“You and Price might actually be able to rein in Bowers.” If she was a certified badass, Nic’s boss, US Attorney Bowers, was a certified asshole.
“That’s the plan. And to try to stay out of the line of fire.”
That was saying something for Aidan. “Good,” Danny said. “We’ll all sleep better at night.”
Cory set aside the scissors, trim done, and Aidan gritted his teeth at the first touch of the dye brush. From either the sting, the cold, or just saying goodbye to the blond locks once and for all, returning to his original red, Mel didn’t know. She didn’t stifle her laugh either.
“What about you two?” Cory asked, glancing over Aidan’s head to her and Danny. “After that Christmas fiasco?”
“The almost-exploding ship,” Danny said, “had nothing on my mother when she found out we’d eloped.”
Mel guzzled the tequila-heavy bottom of her cocktail, then set the glass aside. “Hopefully me marrying off her other son tomorrow stems that tide.”
Aidan started forward again but caught himself before Cory had to chide him. “Mel, are you sure—”
“I already had this conversation with him,” she said, jutting a thumb at Danny.
There was a touch of sadness in the corner of her heart her brother would always hold, but the rest of it was so full these days she could bear it. Her brother would want her to be happy, and he would want the same for the man he had ultimately given his life for. “Gabe would be ecstatic that you found a good man to love again. He’d want you to be happy.”
“You think?” Aidan asked, voice hoarse.
“I mean, he’d rib you for being a ball bunny, but you have a type.” Hilarity erupted on all sides, and Danny dropped another kiss on her head. When their amusement subsided, she reached out a hand, grasping Aidan’s forearm. “I actually love that he’s a part of the wedding tomorrow, through me.”
Aidan covered her hand with his, squeezing. “So do I.”
Aidan clipped in his clover cuff links, adjusted his matching emerald ascot, and shrugged into his morning jacket, flipping out the tails. Checking himself in the mirror, he was startled by the man staring back at him.
A man on his wedding day.
He’d never thought he would get another one. When his first husband had died, Aidan believed his shot at true love was gone. Because Gabe had been that, no question. His true love, the love of his life. Aidan missed him every day still, and he’d made sure to include Gabe in this day, from the anniversary cuff links on his wrists to Mel officiating the ceremony. He would always love Gabe, and that love was in no way diminished by the truths Aidan had learned last year or by the fact Aidan had found love again. Gabe wasn’t theonlylove of his life. What he had with Jamie was true love too, the second love of his life.
An Irishman through and through, having lucked out in love, twice.
And he was getting married this second time on St. Patrick’s Day.
In some ways, Aidan felt and looked more like himself today than he had on his first wedding day. Jamie drew that out of him, from the red hair to the dancing eyes to being in the best shape of his life in his midforties. The younger man kept him on his toes—in the office when Jamie consulted, on the court when Aidan played ball with him, and at home in their bed. But it was more than his physical appearance that struck Aidan. Despite the added stress of the SAC job, he felt settled. In his work, in his heart, and in his home. Jamie had been right when he’d said married life looked good on him. They had already been living as such for eight months. Aidan couldn’t wait to make it official.
A knock on the door came right on time, saving him from bouncing on his toes like an excited kid. “Coming!” He checked his appearance one last time, pocketed his wallet, and was silencing his phone as he opened the door.
Then immediately tried to slam it closed. “What the hell are you doing, Whiskey?” He struggled against his fiancé, who had thrust an arm between the door and jamb, trying to shoulder his way inside. “This is bad luck.”
“There’s no bride in there,” Jamie said, using his height and heft to overpower Aidan’s resistance. Two steps inside he froze, baby blues growing round as saucers. “I only see a groom, who’s a redhead again.”
Aidan closed the door, hand lingering on the knob. “I wanted to surprise you. You like it?”
Big, warm hands closed over his shoulders and Jamie turned him around, backing him up against the door. “Do you even need to ask that, Irish?”
His gaze flickered up to Jamie’s freshly shaven face. Full lips curved in a wide, easy smile, high cheekbones lightly pinked, the brightest blue eyes Aidan had ever seen. Fuck, he was gorgeous, worthy of every camera that had ever turned its lens on him, and he was looking at Aidan like he’d hung the moon.
“I couldn’t think what else to get you as a wedding present,” Aidan said.
Jamie cupped his face, thumb brushing over his cheek. “You didn’t have to get me anything except you.”
“You’ve given me everything.” He angled his face into Jamie’s hand, kissing his palm. “It was the least I could do. And I wanted to do it for me too.”