Home > Christmas Playboy : A Billionaire Holiday Novel

Christmas Playboy : A Billionaire Holiday Novel
Author: Sloane Howell

 


Created with Vellum

 

 

1

 

 

Karli

 

 

It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving, and Christmas season is officially here!

Nothing, however, could’ve prepared me for what I was about to walk into.

The weather is getting colder, but I don’t care. I step onto the train and take a seat; one of my favorite things to do. There’s something about riding the train through the city that just lifts my spirits, no matter what mood I’m in. I think it’s the possibilities, watching everyone go about their days. Millions of people live here, but it feels so small, like we’re all in this thing together.

Nothing can bring me down. I glide and rattle my way through downtown Chicago, and it looks gorgeous as ever. There are Christmas lights and wreaths and big red bows strung between street lights, a Red Cross Santa shaking a bell. The skyscrapers jut up into the sky all around me as they pass overhead, and I feel like I could float up to the tops of them.

It’s amazing how everything has been working out in life. I’m on my way to an internship at The Hunter Group, one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the country. It’s going to catapult me into whatever job I want down the road. Seriously, I have no idea how it happened, but I’m determined to prove myself. Sun filters through the windows onto my face, and despite knowing it’s chilly on the other side of the glass, it feels warm.

We pass a few more skyscrapers, and the firm’s building grows larger in front of me as we head toward my stop. I can’t stop looking at it.

The Hunter Group.

Every single student in my senior class at U of C Law competed for this slot, and I’m the one who got it. I was excited before, but now that the building is in front of me, my stomach tightens itself in a knot.

I can’t believe this is happening. It’s both scary and exhilarating.

I’m pretty sure I gasped when I saw it. Or sighed. Maybe both.

Get your head on straight! This is what you’ve been working so hard for!

I hop off the train and fade into the sea of people marching with purpose toward their destinations.

I’m one of them, now. Basically. The professional class, a businesswoman. I have power and control, security over my destiny. I don’t need anyone else, just hard work and determination.

I strut forward like I know exactly what I’m doing and where I’m going, not just toward my internship or today, but for life in general.

A gap opens between a few of my fellow pedestrians, and I spot the opening to the parking garage. I need to head that way and get to my orientation. I hurry toward it, doing my best to get up on my toes in these heels so I can see a little better.

BAM!

Everything moves in slow motion. I don’t know much, but what I do know is—I have a block to go and I’m no longer heading toward the parking garage. Oh no. I’m tumbling the opposite direction of where I need to be, where my dreams await me. It all feels like an out-of-body experience, like the bullet-dodging scene in The Matrix, until my back slams down onto the hard pavement and a sea of people open up around me, though they all just keep streaming past. I’m not even sure which way I’m facing now, or if I’m flashing the entirety of downtown. Who am I kidding? They barely even see me, and if I’m not careful I may just get trampled to death. The only thing I do know is my back feels like it’s on fire.

What the hell just happened?

When I look up, I see the Chicago sky and feel a burst of frigid wind on my nose and cheeks and most definitely my ass.

My eyes roll over to the side, and I see my bag on the ground next to me, and when I shift my head to the other side, I see an expensive pair of shoes. The only pair not walking briskly around me.

Did I run into someone?

You were daydreaming pretty hard.

There’s no way that was my fault; I was moving with the crowd.

I lift my arm and can already tell I did something to my elbow. It burns like hell. My mind races to figure out what just happened. It’s like a blur slowly coming into focus.

As everything starts to make sense, my eyes move up from the stationary Tom Ford shoes.

My stare slowly rakes up a pair of perfectly creased slacks, to a button-down shirt covered by a suit jacket. Then a pair of dimples appear followed by two icy-blue eyes locked onto me.

Holy shit, he’s gorgeous.

Of course he is.

Is he the one I ran into? It would make sense why I fell like a damn sack of potatoes. He’s amazingly well built, from what I can tell in that suit.

His hair is dark brown and combed back perfectly, and his lips twist up in a smirk as he continues to stare right at me.

Just as I start to ogle his body, wondering what it might look like under his immaculately tailored clothes, the pain from my ass hitting the sidewalk radiates through my body.

Why the hell is this guy just standing there staring at me, like he’s amused? He might be the hottest man I’ve ever seen, but he could at least offer to help me up.

Finally, when I press my palms down on the concrete and start to make my way to my feet, he takes a step toward me and reaches out with a hand.

“Don’t bother now!” I swat him away before he has a chance to come any closer.

Everyone knows proper social convention would be for him to ignore my rejection and still attempt to help, but he doesn’t.

He stops dead in his tracks, folds his arms over his chest, and flashes that stupid smirk at me once more. “Suit yourself, Johnny Knoxville.”

My blood immediately heats up. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me. That’s quite a pair of balls you have to run into me like that and then cop an attitude, jackass.”

This son of a…

It has not yet been properly established who was at fault, and I’m almost certain it wasn’t me. I glance around and realize he must’ve been walking straight through everyone else, head on, a dick move of epic proportions for anyone who traverses downtown Chicago during rush hour.

I slowly make my way to my feet, fuming by the time I stand up. My blood reaches supernova temperatures, because gorgeous or not, I don’t put up with assholes. It only enables them, and I’m not an enabler. “Are you fucking kidding me right now? I’m fine, by the way. After you almost killed me.”

He shrugs, with a narcissistic, satisfied smile plastered across his face. His eyes rake up and down my body. “You’re definitely fine. Careless as shit, but I like what I see.”

“Did you just hit on me?”

“No, you hit me.” He glances around. “Pretty hard, for someone your size. You should probably be more aware of your surroundings.”

I stand there, shaking my head at the audacity of this piece of shit. The more my brain works, the more everything becomes clear as I play back the events in my mind and ascertain the facts of what happened.

Before I realize it, he’s right next to me, so close his chest brushes against my shoulder. “You okay?” he asks in a gentler tone, like it’s normal to invade my personal space like this.

Through my teeth, glancing up at him, I say, “I’m fine.”

He doesn’t reply. Doesn’t back up. Just stands there, staring down at me with those damn blue eyes of his.

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