Read Billionaire Romance: Christmas Surprise (Book One) Online

Authors: Violet Walker

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Billionaire Romance: Christmas Surprise (Book One) (4 page)

BOOK: Billionaire Romance: Christmas Surprise (Book One)
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“Why not? You just said it was great.”

“Because I don’t make it a habit of sleeping
with men who don’t trust me!”

He shook his head. Would she ever get over
his initial accusations? “Obviously I trust you! I leave my
daughter alone with you!”

“Only because you can’t be bothered to give
her what she needs! Besides, I’ve been with her since she was born
because her parents were too busy with their exciting lives to give
her the time of day!” She threw her sandwich on a plate and walked
away.

This time he let her go.

~

Things had been cool between Dean and Krista
in the days after their outburst in the kitchen. Dean kept his word
and came home on time every night and she helped him with Angel’s
nighttime activities. Once he committed himself to being a father,
he’d taken to it brilliantly and she could admit she was impressed.
He talked to Angel in a soothing voice, played with her and learned
how to make her smile. The pride he felt at connecting with his
daughter was written all over his handsome face.

She couldn’t believe it was going so well.
As sad as she was that she wouldn’t be involved in the little
girl’s life much longer, she was happy that Angel would have a
father who obviously loved her. Dean may not know it, but he was
totally smitten with the sweet baby. “Now just lay her over your
heart and soothe her until she’s asleep.” She sat back and watched
him put her words to action. His deep voice, calm and low, quickly
sent Angel to sleep.

“That was amazing.” His smile was bright and
proud as he followed her out of the bedroom. “Flora made lasagna
for dinner, let’s go.” Without waiting for her answer he guided her
downstairs and into the small informal dining room.

“It smells good,” she said politely as she
sat. She poured wine into both glasses and lifted it. “To
fatherhood and to closing the deal.”

He smiled and tapped his glass to hers. “And
to beautiful women with endless patience.” He took a long sip, his
gaze focused squarely on hers.

“So everything went smoothly yesterday?”

Her smile was genuine but he wondered at her
interest in his latest acquisition. “Yep.”

“Oh for crying out loud Dean! I’m just
asking because it took up so much of your time. Don’t worry, I’m
not tallying up how much I can get from you!” She plated up a
square of lasagna for herself and dug in, savoring the taste of
garlic and basil and fresh tomatoes. Other than Angel, she would
miss Flora’s amazing cooking when she was gone.

As she ate she internally chastised herself
for being upset at Dean’s words. He’d shown he was a man incapable
of changing his opinion, at least about her. It was a shame because
he could be nice and charming when he wanted to be. But it was for
the best. They hadn’t used protection that night in the library and
as long as she kept her distance, she would be long gone before she
found out if their careless actions produced any results. In a rare
moment of clarity, she perfectly understood Karen’s actions now.
Dean wasn’t a man capable of trust, and he would have made her life
hell, insisting on a DNA test before Angel was even more,
consequences be damned.

As much as Krista wanted a baby, she didn’t
want a baby like this and she didn’t want one with Dean. Even
though she had softened towards him over the past couple weeks, and
he had shown himself to be more than the arrogant tycoon she’d
first met, he was still far from her ideal mate. Besides, she would
never want to spend her life with a man who thought all she wanted
was his money.
Ironic
, she grinned,
considering the only
thing he willingly gives of himself is his money
.

“What’s so amusing?”

She shook her head. “Nothing much. A thought
I had just struck me as amusing.”

“Would you care to share?”

“Nope.” She finished eating and took her
plate to the kitchen, where she rinsed it and put it away.
“Goodnight, Dean.”

~

“Do you have a date yet for the Christmas
Ball?”

Dean eyed his sister and his cousin from
across his large desk. They both had suspicious smiles and he knew
they were up to something. “Not yet, but I will.” His plan had been
to ask Krista, but to say she’d been keeping her distance from him
lately would be an understatement. She helped him with Angel every
night and they ate dinner together, but she was so distant she may
as well be on another planet. They had polite conversation about
the weather and Angel and that was it. It was his fault, he knew,
but a man couldn’t be expected to change overnight.

“I was thinking I’d invite Krista,” River
said with a smile. “She works so hard and she has no friends or
family. I think a ball would be a good way to thank her for taking
care of Angel.”

“That’s a great idea!” Rory squealed,
patting River’s arm enthusiastically. “I asked her to go and she
said she wanted to spend as much time with Angel as possible before
she left. Maybe you’ll have better luck.”

Both sets of eyes turned to him. “Krista is
free to do whatever she pleases.” He hoped it didn’t please her to
be River’s date for the ball, but if it did, he had no right to say
anything. Especially with the way he constantly treated her.

“And you have no problem with that?” Rory’s
all-knowing eyes sparkled with mischief.

“Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Probably because of the bra I found under
the bookshelf in the library last week.” The amusement in River’s
voice did not escape him.

That night felt so long ago that he couldn’t
believe it was just a week ago. “Doesn’t matter. I screwed it up
after that.”

“Of course you did, Dean; you’re an idiot
when it comes to women.”

“Gee thanks, sis.”

Rory leaned forward. “Oh hush, you know I
love you. But you have a problem. You hate women who chase you for
your money ,but then you only date those types of women. I can tell
Krista doesn’t want anything from you and I’m sure you’ve accused
her on more than one occasion of being after your billions.”

He felt the flush roll over his face at his
sister’s words. “I have been an ass to her on multiple occasions.
She only speaks to me now when it’s necessary.” He hated the
stilted silence between them. It ate at him and that look in her
eyes, of constant rejection, tore him apart.

“See? An idiot.” Rory gave him a satisfied
smile, pleased her description of him was accurate. “The good news
is that she likes you as much as you like her, so there’s still a
chance for you two.”

He balked at her words. “What do you mean? I
don’t like her and she loathes me!”

River barked out a laugh. “You really are
clueless. I guess it’s a good thing you’re not that clueless when
it comes to business or we’d all be living under a bridge by now.”
Dean’s narrowed gaze had River laughing again. “You both think
you’re sneaking glances when the other isn’t looking. You’re not.
We can all see it, Dean. So I suggest you get your head out of your
ass or she’ll be gone on Christmas Eve just as she said.”

“She also said you haven’t done the DNA test
yet,” Rory added with a hint of censure in her tone.

“I’ll get around to it.” He hadn’t done the
test yet because he knew that when the results came in, Krista
would relinquish her claim on Angel and leave.

“What’s the hold up?”

He didn’t like it when they ganged up on
him. He was the oldest, dammit, he didn’t answer to them. Before he
could tell them as much, his assistant knocked and entered. “Sir,
there’s a Tom Powell here to see you. He said it was urgent and
private.”

“Send him in.” Moments later a short man
with black glasses walked in looking uncomfortable amongst the
wealth of Harwood Industries and the Harwood clan.

“Hello, I’m Tom Powell from
Genetic
Solutions
. I have just taken a DNA sample from an Angel Thorpe
Harwood and I was told I needed to take one from you as well.”

Dean’s shoulders slumped but he waved the
man over as his family snickered on the other side of the massive
desk. “I guess she took the issue out of your hands, man. You ought
to hang on to her, Dean. She doesn’t take your shit and gives not a
damn about your fortune.” With that River and Rory stood and left
his office, Tom Powell following shortly after.

Dammit, they were right. He’d screwed up big
time with Krista and he needed a little Christmas magic to make it
right.

~

The doorbell rang and Krista answered it
with Angel in her arms. She spent the past few days purchasing
Christmas gifts for Angel and they were due to arrive today and
tomorrow. But when she opened the door, she was greeted by a
liveried driver holding several boxes and bags.

“Mrs. Harwood?”

“No, I’m just the nanny. There is no Mrs.
Harwood as far as I know.” She held Angel’s arm as she reached to
the man who gave her a wink and a smile.

“This says I should deliver them to the lady
of the house, Krista Halloway. Ah, sorry about that miss.”

“I’m Krista and don’t worry about it. You
can just set them right here and I’ll get to them later.” She
pulled a five from her jeans and handed it over with an
apology.

“Thanks, ma’am, and have a Merry
Christmas.”

“You too,” she grinned along with Angel, who
sent her own holiday greetings in baby speak. “Now let’s see what
we have here, little girl.” She sat Angel on her play mat as she
opened the boxes to reveal a gorgeous evening gown with jewelry,
shoes and lingerie to match. “Wow, that’s gorgeous isn’t it,
sweetie?” Angel clapped and reached for the sparkly royal blue
gown.

She looked inside a small bag to find
mistletoe and a note. “For the kisses we haven’t shared yet,” it
read. She blushed. The last box was much smaller and she wondered
at its contents. When she opened it, a tear tracked down her face.
It was a silver locket shaped like an angel. Inside was a photo of
Angel on one side and a photo of her holding Angel on the other.
“It’s beautiful,” she said with a shaky voice.

“I knew he was smitten!”

Flora’s voice startled her. “I doubt that.
This is about sex or gratitude, maybe both.” She wasn’t naïve
enough to think these gifts meant his feelings for her had changed,
just as she wasn’t desperate enough to accept whatever little
affection he was willing to give her. She could admit now that,
despite his arrogance and mistrust of her, she had developed
feelings for him.

Dumbest mistake of her life. She knew
choosing him as her first lover would complicate her feelings.
Luckily, she would be gone soon and Dean Harwood would be a distant
memory.

“I wouldn’t be so sure, Krista. Dean doesn’t
make sweet gestures like this unless he’s invested. I’d say he’s
invested in you.” Her cloudy grey eyes twinkled with delight.
“Good, this house is in need of a woman’s touch and a child’s
laughter.”

“This house has you and now Angel. That’s
more than most homes.” Including her own. “Why would he buy me
something as impractical as an evening gown?”

“My guess is it’s his way of inviting you to
the Harwood Industries annual Christmas Ball. It’s in two days and
a lovely night. My Harold and I go every year.”

She smiled sadly. It was a good thought, but
she wanted--no she
needed
--to be with Angel. She couldn’t
spend any of her last few nights away from Angel for a fairytale
that would never be more than pretend. “I can’t go.”

“Of course you can, dear. Harold’s brother
broke his leg so he’s upstate helping on the farm for a few days,
leaving me all free for a date with my favorite little girl.” She
watched Flora lift Angel in the air and kiss her tummy, making her
sweet laughter ring out.

“You should go, Flora. This night means more
to you since you work for Dean. I’ll stay here with Angel.”

“No one is staying here.” Dean’s voice
boomed loudly from the entrance to the sitting room. He held up a
tiny garment bag. “I have a dress for Angel in here, and Flora, I
have it on good authority that you’ve already purchased a dress for
the ball.”

Flora blushed and swatted a hand in his
direction. “You’re too kind, Dean. Some woman is going to be lucky
to be on the receiving end of all that goodness.”

“Let’s hope so,” he said and turned his
green gaze to Krista.

“I’ll just take the little one with me while
you two…talk.”

~

“Well she’s about a subtle as a freight
train,” Krista joked as she delicately laid the dress back inside
the large box. Her wide blue eyes turned to him. “Thanks for the
locket. It’s beautiful.”

He took in her blond curls, wilder today
than normal, probably thanks to Angel’s curious fingers. Her blue
eyes sparkled, but they were sad too. “I’m glad you liked it,” his
voice was gruff even to his own ears. She didn’t even mention the
larger pieces he’d bought to go with her ball gown.

“I really do. Thanks.” She stood and wrapped
her arms around his waist, squeezing tight. “It was very
thoughtful, Dean. But I can’t accept the rest, it’s too much.”

He should have known she would say that
because that’s the kind of woman she was. In the time she’d been in
his home, she hadn’t asked for anything but for him to spend time
with his daughter. She was entitled to money for taking care of
Angel, yet she hadn’t asked for it. In fact, she was prepared to
give up her claim to the child because she loved Angel so deeply.
“I’m sorry, Krista, for everything. I know you’re not here for any
money.” His arms wrapped around her waist and his head dipped in
for a long sensuous kiss that touched every part of her. His lips
and tongue explored her mouth as if it was brand new territory. He
was sweet and gentle and the kiss quickly grew heated. “Krista,
please say you forgive me.”

Her blue eyes studied him and he wondered
what she saw. Did she still see the arrogant monster he’d been at
the beginning, or could she see his many layers now? “Sure, Dean, I
forgive you.”

BOOK: Billionaire Romance: Christmas Surprise (Book One)
9.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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