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Her First Noel
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When I walk into the party, my skirt is too tight. My heels are too high. The buttons on my sweater are about to pop off and shoot someone’s eye out. It’s been years since I first laid eyes on the tall drink of eggnog that is Cole Rudolph, and my panties haven’t been the same since.
Never mind he’s my overly protective father’s best friend.
And business partner.
And he’s twenty years older than me.
He’s top of my Christmas list, but there’s no way he would ever see me as anything other than his best friend’s chubby daughter, right?
Only, tonight something feels different. The way he’s looking at me, the way his eyes linger on my curves a moment too long. When we end up driving home together, my sugarplums and his jingle balls get all tangled up in the tinsel.
There’s about a million reasons this will never work, but I’m throwing caution to the winter wind and seeing just what sort of twinkle I can put in his eye.
And everywhere else.
Author’s Note: When this dominant, older Daddy alpha sets his sights on this curvy, innocent forbidden fruit that’s been dangled in front of him for years, nothing will get in his way. It’s love at the speed of Santa’s sleigh, with all the trimmings you expect. Safe, over the top, ice-melting hot and a dreamy happily ever after.
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“SO, DO YOU THINK I should be on the naughty list, or the very, very nice list?” Amanda Burn twirls on the spot, her sexy elf costume spinning out and flashing a glimpse of her bare ass before she loses her balance and giggles as she performs a cutesy, exaggerated fall into me. “Oops!”
Clearly, she expected me to catch her, but unless she’s actually about to crash to the ground I’m not going to encourage this bullshit. Call me an asshole, wouldn’t be the first time, but while she can stay on her feet, she’s on her own.
I take the glass of white wine from her hand and set it on the nearest table. “That’s enough for tonight.”
The room hums with chatter and laughter, The First Noel playing on the speakers above as the buffet line settles down. The delectable smell of the prime rib and other incredible food served tonight mix with the scent of pine from the twenty or so decorated trees that line the perimeter of the private banquet room at the restaurant.
“Party pooper.” Amanda pouts, running a suggestive hand down my tie, which I promptly remove as I step back. “You know,” she starts, her words slow and thick and her eyes glazed. “I’ve always had a crush on you. I know you’re the boss and that might…” She shrugs and squeezes her lips together while pushing up her tits. “…complicate things. But I’m willing if you are…”
Fuck me. There is no good way out of this, so I stick with what I know.
Being an asshole.
I take a sip of my Coke, then clear my throat and wrap this shit show up. “This…” I wave my hand around the room, where nearly a hundred people mingle, ninety-five percent of them men. “This is a work party. At a work party, one, you should stay sober. Two, don’t make passes at the boss, especially one that is not interested. So, you are cut off and I’m calling you a cab.”
She screws up her face, trying to decide if I’m serious. When I raise my eyebrows and stay silent, she narrows her eyes. “Whatever.”
“Do what I tell you and you’ll still have a job tomorrow. Otherwise, I’ll consider this your resignation. I’m sure you can get back into The Odyssey.”
Before she came to work for my partner and I at Remington Construction, as a favor to my partner’s ex-wife and daughter, she was a dancer at a local strip club. Where she got fired. Do you know how hard it is to get fired from a strip club?
When she applied for the receptionist’s position at our firm, she talked a good game about wanting to change her life and get a fresh start. Martin wanted to give her a shot because of her friendship with his daughter, and I must have had ‘sucker’ written on my forehead that day because I backed his play. I’ve regretted it every day since.
“You’re sort of a jerk.” Her words are clipped, but at least the flirting has stopped.
“Good. You’re sobering up. Now, go get your coat.” I pull out my phone and tap the speed dial for the cab service that’s on call for our company party tonight. “There will be a cab ride with your name on it out front.”
She opens her mouth to speak but I don’t wait. I spin on my heel bringing the phone to my ear, letting the cab company know they have a customer waiting.
Before I hang up, Martin works through the crowd and stands next to me, waiting while I finish on the phone, then shakes his head as he looks around me toward where Amanda is stumbling her way out of the banquet room, arms crossed looking put out.
“You fire her?” He asks, taking a sip of his beer.
“Not yet. Close.”
“Yeah, we’re going to need to take care of that, let her know this is the last chance saloon. She’s a fucking train wreck. When MaryBeth asked me to give her a chance, I should have known better.”
“We all make mistakes, man, I agreed to take her on too.” I let out a sigh, making sure he knows we both own this disaster. “MaryBeth asked you for a favor, a job for your daughter’s friend, you did what you thought best. Monday I’ll take care of it, lay down the law or she can hit the bricks.”
He nods. “I appreciate it. You’re better at bad cop.”
Martin and I have been friends and business partners for going on ten years and he’s as close to a brother as I’ll ever have. Normally his judgment is pretty flawless, but he has one massive blind spot. Not for MaryBeth herself his daughter’s mother, that was a onetime deal never to be repeated. But the daughter he didn’t even know about until six years ago. For her, he’d do anything, even if it means being nice to her train wreck of a mother.