I didn't want to put this one out, because I loved reading it over and over again, but it was time to share it with the world.
I hope you love it as much as I do! Enjoy!
*** CHRISTIAN ROMANCE ***
Confirmed bachelor, Dr. Calvin Neal, lives next to Gran, an older woman who also goes to his church. This tiny street is about to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, thanks to Cal being willed Gran's two great-grandchildren. According to the mother's will, Cal has to marry in less than a month.
Jordyn Kelley, a single EMT, lives on Gran's other side, two doors down from Cal. She and Cal sing in the same church choir and are friends. However, she's dead-set against dating anyone in the medical field, thanks to her evil doctor father. When she meets the children, she takes on the role of helping Cal by babysitting and making his life a lot easier, just because she feels badly for the little orphans.
Since Jordyn doesn't want to date doctors, Gran decides to play matchmaker, so Cal can marry in less than a month. It isn't long until Cal realizes that Jordyn is much more of a catch than all the potential brides Gran has in mind. She's taken on the role of mother for these two children, which is endearing to his heart. With the help of Preacher Rich, Cal just has to convince Jordyn that he's more than just a friend and she's been chosen for the job.
The screen door slammed shut as Dr. Calvin Neal carried bags of groceries into Gran's small home. He told himself this was his good deed for the day for his neighbor. But if truth be told, he liked listening to her stories. The woman had done many things in her life, from being a nurse in the military to becoming a local veterinarian for years. She wasn't his grandmother, but everyone called her Gran. He didn't even know her real first name and was certain no one in the neighborhood did. If they did, they dared not use it or she would've put them in their place. Gran was hilarious and tough as nails, really fitting into Charity Lane in the tiny town of Honeysuckle, Texas.
Gran directed him through to the kitchen. "Did you get me milk?"
"Yes. Whole milk, just what you like." He plopped the heavy bags onto her table and helped her put things away.
She hobbled with a walker, but she was more agile than he figured she'd be. If he were to guess her age, he'd say upper 80s, pushing 90, probably.
"Who's the girlfriend of the week?" she asked him next. He knew it was coming, because she always asked him that question.
"No one. I'm married to my job." He put the butter in the refrigerator. "You do realize that'll be my standard answer even if I've been married for 20 years."
"Yeah." The old woman shot him a grin. "But I'm gonna keep askin' until you finally find some nice girl."
He put the bread into the basket on the side counter. "I've only lived in this neighborhood for four months. I'm definitely an outsider and don't even have that southern twang that's hard to understand. If I found a woman, could I even understand her? Nope. People don't usually come with subtitles."
"I'm sure there are some exceptions." Gran chuckled. "If you hang around here long enough and keep on singin' in the church choir, I know you're gonna find a nice girl who can cook." She winked, the wrinkles around her eyes deepening. "If you can find one that cooks, that's half the battle."
Cal had to laugh at her. Gran was a glass-half-full type of woman.
They finished putting things away, and as he folded the paper bags, he watched Gran fall into a seat at the table. "You're more tired than usual," he said. "Is there anything you want to tell me? I'm a doctor, so I've heard it all."
Gran shot him a grin, but it seemed forced. "It's not me that's ailin'. It's my great-grandkids."
Cal stored the bags in the pantry and sat down across from her at the table. Her eyes were filled with tears and she swiped them away. He'd never known the old woman to cry, because she was too tough for tears—or so she always said.
He leaned closer. "What's wrong?"
"Remember Susan, my granddaughter? Her husband, Doug, was a firefighter. He died while tryin' to rescue Susan's parents—my daughter and her husband—in that fire. It happened a year ago next week."
He'd heard all about what had happened from Gran, the neighbors that lived behind them, and the people at church. No one seemed to be able to accept the deaths of Gran's family. Everything in Gran's world fell apart on that day.
"Yes," Cal said. "I remember. Susan was alone with two small kids. She moved to be with her in-laws, up in Nashville."
Gran shook her head as if trying to will away the sadness. "Susan died yesterday. She had cancer and no one knew it. She didn't tell anyone until she was too far gone. Her in-laws knew it but didn't tell me since I live too far away."
Cal couldn't believe it. "Susan died? What about the kids? She had two, right? A girl and a boy."
Gran nodded. "Baylee's almost five and Jeffrey is going to be three next month. He wasn't even two when Doug died."
That was awful news. "I'm so sorry. Want me to put you on the prayer list at church?"
She took a deep breath. "That's not all the news. It seems that Susan left a will."
That made sense. "She left everything to the kids, I assume."
Gran reached out and touched his hand. "Yes, but she needed a guardian for the kids. Her in-laws are too old and frail to make sure they're raised right." She shook her head. "I don't like 'em anyway. They're not nice people."
Cal leaned closer. "She left them to you?"
Gran seemed to weigh her words. "Not exactly. She and I got to talkin' one day a few weeks ago and I told her about the neighborhood. She wanted someone young enough to put in her will in case anything ever happened to her. I didn't know she was dyin' at the time, but figured since Doug died, she wanted to be ready just in case." Gran studied Cal's face. "She left those two babies to you. She also wants you to marry before Baylee goes to school in the fall, so they have two parents at home. If you don't take 'em, they're goin' into foster care. Susan was adamant in the will."
All time seemed to stand still. Cal took a moment to collect himself before he said another word. "I can't take two young kids. I have a small home next door." He pointed toward his house, still not able to wrap his head around this. "I'm not even home that much because I'm an E.R. doctor. I have to work."
Gran patted his hand. "That's why Susan wanted me to tell her about the neighborhood. The kids can come here when you're at work and I'll keep 'em until you get home. Once you're married, then you can work it out between ya." Her eyes seemed to moisten again. "Calvin, you're the best option for those two babies. I know you can do it and God will be watchin' out for you and your new wife. The kids will be here a week from today. Susan's in-laws are bringin' 'em and they want to make sure you're gonna treat 'em right." She leaned closer. "Find a date before that and you'll be golden."
"A date and a new wife." He let the thought sink in. "With two kids in a week." He couldn't quite grasp the concept. "You do realize I'm a confirmed bachelor right now."
Gran nodded with a grin. "That's why I'm havin' a tea party on Sunday with a bunch of eligible women from church comin' here. I want you to date them all and take your pick. They're all fine women who can cook." And with that, she nodded as if this was a done deal.
Cal didn't know what to do, but he didn't want to upset his neighbor. This was only Thursday, so he had a few days to find a date before he'd probably be fixed up with some homely woman who needed her self-esteem raised. He was sure Gran would do that, too, to give him more than one project to deal with at a time.
He couldn't get out of there fast enough. This was a fate worse than death to him, so he prayed he'd be saved from these potentially disastrous situations—both the tea party and becoming an instant dad.
Web page: ErynGrace.com/littleblessings.html
Buy links (updated as they come in):
Barnes & Noble
Have a great day!