“You’re a naughty boy,” she says, giving me a side-glance, but not taking her eyes off the road.
“If you only knew what I was thinking right now.”
“I have an idea.” She smiles.
We pull up to the winery and I kind of laugh because while it’s cute and quaint, it’s nothing like Napa Valley. But then again, that’s why I like it. There’s a big stone cathedral and tons of people are standing outside under a white tent. I catch glimpses of the lanterns hanging from the roof and the tables and chairs with silk covers.
Courtney walks up, and everyone, who didn’t know she would be here, is so excited to see her. She never takes her hand from mine and pulls me closer. I love the way she looks at me when she introduces me as her boyfriend. Actually, I love the way she looks at me any time; it’s the way she’s always looked at me. Her mother takes a picture of us and promises she’ll send copies. As she goes to take another one, I bend down and kiss Courtney on the lips. Rose is so happy we’re together. It’s written all over her face. She makes me already feel like a part of the family.
The ceremony starts, and the ordained minister steps forward wearing leather boots and a black velvet cowboy hat. As I look around the room, I realize that’s the Texas tuxedo, and Courtney didn’t give me the memo. I’ll have to mention it to her later; she’ll probably laugh at me.
I listen to the words they say, and I can see the love the two of them have for each other. Benita looks at Aaron like he’s her world and when I glance over at Courtney, I see she looks at me the same way. I swallow hard, brushing my thumb against hers as we hold hands.
As soon as the couple begin to exchange their vows, Courtney starts crying tears of joy. “Weddings get me every time,” she says and squeezes my hand.
Benita and Aaron kiss and Courtney leans her head against my shoulder. Once the ceremony is over, the happy couple gets together to take family photos and Courtney and I head outside to the tent where the wine is flowing like water. The band begins playing, and Courtney leans into me as she sips.
“Want to dance?” She lifts an eyebrow.
“At this hoedown?”
Courtney hurries and swallows the wine that’s in her mouth, then bursts out laughing. “You’re so cute, but it’s not a hoedown until the sun sets.”
“Oh, gotcha.” I lean over and steal a kiss.
The fiddles and guitars fill in, and I’ve never really danced to country music.
“Come on; I’ll teach you how to two-step.” Courtney grabs my hand and leads me to the middle of the dance floor that happens to be completely empty.
I look around the room and see people sitting at tables, staring at us. “We’re the only ones out here.”
“Sometimes you have to dance like no one’s watching.” She places one of my hands on her lower back and interlocks her fingers with my other. “Now you’ll take two quick steps forward, one slow step back, and you just do that over and over. Hear the beat of the music?”
I nod, pulling her close to my body and following her instruction. She whispers the steps to me.
“You’re doing good!” She smiles proudly.
“It’s because I have the best teacher.” I grab her hand, spin her around then land back in step.
“Okay, now you’re just showing off.” She laughs.
We may be the only ones on the dance floor, but at this moment, it feels like we’re the only two people in the room. As the song ends, people start clapping and whistling for us. Courtney grabs my hand, and we bow for our audience.
When the bride and groom enter, everyone stands and claps for them. They look so happy together. Courtney and I give our congratulations to Benita and Aaron, but they are pulled away by family soon after.
“It’s okay, we’ll catch up later,” Courtney hollers across the room to Benita.
We drink and dance more until the appetizers are served, then we stand around and eat bacon-wrapped and fried everything. Once the sun begins to set, the more everyone drinks.
“I’m going to grab another glass of wine. Want one?” Courtney asks, giving me a quick kiss on the lips.
I hold up my glass that’s half full and shake my head with a smile. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were trying to get me drunk.”
“I don’t have to get you drunk to get what I want.” She licks her lips, and I nod in agreement because she’s damn right about that.
She gives me a heated look and stands. I can’t keep my eyes off her as she walks across the room. Before she makes it to the wine bar, a man stops her. She turns and smiles, looks him in the eyes, then they exchange a hug. But he holds her a little too close and a little too tight. Laughing, she pats him on the chest, and he leans in and whispers something in her ear. She rolls her eyes playfully, and he grabs her hand. Courtney shakes her head and pulls her hand back, but I’m curious as to what she said back to him. I hope she was a smartass, and by his reaction, I think she was.