“Why would anyone come to a wedding without an invitation? This is unbelievable,” Heath said, wiping his brow. It was over seventy degrees in the middle of February. They were probably going to set a record.

“Tell him he can’t climb up on the fence!” Dean shouted at the gate guards. One of the paparazzi guys was using the fence to get himself a better vantage point.

Sawyer thought it was ridiculous that they had been taking pictures of him standing in his driveway for the last twenty minutes. Why would anyone want to see him doing absolutely nothing?

He wondered how many of them might be hiding in the trees that surrounded the property. Maybe someone would fly a drone over the house. They hadn’t thought about how to stop them from doing that. At this point, Sawyer didn’t care who saw him get married. He was ready to let the whole town come on in and witness it. That would sure shut Gretchen up.

“Sawyer, I need you,” Faith called from the front porch.

He jogged over to her, hoping there weren’t any other fires to put out.

“You look nice,” he said to his sister. She had on a pale purple dress and her hair was in a fancy updo.

“Thank you,” she said, primping her hair with her hand. “I wish I had a Trina to do my hair every day.”

“What’s the problem in the house? Because I need to help get our actual guests into the parking lot, but our mother’s open invite to the town has made that very difficult.”

“Piper wants to talk to you.”

That sinking feeling was back. “Right now?”

“As soon as you can.”

“Isn’t it bad luck for me to see her before the wedding?”

Faith held up one of his old ties with a grin. “I got that covered.”

Being blindfolded wasn’t Sawyer’s favorite thing in the world, but if Piper needed to talk to him, he would have to suffer through it. Faith led him to the room and helped him sit on the bed.

“We’ll give you some privacy,” Faith said. “Don’t you dare take off that blindfold.”

Sawyer gave her a salute. “Aye, aye, Captain.”

He heard the door close, but Piper didn’t make a sound. He wasn’t even sure she was in the room. Was it possible his sister was pranking him?

“Piper?”

Something swished to the right of him. He turned his head toward the sound. “I’m here,” she said.

He felt her sit next to him and take his hand. It was comforting to feel her, at least. He wondered what her dress looked like and if she wore her hair up or down. Maybe she would let him touch her so he could tell.

“Is everything okay?” he asked, knowing he wouldn’t be here right now if it was.

He heard her swallow. “I’m not sure how I’m feeling at the moment. It’s sort of a big hurricane of conflicting emotions spinning around my head, you know?”

He nodded, knowing exactly what she meant, because he felt the same way. Anxiety was battling with excitement, while confusion and the guilt he felt over not being able to say “I love you” had their own feud going on.

“I had some really good conversations with your sister and my mom today, and they both made me think about things that I feel like we need to talk about before we go in front of our family and friends and say ‘I do.’”

Sawyer gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. “Okay, tell me what you’re thinking.”

“I need to know what you’re thinking.”

“I’m thinking you smell really good.” He leaned in her direction. “Is that your new perfume?”

The sound of her laughter made his heart happy. She pushed him away. “Stop. This is serious. I know it doesn’t feel that way because you have a necktie tied around your face right now, but it is.”

“I can be serious,” he promised her.

“Yesterday my mom asked you if you were in love with me and I didn’t let you answer. But I think I need to know.”

Sawyer rolled his head to either side. His shoulders were suddenly so tight. “I am definitely falling in love with you.”

Piper was quiet. The silence was killing him. Without being able to see her face, he had no idea what she might be thinking. Had he told her what she wanted to hear? Or had she been hoping for a different answer?

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