A slow smile grew on her face, and then she threw her arms around him and kissed him. “I’m going to be a Maxwell in two weeks!”

“Baby, you’ve been a Maxwell all your life.”

Chapter 30


Clay had thought that having only two weeks to plan a wedding would make his spur-of-the-moment elopement a small, intimate affair. Just he and Andrea on the beach with I dos and a kiss.

Nothing fancy. Nothing extravagant.

Apparently, he had been very wrong.

“Ugh, it looks like it’s going to rain,” Andrea grumbled from his side.

She was supervising the stringing up of lights and flowers all over the pool area of the Maxwell beach house in Hilton Head. A team had been brought in to fully fit the deck into a proper reception space to Andrea’s likings.

“Then, baby,” he said, scooping her up for a kiss, “we’ll just get married in the rain.”

She wrinkled her cute little button nose. “It would ruin everything. Don’t bring rain down on our day, Clay.”

He laughed. “Nothing could ruin today.”

“All right, Andrea,” Liz called from the other side of the pool deck. “We have to get you ready. Get your ass in here.”

She scurried over toward Liz, and Clay followed.

“Not you,” Liz said, smacking him in the chest.

Andrea walked through the house to the awaiting hair and makeup team that had taken over his father’s study downstairs. It was hilarious to glimpse a group of men and women with crazy piercings and exaggerated hair dye standing around in his father’s hard, cold study.

Clay wrapped his fingers around Liz’s hand on his chest and smirked at her. “We need to talk.”

“Oh?” She raised an eyebrow.

“I just want you to know that, even though I know you are really, really going to want to…you shouldn’t object today.”

Liz burst out laughing and snatched her hand back. “I’m already married, you idiot.”

“Look, I’m going to be officially off the market. I know it’s going to be your last chance, but for Andrea’s sake.”

“Oh, of course…for Andrea’s sake.” She pulled him into a fierce hug. “It’s really good to have you as a brother.”

“You, too…sis.”

She groaned and pulled back. “That sounds so weird.”

“It really does.”

“Good luck out there,” she said with a wink before disappearing back into the house.

Brady and Chris showed up a few minutes later after procuring last-minute necessities that Andrea had insisted on. She’d given them a list as soon as they’d arrived, and they’d been gone all morning. Brady handed off the stuff they’d gotten and then pulled out a bottle of scotch.

“It’s tradition,” Brady said, nodding his head toward a table that would be later filled with whatever treats Andrea had gotten. “It’s only fair that we finish this bottle tonight since we didn’t get to give you a proper bachelor’s party.”

“We’re pretty upset about that actually,” Chris said.

Clay took a shot from Chris. “Sorry to disappoint, guys. A little last minute for those kinds of plans.”

“You couldn’t have given us three weeks?” Brady joked.

“Now or never,” Clay said.

“Hey, hey, hey!” a trill voice called from the doorway.

Clay turned to see Savannah walking out onto the deck all alone.

“Where’s mine?”

“You’re not old enough,” Brady and Clay said at the same time. Then, they both started laughing.

“I’m twenty-one!” she cried.

“Here you go, Savi,” Chris said.

He passed her a shot, and she beamed up at him.

“Thanks, Chris.”

Brady held his drink up high. “To my brother, who has finally found what he has always been looking for.”

“And it was right in front of his face,” Savi added with a giggle.

“For the last decade,” Chris said.

“Assholes,” Clay muttered. Then, he tilted his drink back and let it burn down his throat.

Savannah roughly smacked her brothers on their shoulders. “Both of my brothers are off the market in the same year. Whatever will the women of this poor country do with themselves?”

“They’ll live,” Brady said.

Clay shrugged. “Don’t give a fuck.”

“What about you, Savi?” Chris asked.

“Yeah,” Clay said, as if realizing for the first time that she really was riding solo. “Where are Tweedledee and Tweedledum?”

“Excuse me?” she asked. She arched her eyebrow and crossed her arms.

“Is my brother Dee or Dum?” Chris asked with humor in his eyes.

“Dum,” Brady and Clay said in unison.

Savannah just glared at them. “That’s not funny.”

“Aw, come on, Sav,” Clay said. “At least we made your boyfriend Dee.”

“Oh, yes, that makes me feel much better.”

“Where are your two suitors anyway?”

Savannah ignored them. “I don’t have suitors. This isn’t the eighteenth century. I have a boyfriend, who was already going to be out of town this weekend, visiting his family. I couldn’t go because I’m the editor at the newspaper, which I’m totally neglecting.”

“Don’t let Liz hear you say that,” Brady said under his breath.

“And Lucas?” Clay asked.

She shrugged. “I don’t know why you think I’d know where he is. Ask Chris!”

They all turned to Chris.

“School. He said he wanted to come bang you…”

Savannah’s eyes widened. Brady and Clay looked ready to kill someone.

Chris just laughed at their reactions. “I mean…bug you, but he couldn’t leave.”

“I don’t know why I put up with any of you!” Savannah muttered.

“Because we’re family,” Clay said, throwing an arm around Savannah. “You have to love us.”

Savannah grumbled, but he knew that she loved him. His family wasn’t perfect. But they were his family. They’d gotten through a lot together. And he’d do it all over again if it got him to this spot. Because this was what it was all about.