The Fall Bride - Page 5

“Fine. Don’t wear it.” I scoop the bottom up so it doesn't drag along the ground as I take it into the back of the store and carefully put it away.

A sense of relief fills me that Julie didn’t want the dress. Although the relief is short-lived when I return to the front of the store, and once again Tidas is there.

I’m starting to think this man is haunting me.

Chapter Four


“I forgot to drop this off earlier.” Going over to where Valerie is standing with her arms stiff at her side, I hold out the flyer for her. I swear she gets more beautiful each time I see her. Which is a lot lately. I keep finding reasons to.

Clenching her jaw, she snatches it from my hand. “What is it, a divorce coupon? Buy one get one free?”

“You know, that’s not a bad idea.” I smile, and I think she might want to slap me. It would be worth it for a touch. “It’s for the Fall Festival.”

“What?” Her eyes snap up to mine.

“Oh, you didn’t know? They’ve asked me to chair the event this year.”

“That’s impossible. I’m on the committee.” She narrows her eyes at me.

“You must have missed the last meeting.” I turn around and give the flyers to her friends before turning back toward her. “I’m in charge of letting all the downtown businesses know the details. But don’t worry.” I take my time looking her body up and down, not caring that she’s watching me. “I’ve got plenty of jobs you can do.”

“You’re a pig,” she hisses.

“I was talking about giving out candy.” When I slide my tongue over the edge of my teeth, I don’t miss the way she watches it.

“This could be fun,” one of her clients says from behind me, and I turn around to give her my attention.

“I have a feeling it will be the best one yet.”

Valerie guffaws from behind me. “Oh yeah? And how are you planning on doing that? I’ve been going to this festival since I was born, and you just got here.”

Slowly, I turn back around and place the stack of flyers on the counter next to her. “Maybe that’s been the problem all along. Doing things the same way over and over.”

“It’s called tradition.” She takes a step toward me.

“It’s called boring.” I take a step closer to her.

“It’s called you’re a jerk.” When she takes another step closer, her breasts rub against my suit, and she quickly tries to back up, like she didn’t realize what she was doing.

“Miss Schaffer, I don’t think we need to resort to name calling.” Ever so slowly, I close the space she put between us. “But if you’d like to go over my plans and make sure that everything is to your liking, I’m available tonight.”

“She’s free,” her friend pipes up from behind me.

“Good. So tonight? Let’s say six o’clock, my place?”

“Wait, I’ve got plans.” Suddenly Valerie is looking anywhere but at me.

“Take your time,” I say, backing away from her. “I’ve got all night.” Without thinking it through, I wink at her as I exit the shop once more.

Is it my imagination, or do I hear the sounds of women giggling behind me just before the door closes?

My phone rings as I walk into my office, and I glance down to see it’s Donovan. Sighing, I pick it up and answer because I know if he’s calling, it’s important.

“Hey Van, what’s up?”

“The delivery is late,” he grumbles, and I want to roll my eyes.

“Donovan, we talked about this.”

“The truck comes every day at noon. It’s noon.”

I rub my hands over my eyes, trying not to get too frustrated. Donovan likes routine, and he doesn’t like people. “What do you want me to do? I can’t very well call the post office and ask them why their driver is three minutes late, can I?”

“Mmm,” he grunts in answer and I can’t tell if he actually thinks I should do that or not.

My brother didn’t like people before his accident, but now it’s even worse. He hardly ever leaves his house, unless it’s to come next door to mine. I’ve tried to tell him that his scars will fade over time, but he won’t listen.

“What are you expecting today?” I pull up my email to see if I can overnight something in case it’s delayed.

“Cereal.” His rough voice sounds unused, because it is.

I close my eyes and lean back in my chair. “I can stop on the way home and—”

“Truck’s here,” he says, and then he’s gone.

I stare down at my cell phone and see he’s ended the call. I place it on my desk next to a stack of flyers, and my aggravation with my brother fades and is replaced by a stir of excitement. I wonder if Valerie will be brave enough to take me up on my offer tonight. Doubtful, but then again, she continues to surprise me.

Tags: Alexa Riley Romance
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