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“What are you getting at? Alexander doesn’t keep anything from me. He’s an open book.” Olivia’s voice wavered slightly at the lies coming out of her mouth. She knew Alexander kept things from her. A lot of things.
“Oh, really? Have you ever been in his office at home?”
Olivia looked at her, wondering why that even mattered. She never had been in his home office, and he was diligent in ensuring that he kept it locked at all times, even when he was in there. “Adele, the nature of Alexander’s business is such that he has to keep his work classified,” she explained, all the while wondering what he was keeping in that room.
“It’s not his work he’s trying to keep from you, Olivia. It’s something much bigger than that.”
Olivia eyed her cautiously, her heart beating nervously in her chest as her brain ran through hundreds of different scenarios. Did Adele know something? She was childhood friends with Alexander, after all. Maybe she knew more than Olivia thought. What was he hiding from her? She hated that she was beginning to doubt the man she loved.
“Olivia, is this woman bothering you?” a deep voice broke through her thoughts. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Simon standing next to her table, glaring at Adele with venom in his eyes. Olivia was surprised to find that, for once, she was actually thankful to see him.
A smile spread across Adele’s face when she heard that voice. All part of the master plan, she remembered. “No,” she said sweetly, her eyes not breaking from Olivia’s. “I was just wishing Olivia good luck on her upcoming nuptials.” Adele turned to leave before muttering loud enough for everyone to hear, “She’s going to need it.”
Simon continued to shoot daggers at Adele as she walked through the front door of the store. Once she was gone, Olivia visibly relaxed, exhaling a breath that she didn’t even realize she had been holding.
Simon turned to face her and pulled out a chair, eyeing Olivia before he sat down, almost as if he was asking if it was okay for him to do so. She nodded.
“Are you sure you’re okay? You look a little shaken up. Who was that bitch?”
“Just someone who is jealous that I’m marrying the man she was hoping to. But she’s only interested in his bank account.”
Simon smiled. “Money grabber.”
“Totally.” She returned his smile, finally feeling better about what had just happened.
“Well, as long as you’re okay, I’m going to get out of here. It looks like you’re meeting someone, and I can only assume Kiera will be one of them. I’m pretty sure that she’ll cut off my dick if she sees me speaking with you,” he joked.
Olivia looked at the four coffee cups on her table before returning her eyes to meet Simon's. There was a slight twinkle in his gaze that she had never noticed before. I like the new Simon, she thought to herself. “Yeah, you’re probably right.” They both snapped their heads toward the door when they heard it open, thankful that it wasn’t any of her friends just yet. Simon was right. Kiera would absolutely castrate him if she saw him standing there talking to her. And she wouldn’t even ask for an explanation until afterwards.
“Here. Take this.” Simon reached into his pocket and pulled out a business card. “In case you need anything. I’m always just a phone call away and willing to help out or listen. I’m a real good listener. I promise.” He noticed that Olivia still seemed to be thinking about whatever Adele had said to her. Good, he thought. It’s all coming together.
Olivia took the business card and studied it. Simon MacKenzie, General Contractor. He must be doing pretty well for himself if he had begun to work as a general contractor. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
Simon waved as he walked out the front door of the shop. Olivia wondered why he hadn’t grabbed a coffee. It was a Starbucks after all. She didn’t worry about that for long as, just moments after Simon’s departure, Kiera showed up.
“Libby, you are a goddess!” Kiera exclaimed, grabbing one of the cups of coffee off the table. “I barely slept last night.” She winked.
Olivia smiled. “Join the club,” she mumbled, her dream rushing back to her brain. Was Alexander the boy from her dreams? And was that what Adele inferred that he was keeping from her?
“I DON’T THINK I can try on one more dress,” Olivia pouted. She slumped into a chair in the sitting area of an upscale boutique on Newbury Street. Her bridal consultant gave her an irritated, yet contrite look.
“Come on, Libby,” Melanie said, trying to comfort her. “We just need to re-focus our efforts. That’s all. I get that it must be frustrating having tried on dress after dress all morning, but you need to have a little bit of patience. The perfect dress is out there somewhere.”
“She’s right.” Bridget walked over to Olivia’s chair and sat on the arm, hugging her friend. “We’ll find it, even if it means we have to spend every Saturday from now until August helping you sort through racks of hideous white gowns.” She gestured to an atrocious white concoction that the consultant had carried into their sitting area.
Olivia laughed. “Thanks, girls. I just don’t really know what I’m looking for. I didn’t grow up dreaming about the day of my wedding. Hell, just a year ago, I would have rather been thrown into a pit of poisonous snakes before agreeing to marry anyone.”
“EEK!” Kiera exclaimed, breaking her gaze from her smartphone. It was obvious that she had been texting Mo by the lovestruck expression on her face. “That’s a little extreme, don’t you think, Libby?”
Sighing, she got out of her chair and started to head back to the dressing room. “No. I don’t, and I’m starting to re-think my position on that.”
Kiera gave her a swift kick in the ass. Olivia turned around and grinned at the girls, thankful that she had three good friends there to help her with everything. “Okay,” she groaned. “I’ll get back in there and keep going with dresses.”
Once inside the fitting room, she stared in resentment at all the gowns in front of her that she still had to try on. Not one of them appeared to be anything she would wear. They were too big and extravagant. She didn’t want anything like that. She liked simple. She wanted to get married on a beach, for crying out loud. None of these screamed beach wedding.