With This Cake (Meet Me at the Altar #2) by Samantha Chase



Chapter 1


Sugar, spice, and everything nice.





It was 8:05 on Monday morning and Leanna Baker was already stressed.

Not a great way to start the week…

Oh, she was still singing along to the radio–Katy Perry was one of her favorites–but even her upbeat chorus of Firework wasn’t helping this morning. As she pulled up to the Meet Me at the Altar office, the only thing keeping her sane was the fact that one of her business partners and best friends, Skye, was back from her honeymoon and they were going to hear all about it over breakfast.

Which Leanna was currently juggling.

Climbing from her car, she almost sagged with relief when Josie, her other business partner and best friend, came walking over to help her.

“Good morning,” Lea said, feeling a little breathless as she started handing things to Josie. “Sorry I’m late.”

“Late? It’s only eight o’clock.”

“8:09 to be exact.”

Groaning, Josie took the tray with their coffees and then the bag of bagels from Lea. “Stop being such a stickler for crap like this. Skye’s not here yet and no one’s waiting on us, so relax.”

Easy for her to say, Lea thought. She hadn’t been harassed all weekend by her bridezilla cousin, Charlene.

They walked into the office and set their breakfast up at the conference table like they did every Monday morning. “Have you heard from Skye since they got back?”

“Only a text thanking me for watering the plants and for handling the appointment with their electrician last week. As far as I can tell, she should be here any minute.”

“Good. Good. That’s good,” she murmured as she moved around grabbing napkins and knives for the bagels. It was their standard menu for their weekly meeting and Lea could probably have it all set up blindfolded, but she found a certain amount of peace in the mundane task.

“What’s going on with you?” Josie asked after a minute.

“What do you mean?”

“You’re scurrying around here and you’re acting a little twitchy. What’s up?”

Maybe she’d feel better if she just talked about it–especially before Skylar arrived and the conversation turned to how deliriously happy she was and about her fabulous honeymoon.

Grabbing her chair, she collapsed on it. “My cousin is a nightmare,” she blurted out. “Like the worst bridezilla I’ve ever dealt with! I thought it wouldn’t be so bad for this engagement extravaganza, but it just keeps growing and taking on a life of its own and it’s too late for me to get out of it!” Slouching down in her seat, she let out a long breath. “Oh my goodness. It feels so good to say that out loud!”

Taking the chair opposite her, Josie gave her a sympathetic smile. “Okay, if you’re unable to say something positive, then I know there’s a problem. What can I do to help? Seriously, just name it and I’m there for you.”

“Thanks, but…I think I finally have it all worked out, I’m just going to have to make sure I have several backups ready just in case.”

“Why?”

Sitting up straighter, she explained. “It’s a four-day event–Thursday to Sunday. Thursday afternoon, people will start to arrive at the groom’s family estate in Chapel Hill. There’s going to be a casual dinner–they’re having some famous pitmaster come in and do a barbecue for them. I’m doing the cupcakes for dessert. A hundred of them.”

“Yikes! Isn’t this just an engagement party?”

She nodded. “Yup. There’s fifty people confirmed for Thursday and then another fifty coming in Friday and then an additional hundred for Saturday and Sunday.”

“Seems a bit excessive for an engagement. I can only imagine what the wedding is going to be like.”

“It’s going to be a three-ring circus, I imagine. Fortunately, I’m only doing the cake for that one…but it’s going to be like nothing I’ve ever done before. They’re expecting five hundred people. Can you imagine? It’s going to be a six-tiered cake with two giant cupcake towers on either side. Just thinking about it gives me a headache.”

Josie nodded. “Okay, but back to the weekend thing. You’re doing cupcakes for Thursday night. What about the rest of the weekend?”

“Friday night will be more of the same–lots and lots of cupcakes–plus a cake. All Tiffany & Co. themed.”