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It was New Year’s Eve, and again Waverly found herself without a date. But regardless, she didn’t want to go out. All she really wanted to do was go home, soak in her oversized tub, and get caught up on her Netflix shows. Rubbing her forehead, she tried to forget what a horrible day she’d had. Not once in the ten years of being a wedding planner for Ocean Bay Resort had she dealt with a bridezilla like Priscilla. So, going to their annual New Year’s Eve event was the last thing on her mind. Unfortunately, though, her boss told her she had to show up.
Walking in the door to her small cottage, she dropped her purse and keys on the couch, then ran toward her bedroom to change out of her work clothes and into something more appropriate for the party. She sighed, scanning the outfits in her closet. When her hand brushed across a little black dress, she plucked it off the hanger, turned, and tossed it on the bed, making note of the time.
Taking hold of her hair, she bunched the long strands onto the top of her head while going into her bathroom—her gaze roaming over the tub longingly, but she opened the shower door to turn on the water. “Maybe later I’ll get my bubble bath,” she complained.
Grabbing a scrunchie to hold her hair up while she took a quick rinse, Waverly hurriedly washed, then stepped out, grabbed a towel, dried herself, and took a moment to work lotion into her skin before she went to snag her LBD and shimmied into the sexy garment. Letting her hair down, she shook her head so the curls would lay haphazardly.
With a quick touch up of her makeup, Waverly looked at herself in the vanity mirror. “It’s as good as it’s going to get,” she said, then strolled back to her closet and snatched her favorite pair of Jimmy Choo’s.
Looking at the clock, she winced and headed into the living room to gather her purse and keys. After locking the front door, she made her way down the secluded path that would take her to the resort, where the party was most assuredly underway.
Crossing over the decorative bridge, Waverly considered she’d lucked out, being able to live in one of the cottages Ocean Bay kept for some of their employees. It made her job a lot easier to be on the property when problems that needed to be solved at a moment’s notice arose.
The sound of music drifted all around her once she stepped inside the glitzy hotel, and while she was tempted to slow, she kept going until she made it to the hallway, where a few guests from the earlier wedding were talking. Nodding in acknowledgment, she sashayed past. There, outside the doors leading into the ballroom, Waverly spotted a few employees handing out hats and noisemakers to the guests going in. She tried to get through the door without notice, but she wasn’t fast enough.
“Ms. Chastain, here’s a hat for you.”
“It’s okay. I don’t need one.” She waved a hand. “Save them for the guests.”
“Sorry, but we were told everyone—employees included—gets a hat. Here, you can have a choice,” he said as he held up a shiny top hat in one hand and in the other a headband with bobbling new year numbers glittering on it.
She grabbed the headband, put it on, and said, “Happy New Year,” before turning and going inside. When the coast was clear, Waverly raised her hand to take off the ridiculous item but halted in doing so as she saw her boss walking in her direction.
Glancing around, she took note the place was packed. It seemed every guest and nonworking employee were there to bring in the new year, so she snatched a glass of something from a tray one of the waiters was carrying as they walked by.
“Well, at least you showed up,” James said. “How did the wedding go?”
“It went without a hitch once the Bride of Frankenstein shut her mouth,” she said right before she took a drink.
James’ eyebrow lifted, and his lips quirked up just a little as he said, “I know you don’t want to be here, but there are a few reasons I asked you to be.”
“Such as? Because my tub is calling my name.”
“You’ll see in about”—her boss checked his watch—“thirty minutes. Try and have fun. You might find someone…”
“To what? Have someone to kiss at midnight? Have a romp in the hay? James, please don’t start that again. You know I don’t want to hook-up with a guest.”
“Fine, but try and look like you’re having a good time. It is a party, after all.”
“Happy New Year,” she said sourly, then blew into the noisemaker she plucked from his hand.
He shook his head as he walked toward a group that just entered the ballroom.
Waverly sipped her drink and mingled, putting on a smile when someone looked her way, nodding and waving to those she knew, and then took in the décor of the room with appreciation from a designer’s eye. Deciding she might need to step up her interest in something other than the flower arrangements, champaign tower, and the silver candelabra’s, she stopped to chat with a few of the guests as well as some employees she’d worked with on occasion.
Another waiter came around with champagne glasses, so she switched her empty for a new drink of the bubbly as the D.J. started the countdown.
She felt more alone than ever as couples came together, waiting on the inevitable midnight kiss.
Waverly remembered something her grandmother once said about making a wish on New Year’s Eve. The one who makes a wish will have it come true by year’s end.
“Two…One…Happy New Year!” everyone but her screamed.
“I wish to find my one true love,” Waverly whispered as those around her hugged and kissed the one they were with.
Feeling as if the walls were closing in, she made her way towards the exit of the ballroom, and that’s when she saw her boss, down on one knee, proposing to his longtime girlfriend.
No wonder he wanted me here. She would be planning another wedding.