I stood in our living room staring at the beautiful Christmas tree with my hands resting lightly on my bump. My belly was getting bigger by the day. Thank goodness Hunter was so turned on by my changing figure because I was totally disgusted with myself. He had a hard time keeping his hands off of me most nights, even days for that matter. It made me feel better since every item of clothing I owned felt like a circus tent or ten sizes too small. As soon as my bump started to show up, Hunter had taken me to a chic maternity boutique and bought me practically every item of clothing they sold.
We’d been to our first ultrasound, but we hadn’t been able to tell if we were having a boy or a girl yet. The little sucker wasn’t playing nice and decided he or she wouldn’t turn towards the camera. Hunter had been so disappointed, but I knew he was going to end up going crazy as soon as he knew what the sex of the baby actually was. What he didn’t know was that I had surprised a little Christmas surprise planned for him. I smirked to myself when I thought of his reaction might be.
The twinkle of the bright white lights had me mesmerized. We were so excited to decorate our first tree together as a family. I was daydreaming about what next year would be like when I would have a beautiful baby in my arms to experience all this with. Hunter quietly came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist, settling his hands on top of my belly. I leaned back into him and sighed.
“I love Christmas.”
He inclined his head and I tried not to chuckle. It wasn’t like me to be this sappy, but pregnancy made me sentimental apparently.
“I love the lights and the songs. It’s just a happier time of year.”
“Suicide rates go up.”
I pulled away and turned back towards him. “What the hell, Hunt?”
“I was just pointing it out,” he said shrugging. “It’s a well known fact.”
Men really were freaking clueless some days.
“I was talking about happy things. You know reasons why I love Christmas. If you keep it up scrooge, I’m going to take back your Christmas present. And I really think you’ll want it.”
He perked up at that. “What is it?”
I sighed exaggeratedly.
“It’s a surprise. I can’t tell you or it will be ruined.”
The expression on his face was priceless. I laughed as he pouted at me. This was a brand new, adorably annoying look for Hunter. He’d picked it up somewhere thinking it might work to get his way. What in the hell was he going to teach our kids if he was already starting this now?
I smirked. “You’ll get it when I give it to you, not a second before, Hunt.”
He pulled me back against him again and pressed a kiss to the back of my head. “I guess I’ll have to earn it then. I have a gift for you too, and I think you’re going to love it.”
“I’m sure I will, Hunt.”
“You’ll have to give me my present first though.”
I giggled and rested my hands on top of his for a few minutes. The heat of the fireplace made the room cozy. We settled on the couch, staring at the fire and the beautiful Christmas tree, and trying to decide where to place the ornaments. The house was quiet and for the first time in forever it was just the two of us. I liked where this was going, but as soon as I moved to kiss him his stupid phone rang, effectively ruining our evening. I knew we wouldn’t be putting any ornaments on the tree tonight.
I snuck off to our room so I could be alone. He would try to stop me and mouth that he would be done in just a second over and over again if I stayed. Tears pricked at my eyes as I pulled the little box from my nightstand. The big gold bow was mocking me as I focused on keeping my sobs from escaping. I lay down on the bed and curled around the little box, thinking of how I wanted to surprise Hunt with his present while we were spending the evening alone.
The dramatic version in my head had Hunter dropping to his knees and kissing my stomach with tears in his eyes. Hunter wasn’t that type of guy though. More than likely it would result in me being slung over his shoulder and being brought to our bedroom so he could spank me for not giving him his present sooner; either one actually sounded pretty good right about now.
Lately Hunter had been working longer hours and traveling more. He kept telling me it would end soon, but so far that hadn’t happened. Even worse, his new assistant was a hot little piece of ass, and I was sure she was trying to get into his pants. Stupid bitch. No matter what Hunter said, I knew he thought she was hot. She was just his type: blonde hair, big boobs and no brain.
I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up Hunter was sitting next to the bed with the box balanced in his fingertips. That stupid little thing had given me such hope a few hours ago when I imagined Hunt opening it. Now I was frustrated enough to smash it to pieces. My hormones were out of control; one minute I would be laughing and joking, then next I would be crying hysterically. Even though everyone told me it was perfectly normal, I wasn’t so sure.
“Why does my beautiful wife have mascara streaks down her face? And why was she wrapped around what I can only assume is my Christmas present?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Megan, I’ve known you our whole lives. You’re a horrible liar. Tell me what’s wrong, baby.”
To my horror, I sniffled. As I stared at my wonderful husband, the damn broke. It all came out in a snotty, jumbled mess of incoherent words. Months worth of frustration and panic came flying out. Hunter rubbed my back gently and let me sob quietly into his shoulder.
“Baby, if you were so worried about all of this, why didn’t you tell me sooner?”
“I didn’t want to bother you. You’ve been so stressed out lately.”
He cupped my face and placed soft kisses on first my swollen eyelids, then my lips. I sighed and rested my forehead against his.
“I will never be too busy for you. I know we’re still trying to figure out this marriage thing, but we do it together. If you’re worried about some girl that works for me, tell me and I’ll get rid of her or transfer her. Don’t just let it work you up. It’s not good for you or the baby.” He pulled me in tight against his chest and I wrapped my arms around him. “Are you ready for your Christmas present?”
I perked up. “But its two days early.”
“Who cares? I want to give it to you now. I’m impatient.”
I snorted a laugh. “That’s an understatement.” He pretended to glare down at me, and I stifled a giggle. “I’m sorry. I would love for you to give me my present.”
He stared down at the box he had put down when I had started my fit. “Do I get my present too?” He was just like a child.
I smiled. “Yes, but I want mine first. Cheer me up.”
He laughed and took my hand in his.
“Fine. I’m so damn enamored with you; I’ll give you anything you want. Just name it, anything you want.” He looked at me seriously for a second, making my heart race in my chest. “I love you so much, Megan. You’ve changed me completely.”
He kissed me quickly and stood up. I watched as he walked over to his briefcase and pulled out a small envelope. As he handed me the package, vulnerability showed in his eyes briefly. My fingers shook as I carefully opened it.
“Hunt, you didn’t?” I gasped. “We’re going to Paris?”
“Next week.” The grin on his face was breathtaking. I wondered how long he had been planning this.
“What about your merger at work? You’ve been insanely busy for months. I’ve hardly seen you at all for the past two weeks.”
“The last document was signed last night. I’m done. The phone call I got earlier was to confirm that the deal had gone through and there were no loose ends.”
I threw myself at him and wrapped my arms around his neck. He laughed and hugged me tight to his chest. “I’m sorry I’ve been so insane lately. The hormones are making me crazy. Thank you for sticking with me through this.”
I started to cry, but Hunter stopped me. “No, no more crying.”
“But these are happy tears.”
“I don’t care, baby. I hate seeing you cry.” He pulled back and got the stubborn look that I knew so well. “Now, can I open my present?”
I nodded and he adjusted me on his lap. Biting down on my lip, I waited as he took off the gold bow and ripped into the sparkly paper. His eyes widened as he looked at the inscription on the ornament.
Baby boy Abbott.
“Wait, you knew what we were having and you didn’t tell me?”
I grinned. Apparently we were both good at keeping secrets.
“Remember the blood work I had to do when I got so sick last month?” He nodded. “It just so happened that they found out the sex when the results came back last week. I knew you were disappointed about not finding out, so I wanted to make it special for you. Do you like it?” I asked cautiously, afraid I might have ruined something for him.
“Baby, I love it.” His voice sounded strangled and I watched him carefully. Tears welled in his eyes and for a split second I panicked. In all the years I had known Hunter, he had never cried. He’d never even come close. His lips brushed along the side of my neck softly.
“We’re having a boy.” The awe in his voice brought tears to my eyes again. “Spencer Montgomery Abbott.”
“It’s absolutely perfect,” I whispered.
Hunter kissed my forehead and stared down at the beautiful gold ornament. “Let’s go decorate the Christmas tree. Then we’ll have some adult time,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows.
I kissed him and let my lips linger over his.
“How about adult time first?”
I squealed as he tossed me to the bed and covered my body with his. His husky laugh filled the room, sounding carefree for the first time in weeks.
“Anything you want, baby. I’m yours.”
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When Megan Douglas finds herself about to marry a man she hates, she calls her best friend to save her. Hunter Abbott would move mountains to make sure that Megan gets the happy ending she deserves, but when he finds out her father is trying to blackmail her into a loveless marriage, he decides that there is only one option to keep her safe - to marry her first. The fringe benefits of a marriage of convenience to a billionaire can’t be that bad can they?
Megan can’t remember how she ended up where she is, but now all she wants to do is find her sister and figure out how she fell head over heels for her best friend. Everything is falling apart around her, and now she has to figure out to handle the future. Is being Mrs. Hunter Abbott really such a hardship? Having a sexy, billionaire husband can’t be all that bad, especially if he can help save her sister from a fate worse than death.
Can Megan and Hunter manage turning from friends to lovers and actually live happily ever after? Or will their marriage be over before it even gets started?