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Wrapped In Love: The Cringle Cove Christmas Chronicles, Book One by Luciani, Kristen (1)


Five Years Ago


“Don’t cry, babe.” Jack wipes away the tears streaming down my face. “It’s only for a few months. The time will fly by, and before you know it, I’ll be right back here with you.”

My shoulders quake, breaths raspy. “I k-know. It’s just so far away.”

Jack tilts my chin upward, grazing my lips with his. They taste like maple syrup. Our last breakfast together. My stomach twists, the pancakes I’d managed to swallow now threatening to re-appear.

“I love you, Cam. I’ll call you as soon as I land, okay?” He wraps his arms around me and squeezes tight, rubbing his hands up and down my back in a way that instantly melts me. God, I’m going to miss his hugs.

I’m going to miss everything.

“Take care of her, Prentice.” Jack nods at his best friend, Drew Prentice, standing a few feet away. Not wanting to invade our last moments, he focuses on his phone while we engage in some pretty heavy PDA but salutes his acknowledgement.

Jack pulls away from another long, deep kiss, leaving me completely breathless and empty. He cups my face in his hands. I force a smile, my quivering lips not being very cooperative.

“Merry Christmas, babe,” he murmurs.

“Merry Christmas,” I whisper.

“This is going to be so good for us. Please don’t be sad. We have our whole lives. Remember, I’m doing this for our future.”

I nod, fresh tears pooling in my eyes once again. Thank God for waterproof mascara. “I know.”

A voice crackles over the loudspeaker. “We will now begin boarding passengers for flight 346 to London.”

I lace my fingers with Jack’s. “I can’t watch you get on that plane. I have to walk away first.”

His blue eyes darken, an expression of sadness clouding his handsome features. “Whatever will make this easier for you.”

I manage a watery smile. “But before I go, I want you to kiss me. Really kiss me, hard and desperate, like it’s the last time you’ll ever have these lips.”

He snickers. “You read too many romance novels.”

“I don’t know. Those novels have been pretty inspirational, don’t you think?”

“I’m not complaining.” He winks at me, rubbing his hands down my arms.

I sidle closer. “Okay, are you ready? It’s the only thing I want to remember about today, so make it good.”

He brings a hand to the back of my head, bringing me close, his breath like feathers fluttering against my cheek. My eyes drift closed, a surge of electricity firing through me as his lips crash against mine. He parts my mouth with his tongue, pulling me closer against him. I drink him in, unable to break the spell he’s cast over me. People are probably staring, but I don’t care. They don’t know our story, so let them watch and take some notes. Maybe it’ll give them a few ideas of their own. I dig my fingernails into the back of Jack’s coat, desperate for time to stop, for this moment to live on in eternity where we don’t have to worry about jobs or families or school.

But time continued, as it always does.

And our last kiss turned out to be just that.