Page 43 of The Office Guest

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“Merry Christmas!” My family stands under a sparkling “Congratulations Dante & Georgia” banner, and Grandma Hattie walks toward us with a smile.

“We managed to get this all set up while you picked him up from the airport.” She smiles. “What do you think?”

“I think I’m about to reap what I’ve sown.”

“What’s that?”

“It looks beautiful,” Dominic says, extending his hand to her. “Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”

“Likewise. I’m hoping you’ll have some time to join our family for some of the yearly traditions.”

“He probably won’t,” I say. “Dominic has lots of work to do while he’s here, Grandma.”

“Dominic?” She looks up at the banner. “I thought your name was Dante.”

“It’s Dominic,” he says. “Dominic Reiss.”

“Thebillionaire?” One of my aunts nearly screams from across the room. “Am I imagining things, or is that him?”

Okay, he was right…

I feed them the “preconceived notions” lie, and before anyone can ask about the specifics, I loop my arm in his and lead him over to the tree. The quicker I introduce him to everyone, the quicker we can mark day one of this deal off the calendar.

“Oh my fucking…” Taryn blinks like a broken doll. “Georgia, your fiance is Dominic Reiss? LiketheDominic Reiss.”

“Hello.” He smiles at her, and she blushes. “It’s nice to meet you, Taryn. You’re her cousin, right?”

She stares at him in disbelief, blinking and saying nothing.

“Okay, we’ll come back to you.” I pull his arm and introduce him to Savannah and Garrett, all my aunts and uncles, and when he’s greeted all my cousins, I rush him toward the lobby.

“Why are y’all going that way, Georgia?” Grandma Hattie calls out to me.

“I’m showing him upstairs to the Gingerbread Suite.”

“I reserved that for another guest,” she says. “I placed you two elsewhere since I figured you’ll want to be together.”

What?“We don’t need to do that. Separate rooms will be fine.”

“I’m sure that’d be very inconvenient,” she says. “I placed you in one of the private cottages.”

“With two or four bedrooms?”

“One.” She pats my shoulder. “Call me if it’s not up to standard.”

“It’s not,” I say. “We needtwobedrooms with two separate beds. We’ve never shared anything overnight. Ever.”

“Right.” She snorts. “I’ve scheduled a few couples’ activities for you after Christmas. I figured you may want to show him the best parts of the estate whenever the most hectic time is over.”

“He’ll be gone by then.” I squeeze his hand. “Won’t you?”

“I wouldloveto see the rest of the estate after the holidays.”

“Bobbleheads don’t speak.” I mutter under my breath and squeeze his hand again.

“If it’s not too much to ask, Dominic,” Grandma says, “I’d like you to join me for a one-on-one lunch while you’re here.”

“Dominic doesn’t like lunch.” I refuse to let this happen. “At least, he hates eating lunch without me if we’re in the same city, so that’s not possible.”

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