It Happened One Wedding Page 5

His sentiments exactly.

Sidney quickly recovered and headed over.

Isabelle got up from the table and hugged her. “I’m so glad you’re here.” She turned to Vaughn. “This is Simon’s brother, Vaughn. Vaughn, my sister, Sidney.”

Vaughn stood up and held out his hand. Given the circumstances, he had no intention of indicating that they’d previously met. “Nice to meet you, Sidney.”

Locking eyes with him, she seemed to be on the same page. She slid her hand into his. “You, too.”

“Sid,” Simon said, as if they were old friends. He came around the table and pulled her in for a big hug.

Then they all took their seats, Vaughn next to Sidney. He folded his hands on the table. Well, isn’t this cozy?

Isabelle looked at Simon. He shrugged, still with the goofy smile. She turned back to Sidney and Vaughn, speaking in a rush. “Okay, I know we should wait, so that you two can get to know each other a little better, but I can’t help it. Simon and I have some news.”

“In that case, Vaughn and I are happy to fast-forward through the getting-to-know-each-other part,” Sidney said with a charming smile.

“Quite happy,” he agreed, matching her charm with his own.

“Aw, you guys are so sweet. Well, then, I guess there’s no sense beating around the bush . . . ” Isabelle sneaked a look at Simon and then threw out her hands. “We’re getting married!”

Vaughn’s mouth fell open at the same time Sidney covered hers with her hands.

“Oh my god,” Sidney said.

He wholeheartedly concurred with that sentiment. His brother had proposed after only knowing Isabelle for three months? He’d thought they were going to announce that they were moving in together, which would’ve been a significant milestone in its own right. But marriage?

Kind of a big deal, that.

“This is such wonderful news,” Sidney said. With a huge grin, she stood up to hug her sister.

Vaughn looked across the table and saw his brother watching him with obvious hesitation.

Seeing that . . . got to him.

Okay, yes. In his mind, proposing to a woman after only knowing her for three months was utterly crazy. How could anyone be that certain, in such a short amount of time, about spending the rest of his or her life with just one person? His eye twitched at the mere thought. No more chase. No more fun one-night stands. No more thinking about that threesome you’d had with what’s-her-name and her hot friend, and wondering if they might be up for it again some time. Poof—all of that gone, just like that.

But this was Simon’s decision, not his. And while Vaughn wasn’t entirely sure he understood what had motivated his brother to propose this quickly, he did know that he wasn’t going to be the ass**le who spoiled such a big moment.

So he, too, got up from his chair. He grinned and slapped Simon on the back. “My little brother’s getting married. Holy shit.”

Simon laughed and pulled him in for a brotherly hug.

More congratulations followed—Sidney hugged Simon, Vaughn hugged Isabelle, Vaughn and Sidney kept a mutual safe distance from each other—and then they all took their seats.

“One of the reasons Isabelle and I wanted to tell you first is because we’d like you to be the best man and maid of honor at the wedding,” Simon said.

Isabelle wagged her finger jokingly. “So no fast-forwarding over the getting-to-know-each-other part. As the two most important people in our lives”—she gestured between her and Simon—“you two are going to be stuck together a lot.”

“How much fun is this going to be?” Simon asked enthusiastically.

Vaughn and Sidney eyed each other skeptically.

Right.

 • • •

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, dinner went fairly smoothly.

Vaughn had to hand it to Sidney—the woman had a stellar poker face. She wasn’t overly chatty with him, but she didn’t ignore him, either. Her tone, and the things she said, were perfectly polite.

It certainly helped that for the first hour of dinner, he and Sidney were barely required to speak to each other at all. Almost immediately after Simon and Isabelle dropped their engagement news, a swirling vortex of bridal shower/wedding reception/honeymoon talk descended upon the Roberts/Sinclair party, ensnaring all in its path. In response, Vaughn did what any special agent would do when finding himself in a situation in which he was thoroughly out of his comfort zone—he maintained as low a profile as possible and kept his mouth shut.

But when the desserts arrived, Isabelle and Simon tried to spark more of a dialogue between their siblings.

“Do you feel like you’re settled in at your new office?” Simon asked Sidney. He turned to Vaughn to explain. “Sidney recently moved back here after living in New York for several years.”

“I’m getting there,” Sidney said. “We closed our fund last week, so now is the time when I really get to work.”

“What is it you do?” Vaughn asked. Other than bust the balls of men who innocently try to hit on you, that is.

“I used to be an investment banker. But I switched over to the buy side—now I’m a director at a private equity firm.”

“Sounds impressive.” Actually, as an agent on the FBI’s white-collar crime squad, Vaughn was familiar enough with Sidney’s business to know two things: one, having landed a director position, she was very good at what she did, and, two, she made a ton of money for doing it. But she didn’t need to know he was impressed from a professional standpoint. He could easily picture her in her high-powered job, in her fancy office, buying companies and figuring out how to turn them around and sell them at a profit.

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