It Happened One Wedding Page 36

With a smile, Sidney nodded. “I’m in.”

 • • •

WHIRLWIND-STYLE, THE PEOPLE from the catering company swept through Sidney’s first floor and began packing up all the food, drinks, glasses, and dishes as soon as the last guest left. Wanting to stay out of the way, Vaughn headed outside to Sidney’s private courtyard and took a seat in one of the cushioned lounge chairs. Either she or the previous owners had transformed the yard into a cozy urban garden, complete with shrubs, brightly hued flowers, brick pavers, and a small stone water fountain.

Apparently the Sinclairs liked their water fountains.

Vaughn caught sight of the lady of the house as she breezed by the French doors while answering some question posed by one of the catering crew. She was wearing another one of her trendy dresses, he’d noticed. This one was a white, billowy minidress belted at the waist with a thin gold band—which she’d paired with gold strappy heels that made her legs look sky-high.

One of the reasons he’d come out to the courtyard was to stay out of her way. He’d found it nearly impossible to be around her and that dress without remembering the moments in the clearing when she’d straddled him with those spectacular legs as they kissed feverishly. And since he was pretty sure it would be poor form to walk around with a raging hard-on in front of her sister and his brother, he’d figured it was best to keep his distance.

As if determined to thwart him, Sidney opened the French doors and stepped out into the courtyard.

She ignored him at first, looking around the yard, and then put her hand on her hip. “Have you seen Isabelle?” she finally asked him.

“I saw her and Simon go upstairs about ten minutes ago.”

“Oh.” She looked him over with cool blue-green eyes. “We still have half the presents to load up, if you want to make yourself useful.”

“Nah, I’m good. Being useful is overrated.” Seeing the spark in her eyes, he fought back a grin. “I’m kidding, Sinclair. I need the keys to Simon’s car in order to load up the rest of the gifts, but I was thinking it might not be a good idea to follow him and Isabelle upstairs. I don’t want to see anything involving the two of them that can’t be unseen.”

That got a slight smile out of her. “I doubt they’re fooling around up there.”

He shrugged his broad shoulders. “What do I know? Maybe the sight of tiny teacups gets engaged couples all worked up.”

She considered this, then made a face, as if getting a visual. “If they’re not back down in a couple minutes, I’ll brave it and go looking for them.”

Not seeming to know what else to do—he was the one remaining guest in her house—she took a seat in the chair across from him. She crossed her legs, her dress hiking a few extra inches up her thighs.

Vaughn looked, then returned his eyes to her.

There was a slight pink flush to her cheeks, as if she’d noticed him checking her out, but her tone remained casual. “So. How’s your investigation going? Has the ‘other you’ been hanging out in any dark, sketchy alleys doing dark, sketchy things?”

“Actually, that’s exactly what the other me will be doing on Monday night.” Vaughn said.

“Really?” Sidney cocked her head, studying him. “I can’t picture this other you.”

“You wouldn’t like the guy. In addition to being a criminal, he’s got this continuous five-o’clock shadow problem.”

In response to his comment, her gaze held on the stubble along his jawline.

She shifted in her chair.

“I saw my mother give you her shepherd’s pie recipe,” Vaughn said. “That’s a big stamp of approval, coming from her.”

“Your mother obviously is an excellent judge of character,” she said.

“And you say that I’m confident.”

The words fell between them, both of them fully aware that she’d made the comment just before they’d gotten all tangled up in each other in the clearing.

Vaughn couldn’t help it. Alone with her like this, he could practically feel the nip of her teeth on his lip, the erotic sensation of her fingers digging into his back. It was that damn minidress. He envisioned himself kneeling in front of her, pushing that dress the rest of the way up her thighs and making her scream with his mouth.

Her chest moved up and down, her breath a little quicker. “You shouldn’t look at me that way.”

His voice was a low growl. “Believe me, baby, I’m trying not to.”

The creamy skin along her neckline turned pink, and he could see her ni**les tighten through the thin material of her dress.

Christ.

She opened her mouth to answer and—

“There you are.”

Vaughn forced himself not to react to the interruption. Simon, again.

Then he turned his head and knew instantly from his brother’s expression that something was up. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s Isabelle.” Simon looked over at Sidney. “I think we might need to get her to the hospital.”

Fourteen

SIDNEY WAS UP out of her chair in an instant. “Where is she?”

“In the guest bathroom upstairs,” Simon said.

Nodding, she hurried into the house, climbing the stairs with him right on her heels. The guest bathroom was the first door on the left; Sidney pushed it open and found Isabelle sitting on floor, clutching her abdomen.

“Sid. I think something might be wrong with the baby.”

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