You are viewing this site in an old browser or Internet Explorer compatiblity mode.
You can continue to use our site but it may not work properly or display correctly.
add to basket
Successfully added to your bag
SUBMIT

Santa's Plus-One Surprise

Written by Melissa Senate

Chapter Nine

Do you have any Christmas decorations in a box somewhere?” Felicity asked. “Don’t you think Barnaby would like a pretty wreath to look at?”

He did have some decorations. His parents hadn’t had much; they’d been on the low-income side, so when his aunt packed up their stuff, everything had fit in a few boxes. Half of one box had been Christmas-related His parents had loved Christmas. It was why he couldn’t bear to decorate the house. To remember. All those lights and garlands and wreaths and mistletoe would just remind him of his losses.

But now was about gains. Getting his son. So he had no choice.

He led the way into the house.

“Spare, but nice and very clean,” she said, looking into the kitchen and then in the living room at the sofas and rugs, the big stone fireplace.

“Someone comes every week,” he said.

“That’s good. The Cartlands will like that.”

He led the way up into the attic. There wasn’t much up there.

“How long have you lived here?” she asked.

“Five years. When I graduated from high school I joined the army, then, after two tours of duty, I decided to give an old dream a try and have my own ranch. I worked on a ranch for a few years, then bought this place and started small. The ranching life has been good to me.”

“Another point in your favor with the Cartlands,” she said.

He stopped and turned to her. “When you put it like that, the whole thing sounds so…”

Fake. Phony. Christmas lights. Fake girlfriend. He was trying to get on their good side, but everything he had to show them was real.

Except for the relationship with the kindergarten teacher of the year.

She was about to say something, but he just wanted to get the decorations and get out of the attic. The few boxes up here reminded him of happy family life, till he was nine, anyway.

“You know what’s weird?” he said. “Part of me wants to remember my parents and part of me doesn’t.”

“The part that hurts like hell.”

He looked at her and nodded, then grabbed the box with the decorations and carried it down.

“Another cousin, one who doesn’t steal boyfriends, has a small Christmas tree farm,” she said. “We can go get you a tree tomorrow—before or after we meet with the Cartlands.”

He nodded, but he wasn’t ready for any of this.

Like this? Why not share it

About the author



Read more
Melissa Senate

Discover more free stories

View all

The Lieutenant's Lost and Found Family

Written by Christy Jeffries

Lieutenant Nolan Murphy returns from overseas deployment expecting to find his home and canine companion just as he left them. Instead, an emergency storm evacuation has gotten his dog caught up in the chaos! Tracing the AWOL pup to Idaho, Nolan quickly falls for his new owners, little Harper Jordan…and her stepsister, Abby! Abby and Nolan struggle to come to terms with their “peternity” situation, and with the attraction that sparks between them. Harper’s shy personality blossoms as she urges Nolan to plan games for “their” dog, and even the puppy seems to be playing matchmaker! Will the once-lonely soldier find a new home—and his forever family—in Sugar Falls?

His Manhattan Midnight Cinderella

Written by Carol Marinelli

Shop assistant Felicia doesn’t let anyone get too close—her difficult upbringing has made sure of that. The closest she’s ever come to opening her heart was with billionaire Leander Carmichael. But even the rapturous pleasure she found in his arms couldn’t tempt wary Felicia to tell him the truth about her family.

Now, a year later, when Felicia sees Leander again at a glamorous ball, she realizes she’s been lying to herself. She didn’t just open her heart to Leander—she gave it to him. And what’s more, he still has it! As their irresistible chemistry reignites, can Felicia find the courage to tell this brooding billionaire everything…including how much she still loves him?

aaaaa
statushh