

Heather sipped her cocktail, letting out an annoyed sound as the little umbrella poked her in the eye. Temp giggled and after a second Heather joined in. Unlike Temp, she wasn’t a lightweight and could drink anyone she met under the table. She thanked her iron stomach for that. Temp had to be careful how much cough syrup she ingested.

After a few more eye pokes, Heather plucked the umbrella out of her drink and snapped it in half.

“I don’t know why you’re upset about your dad,” she said. “You know what he’s like, this can’t be a surprise.”

“No, it’s not,” admitted Temp, picking at the label on her bottle. It wasn’t a surprise, but she couldn’t help her disappointment.

She just always hoped he would snap out of it, but he kept making the same mistake again and again.

“If it makes him happy, I say just let him get on with it.”

“He won’t be happy when she cheats on him and when he’s going through another acrimonious divorce. Maybe I should tell him I don’t want anything to do with him if he insists on going through with it.”

Though, it hadn’t worked out so well the last time she tried an intervention. Temp was sure he got married just to spite her after that incident.

Heather smiled sympathetically. “That will just make everyone unhappy. Your dad’s a grown man. He may not act like it, but he has to make his own mistakes.”

“He never learns from them though.”

“He might one day.” Heather cocked her head to one side thoughtfully. “Probably when he’s a hundred, and he can’t find a twenty-year-old woman willing to marry him.”

Temp let out a chuckle. “I hope you’re right, I’ll be seventy by then – I don’t fancy having to call a twenty-year-old Step-Mommy.”

Heather emptied her glass and signaled for another round of drinks. “Enough about your dad, that’s a topic that’s been done to death, tell me how you got on with your sperm.”

A couple of guys in the bar looked around, and Temp blushed. “Not so loud.”

“Ah, they don’t know us, they don’t care.” She nodded at the fresh beer that had appeared in front of her. “I take it you haven’t had any success. Either that or you’re throwing caution to the wind like my Aunt Vi. FYI, in spite of her being wasted for most of her pregnancy, Cousin Elvis is pretty sound, but a total douchebag.”

Temp could attest to that; she’d met Elvis during a Christmas spent with Heather’s family. He didn’t bring any gifts and fed the cat sprouts – making her vomit all over the place.

“I took the tests this morning, and no, I’m not pregnant.”

“I’m sorry, sweetie. You going to try again?”

Temp shook her head. “Not right away. I can’t really afford it right now.” Heather opened her mouth, and Temp hushed her. “No, I don’t want to borrow money, but thank you anyway.”

She considered if she wanted to go down that route she could ask her dad for money, though the thought of asking for his help or owing him anything was pretty unappealing.

Heather gazed around the bar pensively. “You know, I don’t know why you’re bothering to buy it when it’s walking around free out there.”

“What?!” Temp gave her a look of alarm. “That’s a very worrying image.”

“I mean, just find a guy for a one night stand, get pregnant, and then you’re set.”