Auggie stood at the front of the church and watched her walk down the aisle.
The bridesmaids’ dresses Lottie chose were very Lottie. Sleek. Sexy.
All the women looked great in them, but none of them looked better than Pepper.
And he thought that even before Pepper, as she strutted down the aisle, caught sight of her daughter, Juno, and shot her girl a huge smile.
Pepper Hannigan was gorgeous.
Anytime she was with her daughter?
They were the next in the line of Lottie’s matches.
Auggie and Pepper.
Mo and Lottie were the obvious firsts (Mo was one of Aug’s four best buds), and Lottie earning the love of Mo had been all Lottie’s idea.
Mo never thought he’d find anyone as fantastic as Lots, would never go for it, until Lottie talked him around.
Now Mo was standing at the front of their line, waiting to make her his wife.
Once Lottie got her happy ending, she set about giving the same thing to Mo’s friends…fixing them up with her own crew.
And so far, she’d done a bang-up job.
Mag and Evie, the second couple, were living together and getting married.
Boone and Ryn, the third, were tight, and further, they were in business together.
Axl and Hattie, the fourth, were as good as living together, and practically inseparable.
It was him and Pepper who were the holdouts.
This was not for lack of trying on Auggie’s part.
Once he’d met her, Auggie saw no reason not to go for it.
She was gorgeous. She was funny. She spoke her mind. She was laidback. Together. She didn’t seem to have any hang-ups.
But Pepper saw reason not to give it a shot because she had a kid.
He got it. She was being careful. Whatever had torn her and Juno’s dad apart had made her skittish.
He got it.
That didn’t mean it wasn’t torture.
Like right now, when her eyes caught his, the smile that she gave her kid still in them, and Auggie felt that.
He felt it.
It wasn’t even aimed at him in any real way, and that residual love she’d targeted at her daughter was so big, it took forever to fade away.
He’d never felt that kind of love.
Not once in his life.
And he wanted it so bad, the backs of his teeth hurt with the need to taste it.
He lost her attention when she shifted to take her place at the front of the church and Auggie tore his gaze away from her to watch the next woman, Hattie, march down the aisle.
On its way, his gaze snagged on Juno.
Dark hair to her mom’s blonde, she was all dressed up, her hair curled—her mom was a bridesmaid in a big wedding with all the prep that entailed, but it was clear Juno had not been forgotten.
She was staring at her mother, beaming with pride.
Seeing that beam made Auggie want even more of what he’d never had.
From the both of them.
* * *
“No one should enjoy this song that much,” Axl noted.
Auggie and his bud were sprawled in chairs next to a table that had a scattering of smeared cake plates, abandoned drinks, and a sprinkling of the personalized M&M’s that had been Lots and Mo’s wedding favors.
Lottie and Mo had taken off a couple of hours ago, but the party was not winding down in the slightest, which wasn’t a surprise, considering the guest list was made up of Rock Chicks and their posse, and Dream Team and their crew.
Lottie and Mo might be long gone, taking off to go all night somewhere else.
But their wedding reception was going to kiss the dawn.
Case in point, it was after midnight, “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang was playing, and the dance floor was packed.
Callum Nightingale was the center of attention. To his mother and her friends egging him on (and his father and his friends standing on the sidelines shaking their heads, but grinning), Callum was actually breakdancing, and the kid rocked that shit.
But Auggie wasn’t watching Callum.
He was watching Juno and Pepper goofing off.
No woman in a dress cut that low with a slit that high should be able to pull off acting that big of a dork.
But Juno had selected the air trumpet, and Pepper had decided on the air saxophone, and they were jamming out.
No stale air guitar or lead singer nonsense for those two adorable goofballs.
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