“Ready?” he asked, extending his leather-gloved hand towards her, a smile creasing his face.
Nodding, she took his hand.
He helped her into the back seat and settled beside her. Their bulky, winter clothing made the bench a cozy squeeze. After tucking a wool blanket across their laps, Spence lifted his arm and rested it along the back of the seat behind her shoulders to make more room for both of them.
“Everyone okay back there?” Daniel asked. He turned to look at them, winking at Whitney and Danny in the first seat before casting an eye on Sage and Spence in the back. A curious expression flitted across his features before he turned to face the front. With a giddyap and a snap of the reins, the team lurched forward before settling into a smooth jog.
Snow crackled beneath the runners as the sleigh glided across the ground. Sleigh bells jingled. A light, frosty wind kissed Sage’s face, making her eyes water. Then Daniel aimed the sleigh so that the wind was behind them. They went through a paddock gate and across a field to another open gate, and then they were crossing a meadow.
Caroline began to sing “Jingle Bells,” and soon everyone else joined in, their voices ringing in the clear, cold, mountain air.
Sage was enchanted by the sound of Spence’s singing voice, low and pleasant, his warm breath grazing her cheek as he glanced down at her every now and then.
His arm slid from the back of the seat to fall across her shoulders. He tucked her close to his side. His other hand gently clasped hers above the blanket.
This is heaven, Sage thought dreamily. This is pure heaven, and I don’t want it to end.
From That Hollister Man
Copyright © 2018 Margaret Desmond