Search (Page 44)

Allie pretended to mull it over. “Let me think about that.”

A hush fell over the crowd, but I smiled as did Levi. We all knew she’d made up her mind about him a long time ago.

She stepped even closer to him. “Okay. I do.”

“With all the power—”

Levi didn’t wait for him to finish. He just kissed her, blocking her from view as he wrapped her up in his arms. I felt a surprising surge of happiness. Allie really was with the man she belonged with. Casey wiped her eyes and smiled at me. Was she the kind of girl who wanted to get married? Would I be the one she married in the end? I was getting ahead of myself, and I knew it.

I leaned back in my chair and watched Allie and Levi walk down the aisle together. She grinned at me as she passed, and I mouthed congratulations. I waited for Casey to walk past, but she didn’t. Instead, she stopped right in front of my row. “How’d I do?”

“I’d say that was one of the best bridesmaid performances I’ve ever seen.”

She giggled. I wasn’t used to her giggling, but I was glad she was able to put her worries aside for a few hours and enjoy herself.

“Shall we?” I held out my hand, and she took it. We walked back toward the resort.

“That was a beautiful ceremony, wasn’t it?” she asked carefully.

“Yes. Allie certainly made it memorable.”

She laughed. “I’d say. I think it says a lot that Levi didn’t lose his smile for a moment.”

“It says a whole lot. Those two have come a long way.”

She squeezed my hand. “I take it their relationship hasn’t always been the smoothest?”

It was my turn to laugh. “Not in the slightest. You should ask her about it sometime. Just make sure you have a few hours to kill.”

“I’ll remember that.”

“You look beautiful.” As much as I didn’t love seeing Casey in the Laurent red, it fit her. I was positive blue would fit her well too. Anything would.

“Thank you. You look quite handsome.”

“Yeah?” I glanced down at my khakis, blue dress shirt, and tie.

“Definitely. I better be careful not to let anyone steal you away.”

I lightly tugged on her hand just enough to pull her against me. I wrapped my arms around her. “I’m not going anywhere, babe.”

“Good.”

“And I hope you’re not planning on going anywhere either.” I needed her to stay safe and at my side. I refused to lose her again.

“You’re the only one I want.” She rested her head on my chest.

“That’s good, because I feel the same way.” I looked down into those beautiful blue eyes of hers. “Do you think anyone would notice if we missed the beginning of the cocktail hour?”

“I’m sure someone would notice, but the bigger question is whether they’d care.” She took my hand. “What did you have in mind?”

“A flight.”

“That sounds incredible, but I can’t fly in this.” She gestured to her dress. “Although you know I’d love to have a repeat of last night.”

“Same here.” My whole body heated thinking about the waterfall.

“To the cocktail hour then…”

“To the cocktail hour.”

We walked back to the hotel silently. I could have spent forever just holding her hand.

Chapter Thirty

Jared

Levi was someone’s husband. The reality of his newest title was harder to swallow than I expected. It shouldn’t have been. He’d been off the market since he first set eyes on that green-eyed girl, but something about listening to them exchanging vows made it so official.

For my part, I hadn’t screwed up. I remembered the rings and made sure Levi was where he needed to be on time. Now if I could just manage my toast, I’d be done.

“Doing all right?” Hailey walked up behind me.

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?”

“It’s okay to be emotional when your best friend gets married.”

“But I’m not.” I crossed my arms.

Hailey laughed. “Come on, Jared. You have to be at least moved by the occasion.”

“Why? He’s already been shacking up with her for months.”

Hailey sighed. “We just witnessed their public exchange of vows. Allie’s officially Mrs. Levi Laurent. That’s big.”

“If you say so.” I knew she was right, but I wasn’t actually going to admit it out loud. It was also strange that I was doing the whole honor attendant thing with Hailey. I’d always viewed her as a little kid. I never imagined Levi would marry her best friend.

“I hope you at least planned a speech. This isn’t something you should wing.”

“It’s going to be epic. Are you sure you want me to go first? I might upstage you.”

She pushed my arm. “Yeah… I wouldn’t worry about that.” She walked off.

I sipped a glass of champagne as we waited for Allie and Levi to walk in as husband and wife. They didn’t even wait to be announced. They just walked in arm in arm. The band leader struggled to make it look like it was planned. “Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Laurent.”

I laughed to myself. Those two knew how to make an entrance. Allie was glowing so bright she didn’t look real, and Levi’s color nearly matched hers. If that’s what love looked like, maybe it wasn’t so bad. That was another sentiment I’d never say out loud.

“How’d I do?” Levi stopped in front of me. Hailey had stolen Allie and the two were giggling about something.

“Fantastic. Of course.”

“Thanks for standing up there with me.” He seemed different, like he was walking on air or something. If he was going to be tied to the same girl for the rest of his life, at least she made him happy.

“Of course.” I took a final sip of champagne before setting aside the empty glass.

“And there were no attacks.” He gave me a knowing look.

“Nope. If we can just get through the reception, we’ll be fine.”

“We will.” He patted my back. “If you’ll excuse me, I need to find my wife.”

I shook my head. “How long have you been waiting to say that?”

“You don’t want to know.” He captured Allie’s arm, and I walked off to find my table.

Allie and Levi danced their first dance. Instead of going with one of the usual song selections, Levi had a song written in their honor. From the look on Allie’s face, she hadn’t expected it. She also seemed pleased by the performance. That was a win for me. I’d picked out the band.