I love character driven stories.
As I wrote the Endicotts of Silver Bay series, Garrett kept coming to mind. He needed a story. I didn't want him to just be "the guy who owns and runs the saloon" anymore. I wanted him to find love.
The more I wrote the character of Angelica Endicott, the more I knew her spice and energy were just what Garrett needed. I had described him in earlier books as keeping to himself and even a bit grumpy, but nice and mostly misunderstood.
A perfect match for Angelica.
As I write, stories and characters tend to surprise me. At first I thought I would connect more with Angelica, maybe because I had written her into the other Endicott books so she was foremost in my mind. But writing An Angel For Christmas ended up being more about discovering Garrett's story than Angelica's.
Garrett is just my kind of hero. Quiet. Giving. Great dad to his daughter. Selfless, always putting his family first. As fun as it was to write him as a bit of a grump, I loved having Angelica be the one to see the real Garrett. The gentle spirit who wouldn't mind finding love.
This series is one I have greatly enjoyed writing. I'm sad to say goodbye to these characters, but who knows? Maybe there are more things to come for those in Silver Bay...
An Angel For Christmas
Garrett flipped on the lights in his office and tossed his keys on his desk. While mornings were quiet at the saloon, this early in the day was even more so. However, a noise above his head caused him to stop and listen. The sound of footsteps made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. Someone was in the saloon.
With as much stealth as possible, he made his way through the door that led to the bar. Silver Bay was a safe town. Everyone knew everyone and doors were left unlocked everywhere. The thought of someone in his bar this early in the morning to rob him wasn’t rational. Yet he couldn’t deny what he heard.
As he stepped around the bar, the footsteps became rhythmic, and the sound of music made its way downstairs from the balcony up above.
Someone was in his bar listening to music and…dancing?
Garrett made his way up the stairs, still on alert because he had zero idea of what he was about to find. As he turned when he reached the balcony, his mind certainly wasn’t prepared for what he saw.
Angelica was dressed in jeans, old tennis shoes, and a black top that hugged her curves and was splattered with paint. Her hair was jumbled up on top of her head in a way that looked messy, as well as super sexy. He’d only seen her with her hair down and brushed perfectly. This somewhat disheveled look fit her well.
A small speaker sat on a table with her phone next to it. The source of the music. Two cups from Jamie’s Java sat beside. Angelica sang along, something about what happened last Christmas. Her back to him, she danced her way toward a ladder that stood near the far wall, a paint brush in hand that she waved above her head. He bit back a laugh at how many paint flecks were coming from it and landing in her hair.
He took a moment to appreciate the woman before him, watching as each step of the ladder she climbed was a dance step. It was clear she’d shown up even earlier than he had to get started on the upstairs. How she’d dragged all the stuff she needed to do so inside and upstairs by herself, he had no clue. But this was Angelica, and from what he’d seen of her so far, she had a strong will and believed there was always a way.
Not only that, but she also moved without any inhibitions, dancing as if no one was watching. Although in all fairness, she didn’t know anyone was watching. Aware that if he waited any longer, he ran the risk of frightening her or reaching creeper status, he cleared his throat to let her know he was there. The volume of the music must have kept her from hearing him because she continued to wiggle to the music as much as was possible while standing on a ladder and painting a wall.
He moved closer, hoping she would hear him and not get startled.
He cleared this throat again and said, “You’re here early.”
“Oh!” She jumped, the paintbrush falling from her hand. As her body twisted to face him, her foot caught on the rung of the ladder, and she lost her balance.
On instinct, Garrett made it next to the ladder just in time for Angelica to fall right into his arms.
This time, there was no apology by her, no pulling back to dust off dirt. This time, he had his arms around her waist, her hands pressed up against his chest. Their eyes met and held.
“We keep bumping into each other,” she said, the corners of her mouth turning up in a smile.
Every witty response Garrett had in his mind vanished. All he could see were those eyes of hers. The greenish-blue ocean depths he wanted to swim in for days. A lock of her hair had fallen over her forehead. He tucked it behind her ear then cupped her face in his hand.
Without another thought, he leaned down and pressed his lips to hers.