A Firefighter's Christmas Gift (Holidays in Heart Falls Book 1) by Arend Vivian

A Firefighter's Christmas Gift (Holidays in Heart Falls Book 1) by Arend Vivian

Author:Arend, Vivian [Arend, Vivian]
Language: eng
Format: azw3, mobi
Publisher: Arend Publisher Inc.
Published: 2018-09-10T16:00:00+00:00

* * *

Brad finished cleaning the kitchen, chuckling as he put away the fifth pot. This was why his mom had always been reluctant to let his dad cook. The man couldn’t fry an egg without using three pans.

The house had gone quieter after Hanna had left. The settling creaks and sighing noises from a warm house on a cold day mixed with the Christmas carols still drifting from the living room. His dad had pulled out a stack of ancient records earlier in the evening and absolutely fascinated Crissy by showing her how the magic Frisbees produced noise.

Now his father’s canes echoed like slow drumbeats on the wooden floor as he made his way into the kitchen.

“Put on the kettle,” Patrick ordered.

Brad moved to obey the request, sliding a few Christmas cookies out of the full cookie jar onto a plate and plopping them in front of his father. “How are you feeling?”

He’d caught his father rubbing his legs earlier in the evening, a sure sign that the weather was getting ready to change.

Patrick made a face. “Oh, they ache, but they still get me where I need to go, so I don’t have much to complain about. I want to talk to you about something.”

Brad finished wiping his hands on the towel, hanging it to dry before joining his father at the table. The wind howled, shaking the windowpanes, the yard light flickering as snow whirled in front of it.

“Storm moving in?” Patrick asked.

There was another thing that made Brad smile. “You didn’t watch the news tonight. I think that’s the first time in years you haven’t been glued to the screen all evening.”

His father grabbed one of the cookies and began turning it in his fingers, fidgeting. Definitely fidgeting. “Well, yeah, I was busy.”

Busy playing with an eight-year-old who looked at him with wide eyes and delight as he’d showed her how to carefully balance a quarter on the record player needle to keep it in firm contact with the vinyl to produce the beautiful music.

Brad chose not to tease. Instead, he helped himself to a cookie, pausing to admire what had to be one of Crissy’s decorating attempts.

“When were you going to tell me that Mark showed up?” his father asked sternly.

A streak of anger rushed through Brad, but he chose to bite off the head of his gingerbread cookie instead of responding too soon. By the time he’d finished destroying the sweet treat, he was able to speak with control. “He showed up. I told him he wasn’t welcome unless invited. That’s about all there is to it.”

His father stared at him, fingers tapping on the table. “Hanna seems a lot more perky than I expected, considering.”

“I expect shock from the fire is still going to hit,” Brad told him quietly. “Crissy too. So be ready for it if it happens while you’re here with her alone.”

Patrick hummed thoughtfully. “I want you to give me some hints of what to do if that happens, but that’s not what I was talking about.



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