Jingle Bell Romance: Chapter 6
Sometime after midnight, Nick and Lainie head back home. Nick asks, naturally enough, why nobody told him that Pastor Dad had angina.
“He hates thinking about it, so we don’t mention it.”
What a healthy attitude and strategy!
Lainie reveals that she has already been informed by some lady in town that Nick and Julia were kissing in her store. So apparently this woman phoned Lainie immediately upon seeing it, matter if life and death, catching her in the mere two minutes before Pastor Dad entered and started arguing. Small town gossip is super efficient like that.
Several pages are wasted with Nick apparently staring off into the middle distance, alternately thinking about Julia and regretting his brother’s death.
At the store the next day, Julia has a bizarre transaction where a random customer offers her his PR services for her giving tree. I say bizarre because although she offers to pay him and sign the “simple contract” of his choice, he instead requests to be comped the price of TWO expensive train sets: one for his kid, one for the giving tree.
And Julia just DOES it, voids the transaction and keys the msn walk out of her store with expensive merchandise, with no guarantee of…anything.
Again, my suspicious atheist antennae, the ones that went on full alert she Pastor Dad clutched his chest, are twitching again. Maybe I’m wary over nothing here, but I guess we’ll see.
Cut to Nick picking a photo for the next segment of the Julia Saga, this one focusing on her childhood. He’s picking between a picture of her playing the violin, and one of her dancing in The Nutcracker.
Since everyone kept reminding him it was Christmastime, he went with the ballet pic. It complemented the story on her unusual childhood perfectly.
Yeah. Heh. Violin and ballet. How, umm…unusual.
Guess I’ll have to inform my parents how freaky they made me…
Lainie invites him to go sledding with them. And good ole hero that Nick is, he responds thusly:
“Y’know, I’m used to being the guy in charge,” he reminded her, pointing to himself for emphasis. “I tell other people what to do, not the other way around.”
Man, total husband material here!
I suppose one could interpret this as sibling teasing, but Lainie reacts absolutely seriously, snapping that Nick steamrolls people and misses out on good ideas in doing so. Which, yeah.
And this has the desired result: Nick goes sledding. It’s very Hallmark movie-ish: Julia is magically there instead of running her toy store just a few weekends before Christmas, and they both think about how much they like each other. They also spend several boring pages chatting with Bree and Connor from the last book.
We are officially halfway through this story, and friggin’ nothing has happened.