“No one blows me off. Wherever she went, I’ll make her life hell.”
I dismissed her declaration of revenge with a wave of my hand. “You can find someone else to do your photocopying and run for your lunch.”
“That’s not the point.” She stopped marching and drummed her red talons on top of my desk. “If she did take a job with someone else, I’ll find out, and I’ll get her ass fired. No one does this to me.”
I burst out laughing. “Are you fucking serious right now? What are you, a member of the mob? Are you going to put a horse’s head in her bed? Stop acting like a bitch, Josie. Now, if you don’t mind, I have work to do.”
“I’ll act like a bitch if I want to act like a bitch.” She stormed out of my office, flicking her hair behind her as she went. Thank God there were no small animals for her to kick, or toddlers to push over on her way out. Like most bullies, Josie got a sick sense of satisfaction trampling over and dominating anyone she viewed as weaker.
My brothers and I would have to discuss her future at The James Group and what actions we could take. Perhaps we could buy her out. Perhaps we could offer her more shares and ask her to retire.
My cell rang, pulling me out of my thoughts. I glanced at the caller ID and saw it was my mom. She only got in touch whenever she felt the need to interfere in my life.
Her meddling came from a caring and nurturing place, but she had to accept that my brothers and I didn’t need fixed up with a niece of a neighbor or the second cousin of her gynecologist.
With a put-upon sigh, I accepted her call. If I didn’t, she would keep calling until I picked up. That or she would show up at the office and nag me to death.
“Honey, I found the most amazing woman for you.” My mom’s raspy voice made her sound like she chewed on glass and drank straight whiskey for breakfast. “I know I said I wouldn’t interfere anymore, but she’s the granddaughter of the lady who moved in opposite me. She’s twenty-five and has an MBA in accounting. She’s not dating right now and said she doesn’t want to settle down yet. I think that’s a lie because what woman doesn’t want to settle down? Her left eye is a little wonky, but doctors can do amazing things these days. She has childbearing hips. I liked that about her.”
I groaned and ran a hand over my face. “Mom, we all warned you about this. You need to stop setting us up with unsuitable women. Remember the last time?”
“I admit that was a mistake.”
A few weeks ago, she’d caught me at a weak moment, and I’d said yes to her setting me up. Disaster. The second my date and I sat down to dinner, she revealed she was a witch—not a lie—who wanted a vial of my blood to cast a spell so I would love her forever—also not a lie.
“It was more than a mistake, mom. I’m not interested in your latest find.”
“Meh. Maybe Cade would like to date her. She’s a bit young for him, but—”
“Cade will date when he’s ready.”
“It’s been five years,” she complained. “Max needs a mom and a brother or sister. I’ll call him.”
“No, you won’t.” I raised my eyes to the ceiling, sending up a silent prayer for patience. Our mom’s desire for grandbabies was getting us into more trouble than it was worth.
“You don’t have to keep trying to set any of us up. I’ve found someone of my own.” Fuck. That was a stupid thing to say. Giving my mom any information about my love life was like giving a starving dog a bone.
“When am I going to meet her? What’s her name? What does she do? Where are her folks from? Does she want kids? Did you tell her you want kids? Bring her to the family barbeque on Labor Day. I’m making deviled eggs. Everyone loves my deviled eggs.”
“Mom, no. Goodbye. I have work to do.” I hung up and spun my chair around to the window overlooking the park and Willow’s truck. I wasn’t lying when I said I’d met someone. All I had to do was get that someone to say yes.
Stifling a yawn, I shut up the truck for the day and flopped onto the driver’s seat. I would have to hire more help soon. Jenny, my barista, was a Godsend and worked for me from eleven till five. But, I opened at dawn and brought down the shutters at dusk.
I never got to sit down or catch my breath for more than a minute. Lunch meant wolfing down a sandwich when we had a lull. Not that I was complaining. Feeding people had always been a dream of mine. My gramps had a café in the town I grew up in. It’d been the heart of Main Street and the place where everyone gathered to catch up with each other and to discuss the local news, aka the latest gossip.