Part of the Under the Christmas Star collection
In the tradition of the Out of the Blue Bouquet and Yesterday's Mail Collections in the Crossroads Collection, Under the Christmas Star includes five Christmas novellas of love, prayer, and holiday cheer when one ornament maker touches the lives of many with her prayer-covered creations.
Tangoed in Tinsel is a part of the Under the Christmas Star Crossroads Collection
Wayne Farrell finally fell in love.
And after six glorious months, the relationship lay sprinkled across the concrete floor of his flower shop. Unwilling to wait around for Ms. Right again, he jumps into the dating scene with both feet and a heart ready to commit.
After just three weeks!
But when his grand proposal gesture goes awry, what’ll happen to his happily-ever-after?
The incongruity of using words like brilliance, fire, and scintillation in a near monotone didn’t inspire confidence in the veracity of such assertions. Diamonds—weren’t they just over-priced crystals? As a woman wearing impossibly high heels climbed a step ladder dangling a gold, sparkling Christmas bulb from one finger, the man in a black suit and charcoal tie droned on about the “superior quality” of their gems.
A large, perfectly manicured finger tapped the glass before him. “Considering the budget I’ve to work with, I would recommend that one. It’s almost flawless and has exceptional brilliance for one so small.”
Wayne Farrell steeled himself against such blatant manipulative sales techniques. As a florist, he knew exactly when and where to pounce to infuse the perfect amount of guilt when he knew a customer could afford what the occasion truly warranted. And this Jeeves of the jeweler’s union had just slathered his words with enough guilt to schmear a whole bakery of bagels.
Steel melted into a puddle at the idea he’d reduced his love for Lena to a dollar figure. It’s not like I can’t afford more. But it’s just a shiny rock! I could buy a cubic zirconia and she’d never know it. Half the price and twice the size.
So, with his prudent-self shouting ditties about size not mattering, his love-lorn-self eyed “Jeeves” with a look intended to whittle the man down to size. “For the right stone, I’d be willing to spend…” Wayne’s inward wince etched itself into his voice before he could stop it. “… whatever necessary. But I can do that because I make budgets and stick to them.”
The man’s eyebrow rose—except it didn’t. In truth, not a muscle twitched, but it felt like every raised eyebrow he’d ever been given all mashed into one, “Oh, really” look.
And the next thing he knew, Wayne blurted it all out. “We’re older, you see.” He rubbed his jaw as if somehow that would prove his assertion. As if the long laugh lines and graying temples didn’t announce it. “I’ve never been married before, but Lena…” He swallowed at the memory of her story—of the husband who had beaten her until she ran away from him, from Spain. “She needs to know how valued she is.”
Again, the finger tapped the first ring. “Well that, as lovely as it is, will not accomplish that purpose. May I recommend…” The finger slid across the top of the glass case.
It skipped over the next section and landed on a moderately-sized oval cut stone surrounded by a ring of tiny stones. In platinum, of course. “This one. It would look lovely on… slim fingers?”
Wayne nodded. What else could he do?