Contemporary Romance/13,483 words

A Billionaire Novella

To businesswoman, Dallas Hutchinson, the suite at the St. Regis in New York City was an extravagant gift from a grateful corporate client. The resident billionaire was an unexpected bonus.

Theo Stockard's heart was well armored against a beautiful, charming, intelligent, sexy woman... or so he thought. To one of Forbes' Top Ten Executives of the Decade, the gorgeous blond standing in his suite was the classiest "gift" his friend had ever sent.

On one weekend in New York, two strangers experience the magic of Christmas in a most unexpected way.

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Chapter One

“Welcome to the St. Regis, madam. How may I help you?”

Dallas Hutchinson returned the uniformed clerk’s smile and slid her Texas driver’s license and American Express Black Card across the hotel’s marble registration desk. “I believe y’all have a reservation for me. I don’t know if the booking is under my name or The Delta Group.”

“Yes, madam. Thank you. Have you stayed with us before, Ms. Hutchinson?” He threw her a pleasant glance over the click of the keyboard.

“No, this is my first visit to Manhattan, actually.”

While the clerk stared at his monitor and typed rapidly, Dallas brushed the plump flakes of melting snow off her cashmere overcoat and took in the five-star hotel’s Rococo lobby of honey marble, gleaming brass, gilt crown molding and crystal chandeliers. The multitude of holiday decorations gave the imposing lobby a feeling of homey good cheer. With Christmas two days away, the muted background music of Nat King Cole singing “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire” fit her mood exactly. She’d left behind seventy-eight degrees and clear blue skies in Dallas, Texas—not exactly a Hallmark Christmas card with the Budweiser eight-horse hitch prancing through the snow—but New York City was. Several inches of fresh white transformed the Big Apple into a winter spectacular, and the holiday vibe was just the therapy she needed to kick up her heels and be spontaneous.

The rectangle in her hand buzzed, and she eyed her cell phone hatefully. The Egyptians of the Old Testament had their ten plagues. In the United States of the New Testament, cell phones replaced the pestilence. She thumbed it off with a huff of satisfaction. She was going to enjoy the next two days. 

“We have you booked in one of our Royal Suites for three days. Lovely choice, madam.” The young man’s voice conveyed rich approval. “The suite overlooks Fifth Avenue and 55th Street and features a formal dining room with full kitchen facilities and a living room with Central Park views.  The Carrara marble bathrooms feature double sinks, a deep-soaking jetted tub, separate rain shower and toilet cabin, a bidet, and state-of-the-art technologies including mirror televisions and heated floors.”

“My goodness.” Dallas started laughing. “This weekend is a bonus from a grateful client. I didn’t realize how grateful they were.”

The young desk clerk grinned. “Obviously, extremely grateful. The suite comes with a resident butler, complimentary champagne, a free bar—”

Dallas raised her hand with a helpless chuckle. “Stop, stop. I’m overwhelmed. I have a butler?”

The clerk smiled broadly. “Part of our service, madam. You also have a chef-on-call.” He slipped a key card across the white marble. “Enjoy your stay. Please don’t hesitate to contact the concierge if there is anything you require.”