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Everyone close by exploded with laughter.

Tristan used the distraction to cast a quick glance around to check Jennifer’s position. She was with a crowd walking to the suspended bridge. Shoot. He wanted to chase her, but she’d be at the dinner and reception. He’d pull her aside then and get some answers. Tell her why he’d dated and get past that obstacle.

Unless she disappeared. Tristan’s gut tightened at the thought. He’d stewed about her miraculous reappearance all day. And now Henry hadn’t shown up for the wedding. He needed answers, and he would pin her down until she gave him some—or kiss her until she conceded. Heat filled him at that brilliant idea.

“Don’t worry about T,” Malik told his future daughter. “He has women crawling all over him, despite his ‘ouchies’.”

Sunny wrinkled her delicate nose. “Crawling all over him? That sounds yucky, Daddy.”

Even though they all laughed, it touched Tristan deeply to hear this angel calling Malik ‘Daddy.’ Malik was the youngest and would be the first to have a child. Tristan didn’t begrudge his brother’s happiness. Those two had been to purgatory and back before they found their happily ever after. Still, Tristan longed to have Jennifer by his side, looking at him like he hung the moon, a baby on the way or their little one in his arms.

He chanced a glance. She’d disappeared in the crowd. He had to find her.

“I don’t think he’s complaining, love,” Malik said.

“Do you like women ‘crawling’ on you, Prince Uncle Tristan?” Sunny asked innocently. “It sounds like they’re creepy spiders or something. Gross.”

“No, sweetheart. Your daddy is being silly. Women aren’t creepy spiders; they’re simply drawn to me because I’m so charming.”

“Oh. But I thought you was the Charming Prince, Daddy?”

“Yes, I am.” Malik pushed his chest out. “Poor T is simply the Crown Prince. Very boring.”

“I don’t think you’re boring.” Sunny snuggled into him, and Tristan appreciated the confidence boost.

He needed to find Jennifer, though. It was past time they talked. The crowd had dissipated and headed around front for dinner. A dozen royal guards, led by Lieutenant General Philippe Cordon and including Major Chad Prescott, Lieutenant Mason Hensen, and Captain Levi Favor, were waiting respectfully to escort them. The family could finally proceed around front. Then he could confront Jennifer.

It wasn’t only that he needed to reconnect with the love of his life. Her father’s disappearance was worrisome. Henry might be in danger now too, unless he really was in league with William. If that were true, all of them were in danger.

He turned to walk to the bridge, but his dad’s voice stopped him.

“Finally, we’re all together,” the king said.

Tristan turned. His dad’s blue eyes were suspiciously bright.

“And Ellery promised not to wreck any irreplaceable supercars today,” Malik teased.

“I wouldn’t be so sure about that,” Ellery teased right back. “What are you driving, and can I borrow it for the honeymoon getaway vehicle?”

They all laughed, but then the laughter tapered and they looked to his dad. Even Sunny and Kiera seemed to recognize the significance of the moment.

“I love you all very, very much. You’re each more important to me than hundreds of supercars, than anything in this world,” King Nolan said, his voice thick. He cleared his throat. “The Lord has protected us through some hard times. We’re together now. I pray we can all savor these moments and that each of your marriages will be as happy and filled with love and light as mine was with Anne.” He paused again and looked up to heaven briefly before his gaze swept over his children. “Your mum would be so proud of each of you. I can feel her here with us.”

Tristan fought the sting of tears himself; he missed his mum’s bright light and sweet smile. Ray studied the ground, but Macey poked him in the side. He gave her a soft smile and clasped her hand. Malik pulled Sophie closer to his side. Steffan and Hattie exchanged a loving look. Derek kissed Ellery on her cheek and whispered something in her ear. Tears brightened Kiera’s blue eyes. Curt and Aliya were cuddled together, both looking reflective. Ellery’s mum was in a wheelchair with Aunt Elise standing next to her. Incredible women and already part of the family.

“I wish I could’ve met the queen,” Sunny said, breaking the moment. It was a relief. Tristan hadn’t wanted to be the jokester and make a quip, not this time, but any more seriousness in his life and he might implode.

“She would’ve loved you, darlin’,’ Aliya said. “Right as rain, you’re the cutest little angel on the Lord’s green earth.”

“Thank you, Aunt Princess Aliya.” Sunny blew her a kiss.

Aliya dramatically caught it and held it to her heart.

King Nolan smiled and drew in a breath. “All right. On to eating and celebrating.” He gestured toward the guards and the bridge.

They all fell into step behind Derek and Ellery. The ecstatic newlyweds led the way and whispered sweet nothings to each other as they walked. From the way Ellery was blushing and giggling, maybe it wasn’t ‘nothings’ Derek was whispering.

Tristan wanted that. With Jennifer.

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