The heartfelt holiday conclusion to the Kavanagh Legends family saga revisits all the couples that readers have fallen in love with throughout the series. An angsty and loving Christmas novella, it’s the perfect goodbye to these Irish MMA fighters and a glimpse into what the future holds for them.
With the Christmas season fast approaching, the entire Kavanagh family is feeling anything but the holiday spirit. Commitments are questioned, relationships are tense, and bickering is nonstop.
However, when a crisis strikes and the family realizes that they might lose one of their own, they’ll come together to remember the reason for the season is first, and foremost, love and family.
With their own heartwarming HEAs, Sarah Robinson’s Kavanagh Legends novels can be read together or separately:
BREAKING A LEGEND
SAVING A LEGEND
BECOMING A LEGEND
CHASING A LEGEND
WARNING: May contain spoilers to the first 4 books in the Kavanagh Legends series.
Three Weeks Before Christmas
“You’re kidding, right?” Dee turned away from the stove to look at her husband of forty years. “Not in your health.”
Seamus grumbled something under his breath, putting the piece of bacon he’d been about to eat back on the serving plate. “One piece of bacon with breakfast won’t kill me.”
“Pfft. You’re mad.” She shook her head, and turned back to stirring the scrambled eggs she was making for her grandkids. “Plus, save it for the kids. They’ll be down for breakfast in a minute.”
Her oldest son, Rory, was away on a romantic weekend trip with his wife, Clare, leaving their two children, Murphy and Brontë, under the care of Seamus and Dee. Dee was, of course, thrilled. There was nothing she loved more than being a mother, and now a grandmother. She would spend all day every day with her grandkids if she could, and her heart was filled to overflowing to have so many now.
At the reminder, Dee gazed at the photo go her grandchildren in a homemade popsicle-stick frame on her kitchen countertop that Murphy had made for her. The photo inside was silly and sweet—all five grandchildren making funny faces at the camera. Well, four of the five. Shea was in the back looking stoically at the camera, which wasn’t unusual for the teenager with special needs. Shea was Kieran’s wife, Fiona’s, biological sister, and when their mother passed away, Fiona and Kieran had adopted her.
Dee didn’t care one bit that they weren’t related by blood. Being loved and part of their family didn’t have a DNA requirement, and that was something she’d raised all her boys to know.
Next to Shea in the photo was Rory and Clare’s two children, Murphy and Brontë. Murphy was crossing his eyes and Brontë was sticking her tongue out, laughing. Gavin was on the floor in front of them, his little arm around Ava’s shoulder as they both made faces at the camera. Gavin was Kieran and Fiona’s son, and the youngest of the entire group. Ava was Jimmy’s girlfriend Sophie’s daughter from a previous relationship, and had been embraced by the family when Sophie and Jimmy began dating.
“Have you checked your sugar yet?” Dee asked, plating the scrambled eggs and adding a serving spoon before placing it on the kitchen table next to the bacon and biscuits.
“Not yet.” Seamus pulled a blood glucose monitor out of a kitchen drawer and began swabbing his finger with an alcohol wipe. He barely looked up at her, his answers always as succinct as possible. He’d always been brusque, but this was different.
His recent diagnosis of diabetes had thrown them a major curveball, and completely changed their lives. It was a struggle, however, because the man loved his carbs and sugar. Changing sixty years of unhealthy eating habits had caused a lot of friction between them.
Wiping her hands off on a towel, Dee approached her husband’s side and watched as he pricked his finger and dabbed a drop of blood onto a testing strip.
“See? Healthy as all hell.” He turned the monitor towards her when it displayed his results, which thankfully were in a great range. “You worry too much.”
“I know. I can’t help it.” Dee sighed, and glanced toward the hallway to make sure the kids weren’t about to walk in. Returning her gaze to her husband, she placed a hand on his upper arm. “Seamus?”
He grunted. Forty years and he couldn’t even respond with a word?
“Next month is our anniversary.” She blinked quickly, taming the tears that wanted to flow. “I was thinking maybe we book ourselves a trip. Or a cruise. Get away and celebrate.”
He shrugged and then began putting away his supplies. “Fine.”
That’s it. “Damn it, Seamus!”
“What?” He turned bewildered eyes to her. “What’s wrong?”
“You, that’s what. You’re being a fecking asshole. I know that I’m being strict with this new diet, but the doctor said you’d die. You were nearly in a coma, Seamus. Your sugar was hundreds above where it should have been. Do you know what that was like for me?” Her voice was cracking, full of emotion as anger and heartbreak surged through her heavily Irish accented words. “I’ve spent more of my life as your wife than I ever was anything else. Losing you…shite. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t wake up every morning and not have you next to me. I—”
“Dee…” Seamus reached out and grabbed her hand, pulling her to his chest and wrapping her in a hug. “Feck. I’m sorry. You know I don’t mean it. I’m a grumpy old bastard.”
“Such a bastard,” she mumbled into his shirt, sniffling, twisting her fingers in the fabric.
He chuckled, kissing the top of her head. “I know you’re just trying to keep me healthy. I’m trying, too. It’s hard, but I’m trying. I’d never do anything to shorten my time with you on this earth.”
Dee felt her heart soften again, the tension of their recent fiction sliding away. After almost forty years together, fighting was nothing new for them. In fact, it was one of the things they did best. He was an asshole, and she had known that the day they met, but he was also a wonderful husband and an even better father and grandfather.
“I love you, Dee.” He kissed her softly, and she felt the same flutter in her heart that he’d made her feel since the first time they’d laid eyes on one another. His voice deepened, developed a huskier lilt. “Maybe once the kids leave, I can show you how much.”
“Sweet talker,” she teased, whacking his arm before turning back to the table.
“Grandad!” Murphy came skipping into kitchen and tossed himself at his grandfather.
Seamus caught him just in time and swung him high above his head as the young boy’s laughter filled the air while he soared in the safety of his grandfather’s arms. “Hey, Murph! Did you sleep all right?”
“Eh.” Murphy shrugged and wiggled his way back down to the floor, turning his affections to Dee this time. “It’s okay. Hi, Nanna!” He squeezed her waist in a hug, his little head pressing into her stomach.
Dee picked him up and covered his cheeks with kisses. “Is my grandbaby hungry? Breakfast is ready!”
“Yes! Hey, Nanna, guess how old I’m going to be next week?” Murphy held up both hands, one with all his fingers up, and the other with only one. “Guess!”
“Hmmm.” She placed a finger on her chin. “I think twenty-seven, right?”
“No!” His laughter peeled out of him, warming her heart. “Guess again!”
“Nope!” Murphy sat at the kitchen table, kicking his feet back and forth underneath him.
His little sister, Brontë, toddled into the kitchen, still holding her favorite blanket, her thumb shoved in her mouth.
“Hey, baby girl, do you know how old your brother will be next week?” Dee scooped up the young girl and kissed her.
“Six!” She burst out, her wet thumb popping from her mouth.
“Is that right? Six? I can’t believe it!” Dee feigned as Murphy vigorously nodded his head in agreement.
Dee sat Brontë in a booster seat at the table and filled both of their plates with eggs and bacon. A mournful expression crept over Seamus’ face as he stared at his bowl of oatmeal and pushed around the apple slices on top with his spoon.
Murphy held up both hands, six fingers raised. “Six, Nanna! Mama says I’m getting too big. She cries when I say that.”
Dee chuckled. “Well, mamas wish their kids stayed kids forever. We get sad thinking about them growing up.”
“Are your kids growed up?” Murphy asked, spooning a large bite of scrambled eggs into his mouth.
“My first kid is your daddy, baby,” Dee reminded him, sitting at the table between her grandkids.
“Oh, right.” Murphy looked deep in thought as he considered what she’d said. “That’s weird.”
Seamus laughed at that one then ruffled Brontë’s hair. She beamed at him, and offered him a piece of bacon which he only pretended to eat with loud, chomping noises that made her giggle. Dee loved watching Seamus with their grandkids—the love between them was so beautiful.
“Did Daddy look like me when he was your kid?” Murphy continued his line of questioning. Actually, his questions never stopped. The boy was a sponge, asking everyone a million questions all day long. She didn’t mind one bit, though.
“His hair was a bit darker, and he was shorter. A little stockier. You’ve got your mother’s height and slim frame. Very lucky, because your mother is beautiful.”
“You’re beautiful, too, Nanna.”
“Thanks, Murph.” She smiled. Kids were a goddamn blessing. “Do you like the eggs? You’ve only eaten one bite.”
He pushed some more around on his plate. “I think I’m not very hungry.”
“You said you were.”
The little boy sighed, his shoulders slumping slightly. “I know. I changed my mind.”
Dee frowned, but squeezed his shoulder. “Are you feeling all right?”
He nodded. “Can I be excused? Grandad said I could play Xbox today!”
Seamus grinned, ignoring the look she shot him.
“Okay, but only for an hour. After that, no more electronics this weekend.”
“Whyyyy?” Murphy began to whine. “Just a little bit!”
“Hey, no whining,” Dee reminded him. “Santa’s coming in three weeks. We’ve got to be good to be on the nice list and get lots of presents.”
That reminder perked him right up. “I’m going to be the nicest boy on the whole list!”
“Good job!” she cheered, making a mental note to finish her Christmas shopping soon.
Murphy was already up and out of his seat, heading for the living room. They’d already made sure Rory set the games up before he left, so that the parental controls were on. For the life of her, Dee couldn’t figure out how to work the blasted machine herself.
Brontë smiled, her mouth full of food. “Nanna, can I have his bacon?”
“That’s my girl.” Seamus laughed, giving Brontë a thumbs-up. “My genes are strong.”
Dee rolled her eyes at her husband. “You can have one more piece, baby girl. Seamus, should I text Clare and tell her Murph isn’t eating?”
“Nah,” he replied. “I’m sure he’s fine. Let them have their romantic weekend in peace.”
“You’re right,” she agreed.
He lifted one brow, eyeing her. “You’re going to text her anyway, aren’t you?”
“Well, she’s a mom. She’ll want to know.” Dee was already pulling out her phone and scrolling to Clare’s name. “I’m sure she won’t mind.”
Seamus chuckled. “I love you, Dee.”
“Love you, too, baby.”
“I love you, both!” Brontë added herself to the conversation.
Dee smiled over her phone at the little girl, her heart overflowing.
About Sarah Robinson
Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in forensic and clinical psychology. She is newly married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiasts as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues including everything from mammals to reptiles to marsupials, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters.
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