The Billionaire's Christmas Baby

By: Victoria James



Hannah held the infant closer to her chest. Emily’s breathing became calm, her steady heartbeat a complete contrast to Hannah’s erratic one. What have you done, Louise?

She buried her head against the baby’s soft hair, and the tears that had been threatening finally triumphed for the heartache that Emily would one day face knowing that she’d been abandoned. She knew the depth of that pain. Hannah knew that kind of pain could never be erased.





Chapter One

“Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas…”

Hannah pounded the volume button on her car stereo so hard her index finger bent backward painfully. She rubbed her throbbing finger, glaring at the now black display. It was so not going to be a Merry Christmas. The odds were stacked against merry and highly in favor of miserable.

She had lied to her boss, co-workers, and broken some of the cardinal rules in child protective services to be here. While other people were decorating their homes, doing Christmas shopping, and attending holiday parties, she was sitting in a cold car, spying on a man from behind a snowdrift with a sleeping infant in the backseat.

But she’d finally tracked him down, and after three miserable, long weeks, she’d found baby Emily’s uncle. Now all she had to do was knock on his door and introduce him to Emily.

Oh, and then convince him to adopt her.

Right. Great plan, Hannah.

If she had any sense of self-preservation she’d throw her car into reverse and hightail it out of Northern Ontario. She would brave the nightmare road conditions over convincing a man who had turned his back on his family for over a decade to drop everything and adopt his niece. But she knew she couldn’t do that. Hannah turned in her seat to check on Emily who had been sleeping contentedly in her car seat.

Hannah glanced back at the rustic log cabin in front of her. She had everything rehearsed. She would approach the situation with compassion and honesty. She could do this. She had to do this. Hannah bit her lower lip as she peered through the peephole she’d created in her windshield. Her half-full cup of Starbucks holiday blend, long since abandoned, sat in the cup holder beside an empty baby bottle.

She ducked as she spotted movement in the house. Luckily, she was almost sure that the man hadn’t noticed her silver Jetta buried in the snowdrift in the driveway. As soon as she had exited the highway and pulled out onto the back roads she’d felt like a moving snowman on wheels. When she finally found the cabin, located in nowheres-ville, she had drifted down the unplowed drive, saying a silent prayer she wouldn’t hit the parked Range Rover.

Gurgling from the backseat jolted her. She had to go in before Emily woke up. It’s now or never, Hannah. She turned on the engine one last time, blasting the heat on high before she had to leave the car.

She slipped her lucky red wool knitted hat with its oversized pom-pom onto her head with a decisive tug—she’d need all the luck she could get. She had a good ten minutes before she had to worry about Emily getting cold, but she added a few more layers of blankets onto the baby, who was already bundled in a bunting bag, hat, and mittens. Hannah reached over to the passenger seat, her hands blindly seeking out her purse and mittens, while her eyes stayed riveted on the cabin. She tucked the vintage Santa tin filled with homemade, sparkle-laden sugar cookies under her arm. No one could resist her Christmas cookies.

She hoped Louise’s brother, once Christopher James, now Jackson Pierce, was the type of man to appreciate homemade cookies. His name change had added a few extra days to her search, but thanks to her friends at the police department and her own bit of ingenuity, she’d found him at this cabin. There was no trace of Christopher James when child services had looked for him, but Hannah knew the details of his past, and knew this man would want nothing to do with Louise’s baby. She’d been pretty shocked by his identity. He was the founder and CEO of one of North America’s largest computer software companies.

Hannah opened the door and the wind whipped snow onto her face as she struggled to get out quickly before the cold air infiltrated the car. She stepped into at least three feet of snow and fought the urge to yelp out loud as it made contact with her feet. So much for waterproof boots. Careful not to fall and drop the cookies, she walked as fast as she could, her feet feeling like lead as she reached the front porch. She glanced around the house and confirmed what she’d suspected from the inside of her car—there was no Christmas wreath on the door or Christmas lights. Or anything remotely Christmas-y at all.

It was an omen. A bad one.

She gave herself a mental shake, forcing herself to calm down. Hurry up, Hannah.

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