Home > So It Goes (Twist of Fate #2)(3)

So It Goes (Twist of Fate #2)(3)
Author: Jennifer Probst

“Ms. Evergreen, I’d like to see you in my office.”

“I don’t think—”


Without looking back, he stalked out of the conference room. Eyes wide, Malia looked over at the team left behind.

Emeril pocketed his phone and shook his head. “You better get in there if you don’t want Quench to lose this account. Personally, I’m sad to lose you. This year has definitely been . . . interesting.” He exited the room with his usual flurry.

Andrea sighed. “Good luck.”

“He can’t order me around like one of his employees,” Malia muttered. “Right?”

“Sure he can. I once saw him give a blistering lecture to Robert Downey Jr. when he played a prank at his own friend’s wedding, which Mr. Matterson had personally helped plan. Then he made Iron Man apologize. You pissed him off.” Andrea stood up. “I like you, Malia, but that was not the way to inform us you were leaving. Good luck.”

She disappeared, leaving Malia alone in the big, fancy conference room.

Ah, crap.

Maybe she’d screwed up. Maybe she should have been more delicate or given him warning. But for an entire year, he’d been slowly driving her mad, and it felt so good to finally give him what he deserved.

Still, her business partners and best friends, Chiara and Tessa, would kill her if she lost this account.

She had no choice.

Malia rose on her red Manolos and headed toward Palmer’s private office.



Chapter Two

She was leaving.

Palmer knew he had only a few moments to get his shit together. After endless months of being across the table from Malia Evergreen, he’d finally formulated a plan—a plan he was going to unleash today.

Until her announcement.

God knew the woman was an expert in getting under his skin. Why was he surprised she’d neatly blown up his careful strategy with that fake smile and barely hidden glee? She was consistently two steps ahead of him.

Palmer took his precious minutes alone to pivot hard, a move often required in the manic wedding business of pleasing couples planning their weddings. He switched his brain to action mode and took some deep breaths on the three-point scale to calm the adrenaline coursing through his system. Breathe in for three. Hold. Breathe out for three.

It didn’t help.

Perhaps it would be best to let her lead and use his instincts to move in on her weakness. Her defenses would be up, but that legendary temper she loved to hide so well simmered right beneath the surface. Temper was led by emotion. Emotion fueled the soft places between the walls. Palmer would use it to guide him to what he wanted.


On cue, she walked into his office. Head up, jaw tight, she vibrated with outrage at his command, but it was the energy hiding underneath that power suit and armor he was interested in.

She was attracted to him.

Oh, she hated it. She’d tried to ignore the heat that flamed the moment they’d met and exchanged handshakes. Palmer was used to the push and pull of sexual tension. He was secure in his world, which was mostly driven by females in various roles. Many times he was the only man in the room, beginning as a wedding planner and working his way up to starting his own business. He adored women, from their soft bodies and multitasking brains to their pioneer spirits that fought back even after years of being stymied by his gender. But his interest in Malia had barely registered a blip on his radar because he rarely engaged in affairs with his work partners. Too messy.

Plus, although she found him attractive, it was obvious she didn’t like him. That fact amused him, because he was relatively charming and easy to get along with. But from day one, Malia had challenged him. Her sharp gaze mocked, judged, and found him lacking for no obvious reason. Usually, he initially met with the representative he was investing heavily with, then left it to Andrea. But something about Malia’s disregard rankled enough that he’d begun to show up for the meetings in person.

He’d deliberately embraced the role she believed him to play—the ruthless, arrogant, stick-in-the-mud CEO of a business empire. Emeril and Andrea never questioned his sudden shift in behavior, since he usually ran meetings with relaxed ease and casual humor. But he liked ruffling Malia’s feathers. Enjoyed her obvious irritation at his cold disregard and analyzed every reaction when he pushed. Enjoyed her obvious beauty and fierce confidence when she rose to the bait and argued a point, refusing to back off when she believed she was right.

Everything about the woman screamed queen. Her long, dark braids were usually twisted above her head like an intricate crown. Smooth brown skin seemed to glow from within. Her heart-shaped face and high arched brows gave her an air of elegance and a touch of the regal. Full lips had a tendency to press into a straight line when she disapproved of something—usually most of the time around him. She was average height even with her preferred sexy stilettos, with ripe curves that her designer suits accented. But it was the way she walked and owned a room that fascinated Palmer. She was comfortable in her skin no matter who surrounded her, her gorgeous golden-brown eyes never afraid to meet his straight on with a spark of challenge. Lately, he was beginning to catch her scent in his nostrils long after she left his conference room—a mix of plum and musk that seemed to haunt him.

As time passed and their meetings became a staple of his schedule, Palmer found himself looking forward to them. The sexual energy crackled between them like a summer lightning storm, yet she refused to yield. He kept waiting to grow bored with the game and give control of the meetings back to Andrea and Emeril. Unbelievably, he became only more consumed with figuring Malia out and what exactly it was about her that called to him.

Palmer had finally decided to stop the foreplay and focus on his new goal: winning over Malia Evergreen. He wanted her on his arm. In his life.

In his bed.

He plotted out his careful course and made the decision to begin meeting her one-on-one. He’d finally gotten tired of her dislike for him but figured he had plenty of time to launch his new plan. He’d intended to show her his softer side. Charm her into a date or wrangle some personal time together. Dazzle her with his sense of humor, which he tended to have when not trying to be the Big Bad Wolf, and then ease into seduction with slow yet satisfying moves. But now she was leaving, and he wouldn’t have regular access to her.

Now, everything had changed.

Palmer ignored the stab of worry that told him he might be too late and focused on Malia’s presence.

Her low-timbered voice held ice crystals when she spoke. “Mr. Matterson, I appreciate your discomfort at being assigned another representative, but I don’t appreciate you barking orders at me.”

“You’re right. Would you sit down, please?”

She blinked, obviously taken aback.

Instead of sitting behind his massive desk, he crossed the room toward the comfortable seating area where he held most of his meetings. Plush red velvet chairs and low couches surrounded a round mahogany table. He used the custom-built bar for both health shakes and the finest bourbon, depending on the time of day. The floor-to-ceiling windows allowed them full access to the view of New York City’s mighty power—where buildings competed for height and Bryant Park welcomed crowds for eating, shopping, and gathering to enjoy the lush gardens. He’d chosen this spot as Endless Vows’ hub for its central location, access to Grand Central train station, and the daily reminder he’d made his dreams come true. The other satellite stores scattered throughout Chelsea, South Street Seaport, Greenwich Village, and Tribeca were to welcome clients and create the fantasy-type wedding themes his company was known for. But his Fifth Avenue office was his haven—a private oasis soundproofed and created for shelter within the chaos.

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