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Never Catch The Bouquet
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He was my best friend’s older brother so it should NEVER have happened, but we were in Vegas, I was feeling horribly vulnerable, not to mention a bit tipsy, and he was saying and doing all the right things.
Oh, and have I told you about his eyes? Pools of seductive delight. Don’t even get me started on his body.
Just think taut, and rock hard.
When he looked at you it was as if a team of angels were pouring warm, thick chocolate all over your body.
Even now it makes me shiver to think of the way he looked at me.
It was the best night of my life, but technically, it was still a one night stand, and I didn’t want it to get all awkward and gross so I snuck out in the morning without saying goodbye.
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas so I thought that would be the end of the matter, but apparently no one told Cole that.
I turned around one day and there he was: all big, and gorgeous, and wanting to repeat that incredible night all over again…
Would you blame me for not saying no?
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“Can’t believe she’s really married now,” Gia murmured, shaking her head.
“Me neither,” I agreed, taking a sip of cold champagne and gazing at Collette.
She looked beautiful against the backdrop of the gorgeous hotel garden that they’d hired for the wedding reception. And it was patently clear that the bride and groom were perfectly suited to one another. Collette met Andrew in college, and the two of them have been head-over-heels in love ever since. To be honest we were all surprised it’d taken them this long to tie the knot, but they wanted to do it right: a fabulous weekend party in Vegas, all their friends and family around them.
I turned my gaze back to Gia. “Looks like I’m the only one out of the three of us left on the shelf.”
“Oh, come on.” Gia chuckled and waved her hand, making the diamond in her wedding ring catch the noon sun’s rays and almost blind me. “It’s not a race.”
“Spoken like someone who’s way out in front already,” I pointed out.
“Don’t be so silly, Annette. There’s no rush. You’ve still got all the time in the world to meet someone. She paused and frowned. “You’re not worried, are you?”
Gia had Nathan, a whirlwind romance that had ended in a marriage after just six months. Collette had Andrew. And I had…I had nobody. Nobody at all. My shoulders wanted to slump, but I turned it into a careless shrug. “No, of course not. I never think about it. It’s just today, you know.”
“Good, because it’s only a matter of time before some lucky guy comes to claim you. You’re gorgeous.”
“I am?” I muttered. I certainly didn’t feel it in my soft-lemon colored bridesmaid’s dress. Somehow, Gia managed to carry it off, but I actually felt quite fat and unattractive.
“Collette, it’s time to toss the bouquet,” Francine, the wedding planner announced. She’d been holding the whole event together with mind-bogglingly impressive efficiency.
I’d already made a note to get her number…not for me, of course, but in case one of the girls at work needed it.
Collette, clutching her bouquet of beautiful flowers to her chest, whirled around, and beamed at me.
I started to shake my head, but she was waggling her eyebrows so vigorously she was in danger of dislodging her tiara.
“No,” I mouthed in a panic.
“Yes,” she mouthed back happily. She hadn’t been able to wipe the smile off her face all day.
I couldn’t have been happier for her, especially when I’d stood beside her as she swore herself to Andrew forever, but there was no way she was throwing that damn bouquet at me.
A crowd began to gather around Collette to watch her toss the bouquet. A gaggle of single women had come out of the woodwork to catch it too, which was a good thing because I was out of here. The last thing I wanted to do was expose myself as a desperate husband hunter, so I took a step back.
Gia’s hand closed tightly over my wrist. “Don’t you dare,” she muttered while displaying all her whitened teeth in big smile.
“Ready?” Collette called, as she glanced around and shot a look directly at me.
I wanted to wave my hands and beg her not to aim it in my direction, but once Collette makes her mind up….
“Here we go!” she shouted as the bouquet looped through the air towards me. A cheer went up from the crowd as Gia released my wrist and grabbed my champagne glass from my other hand. I could have sworn time slowed down as the flash of color headed in my direction. Suddenly, I forgot I didn’t want to appear undignified or desperate.
All I knew was I had to catch it.
No matter what.
I jumped into the air, both my hands outstretched, clawed. Adrenaline was flowing in my veins. This bouquet was mine. I could already smell the scent of its flowers in my nostrils.
As my hands began to close on it, a great big bear of a dog, leapt up out of nowhere and crashed into me, knocking me to the ground. I could only watch in disbelief as he sailed on by and snatched the bouquet right out of the air.
At first, the crowd gasped in shock to see me land flat on my back on the lovely grass, but then they chuckled nervously when I instantly sprung up to my feet like a rubber ball and even though my face was bright red with humiliation, I said with a casual laugh, “Well, that decided that. Next one to the altar is the big hairy dog.”
No doubt, my dress had a large grass stain running all the way down the back. The shock was wearing away as I could feel the muscles of my thighs and buttocks start to throb.
“Annette!” Collette gasped, running towards me. “Are you all right?”