Chasing Contentment

Friday, December 16

The last installment of my Christmas romance...

The Christmas Card by Chel

The Saturday before Christmas, Ellie awoke to hear someone knocking insistently on her front door. She stumbled down the staircase in her pajamas and peered out the window.

"Mitchell. What are you doing here at this time of the morning? I didn't order any groceries to be delivered."

"No, ma'am, you didn't, but that doesn't mean I don't have a delivery for you," Mitchell said smiling.

The teenager handed over a small grocery bag, a steaming hot cup, and a card before turning to go. He stopped at the bottom of the porch steps and turned around again. "You've got some great decorations here, Ms. Ellie."

Self-satisfied and curious, Ellie closed the door and crawled onto her beloved sofa. With the quilt pulled around her legs, she stared at yet another envelope. Could her future be revealed in this one, Dear Lord?

Loving the anticipation of the moment, Ellie laid the card on the coffee table and instead opened the grocery bag while sipping her chai latte. Snacking on her favorite sticky buns and loving her favorite drink, she contemplated what secrets the card might hold.


Climbing the tree ladder, Ellie was glad she had chosen the lightest flashlight she owned as it was now clamped between her teeth. When she reached the top rung of the ladder, Percy's hand appeared in the light and helped her into the tree house.

"Thanks for meeting me," he said as she dropped to the floor, taking in her surroundings.

Percy had hung heavy draperies over the windows to ward off the chill and had brought in a special heater to keep the space warm. There was a warm blanket on the floor and huge pillows against one wall. On a platter in the middle of the blanket sat all sorts of crackers and cheeses and steaming mugs of hot tea. Ellie scanned the tree house but couldn't find where the music was coming from.

"Christmas music. My favorite," she sighed. This might be, she thought, the perfect moment in time.

Percy came to sit next to her, and took her hands in his. "I love you, Ellie. I do. Not with the childlike love that you once had for me but with a grown-up, eyes-open love that I expect will last my lifetime through."

His voice was trembling again, ever so slightly. Ellie's eyes misted as she felt her heart catch.

"You make me better. You make me whole. You just make me. I need you with me, Ellie. But I want to make you better, make you whole, too. I don't want to be with you simply because I need you. I want you to need me, too."

As she opened her mouth to respond, he covered it with his. A tender kiss to take away her words.

"And I think you do need me. I want us to be together, Ellie. Forever. Would you do me the honor of marrying me? Be my wife, Ellie. Let me be your husband."

Tears spilled down Ellie's cheeks, momentarily hiding the ones in Percy's eyes. This moment, she thought, really was perfect.

"Yes. Of course. You know I love you. I would love to marry you!"

"When? I want to marry you as soon as possible. When, El?"

Ellie smiled as if the answer were perfectly clear. "Why, Christmas Eve, of course."


Amidst all of the Christmas decorations, Mac and Shelby sat alone at a table at the Lodge. Mac watched as people swirled around the dance floor, laughing, enjoying the moment.

"My brother, Percy, had three of the most defining moments of his life in this lodge. Three moments that changed the course of his life, all relating to one woman. Good thing she's finally his wife."

He grinned as he leaned in to kiss Shelby, delighted at what an amazing day it had been in his family. His brother had married the woman of his dreams, and his wife had whispered to him news of a baby.

Merry Christmas, indeed.

The End

[  posted by Chel on Friday, December 16, 2005  ]


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