It Happened One Wedding Page 22

Sidney decided then that she was going to like Kathleen Roberts just fine.


ONCE INSIDE, SIDNEY and Isabelle were introduced to Simon and Vaughn’s dad, Adam Roberts, a tall, big bear of a man with a thick shock of silver hair. They all moved into the family room, and Sidney mostly hung on the sidelines of the conversation as Kathleen and Adam got acquainted with Isabelle. The Robertses’ house was sunny and brightly decorated, with beautiful oak bookshelves in the family room that Sidney guessed were Adam’s handiwork—Simon had mentioned once that his father used to be a carpenter.

The initial awkwardness of Simon and Isabelle’s meet-the-parents moment quickly dissipated, and everyone fell into comfortable, easy conversation. Afterward, Kathleen moved into the adjoining kitchen to finish preparing lunch, while Simon gave Sidney and Isabelle a quick tour of the house.

“And this is my old room,” Simon said, looking semi-embarrassed. “I keep telling my parents they should turn it into an exercise room or something, but my mom says she’s too nostalgic for that.”

Isabelle peeked in and covered her mouth in a half-hearted attempt to hide her giggle. “Oh. My. God. There’s a poster of Heidi Klum on the wall. And look at that glamour shot of you on your desk.” She peered closer. “Are those laser beams in the background?”

“Yep. That would be my high school senior photo,” Simon said.

Isabelle laughed and kissed his cheek. “It’s adorable. Show me more.” She eagerly stepped inside his room.

Simon gestured for Sidney to join them. “Care to join us?”

“As much as I hate to pass on the glamour shot, I’ll let you two have this moment to yourselves.” Truthfully, she felt a little like a third wheel right then. “I think I’ll see if your mom needs any help getting lunch ready.”

She headed down the hallway in the direction of the kitchen. She found Kathleen rinsing a carrot in the apron-front sink while chatting with Vaughn, who sat in one of the stools by the island.

Both of them looked over when Sidney walked in.

Kathleen smiled. “Sidney. We were just catching up. Come join us.”

Sidney eyed the empty bar stool, which sat close to the one already occupied by Vaughn. Too close. “Is there anything I can do to help?” she asked Kathleen.

“How sweet of you to ask.” Kathleen nodded toward two plump red tomatoes that sat on a cutting board on the island. “I still need to dice those tomatoes for the salad, if you’d like to help with that.”

“I’d be happy to.” Sidney headed over to the island, looking around for a knife.

“On the counter, by the refrigerator,” Vaughn said.

Following his direction, Sidney spotted the knife block. “Thanks.”

With a skeptical expression, he watched as she selected a long, large serrated knife and returned to the cutting board. “Watch those fingers,” he said. “The nearest hospital is forty-five minutes away.”

While his mother’s back was to them, Sidney gave him dry look. “I’ll do my best.”

She picked up the first tomato, and began making slices almost all the way through, a quarter of an inch apart. Then she turned the tomato and did the same thing, bisecting her original slices. When she’d finished that, she flipped the tomato on its side and diced through, the tomato falling onto the cutting board in perfect, ripe cubes.

She set down the knife, and looked at Vaughn with satisfaction as she wagged her fingers. “Still have all five of them.” Then she popped one of the tomato cubes into her mouth.

Kathleen came around to check out Sidney’s handiwork. “Somebody knows how to cook,” she said, impressed.

“Only a little,” Sidney said, with a conceding smile. “Back in New York, one of my friends roped me into taking a Knife Skills class. I thought it was a self-defense course.”

Kathleen laughed at the joke, and then turned around to get something out of the refrigerator. Sidney grabbed the second tomato and saw Vaughn watching her.

She glared. What?

His hazel eyes crinkled at the corners as he kept right on looking.

Her scowl deepened. Go away.

He winked.

Clearly, the man lived to annoy her.

When Kathleen shut the refrigerator door and turned around, both Sidney and Vaughn resumed their normal expressions. Kathleen put a bottle of what appeared to be homemade salad dressing in the middle of the farm table that sat on the other side of the island.

As she passed by Vaughn, she gave her son’s unshaven jaw another once-over. “So that’s the look now, is it?”

With a mischievous smile that said he’d gotten more than a handful of lectures from his mother over the years, Vaughn got up from the stool and walked over to the sideboard across from the kitchen table. “It’s only temporary, Mom.” He opened one of the cabinets and pulled out a stack of plates.

“Sidney, is that what you girls go for these days?” Kathleen asked, pointing toward her oldest son. “All this scruffy whatnot?”

Well, nothing like putting her on the spot here. Personally, Sidney thought that the dark hint of scruff along Vaughn’s angular jaw looked fine. Better than fine, actually. She would, however, rather be trapped for the next thirty-six hours in a car with the crazy pregnant lady before admitting that in front of him.

“I generally prefer clean-shaven men.” She shrugged—sorry—when Vaughn gave her the side-eye as he began setting the table.

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