I’m not sure if Silva was aware that I was onto the company’s scheme but if she was, she didn’t mention it to me at all. It seemed to me that Queenie probably told her I had discovered what they were doing but what was she going to say about it, really? Please don’t tell anyone about our plans to poison the environment?

It was far too late for that and I’d made no such promises anyway.

In the meantime, I’d taken my research about Icelandic moss to the competitor, half-daring Mirror, Mirror to come after me for spilling trade secrets. They wouldn’t be so dumb, would they? They had no real use for my work anyway.

As I suspected, they didn’t and I was free to expand on my theory.

Fairest Industries had been happy to offer me my own lab to develop my own prototype with a staff of four, all whom worked beneath me. I was the new Queenie, in a new company. Except, of course, that I was nothing like Queenie. My underlings liked me and I respected them.

But the best part of it all was that I’d learned that Icelandic moss wasn’t the only moss which could be used in my theory. There were hundreds of species which I could use and I intended to go all across the world, finding them. I truly was looking at an innovation which could change the world.

For New Year’s, we’d be in Costa Rica.

Stevie flipped on the TV and I closed my eyes as Dan’s hands started to knead at my ass, his mouth inching lower along my throat.

“…live at Mirror, Mirror Inc. Alex?” the announcer said.

I bolted up and Dan groaned in protest.

“Hang on!” I cried. “That’s Alex. Turn it up!”

The TV had everyone’s attention now and I inhaled sharply as my friend’s heart-shaped face appeared on screen.

“Thank you, Tina. As you can see, I’m in front of Mirror, Mirror Incorporated, a company that has been long affiliated with helping the environment but have they really?” Alex started and I squealed in delight.

The sly dog hadn’t mentioned a word of this to me!

“In the background, you can see the EPA and FBI are raiding Mirror, Mirror’s headquarters under suspicion of fund misappropriation, conspiracy and environmental charges. There have been reports from both inside the company and independent sources that Mirror, Mirror has been using their wholesome image to cover chemical testing. While the investigation is still ongoing, witnesses say that there may be more charges associated with this scandal, including involuntary manslaughter and attempted murder from the damage the testing has caused to locals in secret testing areas. Back to you, Tina.”

I gasped, my hand flying to my mouth in disbelief.

“Wow,” Graham muttered, muting the volume. “That’s something, isn’t it?”

“She cracked the story!” I cried, clapping my hands together. “She’s on TV!”

I’d never been so proud of Alex and I went to move for my cell phone but I was blocked four ways.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Jim wanted to know. “It’s Christmas Day, you know?”

“It is?” I asked in mock surprise, laying back down. “What does that mean?”

“It means,” Dan purred, picking back up where he left off. “It’s the season for giving.”

“Mmm,” I sighed. “I like the sound of that.”

But no sooner did things get started did a wail come through on the baby monitor and a collective groan filled the room—from everyone but Seth who suddenly popped his head up from his sleep.

“I’ll get him!” he cried, rolling off the bed and we laughed as he scampered toward Tanner’s room.

“He can sleep through a tornado but the second Leo cries…” I mused. A strange lull followed my words and I looked at them in confusion.

“Was it something I said?”

“Maybe that’s because Tanner’s his son,” Bash offered timidly. My smile broadened.

“Yes,” I agreed. “He is. Just like Tanner is your son and mine. He belongs to all of us. Never forget that.”

A wry smile formed on Bash’s lips.

“One day, we’ll have to explain our living situation to a landlord, you know,” he teased and I snickered.

“I’ll just download ‘Three’s Company’ for whomever asks and explain inflation.”

There was another round of laughter and again, I was pulled under the blankets but this time, my boys were going to give me the Christmas present I so desperately wanted.

Them.

– The End –

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