It was three o’clock in the morning and we were heading toward the patio doors, past the guards, one of which had informed us that the girls were rowdy, but he said it with amusement.
I’d heard my girl giggling from outside as I got closer. The doors were open and just the screens shielded them from insects. The music and laughter were traveling. Good thing we had no neighbors.
I stood off to the side but craned my neck to peek in the window of the patio doors and saw her on her hands and knees, her gorgeous jeans-covered ass up in the air with Bee beside her. They were picking up cards off the floor, both of them in fits of giggles. There was a black box on the table that read Cards Against Humanity and three wine bottles, two of them empty. Sarah was in a chair laughing her ass off, a glass of wine in her hand. “Daniel Radcliffe’s delicious asshole!” Sarah blurted and the girls laughed harder.
The place was so loud, I don’t know how the kids weren’t all awake. Luc was tipping a potato chip bag into her mouth. Lisa and Tess weren’t in sight.
“Go, send my bride to bed, will ya?” I gave my brother a nudge.
He and Ed went inside while I stayed outside to the side so I wouldn’t have to listen to screeching if anyone saw me set eyes on my fiancée after midnight.
“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” I heard Tia say, still giggling.
I heard a cackle of laughter on top of my brother’s deep voice as he was evidently teasing the girls.
I peeked into the window and saw Dare lift Tia off the floor and heft her up into his arms. Her arms wound around his neck and she declared. “Do you have any idea-r how hot you are?” She shook her head, then pulled a lock of hair out of her mouth. “Seriour-sly.”
Uh, what the fuck?
I felt Nino go stiff beside me.
“Like, seriour-sly. I saw you that day at the Dunkin Donuts parking lot when you helped abduct me and thought, wow. Broody Hot. You can wear a suit like… like you should be a male model.”
Dare chuckled and I gritted my teeth.
“Though, don’t get me wrong. I was already fantasizing about your brother. The minute he walked into my job at the ice cream parlor, I was… gone. Owned. By a man I thought I’d never see again. Boy, was I wrong. What a story, right? Crazy story, my life so far. I should write a book.”
“You write that book, you’d have to kill anyone that reads it,” Dare told her.
“Oh. Right,” I heard Tia say. “So mush for that plan. And you should totally try love again. Fuck that bitch who broke your heart. You’re Dario Fucking Ferrano. You’re hot, rich, and have that awesome V-thing at your hips. You’ve got it goin’ on. Find a non-bitch and get married and make beautiful babies, okay?”
“You okay for me to set you on your feet, Tia Tyson? I can’t carry you to your room or my brother would have my balls.”
“Fuckin’ right,” I said, and not low.
I heard the hush and then my fiancée’s panicked voice.
“You can’t see me. You’re not allowed to see me, Tommy! It’s our wedding day!” Tia shouted. I stayed off to the side.
“You stay right there, brother of mine!” Luc shouted and then I saw her, star-fish stance, in front of the window, looking for me in the dark.
She was tanked, too. My lips twitched in amusement.
“Then get your ass to bed before I have to come in there and spank it for thinking unholy thoughts about your future brother-in-law.”
“Appreciation is not unholy. And you’re my one and only, Tommy!” She called out, teasing. “But, I like it that you’re jealous.”
“You won’t like it if I keep feelin’ jealous, baby girl. Get your ass to bed. Last warning or I come in there, superstition or not and take you to bed myself.”
“Um, I’m not exactly against that idea…” Tia’s voice had gone husky.
I heard female laughter, but then, “No!” As Bee’s voice cut in. “As tempting as it’d be to watch you go all caveman on her, I’m putting her to bed. Stay there, T.”
I waited a minute and then Dare nudged Luciana to move and poked his head out. “Coast is clear. Drink?”