It Happened One Wedding Page 17

“And you and Sidney had some sort of falling out then?” Cade asked.

Vaughn hedged. “Technically, the falling out happened before dinner, at a coffee shop around the corner.” He paused. “When I hit on her.”

“You hit on your future sister-in-law’s sister?” Huxley asked, his tone clearly indicating that this was a big no-no.

“I didn’t know she was Isabelle’s sister at the time,” Vaughn said, in his defense. “I saw a hot single woman and I acted. That’s what I do.”

“How did you know she was single?” Huxley asked.

“I could tell that she was on a first date. Things didn’t work out between her and the other guy, so I walked over and tried to pick her up,” he said matter-of-factly.

“How’d that go?” Cade asked.

“Not well.” Vaughn zipped up his fly, and saw his friends fighting back grins. “She profiled me.”

Cade let out a bark of laughter. “Get out of here.”

Vaughn grabbed his duffle bag and shut his locker with a resounding clang. “I’m serious. There was a speech and everything. She told me that I run around with my ‘obviously healthy ego’ and compared me to a kid in a candy store when it comes to women—trying to get my hands on as many ‘shiny treats’ as possible.”

Cade’s mouth twitched. “How dare she. That’s just so . . .” He trailed off, as if thinking about how best to respond.

“Dead-on balls accurate,” Huxley finished.

The two of them began laughing.

Vaughn glared. “I’m starting to get the impression that you guys are enjoying this.”

“Oh, definitely,” Huxley said, still chuckling.

“Why?” Vaughn asked, annoyed. They were his closest friends, which meant they were supposed to be on his side.

Cade answered that question with one of his own. “When’s the last time a woman rejected you, Roberts?”

Vaughn paused, having to think that one over.

Cade grinned, his point made. “That is why we’re enjoying this.”

 • • •

“I’M SURE SHE’LL be here any minute,” Sidney said assuredly.

Jackie, the bridal shop sales associate who’d squeezed Isabelle into this appointment during her lunch hour as a favor to a friend, smiled politely. “Not a problem.”

Given the bridal shop’s location on Oak Street, home to many of the city’s most upscale stores and boutiques, Sidney guessed that Jackie had perfected the art of saying “Not a problem” in response to a wide variety of comments, questions, and situations. Still, given the efforts the sales associate had gone through to accommodate them, Sidney felt bad that Isabelle was late—which was not like her. She checked the clock on her phone, and was about to send her sister a text message, when the door to the shop flew open and Isabelle hurtled inside.

“Oh my god, where’s the bathroom—I need it now!” she shouted at Jackie.

Mouth open, Jackie pointed to a corridor on her right.

Isabelle took off at lightning speed.

A moment later, a door slammed down the hallway. After an awkward pause, Sidney turned and smiled at Jackie. “Well, at least she’s in the shop now. Yay, progress.”

“Perhaps you have some idea of your sister’s taste and could begin looking over the dresses I’ve pulled?” Jackie suggested. “I’m afraid there aren’t that many choices. Given the extremely short time frame we have to work with, Isabelle’s only option is to go with a dress we already have here in the shop in her size.”

Five minutes later, Sidney found herself in a dressing room, surrounded by yards of tulle, silk, charmeuse, duchess satin, and organza. She flipped through the gowns that Jackie had pulled for them and then paused when she came to a one-shoulder silk gown with a draped bodice that looked remarkably like the wedding dress she’d ordered for herself back in New York.

She fingered the delicate material as the memories washed over her—the first time Brody had kissed her on the steps outside her apartment in SoHo, his spontaneous proposal in Central Park, the rush of excitement and happiness she’d felt when trying on her wedding dress for a final fitting, just two weeks before the big day.

Then came another memory, one of betrayal and hurt and shock.

Sidney grabbed the hanger and emphatically slid the dress to the other end of the rack, out of sight and out of mind. She’d learned her lesson, and she had her plan now—never again would silly, fanciful emotions cloud her judgment when it came to men.

The dressing room door opened. Isabelle stepped in and sank onto a love seat. “Well, that wasn’t fun,” she groaned.

Sidney had gathered that. “Morning sickness?” She took a seat next to her sister on the love seat.

“Afternoon and evening, too. The doctor says it can happen at any time. Yippee,” Isabelle said, raising her fist mock cheerfully. “So far this week, I’ve had to run out of four client appointments.”

“You had your first doctor’s appointment? How did it go?” Sidney asked.

“I peed in a cup, they confirmed that I’m having a baby, then I puked into a bedpan while a nurse took four vials of blood from me.”

“And who says pregnancy isn’t a beautiful thing?”

Isabelle smiled weakly at that and pushed herself upright. She eyed the rack of gowns. “So. One of those is going to be my dream wedding dress.”

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