All I Ever Need Is You(Sullivans,book 14)(3) by Bella Andre
When she was tempted to put a little space between them by sitting behind her desk rather than joining him on the couches, Kerry decided enough was enough and gave herself a silent talking-to. She was just in a weird mood, likely because she’d stayed up way too late watching bad reality TV the previous night and had started the day before the sun had even risen.
“Can I get you anything to drink? Coffee? Tea? A glass of wine? Or a beer?”
“You’re prepared for everything, aren’t you?”
For everything but you.
“That’s my job,” she said with a smile that she hoped masked her uncharacteristic nerves. “As is guessing that you’d probably go for the beer. I’ve got a locally brewed pale ale or a Guinness.”
“It’s five o’clock,” he said with a grin, “so why not? And since I’m always up for celebrating my Irish roots—and yours, too—I’ll have a Guinness. Have you visited Dromoland Castle in County Clare?”
“It’s on my bucket list,” she said with another smile before she got up to get him his drink. Again, she felt his gaze follow her across the room. She brought one for herself as well, even though she wasn’t planning on having more than a sip.
He lifted his glass and once she’d raised hers, he said, “To Rafe and Brooke.”
His simple, and very sweet, toast to his brother and his brother’s fiancée made her smile. It also made her forget to keep her guard up as she clinked her glass to his, saying, “And to giving them a perfect wedding.”
The drink was refreshingly cold in a room that had gone too hot from the moment he’d stepped inside and sent her every sense reeling in a way she’d never experienced before. The one small sip she’d planned to take wasn’t nearly enough. Not when she could definitely use something to take the edge off.
Still, she put down her glass and picked up her tablet from the side table. “It’s very nice of you to come to meet with me in Rafe and Brooke’s place. I don’t know how much they’ve told you about our wedding plans?”
“They’ve told me plenty.”
His tone made it clear that he had clearly hit wedding-discussion fatigue. Working to keep from smiling at his obvious discomfort, she said, “I’d appreciate it if you could let them know that everything we’ve already discussed is well in place for their big day. However, there is one additional element that I would like to incorporate into the vows and then the reception.”
She swiped her finger across her tablet and pulled up a picture she’d drawn of a gazebo, with the blue lake and green mountains behind it and climbing vines up the sides. “I’m envisioning having this structure in the middle of the beach for their vows. And then for the reception, I would like to move it off to the side as a perfect place for their guests to have photos taken that will be ready for them to take home at the end of the night in their gift bags.” When he didn’t say anything, but just continued to stare at her drawing, she added, “If you’re worried about the added expense, please don’t be. I know a good, reasonably priced carpenter who can build the structure—”
“I’ll build it.”
She was surprised by his sudden offer. It wasn’t that she didn’t think he could build a great gazebo for the wedding. It was that he was one of the most sought-after architects on the West Coast. How could he possibly have time to do something like this?
“Your overall design is good,” he continued, “but I’ll want to change the roof line and the stairs a bit.” Before she could even try to protest that he didn’t need to build it, he said, “Did you draw this?”
“It’s just a rough sketch so that you could visualize what I was thinking.”
“It’s a better drawing than most architects or graphic artists can do by hand. What’s your training?”
“I’m not trained. I’ve just been drawing weddings all my life.” When he looked confused, she explained, “My mother started Dromoland Weddings & Events when I was a little girl, and I sometimes needed to stay with her during the weddings when she couldn’t find a babysitter. She would give me crayons and paper to keep me from getting bored.”
“You were never bored at those weddings, were you?”
“No.” She smiled at the memory, a little girl watching all those beautiful brides and dashing grooms saying their vows, giving each other their first kiss, and dancing in each other’s arms. “I loved it.” Belatedly, she realized she’d lost her focus. Something else that never happened to her, especially during a meeting. “I’m sorry, I know you’re a busy man. I didn’t mean to veer us away from discussing the gazebo.”
“I’m the one who veered,” he said in that low voice that kept doing crazy things to her insides even though she knew better than to let it. “I was planning on heading up to the lake a few days before the wedding anyway, so I’ll take care of building the gazebo while I’m there. For now, I’ll do a drawing with my changes to run by you before I order the wood for it.”
It was the perfect solution to her new plan for Rafe and Brooke’s wedding, but all Kerry could feel was panic about having more meetings with Adam beyond this one. It didn’t make sense, the kind of breathless impact he was having on her, especially when they’d only just met. But just because it didn’t make sense, didn’t mean her heart wasn’t beating too fast or that her lips weren’t tingling from nothing more than his gaze dropping and holding on them while she spoke.
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