Home > With This Cake (Meet Me at the Altar #2)

With This Cake (Meet Me at the Altar #2)
Author: 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.”

“Tiffany & Co.? Like the jewelry?”

“Yup. I finally got the fondant the right color. I was practicing with it all weekend. I swear, Josie, I ate way too much cake while trying to figure out the design. My pants are very squeezy today.”

“Damn. You should have called me. I would have loved to have some cake rather than the bland vegan dinner I was forced to eat.”

“Since when are you vegan? Have we talked about it and I forgot?”

Josie shook her head. “No. I had a blind date Saturday night and he’s vegan.”

“Oh, um…how did it go?”

“I went to the Burger King drive-thru at midnight and scarfed down a Whopper in the parking lot. So…there’s that.”

“Wow. Sorry.”

“Don’t be. Even without the whole vegan thing, we weren’t particularly compatible.” She sighed. “But back to you. What’s after the cake and cupcakes?”

“We’re doing a dessert bar Saturday night and fortunately, I was able to sub out a lot of it. I’ve got someone doing cookies, someone doing the sundae bar, and then we’ll have a chocolate fondue station, plus cupcakes.”

“I’m afraid to ask what happens on Sunday…”

“I have to prepare two hundred goodie boxes,” she said wearily. “One cupcake, one cookie, some assorted candies, and a little bag of those Jordan almonds.” She sighed. “I’ve got a team coming in starting on Wednesday to start prepping and assembling as much as we can in advance.”

“Good grief, Lea! Is there space for you at their estate to work?”

She nodded. “They’re going to set up a trailer for me as well as a tent specifically for setting things up and assembling. Plus, they’re giving me a room in one of the houses on the estate so I don’t have to commute back and forth.”

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