I think when a spouse works with you to fix a meal and clean it up that creates a special bond. Not only do you get finished faster, but you also have a little more energy for later. In this scene from A Romance for Christmas, Scott and Dara, who both lost their spouses within the last two years, have just finished Christmas dinner at his parents’ home. They each have a four-year-old daughter. While their girls are taking after-dinner naps, the two decide to brave the cold and sit outside. Scott reveals a secret his father shared with him about helping around the house.
Scott nodded toward the door. “It’s a beautiful day. What do you say we bundle up and go sit on the swings?”
It was early, and while darkness was falling, it was still light. “I’d like that.”
Wrapped in warm parkas and with a plaid woolen blanket to share, they headed out to the swings. On one end, a short two-seater had been hung for Scott’s parents. That way they could be outside with Susan, but not have to stand the entire time.
Scott settled into the seat and rested his arm across the back, inviting Dara to join him. Once she did, he tossed the blanket across their legs. The small swing meant their bodies touched, from hips to thighs.
Dara held her breath for a moment, but as Scott began to swing them, gently, one booted toe on the ground, she relaxed.
She hadn’t been this comfy in years. “Yes. This is nice.”
The light from the porch bathed the yard, and light from the kitchen window framed their seat.
“I should have helped your mother do the dishes.” But Dara didn’t move.
“Dad likes to help her. Now, if she’s cooking, he’ll sit there and read, but he likes the sudsy water. When I was first engaged to Mary, he had me come help him in the kitchen and told Mom to go relax with her soon to be daughter-in-law. You know what he told me?”
She tilted back her head. His dark eyes weren’t visible in the changing twilight, but his bright smile shone. “What?”
“That the best sex always begins in the kitchen.”
Dara giggled, covering her mouth. “What?”
“He said if a man takes the same responsibility as his wife does in dealing with cleaning up the kitchen, and getting the kids in bed then she’ll know he values her. She’ll feel loved.” He nodded toward the window. “See?”
His dad was leaning over to give his mother a peck on the cheek, and she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back.
She sighed. “Oh, that’s so sweet.”
“Used to embarrass the heck out of me when my friends came over, till I found out they all wished their folks were like mine.”
The light in the kitchen window winked out. The yard fell into darkness except for a band of light on the porch. A moment later, it went out as well.
“Wow,” Scott said. “That’s never happened before.” He patted his coat pockets. “No worries. I have my keys.”
“To get in. Maybe they forgot we were out here.”
Maybe his sweet mother was playing matchmaker. Dara turned her head, hiding her smile.
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A Romance for Christmas
A sweet feel-good holiday romance that reaffirms all you love about Christmas. It’s Christmas Eve, and the end of a year in which everything Dara loves was lost. Everything but her little girl and a fierce determination to survive. When a cop brings Christmas to her door, he brings another gift she never expected to get.