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A Chance for Us (Willow Creek Valley, #4)
Author:Corinne Michaels

A Chance for Us (Willow Creek Valley, #4)

Corinne Michaels





Dedication

For Jan and Pang. Thank you for loving Oliver enough to push me to write his story. If it weren’t for you, this series would have never happened. You were right, Oliver Parkerson is pretty amazing and deserved to find a love for the ages.





One





OLIVER





“Two weeks, Oliver! Two freaking weeks and we’re not even close to ready! Again! You did this to us again! I could kill you. I could wrap my hands around your neck right now,” my sister screams as she signs a sheet one of the construction workers hands her.

I give Stella my signature grin as the worker walks away with wide eyes. I’m used to her going off the rails about things. However, I’ve always got it under control.

Well, that’s not entirely true here. I don’t have this handled, but I’m not going to let them know that. I’m actually freaking the fuck out.

The wedding we had planned a few months ago we had to cancel and refund all their money because we weren’t ready to open. It was a big blow to the resort, and even though I managed to book another wedding for our new projected soft opening week, we’re still not ready.

“It’ll be fine, Stella.”

“No, it won’t. Do you see this?” she asks, pointing at the ground.

“Yes.”

“What do you notice about this?”

I shrug. “It’s gray.”

“I hate you. I swear to God, I hate you. How about the fact that it’s concrete? Are the floors supposed to be concrete?”

“Foundation is often that.”

She groans and throws her hands up. “Lord help me!”

I take pity on my twin, tossing my arm around her. “Relax. It’ll be fine. The flooring will come in, and we’ll get it installed before the guests arrive.”

The look of utter hate she sends me would make most men cower. God, she’s mean. “You don’t know that.”

“No, but I am not going to worry about it. Maren knows that the resort isn’t even open. It’s why she got the place for less than fifteen thousand dollars.”

“Yeah, a fucking wedding for fifteen grand, another brilliant idea of yours.”

“I thought so,” I retort. I’m in charge of all the special events, pricing, and adding all the little details to make something go from affordable to profitable. I never really thought of myself as a sales guy, but I’m pretty charming and was able to prove myself. One of the few talents I have, other than annoying my siblings, is planning. I see everything as a puzzle, and I’m going to use that to make us a lot of money.

At least that’s the plan.

This issue might be a bit out of my reach.

“It wasn’t. You booking a wedding as our soft opening was stupid.”

“Go big or go home,” I repeat our estranged father’s motto and instantly hate myself for it.

“Really?”

“It slipped,” I admit.

Stella sighs. “I can’t help but think we bit off more than we could chew.”

“We might have, but we’ll do the best we can. If we have to put down temporary floors or spin some bullshit that it’s all part of the rustic décor, we’ll do it. No one will know but us.”

“As if the floors are the only thing not done?” My brother Josh enters the room. He opens his folder, running a finger down a page as he reads. “Delay in the kitchen sinks, chef just fired the entire kitchen staff for being idiots, furniture leg broken on the sofa in the lobby, electrical issue in the upstairs left wing, the lighting wasn’t what we ordered for the guest rooms . . .” He lifts his eyes to me. “Should I go on?”

“I don’t know what else you’d like me to say. I booked it weeks ago and they’re paying. In order to secure the loan, we needed to show we’d have actual revenue, and booking all the rooms did that as well as allowed us to hire the chef who isn’t happy.”

“We could’ve done a wedding after we had a better plan and knew what the kinks in the resort were.” Josh pinches the bridge of his nose. “It’s just with Delia and the baby, Grayson busy with his kids, and Stella sneaking off with Jack constantly—”

I groan at that image and start to fake gag. “Gross.”

“I am not sneaking off with Jack,” she defends herself. “We’re newlyweds who like the . . . forest.”

“You like nothing about nature,” I remind her.

“I like wood.”

I deadpan. “Get out.”

She laughs. “Grow up. I’m married and have a kid. Jack and I want another, and I’m ovulating.”

“Seriously, can one bleach their own ears?” I ask Josh.

“I sure as fuck hope so.”

Stella rolls her eyes. “Brothers.” Then she turns her attention to me. “There’s nothing we can do about the delays and issues, but we have to have a plan. By us having to move the deadline up to accommodate this wedding, it cost us a lot in overtime fees. I know your intentions were good with wanting to help your friend and needing to secure the loan, but it really wasn’t good business.”

Maren called me in the hopes I was still working for my father, needing a place to get married. Time wasn’t something she had an ample amount of, so I did what I could to help her out and with the income loss from the previous wedding, this seemed like a win-win.

“I get it, but she’ll be here tomorrow and I’m not going to tell her or her fiancé that the venue isn’t ready. We’ll tackle whatever we can this week, and I doubt she’ll complain.”

“Maren and Oliver might not complain, but the people actually paying for the wedding will,” Josh adds on.

And that is the issue we’re all worried about. A soft opening is a great chance to work out the kinks and make sure that everything is in order. I know this. I’ve been a part of an opening several times. Doing a wedding is a whole other thing. It’s going to be a complete shit show. I never would’ve agreed to this, but there was something in her voice that I couldn’t ignore. A sadness that I felt deep in my soul. I had to say yes to her, regardless of the outcome.

She was desperate, and I could tell she had been crying before the call. At first, I brushed it off as her being happy to be engaged, but . . . I don’t know.

Stella grips my forearm as I start to walk away. “Wait, the groom is named Oliver?”

“Yes . . . as much as I like to think I’m one of a kind, there are other men with that name.”

“I know that, jackass. You just never mentioned his name or had her fill out the wedding sheets I asked for so I could order things I needed.”

Stella and her spreadsheets. It’s no wonder she and Jack are so perfect. He’s just as crazy about his paperwork. “I didn’t think we needed more sheets.”

“Yes, well, you didn’t run The Park Inn here. You know, the one that was featured in bridal magazines. I did. I was the one who handled it, and while I know you’re smart, I do have some experience too.”