I wanted to repay her kindness to me. And this seemed so small compared to what she’d done for me.
I nodded. “I can do it. Did you do a tasting? Did you decide on the flavors you want?”
“We did,” she said excitedly. “Or actually, Harper and I did. Marcus said he didn’t care what kind of cake I got as long as I liked it. My husband-to-be likes to pretend that he doesn’t like sweets, but he actually loves them. I don’t think he really has a favorite. He pretty much swipes any kind of ice cream I have.”
“Do you have a bigger kitchen I can use? I can let you try my version of your flavors and see if you’re okay with them. Or we could even try a few varieties you haven’t tried.”
“Do we have time to do it?” Dani said excitedly. “You can help yourself to the catering kitchen at Mom’s resort.”
I grinned at Dani and Harper. “Then we’re in business. I can start early in the morning and have some stuff ready for you to try by the afternoon. My mother owned a catering business back in Ohio. I’m used to working under pressure. In fact, I’m pretty sure I thrive on it.”
I never felt better than when I was juggling multiple projects around in a kitchen. For some reason, I loved to experience creativity in the middle of chaos.
“You’re on. But Ruby, I’d like to pay you,” Dani ventured carefully.
“Absolutely not,” I answered firmly. “Dani, you saved my life. And even though this will never repay what you did for me, I’d like you to let me do this for you as a token of my gratitude. And as a friend who wants to give you a wedding gift.”
Tears were flowing down her cheeks as she replied tearfully, “As a friend, I accept, but only because I know you have a boyfriend who’s loaded. You don’t owe me any gratitude, Ruby. You’re an incredible woman. You’ve faced some pretty shitty odds, and still come out on top. I don’t know the whole story, but what I do know makes me proud to have you as my friend.”
Her words touched me, and I felt a door open in my soul.
I didn’t have to be loaded with money or things to see myself as a good person anymore.
I could accept my talent as something special and not something that I needed to explain.
I deserved friends who would treat me with respect.
And I could love Jett for exactly what he was…an extraordinary guy who just happened to be one of the richest men in the world.
“Thank you,” I answered after a few moments of hesitation. “That means a lot to me.”
Dani stood, and the rest of us got to our feet. “Is she pretty solvent right now?” she asked Jett. “Because if she is, Harper and I are going shopping, and we’re going to help her pick the perfect dress for the wedding.”
“I have some things,” I objected.
Harper shot me a smile. “Unless it’s something that’s ridiculously indulgent, and brand-new, we’re on our way to Denver.”
“It’s not new,” I admitted. I’d planned on wearing the dress that I’d bought when I’d done my first makeover. “But it’s fine.”
“Fine isn’t going to cut it, sister,” Dani said as she punched my arm playfully. “Jett is going to be in a tux because he’s in the wedding. You need something amazingly sexy.”
Strangely, that idea appealed to me a lot.
“Nothing too sexy,” Jett grumbled. “I don’t like other guys checking her out.”
“Caveman much?” Harper teased.
Dani wriggled her eyebrows at me. “Don’t worry. Harper and I have a couple of Neanderthals ourselves.”
I laughed as Harper and Dani grabbed my hands and started to pull me toward the door.
“Wait!” Jett demanded.
We all hesitated while he strode over and gave me a toe-curling kiss, and then said, “Don’t let these two get you into trouble. If you need more money, just text me and I’ll make a transfer.”
“I have almost two million dollars in my accounts,” I gasped. “Nobody can spend that much money in one day.”
He caught my chin and tipped my head up. Our eyes met for a moment and my stomach actually fluttered at the intensity of his gaze.