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I’m letting them know the only man stealing you away tonight is me.” His lips brushed her ear. “In one hour and seventeen minutes.”

“Oh.” That was really sort of sweet. Demented, but sweet.

Finally Jack relented and let Keely dance with his brother Justin—but only because Jack was dancing right beside them with his mother, Doro, the entire time, watching them like a hawk.

His possessive behavior didn’t piss her off like it did when her hard-assed, overprotective brothers and cousins acted the same way. Although outwardly Jack was much more polished than her male relatives, inside, every inch of him screamed primal dominant male. And could she just get a thank you, Jesus for that fact?

After Justin handed her back to Jack, her nephews and nieces surrounded them, both intrigued and repelled by their ability to get Aunt Keely to kiss Uncle Jack simply by hitting a spoon into a glass.

She and Jack exited the dance floor and made the rounds together, chatting with wedding guests.

When Keely glanced at the clock she realized only thirty minutes remained until she and Jack planned to leave.

Where was he taking her? And why had her matron of honor disappeared?

While Jack was engrossed in a conversation with Trevor and Edgard, Keely tired of waiting for AJ to materialize. She palmed the dressing room key and quickly ducked down the hallway out of Jack’s sight.

Maybe he wouldn’t notice she was gone. Besides, she only needed a minute to ditch the ridiculously puffy underskirt—which was not enough time for any of her brothers to snatch her.

She unlocked the door to the makeshift dressing room, opening it just far enough to sneak inside. As she quietly shut the door by pressing her palms into it, she heard squeak squeak squeak and then, “Yes.

God, yes.”

“That’s it, baby doll, give me one more.”

Squeak squeak squeak.

Keely whirled around. Cord had AJ bent over, and her hands gripped the table. His pants were around his ankles and her dress was flipped up her back and… Why in the hell hadn’t they heard her come in?

The squeak squeak squeak of the table rocking across the floor was only slightly louder than AJ’s moan.

That was why.

Keely shrieked and clapped her hand over her eyes before she faced the door again. “Omigod. I did not just see you two boinking like bunnies during my wedding reception!”


And the silence was worse than the squeaking and moans.


She held up her hand, but didn’t turn around. “Not a word, Cord. I’m leaving, but so help me God you two had better finish up fast because I need AJ’s help pronto.” With that, she practically ran out.

Big surprise Jack blocked the mouth of the hallway, arms crossed over his chest, one eyebrow raised, wearing his what the fuck? expression.

Shit. “I can explain.”

“Later. Right now they want us to cut the cake.” He held out his hand.

Keely took it, allowing him to lead the way to the cake table.

Photos were snapped. Given their volatile past, everyone seemed disappointed when she and Jack didn’t smear wedding cake all over each other’s faces.

“It’s time to go,” he said, nibbling frosting from her fingertips.

“Okay. As soon as AJ gets done screwing—”

“Hey, guys, what’s up?”

Keely looked over at her very mussed, very flushed sister-in-law. Before she shot off a snarky comment like Besides your skirt? Jack spoke.

“We’re getting ready to leave. Can you tell me where it is?”

“What? Oh, that. Umm, it’s at the senior center.”

“Thank you.”

Her gaze bounced between AJ and Jack. “What the hell are you two talking about?”

“Nothing to concern yourself with, sweet wife.” Jack’s smooch on her cheek didn’t mollify her at all.

Ramona bounded up. “Now that you’ve cut the cake, it’s gotta be close to time to throw the bouquet, right?”

“Yes. Round up all the single ladies. Maybe you could get Justin to help you track down the bachelors for the garter—”

“Not necessary,” Jack inserted, “because there won’t be a garter toss.”

“What?” Keely stared at him with total confusion. “But that’s tradition! You remove the garter—”

“Oh, I will be removing the garters, Mrs. Donohue, but not in front of your whole damn family.”

The set to his jaw indicated this was nonnegotiable.

Bossy man.

“Soon,” he added in that alpha male tone, which always made her weak-kneed.

AJ tugged on her arm. “Come on. I’ll help you get changed.”

As they turned the corner and started down the hallway, Keely saw her cousin Brandt McKay in a heated discussion with Jessie McKay, his former sister-in-law. Suddenly, Jessie pulled back and punched Brandt in the stomach hard enough that Brandt bent over to clutch his gut.

Keely gasped.

Jessie’s angry gaze zeroed in on Keely and then she glanced at AJ who’d frozen a few steps behind.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean…”

“To punch Brandt in the stomach? That was an accident?”

“Umm. No. I meant to do that. I didn’t mean to cause a scene and I…really have to wash my hands.”

Keely’s eyes stayed on Jessie, but Jessie wouldn’t look at her. “Don’t be too long. I’m about to throw the bouquet.”

AJ unlocked the door to the dressing room and Keely followed her inside.

“I can’t believe Jessie just slugged Brandt. What do you think is going on with them?”

“Nice try at distracting me, AJ, but I can’t believe you and Cord were having sex in here.” Keely reached under the layers of her wedding gown and yanked off the puffy slip-crinoline that’d started to itch.

Ah. Much better. “How is it you get to have sex on my wedding day? And I don’t? That’s not fair.”

“Being pregnant makes me horny. Plus Cord looks so damn good in that suit I just wanted him right then and—”

“And my brother just obliged you? During my wedding reception?”

She shrugged. “Hormones and lust are beyond my control, Keely, when it comes to my husband. And he’s always up to the challenge of taking care of my every need.” AJ smoothed her hands over the bulging front of her bridesmaid’s dress and frowned. “Good Lord. How Cord still wants me and sees me as sexy when I look like a beached whale is a miracle.” She caught Keely’s gaze. “Anyway, let’s get you outta that wedding dress and into your traveling clothes.”

Keely stood in front of the antique boudoir mirror, fussing with the lace panel on the bodice as AJ

began unhooking the hundred or so buttons running down the back of her dress. “Do you know where Jack is taking me for our honeymoon?”


Her mouth dropped open. “How’d you get him to tell you?”

“I volunteered to keep his car hidden so none of your overzealous relatives would decorate it with soap, shaving cream, tin cans and toilet paper,” she said smugly. “That’s what we were just talking about.

Where I stashed it.”

AJ played dirty, knowing how much Jack babied that car. But Keely had a trump card. “So, BFF, seeing you and Cord going at it like teenagers just proves how little alone time you two get these days with two point three kids, so I’ll make you an offer—I’ll baby-sit the boys every Saturday night for a month if you tell me where Jack is whisking me off to.”

“No deal. If Jack finds out I blabbed… Well, he is much scarier than you, Keels.”

The door opened.

Speak of the devil… Jack sauntered in, and once again Keely marveled at how dangerously sexy he looked in his black tux. Plus, he was sporting that wicked get naked grin that always caused her body to pulse with anticipation.

“Jack, you’re not supposed to be in here,” AJ said.

“I need to talk to my wife.”

“It can wait.”

“No, it can’t.”

“My job as her matron of honor is to help her out of her wedding dress,” AJ reminded him.

Keely met Jack’s eyes in the mirror. “Jack is very good at getting my clothes off, aren’t you?”

“Dare I say…I’m an expert at it?”

AJ muttered, “And…that’s my cue to leave.”

“Lock the door and don’t tell anyone where we are for at least ten minutes,” Keely said as AJ fled the room.

Her body stayed perfectly still as Jack sidled in behind her.

“Only ten minutes?” He pressed a soft, warm kiss to her nape. “I should be insulted.”

“You could prove me wrong. I know firsthand that table over there is sturdy enough for whatever you’ve got in mind.”

His eyes narrowed. “How do you know that firsthand?”

Crap. “Only because I walked in on Cord and AJ havin’ a quickie.”

“Ah. However, just to be clear, buttercup, there is no quickie in your immediate future.”

“Then why are you in here?”

He sighed. “All you want me for is sex. I feel so cheap.” His rough-skinned fingers traced the bare line of her spine down to where the buttons of her dress were undone.

“I could make you feel used too,” she offered. She felt the fabric shift as Jack loosened her dress. Her skin beaded from his steady, gentle touch.

“Thanks, but no. To answer your question, I’m here to give you news.”

“Good or bad?”

“Both. The bad news is I’m undressing you now. Otherwise, I won’t have a chance to see the very sexy wedding night lingerie you’ve been teasing me with all damn day.”

Keely stared at his dark head reflected in the mirror. “Why’s that?”

“Because as soon as you’re changed and done tossing the bouquet, we’ll be hopping in the car and driving to Denver. Our flight leaves at five a.m. So we won’t immediately have a wedding night, rolling around naked in bed, like you’ve been hinting at all damn day.”