Home | Prologue | Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six | Chapter Seven | Chapter Eight | Chapter Nine | Chapter Ten | Chapter Eleven | Chapter Twelve | Chapter Thirteen | Chapter Fourteen | Chapter Fifteen | Chapter Sixteen | Chapter Seventeen | Chapter Eighteen | Chapter Nineteen | Chapter Twenty | Epilogue | Thanks
This Christmas

A peek at the plot

"Well, I just figure that the holidays are coming up, and looking forward to Christmas keeps me sane."

I could hear the smile in his voice. "Oh? No more coal in the stocking? Has Taylor been a good girl this year, then?"

I rolled my eyes. "I've probably been better than you've been, J. Lord knows what you and your pretty boys have been up to this time around."

His response came in the form of a soulful song. "Well, we all come tumbling down...No matter how strong, we all return to the ground..."

Immediately, my coy smirk faded to a frown. "It's been that long already, huh?"

He sighed heavily. "Babe, you have no idea how ready I am to get out of here. I love the guys, and I love the road, but I can only last for so long before I just get tired."

I smiled sympathetically into the phone. "Just so you know, I'm giving you a hug right now."

"You feel my pain?" he teased, and I laughed.

"Most definitely, dude. You're breaking up my heart."

His raspy laughter filled my ears. "Well, in that case, I'm hugging you back right now...just so you know."

I grinned at his goofiness like a freaking teenybopper would've. See, that's the thing about AJ--he can make me feel like a kid again. "Well, aside from hugging me, what are you planning to do for the holidays?"

He sounded suspicious. "Why, girlie? Are you planning on stalking me?"

I rolled my eyes. "Oh, yeah, man, I was going to grab my teenybopper friends and raid your house for half-eaten toast so I could make thousands like that idiot that sold Justin's toast! I figure that, like, since you're AJ of the Backstreet Boys and all, it'll go for way more."

He laughed. "Girl, I refuse to pay your tuition with my breakfast leftovers, you hear?"

"But AJ," I whined. "What're friends for?"

"Well, see, friends are for spending the holidays together at a mega-cool hangout on some island in the Bahamas..."

I groaned. "Okay, you know what? You are so not funny, Mr. Backstreet Boy. If I had friends that invited me for holidays at some mega-cool beach hangout, I wouldn't even be talking to you."

I could hear him smirking over the phone, I swear. "Guess it's lucky that I asked you to my mega-cool beach hangout first then, huh?"

I nearly dropped the phone. "McLean, you're not funny anymore. You may have the opportunity to go to the Bahamas with your boyfriends, but I'm stuck in Jersey with the grandparents again. Quit teasing and just agree to send me a postcard, okay?"

"I wouldn't have to send you a postcard if you'd just agree to come with me, you stubborn punk. Am I going to have to come and kick you out of that bar, stuff you in my suitcase, and shove you under the seat in front of me to get you to come?"

I squealed. I know I squealed. I squealed like a freaking girl. Better yet, like one of AJ's freaking teenyboppers. "You are SO kidding me!"

He laughed. "I am SO not! Seriously, Tay, why the hell do you think I called? I need a vacation like a crack addict needs a hit, girl, and there's no one else I'd rather spend it with."

Excerpt taken from Chapter One.