“Uh oh…did you guys decide to elope?” When Livia first called to tell me about her engagement and pregnancy, I asked if they were going to fly to Vegas, but she was adamant she wanted an actual wedding. Small, but complete with the works. Dress, cake, dancing, family, and friends, and they wanted to get married before the babies arrived.
“No. But we did set a date.”
“Oh my God, that’s great!” I can practically hear Livia’s smile. For the first time since she told me she was getting married, I feel a twinge of real excitement for my sister. About time, you selfish bitch.
“You may not think so when I tell you. I’m really going to need your help to pull it off.”
My stomach drops. “Livia! That’s in five weeks!” The worst day of my life, I think.
“I know, I know, but…I just want to get married before I get too fat. Despite the morning sickness, I already can’t fit into my jeans. You’ll be my maid of honor, right?”
My head is reeling at the date Livia’s chosen for her wedding, so when I don’t respond immediately, I hear her calling my name. “Yes, of course I’ll be your maid of honor, Livia,” I mumble.
Livia’s silent for a few beats. “Alyse…I understand if—”
“It’s okay, Livia,” I interrupt. “It will be a good distraction.” Ever since the accident eight years ago this December twenty-seventh, I take that day off and wallow.
I cry too much.
I drink too much.
I remember too much.
I’m surprised to find that I’m actually sincere when I say it may be a good distraction. Eight years is long enough to mourn. I need to move on. Maybe a good memory on that day to replace the bad is exactly what I need.
“I wanted to pick a different date, but this worked best with Gray’s schedule and—”
“Stop. It’s fine. It’s your day and I’ll do everything I can to make it special for you. I promise.”
We spend the next twenty minutes talking about wedding details and splitting up duties. Livia’s two friends, Addy and Kamryn, will also be helping with the planning, so no one person becomes too overwhelmed with all the tasks that need to be completed in such a short period of time. The wedding will be small: only family and a few very close friends. Regardless of the wedding size, there is an overwhelming amount of detail that needs to be considered.
“So…who is standing up for Gray?” I ask. Livia told me each of them would have only one attendant.
My stomach flutters. I’m ashamed at the rush of desire flowing thickly through my body at the mere mention of his name. “Really? I would have thought Luke would have that role.”
For as long as I’ve known the Colloways, we all thought Gray’s twin, Luke, was dead. Turns out he was just disowned for some unsavory life choices, but now he’s back in the family fold, somewhat. I think. It’s all very confusing.
“It’s…complicated. Gray and Luke are slowly working things out, but it will take a while. Gray had a hard time choosing between Asher and Conn, but Conn insisted it be Asher.”
I’m glad he did.
We hang up a few minutes later, after I agree to Thanksgiving dinner at the Colloway house next week. It’s not like I have anything else to do. I had planned to spend the day in ratty sweats, curled up on the couch, watching football and drinking wine. Guess I’ll be doing all of those with the Colloways instead. Minus the ratty sweats. Luckily for me, it’s here in Detroit and only a thirty-minute drive from my house.
Looks like I’ll be seeing quite a bit of the sexy, irresistible Asher Colloway over the next several weeks. And I’m not sure if I’m excited or nervous.
Both, I think. Definitely both.
I pull myself from my daydreams and back to the problems at hand—getting more clients so I can stay in business past year-end.
“So how was your date last night?” I ask my fraternal twin, Connelly, breathing hard from my physical exertion. I’m bent over, arms on my thighs, winded from our quick five-mile run. It’s early in the morning and the traffic in the gym we offer as a perk to our employees is pretty light. Exactly how I like it. The fewer people around, the better. Actually, I prefer to take my runs outdoors, regardless of the weather, but the half inch of ice and three inches of snow on the Chicago sidewalks overnight make for treacherous conditions, even for the most skilled outdoor runner.
His mouth quirks up on one side. “Satisfying.”