It Happened One Wedding Page 38

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WHEN IT WAS just Simon and Vaughn out in the hallway, Simon blew out a ragged breath of air and sat down on the bench. He ran his fingers through his hair and took a moment to decompress.

Finally, he looked sideways at Vaughn. “So. I guess this is probably a good time to mention that Isabelle is pregnant.”

That got a small chuckle out of Vaughn. “I kind of figured that already. I’ve had my suspicions for a few weeks.”

Simon nodded. “Isabelle wondered if you knew.”

“You could’ve told me, Simon,” Vaughn said, not unkindly. “I get why you might not want Mom to know yet, but why not talk to me about it?”

Simon leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “I guess I didn’t think you’d understand.”

“I wouldn’t understand that you want to marry the woman who’s pregnant with your child? I think that’s a concept I can grasp.”

“See, that’s just it.” Simon gestured emphatically. “I knew that’s how you would see it. That I’m marrying Isabelle because I got her pregnant. And I don’t want you, or Mom, or anyone else to think about Isabelle that way—that she’s the woman I had to marry, because it was the right thing to do. Because the truth is, I knew I wanted to marry Isabelle on our second date. She invited me up to her apartment that night, and I saw that she had the entire James Bond collection on Blu-ray. Naturally, being the Bond aficionado that I am, I threw out a little test question for her: ‘Who’s the best Bond?’”

Vaughn scoffed. “Like there’s more than one possible answer to that.”

“Exactly. Sean Connery’s a no-brainer, right? But get this—she says Daniel Craig.” Simon caught Vaughn’s horrified expression. “I know, right? So I’m thinking the date is over because clearly she’s either crazy or has seriously questionable taste, but then she starts going on and on about how Casino Royale is the first movie where Bond is touchable and human, and then we get into this big debate that lasts for nearly an hour. And as I’m sitting there on her couch, I keep thinking that I don’t know a single other person who would relentlessly argue, for an hour, that Daniel Craig is a better Bond than Sean Connery. She pulled out the DVDs and showed me movie clips and everything.” He smiled, as if remembering the moment. “And somewhere in there, it hit me. I thought to myself, I’m going to marry this woman.”

Vaughn smiled, thinking he might have to work that into his best man speech. “Why haven’t you told me that story before?”

Simon paused, as if trying to decide how best to explain. “I don’t know . . . maybe because you and I don’t talk about those kinds of things. You’re the guy I talk to about a fun, random hookup. Or about some hot girl whose number I got while waiting in line at the deli on my lunch break. I guess I just didn’t think you’d understand something that’s not so, you know, shallow.”

Vaughn blinked. No offense taken.

Simon quickly backtracked. “I mean, not that I think you are shallow. Just that, well, lately, none of your relationships with women have had much substance, you know? And that’s cool; that’s your perspective—hey, I used to be in that place myself.”

“Before you left and went to the deeper place.” Vaughn pretended to think about that. “Question: can I still hang out with you, now that you’re in this deeper place? Obviously, I’m used to the shallower stuff, but maybe I can wear a pair of water wings, or hold onto one of those pool noodles or something.”

“I’m going to be getting shit for the ‘shallow’ comment for a while, aren’t I?”

Before Vaughn could answer, the ER doctor came around the corner with a woman in her early forties wearing blue scrubs and Crocs. “Mr. Roberts, this is Dr. Takacs from our obstetrics and gynecology department,” he said to Simon. “She’ll be taking over your fiancée’s case.”

After a brief hello, Dr. Takacs and the ER doctor stepped into Isabelle’s room. They waited expectantly in the doorway for Simon.

Simon looked uncertainly at Vaughn. “Um . . . are we okay?”

While the unfinished conversation still lingered in the air, Vaughn knew his brother had a lot more important things to worry about right then. “Simon?”

“Yeah?”

“Go be with your fiancée.” Vaughn nodded in the direction of Isabelle’s room, with a smile that said everything was cool between them.

Simon grinned in relief. “Right.” He got up from the bench and hurried into the room.

When his brother was gone, Vaughn leaned forward on the bench and rested his elbows on his knees.

I didn’t think you’d understand something that’s not so shallow.

Well. That certainly was an interesting insight into his brother’s view of him. Sure, he took a casual approach to dating, and yes, he often was the guy talking about a hot hookup. But he hadn’t realized this was something that had created some kind of gulf between him and this new version of Simon, who suddenly was ready for marriage, the two-point-five kids, and the minivan in the suburbs.

Not sure what to make of all that, Vaughn ducked his head and briefly closed his eyes.

He heard the soft click of heels against the hospital’s tiled floor and opened his eyes to find a pair of gold strappy heels directly in his line of vision.

He looked up.

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