Wild With You(4)

By: Layla Hagen

I trained my gaze on the bride and groom, trying to read their expressions, but out of the corner of my eye, I caught Graham smirking when I said “special day.” Was he a marriage skeptic? I hoped not, because they ruined the buzz. I encountered one in the close circle of the couple every now and then. When said person happened to be the best man, it could become very unpleasant. I'd witnessed one too many awkward speeches.

Maybe Graham's smirk was simply a knee-jerk reaction to the overload of glitter on my screen. Over-the-top wedding arrangements brought out the cynic in everyone, occasionally even in brides. But I wanted to show them the possibilities.

I flipped the image on the screen to a wedding with a vintage theme, then to one with no theme at all, just classic, timeless elegance. I had a hunch Amber would go for that one. When she pointed at the screen, and exclaimed, "This. I want something like this!" I couldn't help the pride surging inside me. "What do you think?" she asked her fiancé.

"This looks about right."

"I thought you might go for classic elegance! Now, for catering, photographers, florists, and everything in between, I work with a network of professionals. It'll be fastest if you trust me to pick the right team to work for your wedding."

"It means less hassle for us, so I say go for it," Matt said. "We should also talk about your fee."

I'd hoped the question would come later, but I couldn't skirt around it. When I uttered my fee, Amber nodded.

“How much do you think the menus would be?” she asked.

Graham talked before I could answer. "Amber, leave that to me. I told you it’s my wedding gift to you."

I was surprised at that. So not only was he putting his property at their service, he was also paying for the wedding menus? That went above and beyond best man duty. He slid a business card over the table, and said, "Ms. Connor, send all invoices regarding the menus to me."

"I will. Call me Lori, please."

"Cost is not an issue, Lori."

Amber nudged him with her elbow. "Hey! Just because you're paying doesn't mean I can't watch the menu costs."

"That's exactly what it means," Graham said.

"Amber, I promise I'll get you the best deals. Your wedding will be perfect. You'll cherish those memories for the rest of your life."

A hint of a sarcastic smile played on Graham's lips. I caught his eye and cocked a brow. He kept my gaze until I looked away squirming. So my instincts had been right. He wasn’t big on marriage... yet he was footing the bill for the wedding menus. Intriguing combination.

"I have some layouts for the save-the-date e-mail that I think you'll like. I have to see the location as soon as possible so I know what type of tent will fit best, where to locate it, things like that. Next, we'll be talking about the menu. Once you choose a few options, I'll arrange for a tasting. At the tasting, I'll also have my florist make a few arrangements you can choose from."

"Wow!" Amber blinked. "I feel like half the wedding is in the bag. I'm starting to feel like I'm de-stressing."

"Leave the stress to me, Amber. That's what I'm here for. I’ll show you save-the-date templates right now. I also have pictures of invitations."

"Sounds great. But can we get some drinks first?" Amber suggested.

Graham rose to his feet. "I'll go buy some. What do you want?"

Everyone agreed on coffee, and I ended up walking to the counter with Graham. He couldn't carry four cups by himself.

"Thanks for taking on the wedding on such short notice," he said as we waited for the barista to prepare the drinks.

"My pleasure. I'll be sending you the menu budget as soon as I put it together. Do you need a list of best man duties?"

"Amber already took care of that."

"All set to be best man, then?"

"I'd say I am." His tone was challenging, as if he was daring me to disagree. He smiled, and the left corner of his lips caught my attention. Was that a... a dimple? Moving on. I debated bringing up the best man speech, but I wanted to have a plan first, what with him being Jace's boss and all. He fixed those baby blue eyes on me. They looked hypnotic. His light brown hair was messy in a sexy way. I wondered if that was how he looked when he woke up in the morning. I wasn't just squirming now; I felt my body temperature go up.

We spent the next two hours combing through the materials on my laptop, deciding on the save-the-date text, the type of printed invitations, as well as crosschecking our calendars for the next appointments.

"Want to have dinner with us?" Amber asked after I closed my laptop.

"Thank you, but I already have plans. I'll keep in touch."