All Maggie Carver wants for Christmas is for things to work out with her long time boyfriend Brock. But with his work schedule and putting her second, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen—especially because he plans to work on Christmas. She goes back to her family ranch for the holidays, alone and heartbroken.
Brock Wells thought Maggie was the one. That they’d be together through thick and thin. Before she heads home for the holidays, she ends things with him. While he loves her, he isn’t sure it’s worth fighting for any longer.
As the holidays draw closer and the need to spend the days with loved ones becomes overwhelming, can Maggie and Brock find their way back to one another, or will they let their stubborn nature get the best of them?
“If you love something let it go. If it’s meant to be, it’ll find its way back to you.” Maggie tightened her hands around the steering wheel.
She loved Brock Wells with everything in her. From the moment she met him, things were different. He was kind, compassionate, understanding, and damn good in the bedroom. Lately, however, he’d been distant. It was as though they suddenly just couldn’t get along.
She flipped her blinker on and turned on to the dirt road to Carver Ranch. She needed the guidance of her Aunt Gail, her mom’s sister. She lost her mother a few years ago to cancer and her father took off when she was a young child. She’d been in touch with him as an adult, but the feeling of betrayal by him never went away.
Her aunt Gail always knew what to tell her to make her feel better. With Christmas a few days away, Maggie wanted a good holiday with family. But most of all, she wanted to spend it with Brock, which wasn’t going to happen.
She parked the car and stared up at the two story farm house. Taking a deep breath, she left the vehicle. Warm apple and fresh spices welcomed her. Aunt Gail must be baking. She climbed the steps to the wraparound porch and wasted not time going inside.
Everything looked the same. A country, comfy themed place. Plaid couches, honey colored wood furniture. Fun little rooster knick knacks scattered throughout. The only difference was the added Christmas lights. The Christmas tree was most likely on the back screened-in portion of the porch. Her aunt liked to have one room she could fully deck out. One day she’d be a grandma, and she’d spoil those kids rotten.
“Aunt Gail,” she called as she made her way slowly through the home.
She took in each square foot she could, already feeling warmth around her heart. She was where she was supposed to be.
Aunt Gail walked out of the kitchen, wearing a blue apron with white ruffles. “Maggie Rose! You’re early. What are you doing here?”
Maggie wrapped her arms around her aunt and snuggled in as close as she could. The woman held her back tenderly. This is what it would be like if her mother was still here.
“I’ve missed you so much.” Aunt Gail pulled back and placed her hands on Maggie’s shoulders. “You look wonderful. Where is Brock?”
Maggie sighed and before she could speak, her aunt’s eyebrow had already lifted.
“What’s going on?”
She’d hoped to have been able to keep it a secret for a little while before her aunt figured out there was trouble in paradise, however the woman was too smart. Maggie supposed being the mom to three mischievous boys would do that. “I left him.” Sort of.
Shock crossed her face. “You what? Come in this kitchen and sit down. Tell me what happened.”
Maggie followed her into the kitchen, where she saw several pies sitting on the counter. The Carvers always had a ton of food. “Can I get a piece of fresh cherry pie?”
“Don’t tell my kids.” Aunt Gail sliced up the pie and put two pieces on separate plates. “Whipped cream?”
“Please.” She was sulking and needed comfort food, and her aunt made homemade whipped cream.
“All right, well give me a second to mix some up.” She gathered the heavy whipping cream and sugar and added the ingredients to her mixing bowl. “Please tell me Brock didn’t do anything bad.”
Maggie rested her chin on her fist. “It just wasn’t working anymore.”
Gail spun the spoon quickly through the bowl. “The last time I saw you two, I was certain you’d be coming here this Christmas with a ring.”
She had too. Things had appeared that way, but then he got a new promotion and work came first. All the time. He traveled a good bit and when he was home, he was on his computer working. When it came to sex, his libido was out the door. They hardly ever slept at one another’s places anymore. This Christmas, she really thought they’d be moving in together, especially since her lease was up the first of January. Boy had things changed. “We just fell apart. Out of sync.”
Aunt Gail brought the plates to the table and set one in front of Maggie. Not only did it look tasty, but the sweet cherry aroma made her mouth water.
“I’m sorry to hear that. Can it be fixed?”
“I don’t know.” She paused and chewed her bottom lip.
“What did you do? I can tell by that look.” She pointed a fork at her sternly.
“I kinda sent him a text before I came here and told him when I got back, I’d get my things from his place.” She stabbed her pie. “I was so upset he wasn’t coming here with me. And he knew how important this was.”
Her aunt lifted a mug to her mouth. “What did he say when you sent the text?”
That was the worst part. “Nothing. I saw he read the message but he never said a damn thing back.”
Lacey lives in Georgia with her husband, son and daughter, their six cats and one black lab who rules the house.