The Millionaire's Snowbound Seduction

By: Sandra Marton

CHAPTER ONE


NICK BRENNAN figured that Scrooge had gotten it right.

Christmas was definitely the most overrated holiday of the year. He’d had plenty of time to think about it, considering that he’d been stalled in a barely-moving line of traffic for the past forty-five minutes.

A horn blared angrily behind him, setting off an answering chorus from a dozen other cars.

Nick smiled thinly. Right. As if that would change anything. This was New York traffic. Friday afternoon New York traffic, the Friday afternoon before Christmas. Anybody dumb enough to be trapped in it deserved what he got.

Including him.

‘Stupid,’ Nick muttered, tapping his fingers impatiently against the steering wheel.

That was the only word for it. He’d been living in Manhattan for almost a decade. He knew the score. Even his PA, who was just a few years out of some Iowa cornfield, knew that leaving New York today wasn’t terribly bright.

She’d tried to talk him out of it.

‘Why don’t you let me phone around, see if I can’t book you onto a flight to Vermont?’ Ellen had said.

He’d given her a bunch of reasons, all of them logical. Because she’d never find a seat for him at the last minute. Because not even the charter service Brennan Resorts employed would be available at the eleventh hour. Because even if she lucked out, who knew for how much longer anything would be able to take off? The weatherman, as usual, had gotten it wrong. The predicted light snow was about to turn into a major storm.

Nick had told Ellen all those things. The only thing he hadn’t told her was the truth. He was driving to North Mountain because he hoped the six hours on the road would give him time to talk himself out of reaching it.

Oh, he’d come up with practical reasons for going. After all, he owned the mountain now, most of it, anyway, the same as he owned the cabin that stood on its crest. And, as soon as the details were settled, his people would bring in the equipment necessary to demolish the cabin and start work on the newest Brennan resort. Nick was a hands-on kind of guy. He always looked a site over before work began. It was, according to Wall Street, one of the reasons for his success.

But nobody was going to bring in any kind of equipment, until the harsh New England winter ended in April, or maybe even May.

No matter how you looked at it, there wasn’t a reason in the world to make the trip now.

Nick blew out his breath.

A couple of months ago, he hadn’t even known he owned North Mountain. His people had brought him an estate deal that contained several prime parcels of land in New England. Nick had moved fast, as he always did, and quickly given them the okay to make the buy.

He’d had no idea the mountain was part of the package. Not that he’d have cared, if he’d known. The mountain was perfect for development, and no amount of sentimental claptrap would change that. No, it wasn’t sentiment that was sending him to Vermont.

Vermont, in December.

Christmas carol time. Horse-drawn sleigh time. Cold, star-studded night time…

Holly time.

Seven years ago come Monday morning, he and Holly had been married. One year later to the day, they’d agreed to a divorce.

And all of it had begun on North Mountain, in a cabin a million miles from anywhere.

The horn behind him blasted Nick into reality. He shot a nasty look into his mirror and inched the Explorer forward.

Okay. So, the realization that he’d bought the mountain, and the cabin, had hit him hard. That had surprised him. He didn’t think about his once-upon-a-time marriage anymore. Hell, why would he? Nick’s jaw tightened. He’d made a mistake. So what? Life was like that. You made a mistake, you rectified it and moved on. The one thing you never did was look back.

Then, what was he doing, sitting in this God-awful traffic, heading for the place where he’d made his biggest mistake? It made no sense.

Maybe it did. Maybe it would help him get rid of the memories.

Memories of Holly, wearing a flannel nightgown instead of the silky one she’d bought for their honeymoon, because the cabin had been so cold that first night…until he’d slowly stripped her of the gown and warmed her with his body. Memories of Holly, laughing after he’d tumbled her down in the snow, shrieking when he threatened to wash her face in it…her smile fading, turning soft and sexy as she became aware of the sudden pressure of his aroused flesh against hers.

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