Read a holiday romance epub format

Authors: Bobbie Jordan

a holiday romance

A Holiday Romance
Bobbie Jordan
(2013)

In this new sexy contemporary romance novella from Amazon bestselling author Bobbie Jordan, can Guy convince Latisse they are meant to be together during the holidays?

Guest starring Latisse Charles and Guy Blanchard from Bobbie Jordan's Contemporary Romance Holiday series, A Holiday Romance is 18,879 words / 127 pages.

A Holiday Romance is a contemporary romance novel that is filled with interesting twist that will have you intertwined in a love tornedo!

Not another holiday Alone.....!

Latisse Charles is on her way to a private Christmas vacation alone after she dumped her super-star, pro-athlete boyfriend. She found out he was having more fun with the 'cheerleader'!!

Because of business, Latisse was becoming accustom to have dateless Christmas, kiss-less New Years, and a romance less Valentine's Day.....

Unfortunately,she has a slight detour to a business meeting with a guy named Guy whose only time to meet for this big contract deal happens to be Christmas Eve..... What a Grinch!

To make matters worse, Latisse finds herself stuck on the plane with an over-confident Republican, white guy whom is trying to strike up a conversation to pass the time away.....

She did not care that he was handsome and he smelled good. She just wants to be in Napa Valley chill'in with a glass of wine and peace of mind...and now she was stuck with a "guy' whom she wanted to give a "piece of her mind' to.....

HE IS WHITE AND A REPUBLICAN...GOOD GRIEF!

She thought it was suppose to be a Merry Christmas........ A Holiday Romance is starting out like a nightmare for her until unforeseeable circumstances come into play....

In A Holiday Romance, you will two contemporary romance short-stories for the price of one!

Copyright 2012 by Bobbie Jordan

 

 All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced in any form or by any means including, scanning, photocopying, or otherwise without the expressed written consent or permission of the copyright holder. You cannot sell, share or distribute this book. It is for your personal use only.

 

 

 
A Fairy Tale Christmas

 

 

 

 

Waiting had never been her thing. Although she pretended to be kind and patient, she just wasn’t. She often told people “I used to be a type “A” personality. Now I’m an “A minus.” In truth, she was still every bit a type “A,” she had just learned to disguise it better.

 

It was her personality that had allowed her business “Charles Consulting” to be one of the top consulting firms in Atlanta. At thirty-one years old, she was one of the industries few women CEO’s under forty and the only black female CEO in the business. Latisse Charles had named her company using her last name. She thought correctly the masculine association would help her gain an edge. It did. She thought her first name, Latisse sounded too much like she came from the ghetto (the projects), but it was her name and she bore it proudly. No one who had ever dealt with her every associated her with anything other than intelligence, style and driven passion.

 

If she was such a woman in control, what was she doing here, stuck in a damn plane at Dulles airport? It was two days before Christmas and she was on her way to a “meet and greet.” It was an important “meet and greet” to be sure, but right before Christmas? She had immersed herself in work three months ago, after the break up with Darryl, that ball playing looser, who was having a baby with some cheerleader. She didn’t need him anyway. She was looking forward to some “me” time Christmas week. She had promised herself a great Christmas this year. She had booked five days at the Napa Inn in California. Five exquisite days being pampered, drinking great wines and stepping out in the Napa Valley. Who cared about a cheating athlete, she was Latisse Charles and didn’t need anyone.

 

She had tried to postpone this meeting, but the personal assistant to the personal assistant to the guy insisted. The guy’s name was actually Guy, which was kind of funny, Guy Blanchard. He was a lobbyist for a renewable energy group based in Chicago. His people had said that he had to do this tomorrow, on Christmas Eve, it was his only window.

 

Latisse had tried to Google him but didn’t find anything about this guy or Guy, but she could picture him in her mind. He was older and a little over weight. He wore a tweed suit with a vest and a bow tie. He had thinning white hair that he kept longer in the front thinking it gave him a “rakish” look. It didn’t. He had way too much money at his disposal and when he met her, finding a young, attractive, black female, he would wink and make inappropriate comments before she’d set him straight. Then they could get on with business and she could get to Napa.

 

Not sure what the holdup was at Dulles, Latisse pulled out her iPad and started browsing as a man sat in the seat next to her. What an improvement this guy was to the crying child and mother she’d endured from Atlanta here. She liked kids, but not that one. She was so happy when they disembarked in Washington.

 

This man was buffed in a rugged way that suggested both the gym and genetics. His hair was cut, not styled, a little longer than convention but perfect for the chiseled facial features. He wore a shirt and tie, opened at the neck, with a well-worn corduroy sport coat, Tight fitting expensive jeans and loafers completed the jock collegiate grown up outfit. Wow! She started to let her imagination get the best of her.

 

 When he sat next to her she actually smiled, he smelled good. Just enough scent to finish the picture and complete the look. “If only he was straight,” Latisse thought, “and maybe black. Oh well, you can’t have everything.”

 

Despite the confident relaxed aura the man portrayed, there was a quick, cat like quality to his movements. Latisse noticed he carried a newspaper and an old briefcase with a Republican Party sticker stuck onto it. “Oh boy, this will be fun” she thought dryly.

 

For the first half hour the two mutually ignored each other, aside from a quick smile or a nod. He was settling in and she was getting irritated. It wasn’t snowing; there hadn’t been any announcements, just the dreadful waiting. What were they waiting for?

 

“Did you eat?” was the first thing he said to her. “What?” she said. He could have been talking Swahili. “I’m hungry; I just asked if you ate? Are you hungry too?” It took her by surprise, this gesture of concern from a man she’d just met. Well, hadn’t even really met yet.

 

“No, I had something in Atlanta before I left thanks.”

 

“Oh, you’re from Atlanta then, or were just there on business?”

 

Latisse first thought he was being a little pushy and nosey but realized he was just making conversation since they were trapped next to each other for the foreseeable future. And she felt comfortable with this man, not attracted necessarily, but comfortable, and he did smell so good.

 

Suddenly she was chatting away to this stranger like she had known him her whole life. She told him her name, and where she was born. She told him about her childhood, father doctor, and mother nurse. She told him about her company and how from the humble beginnings of a smart and beautiful cheer leader, honor student, beauty contest winner, she overcame those obstacles and ran a private consulting firm that was respected and in demand.

 

She told him about her planned trip to Napa, as soon as her business was complete, hopefully tomorrow in time for Christmas.

 

When she stopped to take a breath she said “wow, what I meant was I’m from Atlanta.” And there was a pause. Then they both started giggling at the same time.

 

“That was awesome,” he said through laughter. “Hey, let’s get a drink as long as we’re waiting, okay?” She smiled and simply nodded “okay.” They continued to drink and talk while waiting in the hot plane. Latisse noticed there was no air on while on the tarmac. The combination of the alcohol, warm plane interior and that soft scent of his cologne relaxed Latisse. She found herself talking away, and enjoying the time trapped on the plane with this handsome, articulate and funny man.

 

Are you going to Chicago for business or pleasure?” He asked.

 

All business,” she retorted. “I am going to meet a prospective client. I talked to his people, I have no people,” she smiled, “and his people said it had to be now so here I am. I am stuck on the plane in D.C. with some guy off the street. How’s that for luck?”

 

“Lucky for me, I’d say” the man retorted with a big smile.

 

And just then there was an announcement over the intercom.

 

“Blah blah airlines thank you for flying, due to blah blah blah this flight is unable to continue. You will all be given accommodations, a meal pass and be booked on the next available seating to your final destination. Blah blah blah thanks you again and blah blah. Happy Holidays- Fly blah blah again.”

 

“What did she say?” asked Latisse. “That can’t be. I want to be in California tomorrow, not just getting to Chicago.”

 

“Call the guy, her new friend said, “He will understand.”

 

“No, definitely not. You know how anal these SOB’s can be, I want this job. I’ll make it work.”

 

“Then at least let me take you to dinner, okay? It’s the least I can do.”

 

“What a sweet gesture” thought Latisse. “Sure, okay, but how?”

 

“I’ll meet you in the bar of whatever place they book us; I assume it’ll be the same place for both, at eight. How does that sound?”

 

Again, she just smiled and nodded. Well at least something to look forward to. She checked her watch and it was barely five. She had a lot to do before eight.

 

 He reached over to shake her hand, as if to seal the deal. Perhaps it was the drinks or the heat, but his hand touching hers sent an electric vibration into her shoulder. She actually shuddered a bit, imperceptibly, before withdrawing her hand.

 

 

 

Normally possessed by aloof self-control, Latisse felt oddly anxious getting ready for her “date.” It wasn’t really a “date,” she was just having dinner with some guy she had met on the plane. Was it a “date?” Well, not just “some guy” really, a handsome, strong, kind, good smelling guy. Hmmm, he is white. She never dated a white guy before and quite frankly never thought about dating a white man. But, she did watch enough of white movies and TV to know how ‘they’ acted and thought. I wander why he doesn’t have any issues with me?” she contemplated.

 

 “Oh, my God, do I have a ‘Cinderella Complex’ deep down inside?” she wondered. Could I secretly want to fulfill a fairy tale dream of being kissed by a white prince? Girl, get a grip! It’s only dinner,” she admonished. Or was it something more? And come to think of it, she hadn’t actually “met” him; she didn’t even know his name. It was so unlike her to be jumping at spending time stranded in a strange city, with a stranger.

 

But it just felt right. He was white, and a Republican for crying out loud, but as she got ready, it was like she was fifteen, going out for the first time.

 

Luckily, the international airport at Dulles offered a complete shopping experience for the traveler, duty free! She wasn’t able to retrieve her luggage from wherever it was at the moment, and she sure didn’t want to go to dinner in the clothes she had been wearing all day.

 

On the way to register at the Hyatt, where the airlines had booked her for the night, a few quick stops and a credit card solved that problem. There wasn’t any word on the next flight out yet and on top of everything, it had begun to snow. It was almost Christmas, so a little snow added to the excitement of the day and her dinner date.

 

In keeping with her type “A” persona, at five minutes to eight she was sitting at the Hyatt lounge at the bar. She was showered, coifed, wearing a not too cheap cocktail dress that fit her too well and new heels. The dress had a sage green, tight fitting bodice and a little tulle skirt that was a little short. The green color complemented her chestnut skin tones and her short-cropped, almost raven hair. The fitted bodice complimented her ample chest and she thought the little tulle skirt disguised a little of her butt. It was her toned, athletic legs wearing nude hose, supported by the little black 4” heels that set the entire outfit off.

 

Although her preparation had been hurried, she still felt that undercurrent of almost anxiety. She also felt adequate. She felt more than adequate, she felt pretty. She had the momentary mental image of being a black Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman,” sitting at the bar waiting for Richard Gere. Only she wasn’t a hooker on a “date,” she was simply meeting a friend for dinner. Well almost a friend, really.

 

As the minutes ticked by, she never once considered he would stand her up. She never had the thought. But by five past eight, she began to think she had misunderstood the arrangement. At ten minutes after eight, she ordered a glass of Merlot. Maybe he had had second thoughts. Maybe his tweed suit was all he had and he was uncomfortable without a change of clothes. Maybe he had been placed in another hotel and was waiting for her at another bar in another hotel.

 

All these thoughts swarmed at once through her head as an electric shock coursed from her elbow to her chest. He had walked up and gently touched her arm as she was lost in thought. He started to apologize.

 

“So sorry I’m late, he started, had emergency business to take care of. My God, you look beautiful!” he said getting a good look at her. “Stunning! Is this all for me?”

 

Latisse blushed, and felt her heart pounding with relief, and pleasure at the sight of him. He was wearing a very well-tailored Navy blue suit. The blue in his tie had flecks that picked up the blue in his eyes. The overcoat casually slung over his arm wasn’t the cheaper model, but the soft cashmere of aristocracy. He wore very little jewelry and nothing ostentatious.

 

 She noted with relief he wasn’t wearing a wedding band, and there was no telltale sign of pale skin suggesting there had been one recently. That caught her by surprise. After all she had just met this guy, it was just dinner for crying out loud, why did she care if he was married or not? She managed to reply “nah, I get all dolled up for every Tom, Dick and Harry I meet.”

 

Her mouth had suddenly become quite dry, as she picked up her wineglass to sip; her cell phone rang from inside her small clutch bag. She fumbled briefly to liberate the tiny computer from the purse mumbling “who,” and “at this hour.” She saw the caller ID and looked up at her dinner partner. “I gotta take this, it’s the SOB,” and winked with a smile as she answered the call very professionally.

 

She turned to him with a perplexed look on her face. “That was “his people.” Something’s apparently come up and the meeting has been postponed until after next week. The day after my Napa trip, how’s that for good timing? Now I have no stress, I can probably fly right out of here to California.”

 

He gave her a broad smile and said “great, now we can relax and enjoy the night, all right with you?” She simply supplied that coy smile and nodded yes. “It is Christmas in our Nation’s capital and it’s snowing. I have a car waiting outside and we have reservations at Komi and we should have some time for a little sightseeing, like maybe the Christmas lights at the National Zoo?”

 

“Who is this guy?” she asked herself. She didn’t even care anymore. If he was a serial killer, what a way to go she thought. “Who are you” she asked him as they stood to leave.

 

“I just a guy who can’t believe his good luck at getting stranded in D.C. with most beautiful and intelligent girl on the planet, that’s who I am.” “Good answer,” she thought, “really good answer.” Suddenly she turned and said “I wasn’t planning outside, I assumed we’d be dining here. I don’t really have a wrap for outside.” Smoothly he draped the cashmere coat around her shoulder, it was big, but soft and smelled slightly of something familiar. It smelled like his cologne. As they walked towards the door, she felt a little giddy, lost in the cashmere that smelled like him. She leaned into the coat and into him just a bit and he put his arm around her. She had never felt so amazing, so safe, so happy and so excited. Maybe it was a date after all.

 

Just outside of the airport terminal, she found not “a car” as he had said. She thought he probably had rented an economy or mid-sized car at the last minute. An unmarked black stretch waited for them. The white female driver jumped out to open the door but he waved her back and opened the door for Latisse himself. She slid into the thick leather seats and took in the interior view. The television was off as was a portable laptop. The mini bar lay ready with an iced bottle of Korbel champagne. Korbel was a winery she planned to visit in Napa. Wine flutes decorated with holiday ribbon sat adjacent to a bowl of expensive chocolates and fresh strawberries. Fresh strawberries in December, in Washington D.C. She knew this couldn’t be random; he had done this by himself. When had he had time she mused? And why did he go through all this trouble for someone he had just met?

 

The restaurant surprised her. She hadn’t heard of “Komi.” They pulled up to an unassuming clapboard house in the middle of what looked like a residential block. It was actually next to a CVS pharmacy. Inside was warmly decorated, like you were eating at someone’s home. The music was adult contemporary, not classical as she had expected. The waiters and especially the sommelier were friendly, not formal and there were no menus. After sitting and receiving an introductory glass of wine, food started coming at regular intervals paired with the wine Kat, the wine steward talked passionately about. There were bite sized chopped scallops in caramelized coconut with just a hint of cilantro. Charred octopus with peaches, gnocchi with salt cured ragu, house cured anchovies with fresh tomatoes and homemade mozzarella and several other delicacies one by one over an hour or so. Just when Latisse felt full, almost too full and expected a break, a platter of roast suckling pig arrived. He turned with concern and asked her “do you eat pork?” “Hell yes,” she replied as they dove into the sweetest meat she had ever eaten. Little bite sized sweets including homemade Baklava and berry cheesecake paired with a soft dessert wine finished the feast. It was by far the most unique and delicious meal she had ever enjoyed.

 

 

 

They had been able to talk a little during dinner. Of course Kat kept them updated on the various wines, waiters described all of the dishes and Johnny Monis, the owner and chef had come out to be appreciated. The wine and food had made them both sleepy so they rode in the limo in comfortable quiet along the Potomac waters taking in all of the holiday lights and sights. The snow continued to fall and Latisse thought that this was possibly the most perfect night she had ever enjoyed. It was like a fairy tale Christmas. This was turning out to be the best Christmas she had ever had with any man. Moreover, if she had to pick a gift, it would be him wrapped in absolutely nothing.

 

 She just hoped that this night would go past midnight and her handsome prince would not turn into a toad.

 

 

 

The limo stopped at one point and they got out for a walk at a well-lit park, they held hands and talked. She asked him if he wanted his coat back but he said he wasn’t cold, her company alone was keeping him warm. He talked about his childhood in Evenston, Chicago and playing football at “a decent university.” He told her about the car accident that had killed his best friend and ended his NFL hopes. That now he was just part of corporate America. He liked his work, but longed for something else to feel fulfilled. No, he had never married, but wanted to one day. No, he didn’t have any children but hope to “have a couple” one day. No, he wasn’t seeing anyone at the moment and no, he wasn’t gay. He looked at Latisse with a coy smile and said, “Well, maybe I am seeing someone now, I sure hope so.” And without hesitation she leaned in and spontaneously kissed him.

 

 

 

 

 

It was done without any thought or preparation. It started as a soft brush of lips but quickly roiled into a passionate lip lock, tongue dueling pulling each other into it kiss. The force of it stunned them both for a second, standing there in the snow outside of the Limo. She felt that electrical current running though her body and he felt it, too. They were on the same page and felt the Universe was conspiring with them to make a miracles happen. Was it magic or was it love?

 

He shuddered just a bit. “You’re cold.” She said softly. “No Latisse, I’m definitely not cold.” He panted little out of breath. “Not cold at all.”

 

They climbed back into the Limo and drove for a little while in silence. Holding hands she drew little circles in the palm of his much bigger hand while they both contemplated what had just happened.

 

 Latisse certainly didn’t want this magic night to end but she was pragmatic at best. “I have to go to California tomorrow” she finally said lamely. “And you must be going somewhere to do something, right?” There was silence in the air. “I mean this is crazy, right, we’re just two people stuck in D.C. overnight, it’s impossible.” More, silence in the air. “Right?” she offered pensively. She kept drawing soft swirls in the palm of his big hand. Suddenly she remembered a line from “Pretty Woman” and said “if I forget to tell you later, I had a really good time.” And they both started laughing out of control. They laughed until tears ran down their faces holding onto each other. The limo driver thought they had lost their minds back there.

 

It was after midnight, closer to two in the morning actually when they got back to the Hyatt at the airport. They sat quietly at the bar sipping a last glass of wine. They were so comfortable in each other’s company, little needed to be said. Finally Latisse said, “Gonna have to make some travel arrangements in the morning, hope I’m not too hung over. I really should get some sleep.” He said absolutely nothing. Then she blurted out the question that had been hanging with her for most of the night. It just spilled out quietly. “Do you want to come up to my room?”

 

He shifted a bit in his seat and looked at her directly in her big brown eyes with his own sparkling blue eyes and said “I’ve never been with a woman of color before, have you?” It took a second for the joke to reach her and then they laughed like silly children.

 

“I want to sleep with you more than you can ever know beautiful Latisse. And to be honest, I kinda planned the whole night to end up that way.” Her heart started beating faster. “But now, after spending these wonderful hours with you, I have a confession to make.” “He is gay” she thought for a second but quickly let it pass. “The kiss we shared was like none I’ve ever experienced, it was really different, intense, consuming. It made me think there could be more to this than a one nighter in Dulles airport. I don’t know. But I do know I don’t want to mess it up by rushing you into anything too fast. I want everything to be right, to be correct.” She realized she had been holding her breath. She exhaled and felt a little dizzy.

 

“One of my favorite quotes is from a guy named Benaccio. He said “it is better to do and repent, then forbore and repent.” That is how I live my life. I usually “do,” and then deal with the consequences.” He took a second and stared at her beautiful face. “This time, I think I should wait, and with any luck, any luck at all, I won’t have anything to repent in the end.”

 

“We’re both tired, and full, and have had enough to drink. We need rest. When I do make love to you, my beautiful Ms. Charles, I want to have all the energy, all time, and all the future to make it incredibly unforgettable. And if our paths don’t cross again, I don’t want to repent giving you a part of me I can never take back.”

 

She didn’t know what to say. It was possible that was the most awesome thing a man had ever said to her. And she believed him. But she also wanted him, of this much she was sure. All she could do was smile in amazement.

 

“Can you do me a favor?” He asked of her. “Can you postpone changing your flight tomorrow until after I come for you, say about nineish?” We can have breakfast together and make a plan, does that sound all right?”

 

If it was a brush off, it was the sweetest brush off in history. “Of course,” Latisse answered. “Of course. But just in case,” she hesitated and shyly looked down “one more kiss?”

 

He took her off the barstool and folded her into his arms. He brushed a small lock of hair from her forehead and held her closely, starring at her face and neck. He started at her neck with a light brush of his pink lips against her caramel brown throat. A few little licks of his tongue sent shivers of anticipation throughout her entire body. He kissed her chin and then her cheeks on both sides. He kissed her nose before enveloping her mouth in hungry abandon, his tongue exploring her tongue, kissing her over and over until she fell limply against him breathless.

 

 

 

That kiss was different than the first, every bit as intense and as sensual, but different. He told her in that kiss how desirable she was to him and left her with the sweet anticipation for more, for tomorrow, for forever.

 

“Are you sure you don’t want to come up?” she whispered breathlessly.

 

“I do want to come up” he grunted, releasing her and backing away from his obvious physical excitement that had grown in between them. “But I will see you in the morning.”

 

When Latisse got to her room, she flung herself onto the massive double bed alone, but she was asleep before she could feel alone. She slept soundly, without dreams, without anxiety, in perfect contentment. She slept until the sound of the phone ringing brought her back to consciousness, back to reality.

 

“Ms. Charles, it’s the airlines guest counter. We just wanted to notify you that per request, your luggage has been located and transported to your hotel. It should be arriving,” there was a knock on the hotel room door, “any minute.” Latisse threw on a hotel robe and answered the door, it was her luggage. She didn’t even remember asking for it. She hauled in the heavy suitcase and sat on the bed, trying to clear her mind.

 

As she surveyed her room, she saw the green dress she had worn last night crumpled on the floor. The events of the last 24 hours began to filter back into her yet not awake mind and she started to smile. Had it been a dream, could it have been real? All the evidence suggested it was real, but really? Things like last night only happened in fairy tales and romance stories, not to real people like her. Just then the phone rang again.

 

“Good morning beautiful, ready for breakfast?” It was him. Maybe it had been real after all. “I’m downstairs.” “Oh my God,” she thought. Maybe one day he would see first thing in the morning, but not this morning. “Um, okay,” she hesitated, “give me a minute.” She looked at the clock, it was seven thirty. “Give me 30 minutes” she sheepishly told the man on the phone.

 

“I will wait for you forever” the voice said making her smile. Well, at least until noon” he laughed. “Unless you have a better offer for breakfast.” “No” she said, “I’ll be right down.”

 

She sat in front of the big mirror facing the bed and asked herself “Now what?” How are you supposed to act after something like last night? Could it really only have been one day she’d known him?

 

Getting carried away by travel fatigue and a lot of wine and good food was one thing, but this was stark daylight reality, and early morning no less. “What do I say? How do I act?”  She mused. “Hell, what should I wear?”

 

Thirty minutes later she stepped off the elevator into the hotel lobby where he was waiting. She wore blue jeans and a cardigan sweater with a Christmas design. Her hair was mouse back with a tiny curl to the front, it laid nicely on her neck. She looked like Halle Berry in Boomerang.  She wore a freshly scrubbed face but had managed to put on a little makeup. Delicate Cloisonné
Christmas bell earrings hung from her earlobes. It was Christmas Eve after all. She didn’t have any idea what to expect. Was he just being polite? It was still only eight freakin o’clock in the morning.

 

 

 

He walked up to her as soon as he saw her get off the lift and pulled her into his arms. He kissed her sweetly on the lips and without letting her loose said, “I hope you missed me as much I did you.” She was speechless. And she was never speechless. He put an arm around her shoulders and propelled her towards the breakfast buffet in the Hyatt dining room. “Let’s eat” he said, “I’m starving.”

 

Once settled at a table, her with black coffee and a croissant, he with a plate full of scrambled eggs, bacon, two pancakes, orange juice and coffee he started talking with his mouth full between bites. “So I have an idea.”

 

“I kinda have this thing at home I have to go to this evening.” Why don’t you come with me and then go to California for your holiday. It would only be a one night delay, and I sure would like your company.” Suddenly she felt like a black “Pretty Woman” again. “What do you mean “a thing?” - And what about flights? We’d have to get a flight to Chicago, and then I’d have to find a flight out to Napa. Is that even possible on Christmas?”

 

He stopped chewing for a minute and said “Oh yea of little faith, what about Christmas miracles? I’d say the whole past day with you been a miracle, let’s just go with it.”

 

“Really?” She smiled, “the airlines will just hand us the flights we need to unfold your little plan? Even if I agree?”

 

He sheepishly looked at her, mouth full of eggs and pancakes and said “I kinda have a corporate jet I called down this morning. It’s on the runway waiting for us.” She was a little bit more than amazed. “YOU have corporate jet? Then what were you doing on my plane yesterday? Slumming it?”

 

“No,” he smirked, “I fly commercial whenever I can, and I only use the jet in emergencies.”

 

“Really, huh? So now I’m an emergency?” she teased.

 

“Please come with me” he begged. “I’m not sure where this is headed, but I don’t want to give up on it yet. Just come with me to Chicago and go to this Christmas party with me, and I will make sure you get to California, deal?”

 

He really hadn’t had to beg, she had already made up her mind, but he was so cute begging.

 

“You have a corporate jet, huh? This I gotta see.” He smiled so broadly, she could see little bits of egg and bacon stuck to his teeth. She felt so swept away, all she could do was go with the flow at this point and hope for the best. What did she have to lose, she thought. She knew he was safe, and he was kind and a damn good kisser. She could delay her Napa vacation a day to see where this might lead. A quote by Buddha came to her mind. “Have no expectations and suffer no disappointments.” Too late for that, she thought I’m already in!

 

 During the flight to Chicago, he had some business to attend to, leaving her with some time to herself. It was time she had to reflect on the man she had just met, was traveling with, about their relationship, and what the Hell she was doing.

 

She talked herself into believing that no good end could come of this. When she found out it was a family party they were to attend, she quietly inquired “Your family won’t be upset you’re bring me home?

 

“What are you talking about? He demanded, “Why would they be upset?”

 

“Well because of my, I mean because I’m,” she hesitated, “a Democrat, a liberal!”

 

“What are you talking about?” he eyed her.

 

“Well, you’re a Republican, I saw the sticker, and I’m a,” she paused “a Democrat.”

 

He laughed and said “I am a man with a Republican sticker on his briefcase, that doesn’t necessarily make me a Republican and my family won’t give a damn that you are a liberal or a Democrat.”

 

He accentuated the word “liberal.” “You are with me because you make me happy, that’s all anyone will care about.”

 

He knew exactly what she was trying to say. He made her feel perfectly at ease and she was starting to look forward to meeting his family. Might as well get it over with, she thought. If it was going to be an issue, better to be done with it sooner than later. He had told her his father had died some years ago and he was an only child. It was only he and his mother. The party would include some cousins, work contacts and friends. “Really just a small intimate Christmas Eve dinner party” he had said. And tomorrow, she would be on her way to the Napa valley and her long awaited vacation.

 

They arrived Christmas Eve day to a crisp and cold Chicago. It was clear, but the previous snow still covered everything and gave the city a Christmas card appeal.

 

The limo pulled into an immaculately decorated property that couldn’t be described as a “house,” but was more of a mini palace. The driveway was decorated with pine boughs with huge red bows and in front of the main entrance was a massive Douglas fir tree decorated from top to bottom in large golden ornaments and a thousand white lights.

 

“Do you actually live here? Latisse asked incredulously.

 

“No.” He replied, “I have an apartment in the city, but I did grow up here.”

 

As they exited the limo and walked to the front door, it was opened by a man wearing a formal service uniform.

 

The butler said “Merry Christmas, Mr. Blanchard, welcome home, we’ve been expecting you.”

 

“Thank you, Robert, Merry Christmas to you. How are Tammy and the boys? He asked.

 

“Perfect sir, I thank you for asking sir.”

 

Latisse stopped in her tracks and turned to him. “Blanchard? As in Guy Blanchard?” she demanded.

 

“Guilty” he sheepishly replied.

 

“You’re the SOB? Why didn’t you tell me sooner? She demanded further.

 

“Would it have changed anything? He asked.

 

She thought a brief second before admitting, “Yes, probably.”

 

“And that is why I wasn’t completely honest. I figured it might.”

 

Latisse pressed him by asking “what do you mean not completely honest, you weren’t honest at all.”

 

Guy enfolded her into his arms there in the massive foyer and whispered “I distinctly remember telling you I was a “Guy” just lucky enough to have found you.” And he kissed her passionately removing the last trace of surprise and anger.

 

“Let’s get you settled in and find my mother.”

 

The woman he introduced Latisse to as his mother was the most gorgeous, cultured, exquisite mocha skinned African-American woman she had ever met. She sat at her dressing table combing out her thick, curly salt and black pepper hair. His mother saw her staring in slight confusion.