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Delivering His Gifts: A Mountain Man's Baby Christmas Romance

By:K.C. Crowne

Mountain Men of Liberty Series (this series)

Baby for the Mountain Man| Junior for the Mountain Man| Knocked Up by the Mountain Man| Baby For Daddy's Friend | Triplets for the Mountain Man | Taboo Mountain Daddy| Mountain Man’s Secret Baby | Mountain Man’s Accidental Surprise | Quadruplets for the Mountain Man | Neanderthal Next Door | Delivering His Gifts|



Rainbow Canyons Cowboy Series

Untamed Cowboy |Taboo Cowboy |Cowboy’s Baby|Her Cowboy Daddies | Southern Charm| Cowboy’s Bride


Big Bad Daddies Series

Big Bad Doctor | Big Bad Daddy| Big Bad Taboo Daddy | Big Bad Prince|Big Bad Mountain Man| Big Bad SEAL| Big Bad Boss| Big Bad Sugar Daddy| Big Bad Mountain Brothers

Bearded Brothers Mountain Man Series

Her Mountain Daddy| Beauty and the Beard| Bride and the Beard| Built and Bearded |


Firemen of Manhattan Series

Big Bad Fireman’s Baby| Big Bad Firefighter| Big Bad Fire Daddy|

Spenser Sisters Reverse Harem Series

Men on a Mission| Christmas with Four Firemen| Dirty Cowboys

Checkout KC’s full Amazon Catalog


All books are FREE on Kindle Unlimited and can be read as standalones.


Mason


I sighed as I stared at the overgrown grass leading to the old man’s house. I’d have to do something about the grass soon. I would come by later in the week since I was just dropping off groceries that day. As I walked up the stairs, I noticed one of the steps felt a little shaky. The old man didn’t go out too often, but when he did, he always refused help. The last thing I wanted was to come over and find him on the ground because the stair broke beneath his feet. I’d have to fix that as well.

“There really should be better services to help vets,” I muttered to myself as I carefully walked toward the front door of the man’s house.

I tried to come by every few days to check on him, but obviously I’d need to make sure his house was in good repair, which meant more than a quick visit.

In the distance, I heard a loud popping sound. Memories flooded back to me, and I had to remind myself that I wasn’t in Afghanistan. I was in Liberty, Utah, nowhere near the desert. Another popping sound echoed, and I recognized it as firecrackers. Ahh summer, I thought, when everyone and their brother lit off fireworks, even though it wasn’t Fourth of July for a few more weeks. A veteran’s worst nightmare.

I searched the area, my eyes falling on two teens down the street. Just a couple of kids, likely bored and intending no harm. I scoffed to myself, remembering a time when I was just like them.

I continued up the steps, stomping on the wooden porch near the door before knocking, my way of letting the old man know someone was there so I didn’t startle him.

“Calvin,” I called as I placed my hand against the heavy wood of his door. “It’s me, Mason. I bought you some groceries so you wouldn’t have to go out in this heat.”

No answer. I knocked as quietly as I could.

“Calvin?” I tried the doorknob. It was locked, of course. If he was in the kitchen on the other side of the house, he might not hear me. So I raised my fist and knocked louder, calling out to him. “Calvin, it’s me.”

When there was no sound on the other end of the door, my pulse raced a bit.

What if… no, don’t go there Mason. He’s an older man with health issues, but still…

I stepped over to the window next to the door. The curtains were shut, blocking my view of his home.

“Dammit,” I grumbled, placing the groceries on the bench on the other side of the door. I attempted the window, assuming it would be locked as well, but lo and behold, it opened for me.

I called out again, my face pressed against the screen. “Calvin? It’s Mason. Everything okay in there?”

Silence.

I opened the window wider, noticing I would have to break the screen in order to climb inside. But my heart was racing, and I feared the worst. Calvin’s truck was parked out front, so unless he’d walked somewhere, he was home.

With trepidation, I pulled the screen out of the window and promised myself that I’d replace it. I crawled in through the window, which wasn’t an easy feat when you’re six foot six and hardly fit through doors, much less windows.

“Calvin?”

My chest hurt just thinking about what I might find, but I kept walking. Hoping maybe he was asleep and couldn’t hear me.

I walked through his living room and into the hall. I glanced into the kitchen as I passed but saw no sign of him. I passed a spare bedroom and the bathroom to my left, his bedroom at the end of the hall. The bathroom door was closed. His bedroom door was wide open. I slipped into his dark bedroom silently. No sign of him.

I glanced towards the bathroom, the only room I hadn’t checked. I tried the handle, and it was locked.

“Calvin?”

I expected silence, since that’s all that I’d been getting up until this point, but I heard something. Not an answer, per say, but a mumble. And some movement. Yes, someone was inside.

“Calvin, are you okay?”

A weak voice spoke back softly. “Mason, is that you?”

“Yes, it’s me,” I said as relief rushed over me. “Can you let me in?”

“I—I,” Calvin stammered.

I looked at the doorknob, a simple one. Easy to break into. I was weighing my options on how best to do just that when I heard the lock click. I tried the knob again.

Thank you, Jesus, I thought as the doorknob turned and the door opened. Calvin looked like a shell of a man, curled into himself against the bathtub. He stared at me with a familiar look in his eyes.

Shame.

I kneeled beside him. Calvin was by no means a small man, but he looked so small. I had no doubt that he’d been a lady-killer back in his day, the type of man who could nab any woman he wanted. With his strong jawline and piercing blue eyes, even in his seventies, he was handsome. But as long as I’d known him, he’d never mentioned an ex-wife or any ex-girlfriends. He didn’t date. He didn’t even seem interested in the idea. Which was fine, except it also meant he had a very lonely existence. His family was long gone - his only brother had been killed in the very war that left Calvin broken and damaged. His parents died many years ago, and except for one photograph on the nightstand next to his bed, there were no photos.

I was the only one who came and went, the only one who looked after this man. Before I met him, prior to the flooding, he’d been on his own.

“What’s going on, Cal?” I asked him, my voice flat. I knew better than to show an ounce of pity. Calvin was a strong-willed soldier; he didn’t take kindly to pity.

He unfurled his body, stretching his remaining long leg out. I noticed his prosthetic was sitting in the bathtub, as if he’d taken it off to get more comfortable in the bathroom. He was opening up, coming around now. I had broken the trance.

He sighed. “There was a noise. Some explosions. It sent me back to ‘Nam and I…well, I ended up here, like this,” he confided miserably. He placed a hand on the side of the bathtub to push himself up. I stood and reached for his other hand. He scowled back at me, but eventually, he had no choice but to take the help offered to him.

“Fireworks. I heard them when I came inside,” I said softly. “Just some bored kids down the street.”

Calvin didn’t say anything.

“Here, let’s sit you down here,” I said, helping him onto the closed toilet seat. “And put this back on.”

I reached for the prosthetic, and while I could tell Calvin hated me helping him, he didn’t utter a word to argue with me. I helped put his leg back on him and patted it gently. “Good as new.”

He scoffed and rubbed the stubble on his face. “It’ll never be as good as the leg I lost, but it’s a good fake. The best I’ve ever had. Thanks to you.”

I smiled, remembering. I had helped Calvin apply for a new prosthetic to replace his old one, which often caused him mobility issues and sores where it connected with his thigh.

“Nah, I didn’t do anything. It was the charity that helped, not me.”

“I wouldn’t have known about them without you,” he countered.

With both legs attached, I helped the old man to a standing position. He walked slowly into the hallway, and I remained by his side in case he needed to lean against me. Just as we walked into the living room, a firecracker went off outside - this one closer than the others. It was a good thing I was beside Calvin when this happened, as his knees seemed to give out on him.

“Here, grab on to me,” I said, holding my arm out. “And listen to me, Cal. It’s just kids with stupid fireworks outside. You’re okay. You’re safe.”

I spoke to him in a reassuring voice, walking him through the episode. He stopped wobbling long enough that we made it to the couch, and I helped him to sit down.

“I’ll be right back,” I told him.

“Where are you going?” Panic clouded his eyes, even though it was clear he was trying to hide it.

“I’m just gonna go talk to the kids,” I told him. “Ask them to take their fireworks somewhere else.”

I headed for the door, looking back at him and worried that even being gone five minutes might be too much. Then I reminded myself he was alone ninety-nine percent of the time. Five minutes. It would only take five minutes, and perhaps we could prevent a future episode.

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