It Happened One Wedding Page 55

“Who, me?” she asked.

Vaughn laughed as part of a breadstick came flying his way. “What? Not your style?”

“Definitely not my style. Not to mention, Isabelle has another bridesmaid, Amanda, who already declared that she’s taking anyone out who gets between her and that bouquet at the wedding.” Her turn again. “Most likely to photobomb the pictures of Isabelle and Simon cutting the cake.”

“Also my uncle Finn.”

“This Uncle Finn sounds like quite a character. I can’t wait to meet him.”

“I’m going to remind you of that when he’s drunk and trying to grab all the bridesmaids’ asses,” Vaughn said.

“Gross.”

His turn. “Most likely to get obnoxious with that annoying tradition of clinking glasses to get the bride and groom to kiss.”

Sidney pointed. “Oh, I’ve got that one. My cousin Anna. She did that nonstop at my other cousin’s wedding last summer. And if she tries pulling that crap at Isabelle’s reception, she’s going to find herself drinking out of a red Solo cup.”

“At a Sinclair function? Are these ruby-crusted red Solo cups?” Vaughn asked.

Cute. Her turn. “Most likely to be the first one to cry during the ceremony.”

He sat back in his chair. “Hmm. . . that’s a tough one. Isabelle’s got the hormones going for her, but lately Simon’s been getting very sentimental and schmaltzy. Then there’s you, another contender—don’t make that face at me, I see the softer side that comes out when you think no one’s looking—but, nevertheless, I think I have to go with my mom. She’s so excited this is finally happening, I think we may need a whole box of Kleenex at the ceremony just for her.” He cocked his head, as if curious about something. “What about your dad?”

“My dad? Ah, no. I think the idea of getting sentimental and schmaltzy at weddings wore off for him sometime around his third marriage.” She took another bite of her risotto.

“You don’t talk about him much,” Vaughn said.

When Sidney had finished chewing, she shrugged. “Not much to say, I guess. We’re not really that close.”

“Has it always been that way?”

She fingered the stem of her water glass. “Not always. It was different when I was younger. He used to take me to work and show me around the office and tell everyone that I was going to be an investment banker someday, just like him. Obviously, the idea stuck with me,” she said with a slight smile, before turning more serious. “But things changed after my mom died. My dad threw himself into work, and for a while, my sister and I barely saw him. And then he started dating Cecilia, his second wife, only six months after my mom died, and I resented that. Maybe that wasn’t fair, but I was eleven years old at the time. I felt like he had moved on and forgotten about my mother, and I . . . still very much wanted to remember her.”

She cleared her throat, not having meant to reveal something so personal. “Then, three years later, when I’d finally come to accept Cecilia, they got divorced. I found out later that my father cheated on her with Liza, Wife Number Three. Liza lasted ten years, until she divorced him, also for cheating, this time with a twenty-five-year-old tennis instructor at his club,” she said, not bothering to hide her scornful tone. “Then he met Jenny at some party, and married her six months after that. They’ve been married nine years now and I guess it seems to be working. I don’t ask. Frankly, I’m not sure I want to know.”

“Do you think things might get better between you and your dad now that you’re back in Chicago?” Vaughn asked.

“I don’t know. Not really, judging from the way things have gone so far. When we talk about work things are okay, but when it comes to anything personal, I feel like there’s this chasm of things we don’t say to each other. I mean, obviously I’ve known for a while that my dad has a problem with the fidelity part of marriage.” To put it mildly. “And while before, that was something I disapproved of, it’s different now after what happened to me with Brody. I can’t look at my dad the same way. I just . . . respect him less, because of the decisions he’s made in his personal life.” She paused. “And that’s a hard thing to admit, especially since I used to idolize him so much when I was younger.” She fell silent at that, and then took a deep breath and cocked her head. “How did we get on this subject, anyway?” She pointed, mock suspiciously. “Did you good-cop me, Roberts?”

He laughed, grabbing the carafe of ice water. He refreshed her glass, and then his. “It’s so different with my family. No one gets divorced—as my mother would say, that’s not the ‘Irish way.’ I guess people just stick it out if they’re miserable.”

“I don’t know about the rest of your family, but your parents definitely aren’t miserable. They’re adorable.”

He smiled at that, his affection for his parents unmistakable. “They are great. But don’t let my mom fool you—she can be tough when she wants to be.”

Sidney studied him, musing over something. “I’m curious. How is it that someone who grew up with such a nice, loving family ends up being so anti-marriage?”

“First of all, I’m not ‘anti-marriage.’ I think people who want to settle down should do exactly that. It’s just not something I, personally, am looking for right now.”

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