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Santa's Plus-One Surprise

Written by Melissa Senate

Chapter Seven

This is crazy, Felicity told herself as she pulled up at Drake’s ranch that night.

She’d said yes—of course she had—and now they’d arranged to spend a few hours making a game plan.

He’d asked her to come to his place since Barnaby, one of his goats, was ailing and Drake didn’t want to leave him alone too long. She had to admit, that had added another notch in his favor.

He came out of the barn, and she sucked in a breath. He wore a dark brown Stetson, a brown leather jacket and worn jeans over those long legs. Drop dead sexy did not begin to describe the level of hotness that was Drake Russo.

And then he smiled at her, the smile of someone who appreciated she was here, not the smile of a flirty player, and she relaxed. Maybe she could do this.

“I figure we need a crash course in each other,” he said as she exited her car. “So that our whirlwind romance seems believable to the Cartlands. We need to come across as a committed couple.”

“Have you ever committed to a woman?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. “Or do you need pointers in making that look real, too?”

“I’m always up-front,” he said. “I never lie. Sometimes the women I date want more and then they get hurt.”

“You’ve never been in love?” she asked.

“I guess not,” he said, his expression tightening. “Maybe I’m incapable.”

“I don’t know about that. Knowing you have a son sure got your attention.”

In fact, she thought, knowing he had a child had him bending over backward, doing what he had to in order to prove himself worthy of fatherhood. His heart, therefore, was reachable.

“Mind talking by Barnaby’s pen?” he asked. “He’s comforted by having people around. The vet left a little while ago. Just a tummy issue.”

“Aww,” she said, following him into the heated barn. Two chairs were set up in the corner near Barnaby’s corral. Speakers were softly playing an old Eagles song.

He went into the pen and gently patted the cute black goat, who was half sitting, half lying down, and then came back out and sat next to her.

“You probably know more about how relationships are supposed to seem,” he said. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small notebook and a pen, clearly at the ready to take notes. Then looked at her expectantly.

She was so busy staring into his blue eyes that she lost track of herself for a moment.

Oh, boy. She had a sinking feeling that she was going to fall hard for this guy—and end up with a broken heart for Christmas.

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Melissa Senate

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