Authors: Samantha Chase
William Montgomery did not get to be the financial success story that he was by not being observant. Sitting in his grand office suite he made sure that his position allowed him to take notice of everything going on around him.
For instance, right now he had all three of his sons in the office; it was something that didn’t happen p
articularly often. Sure, Mac and Jason worked with him daily but his third son Lucas? Well, it was like reeling in a reluctant fish to get him into the office. William usually had to put his foot down about once a month to get Lucas out of hiding and to come in and take care of business. By the scowl on his son’s face, William knew that he hated every minute he was forced out of his self imposed exile.
Lucas was his youngest son and the only one who vowed to never join the corporate world that had earned the Montgomery’s their fortune. Unfortunately, Lucas’s career in the NFL was cut short by a knee injury. While his son could have continued to work within that industry, he decided to turn his back on it and go into hiding; his injury was
more than just physical, it had clearly messed with him emotionally as well.
William’s attention was momentarily diverted as his assistant walked into the room. Emma Taylor was like a ray of sunshine. When his long-time assistant had retired two years ago, William had worried about how he would function without her. But the young and eager junior assistant had stepped in to fill those shoes and now they worked together as if they had for far longer.
Emma walked across the room and handed Mac his coffee with a smile; next she headed over to Jason with the same serene look on her face. Both of his sons smiled absently in return and William had to stop himself from snickering in amusement. It would take a bomb to distract either of them from their work.
Now Emma approached Lucas. This part always had William sitting a little bit forward in his seat. She always saved Lucas for last. Her approach was slow, as if she was waiting for him to notice her. When he finally looked up, she gave him one of her most beaming smiles with a whispered, “Here’s your coffee, Lucas. Black, two sugars, right?”
William chuckled softly. For almost two years she had been bringing Lucas his coffee and there was no need for the reminder on how he took it. This was all part of what had become a routine part of their monthly conversation.
“Thank you, Emma,” Lucas said quietly, a small smile crossing his normally stern face. William liked to see his son smile; he didn’t see if often enough. Beside the fact that Lucas had pretty much removed himself from the normal life as
much as possible, even when William got him to engage with the family he was often quiet and sullen. Seeing this brief look of happiness was something that William looked forward to.
It wasn’t good for Lucas to live the way that he was – cut off from everyone and everything. He needed to move on from his disappointment over losing his career and work on rebuilding his life and his future. William looked at Emma again and the way that she snuck one last glance
at Lucas as she headed back to her desk and how once her back was turned, Lucas looked up in her direction.
William Montgomery did not get to be a financial success story that he was by not being observant. He knew the art of negotiation and was a genius in the boardroom. How much different could playing matchmaker be?
If there was one thing that Emma Taylor craved it was a vacation. She wasn’t even overly picky about the destination; it was just an overwhelming need to get away for bit. Glancing at her calendar she knew that she had time coming to her, it was just a matter of picking the time that would work best for her and Mr. Montgomery, Sr.
Sighing, she put the calendar away. It didn’t matter how much she needed to get away, there always seemed to be something coming up around the office that required her attention and for some reason, her boss felt that she was the only one who could handle it. Emma supposed she should be flattered that he held her in such high regard; however, her mental state of mind was slowly getting the better of her. Something had to give and soon.
“Emma, my dear, I am heading out,” William Montgomery bellowed as he exited his office with his wool coat draped over one arm and his briefcase in the other hand. “I’m taking Monica up to the mountains for a long weekend. Do we have everything under control here?”
“Yes, sir,” she replied with a smile. He really was a wonderful man to work for and Emma absolutely adored how he still made time to get away with his wife of
nearly 40 years. You didn’t often still see a couple so in love after so many years; Emma’s parents certainly hadn’t been. She quickly caught herself before she got too caught up in her own reverie and returned her attention to her boss. “Everything is fine here; you go and enjoy your weekend and tell Mrs. Montgomery that I said hello.”
“She loved those brownies you sent home with me last week. She asked if you might consider baking some extra batches around Christmas for us.”
“It would be my pleasure.” Baking was more than a hobby for Emma; it was a bit of a passion that she indulged in whenever she had the free time. She knew for a fact that her friends and co-workers appreciated it and that just made her enjoy it even more. “Tell her to let me know when she wants them for and I’ll be sure to get them to her.”
“You’re a treasure, Emma,” he smiled. “Someday you’re going to make some man very happy!” While Willia
m was far from being an old man at the age of 65, he sometimes talked like one.
“From your lips to God’s ears,” she said with a wink.
Clearing his throat, William looked around the office and then leaned in toward Emma slightly, his tone of voice dropping to a near whisper. “There’s a project that I’m working on that I don’t really want to involve the boys in just yet,” he began. “A courier will be bringing by some paperwork either tonight or tomorrow so please call me when they arrive.”
It was a bit of a struggle to keep the surprise off of her face. Mr. Montgomery never did anything that didn’t involve his sons. Her curiosity was piqued but she managed to keep it to herself. “Not a problem, sir. I’ll let you know as soon as they arrive.”
“That’s my girl,” he said as he straightened and then looked as if he was carefully considering his next words. “You know, we really are caught up on everything around here so, if you’d like, once the courier comes by with those papers, why don’t you take off?”
Emma was stunned silent. How could he know that she had just been dreaming of a little time off? “Really? But what if he shows up this afternoon?”
“Then leave this afternoon,” he said simply. “Rose is more than capable of covering for you and like I said, it’s not like anything major is going on. It will be fine. You go and enjoy yourself; do something fun. Maybe go out of town for the weekend!”
, she sighed inwardly and then smiled up at him. “I will certainly give that thought some consideration,” she said and was rewarded with one of his infectious grins.
“Be sure that you do, Emma. Everyone needs a little time away once in a while.”
She couldn’t agree more. With a smile and a wave, Emma wished him a safe trip and promised to call as soon as the courier arrived with his papers. Once she was sure he was out of sight, she allowed herself to slump in her seat. An extended weekend. A quick glance at her watch showed it was barely eleven o’clock. It would be wonderful if the courier arrived within the next couple of hours so that she could be leave the office by two.
What to do? What to do?
She thought to herself. For all of her longings and desire to get away, Emma had never really taken the time to think of where she’d want to go. The first thing to pop into her mind was the mountains because that’s where Mr. Montgomery was going. She’d heard him describe his family’s massive home there and if she were honest, she’d admit that it was someplace that she’d want to see one day.
The thought of the Montgomery family had Emma sighing. They were so fortunate; not just because of their wealth and success but because they had one another. As an only child of very self-absorbed divorced parents, Emma had always longed for a big family. While she knew that she was essentially stuck with the
family that she had, she truly hoped that someday she would marry into a big family.
And then the image of the ideal man came to mind.
Looking over her shoulder to make sure no one was watching, Emma allowed herself a moment to just lose herself in the thought of what it would be like to marry a man like Lucas Montgomery. He was strong and handsome and quiet and hardworking – in Emma’s opinion he was the perfect man. His once a month visits to the office were the
highlights of Emma’s month.
And wasn’t that just sad.
The man barely spoke to her whenever he was here but Emma was comforted by the fact that he barely spoke to anyone. Ever. Another small sigh escaped her lips. Everyone knew the story of Lucas’s football career and the injury that ended it; it had been covered on every newscast and in every newspaper in the country. The part that nobody knew anything about was why it had forced him into such a state of seclusion.
Behind her Emma heard Mac
and Jason heading her way, deep in conversation. She quickly straightened in her seat and started shuffling papers and did her best to look busy.
“Did dad leave for the day?” Jason asked.
Emma looked up at him. He had a lot of the same features as Lucas, dark hair, green eyes, and chiseled jaw but he didn’t make her heart race in the least. “You missed him by maybe fifteen minutes; sorry!”
The brothers looked at one another. “Thanks, Emma.”
“Was there anything that you needed?” she asked quickly, doing her best to be the efficient assistant that she always was even though her mind was a million miles away and picturing their brother with his arms around her!
Nothing that can’t wait,” Mac replied. “Did he mention what time he and mom were getting on the road?”
She shook her head. “He didn’t but he sure seemed anxious to leave.”
They each gave a small laugh and a smile and wished her a good day as they turned to leave. Emma grimaced inwardly. It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to be attracted to one of her boss’s sons but why did it have to be the one son who was so unattainable? Why couldn’t she crush on Mac or Jason? They were both nice enough. Why was it that surly Lucas of the little to no words was the one that made her weak at the knees when he gave her one his small smiles?
“Because you are clearly a glutton for punishment,” she mumbled softly as she shook her head. “This is why you need to get away for a little while; meet some new people and maybe find someone who
Lucas Montgomery.” Like a runaway train, her dialogue continued in her head. “Someone who would willingly talk to me, engage in conversation with me; maybe even someone who notices when I purposely wear my best clothes or fix my hair in a new style. That isn’t too much to ask, is it?”
With Lucas, it probably was. Emma didn’t date much, but she had to admit that she tended to be drawn to the kind of men who were slightly unattainable. It seemed like she decided to up her game and go for the king of unattainable.
“I’m heading to lunch!” a voice called from behind her and Emma turned to see her assistant Rose heading toward her desk. “You want me to bring you back anything?”
“I’ll take a salad if you don’t mind,” Emma answered as she reached for her purse.
Rose stopped in front of her desk and frowned. “It wouldn’t kill you to eat a burger once in a while like the rest of us,” she said sternly but once Emma raised her eyes to her, she smiled.
“Please,” Emma protested. “If I allowed myself to indulge in a burger for lunch, I wouldn’t stop at that. There would be fries and milkshakes and maybe even some cake.”
“And what’s wrong with that?” Rose teased.
Emma couldn’t help but laugh. “The problem is that it wouldn’t take long for me to not fit into any of my clothes and I happen to like my current wardrobe.”
“As do we all. But a real meal once in a while wouldn’t kill you,” Rose reminded as she accepted the cash Emma was holding out to her. “I’ll be back in a bit.”