Paris (Entangle Me Book 4)

BOOK: Paris (Entangle Me Book 4)
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Entangle Me

 

-PARIS-

Book 4

 

Maggie Way

 

The right of Maggie Way to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her under the
Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part maybe reproduced, copied, scanned, stored in a retrieval system, recorded or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2016 Maggie Way

Editing by: Tracy Vincent

Cover design by: Shea Chevarie @ Addendum Cover Design

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CHAPTER ONE

 

Grabbing the box of tissues, I groan when I realised I’ve grabbed the last one. Ugh. Somehow I’ve gone through a fresh box in the last six hours, and my nose is still flowing like the Nile River.

This flu is ghastly. I have a clown red nose; my voice is so hoarse and raspy that I think I have become a man. Given how hectic my schedule has been over the last three weeks, I’m not surprised that I look like I’m two shades away from being a living corpse.

To say I have been busy is a massive understatement, which has clearly taken a toll on my body. Ever since I came home from Bangkok, the enquiries have been flooding in. There was a wedding in Bali five weeks ago, one in New Zealand this past week, and one in Fiji coming up in two weeks. I think I’m starting to get the hang of all of this and setting myself into a rhythm - I get to plan the wedding from the comfort of my own home, and communicate with the client via phone, email, and video chat. Depending on what the client wants, Gabe and I will hop on a plane and finalise everything there. Even though it’s challenging and testing at times it’s pretty damn fun, and I’m glad I made the switch.

Now, if only my body would heal. I’m sick of being sick.  I’ve been stocking up on zinc and vitamin C supplements and drinking ginger tea to help cure me of this blasted flu, and I’m finally getting on the mend. Gabe is a massive germaphobe and won’t even come within ten feet of me, so I’ve been cooped up at my place alone for the last four days.

In search of more tissues, I get up, tightening the waist tie on my thick waffle robe as I walk to my bathroom. Taking a glance at my reflection, I snivel at the sight. I look pale, more so than usual. My nose is no longer red, but my eyes still look very sunken and bruised. My wild hair is sitting loosely past my shoulders. At least no one has to see me like this, all bare and gross. Opening the medicine cabinet, I take out the antibiotics my doctor prescribed, as well as my facial exfoliant. Turning the tap on, I fill up a glass of water, and then the washbasin. Taking the tablet first, the cool water feeling good to my scratchy throat. The tepid water rinsing my face feels so good, cleaning all the dead skin off. I feel better already. Funny how something so simple can make such a big difference.

Things have been busy with Tristan, too. The business is rolling along nicely, and growing more and more every day. I’ve even had the chance to speak with some of the other people in the team and I’m impressed – Tristan is doing well. I’m really happy for him, his hard work is paying off.

Everyone on the team is incredibly talented and experienced, far more experienced than I am. I feel rather honoured to be working with such seasoned professionals, including Valerie Perkins, his Director of Marketing with over twenty-five years’ experience. The best part - she loves chocolate too!

I’m glad things have been busy, because it’s forced some distance between Tristan and I. I haven’t seen him in weeks; we are always missing each other with our respective assignments. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss him any less, because I do. A lot.

Even though there is a clear connection between us, I know better than to pursue something that just won’t work. It’s too complicated, I’ve resigned myself to this. There are plenty of other guys who aren’t my brother’s best friend; plenty of guys who aren’t my boss.

Even if he’s the one that I want….

As I finish moisturising my face I hear a loud knocking on my door. Closing the light in my bathroom, I walk towards it, tucking my hair behind my ears.

I’m expecting my neighbour Mrs. Winkleman to be in her waffle robe with her small jar which I fill with sugar, or possibly Gabe. I am so wrong. This is one person I never would have expected to show up at my doorstep. Flannel jacket, boot cut jeans and hiking boots.

Tristan.

Breathe. Just. Breathe. This time it’s a lot harder because of my stuffed lungs.

“What are you...?” I trail off.

He smirks, “I thought I’d say hi. It’s been a while.”

It sure is. Does this guy have some special knack for wanting to see me at my absolute worst? Tristan has never been to my place before, and it would have to be the one time where it’s an absolute mess. Crumpled tissues lie everywhere, several un-rinsed mugs sit on my coffee table, a few pairs of underwear rest on the couch.

“What’s up?” I say, my voice impassive. It must be important if he needs to show up here.

“You look really sick.” he looks concerned as he looks down at my thick robe. He’s holding a small paper bag.

Just what I wanted to hear. I drum my fingers on the door, trying to act confident when I am really a mess on the inside.

“I’m so glad you could tell,” I say, my voice nasally.

He smirks. “Are you going to let me in or what?”

Why? He will definitely get sick if he takes one more step. Save yourself!

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”

“I think it is.”

“Can’t you hear how nasally my voice is? How bad I look?” Where is my foundation when I most need it?

He scoffs. “Your voice sounds the same, what are you talking about?” That naughty grin makes an appearance, and I scowl at him. I certainly don’t need to put blush on.

“But you couldn’t look bad if you tried,” he adds, looking right at me. “Here, this is for you.”

Without giving me a chance to react, he hands me the paper bag and walks right in forcing me to back into the living room. The bag is heavy.

What is he doing? And why am I suddenly feeling nauseous?

Closing the door behind him, he analyses my apartment starting with the hydrangeas, to the yellow wallpaper, to the abundance of antiques. I use the chance to look at what’s inside the bag. It looks like a box, black and shiny. I take it out of the bag and hold it up. It’s beautiful. It’s heavy and feels handmade, with some fancy gold embroidery on the top cover. I open it up and I have to stifle a gasp that threatens to leave my mouth. The most beautiful wrapped chocolates, all in different colours and shapes: gold, silver, green, red.

“Thanks, Tristan.”

He’s on the other side of the room, looking at the kitchen.

“I got the impression you like chocolate, I figured you can store your favourite chocolates in there or whatever.”

I guess he isn’t such a bad boss after all. He continues to looks up and down the living room and its timber floors.

“So, this is your humble abode.  It’s not what I expected at all,” he says.

I raise an eyebrow. “Be very careful what you say next.”

He laughs softly. “It’s different, in a nice way. And I’m not just saying that.”

All of a sudden, my nose feels itchy again and I sneeze, the thick and phlegmy mucus inside threatening to make an appearance.

“Go sit on the couch,” he looks at me, his face deadpan.

“No it’s—”

“Sit,” he barks as he walks towards the kitchen.

Groaning under my newly blocked nose, I plop on the couch as I watch him manoeuvre his way around my kitchen. Just a few guesses but he manages to find the utensils, honey and green tea. He puts the kettle on, and drops a tea bag into the mug.

I can take care of myself, he doesn’t need to boss me around. Even though he technically has a right to do so.

Breathing through my nose as quietly as possible, I sit here, secretly giddy that he’s making a cup of tea for me.

After a few moments he comes back with the tea and honey, setting it down on the coffee table. Sitting on the couch with deliberate distance from me, he starts to pour the golden syrup into the hot drink when I grab the bottle from him. I see a cut on his wrist, it looks fresh.

“No, that will just get rid of its nutritional content, here let me.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m sure.”

I flip the lid open and pour it into the spoon, eating it straight. It coats my throat in the most delicious way.

Putting the spoon down, I grab the mug of tea and blow into the piping hot liquid.

“So, can I ask what I did to deserve this unexpected visit?”

He looks at me drinking the tea. “I landed my biggest event to date, and it happens to be a wedding.”

He doesn’t have to say anything else, because I know what he means. “So that means—”

“We’ll be working on the wedding together,” I interject before he can continue.

“Perceptive one, you are.”

I swallow hard. Tristan personally oversees the big fish clients, and to date I have not had the chance to see him at work. This should be interesting…

Shrugging my shoulders, I take a sip “Sounds good, when do we start?”

“Now, if that’s okay.”

I do have that one in Fiji to finish up, but I’ll work this one and give the Fiji wedding to Gabe to take care of.

“So where’s this one?”

“Paris.”

I blink rapidly. “As in Paris, France?”

He nods. “The client is paying big dollars for us to plan the whole wedding. So first class, and all accommodation and expenses are paid for.”

Paris, the City of Lights? My dream destination? Calm down, Ryan!

I clamp a hand over my mouth, hardly able to contain my excitement. Baguettes, croissants, and the Seine? I’m there.

“I take it you’re excited, since you’re speechless. And you’re never speechless,” Tristan teases.

“We’re going to Paris?” I gush, trying to avoid sounding like a twelve-year-old girl.

He rolls his eyes. “Oh right, it’s supposed to be romantic and all?”

I didn’t expect him to say romantic. That’s not his style.

“Of course it is! It’s the City of Love.”
Oui oui
!

He looks at me appraisingly before looking away. Again I’m forced to look at the freshly cut wound on his wrist.

“I’m glad you’re looking forward to the trip. I am, too.” He clears his throat and quickly resumes a steely resolve. “I am going to warn you in advance, I am going to piss you off from time to time.”

“I didn’t need you to warn me about that,” I tease.

“I expect this event to go without a hitch, do I make myself clear?” He demands, his voice brusque.

I do a salute gesture. “Aye, aye, Captain Groucho.”

“So, if you wanted to get started now—”

His mouth pops open as I grab his hand and inspect the wound. I can’t ignore it anymore.

“When did you get this? It looks bad.”

I graze the cut gently, careful not to touch it too much. The blood has dried up, but it still looks nasty.

He shrugs carelessly. “Just cut myself a bit before. It’s nothing.”

It’s not nothing. His excuse is lost on me as I get up and go to the bathroom to grab my antiseptic and a bandage. I go back to the couch and sit down where I spray a generous amount on the cut.

How can anyone let a gash like this go untreated, it’s beyond reason!

“You really don’t have to.”  I can feel him focusing on me intensely.

“Yes, I do.”

He watches me in silence as I start to apply the bandage on the offending area. Much better.

“It’s a shame I haven’t been able to see you much lately,” he says casually but I can hear the tightness in his voice. “I didn’t have anybody to keep telling me to drink green tea.”

A soft laugh leaves me. “Well, I think you can remind yourself perfectly fine. Work’s been hectic, huh?”

I feel his eyes staring heatedly at me as I finish up wrapping the bandage, nice and tight. “It has, everything is progressing nicely. All my employees have their own backlog of clients. The most important priority is client satisfaction. I want them to be blown away by what they get. Of course that means I don’t get to be home as much—”

“I missed you,” I blurt out. There. I said it. I don’t even regret it, I just wanted to tell him. 

I peek up to see him looking slightly embarrassed. He looks so handsome like that, and I blush. Why do I have to be sick right now, why? What I wouldn’t give to have perfect make-up, a nice dress on and my normal voice back right now.

He quickly looks downwards, clearing his throat. “You know what I wouldn’t give right now to…but you’re sick.”

Dammit, he’s right! Curse my immune system. I think of the only appropriate response.

“Let’s save the fun for Paris alright?”

His eyes widen slightly, pleased with my comment. “Alright then. I think I can wait until then for some fun, can you?” 

I blush at the way he is looking at me. His mouth is sinfully delicious, oh god I can’t forget how yummy he is. I’m keen for another taste, another feast.

“I don’t think a bit of delayed gratification hurt anyone.”

Paris, here we come.

BOOK: Paris (Entangle Me Book 4)
7.35Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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