I yawn, bored by the same old scenery and Remi’s crazy playlist. The one he loves to sing along with as he gives me a knowing smirk. Even though he has a beautiful voice, I’m tired of the same old songs.
“Can we listen to something else? You’re giving me a complex.”
“Truth hurt, Crazy Girl?” He snickers and switches the music. “Never say I didn’t give you anything.” He laughs at his own pathetic joke.
The Little Drummer Boy blasts through the speakers. I roll my eyes. “Christmas music? Really? It’s at least a hundred degrees out here.”
“Damn, you’re picky.” He turns the radio down. “What’s your favorite Christmas song?”
“What are you smoking?”
Remi laughs. “Just tobacco. I love Christmas music. Come on, surely you have a favorite. Let me guess Evie Emo. Blue Christmas.”
I smack his arm but laugh. “You’re such an ass.” I start to giggle, remembering a song my Daddy used to sing at Christmas. “Here’s one. It even reminds me of you. Dominick The Italian Christmas Donkey.”
“Hmm, never heard that one. Sing it.”
I do, complete with donkey braying sounds. Goner joins in howling and barking. Remi winces. “I bet you never had a solo in the Christmas pageant, did you?”
“No. I was always the angel. I just had to stand there and look all innocent and shit.” I bite my lip and snicker, remembering the infamous Christmas fiasco.
He raises one eyebrow. “Uh huh. I feel like there’s more to the story. What happened?”
“I didn’t want to do it, but my mother insisted. She still regrets it. I, uh may have gotten into a little fight with Mary.”
“This ought to be good. Over?”
“I wanted the baby Jesus. They were using my baby doll. It turned into a tug of war with the entire Sunday school involved. It became one of the best days ever. Total pandemonium broke loose with Sister Bernadette squawking like a chicken. Father Ashton ended up with a black eye.”
Remi laughs until tears run down his face. “So who won in the end?”
“Who do you think?” I grin but reflect fondly on the best part of the story. “That night I cried. Mama was embarrassed and livid. She told me if Santa even came to visit he’d only leave switches and coal. Later, Daddy kissed me good night and whispered for me not to worry, things always work out in the end.”
Remi takes my hand in his. “Your father was a smart man.”
“So what’s your favorite Christmas song?” I hold on to his hand, my thumb tracing the veins on the back of it. He has beautiful, strong hands. Mine look tiny by comparison.
“Hm. Company line would have me say Joy to the World. It’s a song about hope. Something we all need.” He gives me a pointed look before returning his gaze to the road.
He doesn’t say anything else for a moment. Sadness lurks at the corner of his eyes and he keeps his eyes on the road. “But actually, since meeting you, I’d say my favorite is All I Want for Christmas is You.”
Heat singes my cheeks and I smile. “It’s my favorite, too.” He pulls my hand to those lips I’ve fantasized about and presses a gentle kiss on top of it. Despite being the hottest part of summer, it suddenly feels like Christmas…
© Nancee Cain
Evangeline is the town pariah. Everyone knows she’s crazy and was responsible for the death of her last boyfriend. Even her mother left her and moved cross-country. Lonely and desperate, Evie decides to end her life.
Rogue angel Remiel longs to return to earth, but there’s just one problem. He tends to invite trouble and hasn’t been allowed back since Woodstock. The Boss sends him to save Evangeline, but there’s a catch: he can’t reveal his angelic nature, and he must complete the task as Father Remiel Blackson.
Forced together on a cross-country trip, a forbidden romance ignites and love unfolds. A host of heavenly messengers tries to intervene, but Remiel and Evangeline are headed on a collision course to disaster. Will his love save her, or will they both be lost forever?
*Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/mxgnav8