Meanwhile, as Charles helped Willie set the table, he worriedly mentioned, "I
hope the kids didn't loose track of the time Willie...it would be a shame, because
you really put together a great meal for us."

To which Willie replied, "I'm sure they will be here shortly..."

And just as Willie predicted, laughter rang out through the foyer, as the
sightseeing shoppers arrived, with Catherine announcing, "Hi Dad and Willie!"

And as Charles and Willie heard the kids, they rushed out to greet them with
warm hugs and well wishes issued all around!

Excitedly, the kids then presented Willie her gift! To which she said, "You
stinkers! You shouldn't have, ooooh, but so happy you did! Let me see what
you got for me..."

As she opened, with much surprise Willie said, "Designer gloves! Well I declare,
these are so gorgeous! And feel so soft! Thank you so much kiddo's!"

Proudly, Charles watched on, thinking how thoughtful this was of the kids,
knowing it would mean the world to Willie they did this.

Meantime, after Willie warmly thanked them all, she brushed a tear away, and
then ordered, "Come on now, put everything down, Robby, just put your
garment bag, and Gerty's darling polka dot suitcase over there...and sit down
everyone, Dinner is ready."

Clueless why the girls all started to laugh, Willie asked, "What did I say that was
so funny?"

So with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, Robert explained, "This is actually my
suitcase, I had to borrow one from my sister...mine had water damage, and so I
had to carry this pink one, and the girls know I feel silly about it."

Starting to laugh too, Willie apologized, saying, "You poor kid, well put it over
there anyway, and maybe you can ask Santa Claus for a new one. Now come
on now, and sit down to eat."

Happily they all complied, and as they headed for the Dining Room, Gertrude
and Jennifer looked around, and gushed saying how much they admired all the
beautiful Christmas decorations!

To which Robert inserted, "Yes, it must be a family thing. Cathy's place looks
great, and our folks like to decorate too! In fact, I just helped Dad hang the
outside lights last weekend. However I must say,  I think you have him beat
with your display Uncle Charles. All the trees, and the peak of the house...now
that had to be arduous!"

As Charles put his arm around his nephew, he confessed, "Well I'll share a
secret with ya Robby, I had a service do it for me this year, in fact they just
finished up today."

To which Robert said, "Well that makes sense! I hated to think you were
climbing around after all you have been through! How are you doing anyway?"

As they headed to the dining room, Charles truthfully said, "I feel good, in fact I
told Cathy the other day, that I finally have my energy back! Yeah, I am feeling
pretty darn good."

As Gertrude slipped in under Charles other arm, she with emotion said, "We are
so thankful you are all right Uncle Charles...Mom and Dad almost came down
to Florida too!"

"Woaa!" Said Charles, "So glad they didn't! Travelling this time of year, is like
"Travel Hell"! I am glad they stayed put. Now enough about me, which is
everyone's favorite subject these days, let's eat!"

After everyone sat down to a lovely dinner of Roasted Pork Loin, Mashed
Potatoes with Onion Gravy, they raved on and on of how delicious everything
was!

To which Willie beamed as she told them how nice it made her feel to see
people enjoy her cooking!

And so in between bites, they filled in the conversation with events of their day,
telling Charles too about running into Jessica, Evelyn, and Sylvia!

And then Catherine teased, "Dad, you never mentioned how lovely Evelyn was."

To which Charles bashfully replied, "I didn't? Hmmm..."

And because of the graciousness Evelyn exhibited, Gertrude also noted, "And
she seems very nice too."

Excitedly, Jennifer then added, "Oh and what a coincidence, they will be at  the
play tonight!"

To which Charles tipped his head, as he quipped, "Valuable information! I
better comb my hair then."

Well after the giggles died away, because Gertrude still could not believe she will
be going, she exclaimed, "The Phantom! I have been dying to see it for ages!
AND we are actually going!"

Seeing Gertrude so happy, brought much joy to Charles, and to everyone! And
because Charles had asked Willie to go earlier, he still was waiting to hear her
answer, and so he asked again, "Oh hey Willie, what about you? Have you
decided if you are going with us tonight?"

To which Willie regretfully shook her head, as she answered, saying, "You
know, I was this close to going, but my daughter called just before the kids
walked in, and she was hysterical! The store lost her lay-a-way, and now she
has to search for all the hard to find hot items! So I am sorry to say I won't be
going, but instead, I'll be helping my daughter shop."

Everyone voiced their disappointment, to which Willie said, "Well that's okay,
maybe next time."

As the mood picked back up, Robert shared, "Well just so you all know
everyone, we will be seeing the 5,482nd performance of the Phantom on
Broadway tonight."

And because Charles was on a roll getting a few laughs, he jokingly said, "Oh
good, they should know their lines by now then uh?"

So of course, Charles did get some laughs for his retort, and then Willie
complimented Robert for knowing that tidbit! And so Willie continued with a
tone of wonderment, noting, "Of course I am not surprised...even a as young
boy, you were always interested in statistics. I remember one day while I was
cooking, you stood at the counter, and you told me there was an average of 178
sesame seeds on each McDonalds BigMac bun! And I never forgot it!"

As everyone laughed, Robert did too, saying, "Awe, well I always loved stats!
Gee, I know a million of 'em!"

And so after being prodded to share a few, he thoughtfully complied, spewing,
"There is a 1/4 pound of salt in every gallon of seawater. The average smell
weighs 760 nanograms. The Earth experiences 50,000 earthquakes each year.
There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar. And oh yeah here's a good
one, The average talker sprays about 300 microscopic saliva droplets per
minute, about 2.5 droplets per word!"

After hearing the last stat, Charles raised his brows and said, "Wow! Now that is
a useful stat to know! I think from now on, I am gonna take an extra step back
from a certain close talker I know!"

And because Catherine thought she knew who it was, she teasingly asked, "Mr
Slaver Dad?"

To which in reply, Charles said, "My lips are sealed Dear Daughter! I only wish
the clandestine close talker's lips were!"

Again everyone chuckled, especially Gertrude and Robert, because they have
always loved Uncle Charles' corny jokes!

And then because his knowledge base was vast, Robert noted, "Well I'm not
sure if it is  this Mr. Slaver you are shielding Uncle Charles, but it sure would be
ironic if it were...because slaver is a synonym for saliva, drool, dribble and so
forth."

Upon hearing this, Charles had to confess, "Since this is all too good to keep to
myself, I will share, Cathy is right...IT IS Mr. Slaver!"

Well Jennifer howled the loudest, but this really tickled everyone! And so finally
as the laughter died down, Gertrude wiped away her tears, and  said, "I don't
know what's funnier Uncle Charles, what you say, or how you say it! You have
a great delivery."

With a wink, Charles told his niece, "Yes, well I have been barbing all my life.
Your Dad and I were always trying to make each other laugh, especially in
places where we shouldn't! Oh your Dad was a rascal growing up, and ahem,  
may I say, we were quite a pair! Ahh yes, when we heard our full names being
summoned, Charles James and Douglas James, well that's when we knew we
were carrying our joking and pranks a bit too far..at least in Mother's eyes!"

Upon hearing Charles' confession of sorts, a few more stories were told of his
and his brother's childhood, and so after a little more conversation, Willie really
pulled out the stops, by serving them a choice of delicious
Pecan Pie,
scrumptious
Carrot Cake  or some of Catherine's farewell sheet cake too for
dessert!

To which Catherine teased, "Oh my Willie! All the desserts look so good, I'm
not sure which to have!"

And because everyone echoed what Catherine just said, they all decided to
sample a teeny slice of the pie and carrot cake, saying they just tasted the sheet
cake earlier at Catherine's!

To which Charles joked, "Ah, so "The ENDLESS Office Sheet Cake" has
reared it's ugly head earlier uh?"

With a nod Catherine noted, "Endless is the operative word Dad...everyone
enjoyed it at the party, but still there was tons left to give away."

Taking it all in, Willie then observed, "Yes the "Ceremonious Office Party
Cake"! You can't have a party without one! And it's always a concern of how
large of a cake to get!"

To which Charles thoughtfully responded, "True, so true, we debated the issue,
and settled on a full sized cake. Maybe I will suggest that a half a sheet cake will
be adequate next time."

So after the office party cake conversation faded, Catherine took a sip of her
coffee, as she with concern asked Willie, "I keep thinking about Marie's dilema!
Do you think you two will have a hard time finding the special toys again for the
kids?"

Just then the phone rang, and after Willie excused herself to answer the phone,
she came back into the dining room and  announced, "Well good news! That
was Marie on the phone, and in answer to your question Cathy, Marie has been
calling all the stores, and has found everything pretty much at one store, except
for one item, a DOLL, named "Little Baby Blue"! Which is pretty important,
because it is the only doll her daughter Sarah wants! But keep your fingers
crossed, Marie has someone checking their inventory to see if they can find her
one as we speak."

To which Jennifer tragically replied, "Well I have my fingers and toes crossed! I
hope she finds that doll!"

With solidarity, everyone else said they did too, and then Willie said, "Thanks
everyone...I am sure she will...must think positive!"

Upon hearing Willie's story, a smile came to Charles, as he reminisced, "That
reminds me of that one Christmas when...let's see, you girls were six or so."

Charles then looked at Robert and Gertrude as he explained, "It was when your
family lived in South Jersey, and we would get together nearly every weekend
visiting back and forth."

Charles then looked around the table, to include everyone in his story, and
continued, "Well that year, Caroline, and Elaine tried like heck to find the baby
dolls you girls wanted..."

Catherine and Gertrude shared a smile, knowing Charles was talking about the
wide eyed baby dolls they loved so much, named "Mandy dolls".

And as Charles went on and on about the challenge of locating these hard to
find treasures, he then finished up the story of telling how happy they were,
finally finding them unexpectedly at Walfords, the local 5 & Dime store!

Gertrude laughed and with a fondness said, "Do you remember Cathy? That
was the best Christmas...we were so happy! I still have Tiffany, do you still
have Emily?"

To which Catherine smiled as she replied, "Of course...at home in my hope
chest..."

Then as a melancholy washed over her, Catherine softly added, "...where she's
safe and sound, all snuggled in her receiving blanket...where I will keep her for
always."

Meantime, Charles got up to stretch, and as he patted his belly, he said, "Delish
Willie! Delish! Hey Robby...we have a little time before we hafta get
ready...how 'bout coming with me, I want to show you this book I have about
the WWI infantry."

And so after the two guys took off, the girls helped Willie clear the table and fill
the dish washer. And all the while they had a ball talking about their day, and
about going to the play.

Willie then looked about, and in a motherly tone, said, "Now we are all done
here...so you girls run along and get ready for your big night, and I am going to
scoot as well! I need to pick up my daughter for OUR big night of desperation
SHOPPING!"

As the girls wished Willie a sincere good luck finding all the items her daughter
needed, they thanked her again for the delicious supper.

Upon which Willie in turn, thanked them for her gift, and after reciprocal "Your
welcomes" were exchanged, they hugged goodbye.

The three gals then went upstairs to Catherine's old room, to which Jennifer
contentedly plopped on the bed, and said she was so full, she was not moving!

With a slight skip to her walk, Gertrude sat at the vanity to fix her hair, and said,
that nothing could keep her from going to see the Phantom, even if they had to
wheel her there! She then dreamily added she found all that mysteriousness
about the Phantom...so terribly romantic!

And then with a sigh, Gertrude swooned, and added, "If only I could find MY
Phantom in the night..."

To which she wistfully continued, "...the excitement of being in a romance with
a dark mysterious soul...someone who finds something interesting enough in
me, to want me only for himself, and would swoop me away, to love me
obsessively!"

As Jennifer listened to Gertrude, she relayed, "Cathy and I were just talking
about this! All those obsessive traits seem so romantic in the phantom, but yet,
in real life, the guy would be labeled a psychopath!"

With a giggle, Gerty with embarrassment agreed, saying, "Oh my, I suppose you
are right..."

Catherine laughed, saying, "Jen and I wondered why it does sound romantic in a
fictional guy, but creepy in a boyfriend!

And then privately, Catherine thought about her own Fairy tale romance she had
with Vincent, wishing she could share how magical it was, but instead she
thoughtfully added, "But I know what Gertrude is talking about..."

And then looking at her cousin, Catherine said, "...you are talking about stuff
Fairy tales are made of."

Happy Catherine understood without thinking she was weird, Gertrude replied,
"Yes...a fairy tale romance."

To which Jennifer jokingly chimed in, "Hey, I mean I get it! I want to find my
fairy tale hero too, but I just don't want to be held hostage by him!"

The girls all laughed, and then Catherine teasingly replied, "Well it's good to
know Jimmy, err James isn't obsessively Phantom-like..."

Upon which Jennifer responded,  "James Phantom-like? I don't think so!"

And then with a sigh, Jennifer added, "But I am not complaining, though James
is not an illusive psycho-stud, he is cute."

And it was then Catherine remembered that she wanted to show Jennifer her
diary, and excitedly said, "You know Jen, you have always thought Jimmy was
cute...and I have the proof, just a second..."

Catherine then dug out her diary, and read the excerpts from 20 years ago,
when Jennifer spoke about Jimmy Ames, and of how cute she thought he was
back then.

The three girls had a good laugh as they searched and read any other mention
they could find of Jimmy in the diary.

And as they closed the cover, Catherine asked in amazement, "Who could have
imagined you would be actually dating him all these years later."

To which Jennifer agreeably expounded, "Not me, that's for sure! And we really
did have alot of fun last night...so here I am, as happy as a lark!"

And then Jennifer asked, "And what about you Cath? How was Dinner with
Vincent last night?"

To which Catherine nodded, and as she looked at both Jennifer and Gerty, she
said, "We had a wonderful time."

And as Jennifer swooned, she responded, "Oh good, glad to hear it..."

Jennifer then turned to Gertrude to say, "And though I haven't met him, met
him...this Vincent guy must have the most sensual voice I have ever heard!"

Upon hearing Jennifer's accurate description of Vincent's timbre, Catherine
smiled, as the mere thought of him, managed to turn her sweetly inside out!

And because of the blushing of her cheeks, her cousin was prompted to say, "I
am glad you are still together. The last time I saw you, you and Vincent were
just patching things up, so I am glad seeing you so happy."

To which Catherine softly replied, "Yes...everything is going just fine."

In response to Catherine's reply, Jennifer exaggeratedly repeated, "Just fine?
You call that indelible smile on your face, just fine? I would say things must be
going better than fine!"

Self-consciously, Catherine admitted, "Vincent does make me happier than I
could ever have imagined."

As Catherine tucked the childhood diary away, she turned to her cousin, and
asked, "What about you Gerty...anyone special?"

Wondering if she should reveal something she had never told any other living
soul, she ultimately confided, "Well there is someone...someone at work..."

Sitting up to better hear the scoop, Jennifer asked, "Tell us more!"

After clearing her throat, Gerty shyly replied, "Well, to be honest, there really
isn't anything to tell...I don't think he even knows I exist...he works in a
different division than I do, and I only cross paths with him in the morning
when I get my latte'."

Enthusiastically, Jennifer advised, "Then you must make your self known!
Come on Gerty, you are a looker, I am sure you can get him to notice you if
you try!"

To which Gertrude with angst, said, "I wouldn't even know where to start!"

In reply, Jennifer suggested, "Just start out by saying good morning to him."

Explaining further, Gerty explained, "Well he is always earlier than I am, and so
I only get to see him as he is leaving....but oh my! He is so handsome!"

As Catherine listened to the two, she remembered how Gertrude was always so
shy around boys, and knew this would be so hard for her to make the first
move.

And so Catherine threw in a suggestion herself, by adding, "Well...how about if
you arrive even earlier than he does?"

Surprised she had not thought of this herself, Gertrude reiterated, "You mean
change my schedule up a bit? Hmmm, I guess I could try that."

And so Jennifer excitedly said, "Yeah! Give him a chance to notice you! Now
you have to keep us posted and let us know of any developments."

To which Gertrude promised, "All right...I promise...OH My! I can't believe I
am going to do this!"

With a sisterly hug, Catherine told her cousin, "Just be yourself, and have some
confidence Gerty...Jenny is right, you are a very pretty girl."

Humbly, Gertrude said, "Thanks girls..."

Just then Robert knocked, and as Catherine cracked the door open, he said,
"Uncle Charles wanted me to tell you three that you better hurry, the taxi should
be here any moment!"

To which Catherine replied,  "Oh all right Robert, tell Dad we will be right
down."

The girl's then excitedly moved into high gear, and changed into their evening
clothes.

Meanwhile, Charles nervously looked at his watch, and was standing at the foot
of the stairs, when the girl's FINALLY...one by one, began to file down past
him.

Playfully, Charles gave a wolf whistle on their behalf, and Robert, who was
standing beside his Uncle Charles, looked on, with eyes only for Jennifer.

And as he tried to look cool, Robert cleared his throat and squeaked out, "You
look very beautiful Jennifer!"

Appreciatively, Jennifer smiled and said, "Well thanks Robby!"
     
Whipping off his black framed glasses, he put them into their eyeglass case, and
into his suit coat's pocket before he suavely said, "Tonight...please start calling
me Rob!"

Just then, the taxi arrived, and with the honking of the horn, they put on their
wraps, and piled in! With a taxi full of excited theater goers, the driver wheeled
off for the
Majestic Theater on 247 W. 44th St.

It was a quarter to eight when they pulled up in front of the Theater. And as
they stepped from the cab, Gertrude looked up at the marquee, and with stars in
her eyes, she excitedly squealed, "Here I am...at "The Phantom of the Opera" in
New York City! Oh Uncle Charles, I can never thank you enough!"

And as Gertrude hugged her dear uncle, Charles with a sheepish smile said,
"Awe sure thing honey, I am just so glad this all worked out so good for ya."

And then added, "I am feeling a little guilty getting all this credit for my gratis
tickets I had gotten!"

Everyone laughed at Charles comment, and it may be that it wasn't all that
funny, but because they were all so excited, that everything seemed to be funny
and joyful!

And it was joyful until...guess what...just as they were about to walk into the
theater, Steven casually strolled by the entrance!

And as Steven looked over at Catherine's group, he feigned surprise as he
expounded, "Cathy, Charles...Jennifer, hello!"

As Catherine looked at him in disbelief, she couldn't believe her worst fear had
come to fruition! And she now knew it was a mistake to have told Steven any
of her plans!

And so suspiciously Catherine asked, "Steven what are you doing out so late?"

With a shopping bag in his hand, he held it up and gleefully said, "I was feeling
so good, I just had to get out and enjoy the city. So I thought I would get in a
little Holiday shopping at the same time."

To which Jennifer quizzically asked, "Shopping? In the theater district?"

Upon realizing he didn't have an answer to Jennifer's great question, he
sputtered a bit, before saying, "Yes, well I guess I kinda kept walking, and well,
here I am!"

Nonchalantly, Steven then looked up at the marquee, and remarked, "Ah, going
to see the Phantom I see..."

To which Catherine called him out, by politely, yet assertively saying, "I told
you the theater was part of our plans."

And in acting like he only just remembered, Steven said, "That's right! You did
mention it...gee, The Phantom of the Opera! I have the broadway soundtrack,
and always wanted to see the actual play, but like everything in my life, I kept
putting it off, thinking there would be time later..."

And so pitifully, Steven raised a brow, as he sadly continued, "...and now, since
the tickets are so hard to get, who knows if I ever will."

And meantime, because Catherine had not had a chance to tell her Dad about
Steven's recent obsessive antics, Charles kindly offered, "Well, I have this extra
ticket Steven...and you are more than welcome to join us."

To which Catherine quickly tried to discourage the offer by saying, "Dad, I am
sure Steven needs to get home, he is supposed to be resting as much as
possible..."

To which Steven shook his head, and said, "Actually tonight at least, I am
feeling pretty good...and I would love to tag along..."

And because this was playing out better than what Steven had planned, he then
looked hopefully at Catherine to seal the deal, saying, "...IF I am welcome, that
is. I mean I realize this wasn't part of our agreement or anything, but since I am
here...well Cathy? What do you say?"

Meanwhile, because of the odd exchange going on between Steven and his
daughter, Charles began to realize he may have overstepped some boundaries
with his invitation!

And so Charles, along with everyone else, uncomfortably waited for Catherine
to confirm Steven's query, asking if he was welcome or not.

And so as Catherine glanced around, and became aware of everyone's eyes on
her, though she hated to, she finally said, "It's fine..."

To which Steven expressed, "Wow, thanks so much Cathy...and Charles!"

It was then Steven scanned the group, and as he cleared his throat, he waited to
be introduced to Catherine's cousins.

And so because of the huge hint Steven gave her, Catherine remembered her
manners, as she said, "These are my cousins, Gertrude, and Rob."

As Steven enthusiastically shook their hands, he suavely said, "Pleased to meet
you. All that time Catherine and I were together, it is a shame I never had the
opportunity to meet the both of you before."

To which Catherine coolly reminded him, "There were plenty of invitations to
go to family gatherings Steven. You were just always too busy or uninterested
to go with me."

With a faraway look, Steven nodded as he replied, "That was the old Steven
Cathy..."

Uncomfortably Catherine changed the subject, as she looked to her Dad, and
asked, "Well, shall we find our seats?"

Happy for a sig way, Charles graciously flared out his hand, and said,
"Absolutely! After you!"

The group then walked into the theater, and as they settled in to enjoy the play,
Jennifer...being a true friend, made sure she sat between Catherine and Steven.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile, Vincent finished wrapping one of Catherine's Christmas gifts he had
made for her, and as he gazed upon the package, with a smile in his eyes, he felt
very pleased with his efforts. He then contentedly, leaned back in his chair.

Just then, his Father arrived for a visit, and as Jacob stood for a moment,
looking at his son sitting in his high backed chair, it struck him, how happy
Vincent looked.

And so, hobbling inside, Jacob pleasantly asked, "Am I interrupting?"

To which Vincent politely stood to welcome him, and said, "No Father...in fact
I was only just this moment, thinking of coming to see you."

With a nod, Jacob then jested, "Really? I dare say, because you looked so
happy, I thought perhaps it was Catherine you were thinking about."

In reply, Vincent bashfully admitted, "It was in fact Catherine I was thinking
about...hoping she will like this gift I made for her."

Vincent then reiterated, "However, in the next instant, it crossed my mind to
speak with you. I was going to ask if you would like the Holiday decorations
brought out of storage tomorrow."

In affirmation, Jacob nodded, and with a smile said, "Yes! And...only a short
while ago, Mary had asked me the same question! It would seem everyone is
getting into a festive mood, and is getting anxious to begin their decorating."

With that said, Vincent thinking on his own personal Christmas decoration, he
walked over to his trunk, and as he knelt beside it, he brought out the snow
globe he had since he was a boy.

And as he held it tenderly in his hands, a look of melancholy came over him as
he noticed that somehow the water had evaporated, and his globe had lost it's
magical fluid element.

The sight of this familiar item, made Jacob smile until he saw Vincent's reaction,
causing him to ask, "Vincent?"

To which in reply, Vincent sadly said, "Father...the liquid dissipated... "

With concern, Jacob approached, and said, "Ah what a shame...I know how
much this snow globe means to you."

With a thoughtful look, Vincent inspected the globe further, and deduced, "I
don't believe a globe such as this can be repaired."

As Jacob took it in his hands, to inspect it as well, he agreeably said, "Tis a
shame, as I don't see how it could be."

Vincent then accepted the globe back from his Father, and wearily said, "Devin
gave this to me for Christmas, the year before he left the Tunnels."

To which Jacob recalled, "I remember when you unwrapped this exquisite gift
from your brother...I suspected he had absconded it from a merchant!"

Looking over at his Father, Vincent confessed, "I heard the both of you arguing
about it that night. Devin assured you he had not stolen it, but you didn't believe
him...you insisted he was lying."

Regretfully, Jacob amusedly said, "Yes, and Mouse stood up to me as well, and
told me I should believe Devin if he says the gift had not been stolen."

Jacob then laughed as he added, "As if Mouse was a credible authority on such
a matter!"

Turning thoughtful, Jacob guiltily continued, "You know...I had never quite
honed my communication skills where Devin was concerned. I consider this to
be my greatest failure as a father. He always needed to play defense to my
exculpatory questions."

And Vincent knew this was true, because he privately recalled Devin saying
how Father would always accuse him first, before giving him a chance to
explain. However knowing how this would hurt his Father to hear this, Vincent
kept this exchange between he and his brother to himself.

Meantime, Jacob sorrowfully stood, as he pondered, "It is regretful some things
in life, we are not given a second chance..."

After breaking through his moment of reflective regret, Jacob continued, "At
any rate, I did apologize to Devin once I found out he had actually been given
this gift by a representative of the "Toys for Tots" organization."

In his own defense for being so suspicious of Devin, Jacob laughed as he further
explained, "However, he was not totally in the clear, as I then had to scold him
for passing himself off as one of the orphans at the annual Ridley Hall's
Christmas Party."

Vincent chuckled himself, as he thought of all the pranks his brother Devin used
to pull.

Sadly, Jacob then shared, "Devin told me he very much wanted you to have this
globe, because you loved the snow so much. And he thought the times you
could not venture outside...you could at least look at the snow falling inside this
little glass world."

Pensively, Vincent looked down at the snow globe, with its now dried out
crystal snowflake particles, as they lay motionless around the beautiful little
cottage scene, remembering how magical it once was.

And as he tipped it, he once more read the inspiring inscription some unknown
person had written on be underside, before it had been donated to Toys for
Tots.

And so he smiled to himself, as he walked over to his table, and positioned the
globe in its usual place of honor, deciding it would still be displayed this
Christmas, in it's specially reserved, prestigious Holiday spot.

After looking over at his father for affirmation, with a nod, Jacob said,
"Fractured or not, it is where it should be."

To be continued
Chapter Fifteen
Treasure of my Heart!
By Sharon Holtz
Chapter Fourteen
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