The Billionaire's Second-Chance BrideBy: Shadonna Richards
“We’re being sued for how much?” Lucy Shillerton asked over the speakerphone. Her jaw fell open. She could feel the air being sucked out of her lungs. She dared not take a breath.
“Twelve million dollars.” The voice sounded cold on the other end of the phone.
Lucy closed her eyes and placed her hand on her forehead. Her heartbeat pounded fiercely in her throat.
Twelve million dollars? My life is so over.
She was dead.
She was so dead and it wasn’t even funny.
She could not believe her burning ears. Her company could never recover from a civil suit of that magnitude. Heck, it couldn't recover from a twelve thousand dollar suit. Her insurance alone would fly through the roof! Lucy hunched her shoulders as she sat down in her leather chair at Dream Weddings Inc. Welcome to your new, and possibly the last, job as its CEO.
It hadn’t been six months since her eccentric late aunt left her the business in her will to take over and Lucy barely knew said auntie. And now?
How in God’s name had she gotten herself into this business?
Why didn't she contest her aunt’s will?
For all she knew, Lucy didn’t even believe in the institution of marriage. Her own father had left her mother for his secretary when Lucy was in her teens. Later, her mother, who had suffered from a rare congenital heart defect, died of a broken heart. Then, just when Lucy was about to embark on happiness with Jeff Samuels, her first and only love, he perished in a car crash two years ago—along with his mistress, apparently. So much for happy endings. It seemed as if Dream Weddings was nothing more than nightmare weddings for her now.
“Okay, let me get this straight. We’re being sued by the bride and groom-”
“No, dear. The parents of the bride and the parents of the groom are suing the company for endangerment.”
“But it was their dream wedding. We warned them about the dangers of bungee jumping off a bridge while screaming their vows. It’s all written in the disclaimer, Mr. Petri. We can’t possibly be liable. I’m truly sorry that the bungee jump off the bridge didn’t go as planned but-”
“Sorry, Lucy. You’re a sweet girl. You really are but such are the dangers of running a business like Dream Weddings. These days brides and sometimes the grooms want to go all out to have the most unusual adventurous nuptials, and they don’t think about the consequences or the risks involved.”
Lucy was beset with a massive headache at that moment. She rubbed her throbbing temples while talking on the speakerphone of her new corner office. The headquarters of Weddings Inc. was situated near the lake on Front Street in Toronto’s artsy business district. The loft-style office was on the top floor of a four-story building and had the shiniest hardwood flooring she’d ever stepped on. The walls were adorned with the coolest artwork she’d ever seen. Apparently, her elusive actually great-aunt, who really knew how to decorate, had won some lottery draw in the province and invested in helping others secure the weddings of their dreams. The company was previously called Weird Weddings Inc., then it was changed to Have It Your Way Weddings, but her aunt received some sound legal advice about changing its name. If Lucy could have it her own way, she wouldn’t even be in this situation right now.
This whole scenario was getting weirder by the moment.
Regardless, Lucy would always be eternally grateful to her aunt for sending her some of her winnings so that she could secure her own place and finish her studies. That was so kind of her, even if they weren’t close. Her aunt was ever-so-elusive and travelled considerably. The saving grace was that her aunt’s assistant, Maxine Summers, who knew the business very well, still stayed on after Lucy took over.
It wasn’t as if Lucy currently had much of a life..She wasn’t in touch with her father, had very few friends and rarely went out. She recently graduated with her Masters in Philosophy and Psychology and was about to complete her PhD. Since teaching jobs at area universities were scarce it seemed like a blessing in disguise at the time to have this opportunity to turn over her aunt’s business and perhaps complete her studies later.
At twenty-nine, Lucy wasn’t exactly a social animal but she really needed to get a life. A proper one.