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Authors: Len Webster

Sometimes Moments (5 page)

BOOK: Sometimes Moments
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Stepping out of the hotel, she guided him out the back and past the conservatory. Then she stopped just by the cleared grass and took out the detailed map of the wedding.

Placing the file under her arm, she held up the map.

“As you can see, Mr Reid, we’ll have the post in and the frames up in the next few weeks. Once stained—to the colour your fiancée has chosen—fairy lights will be wrapped around the rafters and lanterns will light the path and around the wooden slates. The dusk will provide enough light to see the lake as you have your first dance together.”

Saying it out loud, she realised just how beautiful their wedding would be. She looked out at the lake and let the sadness consume her chest.

Just this one time.

A laugh echoed behind her. She turned around to see him laughing and shaking his head.

“Is there a problem, Mr Reid?” Peyton asked, a little annoyed.

He let out another chuckle before composing himself and returning his hands in his pockets. Then he shrugged at her. “Of course not, Miss Spencer. The wedding sounds beautiful.”

That, they could both agree on.

After walking across the grass, she stopped at the end of the cliff and turned to face him. His grey eyes still held beauty to them, and she held the map tight between her fingers, crushing it.

“And the lake’s pier and bridge will be the place where the photos will be taken,” she said, pointing at both structures.

“I’m sure Marissa will like that.”

Peyton ignored the little pang of jealousy she felt and led him towards the guesthouses, though she wasn’t sure why she bothered. He’d grown up in this town. He knew it better than anyone else. But still, Peyton showed him around The Spencer-Dayle, ensuring that he wouldn’t change his mind when it came to the location of his wedding.

When she finished the tour, she led them back to the hotel lobby. She stood next to the front desk and stared at the amused grin on his face. Callum ran his hand through his hair before he sighed.

“So, Mr Reid?” Peyton said, cutting to the chase.

“Cut the ‘Mr Reid’ bullshit, Peyton. It’s Callum and you know it. I get it. I’m the last person you want to see—”

“You’re right about that,” Peyton said, interrupting him.

Callum flinched. “But you didn’t have to give me a tour of the hotel. I know it like I know your body, Peyton. And I know it very well.”

Peyton tensed. She didn’t need a reminder of the only man who had ever seen her naked and the only man who had ever explored her so intimately.

“May I remind you that you’re engaged, Mr Reid. And yes, I will continue to address you as Mr Reid, because you are still a client of mine.”

His burst of laughter had Peyton taking a step back. The anger within her flamed then coursed through her body. She wanted respect and he was not giving it to her. Peyton pushed the wedding file into Callum’s chest.

“You know what, Mr Reid. You and your fiancée can take your wedding elsewhere. I will not be laughed at.
I
am now the owner of The Spencer-Dayle and I will not have my hotel laughed at by you, your pretentious wife-to-be, and your friends.” Peyton took her hands off the file just as he held it from falling.

“I don’t think Marissa will like that,” he stated.

“Well, Mr Reid, I do believe that’s
your
problem, not mine. I will refund your deposit first thing tomorrow morning,” Peyton seethed, meeting his eyes and ensuring he understood the seriousness of the matter.

“No, Peyton, Marissa will
not
like that. I’m so—”

“I’d like you to leave my hotel, Mr Reid. And I would also like to congratulate you on your upcoming nuptials. It is with regret that I turn away such a wedding. But I have morals and I have some self-respect. Please find another venue to host the wedding.” Peyton’s heart beat drastically against her chest. She was overreacting, but years of bottled-up emotions had broken free from the confines she’d thought were secure.

“What the fuck did you do, Callum?”

A loud voice had Peyton turning her head to see a man, just taller than Callum, at the door. His nostrils flared and his hands balled tightly.

“Oscar, I—”

“You had one job, man! Marissa is going to kill me!” Oscar stated through clenched teeth. He approached Peyton and breathed out, “I’m so sorry, Miss Spencer. Please reconsider. I
need
your hotel for my wedding. Please don’t let my stupid fuckhead of a friend deter you. I will pay triple. Please.”

The desperate tone in his voice had Peyton taking a step back.

“What?” She looked between them both, confused by the situation.

Oscar looked at her before he turned and glared at Callum. “Bloody hell, Callum! I asked you to just meet with her until I got here.”

“Me? Dude, she’s the one who thought I was marrying Marissa. I just thought it was funny,” Callum said. The corners of his lips tugged upwards, the cockiness radiated off him.

Oscar turned to Peyton, who was still stunned and baffled. “I’m sorry, Miss Spencer. It was my mistake to ask Callum to meet with you until I got back from my meeting. I’m Oscar Coulter and
I’m
Marissa’s fiancé. Please don’t let the actions of my idiot best man cancel our booking. I took one look and I love the hotel. Please let me marry the love of my life at your hotel.”

Relief flooded Peyton’s chest. Relief that confused her further. She had looked over the file plenty of times but had never come across Marissa’s fiancé’s name. She had believed it was her client’s desire for confidentiality that had prevented his name from being disclosed to her. Callum wasn’t engaged, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t in a serious relationship. Peyton shook her head, clearing her thoughts. He was nothing to her.

Oscar’s head fell. “Marissa is going to kill me. Thanks a lot, Callum.”

“Shit, man. I’m sorry.” Callum put his hand on Oscar’s shoulder, but Oscar shrugged it away.

“Forget it. I’ll just find somewhere else.” Oscar gave her a tight smile. “Thank you, Miss Spencer, for letting us see the hotel. I’m sorry Callum offended you. I assure you, I was very set on your hotel. Please keep the deposit as remuneration for the insult my friend here delivered you. Thank you for your time, Miss Spencer.”

Peyton watched as Oscar walked back to the entrance, Callum following him and apologising. “Wait!” she called after them both.

Oscar turned at her voice, the hope sparkling in his eyes. Callum, however, didn’t turn.

“I accept your apology, Mr Coulter. You may have your wedding here.”

At that, Callum spun around, apparently surprised that she reconsidered.

“Thank you so much, Miss Spencer. You have no idea how much this means to myself and my fiancée,” Oscar expressed with a grateful smile before taking Peyton’s hand and shaking it.

“Please, call me Peyton.” She smiled.

“Then call me Oscar.” He stepped back and breathed. His brown eyes flashed with relief and appreciation towards her.

“I’ll speak to your fiancée and ensure I have all the paperwork for your wedding in a month’s time. However, I do have a condition.”

Oscar nodded while Callum tensed. Peyton raised her chin and met eyes with Callum’s. Grey and beautiful. She hated his eye colour—hated everything about him. Mostly, she hated him for having broken her heart.

“Anything, Peyton. I’ll abide by anything you wish.”

The worried look on Callum’s face was one that Peyton found pleasure in. He feared her condition, and so he should.

“I’d like it if you ensure that your best man has as little interaction with me as possible. I do not want a repeat of his disrespect throughout this relationship you and Marissa have with me. Your best man is one who I cannot stand to be around. I have some pride, and if you wish to have your wedding here, then you will ensure you control him and his mouth.”

Callum raised an eyebrow and then grinned at Peyton.

“Consider it done! Move it, Callum!” Oscar said, pushing him out the door before mouthing, “Thank you,” to Peyton.

The moment the door shut, Peyton relaxed her body and rubbed her hand across her right cheek. In the space of an hour, she’d felt so many conflicting emotions that she had no idea what to think. All she knew was that she had to be careful. If he was anything like he had been when he was a teenager, she had to be on her toes. Callum Reid was a persistent bastard.

“I
can’t believe you broke it,” Uncle John said.

Peyton leant against the steel bench of the kitchen and placed her palms on the cold top. Then she hung her head in shame. All the years she’d spent helping in the hotel and she had never done any of the hands-on jobs. Instead, she’d done the filing, booking, and anything that required technology. Working the industrial instruments of the kitchen was one of those things that Peyton hadn’t done.

“I was just...” Peyton sighed. “I don’t know what I was doing. I can’t even work a dishwasher!”

A laugh escaped her uncle’s lips as he started to adjust the buttons on the machine. “It’s all right, Peyton. I don’t think you broke it. I think you were just the first to discover the switch problem. Maybe there’s a faulty wire or something. How are you going to be able to run this place on your own without your aunt and me?”

Peyton let her head hang low. She had hardly had the job of owner for a week and she had already started to ruin the hotel.

“It would be right for you to break something.”

Her head snapped up at the kitchen door to see Jay shaking his head. She definitely didn’t want Jay’s help. She was meant to be independent, able to run and maintain her hotel on her own.

“What are you supposed to be, my knight in shining armour or something? Thanks, but no, thanks, Jay. I’d rather be in distress,” Peyton teased.

She was met with Jay’s amused grin.

Jay held up his toolbox and shook it. “Darling, I’m the only kind of knight you need in your life. Step aside, John. I’ll take a look.”

There was a muffle from her uncle before he stepped away. “Jayden, I think it may be just the switch and the wiring. You sure you don’t want me to call your father, see if he’s free? You run a busy pub, son.”

Peyton crossed her arms over her chest. It was always typical of her uncle to call everyone ‘son,’ and he was never one to call people by their nicknames. He said that it was because “a mother chose her child’s name for a reason. It is the name the child’s soul was blessed with.” Peyton was never one to argue with her uncle.

“I’m sure I’ve got this, John. You go back and make your missus a happy woman,” Jay charmed.

“All right. Well, then, I’m off. Call me if you need anything, Peyton,” her uncle said before he kissed her cheek and left her with Jay.

“I swear to God, if you fix this, Jay, we’ll never hear the end of it.” Peyton shook her head.

Jay let out a chuckle and placed his toolbox on the kitchen floor. “Actually, Peyton, it’s
you
who will never hear the end of it. Would you like to help me?”

Did he just bat his lashes at me?

“I broke the damn thing. Like you need my help. And don’t look at me like that.” Peyton uncrossed her arms and hugged her cardigan around her tighter. He made her nervous—though she had already been since Callum Reid had walked into her hotel.

BOOK: Sometimes Moments
2.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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