Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Reunion Christmas Serial by Terri Reed

Hello, readers. We’re happy to share our gift to you, a short Christmas story that started December 12 through today, December 21.
To start from the beginning scroll down to the older posts. 
Dec 12--Lenora Worth
Dec 13--Barbara Phinney
Dec 14--Margaret Daley
Dec 15--Debby Giusti
Dec 16--Deb Kastner
Dec 17--Louise Gouge
Dec 18--Jolene Navarro 
Dec 19--Jean Gordon
Dec 20--Cate Nolan
Dec 21--Terri Reed

Please join us and comment each day to win what we call a BOOK BLAST! We will pick two random names and if you win, you’ll get books mailed to you from our authors. Several books!!!

And now…

Chapter Ten by Terri Reed

So cold.
Grace shivered beneath the blanket Jericho wrapped around her. She burrowed closer to him, needing his warmth, his strength. She’d always needed him.
But she didn’t deserve him. Or anyone.
Not after…
A sob escaped. Guilt choked her, cutting off her breath.
Jericho’s strong arms lifted her off the bench.
“What are you doing?” she squeaked.
“Taking you away from here,” he said close to her ear.
She pulled back to look in his eyes. “It was my fault. They shouldn’t have died.”
         He tightened his hold, drawing closer until his lips touched hers in the softest, sweetest kiss of her life.
Then he carried her away from the place that tormented her nightmares. She sighed and laid her head on his shoulder. When they made it to his car, he helped her into the passenger seat, buckled her up and shut the door. As he jogged around to the driver’s side, she lifted her mind and thoughts to God. How do I do this? He’s too good for me. Why didn’t you take me with my family?
         Jericho slid into the driver’s seat, started the engine and turned the heat to full blast. Soon the chilly air heated, cocooning them in an intimate barrier that protected them from the winter weather outside of the vehicle.
         Facing her, Jericho gathered her hands in his. “This isn’t the place I’d prefer to do this but we can’t go on like this.”
         Her stomach knotted. After the way she’d acted, she wouldn’t blame him for not wanting anything more to do with her. “I’m sorry. It’s just, I thought I’d buried it all. But seeing you again, being in Reunion at the cabin…”
         He touched a finger to her lips. “The accident wasn’t your fault. You have panic attacks from the undeserved guilt you carry. You have to accept the accident for what it was and let go. Let God heal you. Let me help Him.”
         She shook her head. “If I hadn’t thrown a French fry at my brother and hit my father instead, he wouldn’t have got angry and lost control of the car.”
         “You were a little girl,” Jericho reasoned. “From what Jeb has told me, your father had a temper. He was the grown up driving the car. He shouldn’t have taken this road to begin with. But none of that matters. It was an accident. Out of anyone’s control.”
         Her heart twisted. Words she’d hung onto for years slipped passed her lips. “God could have prevented it.”
         Jericho smoothed her hair from her cheek. “God isn’t a puppet master. He gives us free will. He mourned along with you. But your family is with Him now. They and God would want you to release the guilt and embrace your life.”
         Was it true? Jericho’s words bounced through her head and her heart, soothing the rough places. “Oh, Jericho. I’ve wasted so much time.” 
She had to tell him how she felt before she blew it again. She wanted a second chance.  Her words, so angrily spoken early about there being no second chances,  mocked her.  
         He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed each knuckle. “The past is done. There’s only the future. A future for us. If you’re willing.”
         Her heart soared. “Really?”
         “I love you, Grace Holly.” He smiled, his eyes bright with emotion. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you. If you’ll have me.”
          Infused with happiness, she threw her arms awkwardly around him and held him tight. “Yes. Oh, yes. I want that too.”
         He pulled back and dug the special ornament from the pocket of his coat. “Open it.”
         She blinked back tears of joy and took the bulb. Gingerly, she pried open the top and plucked the rolled note out. Her heart beat in her ears as she spread out the paper, she read the words written in Jericho’s bold scrawl.
         “One day you will be my wife. I want to love you forever.”
         Tears streamed down her cheeks. She lifted her stunned gaze to meet his. “All this time. I thought you’d abandoned me.”
         “Never.”
         “I love you, Jericho Walker with all my heart.”
         “Good.” He grinned. “Now that we have that settled, we should get back to the cabin and make sure Mary Noel and Jeb haven’t eloped while we were gone.”
         Grace giggled. “I can’t believe it. Grandfather has found a second chance at love.”
         Linking his fingers around hers, Jericho said, “So did we. We found our own Christmas miracle.”
         “Amen to that,” she said on a contented sigh.

The End.

15 comments:

  1. Great ending, Grace finally gave herself some grace and forgiveness. Loved Jericho's character and how he persisted :)

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  2. :::sniff::: All teary eyed. Great ending Terri.

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  3. Well, that got me all tears eyed, too!! So sweet, Terri. I think this is our best serial ever!! It held the true meaning of Christmas. Love, second chances and a great reunion with God's grace.

    Thanks to all of you and thank you to our wonderful, encouraging readers. We will post the two winners on our side bar next week!

    Merry Christmas!

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  4. Very cool that his promise was in the ornament he'd given her, but it had to be hers on the tree to have the promise in it. When did he put it in his pocket?

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  5. Wow, what an ending. I once threw an entire pop tart! Good job.

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  6. What an ending!!! I'm smiling through my tears of joy! Lovely!!! Congrats to the writers who took part.

    Can't wait to see who wins the Bundle of Books!!!

    Merry Christmas to all!

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  7. Siiiiiigggghhhh!!! This brought me to tears. What a wonderful ending! I smiled at Jeb and Mary's second chance, as well.

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  8. Heidi, thanks for reading. I envision that Jericho grabbed it on the way out the door. We don't actually see him leave the cabin and since we were in Grace's point of view for this last chapter, I couldn't have Jericho think about having grabbed it.
    I really liked the ornament holding a note thread. I have a prayer box bracelet that has a small piece of paper inside with a prayer that someone wrote for me. I love that bracelet.

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  9. Thanks to all of you for writing this. Enjoyed it chapter by chapter!

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  10. Mary, so glad you enjoyed the story! It was fun to write a chapter and then see how the story progressed.

    Merry Christmas!

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  11. *Happy sigh*

    I love the ending. I'm so happy Jericho and Grace get their happily-ever-after.

    Terri, I have a prayer necklace like that. A student gave it to me many years ago. You unscrew the piece and slip the paper inside.

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  12. Oh I just KNEW a note would still be in that ornament!! I love the ending...the whole story really :-) I can well imagine Jeb and Mary getting together too, what a Christmas surprise!

    Thank you ladies for a wonderful story, I love when authors collaborate to write. Merry Christmas everyone, blessings for the New Year!

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  13. Love a happy ending :)
    Merry Christmas!

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  14. This was a good story. I like to read about people working out their problems and life becoming better for them.

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  15. This really was a perfect ending. I love endings like this, that can stir up so much emotion!

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