“It’s not funny to joke about stuff like that, Sawyer.”

“Well, you know what else isn’t funny? When your mother walks back into your life after abandoning you twenty years ago and thinks she can mess it up because she knows best.”

“She’s worried about you repeating mistakes she made. She doesn’t know you.”

“If the worst mistake I can make is being a father to my son and being present while he’s growing up, I think I can live with that.”

He was so done explaining why it was important for him to do this. He had overcome his distrust of Piper, and that had been the only thing holding him back. If she could stand by him, he should be able to commit to her.

Faith sat down at the kitchen table with him. “It did hurt my feelings to know that she regretted getting married because they were pregnant with me. She made me feel like I ruined her life or something.”

“Don’t feel bad. She was quick to take her life back even though she had a great guy who loved her. She also missed out on knowing two pretty interesting people. I mean, I’m always interesting and you’re occasionally interesting.”

Faith slapped his arm. “How did I not know Mom was pregnant with me before they got married?”

“I guess we never paid attention to when they got married—especially after they were divorced.” Sawyer had tried to forget everything about Gretchen once he’d realized she was gone for good.

“Are you really sure about getting married today?” Faith placed a gentle hand on his arm. “I know everyone has been working overtime to get you to reconsider, but I just don’t want you to do something because someone told you not to.”

“I’m sure.”

“You love her?”

“I’m falling in love with her. I know that for sure.”

Faith winced. “That’s not the same thing. You know that, right?”

“I’m doing the right thing. I’m not like Gretchen. I am not going to desert my family. I’m like Dad. I want to be like Dad. Strong, reliable, loyal.”

“You don’t have to get married to be like Dad. You can be all those things and date Piper a little longer.”

Sawyer shook his head. “She doesn’t want to date. She doesn’t want to play house. She wants a husband. I’m not going to lose her because I’m afraid to say what I feel might be love. I’m going to give her what she wants and trust that I’ll be able to say I’m madly in love with her in the very near future.”

“I’m going to pray that’s what happens,” Faith said, touching his cheek. “I love you.”

“I like you most of the time,” he said with a straight face.

Faith narrowed her eyes and pinched his leg under the table.

“Ow, ow, ow! Okay, I love you. I love you! You’re the best sister ever.”

“That’s better.” She stopped her torture. “I am going to finish my coffee and jump in the shower so I can help Piper get ready for her big day.”

At least he’d gotten one person on board with him about this wedding. His sister’s opinion mattered more than anyone’s. With her support, this day might have a chance.

As Sawyer passed through the front room to head upstairs, he noticed Dean was on the phone, pacing around the front porch. Sawyer went out to see if there was a problem.

“Mom, I’m fairly certain that Gretchen does not have any memory issues.”

Sawyer’s head dropped. What had he done? This was not going to help keep the wedding day drama-free.

“Did you do this?” Dean mouthed, shaking an angry finger at him.

Sawyer put his hands up. “Not intentionally.”

Dean wasn’t convinced. “Mom, it’s sweet of you, but please do not drop off any pamphlets about living with memory loss at Harriet’s. It will not be well received.”

If Gretchen found out that Sawyer had started the rumor, intentionally or not, there was no saying what she would do to get back at him. She had already proved her intentions were to disrupt this wedding. “I told you that only family is invited to the wedding. You’re lucky you’re my family or you and Dad wouldn’t have gotten in. Please tell the Woodwards and the Butterfields that it is not true that the whole town is invited.”

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