Snowed in with Her BossBy: Maisey Yates
“PLEASE, SIR. WE NEED just one more shovelful of coal for the fire. Only, the bookkeepers are freezing, even with their fingerless gloves and stocking caps.”
“What are you talking about, Amelia?” Luc Chevalier looked up from his desk at his assistant, who appeared, if possible, more doe-eyed than usual, her dark brows crinkling in the middle, her hands clasped in front of her chest.
“Embellishing my request for time off.”
“It is not cold in this office. Neither do I have a...fireplace in here, and if I did, I wouldn’t burn coal. I would burn wood.”
“A Christmas Carol,” she said, blinking her owlish blue eyes. “I feel like a Dickensian street urchin.” She sighed, brushing her bangs out of her eyes.
“I cannot give you time off.”
“Think of Tiny Tim.”
“I sincerely doubt anyone called Tiny Tim is depending on your presence over the holidays.”
“You don’t know that,” she said.
He cleared his throat and shuffled the papers on his desk. “I do, actually. You have two sisters. You have no brothers. Your father’s name is Michael. And unless you have a new nephew named Tim, there is no Tim.”
“How do you remember all that? It makes it seem like you care.”
“Not especially,” he said, “it’s just that I don’t forget.”
“Charming. Luc, it’s Christmas. I need some extra time off.”
“What is the date today, Amelia?”
“It’s December 21.”
“Then it is not Christmas. Christmas is one day. Not a week. Not four months as store displays might have you believe. One day. You will be off work in time on Christmas Eve to enjoy any religious services you may need to attend, and you will be off on the day of the holiday itself. But not the entire week before.”
“Don’t you have some sort of feast to get to? Family gathering?”
“You’re well aware that I do not have a good relationship with anyone in my family, as my father is a terrible human being and my brother is barely a notch above him. I do not take holidays with them. I do not take holidays at all.”
“Bah. Humbug,” she said.
“In continuation of your A Christmas Carol theme. Very clever.”
“Though, I feel, underappreciated in this setting.”
“Your office. With a man who hates Christmas, the sound of children’s laughter and classic literature.”
“That’s ridiculous,” he said. “I’m quite fond of classic literature.”
“Har. Har. Please, Luc.”
He cleared his throat and stood up, watching Amelia’s blue eyes widen slightly as he did. “I’m sorry, but I found out only an hour ago that I need to go to Aspen to speak to Don Fleischer about the acquisition of the resort. I can’t afford to sit it out and wait until after Christmas.”
Luc was relatively new to real estate. He was coming off being the CEO of one of Europe’s largest investment firms. But after finding out his father was stealing from clients, he’d walked, after burning the generations-old institution to the ground.
His father had caused him enough pain over the course of his life, yet he’d continued to work for the old man and he had no idea why.
But he was done with that. He’d taken the money he’d earned off investments and started new, away from Chevalier Financial.
And that meant he couldn’t let things simply sit just because some people felt the need to inject their lives with frivolity and trees inside their living rooms. He didn’t get it, particularly, but then, the only function Christmas had ever served in his life was that it got his father out of the house nearly every night for the month of December for social engagements.
He’d always appreciated that about the holidays, anyway.
“Wait...what? We’re going to Colorado?”
“Yes. You’ll be compensated for travel, as always, and I will have you back in time for Christmas. Actual Christmas, and not these vague days leading up to it that everyone seems to want to spend in a red-and-green haze.”
“Luc...my family is...”