Under The Mistletoe

Chapter 1

Holding onto her hat, Mia ran along the streets on her killer four-inch red heels, her matching red skirt ruffling in the breeze. Late. She was late.

It was the story of her life.

“Hey, Mrs. Claus!” a construction worker yelled. “I need some holiday spirit! Come on, mama, bring it over here!”

This was accompanied by the hoots and hollers of the guy’s co-workers.

Mia flipped them off and kept running in tune to their raucous laughter. She might not be New York born or bred, but she’d learned to fit in just fine.

“Wow, are you real?” a little kid asked in marvel a block later, taking in her costume. “Is Santa real?”

“Yes!” she told him, and kept running.

Except if there’d really been a Santa Claus, she’d happily crawl onto his lap and whisper her greatest wish – to be picked. For her softball team, for her internship, for a relationship, it didn’t matter. Getting picked meant everything to her, but somehow, she always ended up doing the picking.

Finally she skidded into the restaurant and stopped to catch her breath, smoothing down her Mrs. Claus outfit. She had a change of clothes in her bag; she just needed to get to the ladies room. Whirling to do just that, she plowed right into a warm, hard body.

Nick.

Her first reaction was embarrassment at her costume. Granted, she’d just made two hundred bucks serving drinks at an corporate Christmas party, but she’d hoped to get into her cute little black dress before Nick had caught sight of her.

And then there was her second reaction, which was wow because he looked heart-stoppingly great tonight.

“You’re thinking so hard your hair’s smoking,” he said, his voice low and sexy. Teasing.

Mia reached out to touch her hair but Nick caught her hand in his and smiled. “Like the look,” he said. “Is it for me?”