He swore. “Do not say things like that.”

“Why not?” she asked, all innocence.


“I do not fancy getting married with an erection in my pants.” But he wasn’t sure it was going anywhere, even if she refrained from all further naughty comments. He found the bridal look unbearably sexy on her.

“I can do that to you?” she asked teasingly.

“You know you can.” Too damn easily.

“I’ll try to be good.”

“Not too good,” he couldn’t help saying as they headed up the steps arm in arm.

The ceremony was short and to the point. All the pomp and circumstance was being reserved for the church blessing in Greece.

So, the sense of profundity choking Zephyr as he signed the marriage certificate was totally unnecessary. However, it did not go away even as he handed the pen to Piper. Her hand trembled as she signed her own name and he didn’t feel quite as foolish. This was a life-altering moment, after all.

They were now legally man and wife. She was his as no one had been since the day he walked through the children’s home’s doors.

He pulled her to him. “Is it time for the kiss now?”

“Yes, I do believe it is.”

He tilted his head down and she met him halfway. Their lips met and clung in a kiss of promise.

He pulled his head back. “Mine.”

“Yes, my personal caveman, I am yours. And you are mine.” Her soft smile said she didn’t mind his Neanderthal moments, but there was an emotion lurking in her azure eyes he did not understand. It was almost as if despite all her assurances to the contrary, linking her life to his frightened her on some level.

“Are you two sure you and Neo aren’t blood brothers?” Cass asked with laughter. “You’ve got so many of the same primitive tendencies.”

“We are brothers in every way that counts,” Neo said with certainty.

Zephyr nodded his agreement.

“I guess that makes us sisters-in-law,” Piper said to Cass with a happy smile.

Cass looked down at her own engagement ring with a satisfied grin. “Come Sunday we will be.”

“I’m looking forward to it.”

“Me, too.”

“Right now, I’m looking forward to a champagne brunch back at the penthouse,” Neo said. “My housekeeper has promised a repast fit for the superrich tycoons we are.”

But it wasn’t the penthouse they ended up in. Neo’s housekeeper, Dora, was waiting for them in the lobby of the Nikos and Stamos Enterprises building, along with what looked like the majority of their employees. Big banners that read Congratulations Zephyr and Piper, and Congratulations Neo and Cassandra, hung on either side of the reception area. Blackclad waitstaff walked between groups of Stamos & Nikos Enterprises employees with black trays of food and silver trays of champagne.

Zephyr and Neo’s personal assistants were standing together in front of the reception area. “Congratulations!” they said in unison.

“Ms. Parks, you planned this?” Cass asked in shock.

“With the help of Mr. Nikos’s personal assistant and Mr. Stamos’s housekeeper, yes.” The office automaton actually managed a smile for them all.

Dora rushed up and hugged first Neo and then Zephyr. “We wanted to do something to let you all know how pleased your employees are that you have both found personal happiness.”

Cass hugged the housekeeper back and kissed her cheek. “Thank you. This is really special.”

The older woman patted Cass’s arm. “And you only stay as long as you are comfortable. Everyone understands. You are among friends here.”

Several people who had gotten to know Piper when she worked on his projects came up to tell her how happy they were she’d finally made an honest man out of Zephyr. It was unreal. To hear them tell it, plenty of people realized there was something between them.

Of course, the sexual tension between them before they made love the first time had gotten pretty thick. And he hadn’t made much effort to hide their intimate relationship afterward.

Neo took good-natured umbrage because he hadn’t realized, though.

Zephyr just put his arm possessively around Piper’s waist and enjoyed himself.

He received more good wishes at the surprise reception than he had over the entire course of his life. There were even gifts—appliances and the usual suspects in wedding presents as well as donations in all their names to area shelters that catered to families with children and to the foster care system.

“It’s so perfect,” Piper said in a tear-choked voice.

“I have always said we hire the best,” Neo said smugly.

“Without doubt,” Zephyr agreed.

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