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Jingle Bears

The Bears of Falcon's Ridge

Painted Hearts Publishing

Heat Rating: SCORCHING
Word Count: 16,532
Available Formats
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ePub
Mobi

Connor and Falcon have been together for a year and a half and are about to spend their second Christmas together. The way things have been going for the last few months has Falcon wondering if he should refer to it as their second Christmas or their last. With the mood that Connor has been in lately, Falcon isn’t sure that Connor even wants to be with him anymore.

Connor knows that he’s been acting like an ass, but he’s hurt with Falcon and can’t seem to get past it. On top of that, he’s been sick for a couple of weeks and doesn’t seem to be getting better, so now he’s worried that something serious may be wrong. And to add insult to injury—he’s gaining weight!

Both men are miserable and it’s only a few weeks until Christmas. Will they be able to work out their problems and have a merry holiday or will it take a Christmas miracle to get them back on track?

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Excerpt

Falcon eased Connor back down on the arm of the sofa and feathered kisses down his spine. “Damn that was good.” He saw Connor nod and heard a contented sigh. Falcon chuckled to himself. He felt better than he had in months. He didn’t know what had changed or why Connor seemed to be back to his old self, but he was damn glad whatever it was had happened. Falcon lifted Connor up off the sofa, put his hands on his shoulders and attempted to guide him toward their bedroom and the shower in the master bath, which was big enough for both of them, but Connor wasn’t moving. Falcon frowned. “What’s going on, Connor? Why aren’t you moving?”
Connor looked back over his shoulder with a grin on his face. “Because, Falcon, my love, in your haste to get in my pants, you only dropped them to my ankles, so I’m finding it impossible to walk.”
“Oh, Goddamn.” Falcon reached down and picked Connor up, throwing him over his shoulder. “Now. Let’s get cleaned up and go get a Christmas tree and something to eat.”
Connor’s head was hanging halfway down Falcon’s back, but he managed to raise it up enough to say, “That sounds good. Let’s get food first. I’m starving.”
“Okay. Is the diner okay?”
“Anything’s okay with me right now. Did I mention that I’m really hungry—like I might pass out if I don’t get something soon?”
Falcon was laughing as he threw Connor on the bed and pulled his shoes and pants off, so he could walk. Yep, his melodramatic boy was back and he couldn’t be happier. Passing out, my ass.
He must have been staring because Connor sat up and said, “Oh, no, you don’t. Don’t be looking at me like that. I told you I’m starving, so I don’t have the energy for another round. Now, let’s get a shower and get going.”
Falcon raised an eyebrow. “A shower? Together? You know what that can lead to.”
“It’ll be quicker if we shower together, but don’t get any ideas because we’re going to eat, and soon.”
Falcon was laughing as he steered Connor toward the bathroom. “Okay. Okay. I get it. I’m not going to get to fuck you again until I feed you.”
Connor was laughing, too. He stepped into the shower with Falcon right behind him. “You got it. That’s exactly right.”
Once they were dressed and headed down the mountain to town, it occurred to Falcon that he was more relaxed than he’d been in months. He glanced over at Connor and smiled. When Connor smiled back, he felt a sense of relief. He’d been so worried lately that Connor didn’t love him anymore and that he might even decide to leave. We’re going to have to talk about what’s been wrong, but not tonight. Oh, no. I’m going to enjoy tonight. I have my Connor back and that’s all that matters right now.
When they got into town, Connor turned a shocked face toward Falcon. “What the hell’s going on? I don’t think I’ve ever seen town this crowded.” It was true. Every available parking space on the square was taken.
Falcon looked around. The business district of Falcon’s Ridge was laid out in a square and there were stores lining each side. In the middle of it all was another square with grass, a few trees and park benches. Tonight that square also had canopy-type tents covering the whole thing. Falcon frowned, trying to remember what they were there for. His face relaxed as he thought of it. “Oh, yeah. The Falcon’s Ridge Ladies Club is having a Christmas Bazaar tonight.”
“A Christmas Bazaar?”
“Yeah. They’re selling handmade Christmas ornaments and homemade cookies and cakes—that kind of thing.”
“Homemade cookies and cakes? Yum. Can we go over there and look around after we eat?”
Falcon couldn’t think of anything that sounded more boring, but tonight he couldn’t deny Connor anything. “Sure, we can, but don’t forget that we’ve got to get a tree. And by the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you if you’d rather go into the woods behind our house and cut one or buy one here in town that’s already been cut?”
“Let’s just go ahead and buy one that’s already been cut. No point in cutting another tree down.”
Falcon pulled his vehicle into the parking space designated for the Sheriff and chuckled. “That’s one of the few perks of being sheriff—you always have a parking space.”
Connor laughed. “Well, it’s a pretty good one. Now, let’s go eat before I faint from hunger.”
The diner was just a few doors down from the Sheriff’s Office. As they walked to it, Falcon said, “I hope there’s a table available. It seems like everybody on the mountain is in town tonight.”
When they walked in, Falcon could see that a waitress was cleaning a table toward the back, so he steered Connor in that direction, and once they were seated another waitress appeared to take their order. Falcon looked over at Connor. “Well, that was lucky, getting a table as soon as we walked in.”
“Yeah, it was, because I might have mentioned that I’m really hungry.”
Falcon nodded and grinned. “I’m not sure, but I think you may have alluded to it once or twice.”
Connor laughed. “I don’t know what’s wrong, Falcon. I haven’t wanted to eat anything for about two weeks and now, I’m starving. Hell, I feel like I could eat at least one of everything they have.” Suddenly, his face got a serious look on it. “The funny thing is, that even though I haven’t been eating much at all, I seem to be gaining weight. I had a hell of a time getting my jeans buttoned today and I have a little paunch that I’ve never had before. Have you noticed?”
Falcon had become aware of a bit of a potbelly, and Connor had felt heavier when he’d picked him up earlier, but he had better sense than to say so. He gave Connor what he hoped was a surprised look and shook his head. “No, babe. I haven’t noticed anything.”
Connor looked relieved and seemed to be about to say something else, but their dinner arrived and he began to eat with relish. Falcon watched in amazement as every morsel of food disappeared from Connor’s plate in record time and he began eyeing the food on Falcon’s plate.
“Did you have enough to eat? Do you want to order something else?”
“No. I’m fine, Falcon.” He hesitated. “Well, maybe I’d like a bite of your country fried steak and gravy. It looks really good.”
Falcon was amused as Connor reached across the table and cut himself a nice-sized bite of the steak before Falcon could even tell him to go ahead. He watched as Connor seemed to savor the bite.
“Do you want another bite?”
Connor seemed to be thinking it over, but then he shook his head. “No, I think I’ll wait and see what kind of cookies and cakes they have at the bazaar.”
Falcon took his last bite and laughed. “Okay. I guess we’d better get over there then before they sell out.”
Connor immediately stood up. “Hell, yeah. Let’s get going.”

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