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Authors: Adrienne Davenport

Tags: #Miracles in the Making, #Adrienne Davenport, #9781629292250, #Contemorary, #Romance, #Holiday, #Christmas, #angel, #winter, #cheerful, #holiday, #love, #candy, #store, #faith, #relationship, #trust, #celebration, #emotion, #heart, #feel, #true love, #connection, #lover, #heart, #gift, #second chance, #wish, #trust

Miracles in the Making

BOOK: Miracles in the Making
12.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Miracles in the Making
By
Adrienne Davenport
Credits Page

Eternal Press
A division of Damnation Books, LLC.
P.O. Box 3931
Santa Rosa, CA 95402-9998

www.eternalpress.biz

Miracles in the Making
by Adrienne Davenport

Digital ISBN: 978-1-62929-225-0

Cover art by: Dawné Dominique
Edited by: Kim Richards

Copyright 2014 Adrienne Davenport

Printed in the United States of America
Worldwide Electronic & Digital Rights
Worldwide English Language Print Rights

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any form, including digital and electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the Publisher, except for brief quotes for use in reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Dedication page

To my family, I can’t thank you enough for your support! Merry Christmas to all!

Love,

Adrienne

Chapter One

Propped beside the register at the far side of the store, Candy Frost watched as—one after another—children, ranging in ages from seven to seventeen, sauntered in off the streets each new soul clearly had similar goal in mind. Behind her Bobby Helms poured out from the radio, flooding the crowded little room with the beat of his classic, “
Jingle Bell Rock
” the perfect accent to the delicious medley of aromas, enwrapping each customer the instant they stepped through the creaky antique door. Irresistibly sweet and tangy, the collection of unique fragrances easily drew each visitor inside. One by one, the boys and girls popped up, each young guest tapping their foot to bounce of the lively song. Every child giggled, smiling at the sound—an average winter morning at the Candy Cane Lane Sweets Shop. Outside the snow whirled in a steady stream, thickly layering the Chicago city walkways and the historic lights lining the busy boulevards on each side. As she often did, Miss Frost again thought of her name, wondering for the thousandth time why her parents had chosen it. No doubt, the children loved it. They thought she was lucky as could be. As far as she could tell, she couldn’t ask for much stranger. Candy rolled her eyes at the wooden counter, raising her head just as a young boy trotted up to the freshly polished edge with a wealth of candy in his arms.

“Here you are, Miss Candy; that will do the job.” The youth moved a step backwards, patient as she tallied up his loot.

Candy only smiled. Piece by piece she calculated the total.
No small amount of pennies. This was probably the boys’ entire allowance laid out before him.
Just to play it safe Candy chopped off five minor dollars, telling the lad his charge. It was nearly Christmas after all.

The child looked relieved. His face wreathed in a big smile, he handed her his money, sweeping up his treasure as he did. “Thank you much Miss Candy!” he told her over one loaded arm.

“Would you like a bag for all that?” Candy cheerfully inquired.

The tiny customer shook his head. He stopped short and thought this through just in time for the chocolates to go toppling to the floor. “Actually Miss Candy, I think that
would
be very nice.” Scooping his riches into the plastic bag, the child gave Candy a warm, “Thanks,” and sauntered from the store.

A stream of similar small shoppers later, Candy glanced back at the radio,
Four p.m. so soon?
She hopped from her chair and snatched up one of the festive red and green Hershey bar for herself just before she wandered out into the sparkling snow. Sure to lock the door behind her, the pretty redhead began her short stroll home. All around her, the light winter breeze fluttered through sparsely covered branches, grazing her fair skin. A jumbled assortment of odors enveloped her on all sides. Ranging from car oil to fresh baking, the curious scent created by the chaos was more homely then disturbing. After stopping long enough to grab a sizzling espresso from the café nearby her home, she paused before the antiqued building that housed the apartment where she’d lived for the last eight years. As she did most other evenings, she admired each individual detail composing its unique façade. Once satisfied, the twenty-seven-year-old wandered in out of the frigid air. Too tired to attempt the winding staircase, she made a beeline for the elevator, located on the opposing end of the sky-high foyer. With a quick tap on the number six, she leaned against the closest wall, and began the game of patient waiting. Happy when a brief moment later the doors parted to reveal her own personal doorway, Candy stepped out and withdrew her key. The heavy wooden panel opened with a swish.

“Meow.” The sound echoed from the apple red 18th century sofa, positioned just across the room as her fire orange-striped house cat, Peter Pan, welcomed her home.

Candy giggled at the greeting, kicking the door shut with the heel of her right foot. “Yes, yes I know, Peter. I missed you too. You’ve kept us safe again I see.” Bending down before the sofa, Candy gave the animal a loving rub along his back. “My prince charming, yes you are.” For a moment, she said no more, continuing to massage her friend as he arched his limber back and rubbed against her ankles. Suddenly she added, “Though occasionally it does feel a little quiet, after being around so many little voices all day long. What would you think of a date, no clawing to the death or anything like that?” Candy shook her head, amused with the whole notion of her conversation with a cat, and even more just how often they occurred. Scratching Peter on his head, she left the cat to sleep and started for her kitchen, the thoughts she had voiced, so rare, still fresh in her head,
One week until Christmas Eve.
As they had, since their parents died in a rough car accident three years before, she and her sisters would meet at their family cabin a short distance away. She had the two of them. Candy glanced at her pet and smiled. She had her friend, Peter.
What more could a person need?
The spirited beauty shrugged and, looking out the broad window set into the living room wall, allowed a sweet smile to steal across her face, lighting up her malachite eyes. As she turned back to her waiting coffee she pondered,
Chicago what a beautiful place this time of year.

Chapter Two

Tucked far above in the heavens, the freshly marked young angel gazed down from the clouds. The sapphire blue of his eyes matched the starlight and the dark brown of his thick tuft of hair was a perfect complement to the rest of his graceful traits. A starting lawyer in life, this had been his existence for little more than a year. Eight more days, Christmas morning, the anniversary of the gunshot that had pulled him from Earth. Noel gazed intently at the girl who was his newest assignment. There were rules to being an angel. It was like scoring a second chance in a game with high stakes. In basketball, if you didn’t listen to what the ref had to say, you’d end up at the line. It was similar amongst these beings. If you didn’t pay attention, you didn’t get a second chance. The angel felt his nails sink against his palm.
The girl certainly was lovely. No man—mortal or otherwise could ever deny that.
He forced his eyes to close and turned away his head. Beautiful or not she was also his assignment, and that more than anything meant primarily
off limits
. He sensed the heat of his superiors—all knowing,
all
the time. He knew without asking they were fully aware of what was on his mind.
The reason they gave him this task was to present him with a challenge.
He returned to the young woman, right now chatting with her cat and thought of earlier that day when he saw her surrounded in her dainty shop.
So many children and none of them her own; yet every one of the boys and girls loved her.
Noel inhaled deeply, taking in the serenity around him. He knew he should be grateful. Yet, he couldn’t stop the sensation that something remained missing. Behind him, the sun faded, smoothing against the silky feathers of his folded wings.

“Noel, she’ll be fine for a moment. I told you once before, you’ll know if something goes amiss. The Board of Veneration would like to have a word with you.” As he voiced the light warning, Daniel, another guardian angel, casually nudged his friend in the side.

The Board of Veneration—the high power of the angels—not one angel existed who didn’t know the meaning of the term.
Noel cringed at the fact alone.
The five high overseers of the Heavens. If they called to see you, it couldn’t possibly be good. At least on any normal day this was likely the case.
He flinched a little but nonetheless, complied with the demand. Taken from his charge, he rose to his feet, walking across the fluffy clouds. Most of the other angels would only laugh when they saw his choice, why by now. They all knew how to fly. His long wings fluttered then settled back against his skin. A little longer maybe; but for now, he didn’t entirely grasp the notion. Another year perhaps, so it was just as well that he sauntered.
At least were I to fall, it wouldn’t hurt too badly, or if I do, the sensation won’t last.
He knew this from prior experiences. Lost in his own thoughts, he didn’t immediately realize he had arrived at his destination. Not until he raised his head, taking in the five archangels positioned in a sophisticated half circle, did he grasp what had happened.

“Noel, young angel, you have made it.” The words came from Gabriel, overseer of all other angels.

Noel bowed his head, a display of his respect. “Yes, sir. I apologize for the listlessness of my pace. I had to opt for walking.”

The high angel displayed a slight grin. “A choice you’ve shown, not an obligation. Even so, it is not the reason for this meeting.”

At this statement, Noel looked temporarily relieved. “Thank you, I am grateful,” he confirmed to the board before him.

Gabriel waved his hand. “It is nothing. There is, however, the matter for our summons. As fervently as you may have tried, some of the behavior you have shown has continued in an intriguingly dismissive fashion. In regard to this occasion, can you offer a reasonable explanation?”

Noel couldn’t help but cringe. He knew without asking what it was they spoke of. The young woman had fiery red hair and a knack for dealing with children in general. He had known for awhile that it would be only a matter of time before he ended up in this position. At first, he didn’t answer; instead, he thought the whole idea over, trying to create some logical reply. When brief seconds turned to minutes and he had yet to conjure up an answer, he simply opted to stop trying. “I can’t say I do,” he admitted to the board. His voice echoed with the desolation he tried his hardest not to show, but he didn’t really care.
It doesn’t matter either way,
he told himself.

Gabriel met him eye-to-eye, sympathetic to this student’s plight. “Mister Street, it may surprise you, but we do not seek to completely append you of the position you now hold. Still the fact remains, you have knowingly ceased to follow the rules by which we live. We cannot leave your actions without punishment. After some discussion, the board has decided to temporarily confiscate the immortality of your character. We have decided to send you to Earth where you shall remain until you can prove of your repentance. It is your choice how long this will last. I warn you, this will be no light task.”

Noel parted his lips, ready to answer. Just as he did, Gabriel raised one hand, instantly cutting him short. “There is one last matter before we officially close this discussion.” Reaching his left hand out to where Noel stood, he spread his palm flat, kindly holding a small gift in his light grip. Noel eyed his elder with speculation, warily reaching out his right arm. A little angel carved of sleek white marble touched the tips of his fingers just before falling from the head angel’s hand. His own grasp tightening protectively around the delicate talisman, Noel looked forward in question. “It is a gift from us to you,” Gabriel said, his expression understanding. “From the board of high angels to you. We would like you to know, young angel, if you ever need our assistance you have only to hold tightly to this figure and silently call for our aid. One of us will always be near to help you.” Noel responded with a grateful nod, staring as the divine scene faded further into the distance.

In place of graceful whiteness, large rectantular structures towered on all sides. Only steps away a grand tree, lit with vibrant color and topped by an elegant white star held court before his eyes. At its base, a petite gingerbread house glistened against the night, its neat brown rooftops stretching towards the sky. At first, he stood immobile, gaping up in awe. He rolled his shoulders and his brows wrinkled in dismay. Something felt amiss. His fingers touched his neck and he knew at once what left him feeling so restless. That he felt anything at all was a first in some time. Add to that, his broad wings, usually fluttering in time with his restlessness, no longer existed and it was clear what had occurred. Without stopping to consider what he was about to do, Noel wandered up to the mighty tree, with his fingers grazing it’s regal points. For the first time since his scene shifted, he really paused to look around. From every angle tiny lights twinkled and festive statues reigned. Each figure smiled down on him their
hello.
His starry blue eyes dropped to the gold plaque, engraved with the city’s name, “Chicago, Illinois”. Noel warmed at what he read, at last certain where he rested,
not so painless as a mortal.
The buildings towered high no matter which way you turned. To escape this meant to walk.
Without wings to carry me beyond these endless towers, it will take days to meet this goal. You had to start sometime, and what better time than now.
He sauntered past the emerald giant, making a straight line for the streets. About to touch the perimeter of the illustrious attraction, he halted once more, sparing the glorious location one last glance before he continued his capricious undertaking.

For the next half hour, he continued in such a fashion, randomly swerving around any corner that fell into sight, not exactly sure, where he was really going. He knew the option stood, he could always stop and ask, in such a mighty city there were always residents awake. Then again, they were always so friendly—especially at night. He knew this all too well. Noel dug one hand into his left pocket, clutching the cool surface of the marble figure, shaped like an angel. Given to him by the high angels before they’d sent him down to Earth, they’d meant the gift as a form of light protection. As he pondered this exchange, Noel tightened his grip on the figure becoming increasingly weary as he turned the corner for perhaps the fifteenth time. With his free hand, he touched his lips, feeling the air pass from his lungs. Mortals did get tired. He knew this from before, only this time he hadn’t really planned on what he’d do when it occurred. At his back, a colorful wooden bench rested on the sidewalk. Left with no better alternative, he settled on its seat. A split second later, he was dozing against the smooth, cold, back.

* * * *

Candy arrived at her store, early on the following morning. As with most early mornings, when she made the same stroll from her home to the shop, she could barely open her eyes. Surprised to find she could even reach for her key, Candy bent to set aside her steaming cup of morning coffee. Her eyes widened in shock and she instantly moved towards the roads. “Oh my,” the words flew from her lips, and she slapped her hand to her mouth. Noel opened his eyes, shivering as the chilly night air, passed lightly over his skin. For half of the night he’d slept on the bench now heavily sprinkled with ice. When he saw the exquisite women before him, he grinned, slowly rising to his feet. Not entirely certain where to begin, he didn’t attempt to make any move, leaving her room to decide how she would like to proceed. Nervous of the stranger who now stood before her, Candy made no move to connect. The image of a frightened rabbit, she appeared as though she were on the verge of running and would by all accounts do just that if he dared to say so much as, “Good Morning”. Instead, Noel continued to wait, eventually sinking back to the bench where he’d started his day. It was obvious when the girl at last realized he didn’t intend to advance. The tension faded from her form and she risked a half step in his direction. When he remained graciously silent, Candy dared three steps more. This time she inhaled a deep breath of the cool winter air.

“Are you all right?” she asked. The last remnants of her wariness lingered in her words but her tone was altogether gentle.

Noel admired her pluck. Most women would take the opportunity offered to them and run. Instead, she waited—lured in by the tremulous state of affairs. She had been afraid, that he had witnessed for himself, but she had chosen to fight against it, unwilling to give in. He struggled back to his feet. This time it took some effort, the exhaustion that engulfed him was unfamiliar and biting. “Yes, I’ll get along,” he replied as he moved forward. To reassure her further, he offered her a friendly smile.

From Candy’s fingers, her keys dangled on their ring, jingling as they swayed in the soft breeze, but she didn’t budge. Her expression more concerned than nervous, she examined the handsome stranger, from torn shoes all the way up to his head. Her face told the entire story. She didn’t believe a word he said. At last, she sighed and settled, more at ease than ever. “Would you like a place to stay?”

Astonished with the offer, Noel considered what she’d said. Even a couch, however cozy, was better than a frozen bench…but in the home of this young woman. That could get him in more trouble. Of course, if he played his cards correctly, it also offered him the perfect situation to prove himself as his superiors had asked. He returned her gesture, studying her from every angle. Hair that glowed like morning sunlight and eyes like Egyptian gems, the idea alone seemed dangerous. Noel laughed at his shaky thoughts; he knew he was strong enough. Eventually he chuckled, amused with the course events had taken. “Yes, I think that would be a nice change. Is there anything I can do for you?” Reaching out with his palm wide open, he offered Candy his hand.

She willingly accepted the flattering gesture. After exchanging a friendly handshake, she shifted towards her shop. “There is the shop to run,” she explained as she started walking. “You’re more than welcome to make your way to the apartment. If you need, I will happily offer you the key. If you’d prefer, you could stay here as long as you please. I always welcome the company, and I always have something which needs done. I won’t turn down the help.” For a split second she halted, as if considering her next play, then with some uncertainty informed him, “You asked if you could help me. Well, there is always that; the store is a busy place especially this time of year. I’d truly enjoy the company. Either way, just let me know.”

This time Noel didn’t falter. “That would be nice,” he admitted on the spot. “To hang around, I mean. I’m sure your home is a quiet place this time of day and I’d much prefer the company.”

Candy picked an old gold key from the musical ring and jabbed it into the lock that matched it. “There is always Peter Pan. My cat,” she explained when he only laughed.

He visualized the animal—fat, orange, and chatty; the one she always talked with. He knew the pet all too well. She didn’t need to know as much. That would do far more harm than good. He let the subject fall and followed Candy into the shop. Fascinated with what met him, he made no attempt to speak—the entire place was magical. Before it had been fascinating; but seen so close, it was remarkable. Such a dream-like wonderland, it was easy to understand why all the children loved to come here. Somewhere off in his considerations, Noel lost sight of the path he’d chosen through the maze of tall shelves and colorful displays. An elegant redwood table took him by surprise. One of the three legs that supported it caught his left toe as he moved. He stumbled to the floor, nearly taking the display of gingerbread and chocolate Santas displayed on the table along with him. Relieved just to know that the delightful pyramid was in place, he didn’t pay much mind to the pain that had developed his shoulder or his knee. The noise he’d caused however wasn’t nearly so overlooked. As quickly as she’d reached her counter, Candy wound around the shelves, beaming as she wandered through the labyrinth of cookies and sweets. The closer she grew however, the more her amusement died away. As she arrived at his side, she sunk down on her heels, balanced in a half-sitting position. Her attention drew to the small portion of a bruise that the neckline of his shirt revealed and she looked more concerned than entertained. “That couldn’t have felt too nice,” she commented as she rose. “You seem to be all right.”

BOOK: Miracles in the Making
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