Hadley Foster has always been a planner. But, since the age of nineteen, things haven’t exactly gone according to plan… not at all. And the changes continue to mount when a trip to Europe with her best friend starts a domino effect in all aspects of her life. Suddenly, the future she had envisioned for herself seems unlikely to happen. It’s time to, make a new plan… or accept the dominoes as they fall.
Jason Kelly has a great life. He’s a successful self-published writer who’s living his dreams. But, something is missing. Hadley Foster. Letting her slip through his fingers is one of his biggest regrets. Over time, he had to accept the idea of being without his first love as he watched her fall in love with someone else.
When circumstances bring Jason and Hadley back into one another’s lives, they’re forced to deal with their past, their present and the possibility of a future together
Christmas with Jason and Hadley
“I think we may have gone a little overboard,” I said, inspecting the obscene pile of gifts for Marty under the tree. It was Christmas Eve and Jason and I were spending our very first Christmas together since getting engaged. Marty’s adoption was not yet official, but to us, we were officially a family. And our excitement probably caused us to get carried away.
“Nonsense,” Jason said, pushing his black rimmed glasses higher on his nose. God, I loved him. “He needs all this stuff.”
“You think so, huh?” I asked, putting my arm around his waist.
“Absolutely. Besides, it’s all from Santa.”
“He’s only fifteen months old. He doesn’t even get the concept yet,” I said with a laugh.
Jason removed my hand from his waist, took a dramatic step back and glared at me. His hands crossed defiantly over his chest, covering the hand drawn tree on his “Griswold Family Christmas” t-shirt.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk,” he said, shaking his handsome head at me.
“What?” I asked with an innocent smile.
“It’s our Christmas. Our first real Christmas living together and everything. It’s a big deal.”
I loved how sentimental my fiance was. The little things meant a lot to Jason. He was all about the details. Which is probably why he was such a good writer.
“I’m sorry,” I said hanging my head. “You’re right, it is.”
“And that’s why,” Jason said, leaning down to crouch next to the tree, “you need this.”
He picked up a small box wrapped with a simple red ribbon.
“What did you do?” I asked, my hands covering my mouth in surprise.
“It’s not a big deal. Okay, yeah, it kind of is,” he said, standing up and placing the box in my hand.
“Wait just a minute,” I said, giving the box back to him. “I have something for you, too.”
I ran to the bedroom to retrieve his gift from my closet. The large, thin box leaned against the wall of the closet, covered in snowman wrapping paper. I’d managed to find snowmen wearing hipster glasses. Just like Jason.
Holding the heavy box in my hand, I walked back to the living room to find Jason sitting on the couch. I sat beside him and placed the large gift in front of him.
“What is this?” he asked, a child-like expression on his handsome face.
“Just a little something I made.”
“I’m intrigued,” he said.
“Open it,” I insisted.
“No way,” he said, placing the tiny ribbon-wrapped box back into the palm of my hand “you first, Haddie.”
“All right,” I said with a smile. “If you insist.”
When I opened the box, I gasped.
“It’s so beautiful,” I said, marveling at the gorgeous silver charm bracelet inside the box. I picked it up to inspect all of the charms, each one had significance and meaning. Each one was a part of our story. Hipster glasses, a tree, and ampersand symbol, Marty’s birth stone and little blue footprints.
“Jase, I just… I can’t get over how thoughtful you are. Seriously.”
“It was fun to make it. And Marty helped.”
“He did?” I asked, surprised.
“Well, he slept most of the time. But he was there,” he said with a chuckle.
“That’s enough for me.” I placed a kiss on his lips. “Thank you. This is exquisite.”
“Just like you,” he said, placing another kiss on my eager lips. My hands instinctively wrapped around his neck, pulling him closer. His tongue stroked against my top lip, asking to deepen the kiss. I happily obliged, stroking his tongue with my own. Feeling desire build within me as his hands raked through my curls.
“Wait, wait,” I said between kisses. “Your gift.”
“Later,” he said, pulling my lips back to his, pushing me into the soft cushions of the couch. He took his glasses off, placing them on the table behind the couch. Just as his fingers began to tug at the strings of my cotton pajama pants, I pushed them away.
“No, seriously. I want you to open it.”
“If you insist,” he said, putting his glasses back on as he pretended to glare at me with his gorgeous green eyes.
“Wow, this is heavy,” he said, lifting the large box so it laid flat on his lap.
“Fragile, too,” I said with a smile.
Slowly, Jason peeled at the corners of the gift. When after several seconds, he’d only revealed one corner of the box, I felt my fingers drumming against in my knee in anticipation.
“You can go a little faster,” I said, nudging him in the arm.
He tore open the rest of the paper, revealing his gift. A shadow box with his book covers pinned to the cork. Surrounding the book covers were some of his favorite reviews typed up on cardstock and also pinned to the cork. He stared in awe.
“Woah,” he said before staring at it in silence for several minutes.
“Does that mean you like it?”
“Like it? No…that word doesn’t even come close. Haddie, this is the nicest gift I’ve ever received.”
“I thought we could hang it over the couch.”
“Really? Will our friends think I’ve let things go to my head?”
“Your last book was on the New York Times list, Jase. You should be proud of everything you’ve accomplished. I know I am.”
“Merry Christmas, Jase.” I said, planting another kiss on his cheek and nuzzling into his neck. He kissed the top of my head before wrapping his arms around me. We stared at the glowing lights of the tree.
“Merry Christmas, my love. Merry Christmas.”
I have always been fascinated with books—-ever since I was a little girl sitting in front of my record player, following along with my huge 12×12 storybooks.
I love books—everything about them. I love reading them, being surrounded by them in bookstores and libraries, and most recently, writing some of my own.
“Bouquet Toss” is available as an e-book and paperback on Amazon.com. It is a story that is very close to my heart, one that was very cathartic to write and has opened me up to all sorts of writing possibilities.
“Champagne Toast” is a companion book to Bouquet Toss and was released on January 8th and is also available as an e-book and paperback through amazon.