True, Deep and Forever: Part 2
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The story many readers are saying is a refreshing take on romance and love. It's real, it's raw, it's relatable. It's life!
Two hearts… one marriage… an unbreakable bond?
They say that in marriage there’s a seven-year itch. Where the passion fizzles, the arguments take over, and the kids are all-consuming. Amy and Garret Banks are seven years into a love so raw, so real, so incredible that when things start to go south, they’re both left feeling as though they’re treading water with weights on. That they’ll never find their way back to the surface and be able to rekindle the passion they once had for each other.
Secrets and lies, exes and bitter rejection plow through this once-perfect union, wreaking havoc on the couple’s fragile happiness and leaving them vulnerable to a threat that will put their whole family in danger.
Can Amy and Garret find their way back to each other, restore their trust and reignite the fire before the flame goes out and they’re both left singed, scarred and all alone?
Ah, Christmas, a time when we eat too much, drink too much and look for any and every excuse imaginable to eat chocolate and drink eggnog. For me, it’s all about the chocolate, of course, while the idea of having to spend any amount of time with my colder-than-a-snowman’s-left-nut sister-in-law, Annalisa, made me want to have more rum than eggnog in my glass. But it was Christmas Eve, and for now, I was sister-in-law-free. We’d decided to forgo meeting up with James, Emma (the good sister-in-law), her family and my parents in Belize on my brother’s private island for the holidays and instead hunker down at home in cold and gray Vancouver.
It wasn’t our first Christmas as a family of three, but Garret and I had discussed it at length and decided that it would be better all around if we didn’t go away for the holiday and instead took the week off between Christmas and the New Year. We were both bagged from work, working on our relationship after my autumn of secrets and lies and looked forward to wandering around in our pajamas and just relaxing with our little boy. Ever since Garret had discovered I’d been working with Dax, my ex, things in my marriage had been tedious, to say the least. He wasn’t mad anymore, per se, but he was definitely a bit pricklier than usual and seemed to upset easily. My husband had always been a jealous man, and the fact that my ex-boyfriend was the new artist featured at the art gallery I worked at, and was the buzz of the Vancouver art district, did not sit well with Garret. He didn’t believe things were over now that Dax’s show was over. He figured my ex would be popping in and out of my life for the foreseeable future.
Needless to say, we needed a week to focus on our family and focus on our marriage, because even though I loved only Garret and I knew he loved only me, things were rough. We needed some time without work or family interfering to smooth things over. The past six months had tested our relationship, and certainly our marriage more than ever. I’d fucked up, he’d fucked up, there was a lot of fucking up. But one thing that we agreed on unanimously was that no matter what we’d always face the fuckups together. We were treating this week off work as a time to connect again and focus on us. Work on our marriage, our family and our trust.
But that didn’t mean we couldn’t and wouldn’t take part in some festivities in our own hometown. Since the first year after they’d brought Maggie home from Haiti, Justin and Kendra had been throwing a big Christmas Eve bash in their lavish North Vancouver mansion, inviting dozens of people and their children into their home for some yuletide cheer and eggnog. Justin dressed up as Santa Claus, getting right into the role and handing out presents to any person who still believed in St. Nick.
So the plan was: We were going to spend Christmas Eve at Kendra and Justin’s and then have Christmas morning in our own home, followed by an incredible spread of turkey and leg of goat (Garret’s dad, Fredrick, loved goat) and all the trimmings at Garret’s parents with Glenn and Annalisa. I was just stoked that I didn’t have to cook.
“Ready to go?” I asked, coming up behind Garret in our bedroom. He was busy pulling his sweater over his head. Henry played with his belt and some rolled up socks on the floor.
Ah, toddlers, they’re so easily entertained with the weirdest objects.
Garret’s dark, shiny bald head emerged through the hole in his sweater. “You bet.”
I bit my lip and let my eyes roam his body. “You look really nice.” I leaned forward and took a whiff. “And smell good, too.”
His arms snaked around my waist and he pulled me close, growling before his mouth fell to the crook of my neck. “It’s all for you, baby.”
“Should we skip the party and just hang out here. Put Henry down at his regular bedtime and have our own Christmas celebration?” I asked, letting my eyes flutter shut when his teeth raked along my jaw. I hadn’t been interested in sex these past few weeks. Life had been hella-stressful and neither of us had the energy or drive, but right now I was ready to tear off my husband’s clothes and have my way with his sexiness.
Garret growled again before releasing me. “Hold on to that thought, woman. We promised Justin and Kendra we’d go. But we’ll make an early exit and come home and celebrate. Santa really needs to come down the chimney. If you get my drift?” His brows bobbed salaciously over his grass-green eyes before he scooped Henry up off the floor and tossed him onto the bed. The tyke giggled and wriggled, sitting up and asking for more. Damn, my husband made it even harder for me to want to leave him with any clothes on when he was acting all super-dad like.
I made a mock pout before smacking his butt and heading to the closet to find my shawl. “You’re on. Though, don’t forget about Mrs. Claus’ needs too. She wouldn’t mind coming down the chimney, either. Maybe more than once.”
His rich, hearty laugh, combined with the squeaky giggles of our son chased me into the closet. “You got it, Mrs. Claus.”
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