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Santa's Plus-One Surprise

Written by Melissa Senate

Chapter Fifteen

For the past two hours, Felicity had given Drake a tutorial on baby care. At first he’d seemed stressed and tense, but she had him read the schedule and the world of baby started to make sense. After feeding and burping the little guy, Drake had sat down in the big overstuffed chair for story time and told Colt a tale about Barnaby the goat and his adventures on the ranch.

The love in Drake’s eyes, the wonder on his face, was almost too much for Felicity. All she could think was, I wish this man and baby were mine.

Careful, girl, she warned herself as Drake made a funny face while telling Colt about how Barnaby sneakily hid in a big pile of hay and Drake couldn’t find him anywhere.

Then it was time to change Colt’s diaper, so they went up to the guest room where they’d fashioned a makeshift nursery with the bassinet and a changing pad on top of the dresser along with a basket of diapers and ointments and cornstarch.

“I’ve got this,” Drake said, laying Colt down on the pad. After removing the old diaper it took him a few seconds to orient himself with the new one, but in a few minutes, Colt was changed and back in his pj’s.

“Bravo!” Felicity said. “Now all that’s left is goodnight kisses and putting him in the bassinet and making sure the baby monitor is on.”

She watched him scoop up Colt and bring him close against his chest, gently snuggling the baby. She heard him say, “I love you, little cowboy” and her heart jumped out of her body and into Drake’s hands. That was it. She was cooked.

He laid the baby down in the bassinet, and after a little fussing, Colt settled and closed his eyes. Drake checked the monitor and they tiptoed out of the room.

“I’ll just grab my purse and be on my way,” she said. “Great first evening with Colt! You must feel really great about how everything is working out.”

He paled. “Wait. You’re leaving?”

“Well, Colt is asleep and it’s getting late, so, yes. I’ll pop in tomorrow morning to see how things are going. And you can always call me if you need anything.”

“But—”

Felicity stared at him. “But what?”

“I thought you’d stay here tonight and the next two days. With me and Colt.”

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Melissa Senate

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