Right Billionaire, Wrong Wedding(2)

By: Victoria Davies



The phone rang as she analyzed her opening line again.

“Allison Reed,” she greeted, her mind focused on the screen before her.

“My office. Now.”

The line went dead.

She shook her head at the familiar summons. Darian wasn’t a man who wasted time on unnecessary words.

With a last glance at her letter, she opened the top drawer of her desk and tossed it inside. She’d fix it up later. One way or another, it would see its day, she just had to bring it up at the right moment.

Pushing up from her chair, she smoothed a hand down her crisp black suit and did a quick check in the wall mirror. Her perpetually messy brown hair was secured in its usual bun, the only style that seemed to tame her volume of curls. Leaning closer, she smudged away a fleck of mascara under one amber eye, but the rest of her minimal makeup remained nicely in place. Straightening her lapels, she nodded at her reflection. Professional as ever. She was nothing if not the perfect assistant. At least for a little while longer.

Her heels clicked across the floor as she strode to Darian’s office. He’d left the door ajar for her, and she slipped into the room she had been in so many times before.

Her office was by no means shabby. Darian wouldn’t stand for that. But his domain put hers to shame. The massive corner office boasted floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides. His large mahogany desk was as cluttered as ever, despite her best efforts over the years to organize it. Today, though, he stood by the leather sofas arranged around a glass coffee table. How many nights had they spent on those sofas, combing through files? She’d lost track. Long enough for the Thai restaurant down the street to memorize their late night orders.

“Darian,” she said.

He turned, and as always, her heart gave that familiar, annoying flutter when his eyes met hers.

Damn, unwelcome butterflies.

Towering over six feet, he looked more like an actor than a CEO. His dark hair was combed back so that nothing softened the sharp planes of his face. Those chiseled cheekbones and piercing blue eyes would put any A-lister to shame. His jet black suit had been custom tailored to perfection and she nearly sighed at the sight. A man who spent as much time as he did behind a desk had no business sporting such a hard, athletic body.

“Look at this, Ali.” He tossed a folded paper onto the coffee table.

Without a word she crossed the room and picked up the paper. Unfolding it showed it was a printout of an email. Scanning it quickly, her brows rose in surprise.

“Jenny is getting married?”

“To that musician she’s been seeing for years. That’s not the surprising part. Keep reading.”

Turning back to the email she finished off the last few lines.

“Oh, Darian,” she said, fighting back a grin.

“She asked me to plan the damn wedding.”

“Well, she’s out of the country…”

“Please. You know my sister. Even if she were the next block over she couldn’t handle an organizational nightmare of this magnitude.”

He wasn’t wrong. Allison had met Darian’s flighty sister on a number of occasions. She’d once arranged to take her to lunch at one of San Francisco’s most sought after seafood restaurants, only to later learn she’d been stood up because Jenny skipped town to go on a road trip with some friends. The younger King was pretty much a blonde Anti-Darian and proud of it. Whereas the man before her had worked hard to make something of his life, Jenny had chosen to travel the world, working in whatever dive bar or retail shop she could find. Having a fiancé was probably the most stable thing she’d done in her adult life.

“She just dropped this on me,” he said. “Not even a phone call. Just a wedding date.”

Allison read through the email again, her eyes widening. “This is in less than a month.”

“Yes.”

“It takes longer than that to plan a wedding.”

“Yes.”

“What is she thinking?”

He snapped his fingers. “Exactly.”

Allison sat on the arm of one sofa. “So,” she said, looking up from the paper. “That just leaves one question. Are you going to do it?”

He turned to gaze out the window, no doubt taking in the spectacular view he’d earned for himself.

Allison stared at his profile, knowing even before he spoke what his decision would be. Darian King was many things, but first and foremost he was a devoted brother. He might go after business deals with a ruthlessness that sometimes took her breath away, but when it came to those he loved, no price was too high.

It was a frustratingly endearing quality.

“I can’t say no, can I?”

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