Some Sort of Love (Happy Crazy Love #3)(2)

by Melanie Harlow

“I did, but that doesn’t mean you won’t. Love isn’t a finite thing in the universe. It’s not like it gets used up by people who got there first.”

I sighed. “I know. You’re right. I need to stop comparing myself and just be patient. I fucking hate how whiny I sound. This is not me at all.”

“I don’t think you’re whining. I think you’re frustrated, and I get it. But hang in there.” She grinned. “And keep kissing those frogs. One of them is bound to be a prince, right?”

I had to chuckle at her hopeful smile, which sparkled like the diamond on her finger. Natalie had always been able to find the bright side in any situation, and I loved that about her. I pulled open the door. “Come on, crazy. Let’s go in. Thanks for the pep talk—I needed it.”

• • •

“Thanks for coming, everyone.” Skylar stood at the front of the winery’s tasting room, which had been transformed into a dining room for fifty tonight. The crowd hushed, and I marveled at the way she was able to command everyone’s attention so completely. Maybe it was her theater training and experience onstage, maybe it was just her uncommon beauty, but she held everyone rapt, as usual. “We’re so happy to see you here tonight.”

As she began talking about what it meant to them to see so many loved ones gathered in one place, I admired her style, which was so different than mine. Skylar looked good in everything, but tonight she wore a simple black sleeveless crop top and a pale peach tulle skirt that billowed to her knees. Around her neck was a chunky gold necklace, and her long blonde hair spilled over both shoulders. She’d borrowed a fabulous pair of black Jimmy Choo heels from me—shoes were the one obsession we shared—but I could never have pulled off that outfit. With my height, the crop top would have looked like an accident, and that skirt would have made me look like an overgrown ballerina. I stuck to classics like pencil skirts, blouses, and trousers, but Skylar could pull off any trend she liked.

Next to her, Sebastian looked gorgeous in his dark blue suit, albeit a bit uncomfortable to be the center of attention. I noticed that Skylar held his hand as she talked, and a lump formed in my throat. I tried to dissolve it with the last sip of wine left in my glass, but it remained.

“I want to thank my soon-to-be father-in-law, Denny Pryce, for hosting this dinner tonight.” She blew him a kiss, and the handsome older man smiled back at her, clearly smitten with his new daughter-in-law.

“We’d also like to recognize the best man and groomsmen, Sebastian’s brothers Malcolm and David; their wives Kelly and Jen; our flower girls, Emily and Hannah Pryce; and our ring bearer, Caleb Pryce.”

The young girls blushed and four-year-old Caleb took a bow as the room applauded, their parents beaming with pride. How incredible to gain so much at once, not only a husband but a built-in family with brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, and a bonus dad. She’s so lucky.

“I want to thank Mia and Lucas Fournier for allowing us to hold the wedding and all related events here,” Skylar went on. “This is a dream setting, and I’m so grateful for everything they’ve done to make my vision come to life.” She put her hand over her heart and made eye contact with the beautiful couple who owned the winery, and were standing at the back of the room. Mia blew her a kiss, and Lucas smiled and nodded, his arm around his wife.

“We also want to thank everyone who came in from out of town to share this weekend with us. We know you’re all busy, and we truly appreciate the effort you made to be here. We love you.” Skylar’s eyes swept over the crowd again, but I noticed that Sebastian was focused solely on her. The love and admiration in his gaze made my throat get tight. Skylar was so lucky.

I bit my lip as she turned to our family table, her blue eyes shining. “Finally, we want to say thank you to my parents, Bill and Grace Nixon, for hosting the wedding and for giving us an example of what true, committed love and marriage are. We know it’s not easy, but you make it look that way. Congratulations on thirty-five years together.”

As everyone applauded, my dad kissed my mom on the cheek, and the lump in my throat thickened.

“To my baby sister and bridesmaid Natalie, I want to say I love you and I couldn’t be happier for you and Miles, who’s been my brother all along.” Taking a breath, she turned to me. “To my big sister and maid of honor Jillian, you’re the smartest, kindest, strongest person I know. Thanks for always being there for me. I love you.”

“Love you too,” I whispered, my throat too tight to speak. Skylar wasn’t the only one who was lucky. We all were.

I vowed right then to stop comparing myself to my sisters or anyone else. Listen to what Skylar is saying. Happiness is about family and friends and being grateful for what you have, which is a hell of a lot.

“We raise our glasses to all of you for being here tonight, and to love for bringing us together. Cheers!” she cried happily.

Suddenly I remembered my glass was empty, and my shoulders slumped in disappointment. Then I figured I’d raise it anyway, and to my surprise, when I went to grab it, I discovered someone had filled it when I wasn’t looking.

That seemed like a good sign.

I actually smiled as I lifted it up. “To love!”

Maybe there was hope for me after all.

By nine the following night, my positive attitude was somewhat diminished. All the rude questions and comments I hadn’t heard at the rehearsal dinner had clearly been saved up for the main event.

No boyfriend yet? Maybe you’re being too picky.

Last Nixon sister standing, huh?

Hard to believe you’re still single, Jillian. You’re so pretty! (Then they’d study me carefully, like they were trying to figure out what the problem was, since it couldn’t be my face. If I were a car, they’d have asked me to pop the hood so they could take a look.)

One well-meaning great-aunt even dragged me over to meet someone who was seated at a nearby table. The fact that he was gay and even had a male date seemed lost on her, and she kept insisting we dance. The poor guy took me out on the floor just to shut her up, and we swayed awkwardly to “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” while my sisters howled with laughter at the head table.

After that, I decided to hide out near the bar and get tipsy.

I was creeping behind a row of topiary trees with my third—or maybe my fifth—glass of champagne when my mother’s oldest friend, Irene Mahoney, spotted me. Irene meant well, but she was the kind of woman who always managed to compliment and insult me in one breath.