It’s my birthday today and guess how I’ll be celebrating? By sharing a very special bonus Moreno Brothers Short holiday romance with my readers!
Well the first part anyway. The story will be one I’ll be sharing exclusively via newsletter in parts starting next week. So if you’re not already subscribed, be sure to sign up now below!
Okay so first a little insight on what you’re in for and why? Fair warning, the following, but especially the blurb to my new holiday short contain spoilers about Sweet Sofie in case you haven’t read it. SO way back when I wrote
I received MANY angry emails/messages etc from readers demanding to know why Eric hadn’t come clean about a certain something that in my humble opinion ALMOST happened while he was away on his internship in Spain. But many of you felt like it DID happen and he should’ve been held accountable like Sofie was for what she did. Then each time I did a promo for Sofie or it went free and many of you discovered my books that way the emails/messages would start up again. “Why didn’t Eric ever tell her about what he did in Spain?” Long answer short, at the time I felt like they’d been put through enough and I didn’t see the point in Eric opening that can of worms because uh, you know how Sofie might’ve reacted.
So why go there right? But apparently y’all didn’t agree. lol For a long time I kept thinking I should write a novella or short story or even a scene where he’s finally forced to come clean but I kept putting it off.
Well it’s happened! And now for my birthday I get the pleasure of sharing the first of SEVEN episodes with you right here! The rest of the episodes will be added and available exclusively via my newsletter so be sure to sign up! If you’re late to the party, no worries sign up now and each new newsletter will include previous episodes so you can catch up!
It’s been a year since Eric’s internship in Spain. A year since he got back and finally patched things up with Sofia about the indiscretion that nearly ended their relationship. It’s why, when he decided he’d forgive and forget, he thought they’d been through enough. There was no need to share with Sofia what almost happened in Spain when he was still so hurt with her.
But now his father’s getting married over the holidays, and his fiancée’s family is flying in for the wedding. Eric will be forced to spend time around a girl he hadn’t anticipated ever seeing again. The same girl he almost gave into in Spain. Worst yet, Sofia will be around them the whole time.
As perceptive as his hot-headed girlfriend can be, Eric is bracing himself for an intense Holidaze.
A Moreno Brothers’ Short
Copyright © 2018 Elizabeth Reyes
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” Sofia sang along to the music blasting from the speakers. “With the kids jingle-belling and everyone telling—”
She stopped singing and turned to her phone when the music halted. What had begun as a scrunched-nosed scowl turned into a huge smile. The picture on the screen of her phone as it rang made her heart beat wildly. It was the one set to Eric’s contact info of the two of them on the deck of the cruise they’d taken earlier that year on spring break.
Putting down the garland she’d been so happily decorating the tree with, she rushed to her phone, feeling giddy. “Are you home?”
“Yes and no. I’m in San Diego, but I’m at the airport now.”
Eric explained how he’d gotten home from helping move his dad’s fiancée’s things to their place: how they’d worked fast to empty the U-Haul truck so they could turn it in before being charged another day.
“But the rental is under Tina’s name, so she had to go with my dad to turn it in, and my dad asked if I could do the airport run for her instead.”
“Why didn’t you call me? I would’ve gone with you.”
“Because it was all so rushed. We emptied the truck and I flew out of there. The flight lands in like two minutes, and I’m just now parking at the airport.”
Pouting, Sofia took in her half-decorated tree. “Will I still get to see you tonight?”
“Yeah. I’ll head over to your place as soon as I drop these relatives of hers off at my house.”
Angel and Sarah walked in just then with the food they’d gone out to get. Sofia nearly laughed at the number of bags they were carrying.
“Have you had dinner?” she asked Eric.
“No. I’ll pick you up when I’m done with this, and we’ll go get some.”
“Actually, we ordered Chinese for dinner. Angel and Sarah just walked in with it. But you know this family. They bought enough for an army.”
Eric agreed to come over once he was done with his errand, and Sofia continued to decorate. She hadn’t even noticed how long it’d been until Alex got home from the restaurant, but it had been nearly an hour since Eric had called and he still wasn’t there and hadn’t checked in.
Giving into the temptation because she’d been trying to hold off eating until Eric got there, she picked up one of the many boxes of food still on the table and ate a forkful of chow mein.
“I thought you said Eric was coming over?” Angel asked as he plopped down on the sofa next to Sarah.
“He is.” Sofia wiped the corner of her lips. “But he had to pick up some of Tina’s family at the airport first.”
“He’s home now,” Alex said, digging into one of the boxes on the table. Sofia turned to him, and he nodded but waited to finish chewing before adding, “At least his car’s in the driveway. Saw it just now when I drove past his house.”
“Hmm.” Sofia picked up her phone and hit speed dial then cradled it between her ear and shoulder as she dug into more of the chow mein. “Maybe he just got home.”
“Sof, I was gonna call you.”
Sofia held a hand over her mouth as she chewed. “You home now?”
“Yeah, but my dad and Tina aren’t.” He explained about Tina’s car still being loaded because they’d only had time to unload the truck before they took off to turn it in. “I guess the drive from Colorado here was a bit much for her car. It overheated and they’re waiting for it to cool down. But if it doesn’t, they’re just gonna call Triple A. Might be a while. It feels rude to just leave her mom and sister here alone. They haven’t had dinner. I was about to order a pizza in the meantime then call you.”
Eyeing the ridiculous amount of food on the dining room table, some boxes still unopened even, Sofia had a thought. “Is it just the two of them?”
“Yeah, her mom and sister.”
“Don’t order pizza. I’ll bring over some of this Chinese—”
“No way,” he said quickly. “You can’t take your family’s takeout—”
“We ordered way too much. Everyone but me has already eaten, and there’s boxes that haven’t even been touched.”
Eric started to protest again, but Sofia’s mom was already gathering some of the unopened boxes. “Yes, take him and his dad some. I don’t know why your dad orders so much. Then nobody likes leftovers. I don’t have room for all this in the fridge. You.” She pointed at Alex, who was still grubbing. “Are you going to Valerie’s tonight? Take her some too.”
“You see my mom’s giving it away over here. We seriously have like way too many unopened boxes.”
“I’ll be right over.”
She blew a kiss into the phone before hanging up. Eric had only been gone three days, and already she could hardly wait to see him. If it hadn’t been for the final she had scheduled the day after he’d left, she would’ve gone with him.
Quickly gathering the boxes of food Sofia was taking to Eric’s place, she rushed off to change. Within minutes, she was walking out the door with a bag full of Chinese and her purse. With Eric’s house just outside her cul-de-sac and her speed-walking, she was there within minutes.
Eric opened the door with as big a smile as Sofia was already wearing. She was instantly wrapped into a bear hug as he closed the door behind him and she giggled. They were ridiculous. It’d been three days and, except for the hours she’d been taking her final and while he was driving, they’d Facetimed and texted day and night all three days. It warmed her that he was always clearly feeling as anxious to see her as she was to see him.
With a groan, he finally loosened his hold on her just enough to kiss her. His kissing her deeper made her legs weak as a moan escaped her. “Shh,” he said, pulling away and motioning with his head to remind her they had company.
Sofia giggled, swatting him playfully as they came apart. “Well, it’s your fault,” she said under her breath. “You can’t kiss me like that and not expect me to react.”
Groaning again, he leaned in and kissed her neck. “It’s on tonight,” he whispered just as he kissed her below her ear. “Listen,” he said, still speaking in almost a whisper. “My dad just called. He and Tina are on their way. They got the car going. Why don’t you just wait for me to come over. I’d rather be alone with you tonight, not stuck here.”
They’d hardly be alone at her place, but she knew what he meant. If they stayed here, they’d likely be forced to be polite and hang out with Tina and her family. Not like back at her place where they could escape to Sofie’s room as they did so often. Her family was used to them hanging out for hours in her room. They trusted Eric wouldn’t dream of doing the many naughty things Sofie had talked him into over the years, despite his dread of getting caught and murdered by her brothers.
Sofie smirked. “Alex and Angel are home.”
“Then we could leave,” Eric said, arching a brow. “We stay here, my dad might guilt me into hanging out.”
Glancing into the front window, Sofia caught a glimpse of someone walking into the kitchen. She had long red curly hair, and then Sofia saw the other one sitting on the sofa. She looked older, and her hair was cut in a short bob and also red, just not quite as bright and eye-catching as the one in the kitchen.
“Redheads like Tina.”
Eric didn’t look back at the window. Instead, he stared straight at Sofia and nodded but said nothing. Curious because she was surprised by it, Sofia glanced back at the one with the long hair walking into the front room again. “That her sister with the long hair? She looks really young.”
Again, Eric nodded but didn’t comment. “Go wait for me to come get you. My dad gets here and smells this food, we ain’t going anywhere.”
“My mom’s gonna be mad if I come back with the food.”
Taking the bag from her, Eric pecked her. “Then leave it here. But I want an out as soon as my dad gets here. He knows I’m dying to see you.”
That made Sofia smile. “Fine,” she said, smiling even bigger. “But don’t make me wait too long. Pretty sure Alex is going to Valerie’s. My dad ate a ton, which means he’s already passed out, and Angel has Sarah to distract him. We can go study in my bedroom.”
The door opened behind Eric. “I’m sorry,” the girl with the long curly red hair said. Her bright blue eyes went from Sofia’s to Eric. She was a lot younger than Sofia had expected when Eric mentioned his soon-to-be stepmom’s sister. “I was just gonna check your car to see if I left my charger in there.”
Sofia did a double take when she glanced back at Eric and his eyes were closed for a moment. But he opened them fast enough then glanced back at the girl and smiled.
“That’s fine. Sofie was just dropping off some food.” He turned back to Sofia. “Sof, this is Jennifer, Tina’s sister.” He turned to Jennifer.” Jennifer, this is my girlfriend, Sofie.”
The girls greeted one another politely as Eric went inside to grab his keys so he could unlock the car for Jennifer.
Sofia took in Jennifer’s big blue eyes with curiosity. “I didn’t expect Tina’s sister to be so young. Not that she’s old,” Sofia added quickly, glad that it made Jennifer laugh. “It’s just that, you know, when I think of Eric’s dad, I think, you know, parent age. You look more our age.
“Well, for starters, Tina is a lot younger than Daniel,” Jennifer said, still smiling. “Almost thirteen years younger, I think.” Sofia nodded, trying not to look as surprised as this made her. She knew Eric’s dad was older than Tina, but didn’t realize by how much. Thankfully Jennifer went on without noticing. “And I was an oopsie baby. Came along long after my parents thought they were done having kids. Tina’s the oldest. So, there’s a big gap between her and me.”
The car beeped as Eric reached the door. “It’s open now.”
“Thanks.” Jennifer started down the stairs of the porch but turned back to Eric as she reached the car in the driveway. “I was just telling Sofia about the age difference between your dad and my sister.” She opened the passenger door and reached in. “Here it is.” Jennifer held out the charger for them to see. After grabbing the charger and closing the door, she started back to the porch. “But you’re right.” She addressed Sofia this time, smiling even bigger. “Eric and I are the exact same age.”
Smiling smugly because she’d finally nailed someone’s age—something she’d always been so bad at—Sofia did another double take when she glanced back at Eric, about to comment on the age thing, and noticed his eyes closed again.
Part two coming this Saturday November 10th via newsletter! Along with part two you will also get insights on what’s coming soon, other bonus material and depending on how this goes, I’ll have more exclusive newsletter FREE shorts coming for you! So make sure you’re signed up!
Tiny teaser of the next part which will be in Eric’s POV:
A few minutes later, as if Sofia had waited for Jennifer to be out of hearing range, She pulled back and peered at Eric. “Something wrong?”