The Billionaire's Christmas Baby

By: Victoria James





Jackson poked the logs in the fire a little too harshly and muffled his cough as a cloud of smoke engulfed his face. He tried to appear calm and natural even though he felt like he’d been backed against a wall by letting this woman and the baby into his home. How had he gotten into this mess? He could tell Hannah was trying to figure him out, and the look in her eyes was unsettling, like she was pleased when he told her about Charlie being a stray. He glanced over at her as she pulled off her red hat and a mass of caramel colored hair came tumbling out. He didn’t want to notice how shiny and soft it looked. He turned his attention to the fireplace again, but watched from the corner of his eye as Hannah straightened out her clothing.

Hannah was definitely beautiful—not in a made up, high-maintenance sort of way. She had high cheekbones and full, rosy lips. And even though he didn’t want to notice, her eyes were like dark emeralds, large and almond shaped, with impossibly thick black eyelashes. Even more perplexing than their indisputable beauty was the emotion and the warmth they held in them. They weren’t vacant, they weren’t flirty, and they weren’t the eyes of someone who had been friends with his sister. They were clear and sharp, not hollow like someone who was stoned all the time. No, she was too pulled together to have been friends with Louise. So then who the hell was she?

He willed himself not to look lower than her chin. Dammit. Too late. She was curvy and slender in all the right places. He felt himself fighting back a surge of complete and total unwanted desire that gripped him out of nowhere. What was going on with him? Must be a natural reaction to a woman who wasn’t thinner than a twig. The last woman he’d slept with had been so skinny he wondered if she had ever eaten a carb in her entire life. But this Hannah woman was off-limits. He didn’t date women with children or people associated with his family. And even though there wasn’t a wedding band on her hand, she was probably with some guy. Not that it mattered. Not in the least, because he wanted nothing to do with her. Anyone connected to his family was the enemy.

“Look, I really am sorry for barging in like this.”

She folded her hands in front of her and bit gently on her lower lip. Why were her lips to appealing? Focus buddy, focus. He shrugged, dragging his eyes away from her mouth. “Don’t worry about it.”

“I really wasn’t planning on getting here so late—”

“How did you know I was going to be here? No one knows about this place except my business partner and PA.” He saw the exact moment that her embarrassment turned to discomfort.

She waved a hand dismissively, but her voice sounded forced. “Oh, you can find anything online these days.”

He crossed his arms in front of him. She wasn’t looking so confident now. “No, you can’t. You can’t find anything about this cabin online.”

She averted her eyes. “It wasn’t her fault. I was probably a tad dramatic.” Maybe it was the sudden change in tone or the softening of her expression that made him get defensive.

Jackson narrowed his eyes. “Whose fault?”

“I think her name was Ann,” she said, biting her lip and looking away. Jackson tried to hide his shock. In all the years Ann had worked for him, she’d never released any personal details about him.

“What did you tell her?” He was genuinely interested in knowing how the hell this woman had managed to get the address of his cabin.

“I may have said it was a matter of life or death.”

He rolled his eyes. He was surprised Ann fell for that. “You seem to use that line as a catch-all, don’t you?”

“Well, I really did need to find you. And she was quite concerned when I mentioned the death part,” she said, lifting her chin. Something about the way she stood, the way she wouldn’t stop looking at him made him uneasy.

But no matter what, he knew she was here to tell him something he didn’t want to know. Not that it should matter. Nothing she could tell him would make him change his mind about his family.

He turned his back to her, focusing on the fire that didn’t need his attention at all. He heard her shuffling around and then the quiet padding of her feet across the wood floor.

“I’m sorry to bombard you with this.”

He ignored her attempt to open up the conversation. He turned to look at her, eyeing her snow-soaked pants. “Do you want to take off your jeans?”

Her green eyes grew comically large. “Pardon me?”

He almost laughed out loud at her expression. “I mean, you’re soaked. I can get you a blanket or something and you can put your jeans in the dryer.”

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