Reunited with the Lassiter Bride(33)By: Barbara Dunlop
“We’re going to make love in the spa?”
“It’s closed and locked, and I own the place. So, yes, we’re going to make love in the spa.” They came into a lounge area with a softly lit fountain. He spotted a wide, low sofa.
“Here we go.” He set her down on the sofa and gazed at the picture she made. “I love you in pink. You should always wear pink. Now, take it off.”
She grinned up at him. “I just fired three men for not being deferential.”
“Oh, I’ll be deferential. I’ll be very deferential. Just as soon as you’re naked.”
She held out her hand, wiggling her fingers. “Can I have my ring first?”
He dropped down on one knee, pulling the ring from his pocket. Then he smoothly pushed it onto her left hand. “This is never coming off.”
“This is,” she lightly joked. She slipped her fingers from his hand, drew back and pulled the dress over her head, tossing it to one side.
Spring had arrived at Big Blue. Flowers were blooming, birds chirping, and the bright sunshine heated the lush hills. Evan had warned Angie they were taking a chance with the garden wedding, but now he was glad they’d risked it. The sky was a perfect, vast blue. White folding chairs were set up on the lawn, azaleas, peonies and tulips making the landscape colorful.
Angie had walked alone down the aisle toward Evan and the preacher, who were standing under the natural wood canopy. Her brothers and Chance had all offered to escort her, but she’d said J.D. was with her, his presence in everything about Big Blue.
Evan had never seen her looking more beautiful. She’d chosen a simple white dress, knee length, made of delicate chiffon. Crisscrossing to a low, V back, the spaghetti straps left her shoulders bare. She’d woven wildflowers in her upswept hair and carried a tiny, cornflower bouquet.
It was nothing like he’d originally imagined their wedding, but it was perfect. And when he’d kissed his bride, he knew they were ready to stand together through anything life might throw at them.
Much later, he stood with Chance at the edge of a garden overlooking the natural swimming pool. The stars were a sparkling canopy above the ranch, while tiny, white lights decorated a temporary dance floor. Angie was dancing with her brother Dylan, while his wife Jenna watched, holding their baby son.
Deke was dancing with a dazzling Tiffany. Evan was in on the secret that his friend was proposing to her tomorrow night.
“Have you picked out a spot yet?” asked Chance, smiling, his gaze resting on his wife Felicia as she stopped to talk to Jenna. Felicia was several months pregnant with what they had just discovered were twins.
“Angie says we should build in the meadow beside Rustle Creek.” Evan couldn’t help but smile at the memory of their conversation. “I say a hundred feet up the hillside in case there’s ever another flood.”
Chance chuckled. “Don’t blame you for that.”
Although the ranchers had completely recovered from the fall flooding, nobody wanted to go through anything like that again.
“I can deed you the property,” said Chance. “As much of it as you’d like.”
Evan shook his head. “Not necessary. I don’t think Angie wants to break the place up into pieces.”
“She’s keeping the mansion in L.A.?”
“She’s not interested in letting go of any of the family possessions. We’ll be here part-time, but we’ll still need roots in L.A.”
“It’s a big house for two people.” Chance gave Evan a sidelong glance.
“We hope it won’t just be the two of us for long.” Evan and Angie had tossed out her birth control pills last month. They were both content to let the babies come along whenever it happened.
Chance’s gaze went back to Felicia and Jenna. “It looks like the Lassiter clan will be growing in leaps and bounds.”
“I’m more than willing to do my part.”
“I’ve set the bar pretty high,” said Chance.
Evan laughed at the reference to the twins. He gazed around at the crowds of happy people, including Marlene dancing with the senior partner from Logan’s law firm. The two had been inseparable since Christmas. Sage and his wife Colleen had announced they were also expecting a baby.
“I can’t help but think J.D. would be happy with all this,” he told Chance.
“I can guarantee he would,” said Chance. “He’d have loved all the grandchildren, and especially the strong bonds between the family members.”
Evan nodded his understanding and agreement.
The band ended the lively song then slowed things down to a waltz. Angie glanced around, and Evan knew it was his cue to join her.
“Catch you later,” he told Chance, his feet taking him toward his bride.
“Later,” Chance answered from behind him.
Angelica caught sight of Evan and flashed him a brilliant smile. His heart warmed, and the world around him seemed to disappear. He quickened his pace, scooping her into his arms, drawing her tight as they settled into the slow rhythm of the music.
“Hello, Mrs. McCain,” he intoned next to her ear.
“Hello, Mr. McCain.” She molded against him, letting him support her slight weight.
“Are you getting tired?”
“A little bit. But it’s been a fantastic day, don’t you think? Everyone seems really happy.”
“As long as you’re happy,” he said. “That’s all that counts.”
“I am happy, Evan. I’m incredibly happy.”
“I told Chance we wanted to build in the meadow.”
She drew her head back. “Is he okay with that?”
“He’s fine with it. I think he’s looking forward to all the little Lassiter grandchildren that’ll soon be running around Big Blue. He’s bragging about his significant contribution to the effort.”
“Felicia’s the one doing all the work.”
“He’s still taking credit.”
Angie went silent for a few minutes, swaying to the music.
“We can say goodnight anytime you want,” he told her.
Chance had a horse-drawn carriage waiting to take them in true Big Blue style to a little cottage in the hills for their wedding night.
“A few more minutes,” said Angie.
She drew a deep sigh. “It feels like the Lassiters are starting a whole new chapter.”
“They are,” Evan agreed. “And I am thrilled and proud to be part of it.”
“Something fantastic is starting.” She gazed up at him, her eyes shimmering in the tiny lights. “But something fantastic is ending too. I just need a little longer to savor the goodbye.”
He wrapped her tight in his arms again, with the huge sky above them, the ranch around them, and the joy and goodwill of their family permeating the Wyoming night. “Take all the time you need, sweetheart. Take all the time you need.”