Right Billionaire, Wrong Wedding(8)

By: Victoria Davies

“Show me your city venues.”

Molly’s smile slipped slightly. She flipped another two pages and started explaining the benefits of the alternative locations she had in her arsenal.

Darian listened for a moment before shaking his head. “These places are too small. I require somewhere that feels luxurious.”

“For a larger wedding party I’m afraid my usual venues are booked up,” she said. “Most locations take reservations months in advance. I’d be happy to see if I could pull some strings and get you a wonderful location in the spring.”

Told you. Allison bit back the words. Finding the right venue wouldn’t be an easy project.

Darian leaned back, steepling his fingers. “It has to be this October,” he replied. “My sister will be moving soon after. I’m sure you can come up with a creative solution.”

The wedding planner looked skeptical. “There are a limited number of appropriate venues in the city. Short of a cancellation coming through, I’m not sure what you’d like me to do.”

“Why don’t we give you some time to come up with a few location suggestions,” Allison said, trying to keep the peace. “Tell us about the menu and flower selections you have available.”

Molly shot her a grateful look. “Yes, of course. Our normal catering companies are quite booked as well but there is one agency that I’m sure would be able to squeeze you in. They do wonderful finger food. Lots of Asian fusion flavors.”

“My sister has been living in France. We will have traditional French flavors and a sit down meal at the reception.”

Molly pursued her lips. “I’m not sure that will be possible.”

“Flowers,” Allison cut in, predicting the way Darian’s thoughts would be running. “Tell us about our flower choices.”

“You’ll have more flexibility there. My florist has regular shipments, though this time of year you’ll probably be seeing a lot of calla lilies or chrysanthemums. The fall flowers are wonderful for earth-toned wedding themes.”

“Peonies are Jenny’s favorite flower.”

Both women sighed.

“Mr. King, I apologize, but I am not a miracle worker,” Molly said. “I would love to create a special event for your sister, but I would ask you to temper your expectations slightly. Then I’m sure we can find middle ground that your sister will appreciate.”

A slow smile crossed Darian’s face, one Allison had seen in many a boardroom. “My dear Ms. Moreau, I do not temper expectations. Ever. I think we are done here.” He pushed to his feet.

Molly’s mouth dropped open. “I assure you, Mr. King, I am the premier wedding planner in the city. If anyone can pull off this wedding in so little time, it’s me.”

“There are always alternatives, Ms. Moreau. Good day to you.” Darian headed for the door.

“Dammit,” Allison muttered. She fished her card from her purse then held it out to the shocked planner. “Get together some figures and a plan, and email me.”

Grabbing her purse, she dashed after her boss.

Darian had pressed the elevator button half a dozen times before Allison caught up to him.

“Were you going to leave me?” she demanded, racing up to his side.

He looked down at her. “Of course not.”

Her soft scoff told him clearly she didn’t believe him. He ran a hand over his jaw so that she wouldn’t see him smile. Not many people in his life dared contradict him, but Ali had never had a problem speaking her mind.

Not to him.

“Ready to walk me through your thought process back there?” she said, crossing her arms. “That woman really is the best in the city. We were lucky to see her today.”

He sighed. “I know.”

Allison shook her head as the elevator doors opened. “Well, we’ve got the other numbers. We can interview a few more planners. Maybe you’ll like one of them better.”

A knot twisted in his chest. “Do you think they’ll tell us anything different?”

She wouldn’t meet his gaze as they stepped into the elevator. A sure sign she agreed but didn’t want to admit it.

“You knew planning a wedding in a month would be an impossible task,” she pointed out. “At least a large scale society affair. Something’s got to give, Darian.”

He stood silently as the elevator began its descent.

“Hey.” She reached out to put a hand on his arm. His arm tensed at the simple touch, and he stared down at her slender fingers. It wasn’t often she touched him freely, but when she did, something uncoiled inside of him.