Christmas in Eden Read Online Margot Scott

Categories Genre: Insta-Love, Novella, Romance Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 34
Estimated words: 32533 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 163(@200wpm)___ 130(@250wpm)___ 108(@300wpm)
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This obsessed daddy belongs at the top of Santa's Naughty List.

I wasn’t marrying for love. My foster brother’s widow needed health insurance and looking after. I’ve got a Chicago penthouse I barely live in and more money than God. It was a business transaction, plain and simple—until I met my new fiancée’s daughter.

Just like that, my once practical decision becomes a lot more complicated.

Eden is half my age and completely off-limits. I have no right watching her the way that I do, no justification for wondering how good she might taste. But I can’t help it. I’m obsessed with my new stepdaughter. Her face, her curves, her perfume.

But most of all, I’m obsessed with the way she calls me Daddy.

This December, all I want is the chance to show Eden how priceless she is. But when a certain Grinch threatens to expose our relationship, it’ll take a Christmas miracle to stop our holiday cheer from fizzling into silent nights.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

CHAPTER 1

CHRISTIAN

My daughter, Brittany, pops her gum for the hundredth time. “So, when are Paulina and Edith going to show?”

I swallow a sigh. “You know their names.”

“Fine, Petra and Eden.” She rolls her eyes without glancing up from her phone. “When are they going to get here? We’ve been waiting forever.”

“They’ll be here soon.”

She wedges her wireless earbuds into her ears and turns in her seat to face the small round window.

The scruff of my beard catches on my palm as I scrub a hand down my face. I know Brittany isn’t thrilled about spending Thanksgiving with my new fiancée and her daughter, but the least she could do is try to be civil. I’m taking her to the island of St. Thomas on my private jet, just like she wanted. This isn’t an attempt to create some happy blended family; I’ve only invited Petra and her daughter as a gesture of good faith. Once Petra and I have signed the requisite legal documents, we’ll have very little to do with each other. We’re not betrothed for love or romance or any of the typical reasons. Rather, we’re getting married so Petra can stay in the country and receive top-notch medical care for her chronic illness.

Take care of my girls. That was my foster brother Dan’s last request before he passed away under mysterious circumstances.

Dan had gotten in over his head with a less than savory organization in Chicago’s underbelly, and not for the first time. About sixteen years ago, Dan came to me looking for help paying off a loan shark. He’d run with criminals before, but since he had a new wife and a young daughter to take care of, I’d hoped he was finally going to turn over a new leaf. In the spirit of tough love, I told him no, I wasn’t going to enable his bad habits. It was time he started thinking about how his lifestyle was affecting his family.

That was the last I’d heard from him. That is, until six months ago.

He came to me again, but this time he didn’t ask for money. I watched my brother get down on his knees in my office and beg me to take care of his family if something ever happened to him.

“I know you don’t owe me anything, Christian,” he said, his voice cracking. “But my girls don’t deserve to suffer for my mistakes.”

He told me his wife, Petra, had been recently diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, and he couldn’t risk the possibility that she might be sent back to Poland in the event of his death.

“What the hell have you gotten yourself into?” I asked him. He wouldn’t give me details.

“Just promise me, Christian,” he said. “Promise me you’ll make sure Petra stays in the US, and you’ll look after my little girl.”

As a father myself, it broke my heart listening to him gush about how smart and kind and unlike him his daughter was. He knew Eden had a real shot at being successful, and he didn’t want the stink of his bad choices to stick to her after he was gone.

Stunned by my former foster brother’s ominous request, I relented.

“I promise to look after them.” Maybe I said it because I didn’t really believe anything would happen, or maybe I felt guilty that I didn’t help him all those years ago.

He left my office without another word. Days passed, then weeks. I figured he must have been paranoid. But that opinion changed when I received a call from his widow.

“He’s gone,” Petra said, her voice thick from crying. “They took him from us. They took…everything.”

She told me the truth, that Dan had been working as an informant for the police in their investigation of Dan’s boss, a powerful drug lord. Upon learning of Dan’s betrayal, he put a bullet between his eyes, then showed up at the family’s home to inform them that they’d been evicted.

“We were lucky,” she said. “Dan had kept me in the dark about most of it. That’s why they didn’t kill us.”

Unfortunately, he’d also kept her in the dark about the precariousness of their situation. Technically their home wasn’t their own. It had been a gift from his boss, part of his promotion within the criminal organization. Not only that, but their cars, antiques, even their bank accounts were stripped from them. All she and her daughter had were the clothes on their backs, a small bag of belongings they were graciously allowed to pack, and a letter from Dan explaining his agreement with me.

Petra assured me that she wasn’t going to force anything upon me since it was nothing more than a gentleman’s agreement. But I told her I was still going to honor it. In all honesty, part of me felt responsible for Dan’s death. Perhaps if I’d helped him instead of turning him away all those years ago, he wouldn’t have felt the need to devote himself to a criminal organization.


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