Am I dreading standing by my best friend as she marries the man she loves? No way. Does my crazy recurring dream have me a little paranoid about messing up Ami’s wedding? Um, yeah. Is there a small part of me that wishes I was the bride walking down the holly-lined aisle, without reservation, to meet my perfect guy? Oh, come on, I’m human.

But Ami is way more important than silly jealousy or irrational fear. “Are you kidding? We’re Lucy and Ethel, Monica and Rachel, Thelma and Louise.” When will I ever learn to stop the analogies while I’m ahead? “Okay, forget Thelma and Louise. But do you really think I’d let you get married without me by your side?”

Ami drains her coffee. “You’ve always wanted a Christmas wedding, though. I could have waited until June.”

I carefully place the snowcouple on the counter and look at her sparkling eyes. “Yeah, right. The wedding’s just a week away, and with every breath you’re wishing you were married already.”

Her cheeks turn pink. “It’s that obvious?”

Only if you’re not blind. “Maybe just a little. I’ve had my chance, Ami. This is your moment.”

“You know, now that Garrett’s moved back, the two of you might—”

I put my finger to her lips. “Shh. Every few years, you come up with this crazy theory.”

“You did marry him once.” Ami raises her chin stubbornly.

“We were ten. I hardly think that qualifies for a successful trip down the aisle. Besides, Garrett and I are best friends. Just like you and me. I’m not desperate.” Well, not desperate to get married, anyway. If people saw my bank account, they might see why I’m a little desperate about the whole town issue. “If you don’t drop this subject, I’ll paint a mustache on every snowbride and Garrett can be your maid of honor.”

“I just think—”

I raise my paintbrush toward the ornament, and Ami fakes a flinch, then sighs. “Look at the bright side, when you do find the perfect man, you already have a dress.”

My wince is not fake. “Two dresses, if we’re counting.” Although as soon as Garrett shows me how to do more than just buy on eBay, I plan to rectify that. “With my track record, I’d better quit while I’m ahead. Two broken engagements make me quirky. Three would cross over to pathetic.” Some things in life I can’t do anything about. But in spite of what Ami says, I intend to fix the things I can. I push to my feet and yank off my paint smock. “Let’s go.”


I wave to the ornaments. “I’ll work around the clock on these, but I have to get this settled today. Right now. Please go with me.”

She looks like she wants to argue, but I guess she sees something in my expression that convinces her it’s hopeless.

She sighs. “Okay, I’m in. We’re off to beard the lion in his den.”

I give her a quick hug. “Thanks.” I grab my jacket off its hook and toss Ami’s to her. “He’s not in the office. But that doesn’t mean he’s untouchable.”

“You’re going to his house?”

“We’re going to his house.” I push against the double doors that open from my workshop into the store and holler toward the back corner. “Sarah!”

“Yes?” In her midforties, Sarah’s a quietly serious woman who has an amazing talent with fabric. Gran rented a corner of Forever Christmas to Sarah for her quilting years ago, and since I’m not an idiot who wants to change things that don’t need changing, I kept the arrangement when I became the new proprietor. When she’s out, I sell her quilts for her. When I need to be gone, she minds the store for me. It works for both of us.