Published: October 31, 2013
Trish Ackerly never expected to cross paths with Ian Rafferty again, but when she spots the former bully of her childhood years through her bakery window, she thinks she may just have been given the best Christmas gift ever: the opportunity to finally give Ian the comeuppance he deserves. But clearly she does not have a knack for this whole revenge thing, because before she can make good on her plans, Trish gets inadvertently drawn into Ian’s life in an unexpected way that lets her see just how different the man is from the boy he used to be. In fact, much to her astonishment, she actually starts to like the guy. A lot. Trouble is, Ian doesn’t know who she really is, and explaining it to him is going to be a little difficult now—which is bad news, because Trish is starting to realize that all she really wants for Christmas this year…is Ian.
It was probably inviting the worst kind of karma to be contemplating murder during the holiday season of all times, but that didn’t faze Trish Ackerly in the slightest as she stared through her bakery’s storefront window in shock. It was him. Ian Rafferty, bane of her junior high school existence. She’d know that face anywhere, despite the changes in it. Sure, he was a couple of feet taller now and certainly broader shouldered, but as he glanced away from the winter scene she had painted on the window only yesterday and at a passing car that whizzed by much too fast on the busy city street, the profile he presented to her confirmed it. Yes, it was him. That same nose, the odd little scar above his eye, the familiar way he quirked his lips… Her eyes narrowed. Ian Rafferty. That miserable, mean-spirited little— Then he turned his face back to the window, and Trish gasped and dropped to the floor before he could spot her staring at him. “What on earth are you doing?” came Nadia’s voice from behind the counter. Trish huddled behind a tall metal trash can and glanced up through her dark bangs at her startled friend and business partner only to remember belatedly that they had company in the shop, namely wizened little Mrs. Beasley, whose startled eyes blinked at her from behind enormous tortoise-shell spectacles. Well, there was little help for it now. “That guy,” Trish hissed, jerking one thumb in the direction of the window. “I know him!” Both Nadia and Mrs. Beasley peered intently through the glass. “Mmm,” said Nadia appreciatively a moment later. “Lucky you, girlfriend.” “No, not lucky me! That guy made my life a living hell in junior high. He’s a jerk, he’s a bully—” “He’s coming in here, dear,” Mrs. Beasley interrupted her, with obvious interest in her voice. With a squeak of alarm, Trish shuffled hastily behind the counter on her hands and knees and hunched into as small and inconspicuous a ball as she could. Nadia blinked. “Trish, are you out of your—” “Sh!” “Oh, you did not just shush me—” “SHH!” Trish insisted again, knowing full well that she’d pay for it later, and then she pulled her head down into her shoulders as much as her anatomy would allow. The bell on the door jangled cheerfully then, and a gust of cold air heralded Ian Rafferty’s arrival.
About the Author
Christine S. Feldman writes both novels and feature-length screenplays, and, to her great delight, she has placed in screenwriting competitions on both coasts—and has even won a couple of them. In 2012 one of her screenplays was featured as a staged reading in New York City at the Gotham Screen International Film Festival (http://www.gsiff.com/content/staged-screenplay-reading-1), and later that same year she signed her first publishing contract. When she is not writing, she is teaching kindergarten, puttering around in her garden, ballroom dancing with her husband, or doing research for her next project.