A beaumont christmas wedding

By: Sarah M. Anderson

One

 Matthew Beaumont looked at his email in amazement. The sharks were circling. He’d known they would be, but still, the sheer volume of messages clamoring for more information was impressive. There were emails from TMZ, Perez Hilton and PageSix.com, all sent in the past twenty minutes.

 They all wanted the same thing. Who on earth was Jo Spears, the lucky woman who was marrying into the Beaumont family and fortune? And why had playboy Phillip Beaumont, Matthew’s brother, chosen her—a woman no one had ever heard of before—when he could have had his pick of supermodels and Hollywood starlets?

 Matthew rubbed his temples. The truth was actually quite boring—Jo Spears was a horse trainer who’d spent the past ten years training some of the most expensive horses in the world. There wasn’t much there that would satisfy the gossip sites.

 But if the press dug deeper and made the connection between Jo Spears, horse trainer, and Joanna Spears, they might dig up the news reports about a drunk-driving accident a decade ago in which Joanna was the passenger—and the driver died. They might turn up a lot of people who’d partied with Joanna.

 They might turn this wedding into a circus.

 His email pinged. Vanity Fair had gotten back to him. He scanned the email. Excellent. They would send a photographer if he invited their reporter as a guest.

 Matthew knew the only way to keep this Beaumont wedding—planned for Christmas Eve—from becoming a circus was to control the message. He had to fight fire with fire and if that meant embedding the press into the wedding itself, then so be it.

 Yes, it was great that Phillip was getting married. For the first time in his life, Matthew was hopeful his brother was going to be all right. But for Matthew, this wedding meant so much more than just the bonds of holy matrimony for his closest brother.

 This wedding was the PR opportunity of a lifetime. Matthew had to show the world that the Beaumont family wasn’t falling apart or flaming out.

 God knew there’d been enough rumors to that effect after Chadwick Beaumont had sold the Beaumont Brewery and married his secretary, which had been about the same time that Phillip had very publically fallen off the wagon and wound up in rehab. And that didn’t even include what his stepmothers and half siblings were doing.

 It had been common knowledge that the Beaumonts, once the preeminent family of Denver, had fallen so far down that they’d never get back up.

 To hell with common knowledge.

 This was Matthew’s chance to prove himself—not just in the eyes of the press but in his family’s eyes, too. He’d show them once and for all that he wasn’t the illegitimate child who was too little, too late a Beaumont. He was one of them, and this was his chance to erase the unfortunate circumstances of his birth from everyone’s mind.

 A perfectly orchestrated wedding and reception would show the world that instead of crumbling, the Beaumonts were stronger than ever. And it was up to Matthew, the former vice president of Public Relations for the Beaumont Brewery and the current chief marketing officer of Percheron Drafts Beer, to make that happen.

 Building buzz was what Matthew did best. He was the only one in the family who had the media contacts and the PR savvy to pull this off.

 Control the press, control the world—that’s how a Beaumont handles it.

 Hardwick Beaumont’s words came back to him. When Matthew had managed yet another scandal, his father had said that to him. It’d been one of the few times Hardwick had ever complimented his forgotten third son. One of the few times Hardwick had ever made Matthew feel as if he was a Beaumont, not the bastard he’d once been.

 Controlling the press was something that Matthew had gotten exceptionally good at. And he wasn’t about to drop the ball now. This wedding would prove not only that the Beaumonts still had a place in this world but that Matthew had a place in the family.

 He could save the Beaumont reputation. He could save the Beaumonts. And in doing so, he could redeem himself.

 He’d hired the best wedding planner in Denver. They’d booked the chapel on the Colorado Heights University campus and had invited two hundred guests to the wedding. The reception would be at the Mile High Station, with dinner for six hundred, and a team of Percherons would pull the happy couple in either a carriage or a sleigh, weather depending. They had the menu set, the cake ordered, the favors ready and the photographer on standby. Matthew had his family—all four of his father’s ex-wives and all nine of his half brothers and sisters—promising to be on their best behavior.

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