Catered All the Way Read Online Annabeth Albert

Categories Genre: Contemporary, M-M Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 76
Estimated words: 70368 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 352(@200wpm)___ 281(@250wpm)___ 235(@300wpm)

Tis the season for a hopeless crush on my older brother’s best friend…

This year will be different. I’m all grown up, my gaming channel is a huge success, and I finally have the confidence to make my move on Atlas Orion, the hottest chief in the navy.

However, I don’t intend for my smooth move to be covering Atlas in cranberry sauce. Not at all how I want to reintroduce myself to my new roomie and coworker. Atlas is in town to help save Seasons, my family’s historic holiday gift shop and event space. Seasons is booked solid with catered parties, so we need to avoid any more disasters.

Like my malfunctioning air mattress. We’re down to one bed, two dudes, and a whole lot of holiday-fling temptation. Atlas has never been with a guy, but I don’t have to do much persuading. And what better way to explore than a secret romp? No strings, and no one has to know.

The problem? With every passing week, I fall harder for Atlas, who’s far more than his drool-worthy muscles and heroic job. He’s kind, funny, makes me breakfast in bed, and each midnight snowball fight brings us that much closer to heartbreak.

Atlas can’t stay in Kringle’s Crossing forever, and I can’t imagine leaving the only place I’ve called home. Our feelings run deep, but is it a holiday illusion? Can we find our way to a lasting future?

CATERED ALL THE WAY is a brand-new, full-length holiday romance from the beloved author of THE GEEK WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS. Lovers of stand-alone swoon-worthy Christmas stories will fall for this geek + military pairing. Full of spicy first times, bisexual awakening, quirky small-town residents, and guest appearances from some fan-favorite characters, this only one bed, brother’s best friend romance is sure to find a place under many trees! Dual POV and the happiest of endings guaranteed.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************




“What do you mean Atlas isn’t coming?” I glared at my older brother, who always managed to bring out my grumpy side, especially this early on Thanksgiving. Not that it was the crack of dawn, but I was dragging because I’d streamed late into the night on an important collaboration with some popular Australian gamers. However, I didn’t dare mention my tiredness to Gabe. I’d already been scolded for being ten minutes late to help prep for the annual Thanksgiving dinner hosted at Seasons, our family-run gift shop and event space.

“There was some sort of delay again with his flight back to the States from wherever he’s been deployed.” Gabe sighed, the same world-weary sound he made whenever Atlas, his longtime best friend, had to cancel plans because the navy wanted to whisk him away. It was the same heavy exhale Gabe did when I disappointed him too. A natural manager, Gabe had been born precisely on time with high expectations for the rest of the world. “It’s okay. We can make do with a limited crew as long as no one else calls out.”

“And you wanted to lecture me about my reliability earlier?” I continued my work setting up the cold section of the buffet, which would house various salads and condiments, before leading into the dessert section full of pie slices. We’d expected Atlas to arrive two days ago, and I should have known better than to count on that timeline. “How many times over the years has Atlas let you down, Gabriel? Shouldn’t a freaking SEAL assistant be more reliable?”

“I don’t know, Zebediah.” Gabe matched my deliberate use of his hated first name. “He’s out there saving the world. More important things to do than play bartender for Seasons, that’s for sure.” For all Gabe’s good qualities, and he did have them, irony wasn’t his strong suit. “And the technical term is SEAL support, which is possibly even more mission-critical.”

“So what you’re saying is you’re fine with not being a priority.” I plopped a large green salad into the refrigerated buffet table. I wasn’t truly upset with Gabe. Or Atlas, for that matter. Gabe liked to paint him as some sort of superhero, which wasn’t that far off the mark. Atlas wasn’t a flake. All the times he’d had to cancel, he’d had world-hanging-in-the-balance emergencies. Couldn’t argue with that. And we could manage fine without Atlas’s help for the upcoming holiday season. But even so, I felt deflated, like an off-balance parade balloon sagging too low.

I’d had plans for his month-long leave, damn it. For the first time, I was ready for Atlas to see me as something other than Gabe’s pesky little brother. I wanted to impress him. I had no idea if he was into guys, but I was more than willing to find out. And all my plans required Atlas in the flesh, so yes, I was a little cranky.

And reckless. My unintended force made the salad contents dance around inside the clear bowl.

“Watch what you’re doing.” Gabe’s voice was as sharp as if I’d scattered greens everywhere, yet all the contents were perfectly safe under a layer of plastic wrap. “You’re going to drop something.”

“You think I don’t know how to set a buffet table by now?” I rolled my eyes because I, like Gabe, had grown up in this place. I could prep Thanksgiving dinner in my sleep. Speaking of which, I stifled another yawn.

“I don’t know, Mr. Priorities,” Gabe shot back. “You missed the Bauman’s annual Halloween party because of your gamer friends—”

“I was at a con.” I was exhausted by his constant minimization of my chosen career. And yes, I’d missed a couple of fall bookings, but I’d had good reason. “It was one of the largest gaming conventions, and I was on a panel—”

“Uh-huh.” Gabe sounded distracted, which was his permanent condition these days. And it wasn’t like I didn’t sympathize—the business was struggling, expenses were up, and he and Paige were expecting twins. Impending parenthood or not, I had a hard time keeping my cool when he started rearranging the items I’d laid out.

“What are you doing? The buffet looks fine.”

“The bowls weren’t spaced evenly, and they’ll look better grouped by size.”

“Whatever. Suit yourself.” I tried to let Gabe’s pickiness go, but he kept huffing as he moved items around. And every micro-adjustment served to remind me he hadn’t heard a word I’d said earlier. “Why do you keep acting like I’m still some couch-surfing slacker?”

“Because you’re too old to be working here part-time. Being a gamer is not a viable profession.” His big-brother-knows-best voice had grated even before our parents died in a car crash a decade ago, and now I chafed whenever Gabe went all paternalistic on me.

“It’s hardly like the small-business life is super stable.” The ongoing cash flow issue here at Seasons was a low blow, but he was the one who kept treating me like I was still seventeen, living on corn chips and energy drinks and playing games with other broke teens all night. However, I was reformed and on a mission to get the world, especially Gabe, to finally take me seriously. “And I’m making money now.”