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The Billionaire's Romance

Holly Rayner


  I woke up the day after Christmas with a huge smile on my face. I rolled out of bed and slipped on my robe and slippers. After I put the coffee on to brew I made my way in to take a shower. I turned on the water and held my hand underneath it until it was warm. The apartment felt extra cold this morning. I thought it was probably because I’d felt so warm while Aaron had been with me all day yesterday. It had turned out to be the best Christmas ever. After a long, tiring day of Christmas revelries I’d fallen asleep in his arms watching Christmas movies. As I stepped into the shower and felt the warm water cascade over my shoulders and down my back I thought about how sweet he’d been. He picked me up and carried me into my room. He’d lay me down and covered me up to my chin with the cozy comforter before I woke up.

  “Are you leaving?” I had asked him, disappointed.

  “For tonight,” he said with a smile. “If I don’t go now, we might do something we’ll regret later. I know it’s too soon, but you’re hard to resist.”

  I thought about that now and smiled. He’d been such a perfect gentleman…so much more so than any man I’d ever dated. I’d gone out on one simple date with men before who expected to be “paid” for the dinner and drinks they’d bought me at the end of the night. He’d told me how badly he wanted me and then he’d done the right thing and walked away. I found that incredibly sexy. I didn’t mind waiting. I just knew that when we did finally make love, it was going to be explosive.

  Me and Aaron had agreed to start dating. I couldn’t help but wonder what it was going to be like when we went back to work. It wasn’t like I’d really ever see him, but I imagined him bringing flowers down to me…taking me out to lunch. I suddenly realized that I’d been standing underneath the water daydreaming for so long that the water had gotten cold. I shut it off and stepped out. I was excited for the day to hurry and go by Aaron and I were going to watch a winter jazz concert in the park in the evening and then out to dinner…he’d only left eight hours before and I already couldn’t wait to see him.

  I spent the morning cleaning up the apartment and reading through the Christmas cards and emails that I’d gotten. The day seemed to go on and on as I waited for it to be time for mine and Aaron’s date. At last it was time to get ready and I dressed comfortably in a new pair of jeans and a black angora sweater with black boots. I topped it off with a black beret and left my hair down in soft curls around my face. When the doorbell rang I took one last look. Satisfied, I went to let Aaron in out of the cold.

  When I opened the door he let out a low whistle, “Look at you, you’re gorgeous.”

  “Thank you,” I said, stepping back and eyeing the red and white roses he was carrying.

  “These are for you,” he said.

  “I was hoping,” I told him with a grin. I took them out of his hand and stuck my nose down into them, “They’re beautiful!”

  “Not as beautiful as you,” he said. This was just feeding my fantasy about him bringing flowers to me at work…the other girls would be beside themselves with jealousy and poor Gary would have a conniption….I still couldn’t stop smiling.

  He pulled me closer and bent his face down towards mine. I stretched up on my tiptoes, even when I was in heels he was a lot taller than me. His tall, lean, muscular body, his dark hair and the deep brown pools of his eyes made my breath catch every time I was close to him. Our lips met and although we’d kissed most of the day yesterday, it felt like it was the first time. His kisses were gentle but firm at the same time…it was hard to describe. He had full, soft lips that sometimes I just couldn’t take my eyes off of and when my lips were on them, I was in heaven. As we kissed he gently ran his fingers through the hair that hung down across my shoulders and pet the soft sweater I was wearing down my arm. It was sweet and sexy at the same time.

  When we broke the kiss he said, “Are you ready to go?”

  “Yes,” I said, still smiling, “Let me just put these in a vase.” I went to the kitchen and filled a crystal vase with water for the roses. After they were arranged and sitting prettily on my dining room table, I grabbed the throw blanket off the couch and we headed out. I was delighted when we got outside and I saw Jeffrey waiting by the car door.

  “Jeffrey! It’s so good to see you! Did you and your family have a merry Christmas?”

  “We did, Miss Robyn, thank you for asking. We…” He opened the door for us as he was talking and Aaron tried to help me in.

  “Just a second,” I told him, “Jeffrey was still talking.” Aaron gave me a disapproving look. He turned his head towards Jeffrey then and I didn’t see the look he gave him, but judging by the way Jeffrey was suddenly stone-faced and professional again, it was probably not good. I let it go, but I did file it away for something to talk to him about later. I liked Jeffrey, why shouldn’t he be able to make conversation with me…because he’s “the help?” Surely as generous an employer as Aaron was he didn’t stick to that hard of a line with his wait staff.

  The concert was in Central Park and it was crowded when we got there. We finally found a spot and Aaron set up the two canvas chairs that we’d bought from a little stand on our way in. Aaron left me there and came back a few minutes later with two hot chocolates. We covered up together, snuggling under the blanket and sipped the hot cocoa while we listened to the sounds of the smooth jazz music float out through the park. There was a giant Christmas tree just to our right with the bright lights twinkling and although the night was freezing, the sky was clear and the stars looked almost close enough to touch. I felt like the fates had aligned just for us.

  “You look like a little girl wishing on a star,” Aaron said.

  I looked over at him. The glow from the lights of the tree illuminated his strong, handsome features. I loved the fact that when I looked at him I could see desire burning in his eyes. He reached over and touched my cheek with his gloved hand. I leaned my head against it for a minute and said,

  “I feel like a little girl, I’m so happy here with you.”

  He smiled and said, “Grown-ups get to be happy too.” I heard myself whimper as he leaned close and said, “You are surely no little girl.” His mouth widened and I felt his tongue slip between the seams of my lips. He tasted like cinnamon and hot chocolate and as I offered him my tongue, he sucked it into his mouth, that time causing me to moan. The heat that he stirred in me was growing stronger each time we kissed, spreading out from somewhere deep in my core. I felt his hand slip underneath the blanket and take mine in his. My world was complete….

  We stayed until the last band played and then Aaron said,

  “Are you ready to go get some dinner?”

  “Yes, I’m actually starving,” I told him.

  “Do you like Chinese food?”

  “Love it!”

  “How about we pick some up and take it back to my apartment?”

  I have to admit, I was mildly disappointed. I had been looking forward to dinner out with him. But I told myself that being with him was the point after all. “That sounds great,” I said.

  Aaron asked me what I liked to eat and ordered the food online. Jeffrey pulled the car up near the door of the restaurant and one of the waiters brought the food out to the car. I had a hard time imagining they would do that for anyone not named Aaron Winters, especially when I saw him slip the man a fifty dollar tip.

  Jeffrey drove us to the Upper East Side, which didn’t surprise me. It was where some of the most coveted real estate in New York was located. Aaron lived in a building called the Strathmore. Being a New Yorker born and bred I had of course heard of it although I’d never been inside. It was on east 84th street in the heart of Manhattan. The building was huge and looked like it w
as trying to reach the sky to me. The smartly dressed doorman opened the door for us and Aaron greeted him, but it wasn’t the warm greeting that I might imagine I would give someone I saw every day.

  The lobby was gorgeous, decorated in a Mediterranean style with large potted palms and comfy looking overstuffed couches and chairs. The coffee and end tables were made of white wicker with glass tops and expensive looking vases filled with fresh flowers. The elevators were almost as elegant as the lobby and smoothly took us up to the forty-second floor. We stepped off into an almost deathly quiet hallway with one door directly in front of us, one across the hall and another at the far end of the hall.

  “Are there only three apartments on the whole floor?” I asked him as he was unlocking the one in front of us.

  “Yes, just three,” he said.

  When we walked inside and he flipped on the light, I saw why. His apartment was huge. It had to be at least 2500 square feet with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. There was a gourmet kitchen and a formal dining room. But what completely took my breath away was the view. You could see all of Manhattan and the living room was surrounded by floor to ceiling windows and a set of glass doors that led out to a beautiful little balcony.

  “Oh Aaron, your home is beautiful,” I told him. He looked around when I said it as if it were the first time he’d seen it too. Finally he shrugged and said,

  “It’s home.”

  We set our Chinese food up on the dining room table and had our dinner. The food was amazing and I felt like Aaron and I were finally falling into a comfortable place with our conversation. He was so smart and so well-informed that I wondered how he found the time to read so much when his life seemed so consumed by running a multi-national company. I often looked at him and marveled at the fact that behind the gorgeous face that didn’t look a bit over its early thirties had already seen the battles that starting and building a successful company and gained the respect of nearly everyone in his field. I was in awe of how much he’d achieved in such a short time. I also knew that had to be where his reserved personality likely stemmed from. I’m sure that in order to get the business world to take someone so young so seriously, he had to shed himself of the ways of the young too quickly. I could see him trying with me though and for that I was appreciative. It made me feel special and he was opening up more to me about his personal life as well. He told me about his family home and that he’d been trying to buy it for years but the people who own it now didn’t want to sell it.

  “Have they lived there long?” I asked him.

  “Yes, they’ve lived in it for almost twenty years and raised their children there. To them, it’s their home.”

  “It didn’t go to you when your parent’s passed?”

  “It did, technically, the entire estate did, although it wasn’t much. The attorney’s who handled it thought it would be best since I was so young to sell it and place the money in trust for me. I’m grateful to them for that, it’s most of what I used to go to school and start my business….but I think all the time about how hard my father worked to buy that house. My mother used to tell me that someday I’d grow up and raise my own family in it….”

  “Maybe the owner’s will change their mind someday.”

  “Maybe,” he said with a sad smile. I knew talking about his parents and their deaths made him sad so I said,

  “I grew up on Long Island.”

  “I had you figured for Upstate,” he said with a grin.

  “Really? Why’s that?”

  “You’re just so wholesome, like the girl next door. I could see you in the Hampton’s riding your horses every weekend.”

  I laughed and said, “I’ve only been on a horse one time. I’d love to really learn how to ride though. Do you ride?”

  “I have,” he said. “Do you want to have some coffee and take it in the living room?”

  “Yes, I’ll clean this up…”

  “No, leave it,” he said.

  “I don’t want you to have to do it…”

  “I won’t,” he told me. “I have a housekeeper. She’ll take care of it in the morning.”

  “But the food will go bad if we don’t put it away tonight….”

  “Robyn, it’s fine,” he said, in a stern voice like he was chastising a child.

  He went in to make the coffee and I went out into the living room. I was looking out at the twinkling lights of the city when he came in. He came up behind me and wrapped his arm around my waist. He pulled me gently back and as I leaned against him I could feel the hard, sinewy muscles in his arms and chest and feel his warm breath on my neck. When he was that close to me any minor little concerns I had about him or us completely disappeared. It was like he cast a spell over me.

  We just stood there like that for a while quietly enjoying the view and the feel of each other’s bodies. We were up so high that I once again felt like I could reach out and touch a star. I was having that thought and was caught off guard when he spun me around to face him. I recovered quickly, winding my hands up around his neck and brushing my tongue gently across his lips. He let out a low, guttural growl and grasped me by my hips, pulling me up against him and lifting me about two inches off the floor.

  His hands grasped my backside and he held me there as he sucked on my tongue. Then I felt his lips leave mine and graze their way down my jaw to the side of my neck that I tilted for him to give him better access. He found the supple, sensitive skin there and began sucking and licking across it as I closed my eyes and moaned.