Hello, readers. We're happy to share our gift to you, a short Christmas story that will run from today through December 21st. Please join us and comment each day to win what we call a Book Blast. We will pick two names and if you win, you'll get books mailed to you from our authors. Several books!!! So come back often and enjoy our gift to you!
Louise M. Gouge
Grace cringed. In the corner of her eye, she saw Jericho’s similar reaction. She faced him full on, hands on her hips.
“And what, exactly, would be so cringe-worthy about kissing me?”
“I might ask you the same question.” A tiny grin creased one side if his lips, that teasing smile that had never failed to stir her heart. He took a step toward her, and she suddenly became aware of his tall, broad-shouldered, very male presence.
Unfortunately, she’d learned long ago during their all-too-brief romance that virile masculinity, teasing smiles, and kisses did not a true love make.
“Well, for one thing…” She paused, uncertain whether to return a silly remark or to remind him of their painful past.
She didn’t have to decide. Jericho circled her waist with his strong, wow, very strong arms, and laid a smakeroo on her lips that she wouldn’t soon forget. He seemed to be kissing her for all he was worth, maybe to make up for all the years between this one and the last one. If they didn’t break it off soon, her knees would refuse to support her. As it was, her toes had curled inside her boots. Lord have mercy!
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When he finally came up for air and let her do the same, they stared at each other for forever.
“Yeah, wow.” He looked as stunned as she felt.
“What’s going on in there?” Grandpa Jeb called from the kitchen.
What happened to Mary’s “the family room is all yours”?
“Nothing.” Grace stepped back from Jericho and bumped into an ottoman, losing her balance.
“Nothing.” Jericho caught her before she fell…again. Despite his agreeing word, he gazed down at her with tenderness. “Be careful or you’ll fall,” he said in a husky whisper.
Too late for that. “Um, yeah.” She let go of his arm, which she hadn’t been aware of grabbing.
“Look, Grace, about that kiss—”
“Right. It was silly, wasn’t it?” She wouldn’t let him dismiss it first.
“No. No, that’s not what I mean.” He ran a hand through his thick, wavy hair.
She remembered running her own hand through it and…oh, stop that!
“I mean kissing isn’t the best first step to reconciliation. Especially not a kiss like that.” Those baby blues pleaded for her agreement. Then he grinned in his cute way again, and his whole face lit up. “That doesn’t mean I’m asking you to forgive me.”
“Oh, no. Of course not. That’s the whole problem between us. You would never ask for forgiveness.” Hot tears stung her eyes.
Hurt doused the light and joy in his expression. “I meant about the kiss. That’s all.” He turned and walked into the kitchen.
Grace gulped down a sob. What had she just done?