Wild With You(5)

By: Layla Hagen


We chitchatted for a while longer, but then I had to excuse myself. I didn't want to be late to pick up Milo from school.

As soon as I was alone with Amber, I was going to pepper her with questions. I liked to get the scoop: When did he propose? How had he proposed? Had he dropped on one knee? Did they have an audience? I'd barely refrained from asking all those things today. I lived vicariously through my brides. I'd been twenty-three when I discovered I was unexpectedly pregnant. My announcement was certainly not met with a marriage proposal, or hell, even a hug.

I arrived at Milo’s school in time for pick-up, and once we were both inside the car, I asked “How was your day, baby boy?”

"Mom! I told you, I'm not a baby anymore. I'm a grown-up boy."

"Okay, okay. How was your day, grown-up boy?"

"We have a new soccer coach. He's cool. I'm starving."

"We'll be at Aunt Val's house in no time."

My siblings and I got together every Friday to have dinner at my sister Valentina's house. It was hands down the best way to kick off the weekend and catch up. There were six of us, so there was never a shortage of news. Everyone was already there and gathered around the table when Milo and I arrived.

My oldest brother, Landon, was fussing over Maddie—his pregnant wife. Next to him, Jace was trying to convince our brother Will to be his wingman when they went out later tonight.

"Afraid you can't get a date without my help?" Will was sporting a shit-eating grin.

"I'm wounded!" Jace exclaimed.

"Detective William Connor. My, oh my. Being a wingman is a bit like cheating on a test. Isn't coloring outside the lines a little beneath you?" Val teased.

"Hey, once the badge comes off, I'm officially not on duty. I break the rules in my free time, for a change of pace."

My other sister, Hailey, pulled Milo into a hug then kissed my cheek.

"Do you think we should remind Will that Jace is a sports celebrity? If anything, Jace is probably getting him dates. I mean, Will knows how to work the hot cop angle, but hanging out with a professional athlete sure doesn't hurt the prospects," Hailey fake-whispered, chuckling. Will gave us the evil eye.

"Nah, let's wait until after he eats to be mean to him," I said.

My mouth watered as I took in the goodies: sweet potatoes with chili sauce and a mix of garbanzo beans, diced avocado, and chicken. Next to it was a small bowl with lime and coriander dressing. Val was the best cook I knew.

Our parents passed away in an accident when Jace, Hailey, Will, and I were still kids. Valentina and Landon were the only legal adults, and they practically raised us. Mama's cooking had been delicious, but Val's was even better.

As soon as I sat between my sisters, Hailey showed me pictures of a fiery red mane; she was considering changing her hair color. Hailey's hair was a beautiful hue of brown, a rich chocolate. I was the only blonde in the family. My siblings’ hair ranged from dark brown—Landon and Valentina—to light brown—Jace and Will.

Milo wedged himself between Will and Jace. My boy worshipped my brothers. His dad took off before he was born, so my brothers were the closest things he'd ever had to father figures.

"Lori, how did it go with Amber?" Jace asked.

"It went well. The wedding is in four weeks, which will mean a lot of hassle, but Amber seems easy to work with."

My agency was fully booked for the next two months, so my assistants already had their hands full. I was going to work on this wedding solo.

"She is. Best head of marketing and PR we've had."

As I savored the sweet potatoes and bean mix, I questioned my brother about Amber. The more I knew, the easier it would be to work with her. Then I couldn't help myself, and also got the scoop on the best man.





Chapter Three




Graham

I couldn't make it in time for our appointment with Lori the next Thursday. Amber and Matt were showing her my property so she could advise where to set up the tent and the ceremony aisle. A last-minute phone call with a potential sponsor took well over an hour. By the time I was halfway home, Amber called to let me know they were nearly done and would be heading out.

Damn shame because I'd wanted to catch them. The meeting last week had been surprising in more ways than one. I hadn't expected it to be so efficient... or for Lori to be that stunning. I had no doubt she'd aimed to look professional wearing that dress. It revealed absolutely nothing. In fact, it covered far too much of her, and yet my imagination ran wild the second she sat in front of me.

When I arrived in front of the villa, I was pleasantly surprised to see Lori pacing in front of a red Honda, talking on her phone. Her voice reached me through the open window.

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