Christmas in the Boss's Castle

By: Scarlet Wilson

It was gorgeous. A sparkling Christmas angel, delicately made from ceramic. Easily breakable—no wonder it was wrapped so carefully. She held it up by the string, letting it dangle in the afternoon light. Even though it was mainly white, the gold and silver glitter gave it warmth. It was a beautiful Christmas tree ornament. One that should be decorating a tree in someone’s house, not being hidden in the pocket in a case.

Her heart gave a little start as she looked around the room. Maybe this businessman was having to spend his Christmas apart from his family? Maybe this was the one thing that gave him a little hint of home?

She looked around the cold, sleek room as ideas started to spark in her brain. Frank had told there were decorations in the basement. Maybe she could make this room a little more welcoming? A little bit more like Christmas?

Her smile spread from ear to ear as her spirits lifted a little. She didn’t want to be lonely this Christmas. She certainly didn’t want anyone else to feel that way either.

She hurried down to the basement. One thing about The Armstrong, it was super organised. She checked the ledger book and quickly found where to look. Granted, the room she entered was a little cluttered and dusty. But it wasn’t impossible to find all the cardboard boxes. The tree that once stood in the main entrance was twenty-five feet tall. How impressive it must have looked.

She found some more appropriate-sized decorations and put them into a box to carry upstairs.

Two hours later, just as the sky had darkened to shades of navy blue and purple, she’d finally achieved the effect she wanted.

Tiny white sparkly lights lit up a tree in the corner of the main room. A gold star adorned the top. She’d found other multi-coloured twinkling lights that she’d wrapped around the curtain pole in the bedroom. She’d even strung a garland with red Christmas baubles above the bathroom mirror.

Each room had a little hint of Christmas. It wasn’t overwhelming. But it was cute. It was welcoming. It gave the room the personal touch. The thoughtfulness that could occasionally be missing from even an exclusive hotel like this.

She walked around each room once again, taking in the mood she’d created. The Christmas style potpourri she’d found added to the room, filling it with the aroma of Christmas spices and adding even more atmosphere. She closed her eyes for a second and breathed in. She just loved it. She just loved everything about it.

Seeing the sky darkening with every second and snow dusting the streets outside, she gave a little smile.

Just one more touch.

She lifted the Christmas angel from the tissue paper and gently placed it on the pillow in the bedroom. She hadn’t felt this good in a long time.

‘Perfect,’ she whispered.

‘Just what do you think you’re doing?’ The voice poured ice all over her.

* * *

Finlay Armstrong was tired. He was beyond tired. He hadn’t slept in three days. He’d ping-ponged between Japan, the USA and now the UK, all while fending off concerned phone calls from his parents. It was always the same at this time of year.

When would they realise that he deliberately made things busy at this time of year because it was the only way he could get through the season of goodwill?

He’d already ordered room service in his chauffeur-driven car on the journey from the airport. Hopefully it would arrive in the next few minutes then he could sleep for the next few hours and forget about everything.

He hadn’t expected anyone to be in his penthouse. Least of all touching something that was so personal to him—so precious to him.

And the sight of it filled him with instant anger.

He hated Christmas. Hated it. Christmas cards with happy families. Mothers, fathers and their children with stockings hanging from the fireplace. The carols. The presents. The celebratory meals. All yearly reminders of what he had lost.

All reminders of another year without Anna.

The tiny angel was the one thing he had left. Her favourite Christmas decoration that she’d made as a child and used to hang from their tree every year with sentimental pride.

It was the one—and only—thing that had escaped the purge of Christmas for him.

And he couldn’t even bear to look at it. He kept it tucked away and hidden. Just knowing it was there—hidden in the folds of his bag—gave him a tiny crumb of comfort that others clearly wouldn’t understand.

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