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The Christmas Deal
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Will fake boyfriends become the real deal this holiday?
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—except ex-Marine Logan is jobless and getting evicted. Worse, he’s a new single dad with a stepson who hates him. A kid needs stability—not to mention presents under the tree—and Logan’s desperate.
Then he meets lonely Seth and makes a deal.
Can Logan temporarily pretend to be live-in boyfriends to increase Seth’s chances at a promotion? If it provides a roof over their heads for the holidays, hell yeah. Logan considers himself straight—he doesn’t count occasional hookups with guys—but he can fake it. Besides, with his shy little smile, Seth is surprisingly sexy.
Make that damn sexy.
Shocked that Seth has only been with one man, Logan can’t resist sweetening their deal to teach him the joys of casual sex. No strings attached. No feelings. No kissing.
No falling for each other.
The Christmas Deal is a steamy holiday gay romance novel from Keira Andrews featuring fake boyfriends, bisexual awakening, a clueless single dad with an angry preteen, and of course a happy ending.
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When the phone rang again, Logan allowed himself a flicker of hope before snuffing it out. No, it wasn’t the warehouse manager calling back to say he had the job after all. No Christmas miracle was coming.
He stared at the screen, dread sinking through him. It was Rencliffe Academy, which meant his balls were about to be busted because the kid had fucked up.
Logan shivered on the side of the bed in his skivvies, the battered parquet floor freezing under his bare feet since he’d put the heat down as low as possible in hopes of paying the bill. Fuck, he was tempted to huddle under the blankets and go back to sleep, dealing with whatever crap this was later.
But Veronica’s disappointed face filled his mind. As foolish as the choice had been, he’d married her, and her son was his responsibility now. He swiped the screen and answered.
“Mr. Derwood? It’s Assistant Headmaster Patel calling.” She spoke calmly and smoothly in a British-type fancy accent. Logan braced himself. She said, “I’m afraid there’s been another incident. Can you join us this morning for a get-together?”
He wasn’t sure why Rencliffe insisted on making it sound as if they were inviting him over for finger foods and Chardonnay or some shit. “Yeah. I’ll be there in—” He groaned to himself, remembering his Ford was broken in the shop. Because of course it was.
After a pause, she prompted, “Mr. Derwood? This is really quite urgent. Connor’s behavioral issues—”
“Yeah, I know. I’ll be there as soon as I can. Thanks.” He hung up, bile rising in his throat. The only silver lining to apparently being unemployable was that he didn’t have to take time off work for yet another school visit. Too bad his disability benefits had run out. That sure made being jobless a real son of a bitch.
Merry fucking Christmas.
There was nothing else to do but text Jenna:
Can I drive u 2 work and take the car? Will pick u up at 3.
His sister was working short days Monday to Thursday after having her second kid, and hopefully he’d caught her in time. The typing bubbles appeared on the screen, and she replied:
No prob. Just leaving day care. Everything okay?
He barked out a laugh in his empty bedroom. He couldn’t even remember what okay felt like. Forget good or great. Those feelings were distant memories. He typed back:
Just have to run errand. Thx. They had to order a new part for the pickup.
A new part he couldn’t afford, but he left that out. He also didn’t mention Connor because it would only make Jenna worry, and she had enough on her plate. Shit, her plate had been overflowing since she was fourteen.
When the cancer finally got their mom, Jenna was the one who’d taken care of their father and the house while Logan had been in Iraq. He was seven years older than his baby sister, but she was the one who kept them all afloat.
She worked her ass off to include Connor in family stuff, and at least he tolerated her. For a moment, Logan considered whether he should ask Jenna to come with him to the school, but no. She had work, and she had to save her emergency time off for her own kids. Connor was his responsibility. Logan was thirty-eight years old, and he should be able to unfuck his own life.
He stood, wincing at the stiff ache in his muscles and the phantom twinges in his formerly broken bones. After being in traction, he’d never take moving his body for granted again, but goddamn, everything felt tighter than it used to. Of course, he hadn’t done his stretches, so what did he expect?
There was no time to shower and shave, but he splashed his scruffy face, ran a comb through his cropped dark hair, and scrubbed a wet towel under his arms. He sniffed five shirts before finding a fresh-enough gray Henley and pulling it on over his jeans and combat boots. Maybe he should have dressed up a bit, but the folks at Rencliffe knew who he was. Putting lipstick on a pig wouldn’t change anything.
After Jenna picked him up, he listened to her good-natured complaints about her kids and husband and Christmas shopping. She chattered nonstop until they reached the six-story, glass-fronted office building in a corporate park on the outskirts of Albany.
There was a puke stain on her shoulder, but Logan didn’t tell her. She’d call it “spit-up,” but from what he could tell, it was puke. But it was already dry and too late for her to change anyway.
Putting the SUV in park by the front of the building, she gave him a gleaming smile, dimples appearing in her cheeks. Logan and Jenna shared the same greenish-hazel eyes, but she’d been the only one to inherit their mother’s sunny smile and optimism. “I haven’t let you get a word in edgewise. Sorry.” Her smile faded. “You sure everything’s okay?”