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Oh Baby

By:Maureen Smith

Oh Baby
        Author: Maureen Smith

       
         
       
        
1


Atlanta, Georgia

December 2015





Samara wolf strolled toward the elegant glass office building that housed the Atlanta-based division of House of Dubois. She was humming Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You," the last song that had been playing on the radio before she got out of her car.

She removed her sunglasses as she stepped through the revolving glass door. The main lobby had stark white marble walls and floors threaded with gold veins. Tiny lights twinkled festively on a fifty-foot white Christmas tree that soared to the ceiling.

The large reception desk was manned by an attractive security guard wearing a well-cut black suit and black tie.

He beamed at Samara. "Good morning, Mrs. Wolf. And how are you doing this fine day?"

Samara smiled. "I'm doing well, Van. Thank you for asking."

"Of course, ma'am." He smiled. "The garage renovations are almost complete, so you won't have to use the outdoor parking lot much longer."

"Oh, it hasn't been too bad." Samara grinned sheepishly. "I've got a spot right in front of the building, so I have no business complaining."

"Not that you ever would. Complaining's not your style." The security guard smiled warmly and tipped his head to her. "Have a good day, Mrs. Wolf."

"Thanks, Van. You, too." Samara's stiletto heels clicked across the gleaming marble floor as she strode to the bank of elevators and pressed the up button.

She resumed humming to herself while she waited for the next elevator. Christmas was exactly three weeks away, and she was definitely in the holiday spirit. She'd finished all her Christmas shopping early, the tree was trimmed and decorated, and the stockings were hung on the mantel with everyone's names scrawled across the top in silver glitter-courtesy of her nine-year-old twins Matthew and Malcolm. Her hubby, Marcus, had strung lights on the house, trees, shrubs, and along the circular driveway. At night their sprawling estate looked like a Christmas village aglow with thousands of twinkling lights.

Samara smiled as she rode the elevator to the top floor and emerged into an elegant reception area decorated in icy white. The fashionably dressed receptionist greeted her with a cheerful "Good morning, Samara."

"Good morning, Emma," Samara said warmly. "Is my mother here yet?"

"Not yet, ma'am. Would you like me to call her driver to see if they're en route to the office?"

"No, that's okay. I'll just wait until she gets here." Samara headed off down the maze of corridors, passing plushly carpeted offices that were mostly empty. 

She was usually one of the first to arrive, preferring to start her workday early so that she could leave at a decent hour to get home to her three children. Although she had the luxury of not working, she enjoyed putting her Wharton MBA to good use. But there were times that she felt torn between her high-powered career and motherhood. Those were the days she hugged her children extra long and hard when she got home, caressing their sweet faces and hanging on every word that tumbled out of their little mouths.

She reached her glass-fronted office at the end of a long corridor and unlocked the door. Her name and title were etched on the frosted glass: samara wolf, vice president of marketing.

Stepping into the room, she removed her cashmere wrap and hung it in the small closet by the door. The spacious office featured a posh, ultramodern décor befitting an executive at one of the world's top fashion houses. The artwork and furnishings were high-end, and enormous picture windows boasted sweeping views of downtown Atlanta.

Samara would have been perfectly content with a much smaller office, but her mother had insisted that she take the plush corner suite.

No VP of mine is working out of some cubbyhole, Asha had declared in that imperious way of hers. Especially not a VP who will inherit this company one day!

Samara had learned to pick her battles wisely when it came to her mother. So she'd capitulated and moved into the lavishly appointed office, adding personal touches here and there to make it her own.

Just as she sat down behind her sleek glass desk, her smiling assistant appeared with her morning coffee, crossing the room to hand her the steaming cup.

"Thank you, Brianna." Samara inhaled the fragrant aroma of the coffee and sighed appreciatively, then set the cup down without taking a sip.

Brianna arched a brow at her. "Is everything okay?"

Samara smiled. "Everything's fine. Just letting it cool."

Brianna sat in one of the plush visitor chairs angled in front of Samara's desk. The beautiful twenty-nine-year-old had a café-au-lait complexion and shoulder-length dark hair streaked with caramel highlights. She looked ultra chic in a belted gray jumpsuit from Asha's fall collection. The stylish outfit was paired with metallic leather ankle boots.

Ten years ago, Samara had been working at a nonprofit community organization in Washington, D.C. when she met Brianna, a pregnant teenager in need of help and guidance. Samara had mentored her and given her a job that enabled her to support herself and her daughter. Shortly after relocating to Atlanta with her husband, Samara had persuaded Brianna to join her there to make a fresh start in a new place. It turned out to be the best move for the young single mother. She'd earned a college degree and was now happily married to Byron Devers, a senior associate at Marcus's law firm.

Brianna picked up her sleek tablet and tapped the screen with a manicured fingertip. "We're all set for the videoconference with the buyers at nine o'clock."

"What about Barneys and Saks?"

"Yes," Brianna confirmed. "Everyone will be in attendance."

"Good," Samara said briskly. "We need all the major players at the table."

Brianna nodded before continuing her rundown of Samara's busy schedule. "Your Vogue interview is at ten-thirty, which should leave you just enough time to get down to the photo-" She was interrupted by the ringing of Samara's smartphone on the desk.

When Samara picked up the phone and saw her husband's darkly handsome picture on the screen, her lips curved into a delighted smile.

Brianna grinned knowingly and rose from her chair. "I'll come back later."

Samara winked at her before pressing the answer button and purring into the phone, "Hey, you."



       
         
       
        

"Hey, baby." Marcus's deep, dark voice slid into her ear and sent a tingle of awareness to her already-sensitive nipples. "Just wanted to make sure you got to work safely."

"I did." Samara smiled, warmed by his protectiveness. "Are the boys up yet?"

"Yeah. They're downstairs eating breakfast. I'm about to get Milan up." Marcus was the founder and CEO of one of the top law firms in the country. Since the birth of their daughter, he'd been cutting back on the long hours he worked and delegating more responsibilities to his senior partners. When he learned that their sons' private school would be closed today, he'd volunteered to take off from work to spend the day with the boys and three-year-old Milan. He was taking them to Legoland, one of their favorite places to visit.

Samara sighed. "I wish I could have played hooky, too. If I didn't have to oversee this photo shoot for our new fragrance launch, I would have gone with you guys."

Marcus chuckled. "Then it wouldn't be a Daddy's Day outing."

"True." Samara grinned, leaning back in her chair. "Have Michael, Manning or Quentin tried to back out?"

"Nah," Marcus said with a laugh. "They're still coming."

"That's good. You fellas are gonna have your hands full with ten children," Samara teased.

"It's all good. This isn't our first Daddy's Day outing, and it won't be the last."

Samara felt her heart swell with the fullness of her love and appreciation for him. How had she gotten so damn lucky?

"Make sure you dress Milan warmly," she reminded him. "The high is only supposed to be fifty-nine today, so she needs-"

"Babe," Marcus interrupted, sounding amused. "I got this."

"Sorry," Samara said sheepishly.

"Uh-huh. You just can't help yourself."

"I know." She grinned, dropping her voice to a suggestive murmur. "If you're not too worn out tonight, maybe we can have some grown-up time after we put the kids to bed."

"Sounds good," Marcus drawled wickedly. "Can never have too much grown-up time."

"I agree," Samara purred. "So it's a date?"

"Absolutely." The single husky word went straight between her thighs, causing her to shiver and bite her lip.

"Well, I'd better get back to work," she murmured. "You and the kids have fun today."

"We will," Marcus promised. "Love you, baby."

"Love you, too." Samara was smiling from ear to ear as she ended the call and set her phone down on the desk. 

She heard voices outside her door and glanced up just as her mother swept into the room. Asha looked gorgeous and flawlessly glamorous in a cream coatdress that accentuated her hourglass curves, the collar stylishly turned up.

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