Beauty (Fated Encounters)

Beauty (Fated Encounters) by Laurie Roma Page A

Book: Beauty (Fated Encounters) by Laurie Roma Read Free Book Online
Authors: Laurie Roma
business dinners and other work
events, using her social skills to smooth over questions he didn’t hear or
changing the subject to mask the problem if he’d missed part of the conversation.
She did so with such style and grace that no one seemed to notice. More than
that, since they’d started officially dating, she’d managed to completely
change his public image. Tessa seemed pleased with the progress. She wanted
people to see him as she did, to see the good in him, but he didn’t really
care.
    As long as he had Tessa’s love,
that was all that mattered to him.
    With the planning portion of the
masquerade gala complete, Drake didn’t have any reason to participate any
longer, leaving the final details in Tessa’s capable hands. Although they lived
their separate lives during the day, their nights had been filled with love and
passion that left him astounded. Since the gala was only a week away, Tessa was
busy seeing to the final preparations for the event.
    She was a nervous wreck, and so
was he...just not for the same reasons.
    He and Tessa had formed some sort
of mutual truce when it came to talking about the future. For Drake, it wasn’t
that he didn’t want anything long-term. In fact, it was just the opposite. Hell,
he loved her, why wouldn’t he want to make a commitment to her? Tessa’s face
was the last thing he wanted to see before he went to bed, and the first thing
he wanted to see each morning when he woke. The love he felt for her seemed to
grow every day, and he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
    He would tell her...just as soon
as he figured out a way to write this fucking letter.
    “Drake? Do you have a minute
for...holy God.”
    Drake looked up and glared.
Carter Soto wheeled into the room, and the expression on the man’s face was one
of pure shock. He moved his wheelchair closer to the desk, crunching over the
papers strewn all over the floor. “Is this some sort of eco-terrorist threat
that is supposed to help boost the technology sector? Because I gotta tell you,
with the amount of trees you’ve killed, you’ve got a good start.”
    “Funny,” Drake said dryly. “I’m
busy. What do you want?”
    “It can wait. What the hell are
you doing?”
    “I’m...shit.” Drake picked up the
paper in front of him. He violently crumbled it into a ball and threw in on the
floor with the others. Shoving his hands into his hair, he tugged at it out of
sheer frustration. “I’m trying to write Tessa a letter.”
    There was a long pause before
Carter spoke. “By hand? Why in the world would you want to do that?”
    “Because. It’s supposed to be
romantic, damn it.”
    Carter leaned over and reached
down to pick up one of the balls of paper on the floor. He took his time
smoothing it out, then read the words on the page. “This is supposed to be
romantic? Jesus, Drake. This is a written order telling her to marry you. You
call this a proposal? Epic fail, man. Epic.”
    “That was just one of the
drafts,” Drake said defensively, then his shoulders slumped. “You’re right. What
the fuck was I thinking? I wanted to do something special for her. Tessa
believes in fairy tales and the happily-ever-after. I just wanted to give her
that...but I have no clue how.”
     Carter’s expression was
sympathetic, but his eyes were alight with humor when he said, “Well, this is
one way to do it. Have you considered just asking her?”
    “Of course I have,” Drake
snapped.
    “I like Tessa,” Carter said. “She
obviously loves you. I don’t think you have to go through all this just to get
her to say yes.”
    Mrs. Potts walked through the
open doorway carrying a folder containing a few papers for Drake’s signature.
Wisely, she held on to the folder with a tight grip as she made her way to his
desk. “Drake, I need your signature on these.”
    “Fine. You can leave the folder
with me. I’ll bring it to you after I get to it.”
    “Absolutely not.” She opened

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