Sweet Expectations

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Book: Sweet Expectations by Mary Ellen Taylor Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mary Ellen Taylor
woman was tall, slim, and wore a short silk dress skimming tanned, very well-toned thighs. Tall metallic high heels matched gold bracelets and hoop earrings.
    Rachel’s smile froze on her face. She raised her beer to her lips but didn’t take a sip.
    â€œShit. A She Devil has staked her claim,” I said.
    Simon at least had the decency to stand a little straighter. He looked like he’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
    Margaret’s eyes narrowed. “We can’t leave her hanging. Cover me. I’m going in.”
    â€œWhat do you mean?”
    She pushed to her feet and crossed toward Rachel, Simon, and the She Devil.
    â€œWell, hey,” Margaret said as she moved to the bar beside Rachel and picked up her five. “Never seen you here before.”
    Groaning, I slid out of the booth and came up behind Margaret in time to catch Rachel’s shocked expression. “Hi, Mr. Davenport.”
    â€œSimon. Please call me Simon.”
    â€œRight. Sure.” I looked at She Devil. “Hi, I’m Daisy McCrae. My sisters Margaret and Rachel.”
    She Devil’s smile didn’t reach her eyes. She’d sunk her talons into Simon, and she was not going to let go. “Elizabeth Wentworth. Nice to meet you. But I know Rachel. We cheered together in high school.”
    Rachel’s smile turned brittle as she smoothed her hands over worn jeans and surveyed Elizabeth’s watered-silk dress. “Elizabeth. You look great.”
    Rachel and I were the same year as Elizabeth in school but I hung with the drama kids and the nerds. Rachel and Elizabeth were strictly with cheerleaders and football players.
    I’d never formally met Elizabeth but had heard stories. Passive-aggressive. Lots of lip gloss and hair spray. Dated the backup quarterback. “And you look, well, like you’ve been working hard.”
    Simon’s gaze sparked with interest. “You two went to high school together?” he asked.
    Elizabeth laughed. “Hard to believe, right? Rachel, you still work in your parents’ bakery? Gosh, she used to make the cutest cupcakes for the team. Of course, we were all on diets and couldn’t eat a bite.”
    â€œRachel and I both own the bakery now,” I said.
    â€œThey’ve done some catering for my company,” Simon offered.
    Rachel drew in a breath. I kept waiting for the perky smile guaranteed to make everyone feel as if it would be okay. Her lips flickered at the edges but the hundred-watt smile would not fire.
    â€œSo what brings you all here tonight?” Elizabeth said as she glanced beyond us to see who else was here.
    â€œMy sisters are giving me a going-away party,” Margaret said. “I’ve a job working on an archeological dig.
    Elizabeth looked bored. “Awesome.”
    Simon to his credit raised a brow. “Where?”
    â€œSt. Mary’s Church up in Maryland. On the bay. Leaving tomorrow.” Her grin broadened. “Old bones rock my world.”
    â€œSounds like a great challenge,” Simon said.
    â€œI’m working for Simon’s company,” Elizabeth offered. She smoothed a manicured hand over perfect hair. “Vice president of sales. So far breaking all quotas.”
    â€œSuper.” Margaret glanced at Rachel. We’d made fun of Elizabeth when we were in high school. If one of us were having a petulant moment, we were pulling an
    Rachel seemed to have forgotten. Whatever had fired when she’d first spoken to Simon was extinguished, and now she had a hurtpuppy vibe.
    As I scrambled for reasons to drag Rachel away, Margaret turned and wobbled, and her beer sloshed wildly in her hands. The beer splashed up all over her, Simon, and She Devil.
    She Devil arched back as if she’d been splashed with acid, but Simon remained calm. He reached for a napkin, She Devil squawked, and Margaret apologized.
    â€œI can be such a klutz,” Margaret

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