Amelia worked hard the next week on setting up working interviews. She had Ramon sit in on the interviews with her while they watched the men and women they were interested in make her basic sugar cookie recipe. They needed to make the dough, cut out the shapes, bake to perfection and decorate. Amelia sighed late one afternoon after their fifteenth candidate left.
“I don’t know how we are going to find those who can do this? I have a few I like for baking and some for decorating, but I’d like someone to do all the steps just in case someone gets sick and cannot come in. We can’t afford to have an enormous staff until I know the business will make money,” she complained to Ramon. He raised an eyebrow at her and smiled.
“You know Prince Daniel will help fund this to your satisfaction until we make enough to pay the employees and give money back to foster homes,” he reminded her, making her frown.
“I hate relying on Daniel for everything. There is so much bad press about me I don’t want them to say I picked Daniel because he could fund my dream.”
“No one who knows you let those comments slide. I for one have had several cooks and maids dismissed for repeating anything negative about you if they don’t work with you. So are the others in the palace. You should have seen Floyd go after the maid who let Lady Watson into your home. He turned purple!” Ramon laughed, his laughter was contagious and Amelia chuckled. Picturing Floyd as anything but his calm demeanor was hard to imagine.
“You are joking.” She stood and moved around to begin the cleanup. They would need a permanent two people to wash the dishes, two to make and roll out the dough plus bake it. Then another two or three to decorate. Along with Ramon that would make eight people, she needed right away and when they opened the front she’d need at least two more to run the register and stock the cases. She knew once the place was up and running she wouldn’t be here as often, that was the part of running a business she wasn’t looking forward to. She loved being in the middle of everything. Thankfully, with the help of Ramon, she’d got all the orders done that were placed before she paused her website. We planned a grand reopening for the day before Queen Imelda’s birthday bash. Tomorrow Amelia had several meetings with interior designers.
“Okay, let’s look through all these resumes again. Sort them out by bakers, decorators, front people, and then dishwashers,” she ordered, setting out the resumes. She and Ramon worked another three hours before picking their staff. They argued back and forth about each candidate and where they would fit within the staff.
“I had serious doubts we would get this done. I’ll call them all tomorrow and offer them their jobs. Hopefully, they all say yes and we can start training immediately.” Amelia picked up the stack of resumes of the people they had chosen.
“Once I have everyone say yes, then we can call these and let them know they were not chosen for the job. That was one thing I hated when job hunting, the companies not bothering to call me back to tell me I hadn’t gotten the job. Waiting in limbo is never fun.” Ramon nodded his agreement and picked up the stack of rejections.
“Once you have the group, call me and I will get on calling these people. No sense in you getting yelled at for rejecting them. I think we have a talented group of people. They all passed Alex’s background checks, so we should be ready. When are you telling them we are starting?”
“I was hoping for Thursday of this week. That gives us a week to get prepared and reopen our online ordering.”
“That will be a tight timeline.”
“That is all the time we have. Daniel has been helping me promote our opening for the Friday after next. We can’t push it back, because the queen’s birthday bash is that Saturday. We also have an order of a thousand birthday cookies for her. I have the order here.” Amelia pulled out the order the queen had handwritten for her that morning.
“A thousand cookies?” Ramon gaped, staring at the list. There were orders for a hundred of ten types of cookies.
“Most of them are drop cookies. The ones that will take the longest are the decorated sugar cookie crowns and birthday cakes.”
“Still a lot of cookies.”
“I know. She wanted them wrapped so people could take them as a favor to go. The plastic wrap machine should be here tomorrow and all the boxes, bags, and other items with our logo will be here the day after.” Amelia pulled out her phone to see if she missed anything else.
“Oh, and tomorrow I meet with the interior designers so I need you here to accept the machine,” she explained, Ramon nodded with a smirk on his lips.
“You sound very much like a future queen with all your appointments. I am proud to be working with you.” Ramon gave her a gentle hug, making her blink back the tears that swam in her eyes.
“Thank you, Ramon, that means a lot.”
“Ramon, you better have a good reason for touching my mate,” Daniel’s growl filled the kitchen. Amelia turned around and walked over to him, wrapping her arms around his waist.
“He was comforting me against everything those stupid tabloids keep printing. We are just about done. Did you need me for anything?” She wondered what he was doing at the bakery. She remembered him having meetings all day. He wore a dark blue button-up shirt with the top button undone, tucked into black slacks. She remembered he’d picked a red shirt that morning, so his change of clothing added to her curiosity. Upon closer inspection, she saw he’d done his hair and put on fresh cologne.
“I came to get my mate for a date on the town. Ever since you moved here, we have kept away you from the public eye. I think it is time for us to go out in public and let people see the real you.” He held up a garment bag with which she assumed a change of clothes for her.
“How sweet.” Amelia took the garment bag and kissed him on the lips.
“Give me a minute and I’ll change in my office. You wouldn’t happen to have my makeup bag, would you?” Daniel gave her a smirk and nodded to the bag in her hands.
“At the bottom with your shoes.”
“You are the best.” Amelia stepped into her office and locked the door. Opening the bag, she saw a sweetheart neckline dress with an empire waistline. Daniel had picked her emerald green one to match her eyes. He’d also picked silver flats. She could kiss him. He knew she didn’t do heels well. Taking her time, she dressed and did her makeup. She wanted to look her best on their first date out in the city. It took her about a half an hour to be satisfied with her hair, she pulled it to the side and pinned it over one shoulder letting her brunette curls be on display.
Stepping out of her office, she saw Daniel and Ramon going over her choices for the bakery.
“Looks good to me and all these people passed Alex’s background checks?”
“Yes, sir. We didn’t bring anyone in who hadn’t passed the checks,” Ramon explained, stacking the papers back up.
“I’ll drop these at your office in the palace and you enjoy your date.” Ramon gave her a wink and left the bakery.
“Ready?” Daniel asked, giving her a once over with approval in his eyes.
“Yes.” Daniel wrapped her in his arms and pressed his lips to hers, pushing his tongue in to taste. Amelia moaned softly, letting the sensation of his body pressed against hers. She would never get enough of how he made her feel. Daniel pulled back and looked down at her with a smile.
“I love you.”
“I love you too. Take me out on the town and show me a good time,” she told him with a playful wink.
“My pleasure.” Daniel took her hand and walked her out to a beautiful powder blue sports car.
“I haven’t seen this one before,” she commented, Daniel gave her a smirk.
“And not mine.”
“Who does it belong to?”
“You.” Amelia gasped and looked up at him in surprise.
“Yes. You deserve a beautiful car.”
“Daniel, this is too much,” she objected as he shook his head.
“You are my mate, I want to spoil you. Get in,” he ordered, opening the passenger door.
“I don’t get to drive?”
“On our way back. You don’t know where we are going for dinner,” he replied ushering her into the car. Her fingers touched smooth, luxurious leather. The stitching was neat, and the car smelled like that new car smell. Daniel took off, and she settled back, enjoying the smoothness of the ride.
“This is amazing Daniel. Thank you.” She reached over and placed a hand on his thigh. Daniel took her hand in his and kissed her knuckles.
“Anything for my mate.”