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CHRISTMAS, Mistletoe and YOU - A Christmas Romance Novella

 

PROLOGUE

CHRISTMAS 2014

Casey strolled along the snow covered path of the outdoor corner Christmas tree store in search of the perfect tree. She’d envisioned just how it should look: not too tall, one that held its shape, and would fit nicely inside her small apartment. Coming to a stop in front of a six foot, dark green fir, she ran her appreciative gaze over it and a smile spread across her pretty face. This was the tree for her. She checked the price tag. Reasonable… and within her budget. Casey reached up, tugged the tag from the branch and was about to take it over to the cash register to pay for the tree when a guy that worked at the store came over and jostled it onto a cart.

     “Um, excuse me, but I was just about to buy that tree.” She held up the tag in her hand.

     “Sorry, lady, it’s already been sold.”

     Casey huffed out a white plume of frustrated breath. “But how? I have the price tag right here.”

     The guy shrugged. “Don’t know. But the guy who bought it is over there.” He pointed in the direction of the portable, Christmas shop front.

     Casey’s disappointed gaze moved in the direction of the attendant’s finger and she spotted a well-dressed man with sandy blond hair wearing a knee-length, black overcoat and crimson scarf standing by the register with his back to her. She ran the idea around her mind for a moment then decided to walk over to him to see if she could negotiate. She really wanted that particular tree.

     “Excuse me,” she said. He turned around and her eyes widened. He was so handsome and the musky cologne he had on drifted into her nostrils, causing her heart to flutter. “Uh, hi, I’m – I’m Casey, Casey Munroe.” She held up the tag in her hand. “I was just about to buy the tree you’ve purchased. Any chance you might sell it to me?” She gave him a sweet smile.

     “Hello, I’m Peter Taylor.” He shook his head. “Sorry, but it’s the perfect tree.”

     “Yes, I know, that’s why I wanted to buy it.” She glanced at the Christmas firs surrounding them then looked at him.    “Couldn’t you find another one? There are plenty to choose from.”

     His eyebrows came together and he stared into her blue eyes. They were quite lovely. “Couldn’t you? I’ve already made the purchase.” He slipped his hands into a pair of black leather gloves and shrugged the snow dust off his shoulders. “It’s been nice talking to you…” He frowned at her trying to recall her name.

     “Casey.”

     “Yes, Casey. I have to go.” He followed the attendant over to his car and both men lifted the tree onto a blue tarped set the roof racks on top of Peter’s black BMW and secured it.

     Casey wasn’t taking no for an answer. “Uh, excuse me, Mr. Taylor. I’d be happy to give you the price you paid for it plus ten dollars.” He looked well-to-do and could afford to purchase another tree, a more expensive one, if he wanted to. She couldn’t.

     “I’m sorry, Miss…”

     “Casey,” she corrected.

     “Yes.” He pointed a gloved index finger at her. “I really have to go. Merry Christmas.”

     It seemed there wasn’t anything more she could say to get him to change his mind. Mr. Peter Taylor obviously didn’t have the Christmas spirit otherwise he would have taken her up on her offer.

     He opened the car door, handed the guy a tip, climbed into his sleek, elegant sedan and drove away.

     Casey stood on the sidewalk, mittened hands on hips, watching the taillights disappear into the early evening, Christmas shopping traffic chaos and gave a heavy sigh. There goes my tree.

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© 2017 M. A. Anderson

Bella Luna Books, Australia

 

All rights reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without written permission of the Author.

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