Excerpt A Baby For Christmas | Joan Kilby

In the window’s reflection Mia could see Will watching her, his long body taut, waiting. Was what she was thinking so wrong? He was hot. And she was a normal, red-blooded woman who’d been without a man’s touch for too long. She’d barely noticed the lack until Will had come along but once he had, the craving for a return to normal life had reared up. What was more life-affirming than sex?

He came up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders, massaging them. “Are you okay?”

Turning, she rested a hand on his chest, felt his heart beating fast and strong beneath the firm muscle and warm skin. In his eyes the heat of desire mingled with compassion and kindness. She felt safe with this man. Safe to let go and feel again. When he’d pulled her in from the storm on Christmas Eve something had been set in motion that was finally coming to fruition. Her emotions might be a tangled mess but right now, right here, making love with him felt not only inevitable, but right and true.

“No one would have to know,” she whispered. “If we both understand that it’s not serious. It’s just no-strings sex with a trusted friend. We could have fun. We could be each other’s rebound fling. When the time comes, we say goodbye with no hard feelings and move on.”

His hands stilled on her shoulders. “Friends with benefits?” he repeated doubtfully.

“Think about it,” she said, throwing caution to the wind as she warmed to the idea. “We’re attracted to each other. And we’re both sex starved, right? I am at least.” Will nodded wryly, acknowledging he was in the same position. “If we weren’t at the mercy of our hormones, we’d be better placed to eventually make rational decisions about a future partner.”

“That almost makes sense,” Will said. “But why the secrecy? That doesn’t sit right with me.”

Because if no one knew they were a couple, she could pretend she didn’t feel more for him than he could reciprocate. “My husband hasn’t been dead a year.”

“We’re not living in the olden days,” Will said. “There’s no rule that says you have to mourn for a whole year.”

“My in-laws would think a year isn’t nearly long enough,” Mia replied. “Besides, after what you went through with Katie do you want everyone to be watching how we’re getting along and have expectations of where this might lead?”

“God, no.” Will put a hand to his forehead. “Mom wants so much for me to be happy that she’ll have me engaged to the first new woman I go out with. And she likes you a lot. The whole family does.”

“I like them, too, but it’s a lot of pressure,” Mia said. “We don’t need that.”

“Damn right.” Will gave her a rueful smile then his smile faded. “What if, despite keeping it light and easy, one of us falls in love?”

“It won’t happen because we’re prepared.” Mia stepped closer and put her arms around his waist. She could feel his warm breath on her neck, his body heating her. “Love only blindsides you when you’re not expecting it. We’d be going into this with our eyes open.”

Will nuzzled her neck, kissing behind her ear. “You’re very persuasive. I keep thinking there’s got to be a catch.”

“There’s only one thing I worry about,” she said. “That if anything goes wrong, it’ll adversely affect Billy.” Her little boy was crazy about Will. If something went wrong and Will stopped coming around Billy would suffer, too.

“I’m committed to my godson,” Will said firmly. “That will never change.”

“In that case...” Mia mentally crossed her fingers that she wasn’t making a huge mistake. “What have we got to lose?”

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© Joan Kilby 2018