It Happened One Wedding Page 88


“This wedding is starting to become a serious burr up my ass,” Vaughn growled.

Sidney laughed, squeezing his thigh reassuringly under the table.

“Not helping the situation here, Sinclair.” But he winked at her, clapping along with everyone else in response to Simon’s toast, of which he hadn’t heard one word.

An hour later, after Simon and Isabelle had been updated on the fact that, yes, Vaughn and Sidney were officially a “we”—the two couples said their good-byes at the Four Seasons hotel. Not wanting to intrude on their siblings’ farewell in the lobby, Vaughn stayed outside with Sidney to have a private moment of their own.

The night air was warm as they stood on the sidewalk, surrounded by the twinkling lights of the city. Vaughn bent his head to give Sidney a kiss, struck by how much he didn’t want to let her go. “I’ll be waiting for you tomorrow, at the end of that aisle.”

With one hand resting against his chest, she pressed her lips softly against his in good-bye. “Probably, this would be a really great time to tell you that I love you, too.”

 • • •

VAUGHN SMILED AT the memory, checking his watch after Sidney disappeared from sight at the top of the stairs. Only two more hours left to go with this wedding, and she’d be all his.

“I assume that look means I can skip the lecture on what a fool you’d be to let that one walk away,” said a voice to his right.

Yep, nothing quite so awkward as being caught ogling a woman by one’s own mother.

“Mom. Hi,” he said, turning. “I was just . . . admiring the chandelier.”

“I certainly hope you have a better poker face than that when you’re working undercover.”

Vaughn laughed. “Okay, fine. Yes, you can skip the lecture. As a matter of fact, I planned to talk to you tonight about Sidney. And . . . why are you smiling at me like that, as if you’re not surprised by any of this?”

“Surprised?” She smiled cheekily. “No, I’m not surprised. I’ve had a feeling about you two for a while.”

Vaughn pulled back. “Since when?”

“Oh, ever since I found a bunch of my New England Asters smooshed in the clearing that weekend after you kids visited. Almost as if somebody, or two somebodies, had rolled on top of them.”

Instantly, Vaughn flashed back to a memory of picking purple wildflowers out of Sidney’s hair.


“Must’ve been Simon and Isabelle. Those crazy kids,” he said.

His mother snorted. “Please. That poor girl was so sick that weekend, she wasn’t rolling around anywhere.”

Vaughn shot his mother a look. Um . . . what?

She smiled. “Ah, yes. The other big secret I’m not supposed to know anything about.” She winked. “Don’t tell your brother I know. I’ve been practicing my surprised face for weeks.”

“I . . . have no idea what you’re talking about, Mom,” he said carefully.

She patted his cheek. “Of course, you don’t.” Then she went back to the original question. “Now, about Sidney. You said you wanted to talk to me about her tonight. So, let’s hear it.”

“Do we need to have a Kleenex handy before I answer that?” Vaughn teased.

She cocked her head. “I think that depends on what you’re going to say next.”

He paused at that, trying to decide how best to put it into words. In the end, it came down to one thing. “I’m crazy about her, Mom.”

His mother said nothing at first, then unzipped her purse and pulled out a Kleenex. “Yep. That’ll do it.”

 • • •

UPSTAIRS IN THE bride’s changing room, Sidney checked out the bustle on Isabelle’s gown. “All the hooks are intact. It looks like two of the fastenings just slipped out.”

“Someone stepped on my dress when I was dancing,” Isabelle said, as Sidney made the adjustment. “That’s probably when it happened.”

After slipping the second fastening onto its hook, Sidney arranged the back of the dress, making sure all the folds fell neatly into place. “There. Good as ever.”

She stood next to the mirror, looking her sister over with a slight smile as Isabelle touched up her lipstick.

“Am I showing? It’s obvious, isn’t it?” Isabelle said.

That wasn’t the reason Sidney had smiled. Just . . . memories. “Honestly, you can’t tell at all with that dress. You look beautiful, Izz.”

Isabelle tucked the lipstick into their mother’s purse and snapped it shut. She moved closer to Sidney and put her arm around her. “So do you. You’ve had this glow about you all day,” she said teasingly.

“I’m sure I have. They put about five pounds of bronzer on me at the salon.”

“Uh-huh.” Isabelle’s expression said she wasn’t buying that for one second.

They both looked at their reflection in the mirror, and Isabelle rested her head against Sidney’s shoulder. “So here’s a thought: if you marry Vaughn and take his name, would that make us the Roberts sisters?”

Sidney thought about that. “Nah. I say we’ll still be the Sinclair sisters.”

Isabelle smiled in agreement. “Always.”

 • • •

A FEW MINUTES later, Sidney returned to the ballroom with Isabelle. She spotted Vaughn talking to one of his cousins—there were twenty-three of them; she couldn’t keep track of all their names—and made a point to cross the room within his line of sight. She looked over her shoulder, caught his gaze, and then kept going toward the terrace.

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