A Very Merry Hockey Holiday

Page 21


“Are these plane tickets?”
He nodded as she pulled them out.
“To Fiji?” she asked but then separated the tickets. “There are only two here.”
“Because only you and I are going. For a week.”
“What? I can’t leave the kids or even the team! You’re crazy.”
“Mom and Dad are going to come stay with the kids, and I already cleared it at work. We are leaving after New Year’s.”
“What!” she gasped, looking at him in disbelief. “Really?”
His hand came down on her thigh and he smiled. “We haven’t had a vacation since Shelli was born. I think it’s time we had some us time, don’t you think?”
When she looked up at him, tears gathering in her eyes, he knew he had done good. Great, even. “Yeah. I think so,” she agreed, wiping her eyes. “A whole week? Just us? No yelling, boogers, or hockey?”
He laughed. “Just us and the beach. We are staying in a hut with no one around but a guy to give us food and drinks.”
“Sounds like paradise.”
“It will be.”
“Oh my God, I can’t wait! Thank you!” she cried, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him hard on the lips. When she parted, she was frowning though. “I only got you a watch.”
He scoffed. “Baby, you’ve given me the world and then some. Now it’s my turn to give you everything you can dream of.”
“You do that every day, Shea, just by loving me,” she said, tears rolling down her beautiful face. Her eyes still hit him straight in the gut, and her lips could knock him to his knees. She was everything and more. He would give her anything she asked without even really thinking.
“I love you,” she whispered, her lips ever so close to his. “More than words could express.”
“I love you.”
“Group hug!” Shelli exclaimed, and soon all five of their children jumped in where they could fit in. With Shelli in his lap, Quinn on his back, and Evan around his waist, he looked into the eyes of his forever and smiled. Elli was holding Posey and Owen close but still holding him too, a beautiful, happy grin on her face.
“Daddy, I love you,” Shelli said, kissing his cheek. “I love you too, Momma.”
“Yeah, I love you,” Quinn said.
“Me too, I love y’all,” Owen said.
“I love you so much. Thank you for my presents,” Posey said softly.
“I love you more than they do,” Evan informed them, ever serious but the instigator of the family. Soon everyone was protesting on who loved whom more.
Finally, Elli said, “Guys, stop. I love you all. The exact same. You are all the world to me.”
They all grinned and seemed content with that. Looking over at Elli, Shea smiled, holding her jaw. “You happy, baby?”
She nodded, kissing his nose. “So much so, it hurts, Shea. You’ve given me everything I could have ever asked for.”
His heart pounded in his chest as he got lost in her eyes. How did he get this lucky? To find his soul mate and not only marry her but make beautiful children with her. Kissing her nose, he said, “And to think, I still have the rest of our lives to give you even more.”
Her grin grew as her eyes clouded with tears and she said, “Merry Christmas, my love.”
“Merry Christmas.”
Of course, Elli forgot a present. It was her luck. It wasn’t bad enough she had to go deal with her mother and sister, but she forgot to get something for Karson and Lacey King. This was so unlike her, but she blamed it totally on everyone else.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, she had been so busy. Fallon had had her baby, so of course, she had to go over and love on her little Emery. After making sure her house was clean, Fallon was comfy, and food was cooked, Elli spent some time at work. The boys had hockey, Shelli had dance, and Posey had gymnastics. Quinn, poor guy, had to go everywhere with her and bitched about it relentlessly.
Then she found out Audrey was pregnant after years of trying. Apparently, it was the year of Christmas miracles because so was Harper, which was just mind-blowing. Being the friend she was, she went over and loved on them, made sure they had everything they needed and picked dates for baby showers. Since, of course, she would be planning them. Then Claire came home from Vegas, so she cooked a huge dinner and invited everyone over to celebrate not only her homecoming but the fact that she had picked a date for her wedding, and it was right around the corner! After making sure Claire knew that her aunt Elli would do everything and anything to help with the wedding, she worked, was the kids’ driver, and then did loads and loads of homework. Between all that, she had to reassure Piper that she could be a book cover designer and no one would think she was a flake, she had to trade away two players, and then she had to make sure her husband was sexually satisfied.
To say the Elli Adler was a busy woman was a damn understatement.
So while it wasn’t a surprise that she forgot to buy a gift for their friends, she was still disappointed in herself. But then she thought about sitting on the beach for a whole week. No kids, no hockey crap, no friends to take care of, and really, she wouldn’t even have to think. All she had to do was drink fruity drinks, eat food, and have sex with her husband over and over again. It sounded like the most amazing vacation in the world, and she was counting down the days. All she had to do was get through this dinner with her family, the Assassins’ New Year’s Eve party, and then she would be on a plane to Fiji with her hot as sin husband.