Bridget Rogers, soon to be Bridget Gamble, made an absolutely stunning bride. Her mane of vibrant red hair was twisted up, and soft curls fell in every direction. Pearls adorned the style, matching the beading in her gown. Wispy tendrils surrounded her face that was flushing with excitement.
Tears burned the backs of Alana’s eyes. She’d never seen someone more in love or happier.
Well, that wasn’t correct.
When Alana looked in the mirror every day, she saw the same glazed eyes and soft, distracted smile, and most surprisingly, it didn’t scare her or make her want to run for the hills. How absolutely annoyingly stupid she had been. Being in love with a man who deserved those feelings and earned the same was truly amazing. And she was a f**king idiot for denying Chandler, but she’d rectified that quickly, and last night, and this morning, and in the car ride to the chapel…
Alana flushed. Thinking about sex in a church was super inappropriate.
And she loved it.
Bridget turned, her smile nervous and excited. With the cinched waist and heart-shaped bodice, her hourglass figure was perfect for the dress.
“How do I look?” she asked, fingering the single pearl necklace around her neck. “Is it too much?”
Madison Daniels shook her head. “Too much? Since when do you worry about anything being too much?”
“You look beautiful,” Lissa said. Madison’s brother’s wife held a sleeping newborn to her chest. A towel shielded her pink bridesmaid’s dress. “And the shoes? Perfect.”
Bridget hitched up her dress, revealing a gnarly shade of pink platform heels. “You like?” Bridget asked Alana.
She laughed, approaching the tight-knit group of women like one would creep upon a nest of vipers. “Do you really want me to answer that?”
“Pink is not your color?” Bridget teased, letting her dress slip down.
Alana shook her head, strangely nervous. All the women had welcomed her with open arms, even Bridget, but she hadn’t had a lot of close female friends and she was surprised to find herself in the back of the church with Bridget and her bridal party.
Rubbing one hand over her still-flat tummy while eyeing the slumbering baby, Maddie shook her head. A big old ring caught the light in the room, twinkling. Chandler had said he was surprised that Chase could still walk on two legs after he and Maddie broke the news to her parents. Of course they were thrilled that they’d be grandparents again, but Mr. Daniels had wanted the ring to come before the baby.
“Just think,” Maddie said, smiling. “All this started at a wedding.”
Lissa grinned as she patted the baby’s back. “That is true. What a difference a year makes.”
Bridget crossed the room, and before Alana knew what she was doing, the woman enveloped her in a strong hug. “Thank you,” she said, her voice thick. “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here right now.”
“About to get married!” added Maddie.
A ball of emotion clogged her throat. “You really don’t have to thank me, Bridget.”
“Yes, I do.” She pulled back, clutching Alana’s shoulders. “I do have you to thank. So does Chad.”
Maddie giggled. “Maybe you should become a matchmaker instead.”
Alana shook her head, laughing. “Oh no, I think I’ll stick with perverted politicians and whiny celebrities.”
“Well, that does sound more interesting.” Lissa shifted the small bundle in her arms as the door opened and Chase popped his head in, grinning. “We have company.”
“We’re about ten minutes from start and Chad looks like he’s about to pass out. Just thought—”
“What?” gasped Bridget, eyes widening.
Mrs. Daniels shoved Chase aside, entering the room as she straightened the corsage on the chest of her dress. “Chad isn’t about to pass out, dear. If anything, he’s just having a hard time waiting. He wants to see his bride and we all know how impatient Chad is.”
Maddie sent Chase a dark look. “That wasn’t nice.”
Chase looked completely unrepentant as he winked and slipped back into the hall. Shaking her head, Alana turned back to the woman. “Well, I’m going to head out. Bridget, you seriously look beautiful.”
“Thank you,” she replied, but her eyes were unfocused, and Alana knew she was already out there, walking down the aisle.
Saying her good-byes, Alana headed for the door, but Mrs. Daniels stopped her. “Alana, dear, don’t forget we saved you a seat with the family. So don’t sneak off to the back.”
Her cheeks flushed and she nodded, murmuring her thanks. Not only had the Gambles accepted her, but so had the Daniels clan. For the first time, Alana had a family—a big, extended family.
“Did you see that the new gasmask came in yesterday?” Mrs. Daniels said to Maddie, smiling broadly. “Your father is planning on checking it out later. I figured either you or Mitchell would want to be the one using mace.”
A slightly weird extended family.
Smiling, she slipped out of the room and into the hall, passing where Mitchell and Chase were arguing over the pros and cons of breastfeeding. Alana smiled in their direction but hurried down the hall before she caught baby fever.
She made it to the end of the hall when a door to the left opened suddenly. An arm snaked around her waist, pulling her inside the mostly empty room. Her back was pressed against a rock-hard chest and stomach. Soft hair teased her cheeks as she felt warm, firm lips press a kiss to her throat.
“You look damn sexy.” Chandler’s deep voice rumbled through her body. “Love the dress.”
Said dress was a soft lilac, with sleeves and ending at the knees. It was nothing special, just a plain thing and definitely not that sexy, but it only took seconds for her to realize why he found it so alluring.
Chandler slid a hand up under her dress, along her bare thigh. Easy access. Her body flushed and grew hot as her toes curled in her heels. She leaned into him, tipping her head back against his chest. He made a deep sound in his throat as he moved his hand up over her hip, his fingers toying with the delicate string of her panties.
Grabbing his arm, her fingers sank into the crisp material of his groomsman’s tux. “Thank you. I haven’t gotten to see you in your suit yet.”
“I look awesome.”
Alana laughed. “Modesty is an attractive trait.”
“I’ve been waiting for you to come out.” His hot breath blew across her cheek, and she shuddered.
A wicked thrill ran through her, tightened her ni**les until they pushed against the lace and the soft material of her dress. “Chandler, seriously…”
“I’ve missed you.” He kissed her neck again.
She bit back a sigh that would only further provoke him. “I think only forty-five minutes have passed since we were last together.”
“That doesn’t matter.” He slipped his hand up, cupping her breast through her dress. His nimble fingers found the tip of her breast, teasing her mercilessly.
Her pulse quickened. “Chandler, we are in a church, for crying out loud.”
“So? I thought we were working at being more inappropriate?” he asked, moving his hand to her other breast.
Her body tensed, like a coil spiraling. “But it’s a church.”
“And that’s like the height of inappropriate, isn’t it?” He shifted behind her and she felt his arousal against her bu**ocks. He easily twisted her panties to the side as he bunched up her skirt. “Just think, what will we have left after this?”
“I’m sure you’ll come up with tons of other inappropriate things.” Like anal beads, butt plugs, the Cadillac of vibrators, and the good Lord only knew what else Chandler would bring into sexual play.
Her resistance to him was never anything to brag about. It was practically non-existent, especially when his tongue followed the path of his kisses along her neck.
Alana focused on the wall, thankful it didn’t have a cross or a picture of Jesus on it, because that would’ve been super awkward. “The wedding is about to start, you perv.”
“This will be a quickie. I already want to come.” His hand dipped between her thighs and she gasped. “So do you.”
It was true. She wanted him. Badly. “We’re going to hell for this.”
“But what a fun way to go, right?” He removed his hand long enough to unzip his pants and free his erection. Was he commando under his tux? Sweet Mary mother of every baby on this planet, he was. “Hold on, baby, this is going to be fast and rough.”
Planting her hands on the walls, she kicked back her head as he entered her swiftly in one deep thrust. He gripped her h*ps as he pumped into her. He was so hard inside her, his pace frenzied and at the same time languid, as if they both had all the time in the world.
Tension built deep inside, stoked tighter with every steady, maddening thrust. Her back arched against him as she ground back against his hips. He grunted and pressed a hot kiss below her ear.
“I love you,” he said, his pace picking up.
Her body started to convulse at those words and her mouth opened. Sensing she was about to let out an ear-piercing scream, he clamped his hand down on her mouth, silencing her. Bliss washed over her as she came, her body pulsing around his. He stiffened and quickly followed, his voice a hoarse groan in her ears. Their bodies were reluctant to calm down and part. Her heart was pounding and Chandler was still moving in her slowly, causing little aftershocks to zip through her.
There was a knock on the door and then Chase’s voice booming through the walls. “Five minutes until the wedding starts, Chandler. Time to put the c**k away.”
Alana’s face flooded with heat. “Oh my God…”
Chandler chuckled. “Ignore him.”
“I’m going to die of embarrassment.”
“No, you’re not.” He kissed her cheek again and then moved his h*ps once more, causing her to catch her breath. “Damn,” he groaned after several moments passed. He eased out of her, kissing her cheek. “Now I need a nap.”
“You and me both.” She remained still as he tucked himself back in and then rearranged her panties and dress. Then she faced him. “I look like I just had sex, don’t I.”
“Maybe.” Chandler laughed as her eyes widened. He smoothed his fingers through her hair, draping the long, dark locks over her shoulders. “No. You look well-loved.”
“Well-loved?” There was that swelling in her chest again, and instead of it being pesky or annoying, she wanted to float away right with it. “I like the sound of that.”
“I bet you do.” He kissed her, his lips lingering. “I need to go.”
“I know.” She stretched up on the tips of her toes, bringing their mouths together. “I love you.”
He shuddered. “I’ll never grow tired of hearing you admit that.”
She smiled as she forced herself away. “I’ll be looking for you out there.”
Chandler offered her his hand, and together they left the room. Luckily the hall was empty, and they parted ways when they came upon the rest of the men. Alana walked to the front of the packed church, full of friends, family, and ball players, finding her seat and thankful that she wasn’t walking funny and no one was giving her the stink eye.
Mrs. Daniels patted her knee, and she smiled at the older woman. One day, when Chandler proposed—because she knew he would—she wanted all of them at her wedding.
Chad and his best men entered, lining up beside the altar. Her gaze traveled over the men. Chad, who looked ridiculously handsome in his tux and very nervous, past Chase, who was elbowing Chad in the side, and then to Chandler, who stood next to Mr. Daniels and Mitchell.
Her gaze moved back to Chandler’s.
A slow smile crept across her flushed cheeks. The bridal song began and as the audience twisted in their seats, one after another, and Bridget made her grand, beautiful entrance and Mrs. Daniels swallowed a soft cry, Alana couldn’t wait to see what other inappropriate things Chandler Gamble had in store for her.