It's another day of a little Christmas romance, as I share with you Isabella and Kyle's story. If you haven't read the previous portions, click here...
The next morning Isabella was awakened by a knock on her door.
Groaning, she removed the pillow that covered her face, and looked at the clock. Who would be here at 9:37 in the morning? After all, this was supposed to be a holiday, wasn’t it?
Dragging out of bed, she threw on her white ruffled robe, slid her feet into a matching pair of slippers, and shuffled to the door.
Peering out the peephole she panicked when she saw Kyle’s confident smirk, smiling back at her.
“Hey, open up…I know you’re there, and I’m not going anywhere,” he remarked through the door.
Worried that Troy and Kayla would see him standing in the hallway, she hurriedly opened the door and hustled him inside.
“What are you doing here so early?” she grumbled.
“It’s good to see you, too, beautiful lady. You know you’re quite lovely without all the makeup,” he smiled kindly at her.
Scared of what her reflection would look like, she risked a peek into the mirror on the wall.
Not too bad, she thought, catching a glimpse of her tangled curls. She was thankful she had no telltale
sleep signs on her face.
“Why are you here so early?” she repeated, shuffling back towards the living area.
“Well, I was down in the lobby heading to get some breakfast when I saw your ex and his girl. They’re about to hit the slopes, and he kinda asked about you. I told him I’d left you up here to get your beauty rest.”
“Mm, about that. I’m sorry about yesterday. I was kind of panicky and wasn’t thinking too clearly, when I suggested you stay the night.”
“I must admit it was an offer I didn’t want to refuse, but I won’t take advantage of your situation like that. I knew you would probably regret it in the morning, and the one thing I’ve never done is leave a lady with regrets,” he said, sitting down on the couch.
Isabella barely knew this man, but he sure seemed to be comfortable with her. He took the reins with no hesitation whatsoever and appeared to have much confidence in himself, almost to the point of arrogance.
Usually she wouldn’t find a man like him attractive, not because of his looks, but just his attitude. He assumed too much. Maybe, it was because of his looks that she could overlook his insolence.
At six feet, five inches, he was the perfect height for a woman of her stature at five feet, ten inches. Troy had only been taller than her by two inches, making it difficult for her to wear heels with him. Whereas, Troy had been slim with a slight muscular build, Kyle’s broad shoulders and chest, looked like it could protect a girl from all kinds of dangers. The wide upper body tapered into long runner’s legs; ones that she wanted to catch a glimpse of uncovered. Kyle’s cocoa complexion had the appearance of freshly poured chocolate on a warm summer’s day, and the dimple winking in his cheek was endearing.
Despite all of that, it was the glow in his dark eyes when he teased her that initiated sultry thoughts in her mind. The beguiling look he cast upon her when speaking to her, made her feel as if there was no one else in the room.
“You assume too much,” she muttered, heading back to her room to get ready for the day ahead.
"So, what’s our plans for the day?” he asked, stopping her in her tracks.
Turning to look over her shoulder, she noticed his arm was extended over the back of the couch, and he appeared completely comfortable. Funny thing was, he looked as if he belonged right there.
“Like I said, you assume too much. What do you mean by ‘our’?”
“You need me to keep your ex away with his nagging questions, and to tamper down his woman’s jealousy. And I want you around to keep my days interesting.”
Isabella crossed her arms and leaned against the archway dividing the living quarters from the bedroom.
“We talked about a lot of things yesterday evening before you left, but you never told me why you’re here alone during the holiday season.”
“I’m a real estate market analyst, and I was sent here to research investment strategies for my client.”
“And that would be?”
“Carraway Resorts. They’re looking to acquire this property and incorporate it into their portfolio.”
“That would be a shame. It’s such a beautiful, small, and quiet little town. I can only imagine the attention they would attract by taking it over.”
“Yes and no. They will definitely bring the attention to the town, but it’s a win-win situation. This resort is struggling and the owner is looking to close the doors this time next year anyway if he isn’t bailed out. My client can sustain this property and grow it to the level it needs to be successful. Transforming this little lodge into a resort, will bring the tax dollars and jobs the town needs.”
“I still don’t understand why you’re here during the holidays, though. Don’t you have family…back home, wherever home is?”
“No, I don’t. My parents are traveling this year, and my brother and his wife and kids, are spending the holiday with her family this year. Besides, my business does not conclude until the 28th of this month. Now, I know your story, but what I don’t know is why you are here for the holidays. Don’t you have family to spend it with?”
“My parents are deceased and my sister has to work this holiday season,” she explained.
“I’m sorry to hear about your parents. But, I’m glad you’re all alone. Since we’re stuck here together, we might as well make this season merry and bright,” he said, standing and walking towards her.
Isabella uncrossed her arms and stood up straight.
“What are you talking about, Kyle?”
“If we’re going to pretend to be lovers for the season, there’s nothing like a little role play to perfect our lines,” he said, reaching into his pocket and pulling something out.
Isabella looked up to see the mistletoe he held over her head. Looking back at Kyle once more, she felt the excitement build in her, as he stared at her with that mesmerizing look in his eyes.
Before she knew it, their lips had blended in the sweetest of kisses. It was nothing like their first kiss, but definitely more intimate somehow, and this time it wasn’t for show. His hand held lightly onto her waist. She was thankful for that small token of affection, because without it she didn’t think she could stand on her own. He was literally making her weak in the knees.
Isabella was the first to break the kiss, as she felt things starting to spin out of control.
“What’s wrong, my love?” he asked, releasing her.
“You. This…it’s all wrong. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m so sorry, I’m not usually this forward, or anything. But trying to compete with Troy has me stepping out of character, of who I am,” she said, swiftly shaking her head back and forth.
“Is that what you believe?”
“It’s what I know, Kyle. I barely even know you and once this holiday is over, we’ll both go back to our own lives. It will be one more disappointment that I have to add to my list lately. I can’t do this. I don’t play these type of games normally, because I’m a passionate woman who feels things deeply. I apologize for leading you on, but it’s time for me to stand up and be honest about my situation. I don’t give a damn what Troy thinks. I cannot behave the way that I have been for his sake. I won’t give him that much power over me!”
Kyle reached out a hand and lightly grazed her arm.
“You don’t have to give it to him, but you can give it to me. I promise I won’t disappoint you.”
She inhaled deeply and chose her next words carefully. “I’d like to believe that, but I have a heart to protect. I don’t take affairs of the heart lightly, Kyle.”
He smiled at her, with a hesitation in his eyes. She knew he wanted to say something but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to hear it.
Kyle kissed her on the forehead sweetly. “Go get ready, my love, we’ve got a busy day ahead of us. I’ll be waiting here,” he said, waving his hand towards the couch.
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