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A White Wedding Christmas Andrea Laurence 2022/8/3 13:46:13

“Whatever she wants.” Colin had no clue what a winter wonderland wedding would even entail. White, he supposed. Maybe some fake snow like the kind that surrounded Santa at the mall?

“Okay. Any other requests? Would you prefer a DJ or a band for the reception?”

That was one thing he had an answer for. “I’d like a string quartet, actually. Our mother played the violin and I think that would be a nice nod to her. At least for the ceremony. For the reception, we probably need something more upbeat so that Lily and her friends can dance and have a good time.”

“How about a swing band? There’s a great one locally that we’ve used a couple times.”

“That would work. I think she mentioned going swing dancing at some club a few weeks back.”

Natalie nodded and finally set down her tablet. “I’m going to have Amelia put together a suggested menu and some cake designs. Gretchen will do a display of the tablescape for your approval. I’ll speak with our floral vendor to see what she recommends for the winter wonderland theme. We’ll come up with a whole wedding motif with some options and we’ll bring you back to review and approve all the final choices. We should probably have something together by tomorrow afternoon.”

She certainly knew what she was doing and had this whole thing down to a science. That was good because Colin wasn’t entirely sure what a tablescape even was. He was frankly expecting this process to be a lot more painful, but perhaps that was the benefit of an all-in-one facility. “That all sounds great. Why don’t you firm up those details with the other ladies and maybe we can meet for dinner tomorrow night to discuss it?”

Natalie’s dark gaze snapped up from her tablet to meet his. “Dinner won’t be necessary. We can set up another appointment if your schedule allows.”

Colin tried not to look disappointed at her quick dismissal of dinner. He supposed he deserved that after he’d done the same to her last week. Perhaps she was just angry with him over it. If he could convince her to meet with him, maybe she could relax and he could explain to her what had happened that night. He got the distinct impression she wouldn’t discuss it here at work.

“If not dinner, how about I just stop by here tomorrow evening? Do you mind staying past your usual time?”

Natalie snorted delicately and eased up out of her chair. “There’s no usual time in this business. We work pretty much around the clock. What time should I expect you?”

“Great,” she said, offering her hand to him over the desk.

Colin was anxious to touch her again and see if he had the same reaction to her this time. He took her hand, enveloping it in his own and trying not to think about how soft her skin felt against his. There was another sizzle of awareness and this time, it traveled up his arm as he held her hand, making him all the more sorry she’d turned down his dinner invitation. He’d never had that instant of a reaction just by touching someone. He had this urge to lean into her and draw the scent of her perfume into his lungs even as the coil of desire in his gut tightened with every second they touched. What would it be like to actually kiss her?

He had been right before when he thought Natalie was caught off guard by their connection. He was certain he wasn’t the only one to feel it. Colin watched as Natalie avoided his gaze, swallowed hard and gently extracted her hand from his. “Six it is.”

Discuss it over dinner? Dinner! Natalie was still steaming about her meeting with Colin the next afternoon. As she pulled together the portfolio for his review, she couldn’t help replaying the conversation in her mind.

That look in his eye. The way he’d held her hand. Dinner! He was hitting on her. What was that about? Natalie was sorry, but that ship had sailed. Who was he to reject her, then come back a week later and change his mind? He had his shot and he blew it.

As she added the suggested menu to the file, she felt her bravado deflate a little. Natalie would be lying if she said she didn’t want to take him up on the offer. She really, really did. But a girl had to draw the line somewhere. Her pride was at stake and if she came running just because he’d changed his mind, she’d look needy. She was anything but needy.

He had passed up on a one-night stand and what was done, was done. Now that she knew they were working together on the wedding plans, it was just as well. She didn’t like to mix business with pleasure.