Bearly Christmas Darling
by LuAnn Nies
Trisha Thomsen planned a romantic holiday weekend in a cozy cabin with her husband. Romance flies out the window when she's forced to escape when a black bear shows up for dinner. While tracking down a rogue black bear, Game Warden, Jason McKnight finds himself looking down the barrel of his rifle at the woman who abandoned him—breaking his heart.
Genre: Contemporary Romance | Short
With hot-pads in each hand, she opened the oven and pulled the roasting pan out. Setting it on top of the stove, she removed the cover and was ready to baste the bird with the drippings when her cell phone rang.
“Babe, I’m having car trouble,” her husband said, sounding irritated. “With it being a holiday, I can’t find anyone to work on it.”
“Where are you?”
There was a long silence before he replied, “What difference does that make?”
“Well, you’re stranded. I’ll come and get you.” Trisha held her breath not really wanting to leave the food unattended, but getting stood up by Troy again, wasn’t just disappointing, it was irritating.
“No, don’t be stupid. I’ll call you back when I can tell you something more.”
Trisha’s cell phone beeped. “I think my battery is getting low.”
“Well, plug it in to your charger. Do I always have to remind you to do the simplest things?”
Trisha peered around the room—oh, no. “With everything I had to pack, I must have forgotten to grab the charger off the nightstand.” The phone beeped again. She raked her teeth over her lip and grimaced.
“That’s just like you, Trisha, to forget something as important as your charger.” He sighed heavily into the phone and added, “Sometimes I don’t know where your head’s at.” Then her phone went silent. Trisha glared at her phone. He’d hung up on her.
“Jerk!” She huffed and threw the phone, which ricocheted off the back of the sofa and landed on the table by the door. Turning towards the kitchen, she stared at the feast that had taken her hours to prepare.
“I didn’t forget the charger on purpose.” Flopping down onto the couch, she knew she’d been nothing but an embarrassment and a disappointment to him. She would never measure up to Troy and his sophisticated friends and colleagues.
She mulled over different times and situations when Troy had embarrassed her, made her feel inferior, until a cool breeze floated in through the screen door and made her shiver. For the second time, Troy had ruined her plans by missing two special dinners. She swiped at a lone tear. Her hopes of saving their marriage were sinking into the horizon like the setting sun.
She noticed there were only two pieces of dried birch in the wood-box beside the hearth and knew she needed more wood to carry her through the night. When she turned, she stopped and stared at the beautiful Thanksgiving Day meal displayed on the table. Swearing under her breath, she decided to wait to put everything away until after she’d filled the wood-box.
After slipping on her Albert Fermani ankle boots, she retrieved her black leather jacket from the back of the living room chair and zipped it up. A large shadow engulfed the little cabin seconds before a loud crackling noise sent Trisha spinning towards the door. A scream rose in the back of her throat, but she forced it back down.
With razor sharp claws, a huge black bear slashed through the wire mesh screen door. He ripped the door from the hinges and tossed it aside. Adrenalin hummed in her ears and little black spots danced in front of her eyes.