I picked my way down the heavily wooded trail that led from our cabin to the main lodge. Whoever planned this wedding, obviously didn’t consider how the formally dressed guests would get from their remote cabins to the ceremony. At least Alexis was getting ready in the bridal suite.
The lobby was overflowing with well-dressed people, sipping on champagne while they mingled about. I glanced around the room, locating Cleo in the far corner with Madeline and Lucy.
I whistled as I approached them. “Lookin’ good, Miss Cleopatra Taylor,” I called out.
Her face broke out in a wide grin, her eyes sparkling with joy. It warmed my heart to see her like that. She’d been so unhappy since her parents passed away six years before.
Hannah and Alexis had to work long hours to keep a roof over their heads, leaving very little time for her. She sat in that dingy apartment all day. I took her out as often as I could, but she was always stressed and angry. I’d noticed the positive changes in her since they moved in with Miles. She’d even lost some weight, her overall physical and mental health much improved.
“Lookin’ good, Mr. Paddington Wallingford-Yargey,” she mimicked before bursting into a fit of giggles with Lucy.
“You look lovely, Lucy,” I said with a curtsy. “And you as well, Mrs. Maines.”
“Thank you, Paddy.”
Hannah and Miles were blessed with a beautiful day for their wedding. The ceremony was being held outside on a cliff overlooking the shimmering blue lake. The towering Sitka Spruce trees reached up to the cloudless sky, joining the mountains for a breathtaking backdrop.
I sat with Cleo and Lucy in the front row of folding chairs set up in the grass. A pink carpet had been rolled out to serve as the aisle. Soft organ music played while ushers seated the small group of guests.
“No way,” I whispered, nudging Lucy when I spotted a woman who looked an awful lot like a famous pop singer. “Is that Dandy Lyon?”
“Yeah,” Lucy confirmed. “She’s good friends with my dad.”
“Yep. But he’s never had intercourse with her. They’re just friends. She doesn’t dance to the same kind of music.”
“Okay,” I chuckled, scratching the back of my head. “That’s good. I didn’t think your dad would invite an old girlfriend to his wedding. But why does it matter what kind of music she dances to?”
“She’s a lesbian, Paddy.”
“Oh. I did not know that.”
“I already met her last night,” Cleo announced smugly.
“Well, goody for you,” I huffed.
“I’ll introduce you to her later,” Lucy whispered, patting my shoulder.
Dean escorted Madeline down the aisle to her seat next to Lucy. She dabbed at her eyes with a tissue when Miles appeared at the altar.
I turned when the Wedding March started, my heart and my dick swelling when Alexis appeared at the end of the aisle.
Her beauty took my breath away. She was so gorgeous. I was pleased to see the purple streaks gone, her silky blonde hair styled in a side bun.
Alexis didn’t need makeup, but her face was done up with a subtle and classy style that enhanced her natural beauty. Her dress clung to her heavenly breasts, her curvy hips filling out the gown.
My best friend had the perfect body for bearing children, and I wanted to be the one to give them to her. She said she didn’t want babies, but I was hoping she’d change her mind once Hannah had one.
Our eyes met briefly before she took her place at the altar. She smiled and wiggled her eyebrows, aggravating the unpleasant situation in my pants.
“Are you going to marry Lexie?” Cleo whispered.
“I don’t know.”
“I hope she picks you, Paddy. Osk is a doofus.”
“Thanks, Cleo,” I said, surprised at her astute assessment of the situation. She’d probably been eavesdropping again.
We stood when Hannah appeared on Judd’s arm, the picture of elegance and class in her traditional white gown. She looked like Cinderella, gliding down the aisle toward her prince.
I wanted what Hannah and Miles had. My heart ached with yearning as I listened to them take their vows.
Alexis was envious. I was very adept at reading her emotions. She couldn’t honestly believe Osk was the one who could give her the happiness her sister had found. He was rich, of course. But so was I. Not famous musician rich, but I wasn’t exactly standing in line for food stamps.
Alexis wasn’t a gold digger. She liked to have nice things. But she wasn’t the type of woman to hook up a guy just because he was wealthy. She placed too much value on sex though. If that’s all a guy could offer her, he wasn’t good enough for her. And that was all Oskar Blackwell brought to the table, as far as I could see. Maybe there was more to him, but I had my doubts.
I joined in with the laughter and cheers when Miles kissed his bride. Fortunately, there weren’t any children in attendance. Their first kiss as husband and wife bordered on pornographic. I was beginning to think they were never going to come up for air.
I don’t usually drink, but I accepted a flute of champagne when the server offered it to me. Alexis was still outside doing photographs with the wedding party. Most of the guests had wandered inside to the reception hall.
“Hey, you,” Alexis whispered, coming up behind me. “Are you drinking?”
“I drink on special occasions,” I said, setting my glass down before pulling her into my arms. “You look absolutely stunning today.”
“Just today?” she laughed.
“No. You’re gorgeous everyday. No matter what you’re wearing, or even if you’re hungover or sick. I see a beautiful woman whenever I look at you.”
“Wow,” she whispered.
I leaned down, kissing her softly while I stroked her bare back. She blinked at me when the kiss ended, swallowing noisily. I couldn’t stop the smug grin from spreading across my face. Alexis was turned on.
“Shall we find our table?” I suggested.
“Yes,” she panted breathlessly.
I captured her hand, linking our fingers together before I led her across the room. Our table mates were already seated. I knew we were sitting with Osk and Silicone Princess. Alexis requested it. And I was more than okay with that, because it gave me an excuse to kiss her and touch her all through dinner. Which was exactly what I planned to do.
“Why, thank you, Paddington,” she said when I pulled out her chair. “You’re such a gentleman.”
“You won’t be saying that later,” I whispered, making sure my voice was loud enough for the idiot drummer. And since he was watching us, I tilted her chin up, planting a very ungentlemanly kiss on her delicious lips.
“Lucky girl,” Silicone Princess commented. “Somebody is going to be on her back all night.”
I glanced at Osk’s date.
What the heck was she wearing?
The answer to that question was nothing.
Or pretty darn close to nothing.
I’d seen those dresses a lot recently on celebrities. They called them naked or nude dresses. Most of them consisted of a bra and panties with a sheer piece of lace or some material over top. Why even bother paying for a dress? They might as well just prance around in their underwear.
“She sure is,” I agreed. “On her back with her legs spread, screaming so loud every human and animal within fifty miles will know I’m putting the balls to my woman.”
Alexis burst out laughing, champagne flying from her mouth and nose.
“Are you okay, baby?” I asked, handing her a glass of water while she coughed and sputtered.
“Yeah,” she gasped, taking a sip of the water. “I can’t believe you said that. How much have you had to drink?”
“Only one glass of champagne. Why?”
“Because you don’t normally say shit like that.”
“Weddings make me super horny.”
“I don’t know,” I said, shrugging before draining my glass. “Probably all the romance.”
“Dude,” Osk said, furrowing his brow. “Weddings should scare the shit outta you. How can you be horny after seeing another dude get his balls clipped?”
“I’m pretty sure Miles is blowing full loads into my sister,” Alexis muttered.
“You know what I mean, baby.”
“When I put my dick in my woman, it means something to me, Osk,” I explained. “It’s about more than just getting off. It’s about intimacy and love.”
“Aww,” Silicone Princess cooed. “That’s beautiful, Paddy.”
“Nah!” Osk laughed. “Yer yankin me!”
Alexis shifted in her seat, staring down at her empty plate with a lost expression on her face.
I slid my arm around her waist, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. “Are you okay?”
“You looked a little lost there for a minute.”
“I’m fine.” She smiled up at me, running her fingers through my curly locks.
My hopeful heart fluttered like a baby bird trying to fly for the first time. Alexis had never looked at me like that before. This wasn’t for his benefit. She pulled my mouth down, pressing her lips to mine ever so softly, as if this was our first kiss.
I took the reins, my hands finding their way into her hair as I tilted her head, coercing her tongue into a seductive dance. She nipped at my bottom lip, sucking it into her mouth. Our teeth clashed together before our tongues joined for another round of hungry strokes.
Time stood still. The music and voices faded away. It was just Alexis and me, totally engaged in the steamiest kiss I’d ever experienced.
Until something bounced off my forehead.
“What the heck?” I mumbled, reluctantly pulling away when the balled up napkin hit me.
“This is a PG rated table,” Osk said with a humourless chuckle, his glare void of any amusement.
“They were just kissing, Osk,” Silicone Princess whispered.
“He was two seconds away from hauling her off to the bathroom and fucking her.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“It’s not appropriate behaviour. This is her sister’s wedding.”
I was very close to telling the asshole off, but I didn’t want to make a scene. Alexis squeezed my hand under the table while the waiter refilled our glasses. I picked up the flute, draining it in one shot. It was going to be a long night, and an even longer week.