“So if you are my sister, then we need to figure out why someone wanted you and my mother dead. Alex will find Hope LaFayette and find out why she placed you in an orphanage. There is something we are missing. I am certain my dad knows more than he is letting on.” Nick paced around the apartment, Amelia watching. She couldn’t believe this man was her brother. She had a family!
“The first step is to find Hope, then we work from there. The weekend after the party we will go to your father’s estate to spend time together. You and Kylie will be there too,” Daniel replied. He took Amelia’s hand. She leaned in, placing her head on his shoulder.
“We need to tell your parents too,” she added, looking up at Daniel.
“True, they need to know my mom was right,” he answered, kissing her temple.
“This is frustrating, why were only you and my mom attacked? Was it because I was sick?” Nick kept asking questions. She watched him think he should have been dead too.
“Nick.” Amelia stood and stopped his pacing around the room.
“You did nothing to feel guilty about. This was something that happened and we need to cope with it. We cannot go down a rabbit hole thinking you should be dead too. You are alive, I am alive, and we’ve found each other. This is where we should be celebrating, not freaking out,” she ordered, taking his hands and looking into his familiar blue eyes.
“You are right,” he agreed and pulled her in for a hug.
“We need to celebrate!” Kylie announced, coming out of the kitchen with four glasses and a bottle of champagne. She handed the bottle to Daniel, who popped the cork, pouring four glasses of the bubbly wine.
“To finding your family,” Daniel announced, raising his glass. The other three raised their glasses and took a sip.
“Nick, what is your home like?” Amelia asked, wanting to hear about her family.
“We live by the beach. When I was a child and dad first brought Valerie around, I would hide out in the dunes. I didn’t like Valerie, I felt like she kept pushing herself into my life. She wanted me to like her so much, I found every chance I could to hide.”
“I can understand not wanting someone thrust into your life. It was hard for me when we were first placed with the Naustin Family,” she answered sipping her champagne. Daniel wrapped an arm around her shoulders to hold her close.
“They were an awful family,” Kylie added, leaning into Nick’s arms.
“Have you two told Lord Watson?” Daniel asked, motioning between Kylie and Nick.
“He knows I have a mate, but we haven’t officially met,” Nick answered and Amelia got a brilliant idea.
“Kylie will stay for dinner and we can kill two birds with one stone,” Amelia announced, getting an evil smile on her face.
“What?” Kylie asked, they had been friends for such a long time Kylie knew what Amelia had in mind.
“Kylie and I need a minute,” she shared, taking her friend by the hand and walking her into her closet, flicking on the light. Kylie’s eyes opened wide at the sight of clothing along the walls.
“You are going to pick one dress Floyd picked out for me to wear and we will make an amazing dinner. Ramon is coming in for a lesson on baking. We can have him help us make dinner,” she told her, Kylie smiled and nodded.
“I like that idea.” Kylie hugged her and dug through the racks until she found a black dress with pink trim to wear for the night.
“That will look amazing on you,” Amelia gushed, hugging her friend. Tonight she would show her support of Kylie and Nick while getting to know her father.
“Amelia, Ramon is here for his lesson,” Daniel called into their closet. She smiled and left Kylie to finish tweaking the dress.
“Hello Ramon, are you ready to learn how to make a chocolate tart?” she asked their personal chef. He laughed and replied,
“I heard the chocolate tart Chef Andres provided for dinner was not up to snuff.” Amelia smiled and shook her head.
“I fear the texture was something to be desired. Come.” She waved him into the kitchen where she’d set out the ingredients for their lesson. The two worked throughout the afternoon joking around until Daniel came in to help along with Nick. She laughed when Kylie walked out of the closet to see her in the kitchen with three men, all much taller than her.
“I didn’t know you wanted to learn to bake,” Kylie told Nick. He winked at her and replied,
“I want to spoil you. If you are used to Amelia’s desserts, I want to be able to compete.”
“Aww, baby, you are too sweet!” Kylie rushed over and planted a kiss on his lips. Amelia turned around and checked the tart shells.
“Okay boys, the tart shells are ready. You need to pull them out of the oven carefully and place them on a cooling rack,” she ordered, handing each one an oven mitt. Stepping out of the way she watched, Kylie went back to fitting her gown for the ball.
“Now you let the tart shell cool down while we make the filling. If we put the filling in now, it would be too hot,” she explained, showing them how to mix the ingredients.
“You know, you could offer free cooking classes, or for a donation to your charity you teach how to make a recipe,” Kylie remarked from her place on the couch.
“We have to get the charity up and running,” Amelia replied, pulling her phone out to check on any orders she needed to complete. She saw two that were needed and moved around the men working to pull the ingredients for a set of Italian wedding cookies and one of the decorated sugar cookies in the shape of dinosaurs. Digging through the drawers, she pulled out. The five different shapes she had and checked to see which ones the buyer wanted. Placing the stegosaurus and T-Rex shapes to the side, she put the others away. Observing the men, she noticed Ramon and Nick were naturals at baking, Daniel had minor trouble. She came up behind him and took his hand.
“Stir like this, you need to be gentle so the cream doesn’t separate the chocolate.” She felt his body relax at her touch and wondered if this stressed him out. Maybe she could offer a class on making dessert for a significant other.
“You are an expert at this,” Daniel remarked, looking down at her with his captivating hazel eyes. She blushed and gave him a shy smile.
“Thanks, but I practiced a lot,” she replied, letting go of his hand and checking on Nick and Ramon. The more time she spent with Daniel, the more she found reasons to love him. He appreciated her expertise and was willing to try something new.
“What do you have to make?” Daniel asked when she began mixing butter and sugar for her cookies.
“I have a set of birthday dinos and Italian wedding cookies I need to complete. The dinos go out tomorrow and the Italian wedding cookies two days later,” she answered, measuring flour, baking soda, and salt into a separate bowl.
“Sounds tasty.” Daniel walked over and wrapped his arms around her waist, kissing her neck. She leaned into his arms, enjoying the connection.
“What do we do now that the filling is complete?” Nick asked, breaking their sweet moment. Amelia turned around and stepped out of Daniel’s arms. She showed the men how to place the filling in the tart and then place it in the refrigerator to cool.
“Once it comes out, we can top it with raspberries or whipped cream,” she explained, taking her completed dough to put in the fridge to firm up.
“While you are waiting on your dough, wash up and try this on. I think I have one more adjustment to make,” Kylie ordered, holding up her gown. Amelia sighed and went into the bathroom to wash up. The rest of the afternoon was spent trying on her dress several more times, showing the men how she rolled out cookies with chilled dough and sampling the chocolate tart once it had cooled.
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