Adam was grinning as he asked, “Are you two ready for your meeting report, or have I called at a bad time?” His brother and his fiancée couldn’t keep their hands off each other, so he figured the odds were pretty darn high that he was interrupting something. And from what he could hear on their end, he was all but certain Brooke was currently throwing on some clothes.
“Hi, Adam.” Yup, her voice sounded a little breathless, too. “How was your meeting with Kerry?”
“I was impressed with her. She’s clearly good at what she does.”
“I know, isn’t she amazing? And even though she looks so perfect, she confessed that she has a terrible sweet tooth, so I’ve been sending her tons of chocolates. All of which she says are the best she’s ever tasted,” Brooke said happily. “She’s even going to be using them in her weddings from now on!”
“That’s great news, Brooke.” Adam had known Brooke since she was a little girl and couldn’t think of a woman who was a better fit for his brother. “You and your chocolates are going to take over the world.”
“As long as people are happy eating them, that’s all that matters to me,” Brooke said in her typically modest way. “But, back to Kerry—considering how beautiful and intelligent she is, can you believe she’s actually still single?”
Adam’s eyebrows rose as he finally got confirmation that the meeting had been, at least partially, a setup. Clearly, Brooke had hopes that he and her wedding planner would make a connection.
He could have told them that he’d asked Kerry out. However, apart from the fact that she’d said no, he hated to set up his brother and Brooke for disappointment by getting their hopes up about his own happily-ever-after. Because even if Kerry had said yes, nothing would have changed for Adam. He still wasn’t looking for forever—and he was absolutely certain that a wedding planner must be looking for just that.
Not that he’d given up on getting Kerry to say that yes, of course. Not by a long shot. He wouldn’t be a Sullivan if he gave up that easily on an intelligent, sexy-as-hell woman who pushed every button he had—a woman he found himself wanting with a red-hot intensity that stunned him.
Still, even if he didn’t want to get their hopes up, what fun would it be if he didn’t play with the matchmaking couple a little bit?
“You should have told me what a looker she is.”
“Did you really think so?” Brooke asked in a hopeful voice.
“Absolutely,” he agreed. “My date tonight paled by comparison.”
“Oh.” He almost felt bad, Brooke sounded so disappointed. “You had a date tonight?”
“And he probably has one tomorrow with someone different,” Rafe put in before getting down to business. “Kerry said there was a last-minute change she wanted to run by us. Did she present it to you?”
“She did, and you’re going to have to add artist to your list of her great qualities, because the sketch she did of the gazebo she wants to build out on the beach was really good. The plan is that you two will say your vows in the gazebo, and then during the reception, it will be moved off to the edge of the property for your guests to have their pictures taken. Kerry is planning to have the photos developed on site and ready to go home with everyone at the end of the night.”
“I love the idea of our guests taking home a personal keepsake from our wedding!” Brooke said enthusiastically.
“I agree about that part,” Rafe said, “but I thought we had agreed to get married in front of a campfire?”
“Before you make a decision,” Adam suggested, “let me send over the drawing so that you can see the way it will work with the setting. Honestly, I think it’s better than the campfire plan. I need to make a few changes to the sketch first, so give me until midday tomorrow, okay?”
“Wait, why are you making changes to her sketch?” Brooke asked.
“I’m going to be the one building it.”
“She asked you to build it?”
“No. In fact, she tried to convince me that she could find a reasonably priced carpenter to do the work. But I wouldn’t let her shake me off.”
In more ways than one, he thought, as an idea came to him based on what Brooke had said earlier: Kerry had a sweet tooth. And Adam wasn’t beyond taking advantage of that fact.
“That’s amazing of you to offer—”
“Let me know what you think after I send over the drawing tomorrow, and if you do choose the gazebo, I’ll be the one building it,” he said, deliberately cutting off his future sister-in-law’s protests. Sure, he was busy with work. But he was never too busy to pitch in for his family. “Now I’m going to hang up so that the two of you can get back to whatever you were doing that had you so out of breath when I interrupted you.”
Adam could hear his brother laughing as he hung up. Hell, he’d be laughing too if he were heading to bed with a beautiful woman, rather than to an empty one.
All the more reason to get going on the plan he’d just hatched to get Kerry to reconsider that date with him.
* * *
A beautiful little silver box was delivered to Kerry the next day. Though she recognized the logo as belonging to a great local bakery, she still wasn’t prepared for the absolutely gorgeous miniature cakes inside—one with a fondant bow-tie on top, the other with a lacy wedding veil made of icing. The thought of not promptly gobbling them down was laughable. Because, just as she’d said to Adam Sullivan at the end of their meeting, there were certain things she absolutely never said no to—cake being very high on the list—even if it meant she’d already ruined her lunch at nine in the morning.
Thought it had come as a total surprise, she was glad that the local bakery had sent her this out-of-the-blue reminder about how good they were. She hadn’t used them for a wedding in far too long, and she decided to rectify that immediately. No question, sending her miniature cakes was a far better idea than a phone call or email from them would have been. Wedding cakes needed not only to taste delicious, but to look amazing, too. This perfect little sample had nailed it on all fronts.
She was in the middle of typing a thank-you email to the owner of the bakery when Joe, her regular delivery man, came rushing back into her office. “I can’t believe I forgot to give you this.” Though she assured him that no harm had been done, there was something about the handwriting on the note he handed her that had her wondering if that no harm sentiment was really going to be true.
Because, as she slid her finger beneath the flap of the envelope, she had the strangest feeling...
You know how many siblings and cousins I have, so I’m sure you can guess how many weddings I’ve been to in the past few years. I’m sure you already work with all the best bakers in Seattle, but I figured I’d send over something from one of my favorites.
I’ll email you my changes to the gazebo drawing later today.
Enjoy the cake,
Her heart started to pitter-patter before she could stop it. Romance was her job. She often found herself giving gentle tutoring to her grooms on how to continue wooing their brides both before and after the wedding. She knew all the tricks, and yet this wooing was just subtle enough, and sweet enough, to get over even her walls.