A CEO for Christmas
By M.D. LaBelle
Date: December 9, 2022
Ch. 2Tall, Dark, And Handsome

By the time I realize what has happened, I swallow hard while staring into the most handsome eyes I have ever seen.
“Are you alright?” He asks with a bass tone to his concerned voice as he stares into mine.
Because I feel the warmth of his body enveloping me, I completely forget to answer him as I continue to stare in anticipation.
“Hey, are you alright?” He asks again with a softer voice as he puts me safely down on my two feet and then withdraws his hands from my sides.
Shaking my head, I clear the fog from my brain before I reply shyly, “I’m so sorry. Yes, yes, I am.”
When he smiles and offers me a hand to shake, I hear him say loudly, “I am Greg Harrison and who might you be?”
I hesitate before answering quietly, “I am Hope, Hope Miller.”
As soon as I say it, I realize that I probably should have not offered up my real name. What if Joseph decides to track me down? Then he would be able to do it so easily it wouldn’t be funny. Of course, I would forgive him and end up back in his lying, cheating arms. That is if he even wanted me back.
“That is a beautiful name. Can I ask what brings you to New York City?” He asks softly while he takes my hand and leads me to the side of the bus where the bags are being unloaded.
“I don’t exactly know to tell you the truth. Except I needed to get away from it all for a while and New York just sounded like a good place to get lost in the crowd.” I remark so quickly that I can’t even believe I am finding it so easy to talk with him.
Why am I spilling everything to a man who I don’t even know, let alone have met not more than five minutes before? At this point, if he asked me to go home with him, I would. No more than a minute later that is exactly what he asks.
“Well, do you have a place to stay while you are here? If not, I could lend you a bed to sleep in tonight.” he questions with a furrowed brow and sadness in his dark brown eyes.
“No, I don’t. But surely you are here picking up someone else, aren’t you? The last thing I want to do is interfere in your business.” I state while I glance around to all the other faces in the crowd in hopes that I don’t see anyone familiar.
“Oh, yeah, that. I was supposed to pick up someone but just before you fell into my arms, she texted me and told me that she didn’t come after all.” He replies softly with a look of such sadness in his eyes.
Yet, there is something else there too, something I can’t explain. Almost the look on a wolf as it is about to eat its prey. It scares me a little, but I let him lead me on because I am more curious than afraid of what he might be after.
“So, are you up for a bit of an adventure? I have an extra warm bed and will even treat you to dinner if you are hungry.” He says in a charming voice with a glimmer in his eyes that tells me he has definitely got something more up his sleeve than just being nice.
Pausing for a beat, I think about my options which are few and far in between. Either go home with this handsome man and take advantage of his hospitality or try to find a non-existent hotel room this time of night. While weighing heavily towards still trying to find a hotel room, in the end I give in a minute later and say reluctantly, “It does sound like a plan. I am in.”
After taking a deep breath, I smile and then he leads the way with a Cheshire grin on his debonair face to a big black Cadillac. As he unlocks it and then holds the door for me, he says softly, “For you madame.”
I glance up at his dark eyes and begin to wonder if I shouldn’t have chosen the hotel route because I could easily fall for a man like this. After all, he holds doors for me, and is my knight and shining armor. He is so handsome that he shouldn’t even want anything to do with a plain jane like me, and yet he seems to see me for who I really am. Not what I want others to see.
As I get in and accept it graciously, I take a seat and buckle in before he ever makes it to his side of the vehicle. By the time he is seated, and has the car revving its engine, I am settling in for the drive with my little purse on my lap, because I don’t have any bags to put in the back.
Now, you would think that he would mention this, but being a gentleman, he never once asks. I thank him for that silently as I glance over to where he is sitting next to me and smile sweetly. When he meets my gaze, I see that glint in his eyes as he had before, just as he begins to say awkwardly, “So, what or who are you running from?”
While swallowing hard, I find that I don’t know what to say, but at the same time all the words that have been pent up inside of me come flowing out like when a dam breaks. “I went home after shopping to find my fiancé with my best friend bent over a chair. He was fucking her so aggressively that I doubt at first, he even realized that I was there. Then, as soon as they saw me, I made a mad dash for the door and left. Left with nothing but my purse and this coat on my back. I went to my friend’s café down the street from our penthouse and she loaned me enough money to get the hell out of town and to find someplace to hide.”
Stopping for a moment, I close my eyes and almost start crying, but then I look up into his eyes and I suddenly feel all better. I smile and continue quietly, “I thank you so much. I don’t know what I would have done when I got to New York otherwise. I had imagined that I would find a hotel room, but then realized that it was far too late to get any tonight. So, I thank you as many times as necessary and completely understand if you choose to stop the car and let me out right now.”
Exasperated, I stop speaking and watch as he pulls the car off the road and turns to me before he says in a concerned tone of voice, “I figured as much. Look, if you want me to drop you somewhere, that is fine. However, if you want a safe place to stay tonight and a good meal, I will do that too. Anything to get you by until you feel better about what you are going through. I know how you feel because I have been there before. Trust me.”
Realizing that he could be telling the truth, I smile and wipe the tears out of my eyes as I ask in a whisper, “Can I stay with you tonight, then? I would like that very much.” as the tears threaten to spill down my cheeks again.
Smiling, he puts his arm around my shoulder and whispers breathlessly, “Yes.” before he kisses my forehead lightly.
We stay that way for a moment until he puts the car back into gear. As we speed towards an unknown destination, I watch the lights of the city pass us by and then we stop at a diner on the outskirts of town. Funny enough, I thought he would take me to some ultra-expensive, uptight restaurant where everything costs far too much.
The moment he pulls in the parking lot, he smiles again and states, “I hope you like it. It is my favorite place to eat. My brother owns the place, and it has been in the family for years.”

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