It Happened One Wedding Page 72

“Come on. Where is his backup squad?” he said to the TV.

Sidney was curled up on the couch, feeling quite cozy after those two glasses of wine. Her lack of sleep the previous night was definitely catching up with her. “Do you always have backup?” she asked, leaning her head against him.

He moved his arm so that she could rest against his chest. “All the time. The FBI loves overwhelming people with manpower and firepower.”

“Good.” In her drowsy state, this suddenly was very important to her, knowing that he was as safe as possible while doing his extraspecial agent thing.

Her eyes felt heavy, so she decided to shut them for just a teeny tiny moment. The last thing she remembered was feeling Vaughn’s fingers stroking up and down on her arm in a light, soothing caress.

 • • •

A FEW MINUTES after Vaughn felt Sidney’s body relax against his chest, she shifted and got even more comfortable, using his thigh as a pillow. He brushed her hair off her face, smoothing his fingers over the long, coppery strands.

The movie only had about ten minutes left. When it was over, Vaughn turned off the television, which caused Sidney to stir. She turned onto her back, her head still resting on his leg, and looked up at him.

She reached up and sunk her fingers into the back of his hair. “Stay tonight.”

Looking down at her, Vaughn couldn’t think of one reason why he shouldn’t. Being with her tonight had eased that irritated, unsettled feeling he’d had all week. “As long as you promise that your crazy future brother-in-law isn’t going to show up and start yelling at me again tomorrow morning.”

She laughed at that, and then they both laughed even harder when Vaughn did his Oh-My-God impression of Simon walking in on him in the shower. And when they made it to the bedroom and he pulled Sidney into his arms, he couldn’t help but think just how good it always was with her.

Something felt different between them as she led him to the bed. Instead of the impatient need to have her naked that he’d always felt before, tonight he took his time undressing her. He noticed little things he hadn’t before, like the scattering of freckles across the top of her shoulders, which he kissed as he slid the straps of her bra down her arms.

Under the covers, his hands and mouth moved slowly over her. By now, he knew what she liked, knew all the things that had her moaning his name softly in the darkness, and when he finally eased into her, he kept his lower body still for several moments as they kissed, wanting to simply savor the feeling of being inside her.

And in that moment, he was pretty sure that nothing else had ever felt quite so right.

 • • •

VAUGHN WOKE UP first in the morning and decided to take the initiative this time with the coffee. He got dressed quietly, not wanting to wake Sidney, and headed downstairs. He’d noticed her keys on the kitchen counter the night before, so he grabbed them and walked the three blocks to Starbucks. There, he realized he didn’t know her coffee order, so he ordered a grande of the medium roast, thinking that was the safest bet.

He let himself back into her town house, and put the keys back in the same spot. Sidney’s laptop set on the counter nearby, open but in sleep mode.

And that’s when he saw it.

A small white card—seemingly a business card—lay upside down next to the laptop, with the handwritten words: Maybe next time we can meet for more than two minutes?

Vaughn flipped the card over and saw it was from some lawyer named Tyler Roland. He put the card back where he’d found it, then headed upstairs.

Sidney peeked one eye open as he took a seat on the edge of the bed closest to her. “You are a god,” she said, spotting the coffee cups in his hands. She sat up, took one of the cups from him, and had a sip. “Mmm. Thank you.”

He took a sip, as well. “Looks like somebody has another hot date coming up,” he said conversationally. When she paused and looked at him, he explained. “His business card was on the counter next to your keys. ‘Maybe next time we can meet for more than two minutes?’”

“Oh. Tyler.” She stared at her coffee cup for a moment, twisting the sleeve. “He and I are supposed to have dinner this Wednesday.”

Vaughn felt something gnawing in his gut, but he shook it off. Of course she had a date—she’d been going on dates this whole time. That was how these things worked; they were simply two people having a good time together. Sure, they’d gotten closer, and, yes, it was easy being around her, but that’s what made the situation so ideal. There was no awkwardness between them—just a perfect no-strings-attached arrangement.

Exactly the way things were supposed to be.

“Ah. Another contender seeking to test his luck against the thirty-four-item checklist,” he said, his tone deliberately teasing. “How did you meet this one?”

She looked at him. “You really want to talk about this?”

“You’ve been telling me about your dates all along. Why would it be any different now?”

Something flickered in her eyes, but in the next moment it was gone. “Right. Of course. Um, so . . . I met Tyler briefly a few months ago, then we ran into each other on the street the other day.”

How fortuitous. “And he went straight for the dinner invite? No drinks or coffee first? Huh. That seems a little forward.”

“Actually, we have a mutual acquaintance,” she said. “He’s friends with a partner at my firm who says that Tyler’s a good guy. With that kind of endorsement, I figured he was dinnerworthy. Plus, I’ve been wanting to try Sogna ever since I moved back to Chicago.”

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