From "Father Christmas" by Leigh Greenwood:
“If you’re going to shoot me, get on your feet first. I’d hate to have it known I was killed by a woman so weak she couldn’t stand up.”
“I can stand up,” Mary insisted. To prove her point, she threw back the covers and started to get to her feet. Immediately she felt faint.
Joe caught her before she fell.
“I never met such a foolish woman in my life. Stay in that bed, or I’ll tie you down. You can shoot me when you feel better. Meantime, you’d better give me this.” He took the pistol from her slackened grasp. “Next thing you know, you’ll drop it and put a hole through the chicken pot. I’m not chasing down another rooster.”
Mary started to laugh. The whole situation was too absurd. Nothing like this happened to ordinary people. She was ordinary, so it shouldn’t be happening to her.
She certainly shouldn’t be experiencing this odd feeling. It almost felt as if she wanted to cry. But she didn’t feel sad. She felt bemused and bewildered. Her brain was numb. Here she was, completely helpless, and she had tried to shoot the only human who had come along to help her.
She must be losing her mind.
A Christmas anthology with stories from:
The Beating Heart of Christmas
Whether it’s a lonely spinster finding passion at last…an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman reaffirming the love that keeps him whole…a lost and broken drifter discovering family in unlikely places…a Texas Ranger risking it all for one remarkable woman…two lovers bringing together a family ripped apart by prejudice…or reunited lovers given a second chance to correct past mistakes…a Christmas spent in a cowboy’s arms is full of hope, laughter, and—most of all—love.