Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Author:Debbie Macomber
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: 2016-10-03T16:00:00+00:00


Julia felt decidedly better in the morning. Weak as overcooked pasta but able to function. She didn’t dare stay in bed another day, not this close to Christmas. She woke to a text message from Jeremy.

U better?

Much, she replied, balancing the phone on the side of the bathroom sink while she applied her makeup.

Last practice is tomorrow. U OK for that?

I’ll be there. Promise.

Thanx. Take care.

Will do.

The holiday program wasn’t the last of her volunteer responsibilities, either. She had yet to fulfill her obligation to the Red Bucket Brigade. She’d signed up to ring for an hour and was scheduled for that very afternoon.

Grabbing her phone off the sink, she collected her coat, gloves, and purse and was just about to head out the door when Cain knocked. When she appeared fully dressed and ready for the day, he seemed surprised to see her up and about.

“You’re going to work?” he asked.

“I can’t stay home,” she said, gently attempting to ease her way around him. “People are counting on me.”

“I don’t think returning to work so soon is a good idea.”

“Cain.” Her hand moved to his chest. “I don’t have time to argue.”

“Good.” Frowning, as if unsure what to do, he continued to block her way.

“I’m gonna miss my bus,” she pleaded. “I’m running late as it is.”

To his credit, he moved aside, although reluctantly. The truth was Julia would have enjoyed lounging in bed another day, but it simply wasn’t possible. Not with her schedule.

She locked her apartment and met Cain at the elevator. She felt his censure, which she chose to ignore.

“You sure you feel up to this?” he asked.

She did and she didn’t, and she answered with a flip-flop of her hand. “I guess we’ll see.” It was destined to be a long day, and all she could do was hope she had the energy to make it through.

Once inside the elevator, Julia felt Cain exhale in frustration. “I think you should take an extra day. Screw the season.”

“Cain, I wish I could, but I can’t. You only took off one day, and I’m as tough as you.”

He snickered.

“You took a later lunch yesterday because you had so much work to catch up on, right?”

“You’re in retail,” he countered.

“I still have commitments.”

“To sell so many sweaters? Fold display socks?”

Julia stiffened, surprised how offended his comment made her. “If you’re belittling my job, I don’t appreciate it.” Working at Macy’s wasn’t her choice for a lifelong career, but her years with the company had served her well. She was able to pay her bills until she found employment in her field of work.

He pinched his lips and then sighed. “You’re right. That came out wrong. It wasn’t what I meant to say. I’m concerned you’re going back too soon, and I would hate to see you relapse.”

She accepted his apology with a soft smile. “I’ll be fine.”

“Promise me you’ll do your best to take it easy. I have a desk job, but you’re going to be on your feet all day.



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