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Page 17 of Just Desserts (Holland Springs 4)

“I’d rather try to repair things with Christian than re-open an old wound with Kate,” he said, already deciding he would leave right after work and board the company jet to fly to the States, to the very town where the woman he adored from afar lived and waited on him. No, not him. Jules.

Liam nodded. “There’s the Sebastian I know.”

“Too bad my family doesn’t know him.” Sebastian smiled wryly.

“You’re not a bad man, Sebastian, to those of us that know you.

“Don’t you think my family—my twin brother of all people—should know that?”

“You’ve only let them see glimpses of the real you,” Liam reminded him.

Sebastian raised his brows. “Ah, but did they bother looking?”

*** *** ***

Plopping down in her office chair, Daisy tossed the certified letter she’d just received onto her desk. “Stupid insurance company.”

Dealing with them was going to be the death of her, and she only had a month to decide whether or not to go through with arbitration.

Yeah, because money was suddenly going to start growing on trees and she could just go outside and pluck off a few hundred grand to pay for everything.

Her lawyer had been the one to recommended arbitration and to get it over with as soon as possible.

She pushed the letters from the insurance company and her lawyer to the side and frowned. It seemed like every time she thought she was free, something else rose up to bite her on the rear.

It had turned out that the final six months of her mother’s life spent at the best hospice insurance could buy hadn’t been covered after all. A clerical error was to blame, and now she—once again—had to pay up.

What was she going to do?

All of her money was in her business and she had just hired some part-time help that would start as soon The Sweet Spot was up and running in its new location.

She and Isabella had decided to join forces and open a bakery/bookstore in the town. Unfortunately, the only building they could afford to rent was in the middle of major renovations. On the bright side, they’d signed a lease in time for the renovations to include a state-of-the-art workspace for Daisy.

Every time she saw the design, she wanted to swoon and tell Jules, but she hadn’t yet. She had wanted to surprise him with her new adventure into expanding her business.

Only now she wanted to go back and not agree to anything at all, which made her the worst business partner and best friend on earth.

Isabella swept into her office.

And there was the best business partner and best friend on earth, Daisy thought glumly.

Dressed in dark jeans and a lime green sweater, Bella radiated happiness as she brushed a strand of caramel-colored hair behind her ear. “Hi—oh, no. Did Glen text you again?”

A little laugh escaped Daisy. “Not since the last one, where he said he’d changed his mind and was really in love with Nina now and not Gina. Gosh, that man has a thing for rhyming.” Every so often, she would get a random text from Glen, saying that he missed her, that he’d been wrong and they needed to work things out. She had deleted every last one, and would then call Bella or Haven to tell them.

And Jules. She shared everything with Jules.

“Oh good. I’d hate to go all medieval on him.”

Daisy rolled her eyes. “What happened to turn the other cheek, preacher’s daughter?” Although she wanted to thank God Isabella didn’t have a clue what was going on. Not exactly the best business move, but what could Daisy tell her that wouldn’t send her best friend into a panic?

“I’m going for the smite thy best friend’s no good, rat bastard of an ex-boyfriend that keeps bothering her with texts months after the break-up type of thing. After all, that’s exactly what Jesus would do.”

A giggle escaped the confines of her mouth. Rising to her feet, Daisy walked around her desk and gave Isabella a hug. “I’m fine. Want a taste of the menu I’ve made for Christian and Zoe?”

The unmistakable sound of a hammer being wielded made Daisy and her best friend wince. Maybe she had moved in too soon. Renovations on the historic building seemed to be taking forever, mostly because almost everything the owner did had to be approved by the town’s historical society. The plans alone had taken almost a year. Thank God for their General Contractor.

“Only four more weeks of construction, D, four more weeks,” Isabella said.

“At least they leave by six PM.”

“You’re a sweetheart for putting up with it.” Isabelle picked up a bite-sized cucumber sandwich and popped it in her mouth. “I could eat this entire plate.” She reached for another one, but Daisy smacked her hand.

“I said a taste, you glutton.” Daisy took the plate and placed it back in the fridge, then turned to face her friend. “What brings you by?”

“Can you keep a secret?” Isabella asked, tawny eyes shining. “Peter and I are going to elope this weekend instead of waiting until October to get married. I hope you’re not mad. I mean, you are—were—supposed to be my maid of honor and all. Haven’s not speaking to me over this, but I hope you won’t take it so hard.”

Having that honor taken away was the last thing that concerned Daisy. She had a really bad feeling about this, but it wouldn’t do any good to share that with Isabella. Daisy knew without a doubt she wouldn’t be able to change her stubborn best friend’s mind.

“Haven is Haven. She’ll be back to her old self soon. As for me—I’m excited for you.” She smiled at her best friend. “When y’all come back, I’ll throw you the biggest party Holland Springs has ever seen.”

Laughing, Isabella raced around the island and gave Daisy a tight hug, then released her. “That’s sweet, but we all know that our resident movie star’s wedding is going to blow all our minds.”

Thinking about what the wedding planner had shared with her, Daisy nodded. “Fireworks and one of the big name pop acts and that’s only for the rehearsal dinner. The ceremony itself will be insanely over-the-top.”

“You’ll be famous, once all those celebrities taste your amazing food.” Isabella tilted her head to one side, studying Daisy until she flushed. “Anything I can do to help you with the insurance stuff?”

Eyes rounding, Daisy said, “Who told you?”

“Please.” Isabella waved a hand in the air. “That stupid letter has been on your desk for days, and you drove all the way to Wilson last week. On a Thursday—that’s restocking day and you never veer from schedule.”

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