It Happened One Wedding Page 58

“Man, your sister can drink,” said Trish, seated on Sidney’s left. “I’ve only had half of what she’s had, and I’m already feeling it.” A breeze blew through her blond hair and she sighed contentedly. “It’s so good to be out.” She looked at Sidney. “Don’t tell the other moms in my play group that I said that.”

Sidney smiled. Trish had joined a neighborhood “new moms” group and, as the only woman who worked full-time, had been feeling a little like an outsider. “Your secret’s safe with me.”

Trish took a sip of her drink and then sat back in her chair. “So, catch me up. Tell me how things are going with your dating plan.”

“I had drinks with Chad Bailey the other night. Remember him, from high school?”

“Ooh, I remember him being very cute. What’s he like now?” Trish asked eagerly.

“Pretty much a jerk.” Sidney filled her friend in on all the details of her date.

“Huh. So these tips about men that Vaughn is giving you. What’s in it for him?” Trish asked.

“Unfortunately, so far, the satisfaction of being completely right,” Sidney said dryly.

Trish cocked. “Is there . . . any chance he’s trying to steer you away from other guys because he’s jealous?”

Sidney snorted. “Ah, no. Guys like Vaughn don’t get jealous. He won’t even sleep with the same woman twice in the same week because he doesn’t want any ‘emotional entanglements.’ As for why he’s giving me these tips, I guess it’s because we’ve kind of become . . . friends.”

Trish stared at her in disbelief.

“I know,” Sidney said. “I heard the word come out of my mouth and I’m just as shocked as you.”

They both started laughing—an amusement undoubtedly aided by the drinks they’d already consumed that night.

“Do you have bend-me-over-the-couch sex with a lot of your friends?” Trish asked.

“Heck, maybe I should, after this.” Still giggling, they clinked their glasses together.

“It’s that good, huh?”

Sidney leaned in conspiratorially. “Oh my gosh, Trish. You should see the shape he’s in. When he takes his shirt off, it’s like . . .” She paused, trying to come up with a good analogy for naked Vaughn Roberts. “Remember when we went to Vegas, the dessert bar at the Bellagio buffet? It’s like that. So much I want to try, I don’t even know where to start.”

“I told you that you needed this.”

“You were definitely right.”

“And I don’t need to be concerned that you’re starting to actually like the guy? Normally, you don’t befriend the Mr. Right Now, I don’t think.”

“That’s just because of this whole wedding thing. And actually, I think it’s good that the two of us can have a conversation now without me ending up thoroughly annoyed.” Some of the time. “I’m going to be running into the guy forever, you know.” She looked at her friend without any hesitation. “You don’t have to worry. I’ve got this, Trish.”

“Got what?” said a voice, coming from behind Sidney.

She looked over as Isabelle took a seat in the open chair on her right. “We were . . . just discussing who’s going to buy the next round of drinks.”

“Cool. Guess what? I have some good news,” Isabelle said excitedly. “Simon’s coming here with the guys.”

“He is?” Sidney asked, surprised.

Isabelle was doing her dreamy, glowing thing again. “He’s been texting me all night, asking how things are going.” She threw Sidney a secret look that suggested Simon was, once again, feeling protective of his pregnant fiancée. “He says he pitched the idea of coming here to the other guys, and once he told them that I had a cute, single sister, they were all on board. I think he must be pretty drunk.”

“Thanks,” Sidney said.

Isabelle laughed and squeezed her hand. “Not because he said you’re cute. I meant that over the course of the evening, his text messages have gotten increasingly . . . sentimental. He says he misses me, just being away from me for one day.” She looked at Sidney, beaming over this. “You don’t mind that they’re coming, do you?”

“Not at all. It’s your bachelorette party, Izz.”

Isabelle left to tell the other women the news, practically dancing around the table along the way.

Sidney and Trish exchanged looks. Both of them started giggling.

“My God, it’s like she’s in a Disney movie,” Trish said. “Please tell me I was not that giddy when it was my turn.”

“Giddy? No. But I do seem to recall somebody getting a little choked up when Reid’s best man told that story about your first date during his toast.”

“So my eyes were a little watery. It was allergy season.”

“Sure it was.” With a knowing smile, Sidney took a sip of her martini.

 • • •

DESPITE HOLDING A firm belief that seeing one’s fiancée on the night of one’s bachelor party went against the natural order of things, Vaughn found himself crammed in an elevator with Simon and thirteen other guys, headed up to the rooftop terrace at theWit Hotel.

After an afternoon spent gambling on a riverboat casino, and then dinner at Zed451—an upscale steakhouse in the city’s River North neighborhood—the original plan had been to stop next for drinks at the rooftop bar at EPIC. But then Simon, who’d sailed over the line between good-and-buzzed to outright drunk about an hour ago, had started texting his bride-to-be, messages that were undoubtedly even more schmaltzy than usual, given his inebriated state. And just like that, the plan switched.

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