Christmas...a time of joy, until Jill McDowell's niece is kidnapped from a busy mall. Scared and feeling powerless, Jill welcomes Mall Santa Matt Webb's help and take-charge attitude. But can Jill trust this man's mesmerizing eyes and sexy grin?
Tossing aside his own fears and insecurities, Matt jumps into action the second Chloe goes missing. He'll do anything to protect Jill from experiencing the agony he knows cuts straight to the heart. The anguish of losing a child.
Matt wants only to bring Chloe home safely. But even if he does, can his tormented heart allow Jill and her five-year-old niece into his life? Will Jill and Chloe's love be enough to bring the joy of Christmas to Santa?
Word Count: 22219
Jill tried to focus on the questions Detective Perkins asked, but it was difficult. She couldn’t stop thinking about Chloe. Where was she? Had someone taken her? Was she scared? Hurt? She let out a weary sigh after she’d provided as much information as she could.
“She looks like she could be your daughter instead of your niece. She is a beautiful little girl.” The detective handed the pictures back to Jill.
Looking at the picture brought another round of tears to Jill’s eyes.
Detective Perkins made notes in a small notebook, stuffed it in her pocket, and turned to Jill. “Ma’am, I can assure you the Houston Police Department will do everything in their power to bring Chloe back to you safe and sound. My team will be in constant contact with me, and I will relay any information to you.”
“Thanks. I feel like I should be out there looking for her instead of in here, doing nothing.”
She squeezed Jill’s arm. “No, you should stay here so everyone will know where to find you. This workshop is the perfect spot. If she is wandering around the mall, she will eventually come back to where she left you at Santa’s shop.”
“Santa,” Jill mumbled. The man in the red suit who helped her. Took control of things. Peered at her with those dark eyes and calmed her down. She glanced toward the room divider as a man came around the corner. Santa? Gone was the red suit and thick gloves. In their place was a man dressed in jeans and an un-tucked button-down shirt. He scanned the area then his gaze locked on hers. His determined walk brought him to within inches of her.
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