It Happened One Wedding Page 24

“I think it’s time we found out.” Kathleen took the open bottle Vaughn set in front of her and poured each of them a glass. She then raised her glass in toast.

Next to Sidney, Isabelle shot her a silent plea. Help.

Sidney gave her a reassuring look that said she would take care of it.

“There’s an Irish blessing that I think fits well here,” Kathleen said. “May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.”

After a round of “Cheers,” Sidney took a sip of her wine. She waited as Isabelle faked a sip, then deliberately set her glass on the table right next to her sister’s.

Isabelle glanced over and smiled, catching on. The Robertses’ bringing out a special bottle of wine for a toast—that Isabelle obviously couldn’t drink—was a small hiccup in the let’s-pretend-nobody’s-pregnant plan, but nothing that couldn’t be resolved with a few stealth maneuvers. Sidney simply would drink a little of Isabelle’s wine when nobody was looking.

People passed food every which way, and Sidney paused at the delicious aromas coming from the shepherd’s pie, the hearty layers of mashed potatoes, sautéed lamb, carrots, peas, and onions. “This smells incredible, Kathleen.”

“It’s the boys’ favorite,” she said. “Isabelle, I’ll have to give you the recipe.”

“I’d like that. Thank you.”

Sidney peeked over, expecting to see a big grin on her sister’s face. After all, this was exactly what Isabelle had been hoping for—to bond with Kathleen this weekend.

But instead, she looked pale while staring at the shepherd’s pie on her plate.

Isabelle exhaled slowly, speaking under her breath. “Oh, boy.”

Sidney’s hand froze. She knew that Oh, boy.

Seriously, they couldn’t take the pregnant lady anywhere.


VAUGHN HAD TO give the Three Amigos credit: they worked well under pressure.

Next to him, Simon “stole” the last bite of Isabelle’s shepherd’s pie off her plate.

“Simon,” she pretended to protest.

“Sorry,” he said with an impish grin, gesturing to the empty casserole dish. “There’s no more left, and I’ve waited months for that pie.”

“Now how could I begrudge you that?” They smiled at each other, all schmoopey-like.

It took all of Vaughn’s undercover skills to keep from rolling his eyes.

This performance had been going on for the past twenty minutes, in which Simon had managed to eat every bite of shepherd’s pie on Isabelle’s plate. There’d been a lot of coy looks between them, but Vaughn had pretended to be oblivious to the whole thing—just like he was pretending to be oblivious to Little Miss Sneaky Drinks across the table, on Isabelle’s other side.

To be fair, Sidney at least managed to be subtler in the charade, with the sleight-of-hand routine she had going on with Isabelle’s wine. She’d taken a few sips from each of their glasses, seemingly with neither of his parents being the wiser. But, apparently, these three also believed they were fooling him, an FBI agent, and for that Vaughn didn’t know whether to be amused or insulted. Perhaps a little of both.

After lunch, Sidney and Isabelle offered to help with the dishes, while the three men headed out to the backyard. Vaughn and Simon planned to re-shingle the shed roof that weekend, undoubtedly with a whole lot of micromanaging from their retired-carpenter father, who’d been strictly forbidden by their mother to undertake any strenuous labor after his heart attack six months ago.

“I called in all the supplies at McGovern’s,” their dad said, referring to the local hardware store. “You can take my truck to pick everything up.”

Simon nodded. “Sidney and Isabelle can follow us into town so they can get settled in at the hotel.”

“Assuming your mother will let you pry those girls from this house,” Adam said. “You should have seen her these past two weeks. I think all of Apple Canyon has heard about her son and his fiancée.” He looked proudly at Simon. “We’re happy for you, son. Isabelle seems like a wonderful girl.”

Simon answered without any hesitation. “She is, Dad.”

For a moment, Vaughn caught himself wondering what it felt like to be that certain—to know, without a doubt, that he’d found the one person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Between Simon’s getting married and suddenly having a baby on the way, Vaughn would’ve expected his brother to be in a mild-to-moderate state of panic. But instead, Simon seemed completely calm about the whole thing.

Vaughn watched as his dad pulled Simon in for a hug and patted him heartily on the back in congratulations. He smiled at that, then left them to their father-son moment while he headed back inside the house to grab the keys to his dad’s truck.

Enough of the sentimentality—he, at least, had a shed to re-shingle.

 • • •

A HALF HOUR later, Vaughn and Simon stood in the driveway, leaning against their father’s pickup truck and waiting as the women said their temporary good-byes in the doorway. Vaughn’s gaze fell on the cute curve of Sidney’s ass as she laughed at something his mother said.

“Mom really seems to like her,” Simon said.

Vaughn grunted, having noticed this, too. Seemingly, the elder Sinclair sister was perfectly capable of piling on the charm for anyone except him. “I think she won Mom over the minute she diced that tomato.”

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