Day 23 of Christmas Cheer, part five from A Place Called Home by Janet Lee Barton

Scene five
Beth had come down earlier, and now he found her in the kitchen, just closing the oven door on the huge turkey she’d put in to roast while they were at church. Jeb leaned against the doorframe, thoroughly enjoying the chance to watch his new bride putter around, until she finally turned and spotted him.

The delicate color that stole up her cheeks and the sweet smile she gave him when she saw him were enough to warm him clear through.

“Jeb! I didn’t hear you come downstairs. Coffee will be ready soon.”

“I should have known you’d be down here with this stove. It’s the real reason you accepted my proposal, isn’t it?” he teased.

Beth giggled. “Well, I’ll admit, my fingers have been itching to cook a meal on it ever since I found out you bought it. But, it’s certainly not the reason I married you.”

Jeb crossed the room in two strides and pulled her close with his good arm. “No?”

She shook her head as she gazed into his eyes. “No. I married you because I do love you, Jeb. . .more than I ever thought possible.”

Jeb’s heart seemed to expand in his chest. He knew she loved him, as he did her. They’d told each other so over and over in the past few days. But he’d never tire of hearing it. . .nor of saying it. “I love you, Beth.”

Jeb bent his head and captured her lips in a kiss meant to assure her completely that he was telling the truth. Cassie and Lucas yelled for them to hurry, and Beth quickly broke the kiss and pulled away.

“We’re coming,” Jeb answered. But he caught Beth’s arm as she started out of the kitchen and pulled her back into his embrace. The children could wait another minute or two.

“Merry Christmas,” he whispered right before his lips claimed Beth’s once more in a lingering kiss.

“Uncle Jeb, Aunt Beth!” Lucas was getting impatient to open his presents.

Jeb chuckled as Beth broke the kiss and pulled him toward the parlor. He followed willingly, thanking the Lord above for leading him to Beth. . .and to a place called home.

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