The ceremony was lovely, and I swear I saw my brother surreptitiously brush away a tear. Something I will file away for future use, should I need some extra leverage.
Of course I was back on Jasper’s arm, following the newly married couple back to the house, and just like the walk up the aisle, he was silent. A tad unsettling, since what little I know of him, he never seems at a loss for words. The silence felt ominous.
I’m reminded of that when I spot him coming out of the house, holding a beer bottle by the neck between two fingers, casually making his way over. I look for an escape but am weighed down by Kim’s little boy, who I offered to watch while his parents dance under the strings of lights covering the roof of the rented canopy tent. Exhausted from the long day, Asher fell asleep on my lap in seconds, his warm cheek pressed against my cleavage. There’s no way I can slink away with a sleeping toddler plastered to my boobs.
“Your scar is showing,” he says, pulling out a chair and sitting down, his back to the dance floor.
“Shit.” I try to reach around Asher to tug my dress into place, but part of my skirt is wedged underneath his little butt.
“Lift him up.”
Fearing my family will make a scene if they see my injury, I do as he orders, but throw in a scathing look for good measure. A blush quickly replaces it, when I feel the surprisingly rough pads of his fingers brush the skin where my thick thighs are pressed together. My body responds immediately, and I’m suddenly grateful for the little boy on my lap, effectively hiding the evidence.
Damn that man. I mentally scold myself for responding to him the way I do. It’s like it’s genetically ingrained for me to be attracted to this type of guy. Handsome, charming, charismatic, and easily distracted by the next piece of fluff darting in front of his eyes. It’s not healthy.
“Last thing I expected was to find you sitting here looking like some kind of modern-day Madonna with a child on your lap. I’d figured you’d be partying it up on the dance floor by now.” His raspy voice draws me from my musings, and I’m not quite sure whether to be insulted or flattered right now.
“And I’m surprised you sat down to join me, I keep looking around to see where you might have left your flavor of the day.”
Clearly I went with insulted, echoing back what I choose to take as a negative characterization. His eyes go big in his head as he looks around him, appearing confused.
“Flavor of the day?”
“Your date? The tall blonde I saw you schmoozing with at dinner?”
Last thing I expected was the deep belly laugh escaping from his wide smile.