Page 6 of Her First Noel

Three

Cole

THE ENTIRE TIME WHILE we make our speeches and hand out the checks, all I can think about is getting my lips on her.

Anywhere.

No, that’s not quite right.

Every fucking where.

As Martin and I give out the last of the bonuses, he clears his throat and makes a final announcement.

“We’ve got mandatory overtime on the Blake job this week.”

There’s a collective moan from the crowd of workers and their partners. There are groans of ‘Tomorrow’s Christmas Eve, boss!’ and some of them look to me, but my face is set. This is my partner’s call and it’s my job to back him up, even if I don’t like it any more than they do.

He holds up his hands. “I know, I know. But, work first. So, let’s wrap this up so we can all be bright and shiny tomorrow morning.”

I do my best to hold back my own irritated groan as most of the employees begin to file out of the restaurant, while a few others take up spots at the bar, looking forlorn. I turn, looking for Holly, but she’s not standing where I left her and with a quick scan of the room I come up empty.

There’s a tightness down deep that has her name written all over it. Now that she’s back, now that I know she’s close, my obsession is spinning out of control. I’ve fought these feelings for too long.

Jerked off to thoughts of her.

No, not just thoughts.

Pictures.

I’m not proud of it, but I’ve stolen fucking pictures of her from Martin’s phone. He and Holly text message almost every day, and sometimes I’m with him when a message comes through and he’ll share what’s going on with her, showing me some of the funny selfies she sends him or whatever else she’s doing. Little does he know what seeing her and hearing about her does to me.

Then, when he’s not looking and his phone is unattended, I forward the pictures to myself before deleting the evidence.

After that, when I’m alone at night…or the morning, or in the car, or in my private bathroom at the office…shit, anywhere I can get a second to myself, I stare at them. Flip through each one until the pressure in my balls is unbearable and I grip myself with shame and anger, knowing I’m a sick fuck for jacking off while looking at my best friend’s daughter, but unable to help myself.

I’ve shot my load looking at her pics so many times, each one is burned into my eyeballs, like when you’ve been looking at a light for too long, but it’s not enough.

As I glare around the room and find no sight of her, I start to seethe. After being so close, and now to have her disappear even for a moment, it’s killing me. I’ve wanted her for so long and now she’s back, and something deep down inside tells me she needs me.

And I need her.

Martin is arguing with a few of the laborers, who look pissed and I get it. Overtime is great, but it’s the holidays and the word ‘mandatory’ in Martin’s speech has got them bristling.

Besides, a lot of them have been over-served at the open bar, and that means they’re not on their best behavior.

I start to work my way out of the restaurant’s private function room to look for her, when I hear Martin’s voice from behind and turn to find him standing right at my shoulder.

“Hey.” The annoyance is plain on his face and he jerks his head toward the three employees I saw him with a moment ago. “I’m gonna drive these guys home. They’re three sheets to the wind, and I’m not going to be liable for what happens if they drive themselves.”

“Call them a cab,” I answer, still scanning outside the room for any sign of her in the main part of the restaurant.

“I would, but the weather’s getting dicey and all the cabs are taken. It’s going to be an hour before the next one’s available, and Greg lives about an hour north. Anyway, they’re pretty pissed about the overtime, so I figured least I could do is give them a ride personally. Try to build some goodwill back and all that? ‘Tis the season for goodwill, right?”

I nod, still focused on where she’s gone. “Sure, whatever.”

“Good. So, can you drive Holly back to my place?”

My heartbeat quickens and I answer too quickly: “Yes.”

Martin looks at me for a beat, then looks back to the three guys at the bar, who are getting louder by the minute. “Thanks, man. Probably take me a few hours to get them all where they belong for the night. Holly has a key to my place. Maybe hang out with her until I get back?” He shakes his head on a smile. “I know she’s an adult, but I don’t like her being alone. My protectiveness is over the top, I know, but indulge me, okay?”

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