Forever with Me / Page 2

Page 2


Seriously? If this is the way my day is going to go, I should just go back to bed.

My phone rings just as I wipe away the black marks and am heading for the door.

“This is Alecia.”

“Hey, boss lady. I’m already here. Where are you?”

“Wishing I were back in bed,” I reply dryly, and press the call button for the elevator. “This day sucks. Is the client there?”

“Not yet. You’re just now leaving your condo?” Emily, my assistant, sounds shocked. And for good reason.

I don’t do late.

The elevator arrives and as I step on, the heel of my shoe catches in the rail of the door and snaps right off.

“Son of a bitch!”

“What’s wrong?”

“I just broke my favorite Choo heel.” I throw my arm out to stop the doors from closing, pluck my precious heel out of the track and walk back to my door, up, down, up, down, swearing ripely the whole way.

“Wow, that’s some language you have going there.”

“Eight hundred dollar heels, Em.”

“You can probably have them fixed,” she says.

“I can hear you laughing at me.”

“I’m not. I swear. I think the client just got here, and you’re still thirty minutes out?”

“That’s if I don’t hit traffic. Damn it. Start without me. Buy her coffee. Chat her up. I’ll get there in twenty.”

“A speeding ticket won’t help.”

I hang up without responding and take a precious two minutes to mourn the loss of my shoes. The break on the heel isn’t fixable.

So much for my favorite suit turning my luck around today.

***

The speeding ticket I got on Interstate 5 held me up by an additional fifteen minutes, putting me almost forty-five minutes behind. Emily jinxed me.

Damn her.

“I’m so sorry,” I begin, as I walk briskly to the table Emily and a potential client, Summer James and her fiancé, Robert, are sitting at. I hold my hand out to shake theirs and smile brightly. “Traffic this time of day is horrific.”

“I would think you would have planned for the traffic,” Robert replies and glances down at his phone, checking the time. Summer scowls at him and then smiles at me.

“I understand. Emily has already given us a lot of great information.”

“Perfect.” I grin at Emily, who is eyeing my hair like it’s a three-toed sloth, and I turn my attention back to the couple. “I’m sure you’ve already discussed some of your thoughts and plans with Emily, but I’d appreciate it if you’d quickly fill me in.”

As I ask the couple about their date and go over some of their preferences on bridal party size and guest count, Emily fetches me a much-needed coffee.

Thirty minutes later, after we’ve covered the basics and I’ve gone over the prices for my services, Robert looks mildly sick to his stomach from information overload and sticker shock, and Summer is beaming.

Typical.

“I think…” Robert begins, but Summer interrupts him.

“I think we should hire her too!”

“No, babe, I was gonna say I think we can do this ourselves.”

Her jaw drops and she blinks rapidly. “Really? When will we have time?”

“You have weekends off,” he reminds her.

“So do you. But this is a full time job. I can’t do this alone!” She’s becoming very shrill, making the pounding at my temples even worse, so I do what I do. I step in to avoid a crisis.

“I understand,” I begin calmly and lay my hand over Summer’s arm. “This can be overwhelming, and it’s a big financial commitment. Take the weekend to think it over and call us next week.”

“Absolutely,” Emily agrees with a wide smile. “You don’t have to decide today.”

“Really?” Summer looks like she’s on the verge of tears, and Robert now looks mildly panicked.

“Yep.” I nod and pat her arm, then pass her a file full of the information I’ve just gone over with her. “Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy your engagement party.”

“Thank you,” Robert replies and leads Summer out of the coffee shop.

“I’ll bet you a thousand bucks he talks her out of it,” Emily says, when they’re out of earshot and we’re gathering our things to leave.

“I’ll take that bet. I need new Choos.”

“You think she’ll talk him into it?”

“She will.” I sigh and take one more sip of my now-cold coffee. “I don’t think I grabbed my bottle of Advil this morning.”

“You okay?”

“I got a speeding ticket, thanks to you jinxing me.” I turn and glare at her, but she giggles. “I don’t find it particularly funny.”

“You don’t look great today.” Em tilts her head and watches me thoughtfully. “Did you go on a bender last night?”

I laugh and shake my head. “I wish. No, didn’t sleep well.” I can’t very well tell her that I had wild sex dreams about the sexiest man I’ve ever seen.

“Insomnia.” She nods wisely. “You should take melatonin. It works wonders.”

“I’ll remember that,” I murmur and check the time on my phone. “I have to be in Olympia by noon.”

“Are you meeting with Will Montgomery?” she asks. She smiles softly and sighs.

“Yes.”

“Can I—”

“No, I don’t need you to come along for this.”

She pouts, making me laugh. Emily has never made it a secret that she has a crush on the handsome football star.

Hell, we all have crushes on the whole Montgomery family. They’re all fine specimens of men, and their women are sweet and funny. What’s not to like? They’re also my best clients, and are the reason I can afford my condo and my shoe fetish.

And I like to think that they’ve become friends as well.

“You get to have all the fun,” Emily says.

“I do. And I also get to handle all of the bridecrazies and complaints. I believe it falls in my ‘owner’ job description.”

“Yeah, you can keep those. I’ll meet you back at your place later this afternoon?”

“Yes. You’re meeting with the Peterson couple to go over their flowers, right?”

“Yep. The MOB is a pain in the ass.”

“The mother of the bride is paying for a one hundred thousand dollar wedding. She’s paid for the right to be a pain in the ass.”


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