Hot Christmas Nights

Hot Christmas Nights by Farrah Rochon

Book: Hot Christmas Nights by Farrah Rochon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Farrah Rochon
Aiden asked, gesturing to the magazine.
    “Enough to get by.”
    “You speak it like someone who’s lived here your entire life.”
    “Working in Leoncini’s, I had no choice. It’s not as hard to pick up as you may think.” She pointed to the window. “It looks as if the snow is letting up. That should make it easier to get around tomorrow.”
    Frowning, Aiden walked over to the window. “I was kind of hoping it would stick around for another couple of days. It would be my first white Christmas.”
    “I didn’t think about that. Coming from Atlanta, you rarely get to see snow. I guess I’ve taken that for granted. It doesn’t snow often in San Gimignano, but the winter I lived in Paris was just awful.”
    Aiden crossed his arms over his chest and leaned his shoulder against the cold windowpane. “What’s your ideal Christmas?”
    “Hmm, that’s easy,” Nyla said, setting the magazine aside. She scooted up in the bed and brought her knees to her chest. “Back when I was eight or nine, my family started spending the holidays in the Smoky Mountains. My dad would rent a cabin and we would drive out there as soon as Christmas break started.
    “We would sit around the fireplace and have eggnog and rice crispy treats. My mom would read ‘’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ and we would decorate the tree with garlands made out of popcorn. It was the corniest, most
Leave It to Beaver
thing you’ve ever seen, but I truly did love it.”
    The light in her eyes dimmed. “I talked to my younger sister, Rae, just before you showed up at the bakery earlier today. They were heading out for the cabin. I’ve gotten used to not being around for birthdays or the big Fourth of July family picnic, but there’s something about not being at the cabin with everyone at Christmas that just slays me.”
    “You miss them, don’t you?” Aiden asked.
    She nodded. “I do. My younger brother and his wife have had two girls in the last sixteen months, and my other sister-in-law is going to have a baby any day now.”
    Hearing the sadness in her voice triggered a deep ache in his chest. The thought that he had in some way contributed to the sorrow she was feeling caused him physical pain.
    “Why haven’t you gone back, Nyla? Is it really because of what happened between us? You’ve allowed
that
to keep you away all this time?”
    “You say it as if it was just this thing that happened, Aiden. As if it was no big deal.” She looked up at him, her deep brown eyes teeming with regret. “Everyone was there. My family, my coworkers, lifelong friends. Everyone I know witnessed that attorney coming to the church and telling me that Cameron didn’t want to marry me because I was sleeping with his baby brother.”
    “But you weren’t sleeping with me. It’s Cameron’s fault that he didn’t give you a chance to explain. And are you seriously still giving him a pass, even after you found out that he was stepping out on you at the same time?”
    She flinched. “One has nothing to do with the other.”
    “How can you say that? He cheated on you the entire time you were together, Nyla. He’s cheated on every woman he’s ever dated.” The hurt that flashed across her face triggered a pang in his chest, but this was something that had bothered Aiden from the very beginning. “I still can’t figure out why you were ever with him in the first place. It’s common knowledge that Cameron has been a womanizer since birth.”
    “I knew your brother had flaws when I started dating him, Aiden. Maybe I was naive to think he would give up his old habits once we got engaged, but all of that is beside the point. It doesn’t matter what Cameron was doing.” She pointed to her chest. “This is about what
I
did. Was I eventually grateful that I didn’t marry him after learning that he was still seeing other women? Of course I was. But that doesn’t erase the fact that I was unfaithful to him, as well.”
    Aiden pitched his head back

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