Teaser Tuesday: The Gift

Fate with a Helping Hand Holiday Romance

Sometimes fate needs a little hand…

Allison Jones knows what it's like to want. Or rather, she did. She'd spent the first few years of her life being shifted from one foster home to another, never really finding that special place to make her feel home. When she finds a small envelope on the ground on a side street in Boston, and opens it, her heart plummets. She recognizes the description of the contents and knows what it will mean to the little girl if the promise of this gift is not fulfilled. But when the CEO of Holden Industries, Derek Holden, accuses her of stealing the money inside the envelope, she's determined to go the distance and not only fulfill the gift herself, but to prove to the dashingly handsome millionaire that there is more to life than just money.

The day his family lost their fortune and his world fell apart, Derek Holden swore he'd make his family fortune back. All good things in life came with sacrifice and hard work and he wasn't afraid of it. He'd built a financial empire all on his own and didn't need the simple conventions of life...until he met Allison Jones. The incredibly sweet designer with beautiful hair flowing down her back was much more than he'd originally thought when he'd accused her of stealing the money from the envelope he'd given the courier earlier that day. He'd intended the money to be a small donation to a local charity event. But he soon learned that a bank account full of money was no match for a heart full of love...and there was only one special woman who could teach him.

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It was the wrong time of the year for her bank account to look so pathetic.

As she stepped off her bus on a Cambridge, Massachusetts side street, Allison Jones peered at the miniscule total in the text on her cell phone as if it would miraculously change right before her eyes to a higher number that would allow her to buy everything she wanted to get on her Christmas list.

Presto chango, money appear!

Her smartphone wasn’t cooperating.

Now filled with new passengers, the bus that had taken her from her Allston apartment to her job in Cambridge sped by her, leaving her in a cloud of exhaust.

She coughed as she looked at her cell phone again.

“I’d better learn to make some magic on my own or there are going to be a lot of disappointed faces Christmas morning,” she mumbled as she walked up the street toward the bank, passing the parking garage and her favorite coffee spot stop on her way to work. Her office building was across the street from The Coffee Drop so she had plenty of time to pick up a coffee for her and Cara before she headed to the studio.

Holidays in the Jones household were always a big deal. There were plenty of foster children she’d grown up with who still made it a point to spend the holidays together as if nature had made them a family, not circumstance. But that meant even getting a little something for everyone was going to be a stretch this season since she’d moved to the Boston area and her living expenses were now so high.

Walking toward the ATM on the corner, Allison stepped off the curb. A white object, snug up against the concrete slab above the storm drain caught her eye. She reached down and tugged the clean envelope where it was wedged between the metal grate and a deep crack in the road tar next to the sidewalk concrete. Upon inspection, the envelope looked too clean for it to have been laying on the road very long. It had rained the night before and surely the paper would be soft and damp by now. Instead the envelope was a crisp white color and virtually dry except for the small corner where it had been wedged.

Allison turned around to see if anyone was looking on the ground. Pushing her purse higher on her shoulder she used both hands to open the envelope. The seal had been torn, but something was still inside the envelope. She gasped as she pulled the little index card with the holiday emblem out and held it in her hand. She recognized the logo and it made her heart sink.

Some memories never faded and Allison knew this one would never leave her heart or her mind for the rest of her life, no matter how many Christmases went by. Allison had many, many wonderful Christmas memories from her teenage years filled with love and family. But the years before that had been difficult and something she chose to forget. She’d been just ten years old when she learned what the gift of kindness from a stranger could mean to a scared and lonely little child.

She read the words on the index card. Five year old, female, would like a doll, a fluffy pillow, and a bed of her own. Someone out there had been charged with purchasing this special gift for a child in need of a home. And because this envelope was now in her hands, not the hands of the recipient, that child may never receive that gift.

Allison’s heart hurt just as it had when she’d been a child. It was bad enough to feel different, knowing you didn’t have at least one loving parent who would be there for you no matter what. It was another thing to be forgotten altogether. Despite years of living in a loving home, that was one memory that Allison still remembered well.

Purchase THE GIFT for only 99¢ now!
Free to Kindle Unlimited Subscribers

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