Love Walks In(4)

By: Samantha Chase

“Now I know I’m getting desperate,” he muttered. Pulling his eighteen-year-old sister out of school was not the solution to this. Although…

The buzzing of the phone in his hand brought him out of his reverie. His brother Aidan’s face showed up on the screen and Hugh almost wept with relief. A distraction was exactly what he needed right now.

“Aidan! What’s up, man? You don’t normally call midday.”

“You know, you use that greeting on me no matter what time I call,” he replied with a chuckle. “Is there a time slot when I’m supposed to call that I don’t know about? Did I miss the spreadsheet?”

Hugh couldn’t help but smile. He knew Aidan was right. He should be thankful for a friendly voice on the phone and not nitpick about when it came. “Sorry, bro. You just always seem to catch me off guard.”

“Maybe let your guard down every once in a while. Live a little.”

“Ha! This coming from the king of control. Nice!”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…once upon a time that was me. Clearly I’ve passed the torch on to you.”

“Whatever. So what’s going on? Everyone okay?”

“Yeah, everyone’s fine. I wanted to talk to you about…um…well, Zoe and I were thinking of having a destination wedding. And the more we talked about it, the more we figured who better to get advice from than you. So? What do you think?”

“Wow! So you’re ready to start making plans? That’s great! I didn’t realize you were there yet.”

“If it was up to me, we’d be married already. Zoe wanted us to settle in and spend time getting to know each other more, and get her business off the ground before we started planning a wedding.”

“So she’s ready to branch out on her own? What about Martha?”

“She’s still going to do stuff with Martha, but it’s going to be more like a partnership. Martha deals more with commercial accounts and Zoe really enjoys doing residential. They’ve been playing around with the idea for a while, and they’re going to give it a trial run.”

“How do you feel about it?”

Aidan chuckled. “I want Zoe to be happy and she’s much happier being her own boss and choosing her own clients. So we’ll see how it all goes. But that’s a story for another time. We want to talk to you about options for the wedding. We want to meet with you and your event person and figure out which resort fits our needs and what the availability is. I think it would be great for the family.”

“What do you mean?”

“Hugh…when was the last time Dad went anywhere?”

Too long ago. “Okay, stupid question. Sorry. So this is your way of forcing him to break out of his rut.”

“He’s been making progress since Darcy left for school but…baby steps. He goes bowling with the guys once a week, he went fishing last weekend with the same group.”

“For him, it’s huge. At least he’s spending time with friends.”

“Yeah, but it’s still… He’s still sticking close to home. You travel. Riley travels. Hell, even Owen travels. But Dad?”

“And you.”

“Fine. I don’t travel either. So it will be good for a few of us. Happy?”

Hugh laughed. “Extremely.”

“Okay, so who do we need to talk to and what’s your schedule like? Zoe and I are open to flying to wherever you are so we can talk in person.”

“Here’s the thing—I’m happy for you guys. I really am. You’ve just caught me at a bad time.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were busy. Why didn’t you cut me off? You can call me later or—”

“No, no, no. That’s not what I mean. I mean it’s a bad time—my events coordinator just quit and I don’t have a replacement lined up.”

“Is that all?”

“Is that all?” Hugh repeated incredulously. “It’s huge! We have a lot of events scheduled and without someone overseeing them, it could be a disaster!”

“She wasn’t your only event coordinator, Hugh. I mean that would be…”

“Shut up.”

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