Home > Snow Place Like LA

Snow Place Like LA
Author: Julie Murphy



I would never forgive Love Actually. How dare they make me think airports were romantic places?

I smoothed the front of my coat—a tangerine wool number I found in a Las Vegas thrift store—and tried not to look at the tall, handsome man next to me. At his artsy glasses, at his lean frame. At those high cheekbones and that narrow, light brown jaw currently rough with stubble.

If I looked at him being all handsome and creative looking, I was going to speak, and if I spoke, I just knew it would be something embarrassing. And Luca né Jeffrey Derosa was many things, but he was never embarrassing!

The Burlington airport hummed and moved outside of the little nook where we were waiting. Outside the windows, snow fell in giant, fluffy flakes, just as it had for the past two weeks while Angel Fletcher and I had shacked up in a ramshackle rental just up the street from the Hope Channel’s offices. Two weeks of nothing but sex and pancakes and being really clumsy at using a wood-burning fireplace—not to mention the two weeks before that when we’d started our liaison amoureuse on the set of Duke the Halls. Which meant Angel Fletcher and I had been sort-of-maybe-kind-of-together for a month.

A month.

And okay, yes, working for the wholesome AF Hope Channel wasn’t exactly the most sensual milieu for a budding romance. And fine, maybe we hadn’t actually talked about being together, but that’s only because there hadn’t been anything to say. We’d been dancing around each other for the two years since I started working for his dad (Teddy Ray Fletcher, LA’s premiere producer of top-quality pornos, also the producer of the very non-porno Duke the Halls, it’s a long story). And finally, among the snow and Christmas lights, the thing between us had caught fire. A heartrending saga two years in the making, now complete with stubble-burns all over my neck and a happily ever after.

Except . . . except now it was time for us to fly home, and I guess I’d assumed this moment would come with more orchestral crescendos. And fewer awkward silences.

Why wasn’t Angel saying anything? I snuck a glance over to see him typing rapidly on his phone, switching between his email app and the airline app. A series of snow-related cancellations had meant we’d gotten rebooked on two different flights home, but we were both headed back to LA and to the rest of our great love affair, and so shouldn’t we be beaming secret smiles at each other right now? Shouldn’t we be searching for an abandoned gate with a convenient make-out corner? How could we go from playing house—while mostly naked—to barely able to make eye contact?

No, I was imagining things. I inarguably had an incredible imagination (which is why the wedding fashion world tragically lost its brightest future star when I was forced to drop out of fashion school due to cashflow—or lack thereof) and sometimes my imagination ran away with me, that was all. We were in this together, and anyway, there was no way he could miss how I felt. I’d willingly extended a stay in a Christmas-themed hellhole for him! I’d let him see me in the morning! Multiple mornings! In my twenty-four years, I’d never let someone I wanted to kiss see me before I had time to dab flawlessly matched light olive concealer under my eyeballs!

But I couldn’t shake the feeling that, like a gorgeous but fragile movie costume, my great love affair might not survive a change of scenery. The last month, with all its midnight kisses and toe-curling sighs, might become nothing more than a memory, and the memory might start right here in a technically international Vermont airport.

I cleared my throat, not sure what to say, but knowing it would come to me. I was nothing if not an improviser, and I would find exactly the right way to tell him that this last month had been everything.

Angel looked up from his phone, his sepia eyes glinting almost bronze in the lights of the airport. His eyelashes cast faint, fan shapes on his cheeks, and for a moment, I was so hypnotized by the shape of them that I forgot I was supposed to be talking.

“Yes?” he asked softly, hesitantly. Angel wasn’t a hesitant person, but we’d been in each other’s orbits for a long time now, and I knew he was a thoughtful person. Probably came with being an animator—half artist, half computer genius. So I wasn’t really hearing hesitation, I decided. He was probably just thinking about everything we needed to do when we got back to LA. He had one more semester of art school left, and his sister, Astrid, was trying to launch an eco-friendly sex toy empire, so there wouldn’t be a shortage of demands on his time.

Of course, I’d be the most interesting and sexy demand on his time.

“Do you want to come to Vanya’s birthday party this weekend?” I finally asked. Vanya was my best friend in Los Angeles, and the pickiest person I knew (aside from myself, of course). I only introduced people to her who I knew were special, perfect, chosen—partly for Vanya’s sake, and partly for my own. If someone met my platonic soulmate, then that person was inside the very deepest layer of the onion, a layer so deep you couldn’t even make onion rings with it, and there was no undoing that. I felt the face-tingling thrill of doing something this bold for me. “I’d like to see you there.”

Angel blinked once, twice. “This weekend?” he asked.

“The very same,” I said, but of course, right then the thrill shifted into something closer to panic. I’d never invited someone I was romantically entangled with to meet Vanya, and oh God, what if Vanya hated Angel? Or what if Angel heard stories about me from before I’d reinvented myself as a sexy, eyeliner-wearing swan, and lost interest? Oh God, oh God—

Angel opened his mouth, but I interrupted him before he could speak.

“I mean. Only if you want to. Or have time.” I tried to make my voice as casual as possible, like this wasn’t the biggest thing I could offer him short of getting a tattoo on my unmentionables. “Just let me know.”

Angel’s tongue dipped down to lick his lower lip, which was extremely unfair, because now all I could think about was his tongue. And licking. And the kilt I was wearing under my tangerine coat was great for many things, but hiding erections was not one of them.

“Luca, I need to—”

Just then the boarding announcement for my flight came over the intercom. I turned to see people lining up at my gate, and I knew I needed to get myself and my fantastically long legs settled so I didn’t have to do the awkward aisle shuffle when I got to my row.

I turned back to Angel, seeing him in all his stubbled, bespectacled glory, his strong throat working, his high forehead furrowed like he couldn’t figure out the answer to some important problem, and he was so adorable and hot—and adorably hot—and I couldn’t help myself, I surged forward and kissed him.

His lips were warm and supple, and when I ran my tongue along his upper lip, he parted for me with a groan. The inside of his mouth was hot, silky, soft, his tongue unbelievably wicked against mine, and the memory of a thousand other kisses burned inside me. Kisses in the bed, on the floor, in the shower. Sideways while I was bent over a kitchen table or the back of a couch . . .

His hands found their way inside my coat, fisting the thin sweater I wore, and I cupped the nape of his neck to kiss him even harder. Found the lapels of his coat to tug him closer and closer and closer. I knew we were mostly sheltered from sight in our little nook, and all I could think about was shoving him back against the wall and grinding my hips against his until we both felt better.

Hot Books
» House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
» From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash #1)
» A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime
» Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
» Den of Vipers
» House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2)
» The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #
» Sweet Temptation
» The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)
» Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6)
» Wreck & Ruin
» Steel Princess (Royal Elite #2)
» Twisted Hate (Twisted #3)
» The Play (Briar U Book 3)