Copyright © N.J. Walters, 2019
“I hate Valentine’s Day,” Anastasia Style muttered as she contemplated the wisdom of kicking the flat tire she was glaring at. If she hadn’t been wearing her very expensive, incredibly sexy red high-heeled Manolo Blahniks, she might have attempted it.
Sighing with frustration, she reached into the stylish leather handbag she’d just retrieved from her vehicle and rummaged around until she found her cell phone. As she dialed her office, she glared at the offensive piece of rubber. Of all the days to get a flat.
“Hi, Maryann.” She spoke calmly even though a part of her wanted to scream. Her normally composed assistant sounded flustered on the other end. Not good. But not surprising. Valentine’s Day was shaping up to be her second busiest time of the year. Only Christmas had been more frantic. As the owner and manager of Hassle-free Holidays, her holidays were anything but hassle-free.
“I’ve got a slight problem.” She explained her situation to Maryann and paused while the other woman commiserated. “Call Manny’s Garage for me, will you?” Her family had been using Manny’s for as long as she’d been alive. “Tell him to take it back to the garage and I’ll pick it up later. I can’t afford to wait, so I’m going to call a cab.”
She stared into the backseat of her normally reliable six-year-old Honda Civic and eyed the expensive bottle of Dom Pérignon, the huge box of Godiva Chocolates and the extravagant arrangement of colorful carnations. The carnations didn’t quite fit with the other two items, but that wasn’t her concern. Whatever the client wanted, the client got. That was the mantra for her business.
She glanced at her watch and groaned. This day was going from bad to worse. She had to make this delivery for a very last minute—but extremely lucrative—client and get to her lawyer’s office before five o’clock.
She was signing her divorce papers today.
Pushing that thought aside, she said goodbye to Maryann and punched in the number of a local taxi company. After they’d promised her they’d have a car to her location within fifteen minutes, she popped the phone into her purse and climbed back into the driver’s seat to wait. It was only four o’clock, so she still had time to take care of everything and run back to her office to make sure that the rest of the deliveries had gone off without a hitch.
Luckily for her, her office was located on the first floor of the old Victorian-style house that she’d purchased a year ago, just after she and Mason had split. She bit her lip and shook her head. She didn’t want to think about her soon-to-be ex-husband, but it seemed appropriate today.
Mason would have had a field day with this episode if they were still together. He’d lecture her on the fact that she should have let him buy her a new car. New to him meant expensive. Mason Style was a successful land developer who came from old money and, at thirty-five, he had taken over the family business and done more than his fair share to pad the family coffers. They’d met when she went to work for him.
It had all been so clichéd—the boss falling for the working-class secretary. She chuckled as she admired her new shoes. Okay, so she had expensive taste. But that was all right. She’d worked and paid for every luxury she had. In fact, these were her one and only real splurge in the shoe department. But with the divorce being finalized today, she’d wanted to feel confident and, yes, sexy.
Lingerie was her biggest vice. It was one of the things that she hadn’t had any problem allowing Mason to buy for her. Somehow him blowing a few hundred dollars on a sexy negligee that they’d both enjoy wasn’t quite the same thing as allowing him to buy her a fancy car, diamonds or…whatever.
She shivered and flicked the heater up on high, even though the interior of the car wasn’t that chilly. Memories assailed her.