It Happened One Wedding Page 51

“I heard PetSmart has been talking to her about their open CEO position,” Gabe said.

Sidney mused over that. Wetzel had more experience in the specialty retail industry than any of the other candidates and, on paper, had been her top choice. “Do we know if that’s a done deal?”

“I can find out,” Gabe said.

She nodded. “See if you can reach her today. Tell her I’d like to fly her out to Chicago if she’s still considering other opportunities.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” Gabe promised.

After she wrapped up her call, Sidney headed out to grab a quick lunch with Isabelle, who was downtown for a post-surgical follow-up with her OB-GYN.

“How’d it go at your doctor’s appointment?” Sidney asked over their salads at Corner Bakery.

“He said everything looks great with both me and the peanut,” Isabelle said. “He took a few ultrasound photos. Want to see?” She took the strip of black-and-white pictures out of her purse and handed it over.

“Oh my gosh.” Sidney pointed. “Look, there’s its nose. And a little hand.”

“The doctor joked that the baby was waving ‘Hi, Mom.’”

The alarm on Sidney’s biological clock suddenly blared so loud it sounded more like a fire drill. She hit the mental snooze button and smiled at her sister. “Are you going to find out the gender?”

Isabelle shook her head. “Simon and I decided that we want to stick with the theme of this pregnancy and be surprised.” She took a bite of her salad. “But enough about me—what’s going on with you? Anything happening on the guy front?”

Not much. Just Vaughn and I having crazy-hot sex after your pre-wedding tasting. “Actually, I have a date tomorrow.” Sidney cocked her head. “Come to think of it, you might remember the guy—Chad Bailey. He was a year younger than me in high school—he would’ve been a senior when you were a freshman?”

Isabelle set down her fork. “No way. I had a huge crush on Chad Bailey back then. And I wasn’t the only one. I think half the cheerleading squad lost their virginity in the back of his Mustang GT.”

“Please tell me you weren’t one of them, because—eww—I’m not going on a date with someone you slept with.”

“You’re in the clear.” Isabelle cracked open the water bottle, looking eager for the details. “How did you two reconnect, anyway? By the way, you definitely need to call me after the date and let me know if he’s still as hot as he was in high school.”

“He found me on Facebook. We’ve e-mailed back and forth a few times, and he asked if I’d meet him for a drink.” Not that Sidney didn’t have doubts, particularly after Vaughn’s comments about what it meant when a guy rapid-fire e-mailed a woman and then fell quiet for a few days. But this was what single thirty-three-year-old women with blaring biological clocks did—they kept an open mind.

And apparently, they went on a lot of first dates.

 • • •

THURSDAY EVENING, SIDNEY’S date with Chad started off better than expected. They met for drinks at a wine bar not far from her office and fell into a fun, easy conversation as they reminisced about high school.

“I had a crush on you back then, you know,” he said, his brown eyes warm and friendly. “It broke my heart when you went off to college.”

This provided her just the opportunity she’d been looking for. “From what I hear, you survived just fine,” she said teasingly. “My sister told me some rumor about your Mustang GT and half the cheerleading squad?”

Chad laughed, looking embarrassed. “Oh . . . that. Well, I couldn’t wait around for you forever, could I?” Then he leaned in, speaking more earnestly. “But all jokes aside, I’ve grown up a lot since high school. That’s not who I am anymore.”

That sounded potentially promising. Sidney took a sip of her wine and set down her glass. “All right, then. Tell me who you are now, Chad Bailey.”

As they drank their wine, he told her all about his job as a consultant, his dog, and how he’d just bought a new condo in the Bucktown neighborhood. In return, he asked a lot of questions about her, and seemed genuinely interested in wanting to know more.

But there was just one thing.

During the date, he received several text messages—in fact, his phone chimed so often that he finally shut it off. “Sorry,” he said, glancing at the screen. “Just some co-workers getting together after work.” A few moments later, he excused himself to go to the restroom.

Sidney watched him go, thinking that this seemed a little . . . suspicious. Then again, it was possible that she was being too paranoid about such things. So far, Chad had sailed through her thirty-four-item checklist. Hell, he even had a dog—which, according to her research, was a big sign of commitment-readiness.

I hate to break it to you, but any guy trying to play you will know how to get around that checklist.

Deciding to go straight to the source, she pulled out her phone and texted Vaughn.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF A GUY GETS A BUNCH OF TEXTS WHILE ON A DATE, BUT DOESN’T WANT TO ANSWER THEM IN FRONT OF ME? SHADY, OR JUST BEING POLITE?

Moments later, she received Vaughn’s reply.

YOU’RE ON A DATE RIGHT NOW?

Clearly, this was self-evident. YES, WITH HIGH SCHOOL GUY.

I THOUGHT YOU NIXED HIGH SCHOOL GUY.

I’M BEING OPENMINDED, she shot back.

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