By Allison Wesley


Disclaimer: I don’t own anything, not Jessica nor George. Please don’t sue me, you won’t get much. Merry Christmas all, or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, happy what ever holiday you do celebrate.



            Winter in Paris was, without a doubt, beautiful but Jessica couldn’t wait to go back home. It was December 23rd and instead of decorating her tree in Cabot Cove, she was in France on a last minute book tour. Gazing out the window, the ringing of the phone in her suite startled her out of her reverie.



            “Seth, I was just going to call you. I leave first thing tomorrow morning. I should be landing in Portland…” Seth interrupted her.

            “That’s why I called. Portland Airport’s closed, snowed in. New York and Boston are goin’ ‘bout the same way. You’ll never get here. Sorry Jess.”

            “It’s not your fault.” She sighed. “Christmas in Paris, I guess there could be worse things.”

            “I’ll miss you greatly, you know that.”

            “And I you. I hate not being home for Christmas.”

            “We’ll save Christmas for when you get home.”

            “Oh don’t do that. Enjoy it Seth and I’ll call you when I get to New York. Merry Christmas.”

            “Merry Christmas Jess.” They hung up and she couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming feeling of sadness pervade her body. She was in a foreign country where she didn’t know a soul on the most familial holiday of them all. Jessica stared out the window over the River Seine. A boat went by, sending little waves lapping on to the bank. Perhaps she could go to London and spend the holiday with Emma… Her thoughts trailed off. A certain conversation that she had had a few months back stuck in her mind. Weighting the pros and cons, she made a decision. With a sudden burst of energy, she went into the bedroom and threw her things into her suitcase then picked up the phone and dialed.

            “Cecilia? Jessica Fletcher. I need some help.”



            Twenty minutes later, all packed and checked out, a uniformed man loaded Jessica’s cases into a car. Sliding into the back seat, she was met by the young assistant that was assigned to her for her stay.

            “Bonsoir Madame.”

            “Bonsoir Cecilia.  You didn’t have to come.”

            “It was my pleasure. You have a direct flight to Wick. A car will meet you there.”

            “Oh bless you. How on earth did you manage it?”

            “Monsieur Anoit was very upset that you couldn’t reach your home so he offered the use of his private plane.”

            “Oh how marvelous of him. Convey my heartfelt thanks will you please?”

            “Of course Madame. We have much love for J.B. Fletcher.”

            “And I you.” The car pulled to a halt and the back door swung open, they had reached the airport. “Thank you Cecilia and Joyeux Noël.”

            “Joyeux Noël Madame. Au Revoir.”




            The private plane was beautifully plush. Jessica sank into one of the beige leather seats and toed off her heels. She wondered at the reception she could receive. They had argued quite fiercely on the phone and said things that she knew they both regretted. They had missed each other too much; they wanted to see each other too much. That resulted in a rather impassioned fight, something she fervently wished she could take back. It was hard being away from the ones you loved especially around Christmas and it tended to make one cranky, something she could personally attest to.

            Pushing the bad thoughts out of her mind, she settled back into the seat and gazed out the window. The sun had set and she could see the thousands of lights, twinkling in the light snowfall. The plane taxied down the runway and lifted off, the clouds masking the lights and plunging the world into darkness. She decided a little nap was in order and drifted off, awaking only upon landing.




            The night in Scotland was bitterly cold. George moved his chair closer to the fire and took a long sip of the scotch in his hand. Sutherland Castle was asleep but the walls seemed to still hum with activity. They whole clan was under its roof and it had been a busy day getting everyone settled. In truth, he had been glad for the chaos. It took his mind off of more depressing matters. He and Jess had not seen each other in six months; their last phone call was over two months ago. They had disagreed over everything, from where they would spend Christmas to whether or not they should spend Christmas together at all. They hung up on each other and though he was just annoyed at first, he soon felt guilty at hurting the woman he loved. He thought about giving in but every time he called her, he got her answering machine or voice mail. Then the clan descended and he knew why he didn’t give in in the first place. He loved his family and was very glad he was where he was. But he missed her, more then anything he missed her. It was the longest they had been apart since they had officially become more then friends. He just prayed that the relationship they had had was still intact and that one stupid phone call didn’t wreck everything.

            A heavy knock sounded on the castle door. With a sigh, George set his scotch on the table next to him and got up to answer the door.

            “Who the hell knocks on doors in this weather?” He couldn’t help but think to himself. He yanked hard on the door and unleashed a rush of icy wind into the already chilled entrance hall. Looking through the flurry of snow, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

            “Jess? What in the devil are you doing here?” His voice was tinged with more then just a touch of incredulity.

            “Merry Christmas.” Before she could say another word, George pulled her into his arms and kissed her, warming every bit of snow from her body. It was the best reception she could ask for.