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Christmas Eve: A Love Story

Christmas Eve: A Love Story

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Christmas Eve: A Love Story

Bewertungen:
3.5/5 (9 Bewertungen)
Länge:
104 Seiten
1 Stunde
Freigegeben:
Nov 19, 2020
ISBN:
9781094414072
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

Growing up in the mountains of Wyoming, Trina and Dean had been childhood friends until the bitter feud between their families drove them apart. When the magic of Christmas Eve tips the star-crossed lovers together year after year, will they be able to make sure this holiday is not their last?
Freigegeben:
Nov 19, 2020
ISBN:
9781094414072
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Molly O’Keefe is the USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of over 50 contemporary romance novels. She lives in Toronto Canada with her husband and two kids.


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Christmas Eve - Molly O'Keefe

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Chapter 1

December 24, 2001

8:05 PM

It was snowing. An icy, dry snow, and in the porch light the drifts on the steps in front of Trina Crawford looked like piles of diamonds.

Oh, if only…

Trina pulled her gloved hands into her pink coat and blew into the sleeves. The blast of heat from her breath was a quickly fading comfort. So was the thought of diamonds.

Nothing is going to help me. Nothing.

Enjoying the view?

The voice made her jump. It wasn’t her mom's voice, which was the one she wanted to hear, but it was a really nice voice all the same.

Dean?

In the freezing flesh.

Dean McKenzie came out of the dark at the edge of the house, wearing his serious snow gear. He must have driven an ATV the back way over the creek that ran along the border between their families’ properties.

What are you doing here? she asked, though she didn’t really care why he was here. It was like taking a sip of water only to realize how totally thirsty you are.

Seeing Dean was like that. She was never lonely until he showed up.

My mom said your mom left. I figured you might want some company. That was pity on his face. He tried to hide it, because he was her friend and he knew she hated pity, but she could still see it.

She’s coming back. Trina had to say that. She had to believe it. Otherwise it was just her and her dad forever, and she couldn’t wrap her head around a future so crappy.

Totally. He nodded, definitively on her side as he had been for the sixteen years they'd been friends. But maybe…you want some company?

That’d be awesome. She shifted over on the blanket she’d placed between her numb butt and the wooden porch.

I brought you some supplies.

Supplies.

Yeah, you know. Stakeout supplies.

You think me sitting here is a stakeout?

Sit-in? He collapsed next to her. Strike? Their arms touched for a moment, and even through the layers of their coats she could feel his arm—or thought she could—and that was enough to make her twitch away.

Jenny at school said that she and Dean broke up because Dean was secretly in love with Trina. Which was ridiculous. They were neighbors. Friends. And not at all into each other. Not like that.

And besides, their dads would KILL them. Like kill them dead. If they ever got together.

In fact, it would make her father so angry she actually considered dating Dean, just to watch Dad register any kind of emotion in her direction.

Well, Dean said. Whatever it is. You need some food. He handed her a plastic bag full of fancy party food: shrimp (gross!), olives (yay!), little cubes of cheese. Toothpicks sticking out of some of the stuff had pierced the bag, and olive juice was everywhere. And I hope you’ll notice, I remembered you’re a vegetarian and didn’t bring you the elk sliders. Even though they were awesome.

This is so nice, thank you, she said, ignoring the shrimp.

And here’s something to drink.

He opened the thermos in his hand and steam poured out. Hot chocolate and something minty. Probably schnapps.

Even better.

Thanks. She took a sip, and the heat and the booze burned down her throat.

Where’s your dad? Dean asked, stretching his long legs out in front of him. He opened the neck of his snowmobile suit and she saw a glimpse of a black tie.

He’d come right from the party. With olives. It was such a nice thing. Like…maybe one of the nicest things anyone had ever done for her.

Inside.

Really? For a second he looked panicked. Seriously, that’s how ridiculous it was between their fathers.

Don’t worry, he’s passed out in the den. After he and Mom fought, he didn’t stay awake long enough to watch her go.

She’s left a lot of times before.

She didn’t have to say that this one felt different. It was Christmas Eve, after all. What kind of mom would drive away on Christmas Eve unless she meant it?

More booze seemed in order. Lots more booze. The heat and alcohol didn’t burn this time. She could feel it spreading through her body, a stream of light warming her fingers and knees and the tip of her nose. She told me I was old enough now. That when I graduate in May, I can leave. Just like her. And never come back.

Nice.

She laughed at his sarcasm. Parents of the year, I tell you. A coyote howled, and they both turned toward what was left of the McKenzie property, which ran on the other side of the creek.

Your dad worried about that coyote? he asked.

I have no idea. Her dad never told her anything. He used to talk to Dean about that stuff. Coyotes and high pastures and grazing yields. Dean had once been the son her father never had. You know, I never told you how sorry I was that he fired you.

Sure you did. Like eight hundred times.

Well, I’m still sorry.

It was ages ago, Dean said. Dean’s family had sold off most of their herd, and Dean had been working summers for Dad since the minute he’d been able to sit on a horse and drive an ATV. Which was roughly about five minutes after being born.

It was two summers ago, she reminded him. It had been during the bright white-hot months of the fight between their fathers. And it sucked.

It did. I liked that job.

Sometimes I think you were born in the wrong century. She was loose from the booze and no food.

He gave her side-eyes.

I mean it in a good way, she clarified. Like you would have been so happy in the old west, where there were tons of jobs on the land and you could just ride your horse and sleep under the stars and eat beans.

He laughed. Well, I hate beans, but the rest of it sounds good. But there’s still plenty of work to do in this century.

What are you going to do this summer?

I have pre-acceptance at Laramie Tech. Land Management.

You didn’t tell me that! she cried.

He could blame his pink cheeks on the wind or the cold, but she knew the truth. And the truth was that big, bad, tough guy Dean McKenzie—blushed. Well, it’s not Stanford—

Stop, she whispered. Don’t do that. That’s exactly the program you wanted, and you worked hard to get there. It’s awesome. What did your dad say?

That it was a miracle. Dean kicked snow off the toe of his boot. Trina's Mom once said that Dean and his dad, Eugene, fought like cats in a bag. And it was true, they couldn't be in the same room without turning on each other.

Dean didn't want what his father had. Not the money or the power. None of it. And Eugene could not understand that and so the fights were epic.

Sometimes Trina didn't know who had it worse, her with her father

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