Page 31 of The Office Guest

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“Me too.” He smiles.

“I believe there’s been a mistake in your reservation, sir.” I can’t take him being in my presence anymore. “I don’t see it for this week’s dates. If you like, I can book you at the Four Seasons down the street.”

“I have the printout in my bag.” He’s still smiling. “Would you like me to take it out for you?”

“Let me see ifIcan find it, Georgia.” Grandma Hattie gently pushes me out of the way. “What’s your name, sir?”

“Dante Harris.”

“It was literally staring right at you, hun. See? His first name is even spelled like your fiancé’s.”

“Wait a minute.” Dante crosses his arms. “Your fiancé’s name is ‘Dante,’ too?”

“It’s a pretty popular name,” I say.

“It’s not that damn popular.”

“He’s a successful businessman from Park City, Utah.” Grandma throws me under the bus again. “I see you’re from there, so you might’ve crossed paths with him before.”

“I’m pretty sure I have.” Dante smirks. “What a random series of coincidences I’m seeing between the two of us.”

“Yeah, whatever,” I say. “Anyway—”

“It’s not often that I hear about a “Dante” from Park City, Utah, who also knows a woman named Georgia who is engaged,” he says. “ I’dloveto grab a beer with him or get our pictures taken together.”

“We will totally arrange that.” Grandma Hattie chats with Dante like he’s a real friend and not a parasite, even offering to escort him to his suite.

When she finally finishes, I head to my office and shut the door.

Taking a few deep breaths, I tell myself that the past twenty minutes never happened and I will wake up from this nightmare in the morning.

It’s still a perfect Christmas, still a perfect Christmas…




My Holiday Wish List

1. Yesterday was all a dream.

2. Dante is not a guest here, and my family is not expecting to meet my nonexistent fiancé.

3. I am still on track to have the best Christmas ever.

Ifold the list into a tiny square and slip it into Santa’s three-foot tall mailbag.

Then, like I’m the starring actress in a Hallmark movie, I twirl around as the lobby’s speakers play “All I Want for Christmas is You.” If I’m following the typical script, I just need to wait for the clocks to rewind to yesterday so I can make better decisions and keep my mouth shut about “Dante.”

“What the hell are you doing, Georgia?” Taryn bumps into me mid-spin. “I’ve been looking for you all morning.

“So my wish list didn’t work?”

She shoots me a confused stare.

“I’ll take that as a no…”

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