Today's excerpt is from One Snowy Day by Charlotte Snead, part of the One Snowy Night Anthology.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!
A former boss drops by to see Evvie, who has resigned to care for her niece.
“Before he comes, I’d liked to ask you to join me at the Kennedy Center Friday night. You can get away, can’t you?”
. ... She didn’t answer, so he prodded her.
“I, uh, well we got married a few weeks ago—to be a team to raise Molly.”
Andy’s eyebrows shot up, and he turned her hand to see the ring. “Do you love him?”
“He was married to my sister. I’ve known him for years.”
“Does he love you?”
“It isn’t like that. It’s for Molly.”
“That’s weird, Evvie, even for someone as giving as you. What’s in it for you? Are you sharing his bed?” When she told him no, he shook his head.
At the jangle of the bell on the door, they both turned. Andy still held her hand from looking at her wedding band.
Phil saw them and strode to the table, leaning to kiss Evvie’s cheek. Her eyes widened, but she smiled and invited him to sit, making the introductions. After shaking hands, Andy explained he’d been in the area on business and decided to check in with Evvie.
“We’ve missed her around the office. She’s a remarkable person.”
Phil picked up Evvie’s hand. “She is. Molly and I are beyond grateful she’s agreed to stay with us.”
Evvie was shocked at the way Phil acted as though they had a real marriage. Her eyes flitted between the two men.
Andy stood. “I was surprised to learn you two are married.”
“About two weeks ago, but we’ve known each other for eight years, right, Evvie?”
“My daughter is in school.”
“Well, I wanted to catch up.” Andy turned to Evvie. “Keep in touch and let me know if you need anything.”
“I’m applying for jobs, so I might need a reference.”
“You got it.” Waving his hand, he moved to the door.
Phil leaned his head into his hands. “I messed up, didn’t I?”
“What do you mean?”
“He asked you out, didn’t he?”
“I told him we were married.”
Phil groaned. “I promised I’d let you go if you had someone interested.”
“Phillip, we worked together. He stopped by to catch up. We never dated.”
“He couldn’t very well date an employee, but now you’re free.”
Evvie looked down at the table, pushing the cup of her now-cold latte. “I made a commitment to you, and Molly.” She felt his eyes studying her intently.
“Have you eaten? Shall we get some lunch?”
“Have you got time?”
“Always, for my wife.” He signaled the waiter, who followed them to the outside seating. After they ordered, he admired her outfit, noting the sweater brought out the green in her eyes. “You look lovely, and, yes, I was jealous, but I had no right to be. It wasn’t in the bargain.”
“The bargain is working out okay for me.” she assured him.