Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Cowboy's Christmas Bride - Cindy Spencer Pape

The Cowboy's Christmas Bride
A Writers Vineyard Holiday Treat




Allison sat cross-legged on her bed crooning to Trevor while the baby sucked down the last of his bottle. She'd been feeling the need to escape from the overwhelming presence of the Hall clan, so when Trip had asked her if she minded feeding Trevor, she'd gladly agreed. She'd been enjoying the company, and they'd all gone out of their way to make her feel welcome, but she couldn't quite shake the feeling that she was intruding. She couldn't quite stop the longing, either. She'd never witnessed this kind of familial closeness, never realized how much she'd missed in her own need for independence.

Trevor gurgled happily in her lap, and Allison smiled. Whatever else was
going on, she'd learned that she definitely wanted one of these some day.
Sitting here in the semi-darkness and the quiet, with the baby in her arms,
Allison luxuriated in a wave of contentment and peace.

There was a loud slam as the door crashed open. Allison shrieked and Trevor
began to wail as the overhead light flicked on, practically blinding them.
"What on Earth is wrong with you?" Allison demanded, jiggling her arms to
quiet the baby. Looking up at CJ's taut face, though, she realized that
something really was bothering him, and she softened her tone. "CJ? What is
it?"

He just stood there in the doorway for a moment. The furious intensity faded
from his expression, and he hung his head sheepishly. "You're alone."

"Not really," she nodded at the baby in her arms. Why, who did he think she
was with in here with the door closed? She slipped into the voice she used
for soothing fractious teenagers. "What's up?"

"Just wondering where you were." He sent her a rueful grin, then his
expression heated up. "I missed you."

Relieved and flattered, she ducked her head to hide her blush. "Sorry. I
guess I wanted a break from the crowd, so I offered to feed Trevor." Then
she sighed and looked up at him with a tentative smile. "But I missed you
too."

"Good." He plunked down next to her on the bed. "Though I suppose I've still
got to sleep out in the bunkhouse with Fitz. It wouldn't do to have the kids
find me in here when they come barreling in to wake everybody up in the
morning." His hand began to toy with the back of her neck, which was doing
all kinds of weird things to Allison's breathing.

"Yeah," she gasped. "Bad idea." Her body was screaming otherwise.

"Be a hell of a way to celebrate Christmas, though," he murmured, and his
soft voice was muffled against her throat. He tugged down her turtleneck for
access, then stopped. "Did I do that?"

Allison giggled as he scraped his finger across the hickey. "Well, it wasn't
Santa Claus."


This has been an excerpt from The Cowboy's Christmas Bride
Cindy Spencer Pape has been, among other things, a banker, a teacher, and an elected politician, though she swears she got better. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two teenage sons, and several animals which are all easier to clean up after than the three male humans.
Please visit her website at:
http://www.cindyspencerpape.com/
and her blog at:
http://cindyspencerpape.blogspot.com/

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