by KINNEY SCOTT
Rick fears two things, the holidays and losing Linnea.
Too many lights on the taproom Christmas tree? Impossible. Linnea layers on lavish holiday abundance. Yet, every decoration she hangs darkens Rick’s mood and expands the divide between them.
When orange and black Halloween decorations shift to holiday red and green, Rick waits for that call. It always comes, and he always responds. Grace won’t survive another winter on the streets of Portland without his help. Yet, his stubborn sister refuses to accept more. Rick gives what she will receive - a blanket, food, a tarp, and money.
Accustomed to hiding this broken holiday tradition, Rick manages on his own, avoiding pity and pain.
Linnea could help if Rick shared the truth. Pushing away the woman he loves protects his pride, but she craves all of this man, even the broken pieces of his heart.