They gathered round the table for their Christmas evening meal, a new tradition among this hodgepodge of kinfolk, blended families, and dear friends.
Brash insisted that Madison take the head of the table. Next year, he told her with a sexy wink, he might not be so generous. Seating himself beside her, he suggested that Blake take the other end. The show of respect earned Brash high points with the flattered teenager, his starry-eyed mother, and even a begrudging Annette.
Stretched between mother and son were all the people that mattered most in their lives. Bethani and Brash, of course, and Megan, Genny, and Granny Bert. Cutter was there with his grandfather Sticker, and Shannon and Matt with their young son. Madison purposely seated Derron beside Annette, knowing her friendly and entertaining employee never met a stranger. If anyone could charm the woman into the Christmas spirit, it was Derron. Charles was seated next to Charlie, and Happy sat between him and Sherika Green. Jamil, his parents, and his three siblings couldn’t be excluded from the new tradition, any more than Andy and Lydia deCordova could be.
It was a noisy, cheerful meal, served with laughter and spiced with love.
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