Linda and Larry’s New Year’s parties have slowly become drab, unbeknownst to them. As Linda stands in her living room, watching her friends gather for the festivities with pasted on smiles, something occurs to her…everyone she cares about is miserable.
Larry has wanted to be a father for as long as he can remember, and just as much as his loving wife Linda. Doctors say that medically they are fine but psychologically Linda is under too much stress. It is a constant struggle to keep his ‘I’m-only-happy-when-everyone-else-is-happy’ wife content. Larry observes the lack of sparkle in her eyes on New Year’s Eve, a time when everyone should be rejoicing. What can Larry do to help make his and Linda’s dreams come true?
A fun, warm-hearted, spicy romance, that might just rekindle the belief that miracles are possible…
Sex and Nudity: yes
Offensive Language: minor
Clean erotic romance; strictly male and female consensual relationships.
Linda stared into her wine glass. The red liquid swished around as her body moved subtly to the soft music playing in the background. Her husband Larry was off in the distance mingling with their guests. He was talking to a co-worker, Peter, from his law firm, who was just recently divorced. Peter’s face sharply contrasted Larry’s. Larry was considerably happy, his eyes crinkled as he grinned, whereas Peter wore a pasted-on smile.
Snow fell loosely as Linda glanced out the picture window to her right. The Christmas lights were hung in a scalloped pattern across the dual-paned glass, and a large hologram of Santa Claus was affixed to the middle of the window. Larry never took festive decorations down until after their annual New Year’s Eve party, so she could expect him to be hanging off the side of the house in the early morning hours tomorrow.
“Linda, have you got any more dip? This red stuff is amazing.” A voice called from behind her. Andrea, a fellow teacher from Linda’s school stood in front of her, with her mouth half full of chips.
“Sure, I think I have some more in the fridge,” Linda answered, placing her wine glass on a coaster, “Follow me.”
“You have a great turnout again this year,” Andrea commented, placing the chip tray on the counter beside the fridge.
“Are you having a good time?” Linda asked, surveying her friend’s face. Andrea’s cheeks were coloured nicely from the red turtleneck and matching skirt. Her plump yet shapely body hugged the ensemble well.
“I’m having a great time.” Andrea assured as Larry approached from behind.
“Danny’s here.” Larry announced through pursed lips. He gave his wife a knowing look as he reached around her and grabbed a beer from the fridge.
“Oh, God.” Linda whined. “You would think after last year he would know better.”
“Who’s Danny?” Andrea asked.
Linda scooped a dollop of dip into the middle of the chip bowl with a metal spoon. “You remember him from last year? He passed out in the back yard, half naked?”
Recognition came to Andrea’s face and she gasped. “After he hit on your mother, right?”
“At least he had the sense to ask if mother would be here again this year.” Larry commented, walking out of the kitchen.
“And of course, she’s not.” Linda said, answering the question in Andrea’s eyes.
“What’s his deal, anyway?”
“His wife left him at Christmas time three years ago,” Linda explained. “Ever since then he ties one on during the holidays. It leaves us in a difficult position since he’s one of Larry’s best friends. We can’t exclude him from these gatherings, but at the same time we have to be careful; every year he seems to get worse and worse.”
Andrea nodded, scanning the room. Danny, who was previously chatting with Larry, was now making eyes at Chyna, Andrea’s lover. “Oh boy, we seem to have another problem at two o’clock.”
“What?” Linda asked, dipping her head outside the archway from the kitchen. She saw Danny’s half-baked ‘come hither’ expression and watched him waltz over to Chyna.
“Oh, Jesus. This could be a disaster.” Linda said, handing Andrea the chip platter. “I’ll take care of it.”
An inspirational holiday photograph had been tacked behind the wall that Danny was standing next to. Chyna had read the sentiments and smiled. Danny must have mistaken her glance, thinking it was meant for him. “Danny? Could you help me in the kitchen please?” Linda said, walking in between the two of them, before Chyna made eye contact.
“S…sure, what’s up?” Danny said, shooting a look at Chyna.
Andrea motioned her life partner to come join her at the snack table as she put the chip platter in its rightful place. Linda was thinking of a believable reason to have Danny help her in the kitchen when the doorbell rang. “Just one moment.” She said, raising a finger to him.
As Linda opened the door she was met by two females; more teachers from work. One was undeniably single: she wore thick, dark-framed glasses, and her dark hair was placed untidily into a misaligned pony tail. The other female was an older version of the dark-haired girl. There was no mistaking that they were mother and daughter. Linda greeted the younger girl first. “Hi, Louise.” She then turned to Louise’s mother. “So nice you could come, Meryl.”
Linda watched another car pull up as Larry came to the door and took the girls’ jackets. She recognized the car, a dark-colored late model Volkswagen, which belonged to her cousin Jill. Jill exited the car wearing long leather boots and a handsome hip-length leather jacket to match. Linda could tell that she’d gone the distance and got her hair done for the occasion, things looked promising. “Glad you could make it.” Linda said as Jill approached the decorated doorway.
“Where do you find the time to do all this?” Jill asked, fingering a green faux-holly tassel hanging from the door jam.
“It’s tradition.” Linda shrugged. “We always go visit Larry’s folks in Florida for Christmas, but New Year’s Eve is our time at home with friends and local family.”
Jill entered and scanned the room, somewhat unimpressed. “How about next year I fly to Florida with you two?”
“Oh, come on.” Linda patted her back. “It can’t be all that bad. You showed up, right?”
“I’ll stay for an hour and that’s it.” Jill said pointedly. She was a corporate shark and hated gatherings of any type, unless it was to do with work. “I’ve got a teleconference with an associate in China at six o’clock tomorrow morning.”
“On New Year’s Day?” Linda was exasperated.
Jill rolled her eyes. “The Chinese don’t celebrate New Year’s Eve on December thirty-first.”
Larry approached wearing a shiny Happy New Year! cone-shaped hat. “Hi, Jill. Nice coat. Can I take it for you?” he offered.
She scoffed, making eyes at the ridiculous hat. “Sure, but I’m not staying long.”
“As always.” Larry said, and then he turned to his wife. “Is everyone here now?”
“Um…let me see.” Linda looked at her guests, all standing in small niches around her festive living room. “We’re just waiting on Tammy I think.”
Tammy Walker was one of Linda’s best friends, they went to school together. “She called and said she wasn’t feeling well.” Larry said regrettably.
“I didn’t hear the phone ring.”
“She called my cell.”
Linda shook her head, taking Tammy’s diversionary tactic as a lame way to get out of coming to the party. “She was fine when I spoke to her yesterday.”
Larry raised his hands in defeat. “I’m just the messenger.”
The party ended before twelve-thirty. Larry wrapped his arms around his wife’s shoulders as they closed the door on the last guest. “Well, at least Danny didn’t get too drunk and make a complete fool of himself.” he said, grasping at straws.
“No, but everyone was simply miserable.”
Turning his wife so she faced him, Larry planted a chaste kiss on her lips. He tipped her chin up so she could look directly at him. “I wasn’t.”
“Oh, Larry. What do we do? Our friends are so unhappy. I used to love throwing these parties every year. It’s just not the same anymore. I hate seeing everyone we care about so sad.”
He held her close, so their noses touched. Linda snaked her arms around his neck. “Should we just not throw these silly New Year’s parties anymore? Maybe just stay in Florida a week longer?”
Larry’s kiss deepened. “Na, let’s use that as plan b,” he said, stroking his nose across hers. “I have something better in mind.”