Christmas in Cupid Falls

Christmas in Cupid Falls by Holly Jacobs Read Free Book Online

Book: Christmas in Cupid Falls by Holly Jacobs Read Free Book Online
Authors: Holly Jacobs
“Really, I can tell you here.”
    “Come on, Kennedy.” He shot her an award-winning smile that had probably swayed countless female jurors as easily as it had all the girls in high school. “I know you’ve done business over meals in the past. Just today, by the look of things. We have a lot to talk about and it would be a lot more comfortable at home.”
    “Then let’s meet at Pap’s,” she tried. If they ate dinner at Malcolm’s, she could simply leave at any time.
    “You don’t want me in your house?” he asked.
    “That’s not it,” she said, though that was a lie.
    She didn’t want him there. More specifically, she didn’t want any memories of him there. It was enough that she had to look at Pap’s every day, and visit it occasionally—there were memories galore there. And when she came to work, she still had memories right next door. So, no, she didn’t want them at her house. But she didn’t want to admit that to Malcolm. “No, of course, that’s not it.”
    “Fine. Why don’t you go home, put your feet up, and I’ll call Tavi and order us a pizza. Anything special you want on it?”
    She hadn’t said yes, but that obviously didn’t matter to Malcolm. Since she doubted she’d be able to eat any of it with him there, she shook her head. “Whatever you want is fine.”
    “I’ll meet you at your place in about half an hour then,” he promised.
    Drat. “Fine.”
    “Kennedy, we do have a lot to discuss, but I’m not trying to make things difficult for you.”
    If this was Malcolm trying not to make things difficult, she didn’t want to see what it would be like if he was. “Maybe you’re not, but that doesn’t mean you don’t manage it anyway.” She turned around and left as he picked up the phone to call in their order.
    Kennedy walked the four blocks east on Collingwood Drive to Aunt Betty’s. It was a bungalow and used to be painted grey. Since Aunt Betty hadn’t wanted to put money into the home, it had been a peely mess when she passed away three years ago. One of the only changes Kennedy had made to the house was getting it repainted. She’d had them paint it a creamy light yellow. She’d felt guilty because she knew that Aunt Betty wouldn’t have approved, but she did think the house looked so much better.
    Kennedy looked at the small porch that was on the side of her house closest to Malcolm’s. She’d replaced the cushions on the white wicker furniture with striped cream, yellow, and grey ones. They tied in the house color with the grey stone fireplace that was the focal point of the front. They were in the shed out back for the winter, but in the spring she’d pull them back out.
    Next door, Pap’s house was more of a Cape Cod style. There was no front porch on it. The only thing that broke the flat front were the two dormer windows that poked out of the roof on both the front of the house and the back. The one on the right, closest to Aunt Betty’s house, was Malcolm’s room. Kennedy couldn’t count how many times she’d sat on the porch when she was in high school, watching the light that cascaded from that window, knowing he was in there and didn’t have a clue she was alive.
    She shook her head. She was glad she’d never mentioned her childhood crush to anyone, not even Malcolm.
    Kennedy walked along the porch and let herself in the front door. The small coat closet was on the right. She opened it up and put her parka inside, then kicked her boots off and put them on the plastic mat. She’d left her slippers on the carpet runner but didn’t really want Malcolm to see her waddling around in her red-and-black-checked slip-ons, so she took her shoes out of her purse and slipped them back on, then hid her slippers in the closet.
    She flipped on lights and sighed as she looked at the living room. It was Aunt Betty’s frilly, floral furniture and doily-covered tables, which she faithfully polished every Saturday.
    She hadn’t changed a thing because it

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