Not Quite Over You

Page 28


“Not all three of them,” Wynn said.
Just then the back door opened.
“We’re here!” Pallas called. “And we’re late. I’m sorry.”
Bethany, Pallas and Renee walked in together.
“They’re late,” Renee clarified. “I tried to leave on time but they wouldn’t let me.”
“It’s my fault,” Bethany said. “I’m sorry. Two days ago we came to terms on the wedding. It’s been such a chore to get everything finalized.”
“I thought you were having a shower here,” Wynn said. “It’s not a shower?”
“No. It’s a party. A really big party.” Bethany sank into a chair.
“You are the princess,” Silver said. “Literally. So how big is big?”
“Four hundred people,” Renee said. “Including the king and queen, several other members of the royal family and a few heads of state. The president is coming.”
The room went silent.
Carol cleared her throat. “Of the, ah, United States?”
“Yes. That president.”
Pallas held up her hand. “We don’t know that for sure. It’s possible the vice president will come instead.”
“Well, then.” Wynn waved her hand. “That’s hardly noteworthy.”
They all laughed and moved toward the food.
“Wow,” Natalie murmured. “A royal party. Do you get to wear glass slippers? Although it’s not really a slipper, is it? It’s really a classic pump.”
“No glass shoes,” Bethany said, scooping up mac and cheese and ignoring the salad. “I’m really, really sorry.”
“Stop apologizing,” Renee told her. “Planning the party will be fun.”
“You say that now.”
Pallas moved next to Silver. “We’re going to have to talk about how we’re handling all of this. Please, please tell me at least one of the new trailers will be ready?”
“It should be, but there’s no way we’re using trailers at a royal party. I’ll set up regular bartending stations. Let’s talk later. Give me the date and I’ll reserve my best people.”
“See,” Bethany said with a pout. “It’s already happening. Everything is going to be different because of my parents. I don’t want regular bartending stations. I want Airstreams and a fun theme and everyone having a good time. Sometimes I really don’t like being a princess.”
Wynn rolled her eyes. “Yeah, nobody’s buying that, kid. Sorry, but there we are. You’re a princess. You’re going to have to deal with it.”
Bethany looked at Silver. “Promise me we’ll have the trailers at my party.”
“You’re the bride. If that’s what you want, that’s what we’re going to do.”
Pallas pressed her lips together. “This is going to be so interesting. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.”
“Best party ever,” Renee told her. “Or it’s off with our heads.”
* * *
DREW KNEW THAT Silver was at her girlfriend lunch—on his way to her place, he’d driven by the gallery and had seen several cars, including Bethany’s truck—but instead of going back to the bank, he’d decided to wait. He glanced at his watch and figured they would be wrapping up soon enough.
He needed to see her. Later, he would analyze what that meant but for now he was willing to go with the nagging sense of urgency that would only be satisfied when he was in Silver’s presence. Too much had happened too quickly—them becoming lovers, his mother’s arrival, the articulation of his parents’ plan for his future. A plan he wanted no part of.
His mother was by far the more ambitious of his parents. He wasn’t sure if she’d been born that way or if her personality had been formed by influences he didn’t know about. Grandpa Frank wasn’t at all that way and except for Libby, her other sisters were relatively normal. But his mother...
He spotted Silver a couple of blocks away, walking toward him. He headed toward her, consciously keeping himself from breaking into a run. As they got closer, he found himself admiring her long stride, her sleek, platinum blonde hair and her air of confidence. She was a beautiful woman and if the gods were willing, she would soon be in his bed again.
“What?” she called when they were close enough to talk. “Were you waiting for me on the sidewalk?”
“It was that or in my car.”
They met in the middle of the block. She smiled at him. “Okay, this is slightly weird. I’m just saying. We’re business partners. I’ll get you a key to the downstairs space. Wait until you see what Walter and his team have done. It’s amazing. I’m still a little unsettled by the stripper poles, but they’re starting to grow on—”
She paused midstep and looked at him. “What’s wrong?”
“Let’s go inside and then I’ll tell you.”
They quickly walked the rest of the way. She unlocked the door and pushed it open, then gestured him inside.
He saw she was right—a lot of progress had been made. The soundproofing was up and the floors were in. Speakers had been mounted on the ceiling.
“I like how it’s coming together,” he said.
Silver raised her eyebrows. “Tell me.”
“My mother’s in town.”
Her expression relaxed. “Is that all? I thought something bad had happened.”
“My mother is here. Isn’t that bad enough?”
She smiled. “Not for me. She barely knows who I am.”
“This is you helping?”
“Oh, I was supposed to help. You didn’t mention that. Let’s go upstairs and we can talk about it.” She waved her tote bag. “I have leftover mac and cheese.”
“You’re the perfect woman.”
She laughed. “Tell me about it.”
They went up to her place. Her apartment was a loft—one big room with lots of windows and light—decorated in grays and pale purples. A big sofa backed onto the compact kitchen. Screens provided privacy for what he guessed was the bedroom.
She pointed to the round table in the corner by the kitchen, then put the bowl of mac and cheese in the microwave. While it heated, she got a spare key from a drawer and handed it to him.
“You’re welcome to come and go as you please, but I’d really prefer to never catch you using the stripper pole.”
“That I can promise.”
The microwave beeped. She set the bowl and a fork in front of him, poured them both a glass of water, then sat across from him.
“Tell me about your mother.”
“Are Cade and Bethany having a big party to celebrate their engagement?” he asked instead.
Silver frowned. “How do you know about that? Pallas just told me an hour ago.”
“My mother told me about it yesterday when she arrived. I have no idea where she gets her information, but that’s one of the reasons she came home. She knows I’m good friends with Cade and she wants me to arrange some kind of private audience with the royal family and anyone else who can help the business.”
“Yikes, that’s no fun. But Cade would help with that, wouldn’t he?”
“I don’t want to encourage her. I don’t want her messing up Cade and Bethany’s party. I don’t want her here.”