This month I’m giving you a peek into the new life of Nate and Sarah Walker, the hero and heroine of ONE DARK WISH. After a harrowing adventure where they almost didn’t win their Happily Ever After, they are now settled into their home in the historic district of Savannah, GA. They are living with Sarah’s father Joe Munro who is recovering from a long-term illness and are so excited to spend their first Christmas together as a family.

Sarah Munro ~ “I can’t believe it’s Christmas Eve and I’m just leaving mass with my husband Nate and my father. I’m so grateful this year because, although I almost lost both my father and Nate, we’re now walking home through Savannah’s historic district where we’re going to have a lovely supper and finish decorating.

I pause to check out a store window filled with Christmas trees and allow the men to walk ahead. As much as I love them, sometimes I need a moment alone to process everything that’s happened in the last few months. At a time in my life where I almost lost everything, Nate appeared and reminded me that I should never, ever give up on my dreams. That makes this Christmas Eve so much more special.

I notice the men have stopped at the corner and I hurry over to kiss them both on the cheek. A few minutes later, we enter the historic home that used to belong to my grandmother. A huge tree covered with red and green ornaments stands in the foyer, in view of the formal dining room decorated with pine boughs tied with gold ribbons. My father insisted on making the dinner tonight and heads right to the kitchen.

As soon as he’s out of sight, Nate takes me into his arms and kisses me. I wrap my arms around his neck and pull him even closer–until my father appears again and says, “You two need to finish decorating the family room tree.”

Since my father is an ex-Chief of Police from Boston, Nate and I both know he’s not kidding. Nate laughs and kisses my nose before dragging me to the family room attached to the kitchen. While my father cooks, and I turn on Bing Crosby’s Christmas album, Nate opens the boxes filled with ornaments that haven’t been used in years–since my mother died. But now that enough time has passed, it’s time to let go of the grief and start living again.

The house fills with music and the smells of my father’s pasta bolognese and Nate and I start adding ornaments to the tree. Or, rather, Nate puts them on randomly and I move them around until they’re perfectly placed. We talk and laugh and listen to music until the tree is finally finished and my father announces that dinner is ready.

My dad and I carry the salad plates into the dining room while Nate lights the fire in the 18th century stone fireplace. Once we’re seated, and we say grace, we start on the first course: My father’s Winter Salad. A combination of butter lettuce, pomegranate arils, tangerine segments, and sugared almonds. A perfect combination to start our Christmas Eve dinner.

As we eat, I notice Nate checking his phone and I kick him gently beneath the table. He smiles at me and places the phone on the table. “Sorry about that. We’re all invited to Iron Rack’s Gym tomorrow morning for Christmas Brunch. Do you both want to go?”

“Of course,” Joe says as he sips his water. “Your buddies are our family now.”

I reach over and hold Nate’s hand and smile. When Nate–an ex-Green Beret who runs Iron Rack’s Gym with eight of his buddies–moved into my home, he left his men behind in the run-down gym. While my house is so much nicer–and much cleaner–I know he misses them. “I can’t wait.”

He kisses my hand and, after telling a few jokes to get my father laughing, we dig into our salads. Bing Crosby is singing White Christmas and my heart is so full with happiness that I have no doubt that whatever happens I will never be alone again.


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