Now that we’re approaching the Christmas romance season, I thought I’d share some excerpts over the next month or so from Decidedly by Chance (and also from Decidedly with Mistletoe). Over half of the book deals with the holiday season.
Here’s an excerpt from when Wes, Hannah, and three-year-old Everly are visiting Lake Tahoe. Enjoy!
“Look. Look, it’s snowing,” a rather excited three-year-old called out from Wes’s room. The same excited three-year-old who had been bouncing in her car booster seat from the moment she had witnessed the snow on our drive here.
“Do you want to build a snowman?” she began singing. Except it was the only line she remembered from the Frozen song, so she kept singing it again and again and again.
I laughed. “I think she wants to build a snowman.”
Wes chuckled. “Yes, I get that impression.” He took a step backward into his room. “What do you say the three of us go outside and build our own Olaf?” he asked her. “We still have a few hours before the wedding.”
Stepping forward again, he returned his attention to me. “Or would you prefer to stay here and rest?” His gaze dropped to my growing belly, and his hand gently cupped Little Bean. He’d been doing that a lot ever since the ultrasound. For some reason, I didn’t mind. I wasn’t fond of it when strangers touched my stomach—like it was a lamp they were hoping to free the genie from—but it didn’t bother me when my friends did the same. Although they usually asked first.
And they did it less frequently than Wes.
That’s because you’re not living with them, I reminded myself. He has more opportunities to touch my belly.
I promptly ignored the voice in the back of my head asking if maybe there was another reason Wes kept touching Little Bean.
“Are you kidding me?” I said, grinning. “Do you know how long I’ve waited to finally make a snowman?”
Little Bean kicked me in agreement. My hand went to the spot where she had poked me, and my smile widened. The kicking never grew old…even when my bladder was the main target.
“She’s kicking you?” Wes asked, recognizing the Oh-Little-Bean-is-kicking-me-again expression on my face. He’d witnessed it enough times.
I grabbed his hand and set it against the spot. “Do you feel anything?”
He shook his head, shoulders drooping.
“That doesn’t surprise me,” I said, feeling the sudden need to chase away his obvious disappointment. “It would be hard to feel anything through all these clothes.” I gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. “Let’s go build Everly her snowman before we have to get ready for the wedding.”
A few minutes later, the three of us were outside, fully dressed for the cold climate, and traipsing through the lightly falling snow to an open area.
“So, other than using Elsa’s magical ability to make a snowman—which is cheating if you ask me—do either of you know how to build one?” It wasn’t like I had experienced any snow days while growing up in San Francisco.
“I’ve made a few before,” Wes volunteered, then got to work, showing us how to create our own Olaf. Minus the legs and the ability to walk and talk and sing—which, if you asked me, was kind of a bummer.
Everly helped Wes roll the giant snowball across the open stretch of snow. At one point she paused and opened her arms wide. “He’s going to be a big snowman.”
“I think you’re right,” I said. “We might need a ladder to hoist his head onto his body.” I was exaggerating. Slightly.
“Will you be able to pick that up to put on his lower half?” I asked Wes. “It looks heavy.”
Wes stopped pushing the oversized snowball and stood up. “Are you saying I’m not strong?” He flexed his arms. Arms that were definitely strong—not that you could tell through his winter coat.
I laughed. “Definitely not. Everly, do you think Uncle Wes is the strongest man we know?”
“Yes! Uncle Wes and Daddy both strong,” she said, and I cringed at the second part.
She jumped up, landed with her legs separated, and flexed her arms, imitating Wes…other than the jumping part. He hadn’t done that. “Look, I’m strong, too.”
Laughing, Wes scooped her up and carried her over to where I was standing. “Yes, you are.” He kissed her cheek and lowered her to the ground, flashing me a defeated glance.
Not wanting him to dwell on her comment, I surprised us both by kissing him. It was a quick kiss. It was also the first time we had done that since the Christmas tree farm. And like that day, my entire body buzzed with pent-up need.
“I’ve been wanting to do that again for a while,” Wes said, his voice low and gravelly.
“Technically, I was the one who kissed you.”
His arms enveloped me, and he pulled me to him. “How about we fix that?” His mouth was on mine before I could respond.