Meant to Be | Chapter 20 of 37 - Part: 1 of 5

Author: Terri Osburn | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 7466 Views | Add a Review

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN

If Beth’s coworkers were one-tenth as grateful as their little Defeat-Wheeler team, she might actually enjoy her job. Instead of the invisible girl from research, she was the brilliant soon-to-be Dempsey. She hadn’t been called brilliant since winning the third-grade spelling bee, and being called a Dempsey meant even more.

On Anchor, being a Dempsey meant you were somebody. Beth had never been a somebody.

The meeting went better than expected, except for a brief tussle between her and Joe. Mr. Pushy insisted she explain the handout after she’d made it clear she would not be playing a speaking role. She refused, he called her “chicken” (in a whisper only she could hear, the jerk), and she relented.

If she were honest, she’d admit she enjoyed running the show for a while. Not that she’d ever admit that to Joe. By the end, they’d assembled a phone-tree-style contact list giving everyone a group of other merchants to contact before the regularly scheduled meeting the next night.

There was an awkward moment when Sam Edwards voiced the question everyone else was thinking: Why had Wheeler chosen their island? The tourist season didn’t run year-round the way more tropical locations would, and what season they did have would always face the threat of hurricanes.

As theories were tossed about, Joe remained silent. In fact, he looked uncomfortable and changed the subject at the first chance.

Had Joe’s breakup with Cassie put a target on Anchor?

Surely no man would buy an island to avenge his daughter’s broken heart. Everything Beth knew about Tad Wheeler said the man was cunning, ruthless, and methodical about his investments. Not the type to make a financial decision based on emotion.

Maybe Joe’s behavior stemmed from something else, but Beth had observed enough criminals during law school to recognize a guilty conscience when she saw one.

“So are we doing this or what?” Sid asked, snapping Beth back to the present.

She’d been staring out a window and hadn’t heard Sid come up behind her. “Oh, sure.” Beth nodded to the other side of the booth. “Have a seat.” Best to find out what Sid expected from this little makeover.

“Fine.” Sounding like a rebellious teen arriving in the principal’s office, Sid plopped down and crossed her arms over a T-shirt that read, “Life’s a bitch and so am I.” That would have to go.

“Joe says you’re interested in a man?”

“You sound surprised. Let me guess. You thought I was a lesbian.”

The thought hadn’t occurred to her, but Beth could see how the assumption might be made. “No, I didn’t. But we need to get something out of the way right now.”

“What? Are you a lesbian?”

Beth could only hope that the man upon whom Sid had set her sights was profoundly patient. And liked his women rough around the edges. “Joe asked me to do you this favor and, for some unknown reason, I agreed. But this won’t work if you waste both our time insulting me and acting like an adolescent who’s been grounded from her cell phone.”

Sid loosened her posture and rested her arms on the table. “I might have an attitude problem now and then.” At Beth’s raised eyebrow, she conceded, “Okay, more now than then. I’ll work on it.”

That was more than Beth expected. “Good. Then we’re on the right track.”

“But I want to know something from you.”

Beth waited for the question but nothing followed. “What’s that?”

Sid crossed her arms. “Why did you agree to help me?”

An immediate answer didn’t come to mind. There was the lure of a seemingly impossible challenge, but she doubted Sid would appreciate the “seemingly impossible” part. Nor would she be happy to know Beth was aware of her feelings for Lucas.

“As much as you don’t like me, I have no reason not to like you. If you were brave enough to ask for help, I can be brave enough to give it.” Seeing the skepticism on Sid’s face, she gave one more reason. “Or maybe I think you’re hot.”

Sid’s eyes went wide and she looked ready to bolt. Then Beth smiled and her opponent caught the joke. “Nice one, Curly. You’re not so bad for a prissy city lawyer.”

Not the greatest compliment, but it was a start.

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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