His BBN - Big Beautiful Neighbour (Sweet Alpha Brother Neighbour Series

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Chapter 9

The weeks after the decorations had gone up were a flurry of activity. Before they knew it, Christmas Eve was upon them. All hands were needed on deck and Anabelle was pleased that the tenants all stepped up to the plate. Those who had opted to be away visiting family and friends the next day had pitched in their time and resources in other ways. On the morning of the 24th the center looked like a big Santa village. There were gifts wrapped and stacked in every possible crevice and corner. Today was the day they would have to sort and separate according to destination. There was also a makeshift tent just on the outside which served as the kitchen area. They had brought in industrial ovens, stoves and grills. Marlon had taken charge in there. Petra would be in by midday.

As she looked around, she grew misty-eyed. She couldn’t believe it had all come together. And tomorrow would be the grand finale of it all. Several persons had taken the day off to assist with the sorting. Again, they would be working according to block. They had devised a system for labeling the gifts personally as Joshua had suggested. So all that they now had to do was for each name to be checked off for each destination. The packages would then be deposited in the foyer of the block that would be taking care of that distribution. It had taken several days of wrapping to get it all to this stage. But here they were on the final lap. Anabelle turned as she felt an arm come around her shoulder.

“Well Madam President. You should be quite pleased with yourself. Who would have thought that a little complex like this could be making such a big impact? Take a bow madam, take a bow.” Joshua’s eyes twinkled down at her. She did as she was instructed and took a mock bow.

“What can I say. I had a stellar group of people with which to work. I couldn’t have done it without every single one of you.”

“True. Sore thumb and all.”

She pulled a slight face at him then as they remembered the injuries, he had brought upon himself several times that day. Whatever awkwardness and tension they had felt between them had disappeared as the weeks progressed and they were once again comfortable in each other’s presence. It was as if the holiday had taken precedence and they had no time to think about their budding romance. She liked things as they were at present where they could focus their energy outwards to the needs of others and not just on themselves.

She pulled out a roll of paper as a few other persons joined them in the room.

“Let’s get this lot separated and ready for distribution then.”

The worked tirelessly until lunchtime. The kitchen crew had created a mountain of sandwiches and gallons of hot chocolate to keep them going as they trotted to and from the various blocks and the center. But they were making quite a bit of progress.

Joshua had just taken a short break and was looking for a clear spot to have a seat when he spotted a familiar dark bun on an unusually tall woman.

“Petra! Over here!” He watched as she bobbed and swayed through the persons milling around, a huge smile wreathing her face.

“Hey Josh!” She hugged him and gave him a loud smack on the cheek. She looked around. “It’s quite a North Pole operation going on here. I passed the piles of presents out in the foyer.”

“There are four other piles like those in the other blocks. The rest of these are going to those piles.”

Her eyes grew wide “Go Bella! Where is the little muffin by the way?”

“She took a restroom run. She’ll be back down in a few. But I could take you to the kitchen if you’d like.”

“I’d like. I’ll find Bella later. But I’m here to work. Lead the way boss.”

He laughed “I’m not exactly the boss of this set up.” He allowed her to precede him into the kitchen tent. He placed a hand in the small of her back, and led her straight up to Marlon who was in the middle of bellowing instructions. He bit back a grin as he saw his brother’s mouth drop open mid-sentence as he stared at Petra.

“Marlon? Petra. Petra? Marlon. She’s here to work.”

He walked away and turned back only when he was near the exit. His brother had barely moved, and he had the goofiest grin on his face. Yup. That’s what it feels like bro. That’s exactly what the feeling is.

The next morning, they were all up bright and early. They stuffed every vehicle in the parking lot to the roof with packages. Joshua and Anabelle had decided to take just his truck and allow another team to drive her car. Someone else drove Marlon’s truck as well as he had to stay behind to get the food together for the apartment complex party. Each block had no less than six vehicles driving out to their various destinations. Every convoy had its share of gifts and food.

Joshua and Anabelle set out early with their convoy as their destination was at least an hour away. When they got there the children were all dressed and ready to receive them in the dining hall. Anabelle’s heart felt full as she heard the excited squeals of the children. She had already started planning for next year and how it could be made bigger and better. After breakfast the children gathered in the main play area and sat waiting expectantly.

“Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas!”

“Santa!!!” The excited children rushed to the red-clad figure. Anabelle was puzzled until she saw a pair of green eyes winking at her from behind the glasses. When on earth had he found time to do this? She didn’t even realize he had slipped away in the first place. She watched as he emptied bag after bag, calling each child by name. The children brightened up to know that their name was on a gift. It was labeled for them and them alone. She felt a tug on her skirt and looked down to find a little girl, no more than five grinning up at her with a toothless grin.

“Well hello my darling!”

“Hello Mrs. Claus!”

“Mrs. Claus?”

“Yes. When I told Santa thank you for my doll, he said I needed to thank Mrs. Claus and pointed to you. So, thank you Mrs. Claus.” She held out her arms. Anabelle felt tears prick the back of her eyes as she knelt to allow the girl’s tiny arms to creep around her neck.

“You’re welcome dear.” Anabelle hugged her a little tighter. Even if it was just this one day out of the year that she was able to experience real joy, she was happy that her dream to do it had become a reality.

The rest of the morning went off without a hitch. The group from the complex assisted with unwrapping and disposing of the wasted paper. Each child got at least two gifts: one essential and one just because. They had a sumptuous Christmas lunch. By the time they were preparing to leave there was not a dry eye among the volunteers as some children clung to them. By the looks of it they would have to be back before next December. An alternate plan was already racing through Anabelle’s head.

Joshua pulled the last of the white fluff from his face as they made their way to the truck. Anabelle was walking a few paces behind, deep in conversation with one of the matrons. He had no doubt another plan was being cooked up. All day he had watched her dealing with the children and he could see why she had chosen the profession she had. She had a natural knack.

He waited by the door to give her a hand up as usual. It had become quite the norm for him to lift her into the cabin and he thought nothing of doing it in the presence of others. He had seen eyebrows raised when he had done it that morning. He could care less. If he and Anabelle were going to be an item person around them would have to get used to seeing them out and doing things that couples do. He opened the door and lifted her in. He saw the matron look from one to the other then smile.

“Drive safely Santa Claus. Don’t let him break any red lights back to the North Pole, Mrs. Claus.” She gave a smile and wave as they pulled out of the parking lot.

Anabelle leaned back against her seat, a massive smile on her face. “That was so FREAKING AWESOME!!! Joshua, I feel so alive! I feel as if my year has had some meaning. I set my heart and mind to a goal and I accomplished it!!! It gives me such a warm feeling inside.” She smiled and his heart skipped a beat.

There are other ways I could make you come alive and I guarantee it would leave you a warm feeling inside, and on some beautiful parts outside.

Joshua’s thoughts went haywire as he enjoyed the way her lips curved into a smile.

On impulse he turned left as they came to a fork rather than the right turn, they were supposed to make. The rest of the convoy had been ahead of them, and didn’t see when they went in the opposite direction. Joshua was not ready to share Anabelle just yet. She gave him a puzzled look after he made the turn.

“Where are we going?”

“We’re taking the scenic route.” He glanced over at her. “I’m not ready to share you just yet.” He took her hand and felt her grip his in return.

“Okay. Lead on Santa.”

They enjoyed a scenic drive around the city, looking at the various decorations businesses and homes had put up for the holiday season. The roads still bustled with persons going to and from different places. They took their time. It was a full two hours later than their planned return that they pulled into the parking lot. As they drove up Petra and Marlon met them.

“Where have you two been? We were about to send out a search party!” Petra waved her hands wildly around them.

“Yeah. What she said.” Marlon jerked a thumb in Petra’s direction. Joshua raised an eyebrow. He had never seen his brother at a loss for words… until now.

The four of them made their way inside and were quickly swallowed up by the crowd. Plates of food and drink were pushed into their hands. It was nearly nine before things began to wind down and another hour before everyone had found their way to their apartments. Everyone was too pooped to clean up. Marlon and Joshua, however, were exempted from clean-up duty the next day as they had to be on the road early for the four-hour drive to their family. Petra was not making the drive home at that hour of the night and would crash at Anabelle’s until morning.

They wandered tiredly into the foyer for their block then up the stairs. They escorted the ladies to their door, but Joshua waved Marlon to go ahead without him.

“I have some stuff to collect for the ladies. I’ll be over soon.”

“Don’t take forever. We have a long drive tomorrow. Miss Collins, it was a pleasure making our acquaintance. You will have to let me have that Chocolate Rum cake recipe.”

Petra smiled broadly, “Well if you want to trade me for your roasted garlic chicken we could negotiate.” They both laughed and Anabelle and Joshua looked at each other as Marlon and Petra disappeared behind their respective doors.

“That’s our great grandmother’s recipe. Not even my mother knows it.” Joshua whispered to Anabelle.

“The last person who asked her for that cake recipe got an Italian cursing the likes of which would make a sailor blush.” Anabelle whispered back

They chuckled as they entered the apartment. They went straight to her office. As she rummaged through her desk Joshua spotted a little green sprig that must have fallen off one of the wreaths. Inspired he retrieved it and when she turned around, he held it over their heads. His eyes twinkled mischievously.

“You wouldn’t want to not keep tradition now would you.”

She lowered her lashes coyly before going on her tiptoes and planting a chaste kiss on his cheek. Joshua pouted.

“Surely you can do better than that Mrs. Claus. Santa worked his tail feather off today. He deserves some sugar.”

He saw her eyes grow smoky and without hesitation she reached up and pulled his head down to meet hers. Their lips were on fire as they devoured each other hungrily. And now that the energy behind the holiday had dwindled, he was back and in full force, and I did not hesitate to make it known. Their hands stroked and gripped as they refamiliarized themselves with each other. He felt her hand reach down between them as with, trembling fingers she gripped and stroked his cock through the thick denim fabric. He moved his hand to the front of her blouse and found the button that would give him the access he needed. He had three buttons undone by the time she had worked his zipper free. She groaned softly as her hand slipped into his boxers to grip his smooth length. His mouth moved to suckle at a nipple through the flimsy material of her bra.

Crash!

They both looked at each other. Shit! Petra! They took shuddering breaths. They knew they were both wondering the same thing: was there any way to could continue without giving away what was going on? But they knew that the need was so great there would be the need to become vocal. And so reluctantly they pulled away and rearranged their clothing. It was another few minutes before Joshua was sufficiently under control to exit the office. Anabelle hauled him back as he got to the door and stuffed two small boxes into his hand.

“The reason we came in here in the first place.”

“Oh yes! Right!” He cleared his throat as they entered the living room. Petra was sitting at the kitchen counter finishing off a bowl of ice cream.

“Have a good night Petra.” She waved her spoon at him as Anabelle escorted him to the door. Dutifully Petra turned her back while they said their whispered goodbyes. He gave her one last peck before the door closed on him.

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