All I Want for Christmas… Is You by Kerrigan Byrne EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Author: Kerrigan Byrne
- Language: English
- Formats: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Available for Download
- Series: None
- Price: Free
- File Size: 1 MB
CALVINE VILLAGE, HIGHLANDS, SCOTLAND – 1891,
Fate had been Vanessa Latimer’s foe since she could remember.
She was the most unlucky, ungainly person of her acquaintance, and
had resigned herself to an early death. However, she always imagined
said death would be glorious, as well.
Or at least memorable.
Something like tripping and accidentally sacrificing herself to a volcano
in the Pacific Islands. Or perhaps becoming the unfortunate snack of a Nile
crocodile or a tiger in Calcutta.
Meeting her end as a human icicle in the Scottish Highlands had never
made it on the list.
Not until the angry blizzard turned the road to Inverness treacherous, and
something had spooked the horse, sending the carriage careening into a
boulder the size of a small cottage.
The driver informed her that the wheel was irreparably damaged, and that
she must stay in the carriage while he went for help.
That had been hours ago.
When the dark of the storm became the dark of the late afternoon on this,
the shortest day of the year, the temperatures plummeted alarmingly. Even
though Vanessa had been left with furs and blankets, she worried she
wouldn’t survive the night, and set off along the road with a lantern and the
most important of her luggage.
Now, huddled on the landing beneath the creaking shingle of Balthazar’s
Inn, she clutched her increasingly heavy case to her chest, shielding the
precious contents with her body.
The surly innkeeper’s impossibly thick eyebrows came together in a
scowl as he wedged his bulk into the crack of the open door to effectively
block any attempt at entry. Even the gale forces didn’t save her nostrils from
being singed by his flammable scotch-soaked breath.
“As ye can see, lass,
ye’re not the only traveler stranded in this bollocks storm, and I let our last
remaining room to the other rank idiot not clever enough to seek shelter
before the storm fell upon us. So, nay. Ye’ll have to try elsewhere.”
“Was that rank idiot a shifty-eyed man in his fifties named McMurray?”
she asked, forcing the words out of her lungs like a stubborn bellows to be
heard over the din. The wind buffeted her skirts this way and that, plastering
them to her trembling legs.
“Aye,” he said with a self-satisfied smirk as he also managed to leer. “But
doona think to be offering to share his bed; we’re a reputable establishment.”
“Never! I wouldn’t—that isn’t—what—” Vanessa gaped and shuddered
for a reason that had nothing to do with the cold. Her driver had left her out
there to freeze to death while he’d purchased a room with her fare? She
should have listened when her instincts had warned her off hiring him.
Her case, growing heavier by the moment, threatened to slide out of the
circle of her arms and down her body, so she bucked it higher with her hips
and redoubled her efforts to hold it aloft with fingers she could no longer feel.
“Is there somewhere nearby that might take me in?” she called, coughing as a
particularly icy gust stole her breath.
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