Authors: Melissa McClone
Tags: #romance, #western, #christmas, #american romance, #cowboys, #montana, #wedding
“I’m in this for the long haul. For you and Brooklyn.”
Meg stared up at him. “I love you.”
He answered her with a kiss.
His lips pressed against hers, soft, but with a quiet strength. Like Ty. Meg soaked up his warmth, wanting more. Soon, she told herself. Mistletoe was no longer required for kisses, though since it was Christmas, she would take advantage of the tradition. He drew the kiss to a slow end, and as soon as he stepped back, she wished he was still kissing her.
“I didn’t think I could top last Christmas.” He grinned, “But we have.”
“Not bad, since it’s still early in the morning.”
“And presents await.”
She stared up at him. “This one isn’t wrapped, but here you go.”
Meg kissed him firmly on the lips.
“Thank you,” he said.
She smiled at her daughter, who stretched her arms over her head. “Merry Christmas, sweetie.”
Brooklyn hugged her colt. “Did you see my Christmas present?”
“I did. You must have been a very good girl to get such a special present.”
“I have been, haven’t I, Boss Man?” Brooklyn asked.
“Indeed, Boss Girl,” Ty answered. “But how did you know about your present?”
Brooklyn rubbed the horse’s neck. “Daddy.”
Meg’s mouth gaped. “Who?”
“My daddy told me that I was getting a special present from someone who loves me very much.”
Meg exchanged a glance with Ty. He looked as confused as her. “You shouldn’t have come out here alone.”
“I wasn’t alone. Daddy walked me out here. Made me put on my coat, gloves and boots, too.” She looked around. “He said he couldn’t stay long, but was very glad to finally see me, though he won’t be back again.”
“A dream,” Ty whispered. “She made what she wanted for Christmas come true. She won’t be expecting him back. The subconscious is an amazing thing.”
Meg nodded, but that didn’t take away the chills or goosebumps. She took a step toward Brooklyn. “Well, I’m glad you got to spend a little time with him.”
“Me, too.” Brooklyn tilted her chin. “I look like him.”
“Yes, you do,” Meg agreed.
Brooklyn’s nose crinkled. “He says I’m smart like you.”
Meg nodded. “That, too.”
The colt rubbed against Brooklyn. She giggled. “You are the best horse in the world, Tracer.”
No. This couldn’t be happening. Meg’s knees weakened. She reached for Ty.
“Meg.” He held onto her. “You’re so pale.”
“What’s wrong, Mommy?” Brooklyn asked.
“Tracer.” Meg’s voice cracked. “Where did you come up with the name for your horse?”
“Daddy. I thought his helmet said Tracker, but he told me it was Tracer. I said that would be a good name for my horse. He agreed.”
Brooklyn must have seen a picture of Trace in his climbing helmet somewhere or overheard a story . . . something.
“You okay?” Ty whispered.
“Her father used to write his nickname Tracer across the front of his climbing helmet.”
“She must have seen a picture.”
Yes, that would explain it. Meg hadn’t seen Trace in so long. Who knew if wore the same helmet, or wrote the nickname on a new one? “Brooklyn must have come across a photo album when we moved into the cabin.”
“She wanted to see her dad for Christmas and did in her dreams,” Ty said. “Doesn’t matter if it was real or not, she’s happy. That’s all that matters.”
Meg nodded, but a part of her wished the moment could have been real for both Trace and Brooklyn’s sake. Meg straightened. “What are we doing in the barn? It’s Christmas! Time to see what Santa brought.”
Brooklyn’s bottom lip quivered. “I can’t leave Tracer alone. He’ll be lonely.”
Meg opened her mouth, then promptly closed it. For all she knew, horses got lonely. She looked at Ty for assistance. He was the horse guy.
Ty walked into the stall. “Tracer will be fine on his own. He needs quiet time, and we can visit him later.”
“I love you, Tracer.” Brooklyn looked from the colt to Ty. “I love you, too, Boss Man.”
Meg’s breath caught. She’d never heard Brooklyn say those words to anyone except her.
Ty swooped Brooklyn up into his arms. “I love you, Boss Girl.”
“Thanks for Tracer.” She kissed Ty’s cheek, melting what remained of Meg’s heart. “Mommy said this would be the best Christmas ever.”
Ty took hold of Meg’s hand. “She was correct. Again.”
Meg smiled up at them. She didn’t need any presents or stocking stuffers, eggnog or gingerbread. Mistletoe wasn’t required. “It’s easy to be right when the two of you are all I need for a perfect Christmas.”
Brooklyn beamed. “We’re a family.”
Meg’s gaze met Ty’s. In his eyes, she saw so much, including their future. “Yes, we are.”
If you enjoyed
, you’ll love the other Montana Born Christmas stories!
Blame the Mistletoe
by Dani Collins
Her Mistletoe Cowboy
by Alissa Callen
Cowboy, It’s Cold Outside
by Katherine Garbera
Want more Montana Born Christmas? Don’t forget to grab the Copper Mountain Christmas series
A Cowboy for Christmas
by Katherine Garbera
Home for Christmas
by Melissa McClone
Christmas at Copper Mountain
by Jane Porter
by Melissa McClone
has published over twenty-five novels with Harlequin and been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house. For more on Melissa’s books, visit her website: