I flash a small smile and nod. “Yeah. It is, isn’t it?”

Cheers and whistles surround us, the noise growing louder as we exit the church for the receiving line and pictures. Lucky for them, it’s a gorgeous fall day today. There’s a light breeze, it’s a comfortable seventy-five degrees, and the sun is shining between the clouds.

It really couldn’t have gone any better for them.

COURTNEY

I’m seriously a crying mess.

Weeks and months of planning all finally coming together for two of my favorite people. It’s hard to not think about your own future when you witness your best friend finally getting her happily-ever-after. Although they’ve been together for years and have two kids already, this finalizes it for her. I know Travis will always take good care of her.

Drew looks incredibly handsome in his tux, but his mannerisms are different today. Since the breakup with Mia—again—he’s been keeping himself over-the-top busy. Between working longer shifts and staying at the gym longer, he’s been by Travis’ side, helping him prep and party his nights away to becoming a married man. I can tell he’s hurting, but he won’t talk about it, which I guess I’m mostly happy about since she’s the last person I want to talk about, but he needs to get it out. He needs to heal, and once he finally does, he can move on from that heartbreaker and forget about her completely.

…Only in my dreams.

Although he’s avoided me most of the week, I get it. I wasn’t exactly Team Mia, but I want him to know he can talk to me about those things, even when I wholeheartedly disagree with it.

“You okay?” I lean in and ask Drew as we line up outside the church. Viola and Travis are at the front of the line with Ginny and James and their parents.

He turns to look at me, but with the four-inch heels I was forced to wear, we’re almost eye level. “Of course.”

“I can’t believe they finally did it,” I say with a smile.

“Yeah, it’s been a long time coming.” He looks away, watching the rest of the wedding party take their places behind us.

“Logan looks as comfortable as a whale flying in coach.” I chuckle at his stance. Broad shoulders, groomed facial hair, tense facial features. He looks like he’s ready to jump someone at a moment’s notice.

That finally gets a smile out of Drew, but he doesn’t look at me.

“Yeah, he’s known for being a hard-ass, but he’s really a gummy bear in disguise.”

I stare at Logan again. His arms are crossed over his chest, and if his eyes weren’t blinking, I’d have to check for a pulse. “Somehow I doubt that.”

“He didn’t bring a date?” I ask, intrigued. Stance aside, Logan’s a good-looking guy.

“I guess not.”

“Hm…interesting,” I say mostly to myself, but I can tell Drew overhears me. He stays silent, and I’m still left wondering why he’s acting so weird.

Half an hour later, the receiving line finally comes to an end. Apparently, everyone in the Fisher-King family is a freaking hugger. It reminds me of home and the Brooks-Bishop family reunions.

I finally get a moment to grab Viola and hug her.

“Oh my God!” She chuckles. “You scared me!”

“Sorry! I’ve just been bombarded by strangers and needed to hug my best friend before you got away for pictures.”

“Lord, tell me about it.” She rolls her eyes slightly. “My Great-Aunt Esther decided it was the perfect time to give me the birds and the bees speech for our wedding night and our ‘first time’ together. Apparently, the birth announcements of our kids got lost in the mail.” She inhales a deep breath. “I didn’t even know I had a great-aunt.”

I laugh at her expense, and she narrows her eyes at me.

“I can’t even tell you how happy I am for you all right now.” I begin tearing up again, and she pulls me in for another hug.

“I wouldn’t be here without you,” she says, and I blush. “Seriously.”

“You two deserve it.” I kiss her cheek just as the photographer begins shouting for the bride and groom. “Go,” I say, grabbing James from her arms. “You don’t want to be the bride that has baby puke on her wedding gown.”

“It wouldn’t be the worst thing that he’s done to me,” she says with a sly grin. She presses a soft kiss to his cheeks and catches up to Travis.

James is sleeping peacefully, somehow. Although we’re outside, the chatter is loud, and cars are zooming out of the parking lot. Most are meeting up at the reception to take advantage of happy hour before the party officially begins. Viola’s mom walks over with the diaper bag and offers to release me.

“Are you sure? I don’t mind holding him.”

“Okay, dear. We’ll be called for pictures soon, so just let me know if he begins to fuss.” She smiles down at him, and I can tell she’s a super proud grandma.


Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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