Page 7

“Uh… is there something going on between you two? I didn’t mean—”

“Hell no!”

“Okaaay. Then the problem is what?” I meet Izzy’s eyes, and she seems to find great humor in this. Well, at least she’s calmed down some. You would think she was expecting the world to fall apart around her if she doesn’t get married as soon as possible.

“No problem.” Dee mumbles and walks out the door.

“Don’t worry about her; she just needs to cool off. Some drama between her and Beck, but believe me, you will get used to it.”

Emmy walks back in a few minutes later with a bright smile and hands Izzy a blue box.

“What’s this?” She questions.

“What do you think?” She replies with a smile.

“He got his?”

“Oh yeah. I left to a bunch of overgrown idiots making fun of him for choking up over some cufflinks.” I meet Emmy’s laughing eyes and let out a few giggles of my own. Giggling. Really Melissa? The more I hang out with the girls, the more I’m starting to feel like a walking billboard for cheer.

I can understand the guys thinking it’s funny, but when Izzy explains the meaning behind the angel wing cufflinks that she found for her future husband, even I get a little misty.

We watch as she flips the lid and brings out a single chain. She gasps softly and sinks down to the chair behind her, just rubbing her thumb over whatever is attached to the bottom.

“What the hell happened in the two minutes I was in the bathroom?” The deep rumble comes right behind me, causing me to jump slightly.

“Nothing, G. Shit, calm your ass.” I haven’t heard Emmy get such an authoritative tone before. Damn, if I was into chicks that would be kind of hot.

“What is it, Baby Girl?” He asks, kneeling down in front of her. This is the first glance I have of him in his wedding garb. Holy shit, he can clean up nice. His dress shirt looks made for his body and his alone, pulled tight across his muscular frame. The way he is bent over gives me a perfect view of his tight ass. His brown hair is gelled and styled to calm the unruly locks. He looks all man and pure sex.

And I thought it was going to be easy to resist this man.

I give him a few more sweeps of my hungry eyes before moving my attention back to whatever Axel has sent over to Izzy.

“Isn’t it perfect?” She whispers to Greg.

“Yeah,” he whispers back. They say a few more things, softly and clearly meant only for their ears, before she throws her arms around his neck and holds tight. Dangling from the chain in her hand is a wing shaped locket. She must have opened it to show Greg what was inside because staring back at me is an inscription on one side and on the other, a picture of their adorable son. Whatever it says clearly holds some powerful meaning to them.

“What’s it say?” I quietly ask Emmy.

She sniffles a few times before answering, “It’s Latin for ‘Love Conquers All’.”

After that, it takes a few minutes to calm Izzy down and fix her makeup. Greg is clearly unhappy about her being upset again. Their connection is so strong you can almost feel it. The jealousy that I feel towards that is not something that I’m used to or something I like.

At 5:00, we make our way back up to the top floor of the church, and I give Izzy a tight hug before Emmy and I find our way down to our seats. I take one look at Axel, standing in the front with a big smile on his face, before settling in next to the rest of the boys from his security business.

Axel and Izzy have decided to keep the wedding party small, and by small, I mean one person each. Izzy’s is Dee, and after Greg walks her down the aisle, he will take his place next to Axel.

Now, where their wedding party is small, their guest list isn’t. Izzy explained to me that since moving his company from California, and joining up with Greg, their security and investigation business has become the go to company in Atlanta. They invited what looked to be the whole population of Atlanta.

When the music starts and Dee makes her way down the aisle, it reminds me of the last wedding I attended. The last wedding I was the Maid of Honor for. But just looking at these two, I know this marriage will have a much longer lifespan.

When everyone is busy staring at the bride, I am busy looking at her walking partner. I am really beginning to doubt my quest to stay away from him. When his eyes meet mine through the crowded sanctuary, I know it was only a matter of time before we collide.

The ceremony was beautiful. Even with my jaded heart, I can admit that much. There is no doubt in my mind that Izzy has lucked out and found one of the good ones. I know little about her past with her ex-husband, but what I do know makes me happy my friend has found this. And because of that, even I was wiping tears away by the time they said ‘I do’.

They keep the ceremony short and sweet, asking everyone to please join them for the reception to follow. When they reach the end of the aisle, Axel pulls her into his arms and crushes his lips to hers. When his fist thrusts into the air as a symbol of victory, and he pulls back to look into his wife’s eyes, Emmy reaches down and grabs my hand. She is a mess, crying and vibrating with extra hormones. I want nothing to do with that, but the lump in my throat is having fun calling me a liar. There is just no way to watch a love like that unite and not feel it.

I sit with Emmy, and talk about the reception to follow for at least ten minutes or so. We are waiting for the congestion in the parking lot to clear out before we head over to the reception. At the same time, I also try to avoid the look of contempt coming from the corner of the church lobby. I can literally feel the eyes on me this very second. Talk about creepy.

When a shadow falls over me, I am ready to turn around snapping, but when I look up and meet Greg’s blue eyes, I quickly snap my mouth shut. His already handsome face is taken over by a look that is pure peace and happiness. I can already feel the tingles of arousal coiling in my gut.

“Beauty, you need a ride?” He asks me, interrupting my inner slut. His eyes darken slightly, and there is no mistaking the real question behind those words.

“Depends on what kind of ride we’re talking about, stud.”

He laughs, and even that sounds like sex. “If I thought you were serious, I would tell you to jump on, babe.”

“You two really should just go lock yourselves in the confessional and get it over with.” Emmy interrupts.

I look over at her, begging her to shut the fuck up, before answering Greg’s question, “Well, babe, I don’t know what kind of ride you’re offering, but it looks like that position is already filled.”

“What?” I have to give him some credit. This man can play the game. He genuinely looks confused, clearly caught off guard by my reply.

“Your little friend from the other night?” I say, pointing over his shoulder to the little hooch in the corner. The look of shock on his face is almost comical. He really had no clue that she was standing there.

“Motherfucker,” he grumbles under his breath. “She is not with me. Come on, Beauty, run away with me.”

I look into his eyes a few seconds. I’m trying to decide if that really was a line or not, before bending over, and laughing so hard that the people left in the lobby all look over at me as if I have lost it.

“That was terrible. You want some of this, you’re going to have to try harder than some cheesy ass lines.”

I pick up my clutch before standing. Once again, I am reminded of how powerful and large this man is. In my heels, I come close to six feet tall but he still looks down on me.

“Come on, Beauty. Just a ride.”

“Maybe later, stud.”

“You crush me,” he says dramatically, clutching his hand to his heart.

“Does that work for you on the ladies?” I ask, a smile coming over my face. It’s been a while since I found myself enjoying a man’s company.

“Haven’t a clue. Never bothered enough to try. I’ll settle for a dance later, but only if you tell me your name.”

I hadn’t realized until this moment that I was a complete stranger to this man.

“I don’t know…” I trail off, looking down at Emmy, only to find her looking across the lobby where the other three Corps Security men stand. The lightheartedness has left her face. “Maybe later,” I throw out before grabbing her hand and pulling her through the lobby.

Right before we round the corner that will take us to my car, I turn around and lock eyes with Greg. He doesn’t look disappointed. No, he looks like I just handed him one hell of a challenge. One that he plans on being the victor of.

Chapter 8

How the hell did I strike out with her again? I’ve been fighting the urge to throw her over my shoulder and run since I saw her down in Izzy’s dressing room. The whole time I was standing up there next to Axel, my eyes kept finding her in the crowd. Wasn’t hard, that red dress was like a waving flag, and I was the raging mad bull. There was no doubt in my mind now; I wanted her and I wouldn’t stop until I had her.

“You do realize that your little plaything is turning into a DEFCON 2 stalker, right?” Beck leans up against the wall beside where I stand watching Emmy and my mystery woman walk to an older model car. She turns and gives me another wicked, full of promise stare before dropping into the driver’s seat.

“That’s some serious shit you need to deal with, but if those tits look as good in person as they do from across the room, I’d be happy to help you out. You know, take one for the team.”

“Shut the fuck up, Coop.”

“Problem?” Locke asks, walking over. His date for the evening, an attractive looking redhead, stands off to the side looking clearly bored.

“Nothing I can’t handle.”

“Sure you can, that’s why big tit Barbie keeps following you around like a sick little puppy.”

“More like a deranged bitch,” I mumble. “I have it under control. Either of you riding with me over to Axel’s?”

“Just me and Coop.”

I look over at Locke and catch his small nod confirming Beck’s words.

“Got it. Going to take out the trash, then be ready to ride.”

I have to remind myself a few times to control my temper. Control. I have to completely lock down every urge I have to get in her face and flip the fuck out. I don’t do clingy women. Hell, I haven’t done the same woman in years. When I met her, she was a means to an end, a way to keep my dick from falling off. I have told her from day one that there would never be more than the two of us spending time naked. No dating, no meeting friends, and no fucking acting like I am a piece of property.

There is no way Mandy is sane, standing there ready to take me on. No fucking way. She has the nerve to show up here at my family’s wedding, uninvited, and throw her shit. Shit that she has no right throwing. It is past time to cut her the fuck loose.


She tenses slightly at the hard tone I give her name. Literally, I’m spitting her name out with nothing but disgust dripping from my tone. I take her by the elbow and lead her off to the side hallway, away from listening ears.


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