from Sheila Connolly's Orchard Mysteries
“It may be a long time before I visit my parents again,” Meg said, dumping out the contents of her suitcase.
Seth smiled. “And why would that be?”
Meg zipped up the suitcase so it could be stuffed away in the attic again. “Well, there was that body.”
“You can’t blame that on your parents, Meg. We find bodies here in Granford too.” Seth sat on the bed, watching his new wife sort through the heap of clothes on the floor. He looked amused.
“You are far too reasonable. Even if you’re right. Maybe it’s us that attracts the bodies. How is that possible?”
“I don’t know. I’ll blame you—life was much simpler before you arrived in town.”
“That’s reassuring. Do you think we can get through a week or two without another one?”
“I hope so. It’s Christmas.”
“Oh, cr---umpets,” Meg replied. “I kind of lost sight of that, what with the honeymoon and the police investigation and all. What are we doing about it?”
“Which part? Presents? Decorations?”
Meg sat down next to Seth on the bed and leaned against him. “This is our first Christmas as a married couple. It should be special, shouldn’t it? Something we'll always remember?”
Seth put his arm around her. “It will be, I promise. And if a body shows up, I promise to hide it until after the new year.”
“That’s a good start. Is there more?”
“We need a tree,” Seth said firmly. “Remember last year, when we cut our own?”
“Of course I remember,” Meg told him. “And it was lovely. Can we do it again? Can we spare one more tree?”
“Meg, the whole wood lot out back needs thinning. We’re doing it a favor by removing the smaller trees, so the big ones can thrive.”
“If you say so. But we don’t have a lot of lights or decorations. That tree looked kind of bare last year.”
Seth smiled enigmatically. “Wait here.” He got up and disappeared down the hallway, and returned a minute later with a large shopping bag.
“What’s this?” Meg asked.
“Open it and find out. By the way, your mother deserves the credit, not me.”
Mystified, Meg reached into the bag—and began pulling out strings of lights and battered boxes of ornaments. “Wow. These are the ones that I remember from when I was a kid. I thought Mother had gotten rid of them years ago.”
“Nope, she saved them for you. When we were digging around in the attic while we were visiting, she remembered she’d stuck them away up there. She made me promise to wait until we got home to give them to you.”
“It’s perfect. Let’s go find the tree and we can get started.” She surprised him with a kiss, which grew longer. Finally she said, “I think the tree can wait a little longer. I love you, Seth Chapin.”
“I agree—it can wait. And I love you too, Meg Chapin. Merry first married Christmas.”