Love Walks In(3)

By: Samantha Chase

“Or else what?”

Looking over his shoulder, he replied, “Or there’ll be no letter of recommendation. If anything, I’ll make sure she never works in the industry again.”

“Don’t you think it’s a little harsh?”

Turning and walking back to his desk, Hugh sat down, clearly restless. “Don’t you think it’s a little harsh for Heather to quit—with no notice—because she fell in love and wants to run off and get married in Vegas?”

Dorothy chuckled, quickly stopping when she noticed the glare on her boss’s face. “Personally, I think it’s romantic.”

“Vegas? That’s romantic for you? We run some of the most beautiful and romantic resorts in the country—hell, the world!—and you’re choosing Vegas?” he snapped.

“Now I didn’t say that, Hugh.” She bristled. “What I said was how I thought the whole thing was romantic—meaning the relationship. Heather and Dave have waited so long for this and with his military service coming to an end, they can finally get married. And they’re going to have a baby and—”

“She’s pregnant?”

“She really hasn’t told anyone, but clearly you can see why they’re anxious to get married.”

Honestly, he didn’t. People had babies all the time without rushing out and getting married. He didn’t agree with it, but that’s the way it was. The fact that his special events coordinator was deserting him on such short notice to do it? Well, it just added fuel to the fire.

Folding his arms on the desk, Hugh looked at his assistant pleadingly. “Dorothy, we are getting ready to start a very busy season at our resorts. We’ve got full calendars. And on top of that, you know I’ve been courting a new wine distributor. He’s due here tomorrow. Heather is supposed to sit in on those meetings and come up with a presentation to convince him to do business with us. Can’t you convince her to stay through the end of the month?”

“Hugh, you’re not listening. Heather’s gone. She wasn’t giving us a heads-up, she wasn’t giving us an option. She stopped by earlier—with her bags packed, loaded, and waiting in a cab—and said good-bye. She’s probably at the airport right now waiting to board a flight. Face it, we have to come up with a plan B.”

“You’ll have to sit in on the meeting and come up with the presentation. You know what we’re looking for. You can just—”

“Hold it right there, chief,” she said sternly, holding out a hand to stop him. “That is not going to happen.”

“Excuse me?”

“There are many things in my job description, but party and event planning isn’t one of them. From everything you’ve told me, this guy is a little high maintenance and demands perfection. My idea of a party consists of inexpensive wine, cheese and crackers, and a deck of cards.”

Hugh rolled his eyes. “Dotty…”

“I’m serious, Hugh. I’m from another generation. I don’t understand yours. My friends and I enjoy going out for a quiet dinner and then playing mah-jongg. We’re not into music or the latest trends. Trust me, having me work on this would not help you in any way, shape, or form.”

Unfortunately, Hugh knew she was right. He just hated being in a jam like this, and having Dorothy’s help would have simplified everything. Scrubbing a weary hand across his face, he looked back at her. “Any suggestions then?”

“Off the top of my head? No. But give me a few hours to make some calls and I’ll see what I can do.”

“This is a nightmare,” he grumbled.

Reaching across the desk, Dorothy patted his hand. “It’s definitely not the greatest thing to have happened, but it’s far from the worst. We’ll make it work. We always do.” With an encouraging smile, she turned and walked out of the room.

With a curse, Hugh reached for the phone and began scrolling through his contacts. Surely he had to know someone who could take over the position on short notice. Hell, right now he’d even consider letting his sister come and do it. Darcy was in her first year of college back in North Carolina and he needed someone right here in California, but maybe she could get school credit for this. While she didn’t technically have any experience, she was young and social and in touch with the latest trends. Hell, her vivacious personality alone would be an asset.

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