Igniting the Wild Sparks, Book 3

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Chapter 22

Following a Saturday morning filled with running errands spanning from the mundane to the bizarre, it’s only twenty minutes until the ceremony. After handing off my clutch purse, holding my hotel key cards and phone to Val for safekeeping, I go to Morgan’s suite. I smile as Tonya opens the door and dashes out, yelling she has one last errand. When I walk into the suite, my hands fly to my mouth as I gasp. “Morgan, you look beautiful!” Her white dress has a sweetheart neckline and an empire waist, which helps disguise her growing belly. The hemline skims her feet. She’s wearing a sprig of white flowers in her up-do, with diamond earrings adorning her ears.

When she sees me, her eyes widen. “Had, so do you! Your hair is so pretty up like that in braids! Tonya did an awesome job!”

Grinning, I reply, “She did. I have pretty hair now!”

Morgan’s gaze zips up and down me. “That dress on you. It’s perfect. I’m so glad I picked it because you probably would’ve worn Alice’s dress from the Brady Bunch.”

I roll my eyes. Then, looking down at my chest, I grumble, “My big fear is that my boobs will fall out. I apologize ahead of time for ruining your big day.” When I ensure that they won’t pop out of my dress, I look up as she laughs, and I notice her trembling.

“You’re shaking!” I giggle and grab her hands to steady them. “I thought you said you weren’t nervous anymore!”

She anxiously frowns. “I am. It hit me an hour ago when I put on my dress.” She closes her eyes. “I can’t do this.”

Gripping her hands, I try to be stern. “Yes, you can. I’m here. Take deep breaths and think of being married to Ivan at the end of all this craziness.”

Slowly nodding, she says, “You’re right. Yes.” She opens her eyes, and I take a loud, demonstrative breath, and she follows me. We then exhale together with a laugh. “There you go. Feel better?”

“Yes. Thank you. You’re my rock, Hadley.” Her eyes fill with tears, and I frantically wave at her face.

“Stop! Your makeup will run!”

“It’s waterproof!” She giggles and takes another steady breath. “I don’t know what I’d do without your friendship. You’ve been there for me, and I want to be there for you, too. I just want you to know I love you. I’ll do anything to protect you.”

“Aw, Morgan! That’s so damn…” I back up, fanning my face.

She takes my hands again and says, “We’re sisters.”

I nod in agreement. “For life.” Leaning in, careful to not mess anything up, I gently hug her, but she holds me tight anyway. I deftly pry myself off her, so I don’t wrinkle her dress, and I cheerfully say, “Okay. Go kick some matrimonial ass!”

She laughs with me. “I can’t wait until it’s your turn to do this. I’ll be right there for you, too.”

I glance at the bed, and she angles her head to look at me. “It’ll happen. I promise you that.”

I sadly smile. “No, you can’t, but I’m grateful you’re so supportive.”

“I am. I want you to be happy. Don’t forget that.”

“I won’t.” Opening the door for Morgan, we meet a rushed Tonya in the hallway. Her dress is almost the same color as mine, but is strapless and not lightly sparkling like mine. And her cups runneth over. Rod will love and hate that.

Tonya asks, “Ready, big sis?” That paradox almost makes me laugh out loud. I can’t even bite my lip to keep me from laughing, or I’ll screw up my lipstick.

“No. Yes.” She takes a deep breath and more resolutely says, “Yes. I’m so ready.” Tonya and I smile, and we each take hold of Morgan’s hands, walking her to the elevator, where their dad is waiting. Their mother had gone downstairs to ensure Ivan was out of sight and to get the go-ahead from the minister.

We walk out of the hotel lobby, onto the beach and into the late afternoon sunshine, stopping at the partition to conceal Morgan, before walking down the beach aisle.

Turning, I grab her hand and smile. The music begins, and I whisper, “You got this. Now go marry the love of your life and don’t look back.”

She quickly nods, smiling, but looking like she’ll bolt. I squeeze her shaking hand, and as the minister gives us the green light, Tonya walks down the aisle with Ivan’s brother.

Shane stands next to me and holding out his arm, I squeeze Morgan’s hand once more before I let go and take his arm. As we wait, Shane whispers, “I was right.”

“What do you mean?” I whisper back, looking at his face, thoroughly confused.

“I knew this dress would be phenomenal on you, too.”

I look down to the sand in front of us and uncomfortably mumble, “Oh. Thank you.”

When I lift my gaze, the minister nods at us, and we walk forward. I hold on to Shane’s arm as everyone smiles at us, and I timidly smile. A pretty instrumental song plays, and the waves peacefully roll to the music’s gentle rhythm. This may be the only time I ever walk down an aisle.

When we reach the minister, we break away and go to our designated posts. Looking through the guests, I subtly catch Rod smiling at me, and I raise my eyebrows and nod, hoping he knows I’m teasing him about Tonya. Message received because his eyes bug out as his mouth falls open in disgust, I think. I move my small bouquet of white tulips to hide my quiet laughter.

Lowering my flowers, I swiftly scan the rest of the small crowd. No Finn. Disappointment engulfs me, even though I knew he wouldn’t be here. I suddenly feel alone.

Glancing at Ivan in his white suit, I watch him fidgeting and nervously pulling at his pale blue tie, and I smile. He’s taking the leap of faith that I’ve asked Finn to take. I’m in awe of Ivan for stepping up and marrying the love of his life, refusing to let her get away.

The music changes, everyone rises, and we all expectantly look to the end of the aisle. Morgan beams on the arm of her dad. My eyes fill with tears as they take a step forward to her destiny, as corny as it sounds. However, isn’t that part of getting married—the lovefest of heightened emotions running rampant, the flowing tears rivaling the flow of the champagne? Except for Finnigan Robert Wilder, isn’t that what everyone aspires to in their relationships? If not, then what’s the point? Maybe I’m narrow-minded and old-fashioned, but that’s me, and just like my adrenaline junky boyfriend, that’s him. I just hope we can reconcile our mismatched auras.

Stopping before the minister and next to Ivan, Morgan’s dad gives kisses her cheek and places her hand in Ivan’s. Ivan smiles and blinks away his tears, which only makes mine worse. I brush my cheeks with my hand, praying that my makeup is really waterproof. Would Finn cry at our wedding? Hopefully, he wouldn’t be crying for the wrong reasons.

Turning, Morgan hands me her bouquet, and we smile at each other, hers more confident now. I peer into the audience again and see Rod smiling at me. I return the smile and look at the happy couple, overjoyed for them. They soon exchange vows and rings, making it official. As they kiss and become Mr. and Mrs. Kammer, everyone claps.

“Yeah, Morticia!” I giggle through my tears as I hand Morgan her flowers and watch them happily leave the altar.

I meet Shane, linking my arm with his as we walk to the end of the sandy aisle. Tonya and I immediately make our way to the couple, throwing our arms around them in a group hug.

Eventually, we gather for photos on the beach. It’s an hour of smiling and laughing, which makes it difficult for the subdued shots. It’s especially hard to keep a restrained smile when Rod makes silly faces and insinuating gestures. I had to pose with Shane for some, which was disconcerting, but he tried to make me laugh again, and since I was in a giggly mood from Rod, I did.

After pictures, we go to the hotel’s ballroom, where Morgan and Ivan take the dance floor. I thought Rod would make them dance to a rap song, but he didn’t. The father/bride and mother/groom dances soon follow.

Rod then calls for the bridal party to join them. Shane smirks, holding out his arm for me, as he had done earlier, and he leads me to the dance floor. When I put my arms around his neck, he says, “I couldn’t wait to dance with you.” What?


“Because I wondered what it felt like to hold you.”

“Oh.” Oh, God. Greg Rodwell was right? Suddenly feeling uncomfortable, I tuck a wisp of hair behind my ear and catch Rod’s eye from behind the DJ table. I wish he would rescue me. Thankfully, he recognizes my panic and gives me a calming smile. “Don’t you have a date?”

He shrugs. “She’s here somewhere.” I hope she’s running for the hills.

Shane says, “We’re not dating. I saw on TV that your boyfriend is jumping off that bridge this year.”

“Yeah. He is.”

“Are you going there to watch him?”

“I haven’t thought about it yet. Probably not.”

“That’s insane of him, if you ask me.”

“It is,” I agree, but add, “He loves it, though. It makes him happy.”

“Shouldn’t you make him happy, and not some damn bridge?”

I slightly wince, yet assert, “He’s doing it with my blessing.”

The song ends, and I drop my hands from his shoulders as another slow song plays. Before I can escape, Shane clutches my arm. “Can I have another dance?”

“Um, sure.” Damn Rod for making me dance with Shane again!

I glare at the DJ table, and when Rod looks my way, he mouths, “Sorry!” He offers me a toothy grin, but I want to strangle him.

Shane’s cologne smells nice, but it’s foreign to me. He doesn’t smell like home.

Dancing next to Ivan and Morgan, Shane and Ivan laugh at something. Under different circumstances, Shane would be the most boring dance partner, but I’m relieved not to suffer through more bridge talk.

“Can I cut in?”

The low voice in my ear causes m heart to take off in a fifty-yard dash. I whip my head up to see my savior. My Sparks.

My answering smile elicits an identical one from Finn. “Yes!” I squeal and throw my arms around Finn’s neck, and he lifts me up from the floor as we hug.

In his arms, I ask, “When did you get here?”

His mouth is next to my ear. “I’ve been here. I caught the wedding. I got here late, and I didn’t want to interrupt.”

He sets me down, but I don’t let go of his neck. “You were here during pictures and everything?”

“Yeah. I stayed in the back.”

Finn puts his arms around my waist and draws me to him. As we slow dance, I notice Rod watching us, and I try not to grin like an idiot, pursing my lips and shaking my head at him. He nods with a knowing smirk. That ass knew Finn was standing behind me as I was about to commit murder.

Greg Rodwell is… awesome.

I frown at Finn’s answer as my fingers slide up into his hair. “I wish I would’ve known you were here. I’m sure you were bored.”

His gaze transfixes more, and his pupils dilate as I gently tousle his hair. “No. I enjoyed watching you.” When his fingers graze the bare skin of my back, tingles spark me as his dark eyes drop to my nearly exposed chest, deliberately roaming over me. I breathe faster, wishing his hands and lips were exploring me, too.

Finn slowly looks up at my face. “You are… There isn’t a word that describes how utterly beautiful you are. This dress… Becks, you’re devastatingly gorgeous.”

“Thank you.”

Resting his forehead against mine, he whispers, “You don’t even know what you’re doing to me.”

“I could probably guess.”

“Not even close, Becks. You have absolutely no idea.” I ease my head back so I can see his face. His expression is intense and nothing like I’ve ever seen on him. It’s like he wants me to solve his cryptic riddle.

“Well, you don’t look so bad yourself.” I smile as I notice his light blue shirt with a dark blue tie, and gray pants. I whisper in his ear, “Actually, you’re damn hot.”

He cocks his head and arches an eyebrow. “Am I?”

Nodding, I secure my arms around his neck, and he pulls me closer. His cologne drifts between us, and I rest my cheek on his chest, next to my tattoo, hearing him breathing fast. I swallow. “Thank you for rescuing me.”

“I’ll always come to your rescue.”

“I’m glad you’re here.”

“I wanted to be here with you.”

“I thought you’d be out of town? You didn’t have to work?”

Finn smiles and bites his lip. “I said I had an assignment out of town. Not a lie. I’m here. On assignment.”

“The entire time, you planned to be here?”

He nods. “I didn’t want to get here too early and be seen, but I was stuck in traffic. I got here right before you walked down the aisle. I couldn’t take my eyes off of you.” His fingers grip my waist, but his thumb lightly scrapes my bruise. “I enjoy dancing with you. I could hold you all night like this.”

I cringe. “My feet would get tired in these shoes.” We both laugh, and needing to feel his skin, I reach up and drag my fingers down his jaw, which fades his smile as his eyes widen.

“Didn’t you have something you wanted to tell me?”

He pulls his lips into a sad smile and shakes his head. “It’s not Sunday.”

“You know you’re my only exception,” I remind him. Recognizing what I’m alluding to, his sad smile morphs into a sexy grin.

Since we’ve been lost in our own world, I only now notice the song has ended, and everyone breaking up around us. Rod announces dinner is being served. Leaning down, Finn asks, “Will you save me another dance?”

Moving my mouth up to his ear, I whisper, “I’ll try to squeeze you in.” He stands, and I grin at his mock frown.

Everyone from our softball team is here, except for Ricky and Cara. Ricky’s working the night shift and couldn’t get the day off, and Cara claimed she had to work, too. Oh, darn.

No, really.

From my seat between Morgan and Tonya at the bridal party table, I see Finn sitting next to Rod. Val is on the other side of Finn with her husband, Paul. Looking over to me, Val blows me a kiss. I smile at her and pick at my green beans, trying to concentrate, so I don’t drop food into my boobs, but now nerves grip me. Since Finn is here, I’m afraid to propose.

Morgan leans against me. “I see our coach/your dickhead boyfriend made it.”

Covertly watching Finn talking to Val as I stab at my roast beef, I say, “He was even here for the ceremony.”

“He owes it to you to be here.”

Putting my fork down, I look at Morgan. “It’s your wedding. He shouldn’t be here just for me.”

“I don’t give a shit if he’s here for me. You are the one who should matter to him, and he’d better not forget it.”

“He’s here, isn’t he?” Turning back to my food, I glance over to Finn’s table, where he’s sitting with his elbow cockily propped on the back of his chair. His finger idly grazes his bottom lip as he intently stares at me. I smile, and he blinks out of his trance. He languidly smiles in response, and I quietly laugh. Grinning at my amusement, Finn shakes his head as we gawk at each other until Val says something to him, and he turns to her, disrupting our daze. Still smiling, I blink down to my plate.

Morgan says, “From what I just witnessed, you two have made up since you’re making serious fuck-me eyes at each other.”

Not looking up, I laugh and lightly elbow her. “We’re working on it. I let him dance with me, but I haven’t kissed him since finding out about his skydiving.”

Her fork drops in a clatter, and I peer up at her. She slowly asks, “You haven’t kissed him yet?”

“No. He wanted to after our fight at the game, but I didn’t want to.”

“You’re making him wait to kiss you?” Morgan reiterates. She laughs and pushes on my arm. “I love it, Hadley! That is fantastic!”

I regard her with an uncertain frown. “Why?”

“Because he should work for it.”

I glance at Finn, who’s still talking to Val. Returning to my barely eaten food, I mutter, “I guess.”

“So, are you ready to kiss him now?” I nod at my food. “What about the thing you brought with you?”

Picking up a small forkful of my potatoes, I whisper, “I’m still on the fence about it.”

“Maybe after a good screw.”

“Morgan!” I shriekingly whisper, hoping nobody heard her since she’s not quiet.

“What? Like you’re not fucking him in your suite later? Shit. Angry fucking is my favorite.” I shake my head, unable to look at her as I eat, for fear I’ll choke on my food when I see the expression she’s most likely sporting on her face. She adds, “As I told you at lunch weeks ago, get him hard, and then propose. It’s a win-win.”

Over my green beans, I ask, “Why do I talk to you?”

“Because you love me.”



Grabbing my champagne, I take a long sip. When I lower my glass, I tease with a horrified expression. “Oh, yeah! You’re pregnant! Oops! Sorry! None for you!”

“You’re a slut, too.”

“A raging one!” I drink another gulp in front of her, and she shoves my leg with a laugh.

After Morgan and Ivan cut the cake, Rod announces it’s time to throw the bouquet. Because I’m the unmarried hag, as Rod calls me, I’m forced to the floor. Rhonda and Shasta flank me with a handful of other women behind us.

Before turning around, Morgan surveys us, eyeing me in particular. Oh, no. I’m not fighting for the damn thing like a desperate spinster. Not only that, but my boobs will fly out of my dress. That thought alone makes me want to dive underneath a table and stay until Rod plays Donna Summer’s Last Dance.

With her back to us, Morgan lazily tosses the bouquet over her head. Inexplicably, Shasta and Rhonda move away, which makes me the closest one to catch it. What the hell? The other women scramble forward, but the bouquet falls short of me, and I impulsively throw my arms forward, catching it to my surprise.

I spin around, and Shasta and Rhonda laugh. I swing back to see Morgan laughing. Bitches.

Shasta asks, “I guess that means you’re going to marry our coach?”

Rhonda says, “You’ll be Mrs. Coach!”

“Um, okay.” I skeptically laugh at their merriment. I thought Shasta wanted Finn for herself. Now, she’s endorsing our potential engagement?

After Ivan removes Morgan’s garter with his teeth to whistling and cheering, Rod again takes the mic. “All right, Hadley! Let’s find you a groom!”

This won’t be mortifying. Morgan’s cousin Humper will probably catch the garter. And yes, his nickname is accurate, apparently.

Rod plays Janet Jackson’s Nasty and tells all the unmarried men to take the floor. I’d nervously laugh, but I feel sick because the one man I want to catch it is still sitting in his seat, coolly drinking his champagne.

Fleetingly, I catch Rod’s scrutiny before he leaves the DJ table and strides over to Finn, bending to tell him something. Immediately, Finn’s indifferent demeanor changes, and he purposely stands. What the hell did Rod tell him?

All the bachelors gather, with Finn taking a spot, but so does Shane, Humper, a bunch of drunk strangers, and Ivan’s teenage nephews. This will be magical, no doubt.

I worriedly watch as Ivan flicks the garter behind him. I can’t look. I’d rather Rod catch it, but his reaching up my dress would give me nightmares for the rest of my life, let alone anyone else. However, I know Finn won’t eternally jinx himself either.

Hiding my face in my hands, I blindly hear a battle for the small piece of fabric. Shit. After a minute, Rod taunts, “Oh, Hadley, we got you a groom!” With me still hiding, Shasta and Rhonda pull me up and force me to sit down in the chair Morgan had used. I want to die of embarrassment.

No such luck.

Rod changes the song to Jade’s Don’t Walk Away and shouts, “I need the extremely lucky bastard to step forward and put the garter on this woman! Let’s do it!” My mouth pops open at the thought of some lucky bastard putting his hands up my dress.

Hearing footsteps near me, I hesitantly crack my eyes open and move my fingers to see Finn squatting before me. I drop my hands and gape at him in shock. Thank you, God!

Still embarrassed, I reticently smile as he sexily grins and grabs my leg. Everyone whoops and whistles. My face reddens more than my nail polish as he hooks the garter over my shoe. Then, watching me with sultry brown eyes, he works it up my leg, slowly dragging his fingers across my skin up to my thigh, which draws louder screeches as my dress rises. I can’t even breathe. My eyes are enormous, yet he keeps his composure, being used to the spotlight.

On the microphone, Rod says, “Not too high, Wilder! Save that move for later!” I will kill Rod.

When Finn reaches the top of my thigh, he lingers on my skin before releasing me. Standing, he offers me his hand, and I straighten out my dress. I then shakily take his outreached hand.

“Way to go, you two! Now, I want the bride and groom, and Hadley and Coach Wilder to take the dance floor. Then, everyone can join them.” Rod plays a sexy, semi-slow song while dimming the lights. Finn leads me onto the floor behind Morgan and Ivan.

When he pulls me into his arms, I laugh in disbelief. “I can’t believe you caught that.”

“You really think I’d let anyone put their hands up your dress?”

I smile. “Such a gentleman. I didn’t think you’d do it since it supposedly means something.”

He smirks. “Yeah. It meant I got to look up your dress.”

I tilt my head and try hard not to smile. “You think you’re cute?”

“That word again.” He rolls his eyes.

Sliding my hand down his tie, I say, “You’re right. Cute doesn’t cut it since you’re hands-down the sexiest man I’ve ever met.” I look up into his sobering eyes as they glide over my face.


I slip my hands up into his hair, twirling my fingers, and his eyes blink closed. “What, Sparks?” Say it.

He opens his eyes and implores, “Please forgive me.” Not what I expected.

I nod, and we thoughtfully contemplate each other as we slow dance. Other couples surround us, and Finn grips me as if he’s afraid someone might take me away from him. Lowering my hands to his scruff, I gaze at his lips, wanting him to kiss me.

The song ends, and Rod yells, “While they’re still on the dance floor, I have a special song for the bride and her BFF!” Our song starts with flashing lights, and Morgan grabs my arm, yanking me from Finn.

She twirls me and then jerks me to her for a hug. “This day is perfect!” she squeals.

“I’m glad!” I spin away, and we tug each other back and forth, giggling like little girls on a playground. Finn returns to his table, taking his seat next to Val. I feel terrible, but I’ll make it up to him later.

I nod to the DJ table, and she giggles. We run over and pull Rod to the dance floor, putting him in the middle of us, bumping our hips against his legs. Not one to shy away from the dance floor or women, apart from Tonya. He sticks out his tongue, gyrates his hips in a circle, and raises his hands above his head. Much better than the moves he did last night on the beach.

Suddenly, Rod grabs my hand and speedily twirls me. Morgan and I sway with him, going down to the floor and then up again. He turns to Morgan, and they bump and pop each other. Still laughing, I spin around and rock against his back.

Although people are watching, I’m having too much fun to be self-conscious. Though, it’ll horrify me later. I glance at Finn’s table and see him watching us. Holding his champagne glass, he appears uninterested, but I know he’s sulking. Not wanting to leave him out, I crook my finger, beckoning Finn. He rolls his eyes, and I put my lip out into a pout, but I’m wasting my time.

When I turn around, I spot Ivan in the mix now. Good man. Seeing me, he grins and snatches my hand, tugging me to him for a hard, dancing hug. Unexpectedly, someone picks up my hand and pulls me in another direction, and I fall against Rod’s chest. I feel like a rag doll. He puts his hands on my hips, I grab his shoulders, and we smoothly move together. It’s familiar with him. On the dance floor, I know Rod’s body better than Finn’s.

Two hands whirl me away from Rod. “I guess I’ll have to get my dance this way!” Shane shouts above the music. Damn it. He surprisingly has rhythm. “I take it your boyfriend can’t dance?”

“He can!”

Shane pulls me closer, and I try to gracefully escape, but then a hand clutches my arm and swiftly twirls me away from Shane. I look up to see Finn. I grin in relief. “My hero!”

Beaming at me, he shouts, “Always, baby!”

I pivot, so my back is against him, and I sway, moving him with me. I know he won’t do much more, so I keep it easy and lead as we dance. Reaching behind me, I grab his hips as I spiral us down and then up again. My stomach doesn’t hurt too much to slow me yet. It must be the champagne. No. It’s my hot boyfriend finally dancing with me.

His lips and bristly chin graze my ear, while his quick, hot breath travels down my neck. We rock together, and he kisses down my neck as his fingers insistently dig into my hips. As his mouth hovers my collarbone, he lightly kisses me, sending tingles through me.

My hands move from his hips, and I send them up around his neck, which pushes my chest outward more. I hope the tape holds my tits. I hear and feel his groan over my throat, making me close my eyes. His hands move along my rib cage as his kisses trail to my ear, his goatee prickling my skin in his wake.

His lips sweep my ear, and he breathes heavily, whispering, “You’re killing me.”

The song changes and I giggle as his goatee grazes my cheek again. “With the dress?”

“Yeah, that, but because I can’t wait for Sunday. I love you, Becks.”

Swiftly, I turn and using both hands I scrape my fingers against both sides of his jaw and skim my thumb across his bottom lip. I whisper, “Prove it.”

Without hesitation, his lips crash into mine, impatiently consuming them, but I quickly catch up as I encircle my arms around his neck. This is the kind of kiss he gives me when we’re alone. He kissed me on camera, but it was different. This kiss is in front of a bigger live audience.

Before we lose ourselves in front of Morgan’s guests, I tear myself away and gasp, “Whoa.”

“Whoa,” he repeats breathlessly. “I’ve wanted to do that for over a week.”

“Maybe we can go for a moonlight walk on the beach later.” Instead of answering, he tilts his head to kiss and lightly suck on my neck. “Does that sound okay?”

He kisses my cheek before straightening. “I want to change first.” He suddenly looks uneasy as his tongue flicks over his lips, and his eyes dart around me. “I need to get my clothes out of my car. Can I have your room key so I can change there? Or I can get my own room.”

As he awaits my answer, my hands find their way into his hair, as his dark gaze searches my face. On my tiptoes, I whisper, “I’m begging you to let me take off your clothes.” Yep. The champagne has positively hit me. I’m not trashed, but I’m more uninhibited.

“Becks, what I said after the game last week, I’m sorry.”

I yank on his tie, and he tips forward. “Shut up, Wilder, and get your clothes, so I can take them off. I want to have loud, hot sex with you.” His mouth drops open, and I brazenly grin.

Not wanting to waste any more time, I leave him and walk-through dancing couples to the bridal table for my clutch purse. Finn is soon behind me. I feel his body heat and smell his erotic scent. I whirl around, and he kisses me. Against his lips, I say, “Room seven thirteen. Be there. I’ll be up soon.” He smiles before kissing me again. I giggle over his mouth and hand him my spare key card. Grinning even wider, he plucks it out of my hand and hurriedly leaves the ballroom.

I quickly make my way to Morgan, who is dancing with Tonya. I touch her arm, and she stops. Pursing her lips, she rolls her eyes. “I see you and Finn have made up. I thought he was going to bend you over the table.”

“Oh.” God.

“He’d better not hurt you again. I won’t put up with it, Hadley. I don’t want to see you upset all the time because of a man who doesn’t want to make you happy.”

“I love him, Morgan. He’s all I want.”

She sighs. “You’re proposing, aren’t you?”

“Yes. I’ll be here until the reception winds down, but after, we’ll take a walk.” Later…

She waves to the door. “We only have the place until 10:00, so it’s almost over. Go, and good luck. Let me know…”

“I will.”

She hugs me. “I love you, Hadley. I only want the best for you. I want Finn to be the best for you. He’d better take your happiness seriously and not blow it again. I’m watching him, and he knows it.”

I let go of her. “Thank you, Morgan. I love you, too. I’ll call you and let you know, if you don’t mind the interruption.”

“You’d better call. If I’m in the shower, I’ll call you back. I’ll see you in the morning for breakfast, too.” I smile at her and go to the table to grab my things.

Behind me, Rod asks, “Where are you going, Hadders?”

“To my room.”

“Hmm.” I turn to see him surveying the room. “I don’t see our coach. Is he helping you get out of your dress?”

I can’t help smiling. “Maybe.”

Playfully dismayed, he says, “Hey! You’re my date!”

Grinning, I put my hand over my mouth. “Oops. I met someone else.”

He crosses his arms with a fake frown. “Whore.”

I roll my eyes. “We’re taking a walk.”

He snorts. “On the wild side.”

I laugh and smack his chest. “Shut up!”

Rod jerks me to him for a hug. He whispers, “Good luck, Hadley. I know you’re pulling your stunt tonight.”

I nod against him. “I’ll call you later.” I pat his back before letting him go.

His smile slips a little. “Okay. I’ll be waiting.”

Val walks over to us. “Are you leaving, babe?”

“Yeah.” I perceptively smile at her, not capable of hiding my nerves and excitement.

Covering her mouth with her hands, she asks, “Oh, my. You’re going to…”

My smile widens. “I am.” She hugs me, and I whisper, “Thanks, Val.”

“Babe, I want you to call me.”

“I’ll conference everyone.” I anxiously laugh as I walk to the exit doors to the hallway while a blender spins my stomach.

What the hell am I doing?

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