When my sister Dorothy decided to take a weekend trip to the small, holiday-themed town of Candied, Vermont, in order to get her freak on with a guy she met online, I begrudgingly went to make sure she stayed safe.

With the town’s annual holiday festival in full-force, I already knew I’d be thrusted into one of the nine circles of hell this weekend.

I had every intention of hanging back and just keeping an eye on my sister. But when she forced me on a double date with her and her new man, I hit it off with her date’s older brother.

Charlie Wyatt, a bigger than life, lumberjack of a man, had all of my synapses firing at once. He was all male, and just being in his presence made me feel wholly feminine.

Our encounter couldn’t be called anything but primal, and when the night ended with one too many drinks, I found myself in his bed.

He said I was his.

He said he’d gotten a sweet tooth… and I was the only thing who could sate it.

He said he wasn’t letting me go.

And the craziest part of this entire weekend? I wanted Charlie more than I’d ever wanted anything in my life.


Reader note: This short story was previously published in the Winter Love Anthology in 2020

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