Count down to Thanksgiving with one of our 13 poignant Harlequin Heartwarming short stories. This is a time to get together with family and friends, and reconnect over pumpkin pie and hot apple cider...or read about the stories where heroes and heroines struggle to get their dream holiday!
Heat level: sweet.
A Heartwarming Thanksgiving
Married by Thanksgiving by Melinda Curtis
“Mr. Hadley, I’m representing you today.” The woman on the other side of the Berkeley courthouse table wore a conservative blue suit that made her look ten years older than Clinton Hadley suspected she was.
He needed a real old lawyer – or at least a battle-scarred one – like the one he’d hired last month. Thinning white hair, outdated wire rimmed glasses, willing to lie, cheat, and deal to get Clinton Hadley out of jail in time to quarterback the Wolves against the Vipers on Sunday.
This woman had long, thick brown hair that he wanted to touch. Her clothes, her glasses, her cleavage (none shown!) were all in style and up-to-date. And she gave him a conservative smile, the kind that said she’d never lied, cheated, or double-dealed to get anyone out of jail. Ever.
“I’m Brenda Thomas from Wilson, Wilson and Wyatt.” The conservative smile vanished. In its place was a look he’d seen too often on rookies lining up across from a veteran offensive tackle, trying too hard to look confident.
He was in trouble! Big trouble.
“Where’s my lawyer?” The one Clinton wouldn’t trust playing poker with. Those things the jail had called eggs made an illegal move up his throat.
Her “confidence” never wavered. “Mr. Wilson sends his regrets from the Bahamas.”
Clinton’s agent was also on vacation this week. Had everyone deserted him during the most important time of his life? Didn’t anyone stay at home for Thanksgiving anymore?
“I’ve been in here since Saturday night,” he said. It was Monday morning.
She bit her bottom lip. Was she nervous?
Try sitting where I am, sweetheart!
She set her cell phone on the table. “We’re scheduled to appear in front of Judge Kowalski in fifteen minutes.” To her credit, there was no fear in her voice.
“Great.” There might have been some fear in his. There was no time now to call the lawyer he’d fired at the end of the summer. “Last month, Judge Kowalski told me to settle down, get married, and stay out of trouble.” After his backup started a brawl at a club.
“I guess you didn’t take his advice.” Ms. Thomas opened a folder and flipped through the pages. “Sadly, the getting married part would’ve helped. Judge Kowalski is notoriously softer on family men.”
Her fingers – long, slender, ringless – drummed over his arrest report.