It Happened One Wedding Page 19

They walked in silence for a few moments before Isabelle cleared her throat. “So, this weekend I’m supposed to drive up to Wisconsin with Simon and Vaughn. They have some project they need to help their dad with, and Simon’s parents suggested that I come up, too, so we could meet.”

“Ooh, your first chance to dazzle the future in-laws.” Sidney winked while licking frosting off her fork.

“Um . . . right. See, here’s the thing. Simon and I were talking about it last night, and he told me that his parents’ house is a small ranch next to some woods or something. Three bedrooms, just one-and-a-half bathrooms.”

Sidney was sure that this verbal blueprint of the Robertses’ house was going somewhere, but so far . . . no clue. “A ranch in the woods sounds cozy. Isabelle Sinclair goes country.”

“That’s the problem—it is cozy. Too cozy. With this morning sickness, I’m constantly running to the bathroom. You think Vaughn the FBI agent isn’t going to notice that? Or Simon’s mother?”

That was indeed a tricky situation. Sidney thought for a moment. “Maybe you could pretend you came down with the stomach flu or something.”

“Then in three months, after this whole thing comes out, she’ll know I lied to her. I’m trying to avoid actual outright lying, if at all possible. So I’ve come up with another solution to the weekend problem.”

“Oh, good. What’s that?”

“You go on this trip, too.”

Sidney laughed, thinking that was a joke. Then she saw Isabelle’s expression. “Yeah . . . that’s not happening. I don’t do country.” Her idea of rustic was having to walk more than three blocks to a Starbucks.

Isabelle clasped her hands together, ready to plead her case. “Come on, Sid. It’s only for one night. We drive up Saturday morning, and we’ll be back Sunday evening. You told me your work schedule was better now that you started this new position. Surely you can take a break for two days.”

Absolutely she could. Since she had switched over to private equity, people accommodated her schedule, not the other way around. But that wasn’t the point. “I don’t see how it helps you if I go. What’s the plan here? That I go to the bathroom with you, and we pretend that it’s me getting sick? Hey, I know—maybe I’m the one with the secret baby.”

“No, if you go, we can stay at a hotel. It was already going to be tight with me at the Robertses’ house, but if I had said I wanted to sleep at a hotel instead of their place, I would’ve seemed like an uppity rich girl. But if you go, we can get around that, and the entire Roberts clan won’t have to wake up to the sounds of me hurling in the bathroom.”

“Okay, fine. Maybe the hotel thing would help you. But why would I randomly tag along this weekend?”

“Because you thought a weekend out of the city sounded relaxing?” Isabelle suggested.

Sidney gave her a look over the top of her sunglasses. Try again.

Isabelle remained undeterred. “Fine. You’re there because it’s the efficient thing to do. With less than three months to go, we have tons of stuff to talk about between the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and wedding. So we’ll use the three-hour car ride each way to make a dent in that.”

Sidney hmphed at that. The “efficient” angle at least made some sense.

Isabelle smiled hopefully. “Please, please, please? I just want this weekend to go smoothly. More than anything.”

Sidney took a deep breath, and then sighed in resignation. Isabelle always had been the one person she could never say no to. “I’d better get a kick-ass maid of honor dress out of this.”

Isabelle squealed and threw her arms around Sidney in a huge hug. “Thank you! It’s going to be fun, you’ll see. Simon says it’s beautiful up by his parents, plus you and I can stay up late in the hotel room, watch a sappy romantic comedy, and look through wedding magazines.”

One arm around her sister, Sidney tilted her head affectionately against Isabelle’s as they began walking. “I suppose there are worse ways to spend a weekend.”

“Even a weekend spent with Vaughn?” Isabelle asked, still fishing.

On second thought . . .

Sidney maintained her casual demeanor. “I told you, there’s no bad vibe between him and me. I’m sure we’ll get along just fine this weekend.”

At least in the presence of others.

Seven

BEHIND THE WHEEL of his Dodge Charger, Vaughn watched as two long, slender legs stepped out of the driver’s side of the Mercedes sedan parked a few feet away.

Out climbed Sidney, the warm breeze blowing her wrap dress an inch or two higher.

Vaughn unrolled his window, peering at her from behind dark sunglasses. “Maybe if you drank just a little less water?”

Sidney tipped her bottled water at him, her third so far this trip. “Need to stay hydrated. I’m a city girl—not used to all this fresh air.” With a smile that said he could kiss-off if he didn’t like the sound of that, she headed into the gas station.

The passenger door of the Mercedes opened, and Isabelle scrambled out. “As long as you stopped, I might as well stretch my legs, too.” She leaned against the car and took a few deep breaths.

Next to Vaughn in the passenger seat, now it was Simon’s turn to chime in. “Good idea. Might as well stretch a bit myself.”

“Take your time,” Vaughn said easily. He watched as Simon jogged over to Isabelle and put his arm around her, murmuring something in a low voice that Vaughn couldn’t hear.

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