My current WIP (for a submission deadline of July 1!!!) has a working title of Bachelor Scrooge/Winter’s Nightsong. It’s the story of a dedicated grumpy bachelor who lost everything he cared about as a young man, and has hardened himself against others so he’ll never feel crushed like that again. He also hates the holidays.
As the owner of a decor shop, the end of the year is what pushes his business into the black , so he carries a ton of decorations… all of which annoy him. But when a sexy customer buys out half the stock with a bright, cheerful style, his armor immediately develops a hairline fracture.
[Devon Hicks] rang up the purchase, handed it to his employee, Mandy, to wrap and turned to the person standing behind the elderly woman.
There was an almost audible ‘ping’ somewhere in the center of his body when the pretty blond boy stepped forward, wearing a smile Devon had no doubt was fully real. He was short, but athletically built, with messy gold-blond hair and eyes so blue Devon couldn’t quite concentrate properly on what he was doing. It wasn’t like him to feel such a sudden rush of attraction. To be so completely distracted by a guy. Devon avoided entanglements — even casual ones — as the derailment of his entire life they would inevitably turn out to be.
He loved men, but men left. Men sucked. Mostly not in good way. Better to watch porn and drink whiskey alone. No unpleasant surprises that way.
Then the cutie dumped a half ton of every possible Christmas decoration offered in the store, including one of each scented candle. Pine, Gingerbread, Holly, Cranberry, Crackling Fire, Frankincense & Myrrh, and on and on and on. When he went home at the end of the day, all he would be able to smell was the stink of Christmas. Any sense of desire deflated like a balloon with a slow leak.
He had to force himself not to snarl. A scowl, however, forced itself on his face in spite of his best effort. It felt like several hours passed while he rang up half his stock for this single person. To improve his customer service skills, he thought about a deviation from his usual escape destinations, like trying San Sebastian, Spain for a change of pace this year. It made it easier to plaster his “friendly proprietor” smile back on.
“That will be $317.80.”
The kid’s smile lit up the room more brightly than all the twinkling lights in his and every other blinding display in the city. Devon clenched his jaw so tightly, he heard it crack. Ugh. Like one of those little club elves who were so high all the time, they never touched the ground. Who could bear to be around this guy for long, no matter how sexy he was?
What do think will happen for the chill to thaw around Devon’s heart? Will this young charmer have what it takes?