Fashion designer Mackenzie Grayson has no intention of going home for Christmas ... until his sister calls and guilt-talks him into spending two weeks over the holidays at his family’s home in California.
With his best friend Connor in tow, Mac returns to California, a place he has avoided since a bad breakup. Mac no longer does serious relationships, but maybe some time spent with Connor under the mistletoe will make this a more magical Christmas than either of them dreamed.
I wasn’t sure if I had ever traveled with someone as hyper as Connor. I’d managed to get us two seats next to each other in first class when we got to the airport. Connor had never flown first class before and so it was a particular treat for him. He bounced and fidgeted the entire five hour flight.
The other thing about Connor I found out was he did not travel light. He’d arrived with two large suitcases and a carry-on which was probably more the size of a normal suitcase.
“My God, what have you got in all of those?” I’d demanded as we stood in line to check-in.
“My clothes, of course,” Connor said, rolling his eyes at me. “We’re only going for two weeks.”
“Yes, two whole weeks!” It definitely sounded longer when he said it. But I’d learned in our over three years of friendship there really wasn’t any point in arguing with Connor or trying to talk him out of something he’d set his mind to. It just wasn’t worth it.
When we landed at LAX, I thought he was going to burst a gasket or something wanting to get off the plane. I finally rested my hand on one of his arms. “Connor, calm down.” He treated me to one of his famous you must be nuts looks. “But we’re here!”
“I’m aware of that. But it’s LA, not Santa’s Village, little boy.”
“I’ve never been to Los Angeles. Is it cool? Can we go to Hollywood? Will we see any celebrities? Oh, my God, what is taking so long to open the doors?
He chattered on so much, I sort of stopped listening. Eventually they let us off and he practically ran down the walkway and into the main part of the airport while I followed at a much more sedate pace. It would be nearly impossible for me to lose sight of him in the crowd because he’d chosen to wear a bright apple green T-shirt and ass-hugging jeans. The green shirt was nearly fluorescent even in the throng of people. I’d chosen to wear a more conservative dark blue buttoned down shirt with khaki slacks.
Finally when he reached the escalators that would take us down to baggage claim, he stopped to wait for me.
“You’re acting like a country bumpkin,” I told him, as I stepped onto the escalator step above his.
“I’ve never been out of Hawaii. Well, that I remember. I was just a kid when we moved there.”
Remembering he was only twenty-five, I said, “And you’re still a kid. Now let’s find the carousel our bags will be coming in on.” We stepped off the escalator and turned right towards the baggage claim area.
“Is your sister picking us up?” he asked, now following closely on my heels.
“I think so. Someone is anyway.” I noted which carousel would be ours and Connor and I went to stand by it as we waited for the contraption to start shooting out suitcases.
“Mackenzie!” spoke a deep voice behind me. I turned and blinked at the sight of Karl Gregory coming toward us. For Christ’s sake. Was Suzy kidding me? But then Suzy didn’t know about my three day fling with Karl. He certainly did, though. While I knew I’d probably have to deal with the awkwardness eventually, I hadn’t really been prepared to do so at the airport.
Note to self: no more one-night stands with people your family knows. Or three-night stands, in this case.
Connor had turned around when I did and he was now gaping at Karl. “Who is that?”