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Fake Christmas Lexy Timms 2022/8/3 13:45:46

“There’s still time to put up the decorations,” he said. “If you’re up for it.”

Going into town had eased her troubled mind somewhat. But until she could tell her husband the truth, there was still an obvious tension between them. She might not be as desperate to return to New York now that she had missed her appointment, but she was still missing out on celebrating Christmas the way she really wanted to.

She looked at him. Even when she had finally revealed that she was keeping a secret from him, he was still willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Still willing to meet her halfway. If Dane was going to put in the effort to make the best of all this then she was, too.

“I’m up for it,” she said finally. “Let’s decorate the villa.”

“I know it’s tough for you to have to change your Christmas plans,” he said. “But I’m glad you’re here. For a second I thought you had taken off and weren’t going to come back.”

“Dane, no matter what happens, never doubt that I love you. Because I do. And I always will,” she said softly.

“I love you, too.” Her husband wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. “And since I love you, I want you to be happy. Maybe there’s still chance we can make it to New York in time for Christmas. How about before we start decorating, we check the weather?”

She reached for the remote and turned on the television.

There was a shot of a weather reporter standing outside in a fierce snowstorm. The weather hadn’t changed. Which meant they were stuck here until at least tomorrow. Christmas Eve.

“I think I’m going to call everyone and cancel our plans,” Allyson said. She knew that they were about to decorate the villa and make the place look more festive, but it was hard not to feel glum. Christmas in New York was all she wanted. It would have been perfect. And all the magic of spending a holiday with her family had been taken away from her.

Dane nodded. “That’s probably for the best.”

After she went upstairs to get freshened up, she contacted the caterers. Then she called her family members, Dane’s parents, and family friends to make sure they were safe during the snowstorm. Everyone was disappointed that the Christmas plans were cancelled, but with the storm grinding New York to a halt they more than understood.

When she headed back downstairs, she found her husband putting up the large plastic Christmas tree. She was used to having real trees, but she had to admit the plastic tree looked pretty realistic. And it was absolutely huge. Almost as big as the ones in department stores.

“Honestly, despite the cancellation, you and I might end up getting the better end of the deal here,” she said.

Her husband turned to her and smiled. “I know I got the better end of the deal. I get to spend Christmas with the most beautiful girl in the world.”

His words made her heart flutter. “I meant we don’t have to deal with the bad weather. But being here with you is nice.”

“Is it? Because you don’t look all that happy,” he pointed out.

She sighed. “I’m trying to enjoy this. But it’s still so hard having to accept that I won’t be spending Christmas with my family. I’ve never missed a Christmas with them. Not once. And now I’ll be missing my first Christmas as a Prescott.”

He reached for one of the sparkling blue Christmas ornaments on the coffee table and handed it to her. “Why don’t we at least try? I know your mind is elsewhere right now, but maybe if the place looked more festive you’d come around.”

“Okay,” she said. “I can’t promise a lot, but I can promise to try.”

First, they put white lights on the tree. Then they got to work decorating the tree with blue and silver ornaments. The ornaments were mostly nautical-themed and probably tacky, but there was something oddly charming about them. There were sparkly anchors, iridescent seashells, seahorses, and regular round ornaments that were silver or blue. Finally, Dane put the giant starfish on the top of the tree.

He caught her gaze and frowned. “You don’t like the tree, do you?”

“It’s pretty,” she said. “Just not what I’m used to.”