Page 2 of Stealing the Bride

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“I’ll see you then, dear.” She gives me a halfhearted air kiss on each of my cheeks before polishing off her champagne and handing the empty glass to a studiously anonymous sales assistant.

“Off, please.” I tug at the dress.

“You shouldn’t be this miserable trying on wedding dresses,” Julia whispers under her breath as she undoes the buttons at the back. “It’s never too late.”

The dress falls free, and I suck in my first full breath since I put it on.

“Thank you,” I tell her before stepping out and throwing my clothes back on.

Once I find my phone in my purse, I call Nick, but he doesn’t answer. Not wanting to wait, I leave the dress shop and go straight to his place. It’s only a subway ride away, and I try him again when I get to his fancy apartment building. He still doesn’t answer, but he’s probably in a meeting. It's Friday, and we’re getting together later tonight, but I don’t want to wait. All of a sudden, this feels urgent.

The doorman buzzes me in, and I smile politely. I’ve only been here a handful of times, but I dig through my purse and flash the key Nick gave me. The only reason I’ve got it is because a while back, he was at work and asked me to pick up some documents from his place and bring them to him.

My key slides into the lock at the same time I hear a soft, feminine moan. Before I open the door, I know what I’m going to see, but I push it open anyway.

My understanding fiancé that never pressured me for more is having sex with a woman. Well, two women, to be exact. Both of them are carbon copies of each other, and they couldn’t be more different than me.

“Vanna,” Nick gasps, and his eyes widen so much it’s almost comical. The blonde on her knees in front of him never stops sucking on him. Damn, she really is intent on getting the job done. “This isn’t—”

“It’s fine.” I stumble backwards awkwardly, feeling like I’m witnessing someone else's very intimate moment.

I’m more embarrassed that I interrupted them than I am hurt. My cheeks burn with shame because I remember Nick mumbling more than once that I was a prude.

It should make calling off the wedding a whole lot easier, but I should have known better. With my luck, nothing is ever simple.

Chapter Two


“You fucking asshole.”

“Oh no, please don’t hurt my feelings,” I deadpan into the phone as I walk down Fourth Street toward the office.

“Lawson, you piece of shit, I’m going to make you pay for this.”

I can hear the bitter edge to her voice as I walk into the coffee shop and grab my afternoon Americano. It’s ready at the counter, and I drop some cash in the tip jar before waving at the barista. Without rushing, I step onto the sidewalk and take a sip as my former client continues to scream in my ear.

“If you’d look at your contract, Mrs. Delanito, you’d see that technically you’re going to pay for this. Every time you call, it’s a billable hour.”

“I hope that when you die and go to hell that Satan sticks his pitchfork right up your—”

“Nah, we’re old friends, he likes to bottom for me.” Is it wrong that I take pride in the angry screech she makes? Sipping more of my Americano, I try not to smile.

Megan Delanito is technically my client, but as of today, I’m terminating her contract. She’s going through a messy divorce and hired me to do some private investigating for her. From the beginning, something seemed off, and I should have trusted my instincts. She claimed that her husband was cheating, and she wanted evidence to get more money in her divorce. Most of my cases involve something of this nature, so I put my reservations aside and took her on.

It didn’t take long to find out that not only was she cheating for the majority of their marriage, but she planted the drugs on her husband that got him arrested. Her husband never cheated and was only guilty of falling in love with her gold-digging ass.

I decided to not-so-anonymously send all my evidence to his lawyer this morning and let them work it out. I’m guessing she got the good news.

“Good luck getting one red cent out of me,” she barks, and I try not to laugh.

“Don’t worry. Your husband was happy to cover my final invoice,” I say and then check my watch. “Sorry, I’ve got to run. Enjoy your afternoon.”

She’s still screaming into the phone when I hang up, so I go ahead and block her number before she can call back. I’ve had enough drama for one day.

As soon as I’m finished, my phone rings again, and I see it’s my brother. “Hey, I’m almost there,” I say before he can start in.