The Fall Bride - Page 2

Ignoring his expensive shiny car directly in front of my stop, I yank open the door to his office, intent on giving him a piece of my mind. He has the whole back lot to park in, not to mention we each have four spots out front. All his are empty at the moment, but still he parks his fancy sports car in one of my spots.

“Miss Shaffer.” Rebecca’s lips purse at the sight of me. She’s never liked me, and I have no clue why. She’d been a few grades above me in school, but I never had a problem with her. “He’s busy right now,” she says, already knowing why I’m here.

“No I’m not,” Tidas drawls. He’s in his normal black suit looking devilishly handsome. I hate how attractive he is, and the way my body responds to him is just plain mean. Why am I doing this to myself?

He gives me a wink and then takes a giant bite of the chocolate croissant in his hand.

“You!” I hiss.

“I was about to move my car, sugar. All the spots were taken this morning.” He leans up against the doorframe to his office.

“I can move it for you, Tidas.” Rebecca’s voice turns sugary sweet, and I openly roll my eyes.

“Mr. Combs,” he corrects Rebecca. I want to stick my tongue out at her, but I manage to keep it in my mouth.

“You took the chocolate croissants on purpose,” I accuse him.

“I have more in my office if you’d like to come in and have one.”

“You eat them. Maybe you’ll choke on one.” I smirk, turning to leave, but not before I give one more dig. He did, after all, take my favorite breakfast from me. “But move that midlife crisis out front first. I have customers coming.” His bark of laughter follows me out of the door.

Even his stupid laugh is sexy.

“They’ll be my customers in a few years,” he shouts, always having to have the last word.

Chapter Two


“Is there anything I can do for you, Tidas?” Rebecca asks as she comes into my office.

“No,” I answer but don’t look up from the paperwork on my desk. “And if you can’t manage to show some respect when speaking to me, I’m sure you can find suitable employment elsewhere.”

There’s a sound of her squeaking or something, but I don't pay any attention to her. I’ve got work to do, and she’s purposely trying to be annoying.

“Yes, Mr. Combs.” She clears her throat, and I hear paper rustling. “Your next appointment is at three o’clock, so you’re free until then.”

“Thank you.” I check my watch and then go back to writing notes on my last client. “Take your lunch now and pick up the office supplies on the list I left up front.”

“Sure.” Her voice is quiet, but eventually I hear her walk out and then the antique bell on the front door.

Leaning back in my chair, I sigh as I rub the heels of my hands over my eyes. I do it until I have to blink away the black spots and my vision comes back into focus. When it does, I look outside to see a row of cars parked in front of the bridal shop.

Hollow Oak isn’t where I’d envisioned setting up my practice, but last year when my business partner was indicted for embezzling, I needed a dramatic change. Lloyd was my friend from law school and we’d known each other a long time, yet somehow he managed to hide his gambling addiction. When we set up our law practice in the city, we’d set out to make a name for ourselves. We got bigger and bigger, and I never bothered to look at the books. I trusted his accounting, but when we were audited, that’s when I found out it had been a mistake.

Luckily I had enough money to pay out what was owed to the government and close out the practice. It was a nightmare, and the last thing I wanted to do when setting up a new business was take on another partner.

My great-aunt April lived in Hollow Oak, and when she died, she left a large plot of land to my mother. Since my mom and dad are spending their retirement traveling the world, she signed it over to me and my brother Donovan. It seemed like the perfect place to go, and when the historic building downtown became vacant, it made perfect sense. So I sold my penthouse in the city and spent the last year building two houses on the land. I refuse to share a space with my brother because he’s so damn grouchy. Donovan and I get along, we just don’t share the same space. Not after his accident.

The building I’m in is old and historical, with hardwood floors and exposed brick. It’s the opposite in every way to the firm I had before, but maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. Now I just need to figure out how to get rid of Rebecca without being an asshole. Mrs. Green does water aerobics at the local YMCA and guilted me into giving her granddaughter a job. I couldn’t say no because she’s practically a hundred years old, but somehow she strong-armed me. I think if she knew how unprofessional her granddaughter was, she might have spared me the embarrassment.

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