Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska

By: Loree Lough



Bryce nodded. “Good point. So…Sunday then?”

Her heart did a flip-flop in her chest. “Sunday it is.”

“Does that give you time to round up a poufy white dress and tiny satin shoes and a gauzy veil that I can lift before we seal the deal?”

“Good thing for you I’m not the big rock type or the poufy dress type, because there’s no way I could do all that in just a few days.” She winked. “But I do have time to call my folks, so let’s just pray these crazy plans of ours aren’t too last-minute for them to fly in for the wedding.”

“It won’t be.”

She narrowed both eyes. “You seem awfully sure of yourself….”

“They’ll be here on Thursday. It’s all arranged.”

“But…tomorrow is Thursday!”

“Hmm, so it is.”

“But…how’d you know I’d say yes?”

Bryce kissed her, and she put everything she had into it. “That’s how.”





Epilogue




Bryce and Sam stood toe to toe at the entrance of the Santa Claus House amid the fresh blanket of snow God had delivered the night before. Her parents and brothers and most citizens of North Pole—wearing down-filled parkas, fat mittens, and fur-lined boots—formed a tight circle around the soon-to-be bride and groom.

Breath-smoke puffed from Pastor Davidson’s mouth as he said, “Repeat after me. ‘I, Samantha Sinclair, do solemnly vow….’ ”

“I, Thamantha Thinclair, do tholemnly vow…”

Curt the barber leaned toward the pastor’s wife. “Why’s she lisping?” he whispered. “I never noticed before that Sam had a lisp….”

“Because,” the woman said, “that silly girl took a dare.”

“A dare?” He glanced at Sam, who’d just tugged her fur-trimmed hood farther to the front of her head. “What sort of dare?”

“Well,” she began, “she and Bryce were working on the reindeer sculpture they entered in the Christmas in Ice contest, you see, and they got to joking about that movie…you know the one, where the little boy gets his tongue stuck on a frozen flag pole?”

“No, but go on.”

“You’re joking. I thought everyone had seen that one. It’s one of the funniest, cutest—”

“Carol,” Curt reminded gently, “the dare?”

“Oh. Yes.” She snickered behind one leather-gloved hand. “Well, you see—and who knew Bryce could be such a card!—he told Sam it wasn’t just a movie trick, that tongues really could get stuck to flag poles. But Sam said it had to be a Hollywood stunt of some kind. So he dared her to stick her tongue on one of their ice-reindeer’s antlers, to see for herself.”

Curt gawked at Sam again. “Don’t tell me she actually did it?”

“Yes, she actually did it!” she said, hiding again behind her gloved hand.

“Aw, just my bad luck…I was in the shop and missed all the fun!”

“Oh, don’t worry, you’ll see it in living color. It was all captured on film, don’t you know. The newspapers were here covering the event, just like they do every year. Along with a film crew from that decorating show.” Her giggle was muffled by the mitten. “The director told me the show will air tomorrow.”

“But tomorrow is Christmas Day!”

“Exactly.”

“Seems to me they should have won first prize for that alone.”

Carol laughed as Pastor Davidson quirked a brow in his wife’s direction. “Goodness,” she whispered, “I’ve been caught jabbering during a church service again!”

She and Curt faced the makeshift altar of polished ice that had been carved by the pastor himself in preparation for the ceremony.

“I now pronounce you man and wife,” he said. “Bryce, you may kiss your bride.”

Cheers rose from the small crowd as one voice called out, “Don’t kiss her too long in this weather, marine, or you’ll stick to her like she stuck to that reindeer!”

Laughter echoed up and down the street as Gene Autry sang “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” right on cue.

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