Beauty (Fated Encounters)

Beauty (Fated Encounters) by Laurie Roma Page B

Book: Beauty (Fated Encounters) by Laurie Roma Read Free Book Online
Authors: Laurie Roma
the
folder and pulled out one sheet, putting it in front of him on his desk,
waiting patiently for him to sign it. “You’ll sign these papers now, and I’ll
take them with me. I fear they’ll get lost amidst the chaos.”
    Carter smiled at her. “Perfect
timing, Mrs. Potts. I think Drake could use your help.”
    “Clearly.”
    Carter laughed, then gave Mrs.
Potts a brief explanation of what was going on. Drake scowled as he tried to
ignore them. He got to work signing each page she put in front of him after he
looked it over. When he was done, he handed the pile of papers back to Mrs.
Potts. Taking the folder with her, she walked around the desk and took a seat
in one of the chairs facing him.
    “You’re a good boy, Drake,” Mrs.
Potts said with a sigh, “but sometimes I worry about you. You can’t just order
the poor girl to marry you. Tessa deserves more than that.”
    “I know!” Drake shouted. “Why do
you think I’m doing this?”
    She raised a brow and sat
patiently until Drake muttered an apology. After he was done, she smiled. “Your
heart is in the right place, dear. But the way you’re going about this is—”
    “A total failure? Crazy?” Carter
offered.
    Mrs. Potts shot him a quelling
look, then turned back to Drake. “Now, as I was saying. I think your idea needs
a little work. Would you like some help?”
    “Please.”
    “The masquerade gala is in a week,
so that gives you some time to plan this all out. Here’s what I think you
should do...”

 
    ***
    CHAPTER EIGHT
     
    The room looked spectacular.
    Tessa spent the morning and most
of the afternoon making sure that everything was ready for the masquerade gala
that evening. The venue didn’t need much, but they’d done what they could to
make it look absolutely perfect.
    She and her staff had arranged to
have the circular tables covered with black tablecloths to offset the white
plates the meal would be served on. In the center of each table were three square,
glass vases of varying heights filled with water. Submerged in the water were
blood red roses held in place by tiny opaque stones, and floating on the top
were circular white candles waiting to be lit. They’d sprinkled red rose petals
around the base of the centerpieces, making each table look simple and elegant.
    Tessa was just finishing the
final touches on a table when Eli and Jamie hurried over. “Go home, Tessa. I mean
it.”
    “Oh, but I need to—”
    “No,” Eli said sternly. “We’ve
got this. You have good people working for you that know what they’re doing.
    “Don’t make me drag you out of
here,” Jamie threatened.
    “You’re so strict.”
    “Both of you should leave.” Eli
said. “Go do...whatever it is your kind does before a big event like this.”
    Saying they would see him later, she
and Jamie looked around to make sure everything was being taken care of before
they left the building. Rolling her eyes, Tessa walked over to curb where Gus
was just getting out of the town car. “Don’t you have anything better to do
than wait around for me?”
    Gus grinned at her. “Not really.
Come on, I’ll take you both home.”
    He opened the back door of the
car for them, then he rounded the back of the car and got into the driver’s
seat. They dropped Jamie off before stopping at Tessa’s apartment building.
    “I’ll see you later, Gus. You
better prepare yourself to see that dress Kelcie got for tonight.”
    “I knew it was trouble when my
wife went shopping with you and Jamie.”
    “You’re going to love it.”
    “I’m sure I will. Hold on a second.”
    Tessa waited as he opened the
passenger door and pulled out a large black box tied with a big red bow.
“What’s that?”
    “A gift from Drake. Go inside,
Tessa.” He winked at her. “You have a ball to get ready for.”
    Tessa could hardly wait until she
was in her apartment to open her present. She’d been so busy the last few days,
she’d barely seen Drake, even though she was

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