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“Better?” he murmured.

“You have no idea. How did you know?”

“AJ tracked me down. But truthfully, I’d been lurking in the hallway hoping to see you.”

“You weren’t slamming shots of Wild Turkey with the groomsmen?”

“You heard about that?”

“Did you need liquid courage at the thought of tying yourself to me for the rest of your life, GQ?”

“No, buttercup, I had one to be polite and to keep me from ripping the damn hinges off the door to get to you.”

To get to you. “You never follow the rules. Why didn’t you just barge in?”

“With all those pregnant women throwing nasty looks my way?” Jack shuddered. “No thanks.

Besides, your damn sisters-in-law and assorted crazy female relatives locked the damn door.”


“‘Tradition’ they said.”

“I wouldn’t think you’d care what they said.”

“I didn’t. But my immediate response isn’t worth repeating.” His large hands tightened around her waist. “I was going crazy without you.” Jack’s warm lips tracked kisses across the slope of her shoulder. “I hardly slept last night, the bed seemed so big and lonely without my bed hog.”

Amazing, how quickly they’d melded into one unit. Sharing living space and office space. Sharing their lives, their hopes, their dreams, their fears, their love. The only thing left was to make it legal. Seeing Jack, touching him, knowing he was as anxious as she, set her world right again.

She twisted in his arms to face him. “Just so you know, I wasn’t running from you just now, I was running to you.” The veil fluttered with her every exhalation. “Here it is, my wedding day and I feel like I’m playing dress up.” Her voice dropped even lower. “I’m afraid I’ll wake up and find it’s not real.”

Jack’s hands slipped up under the veil and tenderly cupped her face. “I’m very real. It is real this time.”

“Prove it. Kiss me. Please, Jack.”

“No.” His hands dropped to her shoulders. “Not until my ring is on your finger and I know you’re mine forever.”

Forever. She liked the sound of that.

He paused. “Besides, I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with the veil.”

Keely laughed at his wariness. “You think the veil is bad, wait until you get a load of the hundred or so buttons on the back of this dress.”

Jack groaned.

“But what I’ve got on underneath will be worth learning how to work a buttonhook.”

He actually whimpered.

“Everyone is probably wondering where we are.”

“I know. I’d say let them wonder, but I’m ready to do this thing.”

“Me too.”

Keely stepped out of the comfort of his arms, giddy in the knowledge in a few short minutes, she could take comfort in those strong arms every day for the rest of their lives.

“I love you, Jack. I’ll meet you downstairs.”

“I’ll be waiting.”