Twinkle Lights by Vicki Batman - Romance>ContemporaryWhen the owner of a Christmas tree stand, which benefits the children's hospital, has a heart attack, a do-gooder and a reformed high school delinquent turned lawyer show their holiday spirit and staff the business. Over the course of the season, the twosome meet the challenges of running the establishment and begin to fall for each other; however, when the revenue goes missing, fingers are pointed.
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Excerpt:"I don't believe it." Hands on hips, I stood in front of the large, white tent. No happy shoppers bustled in and out. No All I Want For Christmas is You blasting from a boom box. No holiday cheer at all.
Instead, I found under the same ol' Axel's Christmas Trees neon sign, which wasn't flashing, a notice, which looked to be hastily printed and stuck on the tent flap with gray duct tape: Closed. Heart attack. And as an afterthought: Pray.
I shook my head, saying to the nippy wind whipping my hair, "Poor Axel. This is horrible. Where will the funds for the Sommerville Hospital come from?"
My stomach kinked into a hard knot as I hugged my tote to my waist. I'd been buying my Christmas tree here since...forever. Definitely since I was a blossoming idea in my parents' mind. Mom and Dad brought my brother and me to Axel's the first Saturday in December every year for the family tree. Who could forget the ensuing arguments over the perfect one—Mom usually won—and the joy of trimming it.
All grown up, I continued the tradition. Axel had the most beautiful trees. The stand benefited the hospital; this year, the children's cancer wing where his grandson had undergone treatment for leukemia. He always-always-always stashed aside a seven-foot Fraser fir for me. Nothing spelled Christmas better than a fresh, North Carolina Fraser fir.
Now what do I do? Where do I go? Should I call Axel's son and see if he needs anything?