I raise a brow in question, but she just returns it with a smile.
“Hey,” Greg says to her, giving her a polite nod. “Good to meet you.”
She walks over and stands beside me. I sling my arm over her shoulder.
“Congratulations on your upcoming wedding,” she says to Greg.
“How are you feeling about signing away your life to my sister?” I joke with him.
“I signed it away years ago.” He chuckles, making us all laugh.
“Where is everyone?” I ask him.
“Your dad’s out back with Vic, showing him the tent. Sasha, your mom, Gran, and Meg are all in the kitchen.”
“I guess we should go let Mom know we’re here,” I tell Charly.
We leave Greg in the living room and head toward the kitchen.
“You okay?” I quietly ask her.
“Yeah”—she smiles—“I’m good. Your nephews and niece are adorable.”
“They get it from me.”
“Of course they do.” She rolls her eyes, making me laugh.
I push open the door, seeing the familiar sight of the women in my family in the kitchen. As usual, Meg’s sitting at the breakfast bar, reading a magazine and sipping a glass of wine; she’s not a cooker. Gran, Mom, and Sasha are working in perfect sync.
“We’re here,” I announce.
“Vaughn!” Meg hops off her stool and runs at me, throwing her arms around me like she hasn’t seen me for a year. “Missed you, movie star.”
“Missed you, too, Nutmeg.”
“And you must be Charly!” She lets go of me and advances on Charly, sweeping her up in a hug.
I think Charly must be getting used to the hugs, as she doesn’t seem to freeze up this time.
“I love your hair! Sasha said it was gorgeous, and it really is. Come sit with me.” She grabs Charly’s hand, leading her over to the breakfast bar.
“Hey, Mom.” I lean over and kiss her cheek.
“Hey.” She smiles.
“Sasha, Gran.” I smile at them. “You doing okay?”
“I would be if your sister didn’t keep trying to give me the easy jobs.” Gran frowns at Sasha.
“I’m not!” Sasha holds her hands up in innocence.
“Do you want a glass of wine?” Meg asks Charly.
“Movie star, grab us a glass for Charly. So, you’re the girl who finally tamed my baby brother.”
“Hey! Who says I’m tamed?” I put the wine glass down and pick up the bottle, pouring some into the glass for Charly.
“Thanks,” she says to me, picking it up and taking a sip.
I rest my arm around her shoulder.
Meg is staring at us with a big smile on her face.
“What?” I say to her.
“You’re acting weirder than usual, Nutmeg.”
“You just look so adorable together.” She presses her hands to her chest.
“And, on that note, we’re going to say hi to Dad and Vic. Come on, Pins.” I reach for her hand, helping her off the stool.
“Oh my God, you have a nickname for her! That’s so sweet! Did you hear that, Mom? Vaughn has a nickname for Charly. It’s so cute.”
“Run,” I whisper into Charly’s ear. “Before she starts getting out Sasha’s bridal magazines for us to take a look at.”
Charly looks at me. There’s a beat of hesitation in her eyes, which she quickly covers with a smile. And, as we make a hasty exit from the kitchen and away from my overly romantic sister, I wonder where the hesitation came from, but before I can think too much about it, the second we step outside, we’re under attack from Jester. Well, Charly is. He practically leaps into her arms. She giggles, cuddling him, while he licks her face.
I think Jester’s in love. He’s not the only one.
“Megs, do you remember when Vaughn was obsessed with Bugsy Malone?” Sasha says with a smile on her face.
We’ve just finished dinner—or I should say, a feast of epic proportions—and I’m stuffed to the rafters. I won’t need to eat for another week. Vaughn’s family has been telling me funny stories all night.
The meal and company have been amazing. I’ve had such fun. Although I do keep catching Vaughn staring at me with this odd look in his eyes. One I’ve never seen before.
“Oh my God, yeah!” Meg laughs.
“Oh God, no,” Vaughn groans from beside me.
I glance at him, but he’s too busy giving his sisters the evil eye across the table.
“He used to make us watch it with him all the time,” Sasha tells me.
“It is a great film,” I say. “Maybe being an actor was in your blood all along, not just a happenstance.” I nudge his elbow with mine, and he smiles warmly at me.
“Yeah, but not only did he used to watch it daily, he also used to get us to watch it with him. We’d have to dress up like the characters and perform the musical routines,” Meg adds.
“Aw, I bet you made a cute Bugsy,” I say.
“Not Bugsy!” Sasha laughs.
“I’ll feed your wedding dress to Jester,” he says to Sasha. “And I’ll make sure it’s not fixable this time.”
“Ha!” Sasha laughs. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“Try me.” He narrows his gaze at her.