The Christmas Tree Bargain
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Christmas at The Tin Star Ranch brings means a lot of things to Jamie and Ethan. It’s a time of togetherness to celebrate the adversity they’ve overcome to be together. It’s also a time of playful bargaining.
Ethan insists on his usual ugly Christmas tree, and Jamie wants something in exchange. An early Christmas gift is the agreed-upon price, and Ethan knows he needs to make it good. Luckily, Ethan knows just what toy will satisfy The Christmas Tree Bargain.
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Ethan took the last ornament from Fred and scratched behind her ears. “Thank you, girl.” Standing back, he searched for a spot to hang the little cowboy snowman. Ah, right there. Hooking the decoration onto a bare branch, he studied the tree again. He grinned, feeling good way down deep. The colored lights twinkled against the silver garland, making it sparkle. The smell of pine filled the living room. Christmas music was playing softly on the radio. He had his man and his dog. And the different decorations disguised the bare spots in the tree. Perfect. Well, except there weren’t any presents under it yet. He was going to have to wrap all the presents.
Arms enfolded him from behind. Jamie nestled his front against Ethan’s back. “It’s still ugly.” He kissed the back of Ethan’s neck.
“No, it’s not.” Their wedding bands clinked softly as he twined his left hand with his partner’s and leaned against Jamie.
Jamie nodded, his hair tickling Ethan’s ear. “Yes, it is, it’s even worse than last year, but that’s okay. You owe me, Cowboy. Now pay up.”
Ethan chuckled. He’d had to bargain for the tree; apparently, it was time to fork over his payment. Turning his head, he kissed Jamie’s jaw, the stubble pricking his lips. “You’re really going to make me shell out a present early?”
“Absolutely. I let you get this hideous monstrosity. I deserve it.”