Page 4 of Sinful Temptation

P.P.S. They do provide you with a nice Christmas dinner, don’t they?

Christmas Day

Dear Tony—

Sorry to overwhelm you with letters, but I am thinking about you and the other soldiers so far away from home right now. Usually I like to pretend that you’re in Europe on an extended vacation, but sometimes, like today, the truth breaks through. And I worry. Since I prefer to live a laughing and carefree existence, the worrying gets to me.

Are you safe? Is your bed comfortable? Do you even have a bed, or do you sleep on some sort of horrible cot torture device? And what about your Christmas dinner? Was it any good? Was there sweet potato casserole with marshmallows?

Here is how I do my Christmas Day Extravaganza, because my motto is this: Go big, or go home—

Cinnamon candles;

Al Green’s CD playing in an endless loop;

Fresh pine tree, wreaths and garland;

Gingerbread houses to decorate;

Roaring fire;

Brined turkey (I’m a fabulous cook!) with cranberry dressing;

Sweet potato casserole topped with nicely toasted marshmallows;

All (and I do mean all) the trimmings;

Pumpkin pie;

Pecan pie;

Hot chocolate with (you guessed it!) tiny marshmallows and crème de menthe; and

A viewing of Home Alone.

So, anyway, please let me know that you’re safe and that there were some marshmallows involved in your Christmas Day experience. And I hope that next Christmas is everything you dream it will be.

Love from Talia

January 3

Dear Talia—

The painting is incredible. So was your letter. They were the best parts of my Christmas Day.

All I can say is—thank you.

Wishing you a wonderful New Year,


P.S. There was a tiny marshmallow sliver on my sweet potatoes, and the turkey was quite edible, so fear not.

P.P.S. I hope Paul appreciates how special his Christmas was.

January 17

Dear Tony—

Paul reports that his Christmas Day with his family in L.A. was lovely. I, meanwhile, had a great holiday here in NYC with my sister and friends. Paul and I are on a “break,” which means that we are reevaluating our relationship and whether we want to move in together or go our separate ways. I have never been on a “break” before, so I have no idea how this will turn out.

Oh, and before I forget to mention it—don’t think that I haven’t noticed the way you always dodge my questions about your experience in Afghanistan. Is it that I don’t have the appropriate security clearance?

I’ve decided to try you on something new—habanero potato chips! The store clerk had to use tongs to put them into the shopping bag, so I think they should be perfect for you!



February 10

Dear Talia—

Paul is a $%^#@ idiot. Feel free to tell him I said so. How is the break going?

I don’t want to talk about the war with you. It already takes up enough of my life.

Thanks for the potato chips. They burned the fingerprints off of most of my fingers, which was way cool.

How is your work going? Do you have any fun new students? I want to hear more.



P.S. Why have you never sent me a picture?

February 25

Dear Tony—

The break is over! Paul and I are back on and looking for a two-bedroom apartment in Chelsea. Wish us luck!

I do not have any Picassos in my class this time, alas. More like several blind Jackson Pollocks. They do love to wave that paint around, but what are you going to do with five-year-olds?

Much to my surprise, I seem to be the new “it” artist right now. After I did a portrait for this one socialite/philanthropist (translation: she’s richer than God), she recommended me to all her even richer friends. So now I’m overwhelmed with commissions. I’ve even started doing murals on the walls of some jaw-dropping apartments, which is quite the switch for me.

Basically, I have more success than I can handle at the moment, although I haven’t had time to paint any of my favorite slashes and swirls in a while. Be careful what you wish for, eh?

Oh, and before I forget to mention it—I don’t have any pictures to send, but I will take a couple when I get the chance.

This time: jalapeño beef jerky. Truly disgusting. Happy eating!

Gotta go. All this work is wearing me out, big-time, and I think I’m working on an infection of some sort. So I better haul my a$$ to bed....

Tags: Ann Christopher Billionaire Romance