The Billionaire Who Bought Christmas

By: Barbara Dunlop

One


Jack Osland peered through the window of his Gulfstream jet plane as an indistinct figure emerged in the scattered snow falling on the tarmac at JFK.

“Did I evenmention the wordkidnap? ” he asked his cousin Hunter who was sitting in the opposite seat.

“I can tell you’re thinking about it,” said Hunter, turning to improve his view, the white leather creaking beneath him.

“You’re clairvoyant now?” asked Jack.

“I’ve known you since you were two years old.”

“You were a baby when I was two.”

Hunter shrugged. “You’ve got that telltale twitch in your temple.”

“That just means I’m ticked off.” Jack’s attention went back to the woman who was striding through the frozen swirls of white.Ticked off was an understatement, and he was watching the reason walk toward him.

A slim five and a half feet, her face was obscured by a furtrimmed hat and the enormous collar of her matching, cream-colored coat.

“Maybe she’ll say no,” Hunter offered, a hopeful lilt to his voice.

“And maybe pigs fly,” Jack responded.

The woman wasn’t about to say no. Nobody ever did. When Jack and Hunter’s billionaire grandfather Cleveland Osland asked a gold digging, trophy babe to marry him, it was a done deal.

“Well it looks like dogs fly,” said Hunter with a nod toward the future Mrs. Osland.

Jack blinked.

A flash of red pulled his gaze to her high-heeled boots. Sure enough. There, prancing along at her feet, was a tiny, plaid-coated fur ball.

As the implication registered, Jack shot Hunter a triumphant look. “Am I right, or am I right?”

“Her dog doesn’t mean a thing.”

“It means she’s not turning around and going home.”

“They only loaded one suitcase.”

“You don’t think Gramps’s first wedding gift will be a platinum card?”

“Well, youstill can’t kidnap her,” said Hunter.

“I’m not kidnapping her.” Jack was desperate, but he wasn’t a fool. He had no desire to give up a Malibu Beach penthouse for an eight-by-eight cell with a lumpy mattress, a leaky toilet and a roommate with a skull tattoo.

He didn’t know how he was going to stop her. But, whatever his plan, he’d have to come up with it before the jet made it to L.A.

“What exactly did your mom say to you?” asked Hunter.

“She said that Gramps was at it again, and the latest one was hitching a ride with us. That’s all I got, because she was boarding a flight to Paris, and we lost the connection. She’s on the plane now.”

“Could she have meant something else?”

Jack gave his cousin a deadpan stare. “No. She could not have meant something else. Gramps is getting remarried, and it’s up to me to put a stop to it.”

The future bride approached the aircraft, tipping her head to gaze at the fuselage. Jack caught a glimpse of straight, white teeth, burgundy lips, a smooth, flushed complexion and blue eyes that sparkled like jewels.

“Well, there’s nothing wrong with Gramps’s eyesight,” muttered Hunter.

“I sure wish something would go wrong with his testosterone,” Jack returned, giving the steward, Leonardo, a nod to open the cabin door.

“He doesn’t sleep with them,” said Hunter.

Jack stared at his cousin in disbelief.

“At least not until they’re married. And then, well it sounded like sporadic attempts.”

Jack was momentarily speechless. “You actuallyasked Moira and Gracie about their sex lives with Gramps?”

“Sure. Didn’t you?”

“Ofcourse not.”

Hunter smirked. “You are such an easy mark. It was your mom who told me. I guess she asked them.

She was worried about a possible pregnancy.”

Jack wondered why his mother hadn’t talked to him about her fears, instead of Hunter. Jack was her son, and the CEO of Osland International, the man whose job it was to protect the family interests.

Leonardo finished lowering the aircraft staircase, and the woman’s quick footsteps echoed on metal stairs.

“You could try reasoning with her,” Hunter suggested as they rose to their feet.

Jack snorted his disbelief.

But Hunter didn’t give up. “Warn her that Gramps has done this before.”

“She’s a twentysomething trophy babe, dating an eighty-year-old man. You think there’s a chance she’ll be offended by his ethics?”

The woman in question rounded the corner in all her fur-trimmed, youth-dewy glory. The little dog barked once, but obeyed when she shushed it.

After a brief moment’s hesitation, she smiled brightly at the two of them, leading with an outstretched, manicured hand. “Kristy Mahoney. I don’t know if you heard, but I’m meeting with Cleveland and the Sierra Sanchez buying team on Monday. Cleveland said you wouldn’t mind if I caught a ride?”

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