Romancing the Mystery
Fantasy Christmas Romance
Years of wedded bliss have denigrated into mundane routines for frumpy housewife Kim and her hunky firefighter husband, Roger. With another holiday season in full swing, Kim is feeling overwhelmed, unattractive and jealous of his sexy coworker, a female firefighter who knows how to have fun. What this couple needs is some time away from the kids, and when two djinns come to visit one stormy night, they rediscover their cooling embers can be reignited into a love inferno.
"Great. Our lights are out too. Close the door!" she barked.
"Will you let me in first? Jeeze."
"Sorry. I'm just cold."
He engaged the locks and stomped his boots on the small Oriental rug in the foyer. Kim squirmed out of her gear and used her flashlight to find floor vents to put each item on to dry. Roger hung all of his outerwear on the stair newel post.
She said, "It'll never dry out like that." Retrieving them, she set about finding more vents in the dining room and laundry room for his clothes.
Roger placed his flashlight on the coffee table in the family room, shining it toward the fireplace. He unlatched the lantern and set it on the slate hearth that was level with the floor. He opened the bi-fold glass doors and shoved the flue up with a loud clank. Choosing a Yule log from the built-in wood box, he heaved it in the back, and then fumbled with kindling he'd made from scrap pine two by fours. One tickle of a match lit the dry wood. He positioned three split logs in a teepee over the kindling, and closed the metal curtains.
"Come on, get under the covers and cuddle," she suggested.
Roger joined Kim on the couch, under her faux mink blanket throw.
"Oh! Your hands are like ice!"
"So warm them up." He sipped them between the sofa cushion and her bottom.
She grinned as he plumped her rear end and thigh.
"Shh…what was that?" he asked.
"My stomach. Aren't you hungry too?"
"Yeah. For a nice home cooked meal. Meat, potatoes, green vegetable, salad, rolls, pie a la mode, coffee…"
"I'm sorry honey." She really was.
"If you'd just at least e-mail me a list of what you want, I'd be more than happy to stop off at the store on the way home."
"I know," she whispered. Throwing the mink wrap onto his lap, Kim walkedover to the fireplace, fought to open the metal curtains and then put in two more logs. She yanked the curtains closed and picked up the lantern. Holding it in the firelight, she examined the large round base, red wire around the glass globe and the crooked handle.
"The wick looks long enough. I wonder if there is any kerosene in this?"
"I hope not. Kerosene is very dangerous. I'll buy some lamp oil. It stinks like hell, but it might come in handy sometime."
Kim held it to her ear and shook. "It sounds like there is something sloshing inside. Can we just light it tonight? For atmosphere?"
Roger walked over and took it from her. "Let me see what it's filled with, pest." He tried removing the lid to the well, but it wouldn't budge. Handing it back to her, he retrieved his flashlight and headed to the kitchen cabinet for pliers.
Kim tightened the lid, then pulled her shirttail over it and tried to loosen it. No luck. He returned and set the lantern on the hearth. Before he could open the pliers, the lantern began smoking.
He tried to grab the handle as a blast blew them both back, hitting their heads on the coffee table.
Dark smoke bellowed out from the lantern, splitting into a wavy transparent column. The room filled with the scent of gingerbread and candy canes. The column began to take on an almost human form. Roger threw his wife over his shoulder in the fireman carry and headed for the kitchen door. He couldn't open it. Too much wind pressure. As he turned to try to make his way through the dining room to the front, he stopped.
"What's wrong?" Kim pleaded, her head down around his rear end.
"We've got company."
©2008 Sammie Jo Moresca
For Adults Only! Complete novella contains graphic love scenes