Home > Waiting Game (Vegas Aces #4)

Waiting Game (Vegas Aces #4)
Author: Lisa Suzanne

 

CHAPTER 1

 

“What the hell are you doing here?” Luke demands.

“I came to stop this wedding,” she says. “You can’t marry her.”

“Why not?” Luke asks.

“Because we all know it’s not real,” Michelle says, her tone full of accusations. “You still have feelings for me. It’s the only reason you’d go through with this. Luke, don’t marry her.”

My brows dip. It’s the only reason he’d go through with this? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Does she think he’s marrying me as a show to get her back?

She really is freaking delusional. More reasons why we need a paternity test. Luke needs hard evidence that he really is this baby’s father.

Luke snorts before his eyes turn on his brother. “And I suppose you’re the one responsible for calling her to let her know I’m getting married?” He doesn’t even dignify her delusional words with a response.

“Does it matter why she showed up?” Jack asks.

Luke rolls his eyes. “What do you want, Michelle?”

“I want you, Luke. I’ve always wanted you. I’m carrying your baby. Don’t marry some girl you hardly know,” she says, and I can’t help my own very un-bride-like snort.

“And what, marry you instead?” he asks derisively.

She glances at Jack before she turns back to Luke, and I can’t help but wonder what that small look was all about. “Yes,” she says, and cue the hands on her stomach that’s barely even showing. “I want you to be happy. I want you to find something real with someone who deserves you, and that’s not her. This baby deserves his or her parents to be together, not for her dad to be with some random chick he just met.”

Oh hell no, bitch. Did she just take a shot at me?

I’m about to put on my fighting gloves, and I even see Josh fume with anger at her words out of the corner of my eye when Luke steps in again. “Marrying Ellie is what will make me happy. I’ve fallen in love with her,” he says, his eyes locking on mine. “Nothing you can say here will stop us.”

Jack loops a protective arm around Michelle’s shoulders. “What if I have something to say?”

Luke and I both regard Jack with wariness.

“It has come to my attention that this entire thing is a sham,” Jack says. “Apparently they have some agreement for the next year.”

Very few people aside from Luke and me know that, so the culprit is most likely Kaylee, depending what she thinks she heard last night.

That damn traitor.

Luke’s eyes move to his sister, and when I glance over at him, he looks angry and a little sad. He trusted her. She was the only one he trusted in his entire family.

Kaylee stands up, her shoulders hitched up with apologies as she looks at Luke. “I had to do something after what I overheard last night.”

“What did you overhear?” Carol asks.

“They were fighting,” she says to her mom but also to the group as a whole, “and Ellie said something about how they have to live together for the next year and she’d rather do it on friendly terms than fighting.” Kaylee looks back at Luke as all the blood drains from my face. She’s tossing out these secret conversations in front of Michelle...one of the main people that pushed Luke into having this idea in the first place, along with her father—Luke’s boss.

“I’m sorry. I just...this is all so fast, and I’m just trying to protect your heart.” Kaylee’s hand is on her chest, which makes me think she’s being sincere. She was just looking out for her brother...but running to the other brother in a very intense sibling rivalry couldn’t have been the answer.

Luke lets out a heavy breath. “Not that I need to explain myself to you, but what you think you heard...” he shakes his head and lets out a mirthless, slightly maniacal laugh. “I once told Ellie how the first year of marriage is the hardest. If we can make it through that on friendly terms, we can make it through anything. After what I went through last time, I firmly believe it’s all about that first year. And that’s all she was saying last night.”

Kaylee looks like she wants to say more, to jump in with how many times she tried to stop me and how I may have admitted things that don’t align with what Luke just said, but the look he gives her silences her.

“It’s nice of you to try to protect my heart,” he says to his sister, and then he looks at me. “But Ellie already owns it.” His eyes burn into mine, and I can’t help but think the words he’s saying right now are the truth.

I wish with everything I am that they’re true...but history tells me otherwise.

He pauses, his eyes on mine, and then he turns back to his sister. “But it’s great to know where you stand.” He takes my hands in his and turns back to Manny. “Can we continue now, please?”

“Of course, sir,” Manny says.

“You can’t just continue,” Michelle spits from where she stands still in the middle of the aisle the two of us walked down to join hands and speak our vows. Her words sound like a child throwing a tantrum.

He turns and looks at her like she’s a nuisance, a fly that won’t stop buzzing around. He lets out another one of those maniacal little laughs. He’s trying to hold his shit together in front of the daughter of his boss, but she’s pushing him right to the line. I have to wonder why the hell he ever got involved with her in the first place.

“Why, exactly, can’t I continue with my wedding?” Luke asks calmly.

“Because I came here to stop you. You can’t just ignore me,” Michelle says as if that explains everything. She sounds just like Jack—she came here to stop us, and she always gets her way.

Not this time, bitch.

He chuckles. “Oh, that’s right,” he says. He squeezes my hand as if to brace me for something. “Whatever you say here doesn’t really matter.”

Michelle looks confused.

Jack does, too.

In fact, everyone gathered here does...except Nicki.

“Why doesn’t it matter?” Michelle asks.

“Well, you see, we had a feeling Jack would do something to try to stop me from actually being happy for once in my life, or the media would show up.” He nods to Michelle, as if to imply she’s the media since we both know she’ll run right back to Savannah. She probably has a recording device planted somewhere on her as we speak. “Or any one of a hundred other things that could go wrong, and this is something we both really wanted...so we made it legal earlier today.”

Boom! In your face, Michelle!

God, do I want to scream that out. I refrain.

Her face falls. “You...you two...you’re...”

“Married,” Luke finishes. His eyes move to mine again. “Ellie managed to do what you couldn’t. You might be carrying my child, but she carries my heart. She holds it in her hands, and I count myself the luckiest man in the world that I found her when I did.”

I smile at our secret about the night we really met, and he smiles back at our little inside joke. My smile hides the well of emotion inside me as I wonder whether those words are true. He says them so earnestly, and when his eyes are on mine the way they are now, I can’t help but believe him. Something’s been holding him back, but we’re married now. Surely it’s time for him to admit the truth.

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