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Fake Christmas Lexy Timms 2022/8/3 13:45:47

“When the time is right.” She lifted her head to look at him, her green eyes glistening with unshed tears. “Soon.”

The fear that she had been unfaithful to him was coming back. Dane could forgive a secret. After all, he was keeping a secret from her. She had no idea what it had really taken to get her out of prison. Some secrets were necessary. But one thing he couldn’t forgive was cheating. Because he would never do that to her. The thought of her doing it to him was like a cold knife in his heart.

“I’m going to hold you to that,” he said firmly.

She nodded. “I understand. How about we finish decorating and then have dinner?”

“Sounds good,” he said. “Chef Durand left a ton of food for us, so we’ll have more than enough food for the next several days.”

With the Christmas tree up, they focused on the other decorations. In less than an hour they had put up a whole bunch of wreaths, garlands, and tinsel. Allyson even got the bright idea to put out a bowl of candy canes, which made the living room look more festive. Finally, his wife discovered the potted poinsettias Mrs. McKenzie had brought earlier in the day and she set them up right outside the villa’s back entrance.

When their work was done, they headed into the kitchen to find something to eat for dinner.

“What should we have for dinner?” Allyson asked.

“We’ve got seafood,” Dane said.

“I have an idea,” she said, suddenly sounding excited.

“I know the villa looks great with all the decorations up, but how about we have a picnic outside?” She smiled. “We can eat right at the spot we got married.”

He leaned over and kissed her forehead. “That’s a great idea.” When he had talked about their wedding earlier, he didn’t think she seemed to care all that much. As if her mind was focused on something else. He didn’t know what could be more important than their wedding, and her distracted response had unnerved the hell out of him. But now, it looked like she wanted to revisit the memories of the wedding, and he wanted that more than anything.

“I can warm up the food,” she said.

He nodded. “Okay. While you do that, I can get stuff ready outside on the beach.”

After he helped Allyson take some food out of the fridge and the freezer, he hunted for items to take down to the beach. He got a cooler and filled it with drinks. Then he packed a bag and included blankets, towels, utensils, and other items.

By the time he got to the beach, night had fallen. The moon was out and the villa’s outside lights automatically came on. All he had to do was set up their picnic and turn on the lights that had been set up for the palm trees.

Once everything was ready he headed back to the kitchen and grabbed some of the food his wife had heated, while she took up the rest of the food and followed him.

When they stepped out onto the beach, she gasped.

“Dane!” she cried. “The palm trees are so beautiful!”

They were. Earlier in the day he had helped the gardener, Mr. Bell, wrap strings of Christmas lights around the trunks of the palm trees on the beach. It was a Christmas tradition for locals to string up lights around trees outside, and the way the white lights glowed really was breathtaking.

Row after row of palm trees swaying in the breeze, covered in dazzling white lights. Illuminating everything. Including her. Especially her.

Beneath the lights of the palm trees, she looked like she was glowing. Watching her now, he knew that he had never seen his wife look more beautiful. The look of wonder on her face as she stared at the lights reminded him of the day they had gotten married on this beach.

Despite the happy memories they had made here on their wedding, Allyson hadn’t looked happy since they had returned to the villa this time around. But she looked happy right now.

“Do you like it?” he asked, already knowing the answer.

“I love it,” she breathed. “Everything looks so magical.”

“We’re almost at our spot,” he said. “We can sit under the lights soon.”

They headed to where he had set up the blankets and started setting up for the picnic. Dane poured out some cranberry juice while she piled their plates with food. They ate together, talking about their childhood Christmas memories.