The Tycoon's Unexpected Baby by Elizabeth Lennox

Chapter 1

A flash of color drew his gaze.

Inside the conference room, the décor was muted tans and browns. Even the meeting participants wore black or charcoal suits, the only color seeming to be the ties on the men and the necklaces on the women. Outside, the leaves were green, but otherwise, everything was the normal cement colored world it always was.

Dimitri turned his head slightly, annoyed that something had broken his concentration during this meeting, and also frustrated at his lack of discipline. Unfortunately, the flash of color turned out to be a woman crossing the street. When his eyes focused, Dimitri became completely distracted and, for a long moment, he simply stared, stunned. She wasn’t just walking, he realized. No, this shockingly lovely woman was…dancing. In Central Park! Like a butterfly, he thought, not sure if he should laugh, roll his eyes or perhaps call the police because…she was dancing! Who did that? Was she crazy? Was she on some sort of drug?

Even as he watched, she lifted her arms, full out dancing now, acting as if the world wasn’t watching her. She just enjoyed the moment, her eyes closed and her arms fluttering, as if she was trying to embrace the sunshine.

As soon as he realized where his mind was going, he turned away, disgusted with himself. A “butterfly”? “Embracing the sunshine”?! Dimitri mentally snorted. He did not go off on flights of fancy! He preferred data driven decisions that translated into solid results and healthy profit margins. His companies were ruled by logic and sound decision making processes. Butterflies, or ridiculous women who had so little ambition that they had time to dance in the sunshine, had no place in his world.

So why did his gaze return to the window? Even as he watched, the woman spun around, smiling at…whatever. Damn it, now the woman was smelling a freaking flower! Did she really have so few things to do that she could stop to smell something? And seriously, did flowers even have scents these days? He knew that flower farmers, just like most occupations in this world, needed to show a profit. Profits were generated when people wanted their product. The world was very visual these days, which meant that farmers leaned towards flowers that had been genetically manipulated for their color and size. That breeding meant that scent was sacrificed. And that translated into flowers that were grown for beauty, with very little substance beyond their temporary existence.

So, why couldn’t he look away from the colorful woman? Why did he keep watching as the woman closed her eyes, lifting her lovely face up to the sky as if savoring the scent of that simple bloom?

Irritated, he once again dismissed the woman and turned back to the speaker who was about midway down the conference room table. Because of the woman’s odd, distracting behavior, Dimitri had entirely lost track of the meeting. Damn it.

Turning slightly, his assistant immediately stood from the chair behind him, understanding Dimitri’s silent signal. “There’s a woman outside the window,” Dimitri whispered. “Find out who she is.”

Dimitri turned his attention back to the speaker, looking down at the papers in front of him to figure out what the guy was talking about. Even as he tried to focus, Dimitri noticed with approval that his assistant had immediately left the meeting. Good, he thought. He wanted the woman’s name to…? Kolasi! Dimitri had no idea what he would do with the information. Chastise her for smelling a flower?

The newspapers repeatedly printed articles about his ruthless business tactics, but Dimitri didn’t think that he’d sunk so low as to admonish someone for recognizing beauty in the world.

Had he?

Me tipota, he thought as he shifted in the leather chair. Kolasi, if someone wanted to dance in the street or stop and smell a dekara flower, go for it. So, why had he sent his assistant to look for the woman? For what purpose? Surely, he wasn’t planning to chide her.

Ochi, he didn’t want to do anything with the information. He wanted the woman’s identity to…!

Take her out to dinner leapt to mind, but he dismissed the thought. The woman traipsing across the stone courtyard wasn’t his type. He preferred statuesque blonds. The woman in the colorful outfit was a brunette. Plus, she was short. At six feet, three inches, Dimitri preferred tall women who would fit into his life, and his arms, more easily. Also, the woman was too colorful. Where the hell had she gotten such an outlandish outfit anyway? Red, green, and yellow…not to mention, patterns. Had she taken scraps from several other dresses and just…patched them all together? Granted, the dress had hugged her lush figure perfectly, but still, it was too loud for his personal taste.